Ed Bilodeau

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This weblog had moved: http://www.coolweblog.com/bilodeau/

# Notice (Oct 19/05): So ends my stay here on Blogger. This morning Google implemented an anti-spam 'feature' that forces me to answer a challenge phrase when I want to post to my own blog. No notice of the change, nothing. Worse is that it doesn't even work! I type the phrase, submit, "An error occured", post deleted. Damn you, Google. Chances are I will revive my blog somewhere else, sometime soon. I'll post the new coordinates here as soon as they become available. (BTW, I'm unable to post anything to my RSS stream, so I'd appreciate it if readers could spread the word and ask people to take a look at this notice)

Update (Oct 19/05, ~noon): After a frustrating few hours (and not just trying out alternatives to Blogger), I've decided that this is a good time to take a break from all this. A day? A week? Who knows. But I need to step away from it before I pass a heavy magnet over the whole mess.

Update 2: According to this post, the reason I'm seeing the CAPTCHA (challenge phrase) is that Blogger has classified my blog as spam. Thanks. User for five years and now I'm spam. I searched the Blogger site, but there is no mention of how to get the spam flag turned off. There is also no way of contacting anyone at Blogger. Wow. Spam they say I am, so spam I must be. Maybe it is time to take a break.

Tuesday, March 01, 2005

Fred von Lohmann @ EFF: Who Owns Your Desktop? You Do! :
"When I visit your website, and you send me a page in response, I should be able to do whatever I like to manipulate it on my end. Display it in purple, suppress images, block pop-ups, compare prices from other vendors, whatever. In the words of my colleague, Cory Doctorow, "it's my screen, and I should be able to control it; companies like Google and individuals should be able to provide tools and services to let me control it."

However, it does not give those companies the right to present you with a derivative work and to have that derivation contribute to their commercial activities unless I have expressly given permission allowing my intellectual property to be used in that way.

Where I believe the Google Toolbar has run afoul is that is modifies the content of the page in question, presenting the user with a derivative work (rather then presenting the "added-value" content in a separate sidebar) for example. The fact that Google and/or their partners will benefit commercially from those modifications makes matters worse.

As I've mentionned before, the web is moving towards a model where content is published in a standard, structured format (i.e. XML) expressly so it can be understood and manipulated by software in order to provide users with added value. In the process, however, we need to make sure that the intellectual property rights of individuals and organizations are respected, even if this means more work for software developers and less immediate added value for end-users.