Ja – men den er mindre enn mange tror. Begge er søketjenester som tilbyr pekere til informasjon som kan være men ikke nødvendigvis er i brudd med opphavsretten.
Pirate Bay er laget for å gjøre det lett å bryte opphavsretten for film, musikk og software, mens i Google sitt tilfelle er dette kun en utilsikte sideeffekt. Pirate Bay gjør det lett å piratkopiere, Google gjør det bare mulig, hvis du har tålmodighet nok og vet hvordan.
Ved nærmere ettersyn blir imidlertid forskjellen mer uklar. Skal det virkelig være nivået av brukervennlighet som skiller lovlig søk fra ulovlig søk? Intensjon er heller ikke et solid grunnlag. En kan lett tenke seg en generisk søketjeneste tilsvarende Google som ved hjelp av bruker-utfylt kategorisering blir like lett å bruke for pirater som Pirate Bay er i dag. Hvor trekker man da grensen?
Å gå til et tilsvarende angrep på Google vil være en PR-katastrofe for underholdningsbransjen, det vil neppe skje. IANAL, men man kan ikke basere rettspraksis på manglende vilje til å saksøke, man må våge å avklare grensetilfellene. Og de er vanskelige. Enhver som tror det er lett å definere forskjellen mellom Pirate Bay og Google vet rett og slett ikke nok om hva en søkemotor er. Den logiske konsekvensen av å dømme Pirate Bay er at alle søkemotorer er forpliktet til å aktivt motvirke piratkopiering – og dermed er Google i skuddlinjen.
De etiske aspektene ved piratkopiering er heldigvis langt enklere enn de juridiske: Vær en ansvarlig pirat.
Goodbye, Mr Chips (1939, USA) – An old teacher at a British public school looks back on his life, and the generations of boys he has taught. This is probably the perfect nice movie, intelligent and well balanced between melancholy and humor. Starring Robert Donat as Albus “Chips” Dumbledore. Watched it all.
Buck Rogers (1939, USA) – Upon being awakened from 500 years of suspended animation, Buck Rogers is immediately handed a space ship and a stupid suit, courtesy of .. the FUTURE! First episode of a serial, but that is no excuse. Watched: 17 minutes.
Der Feldzug in Polen (1939, Germany) – This came without subtitles, but the gist of it seems to be that all Germany wants is peace. Watched: 37 minutes.
Another Thin Man (1939, USA) – Another hard-boiled comedy with Nick & Nora, taking the series to new heights of plot complexity. The underlying message is that every alcoholic (indeed, every man) should have a wife like Myrna Loy. Watched it all.
You Can’t Cheat an Honest Man (1939, USA) – Some moderately funny circus jokes. Watched: 16 minutes.
Made for Each Other (1939, USA) – Apparently even James Stewart can be a terrible actor, as long as the script is bad enough. Watched: 8 minutes.
I gave up on Christopher Brookmyre’s Not the End of the World, after 48 pages. Here are some particularly annoying samples that illustrate why:
‘”Things fall apart,”‘ as Sophie put it, quoting that Irish poet she liked.
‘”The centre cannot hold.” All that stuff. “The falcon cannot hear the falconer.”‘
And the shit is hitting the fan.
This is an APB. All units in the Bethlehem area: be on the lookout for a rough beast with a slouching gait.
‘The Gazes Also, huh? Cute name for that sort of work.’ [..]
‘I hadn’t thought about it,’ she said. ‘We come across so many dumb names for boats, you stop wondering what they’re referring to. Most of the time it’s probably someone’s wife. Or their dog. What’s cute about this one?’
‘It’s Nietzsche,’ Larry told her, turning away again to stare at the vessel, the name etched on the bows and the life-safers. ‘”When you gaze into the abyss, the abyss gazes also into you”.’
‘Jesus, they got cops quoting Nietzsche now?’ Jame said with a wry smile, nudging up the peak of her cap with her Coke can. ‘What, you gotta answer on philosophy for the seargent’s exam these days?’
‘No, I read it on my cereal box this morning. It’s a thought for the day deal. If I’d had Cheerios instead of corn flakes I’d never have known – Cheerios are still running their Gems of Kierkegaard series.’
It’s all like this. Überclever and superficial. A pose.
Gudleiv Forr skriver at vi ikke må la papiravisene dø:
De fleste lesere vil vel si at de har en allsidig oversikt over status i så vel lokalsamfunnet som verden for øvrig når de legger fra seg den daglige avis. [..] Avisens styrke er den brede informasjon som springer ut av sidene. Man føler seg oppdatert som samfunnsborger når man er igjennom den.
Og deri ligger problemet, for denne følelsen var alltid en illusjon. Det var en betydningsfull illusjon, fordi så mange av oss delte den, på samme måte som Derrick og Ønskekonserten. Lar du være å følge med på nyhetene, blir du dårligere oppdatert på hvordan folk rundt deg ser verden. Men om du blir dårligere oppdatert på hva som faktisk skjer der ute, det tviler jeg på.
Mesteparten av verden blir jevnlig ignorert av journalistene, til fordel for de vanlige såpeoperaene. De aller viktigste hendelsene dekkes ikke i det hele tatt, fordi de er for komplekse til å gjøres om til nyhetsfortellinger. Den viktigste hendelsen in 2008 var f.eks. problemene i finansnæringen, men ingen skrev om dem før det var for sent. Det skjer ting der ute i dag som kommer til å forandre livet ditt, men det kan ta mange år før du før høre om det.
Jeg leser nyheter bare tilfeldig, en avis eller nettavis her og der. Jeg er dårlig oppdatert på hva som skjer i verden akkurat nå. Men jeg vet at jeg ikke vet hva som skjer. Der stiller jeg sterkere enn papiravisleserne.
George R. R. Martin has set a new standard for me in fantasy, but Joe Abercrombie’s First Law series still holds up pretty well. Before They Are Hanged continues in the same direction as The Blade Itself, with smart and somewhat satirical sword and sorcery. It’s entertaining, and it’s not stupid. I like it.
I avoided fantasy for years after a Robert Jordan binge in the 90′s, and I’m still suspicious enough to put down a novel at even the first sign of epic elves, but I’m a fantasy reader at heart, and I’ll always be a sucker for a barbarian swordfight. Of which there are many here.
Speaking of Robert Jordan, one fantasy novel I didn’t finish reading recently was Mistborn: The Final Empire by Brandon Sanderson. It was bad and generic. Then I learned that he’s been hired to finish the Wheel of Time series, after Jordan died two years ago. Which means that the next time I reach for a Wheel of Time novel will be if I am in sudden need of a blunt, heavy object with which to strike an intruder in the head.
One thing that surprised me in Ramachandra Guha’s (ironically titled?) India After Gandhi is the degree to which India defined itself from the beginning as a secular state, a country that would embrace multiple religions, languages, ethnic groups, and castes, without favoring any of them. They set out to make something most outsiders, (including the Muslims who created Pakistan), thought was impossible: A truly pluralistic, secular democracy.
Why hasn’t India failed, (yet)? It’s not for lack of challenges. Insurrections, massacres, assasinations, and even a two-year semi-dictatorship. Guha speculates that what many thought was India’s greatest weakness, its democracy and pluralism, is actually the source of its resilience. (Sri Lanka and Pakistan tried to enforce one language, and got civil war.)
Another thing that surprised me was how relevant Indian politics is to Europe. Their struggle to build a transparent democracy out of very different states is relevant to our European Union. And the debates about Hindu-Muslim relations sound disturbingly familiar to our own debates about integration and immigation. Should the state favor a common cultural identity, or play a religiously and culturally neutral role? Our more aggressive European secularists may be surprised to find they have more in common with Hindu nationalists than with Indian secularists.
There are few direct analogies between India and Europe, but India’s experiences add contrast and perspective to our own, as well as plenty of warnings about paths nok to take. My advice to anyone who is interested in European politics: Look to India.
While there have been hundreds of inter-religious riots in the history of independent India, there have been only two pogroms: that directed at the Sikhs in Delhi in 1984 and that directed at the Muslims of south Gujarat in 2002. There are some striking similarities between the two. Both began as a response to a single, stray act of violence committed by members of the minority community. Both proceeded to take a generalized revenge on the minorities as a whole. The Sikhs who were butchered wered in no way connected to the Sikhs who killed Mrs Gandhi. The Muslims who were killed by Hindu mobs were completely innocent of the Godhra crime (which may anyway have been an accident).
In both cases the pogroms were made possible by the willed breakdown of the rule of law. The prime minister in Delhi in 1984, and the chief minister in Gujarat in 2002, issued graceless statements that in effect justified the killings. And serving ministers in their government went as far as to aid and direct the rioters.
The final similarity is the most telling, as well as perhaps the most depressing. Both parties, and leaders, reaped electoral rewards from the violence they had legitimized and overseen. Rajiv Gandhi’s party won the 1984 general election by a very large margin, and in December 2002 Narendra Modi was re-elected as chief minister of Gujarat after his party won a two-thirds majority in the assembly polls.
- Ramachandra Guha, India After Gandhi
Destry Rides Again (1939, USA) – A good western, finally! Bottleneck is the dirtiest town in the West. The drunkard sheriff sends for James Stewart, a gunslinger’s son who doesn’t like guns. The result is a quieter Blazing Saddles. Watched it all.
Jamaica Inn (1939, UK) – A gang in Cornwall lures ships onto land, where they murder the crews and steal their cargo. One of the darkest movies in the marathon so far, made by someone who likes to see ugly bandits slobber over pretty women. Watched it all.
My Love for Yours (1939, USA) – The message here seems to be that successful business woman Gail Allen should give up her silly hobby and settle down in some sweet-talking guy’s kitchen. Watched: 40 minutes.
Gjest Baardsen (1939, Norway) – Gjest Baardsen, a trickster thief and escape artist, befuddles the police and rescues Maid Marian from the claws of Guy of Gisbourne. Watched it all.
The Hunchback of Notre Dame (1939, USA) – I hope the scene where “everybody” in 1482 knows the world is flat is Hollywood’s invention, not Victor Hugo’s. I know I should still give the movie a chance, but don’t you find it hard to get back into a movie after it has caused you to slap your forehead? Watched: 10 minutes.
The Private Lives of Elizabeth and Essex (1939, USA) – Bette Devis plays Elizabeth I well, but the prospect of watching a whole movie with even a non-swashbuckling Errol Flynn is intolerable. Watched: 19 minutes.
In [D. R. Goyal's] rendition, the core beliefs of what the Sangh Parivar calls ‘Hindutva’ are as follows:
“Hindus have lived in India since times immemorial; Hindus are the nation because all culture, civilisation and life is contributed by them alone; non-Hindus are invaders or guests and cannot be treated as equal unless they adopt Hindu traditions, culture etc; the non-Hindus, particularly Muslims and Christians, have been enemies of everything Hindu and are, therefore, to be treated as threats; the freedom and progress of this country is the freedom and progress of Hindus; the history of India is the history of the struggle of the Hindus for protection and preservation of their religion and culture against the onslaught of these aliens; the threat continues because the power is in the hands of those who do not believe in this nation as a Hindu Nation; those who talk of national unity as the unity of all those who live in this country are motivated by the selfish desire of cornering minority votes and are therefore traitors; the unity and consolidation of the Hindus is the dire need of the hour because the Hindu people are surrounded on all sides by enemies; the Hindus must develop the capacity for massive retaliation and offence is the best defence; lack of unity is the root cause of all troubles of the Hindus and the Sangh is born with the divine mission to bring about that unity.”
- Ramachandra Guha, India After Gandhi
It is difficult precisely to date Sanjay Gandhi’s own interest in family planning. His Surge interview in August 1975 does not mention the subject at all. Yet a year later, the Illustrated Weekly of India was speaking of how ‘Sanjay has given a big impetus to the Family Planning Programme throughout the country’. [..] He epxressed himself in favor of compulsory sterilization, for which facilities should be provided ‘right down to the village level’.
In his tours around India, Sanjay Gandhi catalysed a competitive process between the states of the Union. Sanjay would tell one chief minister of what another had claimed to have done – ’60 000 operations in two weeks’ – and encouraged him to exceed it. These targets were passed down to district officials, who were rewarded if they met or exceeded them and transferred otherwise. The process led to widespread coercion. Lower government officials had to submit to the surgeon’s knife before arrears of pay were cleared. Truck drivers would not have their licences renewed if they could not produce a sterilization certificate. Slum dwellers would not be allotted a plot for resettlement unless they did likewise.
Local officials prepared lists of ‘eligible men’, that is, of those who already had three or more children. Police vans would come and take them off to the nearest health centre. Some men fled into the hills to escape the marauders. Those who had undergone a vasectomy were too embarassed to talk about it.
- Ramachandra Guha, India After Gandhi