Oct. 22nd, 2012

piranha: red origami crane (Default)
of course, i'd have said, since we're talking actual physical goods, not ebooks or software (don't get me started!) -- this is actually under question?

oh yes, it is. and to me it seems to not have attracted enough attention in the mainstream media so far -- which is how the MPAA, RIAA and their ilk like it.

the US supreme court is set to hear argument in "kirtsaeng v john wiley & sons" starting on october 29th. thai student supang kirtsaeng, while studying in the US, discovered that the expensive textbooks required for his courses could be bought much cheaper in thailand. so he had his relatives buy and ship them to him. being an enterprising young man, he then built a business on this discrepancy by selling textbooks on ebay, where publisher wiley & sons took notice and sued him for copyright infringement. which they won in the lower courts.

and that opens a nasty can of worms, which could lead to your next ebay -- or garage -- sale being illegal, depending on whether the items you sell were made abroad. there is a thing called the "doctrine of first sale" in the US limiting copyright and trademark rights, which means you can resell any copyrighted item if you have bought it legally, without permission or any further payment to the copyright owner. the US supreme court affirmed this right in 1998, regarding goods manufactured in the US, even if they were originally sold abroad.

but when it comes to products sold in foreign markets, there's also a statute concerning imports (and when reading this, you can immediately tell which industry had extraordinary influence in its creation). which is how supang kirtsaeng ended up getting sued. ok, you could say that kirtsaeng was acting more like an importer than an individual, but the law doesn't actually make a distinction between selling one ipad (assembled in china) and thousands. huge secondary markets rely on the doctrine of first sale -- i have no idea what percentage of the economy, but it's got to be significant. ebay, craigslist, amazon market, goodwill, the salvation army -- oh, and libraries could be affected.

so yeah, y'all need to pay attention to this one. i find it ridiculous that certain intellectual property owners want theirs to be protected better than any other type of property, screwing with our rights and liberties in the process.

more detail on the legal issues:

a citizengroup formed to fight the continued expansion of copyright: http://ownershiprights.org/
piranha: red origami crane (Default)
for a while i've been contemplating alternative methods of transportation, because once the boat is finished (ha), the truck will be a whole lot less useful, and instead we'll need something much smaller -- and hopefully much more environmentally friendly.

i've been in lust with the segway ever since its much-hyped reveal, and a few months ago i finally got to ride one, and OMG, it was wonderful. so responsive and intuitive. it was truly as cool as i had imagined it to be, for once the hype wasn't actually too much. but the price tag is still prohibitive tl;dr -- how did i get here )

fortunately, enterprising souls have indeed come up with modern electric motors for bikes. and i am now the proud owner of a 2013 norco plateau with a PL350 bionX electric hub motor and a sleek lithium-ion battery good for about 40km of assisted pedalling.

red step-through bicycle

i'm in love.

this takes the pain out of biking for me, and just leaves the fun. everything on the bike is easy to adjust, and the gear train is so smooth, shifting 21 gears is almost enjoyable.

[*] the tale of actually trying out and buying a bike is a tale of businesses who apparently don't want our money.
embark with me on the long and winding road... )

they'll never know it, but this is a cautionary tale for small, local businesses -- we bought just one bike now, but we will buy another one probably come next spring. i am kinda loyal to anyone who does a good job for me the first time i deal with them, so even if it means vancouver again (that adds $$ to the purchase because it means 1-2 return ferry trips for 2 with the truck), we're much more likely to return there. we definitely won't go back to the locals who had crap service the first time. also, just because once upon a time the early electric systems were fiddly and possibly not worth the effort doesn't mean the state of the art stands still. today's systems are pretty easy to install and maintain, so as a dealer it's silly to be a luddite. especially with the weird legal state for new, alternate, electric transportation, pedal-assisted electric bikes are not in such murky waters as long as the electric motor is speed-limited.


piranha: red origami crane (Default)
renaissance poisson

July 2015

   123 4

Most Popular Tags

Expand Cut Tags

No cut tags