Thursday, January 19, 2012

Half-Plants, Navajo, and Copyrights (Link Round-Up 1/19/12)

Supreme Court rules 6-2 that Congress can re-patent/copyright works in public domain
Anthony Falzone, executive director of the Fair Use Project at Stanford University and a plaintiff’s lawyer in the case, called the decision “unfortunate” and said it “suggests Congress is not required to pay particularly close attention to the interests of the public when it passes copyright laws.” 
The majority, however, rebuffed charges that a decision in favor of Congress’ move would amount to affording lawmakers the right to legislate perpetual copyright terms.
Half-plant, half-animal?
These hybrids play merry hell with our attempts to classify organisms into neat groups. "The division between plants and animals is collapsing completely," Moestrup says. Instead, many microorganisms may be animal and plant at once, or switch between the two, like M. rubrum.
Native Americans angry over fashion world's appropriation of "traditional" imagery 
“There’s the whole economic stratification issue of it,” she writes. “These designs are expensive. The new Portland Collection ranges from $48 for a tie to over $700 for a coat. The Opening Ceremony collection was equally, if not more, costly. It almost feels like rubbing salt in the wound, when poverty is rampant in many Native communities, to say ‘Oh, we designed this collection based on your culture, but you can’t even afford it!’”
How China is courting the Islamic world with construction projects
China's push to provide its international business partners with Islamic infrastructure, Tarin said, is part of a larger strategy to win over the Muslim world. Although many foreign Muslim individuals continue to do business with the United States, America has lost much of its soft power and economic discourse with the governments of many Muslim-majority nations over the past decade, leaving China an opening.
The hidden geoglyphs under the Amazon rainforest
“If one wants to recreate pre-Columbian Amazonia, most of the forest needs to be removed, with many people and a managed, highly productive landscape replacing it,” said William Woods, a geographer at the University of Kansas who is part of a team studying the Acre geoglyphs. 
“I know that this will not sit well with ardent environmentalists,” Mr. Woods said, “but what else can one say?”

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