: The Blawgraphy
Life of a Law Student, University of Houston Law Center

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Is Texting Destroying the English Language? Did Telegraphing?

James Grimmelmann‘s excellent Laboratorium included the following text in the post Texting, Telegraph Style:

t scetus tdy dodd 5 pw f potus dz n xtd to t pips, ogt all pst cgsl xgn q sj is uxl.

Before cracking open your handy desk reference The Code: Basics for Texting and Instant Messaging (which a retired FBI agent calls “a valuable asset to families who are in the dark about what their children are involved with on the internet”), consider that this cryptic message was sent not in the 21st century but early in the 20th. It translates:

The Supreme Court of the United States today decided that the power of the President of the United States does not extend to the Philippines, on the ground that all past Congressional legislation on the subject is unconstitutional.

It’s cited in Douglas Baird‘s chapter in Intellectual Property Stories on International News Service v. Associated Press, 248 U.S. 215 (1918).

It should be available in response to all variants of questions like Will text messaging destroy the English language? and Is the use of “texting language” harming job prospects?

Dilbert on Patent Lawyers Read the rest of this entry »

David Post Presents Jefferson’s Moose

The Berkman Center at Harvard Law has graciously posted media from David Post’s recent presentation of some of the ideas from his book Jefferson’s Moose, in which he answers the age old question – What do Thomas Jefferson, a moose, and cyberspace have in common?.

David G. Post, Stern Professor of Law at the Beasley School of Law at Temple University, discusses questions raised by his recently-published book, In Search of Jefferson’s Moose: Notes on the State of Cyberspace (Oxford), which re-creates Jefferson’s encyclopedia of the New World (”Notes on the State of Virginia,” 1786), but this time for cyberspace.

Audio of the Presentation

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James Boyle on The Public Domain: enclosing the commons of the mind

Watch the video of Boyle’s presentation above, stream the MP3 below or download the audio file or video file.

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James Boyle is professor of law and co-founder of the Centre for the Study of the Public Domain at Duke University and author of The Public Domain: enclosing the commons of the mind.

In his new book The Public Domain, Professor James Boyle describes how our culture, science and economic welfare all depend on the delicate balance between those ideas that are controlled and those that are free, between intellectual property and the public domain —the realm of material that everyone is free to use and share without permission or fee

Intellectual property laws have a significant impact on many important areas of human endeavour, including scientific innovation, digital creativity, cultural access and free speech. And so Boyle argues that, just as every informed citizen needs to know at least something about the environment or civil rights, every citizen in the information age should also have an understanding of intellectual property law.

Is the public domain as vital to knowledge, innovation and culture as the realm of material protected by intellectual property rights? James Boyle thinks so and visits the RSA to call for a new movement to preserve it. If we continue to enclose the “commons of the mind”, Boyle argues, we will all be the poorer. (Mar 10, 2009 at the RSA)

Copyright in Hitler’s Globe

hitlers-globeAssociated Press

In 2007, Robert Pritikin bought Hitler’s globe and had it copyrighted to “to keep it from being used in propaganda by sick neo-Nazi groups.” After noticing a replica of the globe in the new Tom Cruise flick Valkyrie, about a real-life plot to assassinate Hitler, Pritikin has threatened legal action…. for copyright infringement.

So I guess Hitler was quite the innovator when it comes to globes…. it looks nothing like these I suppose…

via Sazzy B

So in my rather elementary understanding of copyright, the creator of an original work has exclusive rights for a certain statutorily determined time period. Hmmm…..

Am I missing something? Did Hitler make the damn globe?

“Pritikin believes the globe should be used as a teaching tool so the lessons of Hitler’s nightmare can keep history from repeating itself,” said investigator Paul Barresi, who was retained along with Dan Hanks to look into the copying of the globe. Hanks tells Page Six: “Tom Cruise’s use of the globe’s likeness without our client’s permission was likely just an oversight. We’re confident this will all be quickly resolved out of court.”

Pritikin recently put the Hitler items up for sale through businessman Peter Marino and hopes Cruise may buy them. “I think it would be a wonderful gesture of good will on Tom Cruise’s part to purchase the globe along with all of the other Hitler artifacts owned by Mr. Pritikin and donate them to the Wiesenthal Center,” Barresi said. Added Hanks: “It would be a hell of a way for Tom Cruise to save the day for United Artists and be a real-life hero.”

A hero to Mr. Pritikin I’m sure.

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