law

/Tag: law

It’s not cheating… it’s IP infringement!

Here’s a question for you: is cheating in games (specifically, using third-party cheat programs that alter the game in -memory) copyright infringement?

This is, I think, what one would call a “novel” approach to combating cheating in a online game. I’m also kind of reminded of the fandom C&D days (specifically, the Harry Potter wars) of the early 2000s.

And while it’s kinda lulz to watch some 1337 h4xx0r kid get, quite literally, served in Fortnight, if the legal argument holds up (i.e. that using trainers is copyright infringement), then places that deal in single player game cheats are also at risk and, shit. That basically means I will never play a video game ever again.1

  1. “You could just not cheat!” Yeah, and you could mind your own goddamn business. ^
2018-05-14T14:56:57+00:006th November, 2018|Tags: copyright, gaming, law, video games|0 Comments

Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument.

This is a Canadian civil law case which is “officially” a disagreement between a woman and her asshole ex, but is actually a ruling from a judge who got so fucking sick of bullshit vexatious “sovereign citizen” litigants that he wrote a near-two hundred page ruling dragging them.

Given that it is nearly two hundred pages, it’s probably not light-and-fun reading from end-to-end.1 But it’s nonetheless amusing to skim and watch all the nonsense arguments from these assholes being explained and then torn apart by a guy who is just so obviously done with having to deal with them in his courts.

  1. Unless you’re, like, a law student I guess. ^
2018-04-06T12:31:59+00:0025th September, 2018|Tags: law|Comments Off on Organized Pseudolegal Commercial Argument.

Digital preserve.

Video games are both an artform and a cultural artifact, which means there are various libraries out there that preserve them. So, yes. It really is someone’s job out there to collect every single game for the Fairchild Channel F and ensure they stay playable. So far so good.

Except… fast forward twenty-plus years, to the advent of online gaming. Of the sort that runs on proprietary tech held on private servers run by the game publisher. Who then shuts them down. And in this world of overreaching copyright (cough DMCA cough)… how do you preserve that? And, more importantly, as a third party, should you have a right to?

2018-03-14T07:34:03+00:0021st August, 2018|Tags: gaming, law, pop culture, tech, video games|2 Comments

The little things.

A fascinating look into how police use the tiniest of clues, from bland commercial paintings to specific fabrics sold to specific hotel chains, to locate and rescue exploited children.

General content warning for the subject matter, though the article is non-explicit and deals mostly with the investigative procedure rather than the details of the case.

2017-08-22T10:47:20+00:0029th December, 2017|Tags: cw: child abuse, law|Comments Off on The little things.

Australian Copyright Council releases statement on copyright.

It’s a PDF, because of course it is, available for download here. Key point (bold added):

A piece of fanfiction is more likely to infringe copyright where it uses a “substantial part” of the original work, without permission from the copyright owner, and no exception applies (see Copyright exceptions and fanfiction below). Courts have held that a “substantial part” is a distinct, important, or essential part of a copyright work. In the context of fanfiction, this would include key characters and key plot elements, all things which fanfiction by its very nature explicitly uses and reproduces. Although the extent may vary between types and pieces of fanfiction, in many cases it will be arguable that fanfiction does use enough of a pre-existing original copyright work to be a considered a substantial part for the purposes of copyright infringement

And then, a bit further down (again, bold added):

For fanfiction authors who write parody fanfiction, or fanfiction that satirises the original story or story tropes, this would easily come under the fair dealing for the purposes of parody or satire. Similarly, fanfiction authors who write fanfiction which examine and critique the original material, either the original story itself or its themes and ideas, could arguably come under the fair dealing purpose of criticism and review. Other types of fanfiction, however, such as alternate universes or romance, do not easily fit into these purposes, and thus would not be covered by a fair dealing exception.

I’m kind of surprised about that “alternate universes” line, because to me that would seem to be exactly the type of fanfic that doesn’t use the “key plot elements” or–arguably, if it’s ATG‘y enough–“key characters”. Though I guess the latter in particular would rely on you making the argument that your fanfic isn’t copyright infringing because it’s, yanno. Too poorly written.

I’m also side-eyeing that whole “parody and criticism is okay but romance is by definition not parody or criticism” concept so hard, you’d better believe it. But the whole paper suffers from that “when men write it, it’s fine, but when women write it… ew!” thing, as seen in the direct quote:

[F]anfiction has become increasingly mainstream with the internet and “remix” novels such as Pride & Prejudice & Zombies, William Shakespeare’s Star Wars, and 50 Shades of Grey with (in)famously began as Twilight fanfiction.

“(In)famously”? Fuck you, buddy. It’s probably not a surprising to learn that I’m of the opinion that romance–or romantic elements–can absolutely be used for the purpose of criticism, particularly in the “queering” context used in a lot of fanfic. This is the premise of Liesmith and Stormbringer, after all, which are Norse mythology fanfic under the lens of, “Yeah but how would you interpret the eddas if you weren’t a straight white dude?”

But I’m oldskool fandom, so maybe that’s just my bias showing.

That being said, don’t take it to mean I think the Copyright Council’s interpretation of the law is factually wrong; I’m assuming it’s not. It’s the cultural assumptions underneath the law that I have a problem with…

2017-07-17T11:47:51+00:0022nd December, 2016|Tags: copyright, fandom, fanfic, law|2 Comments

Your argument is bad and you should feel bad.

If permitting trans women to use women’s restrooms creates opportunities for cisgender predator men to pose as trans women, the “bathroom laws,” by requiring transgender men to use the restroom corresponding to their sex assigned at birth, i.e., the women’s room, create opportunities for cisgender men to pose as trans men to gain access to women’s rooms[.]

Michael C. Dorf uses logic.

This is the most brutally logical deconstruction of anti-trans bathroom bills I’ve seen. Which, yanno. From the Robert S. Stevens Professor of Law at Cornell University. Go figure.

To be clear, Dorf’s not arguing that this would happen; he’s pointing out that insisting trans people use the bathroom of the birth-assigned sex for the “safety” of cis women is irrational, because it doesn’t actually prevent the issue it’s purporting to (predatory cis men in women’s bathrooms).

2018-07-27T14:22:28+00:008th October, 2016|Tags: culture, law|Comments Off on Your argument is bad and you should feel bad.

Revenge of the Normals.

So there was a court case going on recently where Oracle sued Google over a API implementations in Android and… something. Look, the details of the case basically don’t matter, solely because the whole pageantry of a bunch of Silicon Valley nerd-kings having to explain themselves to old men in robes who can’t use computers is too much fun.

I mean, “fun” in an “oh gods this is going to set terrible precedent we’re going to have to live with for a hundred years” sort of way. But… yanno.

2017-07-17T11:40:00+00:008th September, 2016|Tags: law, tech|Comments Off on Revenge of the Normals.