MACMULL'S MUSINGS

Thursday, April 26, 2007

A now a message from our Chairman...

Good morning ladies and gentlemen, Officers, Shareholders and members of the Press. In our ongoing effort to entertain our dedicated readers, we here at joelmacmull.com are pleased to announce a new feature, which, we are confident, will bode well for our continued financial success. While we fully recognize that joelmacmull.com maintains a fiduciary obligation to our shareholders, we don't believe that the future of our industry rests with complacency.
Rather, we believe our continued success is inextricably linked to self-ridicule and amusement.

Accordingly, tonight we begin a new segment entitled "Favorite trademark of the day!"

Tonight's selection is:

U.S. Trademark - GASSY GATOR. Serial No. 76116312

Goods & Services Description - Nutritional supplements for stomach ache relief in lollipop forms.

Editor's Note: Brilliant choice in a mark, if for no other reason than the visual conjured up by the alliteration is pretty funny to me.

Less Tragic... More Hip


The other night (Tuesday) I had the fortune of seeing Canada's favorite frat boy band -- The Tragically Hip -- play here in New York. It was a small venue and pales in comparison to some of the larger venues the Hip occupies when they play north of the border.
If my memory is correct, I last saw the Hip play about oh..., I don't know, ...about 12 years ago! Jeez, I'm getting old. Anyway, while they certainly played some tunes I am less familiar with (Editor's note: some of the tracks on their newest album, such as "Lonely end of the rink" are really good), in many respects it was like a greatest hits concert. Such classics, included "Wheat Kings," "Fully Completely," "Bobcageon" and the always popular "Ahead by Century."
What was immediately apparent to me when the band took stage was much older they seemed to me. Visibly absent, was any sense of boyishness that I seemed to remember them possessing. What did make up for it though was Gordie's antics on stage. He was quite a ham. Just a few of his antics are on display at the end of the clip below.
I apologize in advance for the Zapruder like film quality, but are what are you gonna do?

Wednesday, April 25, 2007

Canadian Software Scare


On a recent trip back to Canada, I heard an advertisement on the radio for CAAST. It strikes me as a kind of Crimestoppers for software piracy. Apparently, "CAAST/BSA is currently offering Rewards on a limited time basis to encourage people with information about software piracy in the workplace to come forward and to ensure that those reports are as complete and accurate as possible." Quick, turn in your family members who've circulated a single licensed version of Windows XP.


Most interestingly, in a Section labeled "What will happen to the organization I report?" CAAST apparently has the power to obtain funds from prior infringers, namely, "settle its past liability by making a payment to CAAST based upon its past use of unlicensed software." This is somewhat interesting language in my view because CAAST can't compel such payments, as they are not a government organization. In fact, they go on to mention that they've brought actions against the government in the past for non-compliance. So how do they work? Well, I suspect that they force a settlement or threaten suit, though this too seems problematic to me for both them and the infringers.