December 2004 | Main | February 2005

January 27, 2005

Hiring the top 1%

Everyone thinks they're hiring the top 1%

Posted by ask at 01:25 PM

January 17, 2005

iPod Shuffle taken apart ...

iPod Shuffle Dissected - Daniel Kushner destroys his iPod Shuffle so you don't have to.

Posted by ask at 11:57 AM

January 14, 2005

SpamAssassin plugin for MT

SpamAssassin plugin for MT - Must try this ... (MT-Blacklist doesn't work with mod_perl)

Posted by ask at 07:33 PM

January 11, 2005

Building a modern house in L.A.

An LVL House is built in Los Angeles (via Leonard)

Posted by ask at 04:20 PM

January 07, 2005

Container City

Container City. Gustav is moving and wants to build a container house ...

Posted by ask at 11:44 AM | Comments (0)

January 06, 2005

Marco Beach Ocean Resort

Marco Beach Ocean Resort urinal. See the full politech posting in the extended entry. Or see Joes posting

From:     declan
Subject:    [Politech] Copyrighting cease and desist lawyer nastygrams? [ip]
Date:   January 6, 2005 7:00:12 PST
To:       politech

[Yes, the C&D letter is copyrighted; the real question is (or should be) whether copyright law extends so far as to prevent the recipient from redistributing it freely. gets around this problem by providing a modicum of commentary with the nastygram. --Declan]

-------- Original Message --------
Subject: Copyrighting Cease and Desist Letters?
Date: Wed, 5 Jan 2005 13:43:38 -0800
From: Joseph Lorenzo Hall
To: Declan McCullagh, Dave Farber

Hi Declan, Dave,

I thought either or both of you would be interested in this. Attorneys for a resort are claiming that a cease and desist letter that they sent in a trademark issue is covered by copyright and, therefore, not forwardable. (The below is written in Markdown format.)

best and happy new year, Joe

Copyrighting Cease and Desist Letters?

Can attorneys claim copyright in cease and desist letters they send (to prevent them to be forwarded)?

TechDirt has an interesting story up, "Since When Is It Illegal To Just Mention A Trademark Online?"

The trademark issue between and the Marco Beach Ocean Resort is not what I find interesting (that is, it's clear that the site is using it in a descriptive sense, and in terms of trademark jurisprudence, this is fair or nominative use.)

What interests me is the following (from the TechDirt post):

I asked the maintainers of the site if I could see a copy of the cease & desist, but apparently the lawyers claim that the cease & desist is copyrighted to them and that the recipient is not allowed to forward it to anyone. I wonder if that means they can't even forward it to a lawyer? So, as far as I can tell, the Marco Beach Ocean Resort seems to think that [...] any cease and desist is to be some sort of "secret" cease & desist that can never be shown to anyone, which seems to go a bit beyond what rights copyright gives them.

This is pretty silly and, if true, would have major implications for a site like (created by w00t! Wendy).

First, to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against, MBOR's attorneys would have to register the copyright in the C&D with the copyright office, and there's a small but real chance that it would not be issued (sometimes, under a "rule of doubt" the Copyright Office will issue the registration but send a letter saying that the work may or may not be copyrightable. A court would have to determine this for sure.).

Attorneys claiming that they have a copyright in a C&D? Well, lets check the four factors of fair use that would be weighed in a copyright infringement lawsuit:

So, in short, only one of the four factors (amount) would seriously weigh against They should post the C&D to let the world see what ridiculous claims the lawyers for Marco Beach Ocean Resort are making.

-- Joseph Lorenzo Hall UC Berkeley, SIMS PhD Student blog:

Politech mailing list Archived at Moderated by Declan McCullagh (

Posted by ask at 02:17 PM

January 02, 2005

The Ends of the World as We Know Them

The Ends of the World as We Know Them:

A genuine reappraisal would require us to recognize that it will be far less expensive and far more effective to address the underlying problems of public health, population and environment that ultimately cause threats to us to emerge in poor countries. In the past, we have regarded foreign aid as either charity or as buying support; now, it's an act of self-interest to preserve our own economy and protect American lives.

Posted by ask at 07:16 PM | Comments (0)

The Ayn Rand Institute

The emergence of a fascist cult in the Ayn Rand Institute. "A cult for self-righteous, mediocre people with uncharitable instincts". Fun to think that there really could be worse choices than the current administration.

Posted by ask at 02:39 PM | Comments (0)