Thursday, April 22, 2010

We Now Return You to Your Regularly Scheduled Program

Now that the personal trauma of the past week has past, at least enough for normal functionality to be restored, we can return to addressing the current and primary function of this blog:  earning an A in my class.  Which is probably not doable now that I've missed a week's worth of work, but I'll take a B.  Heck... even a C works for me now, I just want to graduate!!!

The latest information on the global copyright treaty has me worried, and should worry any game creator, particularly those who run their own portal sites (that would be you, Zynga and Popcap).  Essential, the treaty is going to export the strong (and inane) copyright protections to the rest of the world while failing to export parts of our law that deal with fair use priviledges, or other protections for those who access or post copyrighted information.

Let's take the example of blogging.  Under the current terms of the treaty - which is still being negotiated, so there could be changes of course - you could absolutely NOT post any text quoted from another source within a larger message you are sending, even if you properly attribute the information.  Doing so would earn you a warning.  After several warnings, your ISP would be subject to blacking out your account.  Nice!!!

There's going to be more about this in upcoming posts.  I think in terms of software, it's a little less clear how this is going to affect the industry.  It's not like a blogger will post source code that others can use to recompile the program.  But if you are Popcap, and you aggregate games from a variety of sources, and one of those games comes from someplace shady, this could have a negative impact on your bottom line.

Or not.  But more on this later.  Now it's time to get to work for the first time in a week.  Man, I so wish I was a pirate, they get to sleep in.....

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