Links to an anchor on this page 01/03/11 Harlan Ellison fights for creator's rights
Links to an anchor on this page 01/03/09 Web metaphysics
Links to an anchor on this page 01/03/08 Fun with fonts
Links to an anchor on this page 01/03/01 The WaSP browser update campaign


Ellison v. Robertson, et al., is a case of copyright infringement on the Internet. Unlike the Napster matter, which has garnered substantial press attention because the music industry as a whole took on the issue of wholesale infringement of recordings on the Internet, the piracy of text has been largely overlooked by the publishing industry and the popular press. The case is complicated by the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), passed in 1998, which established certain limitations of liability for online service providers when third parties post infringing material to or through an online service. Because the law is so new, reported decisions citing to the various provisions of 17 U.S.C. 512 et seq. are minimal and this case, like the Napster case, the MP3 cases, and the DeCSS case are charting new ground for the legal system.

Link opens in new window Article's original location
Link opens in new window Mirror
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Discussions of the case:
Link opens in new window Rumormill (1)
Link opens in new window Rumormill (2)
Link opens in new window Slashdot


The Web hasn't been hyped enough. Beyond the numbers applied to the Web - the millions of users, the billions of email messages and the trillions of dollars - and beyond the endless, important discussions trying to predict the Net's effect on our institutions, the Web is touching us in ways so deep and so personal that we might as well give in and call them spiritual.
Link opens in new window The Hyperlinked Metaphysics of the Web

I'm writing this book in public so that you can comment on it and improve it. I'll post drafts as I write 'em and alter 'em. By the author of the Hyperlinked Metaphysics article.
Link opens in new window Small pieces loosely joined


I've started playing around with stylesheets. Except for the text at the bottom of the page, I've decided to followed the Dao of Web Design approach described below. If the text on this page looks too large to you (as it does to me) please adjust your browser settings.

...if you are a Mac user, you will be acutely aware of just how many really major sites abuse style sheets to make their pages illegible. Chances are they are using pixels or points as a measure of font-size. Underlying this choice is the "designer is controller" philosophy.
Link opens in new window Dao of Web Design

When everyone who visits your site is packing IE5+, Netscape 6, or Opera 4 (and when IE/Windows cleans up a few inconsistencies) you'll be able to use CSS the way it was intended. Until then, use pixels to control your sizes (as you must when designing most commercial sites), or use nothing at all.
Link opens in new window Fear of Style Sheets 4


16 FEBRUARY, 2001: The Web Standards Project (WaSP), a grassroots coalition fighting for standards on the Web, today announced a Browser Upgrade initiative aimed at encouraging developers to use W3C standards even if the resulting sites fail (or look less than optimal) in old, non-standards-compliant web browsers. (...)
To greater or lesser degrees, Internet Explorer 5, Netscape 6, and Opera 5 now support HTML 4, CSS-1, ECMAScript, and the DOM. Yet we continue to write incompatible Netscape-4-specific and IE-4-specific code because millions of our visitors are using those old browsers. It's time for developers to repay the browser makers for giving us standards last year. We can only do that by using standards this year, even if the resulting sites fail in some older browsers.

Link opens in new window Web Standards Project launches browser update campaign

The WaSP also took Microsoft to task, as it has in the past, for its spotty adherence to W3C recommendations, singling out IE 5.5's implementation of CSS and HTML for criticism. Microsoft has long stated its commitment to following industry standards, including CSS and HTML. But preliminary data collected by the WaSP showed that IE 5.5 performs poorly against compliance tests, failing 7 out of 13 in the case of CSS. "Many of the problems originally noted in IE 4 remain unfixed in IE 5.5," Zeldman wrote. "The company has delivered interesting new technology, but has not finished the job on the Web standards it already supports (somewhat incompletely), and has not committed to a timeline for delivering those missing pieces, or for fully supporting XML and the DOM."
Link opens in new window CNet: IE 5.5 angers Web standards advocates

These standards-compliance bugs are of particular concern to Web developers because Netscape 6 is not just a Web browser; it is a development platform. Developers who have eagerly looked forward to "sixth-generation" browsers that are finally standards compliant may be disappointed by Netscape's offering.
Link opens in new window Netscape Navigator 6.0 to Fail Standards Compliance

Upgrading is a good idea, and I suggest we all do it. However, there is nothing that prevents or has prevented us from choosing to adhere to recommendations and make sites completely backward compatible no matter the browser. There are two primary reasons we've not done so, first, because many of us have not properly educated ourselves in recommendations, and second, because in an effort to innovate we may have chosen to break rules rather than adhere to them. And the article goes on to make several other excellent points. Highly recommended.
Link opens in new window WebReview: Editorial Response to WaSP's Upgrade Your Browser Initiative

Modern web browsers such as those that the WSP are promoting have a high minimum system requirement that is simply not within the financial means of much of the Earth's population. Apparently, the Web Standards Project wishes to punish those for whom the web is a barely affordable luxury.
Link opens in new window I No Longer Support the Web Standards Project

"Please consider upgrading to one of the following browsers, which make it easier for Web builders to be sure the sites you visit will work correctly." Huh, what? Have they forgotten that the WWW is a platform-independent, browser-independent network of information resources? Why the hell should I use a different browser to be sure that the site works correctly? Any standards-compliant document should work correctly by default. That's what HTML is all about.
Link opens in new window Return of the 'best viewed with' parochialism

The browser upgrade campaign is being discussed on:

Link opens in new window A List Apart (1)
Link opens in new window A List Apart (2)
Link opens in new window Builder Buzz
Link opens in new window Macslash: interview
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