I've just started reading the free Creative Commons licensed PDF of "Freedom of Expression(R): Overzealous Copyright Bozos and Other Enemies of Creativity
," a good, easy-to-read book on the copyfight by Kembrew McLeod, a university prof. It's very sharp -- I just read the chapter on how Happy Birthday To You ended up belonging to Time-Warner, a hair-raising and vile little story that should be required reading for everyone who argues that copyright is here to serve creators:
Roy Harris,a twentieth-century composer ofclassical music,got into trouble when he used part ofthe song in his "Symphonic Dedication," which honored the birthday of another American composer, Howard Hanson. Variety reported, "Keeping the occasion in mind, Harris brought his composition to a climax with a modern treatment of'Happy Birthday.' After Harris' piece had been introduced by the Boston Symphony he was compelled by the copyright owners to delete the 'Happy Birthday' passage from his score." P.D.Q. Bach, the "Weird Al" Yankovic of the classical-music world, avoided using any strains of "Happy Birthday to You" in a birthday ode to his father because he was afraid of being sued. Instead, he based it on a traditional German birthday song.Even Igor Stravinsky was slapped on the wrist when he cited a few bars of "Happy Birthday to You" in one of his symphonic fanfares (the composer reportedly assumed it was an old folk tune).
This gadget does exactly as promised: it looks like a thumbdrive (sort of) and fries the circuitry of any computer it’s plugged into. It’s made from camera flash parts, is charged with a standard AA battery, and delivers a 300V zap of DC destruction to the port for all your USB-murdering needs. Note that this […]
The Cobham catalog, exposed by The Intercept, features countless pages of surveillance gadgets sold to U.S. police to spy on American citizens: tiny black boxes with a big interest in you. In the creepily bland feature lists and nerdy product names is a whisper of a dark future; perhaps darker than anyone can imagine.
This image depicts the most commonly-found stylesheet colors on the web’s top sites—Paul Hebert did an amazing amount of analysis and this is just one of the intriguing visualizations he came up with. Most of these are obvious staples, especially HTML red and blue, though it’s interesting how far the blue “cluster” is from the […]
The Black Friday Mac Bundle 2.0 is one of the Boing Boing Store’s best-selling Mac bundles yet, and it’s about to come to an end. If you don’t get your copy now, here’s what you’ll be missing:This bundle comes packing 9 top-rated Mac apps in one package, at the hugely discounted price of just $23.99. […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]