Who is Luc Devroye

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John Savard's picture
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@John Hudson:
The conditions of obtaining income from creative works are demand and obligation.

Yes, I'll agree with that.

This seems to me the point that you are missing: the demand, even when expressed in uncompensated exploitation, confirms the very reasonableness of the expectation that the thing made has value that may be monetised and produce income. And so we come back to my perennial theme: if a thing has value, the creator of the thing has a right to benefit from the exploitation of that value, and insofar as its exploitation by other people diminishes that benefit he is being wronged.

And there's the point of the dispute. Absent some form of prior agreement - in the form of something like a copyright law - there doesn't seem to be a basis for an expectation or an obligation.

Maybe even under such circumstances there would be ways in which people's creative works could be exploited in a way the unfairness of which is clearly apparent. The history of typography does include examples of that, for example the cheap copies of the products of the Aldine press.

Because I feel that "A has a right to B" to be a very powerful statement - enough to justify, for example, the armed overthrow of governments to end slavery or other human rights violations - I wish to be very cautious in admitting natural law rights. Right now, I don't want to concede a theoretical basis to copyright law that would lead to our elected representatives feeling they have a moral obligation to give Big Content everything it wants - on which public debate is as irrelevant as, say, a public debate on turning back the clock on civil rights would be.

What is so threatening to creative people in the premise that copyright laws are something society has voluntarily agreed to give them? After all, the end result remains the same: piracy is both illegal and wrong. So their right to the fruits of their labor remains intact - until such time as society loses interest in encouraging creative work.

Which shouldn't be expected any time soon.

Nick Curtis's picture
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And there's the point of the dispute. Absent some form of prior agreement - in the form of something like a copyright law - there doesn't seem to be a basis for an expectation or an obligation.

Hey!: possibly the single most stupid comment uttered in this forum…at least, today. However, this comes in a very close second…

I don't want to concede a theoretical basis to copyright law that would lead to our elected representatives feeling they have a moral obligation to give Big Content everything it wants

Where DO you come up with this cockamamie crap? Bazooka Joe? Jesus H. Christ!

John Hudson's picture
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John: And there's the point of the dispute. Absent some form of prior agreement - in the form of something like a copyright law - there doesn't seem to be a basis for an expectation or an obligation.

Wherein the risk I see you taking of dismissing natural law as soon as social relations come into play. Whereas I see at least some conventional or civil law in terms of (imperfectly) balancing the natural rights of different people engaged in social relationships.

I do understand your caution when you say:

Right now, I don't want to concede a theoretical basis to copyright law that would lead to our elected representatives feeling they have a moral obligation to give Big Content everything it wants

But I think presuming that a natural basis of copyright automatically translates into giving corporate holders of intellectual property everything they want is as mistaken as assuming that striking down copyright and making everything free resolves the problem posed by those corporations.

Neil Caldwell's picture
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At the end of the day, creative work is one of ownership ...unless clearly stated otherwise by the one who created the work.

I've been on both ends of the spectrum, and I do retain an IP lawyer. I've been run over, and I've exploited system too. Believe me I know what I'm talking about.

If a person cannot pursue their own creative work from conception to completion ...and have that creative work protected as property owned by the creator then we as a democracy will fall. Monetary prosperity is a right of birth as citizen of democracy.

Furthermore, I believe that to even have an Idea ...a single Idea that is of you and of no other... is a form of salvation in and of itself. And if that Idea can simply be 'taken' by another then the Individual will cease to exist, or at the very least ...get real nasty.

And to push the conversation further down the road, just because someone has built an empire upon an Idea doesn't make them evil. It doesn't give cash strapped governments the right to create new taxation to exploit those that have managed to survive the development of their own personal creativity.

The conversation of the Have and the Have Nots is built primarily on the right to pursue an Idea. The 99% vs the 1% conversation is trivial at best and at its worst is a conversation designed remove intellectual property rights all together.

n.

John Savard's picture
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@John Hudson:
as mistaken as assuming that striking down copyright and making everything free resolves the problem posed by those corporations.

That latter position I definitely agree to be mistaken, and it is not a position I take. All I'm asking for is recognition that copyright is a social choice, as opposed to a moral obligation. That, to me, seems like a middle road between "striking down copyright" and giving in to its abuses.

Nick Curtis's picture
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copyright is a social choice, as opposed to a moral obligation

Well, sorry, ducky: you're wrong, because it is neither a choice nor an obligation. What a dope.

Neil Caldwell's picture
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All I'm asking for is recognition that copyright is a social choice, as opposed to a moral obligation.

Sounds reasonable to me quadibloc.

n.

John Hudson's picture
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All I'm asking for is recognition that copyright is a social choice, as opposed to a moral obligation.

Copyright is a particular legal implementation, varying in its terms between jurisdictions. As I wrote much earlier in this thread, I am not committed to particular legal implementations, and they are by their nature in the manner of civil conventions or, as you say, social choice. I do believe, however, that these particular laws reflect a sense of underlying moral obligation, and at their best seek to balance that obligation with others, including the individual's obligation to society (hence the temporal limits placed on copyright).

Neil Caldwell's picture
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Government shouldn't have anything to do with 'a sense of moral obligation' because at the very least those 'morals' are not written in stone.

And as for the comment about 'temporal limits placed on copyright', those limits (max out between 95-120 years I believe in the US) are to protect the creator of the works ...and not their decedents. Which makes perfect sense to me because as a nation of Individuals nobody wants to subjugate themselves anyways.

Those limitations are not a social obligation. They are there to encourage and foster an environment of creativity and not one of dependency.

n.

Chris Lozos's picture
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All many of us want is a chance to make a living from our work. To me that means that nobody can steal our work or misrepresent it as their own or sell it or give it away without our prior approval. The moral and social responsibilities are not what drives this.
True, people have a moral obligation not to steal but this is separate from the written laws and justice system which prosecutes theft. If someone steals porn movies from a legitimate porn producer, they can be prosecuted for theft no matter what moral responsibilities they may have.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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a nation of Individuals

An oxymoron if there ever was one.

hhp

John Hudson's picture
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Government shouldn't have anything to do with 'a sense of moral obligation' because at the very least those 'morals' are not written in stone.

I didn't say anything about government per se. Insofar as particular laws represent the social contracts by which people choose to conduct their life together in society, how those laws are arrived at -- by government as most people commonly understand it, as an entity of state, or by mutual consensus or by dictat -- is mostly irrelevant to the discussion. We have laws, however arrived at, and the best of these laws seek to reflect, however imperfectly, what we communally sense to be our moral obligations to each other, and to balance the sometimes competing rights of different individuals, groups and society as a whole. The worst of our laws are expressions of arbitrary power, and serve as an indication that something is wrong with our polity, and that is where the matter of how the laws are arrived at become relevant.

One could frame the current discussion, as it relates to what is happening in the field of intellectual property law, as being about whether copyright legislation is (still) a reflection of a moral obligation to recognise and respect creative works as belonging to their creators -- and note that UK copyright law includes rights that are specifically identified as moral --, or threatens to become an expression of arbitrary power of what John calls 'Big Content' in collusion with a bought-and-sold polity.

John Savard's picture
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@dezcom:
If someone steals porn movies from a legitimate porn producer, they can be prosecuted for theft no matter what moral responsibilities they may have.

I think you may have the sense in which I am using the word "moral" confused with a popular, but incorrect, usage.

Nick Curtis's picture
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“Moral” means action in accord with right conscience…at least, according to Holy Mother the Church…which works for me. Kinda like Rabbi Hillel’s dictum: that which you find hateful, do not unto any other man.

John: please present a single instance where your “stance” makes a lick of sense in the present scenario…

Chris Lozos's picture
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@quad
All I was trying to indicate was the difference between written law with prosecution as a deterrent and moral sense of what you may understand to be wrong but are not legally prevented from doing. Sociopaths have no sense of moral obligation or even a conscience to give them a poke so it never occurs to them to avoid activities (such as theft) which many of us find morally wrong regardless of secular laws. Even those who are not sociopaths but simply are greedy and criminal just ignore "that little voice" which says "don't do that, it is wrong."

Brett Regehr's picture
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Conveniently, I am sitting in a university classroom getting lectured about cyber bullying and online badgering, this makes me chuckle.

As for the argument regarding copyright infringement and intellectual property— it is quite redundant. There will always be people who steal and pirate online resources; no law or form of enforcement will ever be able to stop it. Take comfort knowing that most of these kids that pirate "your" copyrighted property will probably never use it because they received it in a 10,000+ Font Collection torrent.

To address the original topic, I believe that Luc's website is a brilliant resource, it is practically the Wikipedia of Type.

Neil Caldwell's picture
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Brett, that's a pricy place to sit and text all day.

Student loan no doubt.

n.

Neil Caldwell's picture
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An oxymoron if there ever was one.

Understandable statement coming from a royalist ;)

n.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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Yeah Brett, you should really be shoveling coal for the 1%.

The delusion of individualism is exactly why the US is being owned -literally and figuratively- by China.

hhp

John Hudson's picture
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Joined: 21 Dec 2002 - 11:00am
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I like David Graeber's tentative suggestion re. China/US financial relations, that it fits an ancient pattern by which the Chinese method to control warlike barbarians was to throw money at them.

Richard Fink's picture
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Joined: 25 May 2009 - 10:04pm
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>it fits an ancient pattern by which the Chinese method to control
>warlike barbarians was to throw money at them.

Also, to provide cheap knock-off Telecasters and amplifiers.

It's working!

David Berlow's picture
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"...the Chinese method to control warlike barbarians..."

One of 'em. There's another they built for the barbarians to pay billions per year just to see. ;)

John Savard's picture
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@Richard Fink:
Also, to provide cheap knock-off Telecasters and amplifiers.

To me, a 'telecaster' is a television broadcaster, and so I had to Google to confirm what context seemed to imply: that a Telecaster was something similar to a Stratocaster (i.e., a brand of electric guitar made by Fender).

David Berlow's picture
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I've got one. Don't touch it. Don't even look at it.

Reynir Heiðberg Stefánsson's picture
Joined: 19 Nov 2010 - 11:15am
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@quadibloc – So much for my "But everyone knows what a Telecaster is!" response. But, for some weird reason, I'd rather have a red'n'white Strat with gold-plated metal, plus a Vox AC30 amp. Probably just me being asswards, though.

Neil Caldwell's picture
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US is being owned -literally and figuratively- by China.

Typical misinterpretation mostly due to superficial thinking. Even in the few post that follow yours they correctly pronounce what drives China ...the Individual spirit of America. That's what created those legendary guitars... NOT the spirit of China ...LOL!!!

That spirit of America comes from its founding fathers... try as other countries might there's no amount of knock-offs that will ever ever own America.

Ask yourself this... Why is America so inventive and China so dependent feeding from the trough ??? Which nation is a nation of cattle?

America owns China and always will... sad to say.

And BTW, it is very encouraging to see that since China has joined the G20 they have started to enforce some international IP laws as outlined under the Berne Convention and WIPO. Yes, they have a long long way to go to regain global trust but at least they have started on the right path.

n.

Richard Fink's picture
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I'm tempted to go off on a "Good Ol' Boy" riff with:

"You got that right, 5Star! Ain't never gonna be no slanty-eyed Leo Fender or Les Paul!"

Cuz it is about soul, brother. And - oops, sorry for getting serious - you really do need a political system that fosters that soul, spirit - whatever you want to call it - and brings it forth.

One thing about America: we do seem to have a knack for "getting there first". I assume that all the parts of an iPhone are manufactured in Asia. Yet the iPhone was conceived and introduced in America.
I really do wonder why that is and why that kind of thing remains the norm, not the exception.

Hrant H Papazian's picture
Joined: 3 May 2000 - 11:00am
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That's exactly the sort of denialism that's accelerating this downfall (although, if it's any consolation, it seems largely inevitable eventually). The US is the new Rome. Of course, one day China will fall (again) too. The moral of the story is: don't feel so special - you're not.

hhp

Chris Lozos's picture
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America is falling victim to the fate of every other world power in history. With every rise, there is a fall. We make the same arrogant stupid mistakes all the others made. It has nothing to do with China and everything to do with decay as a relentless force. We are human, just as greedy just as certain "it won't happen to us".

John Savard's picture
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It is true that the Western world is where innovation comes from.

But innovation only creates jobs for a few people, so if the manufacturing takes place abroad, what happens to the broad masses of common people?

If we make it into a religious dogma that protectionism is evil, we cannot even address the issue of mass unemployment. So demagogues will bring about the collapse of our societies, because the few governed them to suit themselves.

Energy independence with nuclear power, and full employment put first, with imports limited to using the foreign exchange actually earned through exports - it is not "inevitable" that we fail to adopt simple common-sense remedies to keep history from repeating itself. We don't have the excuse, today, of being ignorant.

Russell McGorman's picture
Joined: 25 May 2006 - 10:01am
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Did we ever find out who Luc Devroye is?

Nick Shinn's picture
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…America … iPhone … that kind of thing remains the norm, not the exception.

Notwithstanding RIM, Nokia and Samsung.

Chris Lozos's picture
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Sure, Russ, Luc is the Ruler of China ;-)

David Berlow's picture
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Luc Devroye, is an alias for Cul Eyorved, master mason templar illuminatti alumni of the skull and bones club and current acting president of the bohemian society. But Dez has a point.

Hrant:"The US is the new Rome."

What does that include, romulus to istanbul, (717 BC to 1453)?

Oh good, here come the sabine women!

Richard Fink's picture
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russellm: "Did we ever find out who Luc Devroye is?"
dezcom: "Sure, Russ, Luc is the Ruler of China."

(Fink falls off chair laughing. Didn't see that one coming. Chairman Luc, eh?)

And from Shinn:
>Notwithstanding RIM, Nokia and Samsung.

Sure, go ahead and bust my bubble of American Exceptionalism, why don't you, while you're at it, huh?
And they said Typophile was dead! DEAD, they said.
Yes, there certainly IS a lot of technical innovation that's born outside the good old US of A. I was thinking of Sony in their heyday as I wrote the sentence - I deserved to be called out on it.

And if the US is the new Rome, at least we'll see a resurgence of the handbag industry!

William Berkson's picture
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Ok, I'll be the fact checker. [[http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/United_States_public_debt#Foreign_holdings|China only owns 8% of US debt.]]

Thomas W Phinney's picture
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Yes, 8%, same as Japan.

Tim Daly's picture
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So there was a Canadian academic and now everyone is throwing themselves on swords (made in China, but conceived in the US naturally) or not.

Tim

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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I think we need a separate board for these sorts of downward spiralling, in-fighting, thread-killing bitch-sessions. We can call it “Bitch bitch.”

It can also be a place for typographers to hang out and simply chat about stuff that has nothing to do with type. Actually that’s a real thing in forums. And I think it’s a good thing. The purpose is two-fold.

1. It lessens over-moderating and censoring. It’s an open community, and if someone tells you what to do, you’ll simply leave = self defeating.

2. It removes noise that works against from the purpose of the forum. Too much infighting &c? Newcomers don’t like the place, and leave = inevitable death.

Pretty simple math from where I stand.

And the latter has been brought up in more than one thread in the last few months as a significant deterrent, and reason to leave, for newcomers and long standing members.

Please. Think about the forum before yourself.


Figure 1: A figure that doesn’t need a caption.

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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And there’s always the alternative solution…


Figure 2: Passive-agressive innuendo.

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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And theres no need to point out the irony in bitching about bitching. I get that already.

John Savard's picture
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@Chris Dean:

Note that the record illustrated in Figure 1, while it effectively conveys the two-word phrase it is intended to illustrate, is not an example of the actual item referenced.

That is, it is a record that will not play at all, as opposed to one which, due to a scratch, will cause the stylus to jump back to a previous position in the spiral groove, thus causing the endless repetition of a portion of the content.

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
Joined: 22 Oct 2006 - 10:49pm
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*chuckle*

Busted. I couldn’t (easily) find a picture of a skipping record.

Dammit! It just occurred to me that I could have used “moving pictures.”

That’s what you get for posting BC (before coffee ;)

John Hudson's picture
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Chris, if you look back over Typophile's history, you'll see that the board 'General Discussions' has been interpreted in the widest possible sense, with religion, politics and more or less cranky opinion getting regular if infrequent airing. I've always thought it impressive that, given this broad interpretation, most threads are actually about type in one way or another.

Chris Lozos's picture
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"... given this broad interpretation, most threads are actually about type in one way or another."

Yes, John, Type or Che Guevara :-)

Uli Stiehl's picture
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> Yes, John, Type or Che Guevara :-)

Yes, Type, Mad House or Loony Bin :-)

Chris Lozos's picture
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Good one, Uli!

Christopher Timothy Dean's picture
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I don’t get it…

Or is that just a weird way of saying “It’s jacket time!”

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=sA8f1oKz4L4 — (2:53)

Neil Caldwell's picture
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That's exactly the sort of denialism that's accelerating this downfall

Dissent is democracy. And in it's purest form a democracy functions best when the Individual is unencumbered, either by religion or government. It's not a matter of extremes, it's a matter of finding the middle ground for the Individual to flourish.

And if you flourish ...so do I. If you can make it, so can I. You lift me up.

Forgive me saying this but, America is not an empire. It is what you'd call a groove, a vibe, a spirit of independence. I've personally felt that vibe coming from 1 American the same as coming from 1,000,000+ Americans. And it is that 'free will' that can build whatever it wants. And if and when that 'construction' falls ...it is the spirit of America that will rise above all and rebuild.

America will always rise above itself. Not because of its material content but rather because of its spirit of independents as seen in everyone of its Individuals. In short, America is not measured by its army, not measured by its economy or by its many accomplishments. America is measured by the strength it gives to the Individual.

America is freedom.

So, imho, to bring this back around to Luc ...dissent is democracy. It is the divergent opinion which defines independence a.k.a. democracy as a whole.

n.

Paul B. Cutler's picture
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If you like type, and I do, everything is type. This is philosophy, not a classroom. For those who must learn, learn it here, not in academia. Once knowledge becomes codified, it defies common sense.

pbc