On Wednesday the 18th, Wikipedia is going dark globally to protest against the latest ham-fisted intellectual property laws.
I've put a banner up for the duration, so every page on this website will have an anti-SOPA statement. I don't see a need for a full blackout - and I don't want to turn away those that may need vCardSplit, which accounts for most of my visits.
But I do see a need to protest.
Increasingly, we are heading towards a world with very heavy-handed laws about intellectual property. And that's fine, in principle. I have no problems with it.
I'm the kind of guy who buys his music, films, software and books. I've never liked ripping people off, and if I can get it legally for a reasonable price, I will.
There really should be a rant here about how many companies then won't sell you something and complain that people went and got it illegally anyway. Which is usually the driver for most copyright infringement. But that really is a rant for another day...
If I'm for decent laws about intellectual property, why am I against legislation such as SOPA, PIPA and the UK's Digital Economy Act 2010?
Because they don't get the balance right.
Generally, all IP law being proposed these days has three major faults:
Some exhibitions cost a lot. In theory, Building The Revolution: Soviet Art and Architecture 1915-1935 cost me a tenner. In practice, it cost a lot more as I walked away with three heavy hardcover books...
For me, there are two major things I learnt at this exhibition:
I went into London before sunrise, looking for good photos.
(Which sounds impressive, but it was December 29th, and sunrise was about 8am!)
Knowing that the sun rises behind Tower Bridge, I smelled an easy photo opportunity. But woe is me - I can't decide which one I like better!
I dislike committing to schedules when it comes to creative things.
For starters, sometimes creativity isn't something you can schedule.
But more importantly, I have to choose what to create. Photos, writing or coding?
And then there's balancing this with having a social life, and the general administrivia of being alive.
So committing to a schedule for creative works is difficult, and no matter how much I'd like to commit to something like the 365 Project it just isn't going to happen.
However, maybe I can set an average for to achieve over the next year. Some kind of target without hard deadlines, but that allows for occasional lulls or bouts of high productivity... That's much more like it!
vCardSplit has now been in the wild unchanged for almost seven years.
During all that time, it has collected three bug reports.
It's time to tackle that list.
But that means making decisions. So I've decided to write up those decisions, in order to help me work them out and to keep development of the program somewhat transparent.