Friday, June 17, 2011

On Copyright and Public Domain

Here's the best statement (okay rant) on public domain material that I've seen lately.  Also kinda funny.  At VintagePrintable.  Here's an excerpt:

"Disclaimer and waiver *sigh*: Vintage Printable can’t guarantee anything in life. If anyone wants an image removed, please send e mail. Also *sigh* no representations or warranties about anything to anyone, including that the images actually are public domain or otherwise have no restrictions on use, or warranties of merchantability or any other kind of warranty. Each user is fully responsible for their own use of these images and recognizes Vintage Printable is not responsible in any way for anything. Users understand that we believe the images are free to use, and are not carriers of some awful computer bug or some other terror that will crash the internets *Sigh*. Of course we can’t guarantee anything, or give any kind of legal, copyright or advice about your life in general, so if you are at all concerned, find your trusted adviser and ask them..."

It's almost as funny as one of my favorite passages of Terry Pratchett in Truth, a warranty for a Gooseberry TM  Disorganizer MKII:

"This device is provided without warranty of any kind as to reliability, accuracy, existence or otherwise or fitness for any particular purpose and Bioalchemic Products specifically does not warrant, guarantee, imply or make any representations as to its merchantability for any particular purpose and furthermore shall have no liability for or responsibility to you or any other person, entity or deity with respect of any loss or damage whatsoever caused by this device or object or by any attempts to destroy it by hammering it against a wall or dropping it into a deep well or any other means whatsoever and moreover asserts that you indicate your acceptance of this agreement or any other agreement that may be substituted at any time by coming within five miles of the product or observing it through large telescopes or by any other means because you are such an easily cowed moron who will happily accept arrogant and unilateral conditions on a piece of highly priced garbage that you would not dream of accepting on a bag of dog biscuits and is used solely at your own risk."

What is with our society anyway? An excess of lawyers?  
Well, there's an obvious cure for that!

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