Ironically this article describes what I started feeling while reading it:
I was wondering myself, why? Why consume time, energy to write something that adds no value whatsoever. Why consuming that little amount of electricity required for you to type and that little amount of storage required to host your (destructive) boring comment. And why are you making the arrogant assumptions that we want to invest our time and energy in reading your comment too?"
<<This lecture is the intellectual property of Professor S.W.Hawking. You may not reproduce, edit, translate, distribute, publish or host this document in any way with out the permission of Professor Hawking.>>
How to write for the net, 1980's style. It feels like a provocation to do so.
One of the greatest minds alive giving a talk about a really interesting thought-provoking topic, and all you can comment on is the top line stating the authors wishes about how his work is used.
If I recall correctly he is in academia dealing with some massive questions, I don't think he has put a lot of emphasis on how his website is constructed or maintained, as long as its readable to the public.
Hmm, I think some people on Hacker News are in too much of a bubble giving no thought to the priorities of others. Not everyone builds web apps. Sorry dude just seems like such a silly thing to comment on. I'll get off my pedestal now. :)
I agree with you. Copyright is already automatically applicable. It's not like this further protects anything, it just browbeats the reader. A statement like this at the beginning of an article/talk is a big turnoff for me. Most researchers are excited to share their thoughts and ideas, not interested in jealously guarding them. (Especially when, as here, all the ideas are already known.)
For those saying that Stephen Hawking deserves a free pass, if we apply different standards to different people then that's not morality, it's just convenience. And anyway I doubt it was his idea to post that notice, more likely a misguided publisher.