I met this book burning Kansas City man last summer when we were having my grandmother's estate sale. The man really did have a huge collection of books. It looks like he has gotten some publicity for himself.
Thursday, May 31, 2007
Sunday, May 20, 2007
Here is southeast Asia, many countries have a blatant disregard for international copyright. Unlicensed (pirate) copies of DVDS go for less that two dollars in Malaysia and Indonesia. Chinese law allows you to sell them as long as you have less that five hundred in your possession. Many of the Christians around here hear the term "pirate" and see public service announcements that feature Jackie Chan and Arnold Schwarzenegger telling everyone how bad these DVDs are and how you are as bad as the movie villains they beat up if you buy these films and they accept "thou shalt not view buy unlicensed DVDs" as being one of the new beatitudes.
Though I might seem critical, I generally follow suit, but not based on such absolute moral reasons. My reason is simple, I don't buy the DVDs because it is illegal to transfer them into the borders of Singapore and America. No amount of entertainment is worth jail time or a hefty fine. I also respect the laws. The governments of Singapore and America should be able to claim national autonomy and sovereignty and regulate the media that flows in and of their countries. If I lived in Malaysia and China where the laws are different, I might buy these DVDs without flinching.
What many people don't understand about copyright law is that, unlike some moral or religious laws, it is enforced relative to the particular society a person lives. Copyright laws and laws governing trade are constantly changing, largely because of selfish financial interests. There is also the concept of fair use and the idea that local, sovereign government should be allowed to dictate what is and is not a copyright violation. I believe copyright law, like many other kinds of laws, should be decided by local governments and even those in the third world should not kowtow to the Hollywood's financial interests or those of globalizing trade organizations.
That being said, a Stanford profession has produced a charming video about fair use by using clips from Disney films. I don't think that he first received permission. This is ironic because it is Disney who has done more to restrict fair use and extend copyright than any other organization.
Here's the video.
Here's another link.
Wednesday, May 09, 2007
While I tend to have a conservative point of view, I've been really offended and shocked by some of the things that Cal Thomas has written. I can remember certain times that I've read his column and thought, "Man, this guy must hate... [Democrats, Liberals, Blacks, Arabs, insert whatever group you can come up with] ." However, today I read an article that I found very impressive. It is the most realistic description of the religious right that I have ever read. It is too bad that the outlook is pretty bleak.
To paraphrase a verse familiar to most Christians, what shall it profit a man if
he gains the White House, but loses his own soul?
Christians are also fond of saying God never closes one door without opening another door. The "door" of the Center for Reclaiming America has closed. The new doors can produce a more effective politics, if what's on the other side is based on a message that has less to do with partisanship and more to do with the One who transcends all politics and Who lends His power only to those who will use it as He instructed.
The Beginning of the End of the Religious Right?