Saturday, October 06, 2007

Let's teach the heartless, greedy bastards we're the customers and boycott Sony

The RIAA "victory" today in their lawsuit against a woman in Duluth, Minnesota, who downloaded 24 songs and was fined $220,000 is a total travesty of justice that happened only because she didn't have the money to mount a strong legal defense against the massed forces of the record industry. And the way a docile press carries water for the industry by reporting quotes like this is just pathetic:
The Thomas case did not go forward to stop file-sharing, he said. It will give artists and executives the "legal and moral high-ground" in their battles against copyright infringement, Castle said. It could also make it easier to lobby Congress for better protections.


As for Thomas, she got off easy, according to Castle, who said she could have been fined $150,000 per copy rather than $10,000.

"I think the jury was telling her 'We don't buy your story. You're guilty of doing this intentionally. We're going to give you a verdict that will sting but is not the gross national product of a small country," he said.
Huh? Moral high ground?

The RIAA position is greedy and absurd, and the lawyer who said the woman got off easy at only $10,000 per track is out of his mind. I can't take on the whole money grubbing industry, but I sure as hell can start boycotting a particularly vulnerable company that's a party to the lawsuit (vulnerable because they have far more at stake than just music) -- Sony. I used to love that company. No more. In addition to their devotion to weird proprietary formats (memory stick anyone?) and bizarre copy copy protection formats, this is the last straw.

Guess what, Sony -- not only are there other sources for music, but there are other sources for consumer electronics and photographic equipment. I'm putting my money where my mouth is -- sorry, Sony. I had been thinking about a Sony A100 DSLR, It's a pretty good camera at a good price. but the hell with it. I just bought a Nikon D40x tonight. My $700 is going to Nikon, not the heartless, greedy bastards at a once great company.

Please join me.

Monday, October 01, 2007

Walking past the ghost tree in Madison's Owen Park at twilight

Walking Past the Ghost Tree in Madison's Owen Park at Twilight
Owen Conservation Park off Old Sauk Road near Crestwood, is one of Madison's prettier parks in daytime. With its 3.4 miles of trails, it's an unusually good hiking location in the heart of the city, with lots of alternate routes to keep the regular hiker from from getting jaded or bored. Go where the whim of the moment takes you -- 93 acres of prairie and oak savanna spread out all around you, filled with coneflowers, goldenrod and bluestem.

All this begins to drop away as darkness falls and the sunlight is replaced by a spectral twilight. In this crepuscular half light, details fade away, bats take to the sky, and creatures of the night begin their nocturnal scurrying in the underbrush. And the pale, bleached limbs of this solitary, dead tree begin to emerge from the surrounding darkness like a ghost. And Halloween is still a month away.