random quotes ... to amuse, inspire, enrage:
  No man who ever lived knows any more about the hereafter... than you and I; and all religion... is simply evolved out of chicanery, fear, greed, imagination, and poetry.

tagged: religion
  —Edgar Allen Poe

egg rights: South Dakota’s latest ventures into unintended consequences

Tuesday, February 24th, 2009

South Dakota is at it again, with a new egg rights bill that defines “any organism with the genome of homo sapiens” as a person under the South Dakota Constitution. Man it’s hard to keep up with all the really poorly thought out legislation from that state! Broadsheet has the simplest quickest coverage, and links […]

Equal Pay Legislation – passed and signed

Thursday, January 29th, 2009

The Lilly Ledbetter Act was passed and signed. So fuck off, Justices Alito, Roberts, Scalia, Thomas, and Kennedy. Your utterly superficial and mean (as in, scanty, beggarly, stingy) interpretation of the Equal Pay Act managed to hurt some people but did not carry the day. Jackasses. Also, a big fuck you to the Republicans (including […]

new US Trade Rep; same bad Hollywood favoritism

Wednesday, December 3rd, 2008

see below for update 12/19 Obama has appointed the next US Trade Representative, current U.S. Representative Xavier Becerra (D-CA 31); see also Becerra’s House site. Unfortunately, it looks like he’s going to be in the pocket of tank for Hollywood, just as prior USTR’s have been. A few notes from some fast research (“googling”): * […]

yaay EFF & Georgia senatorial candidate

Saturday, October 18th, 2008

Of course, it’s never surprising when the EFF takes on the most challenging issues in technology law, but it was particularly gratifying to see them arguing to overturn the odious telecommunications immunity passed last year. The Machinist at Salon — a blog I’ve been appreciating more and more lately — has a great summary & […]

another exercise by the military-industrial-entertainment complex

Tuesday, October 14th, 2008

The entertainment industry has succeeded — at least theoretically — in passing off more of their enforcement costs to the federal government — i.e., the taxpayers. Nice use of government dollars at a time of financial crisis, Congress! Bush signed the “Prioritizing Resources and Organization for Intellectual Property Act” (“PROIPA” ?) which, besides shelling out […]

shades of the Pinkertons

Wednesday, May 7th, 2008

In Burger with a Side of Spies (editorial, NYT 5/7), Eric Schlosser calls for legislation to protect people from private entities, á la the Bill of rights. The article discusses a number of incidents, including spying and infiltration – by HP on journalists; – by a private security firm on Greenpeace & other environmentalist groups; […]


Monday, May 5th, 2008

This is highly amusing. A Constitutional flaw in the way that patent appeals judges have been appointed since 2000 (by persons without authority to do so) threatens to invalidate all the decisions made by a panel that includes a judge appointed since 2000. [My initial hearing of snatches of this made me think there was […]

Section 108 report released

Friday, March 28th, 2008

The Section 108 study group has finally released their report. See: Section 108 Study Group Executive Summary of Report Full report For those who are not copyright or library geeks, Section 108 is one of the most important parts of the Copyright Act for libraries. For those who are having trouble reading the medium-grey on […]

irrational economics @ the DOJ

Thursday, May 17th, 2007

The OECD is releasing a study confirming that entertainment & IP industries puff up their “lost to piracy” figures — by a lot. Actual losses are under $200 billion worldwide per year. The industry estimates at $600 to $1000 billion or more per year. … And is there any evidence-based lawmaking afoot? No, there is […]

france ipod/DRM legislation passed

Friday, June 30th, 2006

(edited & corrected as I learn more) According to MacObserver, the French legislation opening DRM (like that on apple’s ipod) has now passed into law. Presumably, this was supposed to open up Apple’s scheme to competitors so music purchased at iTunes store will play on other devices. According to consumer groups this portion was quite […]

net neutrality provision fails in the House

Friday, June 9th, 2006

we knew this, right? that legislative attempts to do something positive for consumers were likely doomed? [nyt 6/9] consumers, if you get Internet service from a phone or cable company, do you think you pay enough to have service already? do you think your broadband provider ought to be able to charge you more for […]

tech mandates and reproductive care

Wednesday, July 20th, 2005

I never cease to be astonished by how smarmy politicans can be: today, leaders in the Smarm Community, the anti-choice people (‘pro-lifers’). The latest RU-486 story in the NYT, sensationalistically titled “2 More Women Die After Abortion Pills”, covers two recent RU-486 deaths (two, for a total of five; four of which were probably infection-related). […]

alabama determined to drive itself into a deep, deep hole

Wednesday, December 1st, 2004

god what a great state i come from. on nov 2 they — unbelievable — actually retained the state constitutional language mandating segregation. now this: MONTGOMERY, Ala. (AP) – A lawmaker seeking to ban gay marriages also wants to prohibit state money from being spent on any materials or programs that “recognize” or “promote” homosexuality. […]

same-sex marriage decisions

Wednesday, October 6th, 2004

Newfoundland, Canada: lawsuit launched for same-sex marriage [365gay.com 11/5] 2004-11-05: Saskatchewan legalized same-sex marriage, the 7th Canadian province to do so (British Columbia, Ontario, Quebec, Manitoba, Nova Scotia, and the Yukon Territory). Four of the plaintiff couples sought to get married in Saskatchewan and a fifth couple sought recognition of its British Columbian marriage. Oral […]

‘true name’ bill signed

Friday, September 24th, 2004

Sigh. Now i know why i was feeling kinda blue today: On Wed, 9/22, Schwarzenegger signed SB1506, the so-called ‘true-name’ bill, which requires anyone putting copyrighted content on a p2p system to include their name and contact information. [Sacramento: Governor signs Internet piracy bill: E-mail address required to share movies, music online by Mark Martin […]

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