Monday, July 30, 2007

Stronger Intellectual Property Protections - About Time

I'm all for stronger intellectual property protections, which I know puts me somewhat in the minority in the IT world. I also agree that attempted infringement should be a crime, just as with any other crime.

The linked story has an interesting quote:

One of the bill's controversial features is the fact that people can be charged with criminal copyright infringement even if such infringement has not actually taken place. "Any person who attempts to commit an offense under paragraph (1) shall be subject to the same penalties as those prescribed for the offense, the commission of which was the object of the attempt," says the bill.

I'm not sure why that's considered controversial. In fact, it sounds pretty much like the definition of "attempted crime." It would be like someone attempting to mug a passerby, when the police walk up behind and arrest him. No mugging, but still a crime.

Perhaps the controversy there is that the penalty is the same as if the infringement occurred. I really don't know if that's the case with most attempted crime penalties; if not, then I suppose it is a bit odd.

Digg Report

Digg Report: Today's (early) #1 Digg, at a brisk 6124 Diggs, is a story about Paris Hilton losing her $60 million inheritence from her grandfather. The comments are sometimes a bit brutal, and this isn't important news and thus once again demonstrates Digg's irrelevancy, but I do agree with Gramps.

Sudan: The Jews are Behind the Conflict

And, of course, there must be a theory that the Jews are behind the tragedy in Darfur. Not the Muslims who are doing the actual killings. Not the Sudanese government that's letting it happen, and helping when it can. No, of course not. It's the Jews.

That, at least, is the story being told by the Sudanese defense minister. Some quotes:

Sudan's defense minister, Abdel Rahim Mohamed Hussein, has accused "24 Jewish organizations" of "fueling the conflict in Darfur" last week in an interview with a Saudi newspaper.

And, some elaboration:

"The Darfur issue is being fuelled by 24 Jewish organizations, who are making the largest amount of noise over the issue, and using the Holocaust in their campaigning," the Sudanese defense minister replied.

And then, of course, there's that insidious Jewish control over British and American policy:

Are these Jewish groups supporting (the rebels) financially?," the interviewer from Okaz asked Hussein.

"Yes, they provide political and material support through their control over the media and across American and British circles," Hussein said, adding that Jewish groups were using "all means to fuel these conflicts."

And in certain circles, this will be taken as fact. Amazing.

Russia Rewrites History: Stalin Was a Great Leader

More on Putin's Orwellian attempts to convert Russia to a true dictatorship. It appears that the Kremlin has been rewriting textbooks (which, of course, begin the indoctrination at the earliest stages of a person's life) to distort Russian and Sovient history.

A money quote:

The book describes Josef Stalin as “the most successful Soviet leader ever” and dismisses the prison labour camps and mass purges as a necessary part of his drive to make the country great. The manuals are intended to serve as the basis for developing new textbooks in schools next year, though Education Ministry officials insisted that they would not be compulsory.

Not compusory. I'm sure.

Without America, Europe is Defenseless - Hmmm

Here's an interesting story that makes some interesting connections between the war in Iraq and Europe's weakened defense posture. While I'm loathe to accept American blame for such a thing (and the author does make it seem like some heinous act we've conducted), the argument does make a sort of sense.

Essentially, it goes like this: Europe turned over its defense to the US, to build up its welfare economies. Now, the US is involved in a war with Iraq, and thus less able to defend Europe. That leaves the EU more vulnerable to Russian and Iranian threats. Thus, the story says, Europe should increase energy taxes to reduce consumption and thus harm both the Russian and Iranian energy economies.

Now, I think there's some logic there, as far as it goes. But to me, it raises the more interesting question of why the US has for so long been Europe's protector? Is it because we've simply not trusted them to provide for their own security? After all, one would have reason for doubt following WWII.

Or, did we do so to maintain influence over Europe? If so, then we've squandered that influence as we watch Europe devolve into future potential Islamic states.

I have no idea at this point, but it's something to ponder. If anyone has an obvious explanation that I'm missing, feel free to chime in.