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This link is copyright, Eric Costello...
April 11, 2001 1:26 PM   Subscribe

This link is copyright, Eric Costello... aka Glish. No, really, he's serious. Is this really necessary? Comments?
posted by silusGROK (40 comments total)

 
My opinion(tm):

Not only is this unnecessary, I don't think it's possible. Who's to say I didn't find any of those links on my own? And anyway, he didn't write those links himself, nor did he create the electronic pathways to those sites. He can say he owns the 1s and 0s if he wants, but I don't think it'll hold up in court.
posted by starvingartist at 1:55 PM on April 11, 2001


Better take down those 5k links. They're his, man.

The attempt to own everything is a funny impulse to me. Appropriating someone else's appropriations was covered with the whole Beck remix remix cease and desist comedy, right?
posted by mblandi at 1:55 PM on April 11, 2001


First, I'm not sure he can use a registered trademark for a block of text.

From soyouwanna.com:"You may not use the R in a circle design (which is reserved for federally registered trademarks) next to your trademark until after it has been registered, by which we mean after your application has been received, processed, and accepted, not just after you fill out the form."

Second, I doubt he's completely serious. If he is, I'd like to see him sue people for linking to the 5k. He's probably trying to make a point.

It is disturbing to see those copyright symbols though.
posted by timothompson at 1:56 PM on April 11, 2001


Anyone else get a blank page viewing in Netscape 4.0?
posted by Karl at 1:56 PM on April 11, 2001


Hey lads, everyone lay of Eric, I think he's having a little joke in that particular post. Plus he's done some amazing work with his site )(i'm thinking photo gallery), and on other projects, he's contributed loads.

Don't jump down his neck so quickly!
posted by williamtry at 1:59 PM on April 11, 2001


if ( he is serious ){ he's a moron } endif;
nobody owns links, the basis of the entire web is links. glish can just go link off.
posted by quonsar at 2:00 PM on April 11, 2001


Personally, I think it's a joke on his part. And when taken in the context, it makes a valid point of how ridiculous all the patenting and copyrighting on the Internet is.
posted by igloo at 2:01 PM on April 11, 2001


What's that you say? You mean this link? Or how about this one? It all just seems so confusing... Is it this one that you're talking about?

I just don't understand this web stuff anymore, I guess. Huh.
posted by lizardboy at 2:02 PM on April 11, 2001


(tm)What's that you say? You mean this link? Or how about this one? It all just seems so confusing... Is it this one that you're talking about?


I just don't understand this web stuff anymore, I guess. Huh.

posted by mblandi at 2:08 PM on April 11, 2001


I know for a fact that he is serious. We used to be friends, but this totally blew it. No one owns links. Except for mblandi. (All your links are belong... ?)
posted by sylloge at 2:10 PM on April 11, 2001


He steals all his links from MeFi anyway, the idiot.
posted by ericost at 2:12 PM on April 11, 2001


People are taking blog posts way too seriously these days. Sometimes I post things on my personal site that are completely over the top, totally done in jest and trying to make readers laugh (which I always think are obviously jokes), and I get feedback from a surprisingly high percentage of people thinking every word is true and that I've stated it in a matter of fact fashion, completely the opposite of my intention.
posted by mathowie at 2:19 PM on April 11, 2001


I don't think he's attempting to copyright the ability to link to certain pages, but rather his words. That is, he's not saying you can't link to the 5k, but that you can't post a link to the 5k that exactly says, "Man, there are some really amazing entries in this year's 5k contest..." just like his link does.

Which he has every right to do, though it brings into question the concept of fair use. If your copyrighted articles are only 15 words each, how many of those words can you use before getting into trouble?

Assuming he's not making a big joke of the whole thing.
posted by aaron at 2:24 PM on April 11, 2001



He steals all his links from MeFi anyway, the idiot.

Ummm... you mean that's not what MeFi is for?
posted by normy at 2:25 PM on April 11, 2001


Okay. I, in no way, meant to slight Eric. I read his blog regularly. But something inside me went "ew" when I saw his site this morning. So I thought I'd share it... and get a good discussion going.

Matt: Over the top is really hard to guage unless someone knows you personally. Not something really attainable via this medium. Just not enough context.

I guess jokers should just expect a higher-than-average percentage of misunderstandings. No harm, no foul.
posted by silusGROK at 2:28 PM on April 11, 2001


Would someone that's spent so much of their free time to put up tutorials really copyright their links. C'mon, let's be serious. This is a joke.

© 2001 Igloo, et al. All rights reserved. Limited permission granted to Metafilter™ to store and transmit in various formats to Metafilter™ readers.
posted by igloo at 2:28 PM on April 11, 2001


We really need a sarcasm tag.
posted by timothompson at 2:29 PM on April 11, 2001


We need an "invisible to people too stupid to understand subtlety" css setting.
posted by anildash at 2:35 PM on April 11, 2001


Sometimes I post things on my personal site that are completely over the top, totally done in jest and trying to make readers laugh (which I always think are obviously jokes), and I get feedback from a surprisingly high percentage of people thinking every word is true....

I've always maintained that there are two basic kinds of irony: irony of tone and irony of content. You indicate irony of tone by (surprise) the tone of your voice. You can use italics, I suppose, but tonal irony just doesn't come across very well online.

Irony of content occurs when you say something that is so ridiculous that it should be obviously false. I do this all the time in real life simply because I've perfected my deadpan. It's fun to see how ridiculous a statement I can make before people catch on. With a straight enough face, I can get away with a lot.

Irony of content ought to work pretty well online. Since no one can hear your tone, you shouldn't be able to use a straight face to buffalo them. The problem is that a lot of people will just never understand the concept, or they have an impaired sense of humor, or whatever.

And maybe some people online take themselves a little too seriously. So that when someone does something as ridiculous as copywriting his links, they debate it earnestly, instead of recognizing that it's too ridiculous to be serious.
posted by anapestic at 2:37 PM on April 11, 2001


I thought a link was a place you went to try to be like Tiger Woods. Can someone nice write me at Postroad@hotmail.com and tell me how I put up a very long link. I should know. I don't. Jesse Jackson not available for me on this. Thanks kind person.
posted by Postroad at 2:58 PM on April 11, 2001


This is 100% serious. If you don't want to get sued I would be very careful about stealing his links.

This is actually a great way to make money. Last year I copyrighted blue/green/gold color schemes for webpages. I'm currently making several hundred dollars a month on licensing fees.

If you want to use some of the links Eric has, I'm sure he'd be happy to let you pay a small licensing fee.

I'm currently working with my lawyers to copyright the "width=782" parameter for table tags.
posted by y6y6y6 at 3:19 PM on April 11, 2001


Lawsuits would be easy if your color were like his scheme.

Blue, gold and green. Blue, gold and greeeeeeeen.

Oh, man. I'm going to hell.
posted by Skot at 3:30 PM on April 11, 2001


i'm trying to patent the process of suing someone for copyright infringment, but its slow going.
posted by th3ph17 at 3:49 PM on April 11, 2001


I thought British Telecom owned all links :)
posted by Zool at 4:45 PM on April 11, 2001


British Telecom only owns the links that are underlined. ;)
posted by vanderwal at 6:52 PM on April 11, 2001


(JBushnell throws a dinner roll at Skot's head.)
posted by jbushnell at 9:06 PM on April 11, 2001


I think I'm going to go to my room now... after I've washed the egg from my face. It just never occured to me that it could have been a joke (I'm still not certain). I've just met too many strange people online to dismiss anything out of hand.

That said... *ahem* ...how about a game of dodge ball?
posted by silusGROK at 9:23 PM on April 11, 2001


We need an "invisible to people too stupid to understand subtlety" css setting.

For shame!

What about separation of style and content?

We already have 'display: none' and 'visibility: hidden'. What we need is a sarcasm tag that defaults to 'display: none'.

On second thought, that may be too harsh. Can anybody figure out how to override a document style sheet with a user style sheet?

This is why the future is XML.
posted by gleemax at 2:31 AM on April 12, 2001


People are taking blog posts way too seriously these days. Sometimes I post things on my personal site that are completely over the top, totally done in jest and trying to make readers laugh (which I always think are obviously jokes), and I get feedback from a surprisingly high percentage of people thinking every word is true and that I've stated it in a matter of fact fashion, completely the opposite of my intention.

Which explains to Kottke why those 'get-it?' quotation marks are (sadly) much needed...
posted by kchristidis at 9:42 AM on April 12, 2001


I would like to make one thing perfectly clear now that we have talked through all of this: my name is Eric, NOT glish. Glish is the name of my website. It is a stupid name, and if it had a choice I am sure it would not be called that. And don't steal links, either.
posted by ericost at 10:11 AM on April 12, 2001


For cripes sake, it's obviously a joke. He steals all his shit from me anyway.
posted by Zeldman at 11:24 AM on April 12, 2001


OK, here's the deal -- Copyright does not protect ideas, it does not protect facts, it just protects my particular original expression of an idea. So there are two big problems with his theory:

(1) Links themselves are arguably "facts," in that the are the set instructions for finding a particular item on the internet.

(2) He didn't create the links; so he is not the author and cannot claim copyright.

Besides which, he steals all his links from Zeldman.
posted by IPLawyer at 4:26 PM on April 13, 2001


Jeffrey, I didn't see a royalty payment for that joke... I'd ask if the payment were in the post, but I'd hate to get hit with a look-and-feel lawsuit from Milton Berle.
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 5:01 PM on April 13, 2001


Joe, the micropayment is in the mail. My guess is that Eric's goofing on recent MEFI threads as well as recent news comments at K10k.

Then again, he may have bought the current issue of PDN-Pix, in which copyright infringement and intellectual property rights are discussed up down and sideways by a variety of folks, including me. Unfortunately none of the good stuff made it to PDN's site, probably because they believe in getting paid, and who can blame them?

Then again, Eric may have gone insane. Developing CSS layouts will do that to you.

Hey, since I'm here, all that talk about the MEFI ripoff got one point wrong. Under U.S. law, it's impossible to copyright layout and design, in print or on the web. Stealing web designs is unethical, unprofessional, and just plain stupid, but it's not against the law. The law is an ass.
posted by Zeldman at 6:23 PM on April 13, 2001


But stealing code is actionable, no?
posted by rodii at 8:15 PM on April 13, 2001


The law is an ass.

*chuckle*
posted by CrazyUncleJoe at 10:46 PM on April 13, 2001


Stealing code is not actionable unless you're stealing the code that built an application. Stealing all the code to Microsoft Word is actionable. Nipping someone's DHTML scroller isn't.

Mister Costello isn't commenting on this thread any more, but he's obviously reading it. Check today's glish.com. Tee-hee.
posted by Zeldman at 1:18 PM on April 14, 2001


You mean my code--even if it's fairly trivial, bad code--isn't protected by copyright? What if I "publish" it and/or explicitly claim copyright? (I'm not being argumentative here, I just don't know and would like to.)
posted by rodii at 3:04 PM on April 14, 2001


The 5k Contest entries would, I'm sure, be covered by copyright, since they are individual works of art. But if I were to steal whole junks of JavaScript from one of those unique works of art, I would probably not be at legal risk. Similarly, if I were to steal the entire look and feel of Metafilter (but not the actual logo graphics) I would not be at legal risk. I'd be a jerk, and I could expect the community to attempt to shame and harass me, but legally I would be on safe ground, because U.S. law does not protect these things. British law is much smarter, but you'd have to eat English food and deal with all that rain.
posted by Zeldman at 6:17 PM on April 16, 2001


Not to mention all the cultural differences.
posted by gleemax at 12:38 PM on April 17, 2001


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