- One must remain vigilant concerning the "one people separated by a common language" problem, but this disturbingly revealing glossary of UK publishing codewords also reveals a lot about US publishing... and there's even more in the internal links to a US-publishing equivalent. The key thing to note is that virtually everything relates not to the works themselves, but to sales and marketing decisions and processes.
- I despise baseball. Nothing is going to change that... especially not watching the conniption fit the baseball authorities threw when a non-kangaroo court rejected the "doping" charges against Ryan Braun last week. I've long been on record as questioning the collection procedures for athlete tests; as questioning the intent of the authorities in what and how they choose to regulate; as questioning the system as one that (to quote myself) would "shame a third-world dictatorship"; and as questioning the scientific validity of some of the arbitrary levels set as "positive" test results (like testosterone ratios from a single in-competition sample). In this particular instance, I think Mr Braun's sauce-for-the-gander accusation is well-considered: If he's going to be held to a zero-tolerance standard, so must the testing system.
Now, if we could only start testing the Heffalump candidates for whatever it is they've been smoking... although now that I think about it, there's no valid lab test for "unbridled ambition."
- Now the LA Times is going to add a partial paywall (no doubt inspired by the NYT version) to keep people from reading the whole site for free. Well, I don't anyway, so...
- The European competition authorities have referred ACTA to the European Court of Justice to see if maybe protecting media conglomerates
from their own stupidityagainst piracy of their overpriced products without due process just might violate basic human rights. Stay tuned for a decision that will end up deciding both less and more than it needs to, while leaving plenty of loopholes...
- As Professor Froomkin notes (and I was too sick to blawg about), the US Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit — Florida, Georgia, and Alabama — has ruled that being forced to provide a password to decrypt one's files is self-incrimination under the Fifth Amendment, a position that prosecutors have been vehemently arguing against for at least two decades.
Also while I was ill, Professor Froomkin pointed to an egregious example of copyright misuse without quite going far enough. I've seen this kind of misconduct and misbehavior frequently before, and will again; it's not going away as long as trademark law continues to be "vigorously defend it or lose it" in nature. There's just too damned much bleedthrough between trademark law and copyright law in Big Media, both in the legal staff (where there's no excuse for it) and among management (for which there is no excuse for their continued existence). Thus, I understand why NBC took the position that it did; I do not, however, condone it, even though I would have predicted it. In this particular instance, somebody — somewhere — was concerned that that damned little peacock might be tarnished by association with a particular political candidate, and then jumped to copyright (with its more favorable procedural rules) as a means to an end.
And yet also while I was ill, Professor Froomkin noted the critical — indeed, essential — role of libraries as guardians of liberty through their very existence. I think neither Professor Froomkin nor the underlying article go far enough in praising the "public library" as the foundation of democracy; but then, libraries have been my second home since I was about six...
Last, and far from least, we had a tasty Middle East peace plan for dinner last night: Persian lamb kebabs, a mix of Israeli and Palestinian couscous, and Tunisian olives. And, just like a real Middle East peace plan, there was no excess; indeed, there probably wasn't enough to go around.