The Producer, the Librarian, and the Promise-Breaker

TLDR: This changes nothing.

Today the Librarian of Congress announced new rules promulgated pursuant to the Librarian's rulemaking authority under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to exempt certain actions from the prohibition against circumvention of copyright protection systems found in 17 U.S.C. §1201. The "anti-circumvention provision" states:

No person shall circumvent a technological measure that effectively controls access to a work protected under this title.
The Librarian is required by §1201 to make

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FCC Ready to Kill Internet

According to Reuters, FCC commissioners voted 5-0 today to proceed with crafting a "net neutrality" rule, sending the current language (which would strip telecom companies of the right to control how they use their own property) to the printing office for public comment. Comments will be accepted until January 14th.

The Notice of Proposed Rulemaking is available online here [PDF].

You can upload your comments using ECFS here, using proceeding number 09-191. You can read

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I have a rosebush.

It is a floribunda with deep red--almost maroon--flowers. I've been working on it for a few years now, and I prune it when it needs pruning, and I water it every other day, and I feed it and rotate it (it is in a large pot) and clip off dead blooms and whatnot. I care for it, rather like some people care for pets. It is a thing that I am

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Sundae Specials (Initial Thoughts)

Gus Van Horn mentions the difficulty of arguing against the government's use of behavior-modifying techniques in mixed-government contexts:

Unfortunately, everyone is so used to the government owning the roads ... that few so much as bat an eye when they hear of the government looking for ways to psychologically manipulate people into doing its bidding. Indeed, in this limited context, it is hard to argue productively against the government taking advantage of such knowledge about human
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On the Inadequacy of English Invectives

Fred Phelps and his Westboro Baptist Church have, for some time now, been traveling the country protesting at the funerals of American soldiers killed in the line of duty. Back in 2006, they protested outside the funeral of Marine Lance Corporal Matthew Snyder, who was killed in action at the age of 20. See this article, the original complaint, and Monica's (of Spark a Synapse) post on the same topic for the unpleasant details.


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The Road to Ruin

Every good pragmatist knows that one of the absolutely essential functions of government is to own, operate, and maintain public roads. Several arguments I have heard advanced in favor of publicly-owned roads include:

  • Uniform standards;
  • Unrestricted access;
  • Cost-free access;
  • Universal access to an essential resource;
  • Safety;
  • Efficient allocation of scarce resources;
  • Availability of eminent domain power to efficiently locate major roadways;

And of course the vague but ever popular, "that's what governments are for!" And

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Some lively back-and-forth between Messrs. Inspector and Flibbertigibbet on urbanism, and Mr. Van Horn's recent cable company travails got me thinking on the role of public roads in government's ability to exert control over private property. This is mildly unfortunate, however, as I am far too busy at the moment to be thinking about such things. So I've popped it in the oven on a low roast for now, and later tonight I should have

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