Why Fashion Can’t Be Copyrighted

 Posted by on 31 May 2007 at 9:36 pm  Uncategorized
May 312007

Under current copyright law, fashion designs can’t be copyrighted. This is why it’s possible for stores to sell “knock-offs” of original designs. Of course, a replica maker isn’t allowed to put trademarked labels on the new works, but the details of the design (such as a novel shape of skirt or a jacket tail) can be freely copied without penalty.

This article and discusses the resultant economic effects, albeit with a utilitarian slant.

The explanation as to why fashion can’t be copyrighted is also interesting:

Why can’t designers copyright clothes? Essentially, the law says that anything that is inherently useful can’t be copyrighted. Because clothing is designed to cover the body (most of the time), it remains a utilitarian object. Items that can be separated from the clothing, such as a trademark, can be copyrighted. Hence, the horseback polo rider on Ralph Lauren clothing is copyrightable, while the polo shirt it rests on is not. A similar policy applies to handbags, which explains why Louis Vuitton, Coach, Fendi, and others liberally sprinkle trademarks all over the leather or fabric used in the bags.

I’d be curious if others think this is a proper application of intellectual property rights in this particular context. (I myself don’t have a well-formed opinion yet.)

Big Changes for John Lewis

 Posted by on 30 May 2007 at 11:29 pm  Uncategorized
May 302007

John Lewis told me that I could post this announcement about some significant changes in his life. He writes:

I received tenure, and promotion to Associate Professor of History, at Ashland University. I will be on academic leave next year at the Social Philosophy and Policy Center of Bowling Green State University, to complete my book Nothing Less than Victory: Military Offense and the Lessons of History under contract with Princeton University Press. I will participate in graduate seminars, including one on Political Economy that includes a section on Ayn Rand.

Casey is taking a job at Duke University Medical Center, North Carolina, in IT, to implement patient records systems in some 90 outpatient clinics. I will join here there in May of 2008. I have resigned Ashland effective May, 2008 (after my leave); my days dealing with small people at a small school are over. If anyone owns a University in NC, and needs a History professor, they should contact me.

As you might imagine, these tidbits are just the tip of the iceberg. The details are culturally significant, so I hope that John writes about them at some point.

Speaking of culturally significant, Nick Provenzo has two posts (one brief and one long) on John Lewis’ initially-canceled-then-rescheduled lecture at George Mason University on Islamic totalitarianism. It was… er… exciting. You can hear that for yourself in the audio recording of the lecture.

Three Stages of a Man’s Life

 Posted by on 30 May 2007 at 6:03 pm  Funny
May 302007

Paul sent me this funny representation of the three stages of a man’s life. For some men, I fear it is basically the truth. (And that doesn’t reflect well on those men — or on their women.)

Monty Python Does Intelligent Design

 Posted by on 29 May 2007 at 11:20 pm  Uncategorized
May 292007

[From the Science Notes blog.]

Customer: Hello. I wish to complain about this so-called ‘scientific theory’ what I purchased not half an hour ago from this very establishment.

Salesman: Oh yes, ‘Intelligent Design’. What, uh… what’s wrong with it?

Customer: I’ll tell you what’s wrong with it, my lad. Its vacuous, that’s what’s wrong with it!

Salesman: No, no, uh… what we need now is to ‘teach the controversy’…

Customer: Look matey, I know an empty ‘argument from incredulity’ when I see one, and I’m looking at one right now.

Salesman: No, no, it’s not empty: it’s just being elaborated. Remarkable theory, ‘Intelligent Design’, innit, eh? I mean, just look at all these books and articles: millions and millions of words…!

Customer: The verbiage don’t enter into it, my lad. It’s stone dead. It’s a non-starter. Empirically untestable, it belongs in metaphysics. This ‘theory’ makes no predictions; has no contribution to make beyond extended polemics; and can’t even be honest about who it thinks the ‘Designer’ was. Bereft of all logical and epistemological credibility, it has no scientific status! If certain right-wing and fundamentalist pressure-groups hadn’t hit upon it as a way of opposing decades of uncomfortable scientific and social progress, it’d be pushing up daisies! It’s off the table. It’s kicked the waste-paper bucket. THIS IS A NON-THEORY!

Salesman: Well, I’d better replace it then. [takes a quick peek around] Sorry, squire: looks like that’s all we’ve got…

Customer: I see, I see. I get the picture.

Salesman: I’ve got a piece of coal that looks quite a bit like a human tibia, if you squint at it…

Customer: Pray, is it part of a theory that unifies the paleontological and biological sciences and leads to a powerful understanding of observed homologies and the nested hierarchy of life?

Salesman: Not really.


Three Recommendations

 Posted by on 29 May 2007 at 5:50 am  Uncategorized
May 292007

Paul and I just finished watching Spike Lee’s Inside Man. It’s has very clever plot, with excellent performances by Denzel Washington and Jodie Foster. Highly recommended.

We also recently watched Edward Norton in The Illusionist. That was wonderfully done — and very provocative. Paul and I had a fairly lengthy discussion about whether what was done in the movie was just. Neither of us budged the other, but it was interesting! (Please, don’t post any spoilers in the comments.)

Also, we’ve been watching the first season of Coupling. It really is “the outrageous comedy about nothing but sex”: I’ve enjoyed multiple “pause the DVD to laugh uncontrollably for a minute or two” moments. “Inferno” was particularly good for that.

Notes from Parents

 Posted by on 28 May 2007 at 5:18 pm  Funny
May 282007

I’ve seen these funny notes from parents to school before, but they still make me laugh:

My son is under a doctor’s care and should not take P.E. today. Please execute him.

Please excuse Lisa for being absent. She was sick and I had her shot.

Dear School: Please exscuse John being absent on Jan. 28, 29,30, 31, 32, and also 33.

Please excuse Gloria from Jim today. She is administrating.

Please excuse Roland from P.E. for a few days. Yesterday he fell out of a tree and misplaced his hip.

John has been absent because he had two teeth taken out of his face.

Carlos was absent yesterday because he was playing football. He was hurt in the growing part.

Megan could not come to school today because she has been bothered by very close veins.

Chris will not be in school cus he has an acre in his side.

Please excuse Ray Friday from school. He has very loose vowels.

Please excuse Pedro from being absent yesterday. He had (diahre) (dyrea) (direathe) the runs. [words in ()'s were crossed out.]

Please excuse Burma, she has been sick and under the doctor.

Irving was absent yesterday because he missed his bust.

Please excuse Jimmy for being. It was his father’s fault.

I kept Billie home because she had to go Christmas shopping because I don’t know what size she wears.

Please excuse Jennifer for missing school yesterday. We forgot to get the Sunday paper off the porch, and when we found it Monday, we thought it was Sunday.

Sally won’t be in school a week from Friday. We have to attend her funeral.

My daughter was absent yesterday because she was tired. She spent a weekend with the Marines.

Please excuse Jason for being absent yesterday. He had a cold and could not breed well.

Please excuse Mary for being absent yesterday. She was in bed with gramps.

Maryann was absent December 11-16, because she had a fever, sore throat, headache and upset stomach. Her sister was also sick, fever and sore throat, her brother had a low grade fever and ached all over. I wasn’t the best either, sore throat and fever. There must be something going around, her father even got hot last night.

Please excuse little Jimmy for not being in school yesterday. His father is gone and I could not get him ready because I was in bed with the doctor.

Edge of Reason and Beyond

 Posted by on 27 May 2007 at 8:48 am  Uncategorized
May 272007

I’ve discovered quite a few new blogs through my OBloggers mailing list, but I’m particularly delighted to see Dan Edge blogging at The Edge of Reason. Check out my blogroll for some other new additions.

In other news…

  • ARI has a new web site for students: www.aynrandnovels.com.
  • If you haven’t already seen them, you absolutely must watch the Mr. Deity. They are fantastic! (I think the first one is still my favorite, however.)
  • AEI has a video of Ayaan Hirsi Ali speaking on her book Infidel. I’ve never heard her speak before: she’s very captivating. (Click on the “video” link on the right of the page.) Via Amy Nasir.

Stupid Criminal Of The Day

 Posted by on 26 May 2007 at 11:01 pm  Uncategorized
May 262007

Christopher Emmorey tried to rob a bank by “demanding that the teller give him $5,000 and telling her he had a gun in his pocket.”

The fiscally responsible teller told Emmorey she could only give him $200, and told Emmorey there would be a $5 transaction fee because Emmorey was not a client at the bank.

…Emmorey waited patiently as the teller filled out the appropriate paper work before running out of the bank with $195.

By that time, other bank tellers were alerted to the ongoing robbery.

Emmorey wasn’t wearing a disguise and his videotaped image was recognized by police officers who responded to the call.

(Via Fark.)

Colbert Interviews Jimmy Wales

 Posted by on 26 May 2007 at 8:08 pm  Jimmy Wales
May 262007

I must admit, it’s pretty cool to watch Stephen Colbert interview someone I know from real life.

Web Hosting

 Posted by on 26 May 2007 at 7:02 am  Uncategorized
May 262007

On occasion, I’m asked about recommendations for web hosting. Until recently, I could say nothing, since for years I owned my own co-location server and then hosted with a friend. However, I recently switched over to Web Hosting Buzz. They’ve been reliable and prompt in their customer service. They have a great suite of programs. They’re also insanely cheap: I run all my seven web sites from a reseller account for $10 per month. (Also, for the moment, they have some discount coupons available.) SO if you’re looking for a web host, check them out.

Suffusion theme by Sayontan Sinha