New EU Internet Copyright Bill, Articles 11 and 13

The infosphere is aflame with a new battle in an old war: how copyright should be handled on the Internet.

The Guardian has background:

It is an argument that has drawn in the likes of Paul McCartney, Plácido Domingo and the Vienna Philharmonic, as well as pioneers of the internet from Tim Berners-Lee to the founder of Wikipedia, Jimmy Wales.

Fought with hashtags, mailshots, open letters and celebrity endorsements, the battle over the European Union’s draft directive on copyright heads for a showdown this week.

After two years of debate, members of the European parliament will vote on Wednesday on the legislation, which could change the balance of power between producers of music, news and film and the dominant websites that host their work.

[…]

Critics claim the proposal will destroy the internet, spelling the end of sharing holiday snaps or memes on Facebook. Proponents are exasperated by such claims, described by German Christian Democrat Axel Voss as “totally wrong” and “fake news”.

Two sections in particular are controversial: Articles 11 and 13. Both sides (both sides!) are being very hyperbolic about these. The gist is that groups like the Electronic Frontier Foundation and people like Cory Doctorow say these are “internet-destroying regulations,” and the proponents’ response (from what I’ve seen on Twitter) is to paint all opponents as paid industry shills who hate artists. I’ve attempted here to come up with what I hope is an even-handed summary. I Am Not A Lawyer, so please tell me what I’ve gotten wrong.

This is a bit long, so click through if you’re interested. Note of course that these are EU laws, but so is the GDPR, and we’ve all experienced the effects of that. Continue reading

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[Against Stupidity] Saturn Rising #1

New strip is up!

Against Stupidity

Good afternoon. Welcome to chapter three!

(Readers who reddit, feel free to upvote today’s share!)

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Himeji Castle & Some Real Fatty Steak (Japan pt. 2)

Life is what happens when you’re trying to travel blog! The trip is long in the rear-view mirror but here is part 2.

After a quick breakfast from hell’s supermarket, and lots of vending machine coffee (I am low-key obsessed with Boss Coffee), we went to Himeji to visit the castle and gardens. I was a bit peckish so I picked up a fried Lovecraftian horror during the walk from the train.

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The castle was wonderful. It’s a famous example of traditional Japanese architecture, and while it’s not got a history of super-famous people living there or anything, Kurasawa filmed Ran there. A lot of other movies were filmed there too! And it has a long modern history of being nearly demolished or bombed to dust, so lucky us.

Unfortunately, the weather wasn’t cooperating with photographs until we were just leaving. But here’s a nice pano that might give you the idea.

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After a Brief 12-Hour Flight… (Japan pt. 1)

…I am in Osaka!

When I woke up Friday morning, I had an email from a spec-fic magazine editor about a story I’d submitted. He wasn’t buying it, but he’s willing to work through a series of revisions with me, and see if he likes what I end up with. I’ve taken him up on that. (I know the story needs a little work, but I couldn’t tell you exactly how. It’s very helpful to have a pro articulating where it stumbles.)

So that great news was a great start to my vacation. I sent a reply and then got ready and we were off to the airport.

The flight was rather long. I bought a video game for it, Subnautica, which was recently released for Steam. I hadn’t heard of it before, which is kind of surprising since it’s right up my alley–survival/adventure/exploration, plus the horror of sea monsters. But then, I often don’t hear about a game when it isn’t on a platform I have yet. Too much to keep up with otherwise. I ended up playing it for six hours on the flight.

Customs was ruthlessly efficient, and after some weirdness trying to figure out the train tickets, we were off to Osaka proper. Continue reading

[Against Stupidity] Still Alive!

Against Stupidity

Howdy!

I just wanted to check in and say that I am still alive, and about 70% of the way done scripting. I’ve been hitting the beta draft of my novel pretty hard, since I want to have it done and out to readers by the end of the month. (Incidentally, if you’re interested in beta reading, send me a message with this site’s contact form or leave a comment.)

As a result, I haven’t had as much time to work on Against Stupidity as I would like. Once I’ve got the novel out the door though, I’ll be able to work on the comic again without risking artistic burnout. I anticipate that this will start by April.

Apologies again for the delay. (Screenshot is from a wonderful writing platform I made called Pathfork. Feel free to sign up for it, if you’re interested. It is and always will…

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