Fahrenheit 451… Book burning as done by lawyers

Farneheit_451In Ray Bradbury’s 1953 classic, Fahrenheit 451, a “fireman” is a man who burns books “for the good of humanity.” Written at the height of the Cold War, the book paints a shockingly dystopian picture of a culture at war with its own printed record, one deeply infused by Bradbury’s love of books. When the book was written, Bradbury got a copyright term of 28 years, renewable for another 28 years if he or his publisher wished. Most authors and publishers did not bother to renew — very few have a commercial life longer than a few years. That meant that about 93% of books and 85% of all works from 1953 passed into the public domain within 28 years. But Bradbury’s book was a commercial success. The copyright was renewed and as a result it would have been entering the public domain tomorrow — January 1, 2010 — Public Domain Day.

You could reprint it, make a low cost educational version, legally create a braille or audio book edition, even base a new film or play on it. All without asking permission or paying a fee. But copyright law has changed since then. Copyright terms have been twice retrospectively extended. Now, Fahrenheit 451 is not slated to enter the public domain until 2049.

For Bradbury’s book, this means that the reading public, the braille printer, the budding playwright, the school library face either higher prices, or legal restrictions on reuse or both. And they get no benefit from it. Clearly, the incentive of 28 + 28 years was enough to encourage him to write the book and the publisher to publish it. The evidence is that.. it happened. Retrospectively extending copyright is deadweight social loss — harm without benefit. But at least the book is available.

Source: www.thepublicdomain.org

Verso Books Parliament and Power: Agenda for a Free Society
Book (Verso Books)

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He's not talking about WoW

He's talking about the effect that WoW seems to have had over at Blizzard. Many people have speculated that the huge boost that WoW gave to the company is responsible for the decisions they've made with Starcraft 2. Namely the removal of lan support. And it wouldn't be too big of an assumption to think that bliz will do something similar with Diablo 3.
And ping times DO make a noticeable difference. If you've ever played the same game over the internet and on lan you'd notice. Even when everyone has <100 ping in an online game if you were to compare it to a lan game where everyone has <10 ping you would see the difference

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