Monthly Archives: February 2007

My Proposed Movie Copyright Law


  1. It is legal to videotape from TV and keep it for as long as you like.
  2. Technology is irrelevant. Downloading is not a crime, it is a way of moving information around.
  3. Providers of entertainment deserve and require the ability to profit from their work.
  4. Such protection is provided by copyright laws.
  5. Copyright is “for a limited time”, not forever.
  6. Eventually copyright comes into conflict with premise 1).


  • If a movie has not yet come out in any form that you can access, downloading and sharing shall both be felonies, punishable by jail time.
  • If a movie has come out in the theater but is not yet out on DVD, sharing should be a felony and downloading should be misdemeanors.
  • If the movie has been released on DVD (or has finished its theater run with no DVD issue scheduled), but has not yet been broadcasted on TV, sharing should be a misdemeanor and downloading should not be a crime.
  • If the movie has been on TV or has reached five years from its original release date, recording is legal, therefore neither sharing nor downloading shall be a crime.

It’s just an idea… but I doubt that the MPAA would like it.

For the runaround, press one…

Seven steps to remarkable customer service – Joel on Software

An excellent treatise on customer service, how it works, and some of the commonest mistakes.

Quotable quote: “Many software companies still think that it’s “economical” to run tech support in Bangalore or the Philippines… the cost of a single incident might be $10 instead of $50, but you’re going to have to pay $10 again and again. Somehow, the phone companies and the cable companies and the ISPs just don’t understand this equation. They outsource their tech support to the cheapest possible provider and end up paying $10 again and again and again fixing the same problem again and again and again… The cheap call centers have no mechanism for getting problems fixed; indeed, they have no incentive to get problems fixed because their income depends on repeat business, and there’s nothing they like better than being able to give the same answer to the same question again and again.


Now Reading: Airframe, by Michael Crichton.

Don’t be greedy, Cliff!

Sir Cliff backs royalty campaign

Cliff Richard is something of a pop icon in England. He started out in the late fifties as the local homegrown answer to Elvis (complete with sneer), transitioned to Pop in the sixties and Christian music in the seventies. While virtually unknown over here, he is as much of an institution as Elton John, and probably the richest Pop singer in England.

Faced with the expiration of the copyright of his earliest work, he is campaigning to have the copyright period extended to achieve parity with the songwriters, who had their copyrights extended from 50 to 90 years in 1988.

The purpose of copyright is to provide an inventive for artists to keep producing music.

Funny how the rest of us get paid for the work we do when we do it, while this lot are bleating that fifty years of royalties are not enough.

So here’s my suggestion.

  • Triple the royalties paid to both performers and songwriters, and
  • Reduce the copyright period to ten years.

And stop being so greedy, Sir Cliff!