Wednesday, July 18, 2007

Harry Potter, Stolen and Posted on the 'net

For those who don't see the Internet as a destructive force in intellectual property protection, I present this story on how the new Harry Potter book is available on P2P sites, in its entirety. As far as I can tell (because I certainly won't be downloading it), these are simple scans.

Just imagine if (when) books go digital in a big way. Then, authors will have the same concerns as musicians and movie producers. Maybe even bigger problems, because there are no conversion quality issues to contend with. There are just words.

Update: And, here we have Boing Boing excusing the theft, because "the kind of person who downloads a series of photos of the pages of a giant novel is also the kind of person who'll line up and buy a copy the night it comes out." The temerity of the anti-intellectual property crowd astounds me. This is a completely unjustifiable and unprovable assumption, and it's completely irrelevant to the issue of the theft.

The owner of the property is the only person (or people) with the right to determine if, when, and how that property will be made available, at what price and under what terms. That's what ownership of property means. To so blithely dismiss such a theft demonstrates Boing Boing's inherent disdain for the very concept of intellectual property (and, from some of their posts on how to circumvent it, for the law itself).

Bad News on Putin Continues to Roll In

More damning information on Putin, from the Wall Street Journal. I hope everyone's reading this stuff. It's going to really, really matter one day (hopefully not too) soon.

Update: Some more, from The Spectator.

A Glimpse of the Chinese Military

Some info on the Chinese military. It's big, but it's mainly a threat to Russia (who China seems to be cozying up to lately) and, primarily, Taiwan. The chances of one of those 2.3 million Chinese regulars ever setting foot on American soil is about nil.

And honestly, I was sure that they had more troops. But, I did read a recent story that showed that they have far more nukes than I'd thought. So, I suppose the two balance each other out.

China Sentences Another Government Official to Death

Say what you will about the Chinese, when middle management screws up, there's a serious penalty. In this case, the guy running the kiln accused of using slave labor is to be put to death.

It seems like the Chinese are easier with the death penalty than the US, which doesn't seem to be mentioned often when the issue comes up here in the States. Maybe the Chinese government sees it as a viable means of population control. And, I'm not too sure that I'm joking about that.