Copyrighting Infinity

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Culture, Politics

Awhile ago I found the xkcd webcomic via Kaedrin. I absolutely love this comic, and see so much of myself in them (things like calculating optimal path efficiency, mispronouncing words, analyzing structures for possible raptor entry points)… I have recently been waiting to link this comic to one of my best friends who I haven’t seen for about a week. Now, strangely enough, I saw the image above and then immediately saw…

This story found via Reddit (via PopURLs).

WARNING: Do NOT calculate Pi in binary. It is conjectured that this number is normal, meaning that it contains ALL finite bit strings.

If you compute it, you will be guilty of:

* Copyright infringement (of all books, all short stories, all
newspapers, all magazines, all web sites, all music, all movies,
and all software, including the complete Windows source code)
* Trademark infringement
* Possession of child pornography
* Espionage (unauthorized possession of top secret information)
* Possession of DVD-cracking software
* Possession of threats to the President
* Possession of everyone’s SSN, everyone’s credit card numbers,
everyone’s PIN numbers, everyone’s unlisted phone numbers, and
everyone’s passwords
* Defaming Islam. Not technically illegal, but you’ll have to go
into hiding along with Salman Rushdie.
* Defaming Scientology. Which IS illegal–just ask Keith Henson.

Monkeys with typewriters for the 21st century. It makes me wonder if someone who actually used this method to generate material could then copyright it.

On a related note, here’s a link via the Volokh Conspiracy on copyright infringement.

“In Accordance With Fair Use … We Forbid Any Reproduction”:

The “This article is copyright protected and Fair Use is not applicable” line seemingly no longer appears in new articles on the North Country Gazette site, but the “In accordance with Fair Use of Copyright: WE FORBID ANY REPRODUCTION in part or in whole of The North Country Gazette” remains on the front page. Why should people trust the accuracy of the articles on the site, if the site’s claims about copyright law are inaccurate?

Putting aside the formalities of the legal force of their statement being null, here we reach the apex of copyright hilarity. WE FORBID ANY REPRODUCTION in part or in whole of our useless little rag. Please note that “ANY REPRODUCTION in part or in whole” includes reproducing this notification that you are forbidden to reproduce any part of it. All mentions of this copyright notice must be referred to by a euphemism that we shall not name (because if we named that euphemism here, you would not be able to reproduce it).

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