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).
David Robinson used the data from the 28,657 people who self-selected to take the Stack Overflow survey to investigate the relationship between programmer pay and the conventions of using either tabs or spaces to mark indents, and found a persistent, significant correlation between using spaces and bringing home higher pay.
It’s the end of an era, sort of: Fraunhofer IIS, the developers of the MP3 audio compression format, announced that they are ceasing their licensing program. In a blog post, spokesman Matthias Rose says that it’s had a good 20-year run and is obsolete. But it’s also true that the decoding patents expired last year, […]
Freddy deBoer writes that he’s been telling the same joke for years about Silicon Valley’s only product, which might be universalized as “At last, a way to verb with nouns on the internet!” But the social-media techopoly is stable, now, and so the venture capitalists have moved on to the three terrible trends that will […]
Despite the upfront cost, electric toothbrushes are much better at removing plaque than those freebies from the dentist’s office. For those who struggle to fill the American Dental Association’s recommended two minutes of brushing time, or anyone with limited dexterity, a sonic toothbrush can give your oral care routine a boost.To keep your chops healthy […]
Learning a new language will give your resume an upgrade, sure, but it will also provide a huge cognitive boost for mental tasks outside of translation and conversation. Bilingual brains have been shown to be better at handling multiple concurrent tasks, and gaining fluency in a new tongue is an amazing way to improve memory, […]
If you struggle to get a good night’s rest, consider replacing your pillows before dropping hundreds on a new mattress. You can give your tired neck a break with a 2-pack of memory foam pillows, available now in the Boing Boing Store.Each of these pillows is stuffed with cooling polyurethane foam that molds to your […]