[This is not legal advice.]
Copyright is a protection granted to the author of a work “fixed in any tangible medium of expression”. Meaning, something that can be recorded somehow. It extends to writing, music, painting, architecture, and many other forms of expression.
The web has transformed the ease by which we can share and copy information, and violating copyrights has become a simple act, taken for granted by many. Just ask the Recording Industry Association of America.
Copyright grants exclusive rights to reproduce your “works of authorship” to you, the author. You get these rights automatically upon creating the work, although there are some extra benefits to registering the copyright. You might have signed these rights over to an employer, sold them to a publisher, or waived some of them by releasing your work under an alternate copyright license. Otherwise, they generally last the lifetime of the author plus an additional 70 years.
Specifically, writing on the web has been dancing around issues of copyright for ages. Sharing information from another site, even with attribution, could often be construed as a violation of copyright. Increasingly, services like Readability and Instapaper are taking site content out of it’s original context and making it available elsewhere. This can prevent a site owner from generating ad revenue obtained by visits to their site.
Often, these services are seen as acceptable to authors where they can increase the reach of their work, and drive more traffic to their website. The acceptance of the author doesn’t mean these uses of their content aren’t in violation of copyright protection, but if the copyright holder doesn’t enforce the protection, nobody else will.
I’m not aware of any of these services being taken to court over infringement. This leaves little in the way of legal precedent in regards to the boundaries of acceptable practices when copying written content online. It falls to writers to pursue legal measures when they feel their rights have been violated, but most online writers lack the means to prosecute a claim.
One day a line will get crossed that will make online writers take action, but until that takes place, the extent of infringement will only continue to grow.
A few months ago I wrote these words:
In twenty years, the computer an average human uses will look a lot more like an iPad than it does like a PC.
It’s already happening that children are having their first human-computer interactions on mom or dad’s smartphone or tablet. The obvious nature of the interface these devices have is groundbreaking. Many of us have seen the video of the child playing with a magazine after using an iPad. There was an expectation of interactivity, that the content would slide away at the command of her finger. Maybe you’ve seen a similar response from your children.
I’m not exactly sure how long it will be before print magazines become a quaint memory, like rotary phones, but I can’t imagine a child born in the past year will ever be ordering a subscription periodical printed on dead trees. In the world they’re growing up into, that idea won’t be anything less than absurd.
In the Apple community, I keep hearing things like ‘OS X and iOS will never merge’ and ‘there will never be a touchscreen Mac.’ There are other like assertions, and it’s beyond my scope to talk about them all. These assertions are firmly grounded in the environment we live in today, and such statements yield very little to imagination.
One thing though of which I’m convinced — the child confused that her swipes and pinches leave the magazine unaffected will not find it any less strange to have a laptop screen ignoring her gestures en masse.
While I fully expect the future to have keyboards and mice (or some precision pointing device), touch is already precluding the ubiquity of both in the minds of children. When the upcoming generation is running the show, we will find another absurd idea, that a computer built for human interaction will have a screen that doesn’t respond to touch.
This leaves a lot of questions, many will only be answered by the future. However, one thing the iPad has made clear, the future doesn’t request the permission of the past.
Someone could be building something right now, in secret, that could obsolete Facebook. Software is ‘soft’ for a reason, it can change fast. Facebook could easily get overtaken by an upstart. Why do you think they’re so eager to buy out anything that resembles competition? Remember when MySpace was a behemoth? Everyone forgot about MySpace in a short span of months. Microsoft and Apple have endured as software companies because of the complex and substantial connection they have to hardware platforms. The software behind Facebook is not quite trivial, but don’t forget, there are other smart kids in college dorms all over the place.
In a world where mobile computing is obviously becoming top dog, it’s amazing how poorly Facebook has executed their iPhone app. It’s reliability seems to get worse every day. A company with their resources and talent should have the premier mobile experience, but they don’t. To me that can only speak poorly of the structure of their organization. We aren’t seeing the vast measure of their talent manifest in their product, and that doesn’t seem to present a bright future.
Are a lot of people going to invest in Facebook today? Undoubtedly. Would I recommend it? Nope.
Zeldman breaks it down.
This redesign is a response to ebooks, to web type, to mobile, and to wonderful applications like Instapaper and Readability that address the problem of most websites’ pointlessly cluttered interfaces and content-hostile text layouts by actually removing the designer from the equation.
Readers should prefer to read things here rather than Instapaper/Readability/Safari Reader Mode/RSS Reader. That is the guiding point that I use to design this site, and of the sites I like best, I find that it’s universally true of them as well.
Adobe releases an early version of its new free, open source code editor Brackets on Github:
I saw a demo of Brackets from Adobe a few weeks ago, and I must say it looks impressive. Even early on, there are a lot of great features and workflows that other web development tools should be taking a hard look at billig viagra kaufen.