Friday, January 17, 2014

Seed catalogs and copyrights, TPP, Tuesday

I know that I've been letting down my gardening fans without mentioning stuff in the yard I usually do over winter, beginning in October. Truth be told, though, I've had to avoid gardening because of an injury which necessarily precludes shovel-wrangling.  With seed catalogs coming in around Christmas instead of the usual first of the year as used to be the case, all you green thumbs out there are itching for spring and it's inevitable that some of you have started indoor seedlings entirely too early at this point and will experience the inevitable damping off down the road.

I haven't forgotten you, believe me; it's just other recent events have overtaken my usual blogging on that topic (well, usual in other places on the Internet--not here--that is), and today is yet another day I should put it off again.  I'm now watching a replay of a hearing in the House of Representatives regarding copyright law, and this is important to me when I'm wearing my writer's hat instead of a straw one, and given how this is part of the negotiations of the proposed TPP treaty, and its bearing on software's nature as either machine code under patent or a written work under copyright remains an issue even though the ancient case of Apple Corps vs Microsoft's suit over Windows was supposedly the final answer on that.

I humbly beg your forgiveness for that lapse, and I do promise I'll get to gardening ere long, outside of stating most emphatically that, for the northern hemisphere, it's too early to start seeds, primarily for the reason of the current length of daylight hours.  Yes, the days are getting longer, but they're still not long enough yet.  Americans, you'll do better if you hold off til mid February unless you live in the southmost tier of the U.S. or in Canada, where even mid February is still too early.

What I can state right now initially on the topic of copyright law is that it's important to read the Terms of Use on websites you create an account on because some, like HBO and ABC/GO, will claim to have nonexclusive rights over everything you post on their site in perpetuity.

Precious few will state clearly that the rights over the content is under the ownership of the author and that the website wants you to agree that it has a right to distribute that content.  The latter is clearly most aligned with law as it exists while  the former is, I've always asserted, in violation of the U.S. Constitution Article I section 8 paragraph 8, which states clearly that all claimed rights to either patent or copyright must expire at some point to become public domain.

The hearing, which took place on Tuesday, is supposed to be referenced with additional information at  but as of this posting isn't up there yet.

Edited to add: looks like I forgot to add what this all has to do with the TPP.  As it happens, it's copyrights and intellectual property that is the current snag in that going forward, and this whole big-dealing on Tuesday is pertinent to a contemplated change in our current copyright laws, referred to as some kind of copyright law reform.  All the hootin'/hollerin' about labor laws under the TPP is seriously overshadowed by intellectual property issues, and even if the secrecy over the TPP has been intact thusfar, I'll bet it's the move toward reforming U.S. laws will be where the chinks in the secrecy armor occur.

As I write this postscript, I'm seeing a Mr. Collins from Georgia making peculiar claims about written laws and annotations regarding the issue of how written laws are exempt from copyright protection...which affects such law publication firms like Westlaw, whose publications which contain written law have been protected by copyright and has been used in legal cases on a citation basis.

The standing of law devoid of annotation is argued effectively as needing to be public domain because the public is forcibly ruled by such law.  Annotations exist primarily for use by lawyers anyway, and there's the matter of the legal standing that Corpus Juris Secundum  has enjoyed in previous court cases. That is a reference work covered by copyright but is used on occasion to argue law. Should that have the same exemption as written law itself because of its legal standing?  Hmmmm.

I also note with considerable interest the presence of Professor Mark Schultz, fellow Saluki.  For those who didn't catch this in a previous blog post, my first foray into university life began at the SIU School of Communications Radio/TV department, a School that has always been held by high standards even back in the day when they were still worshiping at the alter of Edward R. Murrow.  I changed major when I discovered that I couldn't stop fiddling with the equipment.

Personal identity info redacted, of course.


And Gus Bode, too.  In all this blogging I don't think I ever mentioned that I like basketball, and the proudest Saluki moment was when its hoops team beat the snot outta Texas Tech during March Madness, 2002, and that's when Texas Tech coach was the infamous former NBA coach Bobby Knight. I remember that like it was yesterday.

I can say the same about the NBA Finals when it was the Suns vs the Bulls, and the Bulls had Michael Jordan while the Suns had Charles Barkley.  Neither one of those guys did squat for scoring the winning points at the buzzer.  It was a Paxson trey shot for the Bulls that sent the Suns packing--but Phoenix threw 'em a massive street party anyway.  Barkley had to bolt when the crowd got too intense in front of the Purple Palace...the crowd even managed to unseat a motorcycle-mounted security police officer.

Thank you, George Takei, for a badly needed chuckle.

Old-school photo of the Purple Palace (America West Arena), downtown Phoenix, taken 1996. A few years earlier, you could follow those cars down Washington Ave. and drive past a building from which Fleetwood Mac got its name. It housed a machine shop whose name was only partially visible.  It was torn down just before I moved. Sure wish I had taken a picture of that, with as many times as I'd taken the Yellow line city bus past it.
Long view of Central Park, downtown Phoenix, behind a bus stop.  There's a fountain in the middle surrounded by a brick ledge, against which I propped up a freshly finished drawing of the Grand Canyon at dusk and took a pic of that, only to discover that the bright Phoenix sun made it look rather washed out.

I always take some sort of picture of my artwork before it leaves my hands to be delivered to its new owner.  In this case, I wish I had taken a better one.  I was able to do that much later, though.  The goal is to at least keep a photographic catalogue of every piece I do, and in recent years it's become a major issue that I do this. Anyway, me & the pic were downtown because I had just retrieved it from the company that did the framing. I've since learned how to do framing myself.

Speaking of which...

Best point guard ever, KJ (Kevin Johnson)

The courthouse, downtown Phoenix.  I took that because I take pictures of old buildings. One of the facets of my interest in history includes architecture. This set of pics were taken with the knowledge that I was about to move out of the area. Dad already passed away years before, and now Mom needed undivided attention at this point.
Another view of Central Park, downtown Phoenix

And now a rewind to the time when the Olympics torch ran through Phoenix.  Next is a stack of 3 pics showing the police escort, then the Olympics van, then behind the van with the runners following.  I was standing across the street from Central Towers on N. Central.

After I moved, and after Mom's funeral, I made a point of taking a pic of her band, the Merry Music Makers. The biggest guy in the middle is Owen Zuck.
Mom, attended by Vivian Crofts (right) and relatives (left--a girlfriend and her mom; the other friend, the sister, had passed away just before I arrived from Phoenix; yup, I cut myself out of that pic, far right).
What?  For security reasons already stated elsewhere, I will not post pics of younger pictures because I don't look the damn slightest like that anymore. Deal?

High school graduation pic
1980's look with River Song hair. Aka "space hair". That tee shirt is one printed up by Motorola's Chandler plant, USA-1, which I was first recruited by Motorola for.
Always had a fatal attraction to machinery.

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