GOVEROTRAGEOUS: Berkeley Removes 20,000* Free Online Videos

Berkeley Removes 20,000* Free Online Videos to Comply with Insane Department of Justice Ruling
In the name of equality, destroy your valuable public resource
Robby Soave|Mar. 7, 2017 8:31 am

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The handicappers general in the Department of Justice strike again: the University of California, Berkeley, is deleting a massive amount of free, online content in order to comply with the Americans with Disabilities Act.

Berkeley previously housed an online library consisting of more than 20,000 videos of lectures. These videos were free and accessible to the public. But they are free no longer: next week, administrators will withdraw access to anyone who isn’t a Berkeley student or professor.

Why? Because the federal government left them no other choice.

Two employees of Gallaudet University—a school for the deaf in Washington, D.C.—filed a complaint with DOJ alleging that Berkeley’s online content was inaccessible to the hearing-disabled community. After looking into the matter, DOJ determined that Berkeley had indeed violated the Americans with Disabilities Act, according to Inside Higher Ed.

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I can’t imagine the authors of the ADA intended to destroy a valuable public resource because it wasn’t perfectly accessible to all, but here we are. Taking the quality out of equality: that’s clumsy federal regulation for you.

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Hard to imagine the logic that this represents.

The “authors of the ADA” have to bear the brunt of the “Unintended Consequences” of STUPID legislation!

I have heard and blogged about the ADA absurdity — like the drivers exam had to be given in Braille.

We really need a Gooferment department of common sense to review all Gooferment actions that impact the public. Sadly, I hate to ask for more bureaucrats but maybe we could have a blue ribbon panel composed of $1/year grumpy fat old white guy injineers, grade school children, and retired poor old senior citizens on a fixed incomes to “staff” this new “department”.


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TECHNOLOGY: Push back against Apple, IBOOKS2, and IBOOKS2_AUTHOR

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Here’s the strike back against Apple’s IBOOKS2.

Apple had the opportunity to break the marketplace open and whiffed.

(1) It’s IOS only and doesn’t support EPUB. In fact Apple’s format is reportedly a broken form of EPUB. Like what Microsoft does, take an open format and break it by extension.

(2) It crony capitalism as Apple enlists the Big Textbooks in locking things up by DRM.

(3) The restrictions on IBOOKS2_AUTHOR are onerous and expensive for authors.

(4) I’m no fan of Gooferment diktats, but this sure looks like an illegal tie in and restraint of trade.

What it does do is to popularize the questioning of expensive text books!

With Open Courseware and Open Text Books?

Look at all the classics in the public domain. Despite bookstores, Apple, and Amazon trying to sell them. Project Guttenberg for me.

And, with the ability to “publish” ebooks and print books cheaply, it will encourage folks to “roll their own”. Lulu print volumes under 25$ a copy and the ebook versions are basically free with no restrictions. Amazon’s Create Space is cheap; although I just saw a hint they were “revising” their offering.

It’s going to collapse the market, imho.

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RANT: More copyright diktats

U.S. Copyright Office Issues Recommendations on Sound Recordings
December 31, 2011 02:49
From District Dispatch:

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The United States Copyright Office has recommended that pre-1972 sound recordings should be protected by federal copyright law in its Report on Federal Copyright Protection for Pre-1972 Sound Recordings.

The Copyright Office ultimately decided that benefits of federalization of pre-1972 sound recordings outweighed the problems and said that federalization conformed with the intent of Congress to unify all works under one federal law.

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Clearly, when a Gooferment bureaucrat studies something, the answer is ALWAYS more regulation that will require more bureaucrats!

The consumers and the taxpayers are being <synonym for the act of procreation, past tense> by the expansion of “copyright” diktats. Could it be a payoff to Hollywood and the Administration’s allies in Big Media? The “copyright” and “patent” systems are to encourage creation and (rather quickly) have it go to the public domain for everyone’s benefit. Congress has shifted the balance way over to the creators and away from the Public. It wasn’t intended to be a lifetime paycheck for the copyright and patent holders. Note, that’s not necessarily the creators.

Look at the film “It’s a wonderful life” that escaped copyright by an error and has become a classic enriching everyone’s holidays. The Beatle’s tunes, the classic movies, and great modern literature should all be available to us.

A decade should be the absolute max.

My example is the copyright on some 60’s Beatles tunes just sold for 200M$. How is the “public good” being advanced?

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