Talk Like a Pirate, but don’t walk the plank

The Pirates, who had not had a winning season since 1992, got to 81 wins, then had a four-game losing streak, before winning #82 last week.

It suddenly occurred to me a while back that all these deals whereby you get something, and you are required to pay for it over and over (and over and over) again through mandated leases, such as Software as a Service (SaaS), are forms of corporate piracy. As my buddy Steve Bissette ranted – I think it was regarding a policy by Adobe or Microsoft: “We can afford them once and that’s what we can afford. We want to own almost all things we buy. With few exceptions, we don’t wish to buy or support those things which do not wish to be purchased outright. We do not need more monthly bills. We do not wish to interact with you regularly for permission to be permitted to use what we purchase to use.”

Did you know you can’t buy an electronic copy of the Oxford English Dictionary? It is “only available as monthly rentals, services that come with expansive data-collecting policies and which cannot be owned.” Cory Doctorow “mentioned this to some librarians at the American Library Association conference in Chicago this spring and they all said, effectively: ‘Welcome to the club. This is what we have to put up with all the time.'”

Speaking of whom: The site for Cory Doctorow’s 2012 novel Pirate Radio, which I have not read, makes it sound intriguing. “When Trent McCauley’s obsession for making movies by reassembling footage from popular films causes his home s internet to be cut off, it nearly destroys his family. Shamed, Trent runs away to London. A new bill threatens to criminalize even harmless internet creativity. Things look bad, but the powers-that-be haven’t entirely reckoned with the power of a gripping movie to change people’s minds…”

A sensible Internet policy platform.

Author Scott Lynch responds to a critic of the character Zamira Drakasha, a black woman pirate in his fantasy book Red Seas Under Red Skies, the second novel of the Gentleman Bastard series.

Democracy ruled under the Jolly Roger?
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We’re talking baseball here: At the All-Star break, the St. Louis Cardinals were 57-36, .613. The Pittsburgh PIRATES were 56-37, .602. Since then, these two teams, plus the Cincinnati Reds have continued to be in a heated pennant race. One of the teams will win the National League Central Division, and almost certainly, the other two will play a one-game playoff. The Pirates, who had not had a winning season since 1992, got to 81 wins, then had a four-game losing streak, before winning #82 last week, breaking that terrible string. I’m rooting for them. How could I not?