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9 posts tagged lawyers, money but no guns

Driving Innovation

There’s so much brokenness in our existing patent system. I’ve never understood why anyone would think we can fix it.

Lobbying

We get what others lobby for…

Interesting take by Mat Honan. I can’t say I disagree.

I think the main feeling I have walking away from today is shame.

Today was interesting. I don’t usually find myself caught up in the sorts of protest-type “movements” that we saw today, but this one got me. I’m still not sure how I feel about it. Whether Mat is 100% correct or not, I think the main feeling I have walking away from today is shame. Shame that it got to this point. As a country, how do we continue to put people in power who are so ready to listen to special interest groups? Is it simply because sometimes our special interests get listened to and we feel like we got a win?

The very existence of SOPA/PIPA (and the lobbying efforts that birthed them) underscore a deeper problem in our current political system. It’s deeper than money in politics, corporate lobbies, or congressmen who don’t understand the internet. I think we’re facing the result of making politics a lifelong-career of the privileged and attention-seeking. How different would Washington be if everyone knew they only had—at the most—a few years to do the work they were elected to do?

We gave you the Internet…

…and no, there’s no time machine.

Nat Torkington, in response to the president’s request of ideas and help from the tech community to stop and prevent piracy.

I don’t like piracy. I wouldn’t want my work stolen and I certainly don’t like seeing the work of friends stolen. But what the president is asking for doesn’t exist. I think future generations will look back on the invention of the Internet and—if it’s mentioned at all—see a footnote about how it made it hard for some industries to continue operating under their pre-Internet status quo. That is, unless we screw this up. Then the footnote will talk about the Internet Dark Ages where we allowed government and lobbyists to try to turn back the clock. I bet there was proposed legislation that required cars to artificially restrained to the speed of a horse too.

(via @timbray)

PROTECT IP/SOPA Explained

This video is three months old, and even the addendum at the end hasn’t quite kept up with these bills, but it’s still one of the best plain-language explanations I’ve seen on what the SOPA and PIPA acts are all about.

I know, I know, yesterday everyone on Twitter was celebrating the SOPA is dead (technically it has only been shelved and could come back up for vote at any time), but PIPA is still alive and furthermore, you owe it to yourself to understand these topics and be able to speak eloquently about them to your friends. Watch this video.

(via Swiss Miss)

Uncomfortable Question

Are people simply buying and consuming less traditional media?

Tim O’Reilly nails it. This is the entertainment industry’s most uncomfortable question:

Is the problem piracy, or are people simply buying less?

It’s anecdotal, but among my peers and myself, I know it to be true that we are buying less. Streaming media services, crappier movies, more expensive ticket prices, and significantly more entertainment alternatives might just mean that people are buying less:

While people have access to more traditional types of entertainment media they also have exponential access to alternatives.

  • Music: I buy a decent amount of music, but most of my friends simply use Pandora, Spotify or Rdio in place of purchasing or listening to terrestrial radio. Napster is a thing of the past and I don’t hear many peers talk about stealing music. So they’re either procuring it legally through services that are significantly cheaper than purchasing albums, or they’re putting their time and money elsewhere.
  • News: I don’t know anyone my age who subscribes to physical newspapers, and online, publishers like the New York Times have made it clear that they’re clueless when it comes to worthwhile online paid subscriptions.
  • Movies: I also don’t know anyone that buys DVDs anymore and Hollywood seems to be in a contest to see how much lower they can set the bar with each movie release while adding expensive gimmicks like 3D. Maybe I’m just bullshitting myself, but I feel like I’d see more movies if they were cheaper and I didn’t have to wear stupid glasses.

I’d suspect that the double-edged sword of the internet has meant that while people have access to more traditional types of entertainment media they also have exponential access to more alternative types of entertainment, games, news, writing, media, etc. that Hollywood can’t even find on its radar screen, let alone make money off of.

(via Daring Fireball)

Fuck You. Pay Me.

This is getting linked to from everywhere, so, if you haven’t seen it yet take this as a sign that you should probably watch it. I won’t say much, other than that I’ve made many of these mistakes and I’ve also had good contracts save my ass a couple times.

It’s Saturday and I bet you can find 40 minutes to watch or listen. If you are in client services or have ever contemplated going out on your own, you owe it to yourself. Like Monteiro, one of my biggest pet-peeves is that designers generally avoid the business of business. We talk big talk about wanting to do good work, but part of doing good work is handling the business end professionally. We owe it to ourselves—and to our clients.

I Am Detained By The Feds For Not Answering Questions

I’m not exactly advocating Karl’s tactics, but I think he makes an interesting point: in general, law officials—both local and federal—have less power over us than we (and they) often think they do.

Lawyers, money but no guns.

Best. Client. Response. Email. Evar.

Sam Brown posted this. It was a response he received when inquiring the status of his proposal with a potential client. I love it.