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taking a bit of inspiration

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Once again, I'm taking a bit of inspiration from Bryan's diary. This time, regarding his short commentary on the review of Lessig's book. I, like Bryan, am amused by the irony of somebody going through standard publishing channels to make a book proposing to cripple copyright laws and liberalize fair-use laws to the point where "remixes" that borrow works almost in their entirety would be allowed.

I wonder if the author would mind if I re-proofread his book, added a couple of changes, and posted it to the internet as a "remix"?

Frankly, copyright is one of the things that has gotten us where we are today in America. Countries that have extremely liberal copyright laws or none at all (like several Middle Eastern and African countries), have virtually no domestic innovation, because it's basically impossible to make money writing something. Their "innovation" consists entirely of making copies of works from outside the country. Would there be, for example, any impetus to make something like Windows XP, Star Wars, or To Kill a Mockingbird if you know that it would simply be copied and sold in the street with impunity the moment you released it?

That's all I'll say for now. If I go on any longer, I'll start to sound like a character out of Atlas Shrugged.

Also, Bryan pointed out to me that it looks like Brian Hook and John Romero are both de-emphasizing top-shelf stuff in favor of smaller quicker products. Hook's comments are especially interesting, citing the malaise of the PC game market and the general failure of the big-budget game. Looks like a couple of folks once again re-realized that the most popular PC games ever weren't Quake III: Arena and Starcraft, but Windows Solitaire and Minesweeper.

I especially look forward to seeing Romero's new efforts. The Commander Keen games were absolute classics, and I'd prefer to see a half-dozen new games in that vein than another giant shooter or online real-time-strategy effort. I was disappointed around 1992 when Commander Keen was sent to the dustbin right when a whole new generation of platform-style games hit the market (Sonic, Earthworm Jim, Pitfall). I thought it was a great franchise.

Commander Keen for Gameboy is a step in the right direction, but I'd like to see the franchise move forward.

Only thing I'd recommend to Mr. Romero is that he also release his games for Win32 (ala RocketElite). If they're written using the Windows CE API, it should be a cakewalk getting 'em to work on desktop machines. Yeah, they'll live in tiny 240x320 windows, but that never hurt Minesweeper, which is even smaller.

Finally, am I the only one who thinks that the new iMac looks like somebody dropped a big ball of pizza dough?
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