When Recording Everything We See Is Standard, What Happens To Copyright?

from the that'll-be-a-fun-legal-battle dept

We've discussed in the past how technology can advance much faster than the law can handle. For example, we've recently had a few posts about the motorcyclist who was arrested for violating Maryland state wiretapping laws, after his helmet cam captured an off-duty cop jump out of his car with a gun drawn to stop the cyclist. That certainly raised some questions about an age when people more regularly film things going on around them. But, it goes way beyond that as well. Over the years, we've written about various experiments in building tools to let people record absolutely everything you see. Some might find this excessive, but there are some interesting applications -- including helping people with their memory.

However, if such things become more common, laws are going to have to adjust -- and copyright law is no exception. David Levine points us to a story about a guy who lost his eye in a hunting accident, and has replaced it with a prosthetic eye that doubles as a video camera, which can also broadcast what he's seeing. Levine, in mentioning this, queries what happens when he goes to the movies? Or, what if he goes to a sporting event with an exclusive broadcast right? We recently wondered how long it would be until some enterprising team of folks all attends a sporting event with smartphones and broadcasts an "alternative" stream of the game.

Now, I'm sure defenders of the current copyright system will immediately dismiss these examples as being either one-off cases or situations where copyright law should apply and these people should definitely get in trouble or be stopped. But it's really going to become overwhelming. As these tools get better and more useful and actually provide additional utility, along the lines of aiding memory or being able to do data lookups, it's going to seem sillier and sillier for people to turn them off just to make some copyright holder happy. It could actually be a key point in making some reconsider the state of copyright law today.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 5:49pm

    Let's just arrest everyone and be done with it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:07pm

    "However, if such things become more common, laws are going to have to adjust -- and copyright law is no exception."

    Or the laws can stay the same and become ignored, pretty much how they're already ignored today. The government is broke, they don't have the money or jail capacity to enforce these laws, and neither do big corporations. Corporations only have the money to pass laws, not to enforce them. 99 percent of the population can do more law evading labor than the law enforcing labor that the top 1 percent can do. Simple population dynamics. The government can't even enforce the war on drugs in jail much less IP laws out of jail. The technology required to enforce these laws is very very expensive, the technology required to evade enforcement technology is substantially cheaper and this disproportionate cost disparity isn't going anywhere. Sure, enforcement technology will improve, but so would evasion technology.

    "Now, I'm sure defenders of the current copyright system will immediately dismiss these examples as being either one-off cases or situations where copyright law should apply and these people should definitely get in trouble or be stopped"

    and offenders of current law will simply dismiss IP laws as irrelevant and nefarious and will just ignore them.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:07pm

    The answer is simple. The world just needs a broadcast flag. It'll be a short radius signal that if you're in the vicinity of copyrighted content, will beam a laser into your eyes to blind you so you can't see it unless you've paid.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:12pm

    MD cops may be being a little over sensitive since they got caught in the beat down of college student in a famous You tube video this spring.

     

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  5.  
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    Barney Fife, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:27pm

    Re:

    I had 'em dead to rights Andy

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
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    Anonymous, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:29pm

    When Recording Everything We See Is Standard, What Happens To Privacy?

    If the police know you recorded something that may be useful to them, can they demand you hand over your footage?

    And how long until all these recordings have to be registered with some government agency and retained for a specific amount of time, as they're now suggesting needs to be done with search engine traffic?

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 6:52pm

    it is pretty easy, actually. in public places, you can record what you can see pretty much with impunity. there are exceptions but the public eye is the public eye. however, you may want to walk around with a "i am recording this and showing it on the internet" sign.

    conversations may be an issue if you havent pre-warned the people that you are recording. that would take a better lawyer than average to figure out.

    if you entered a private space (including public businesses) you might run into issues, from violation of privacy to failure to obtain the right to use the location for filming, depending on circumstance.

    if you enter someones private home, you pretty much better turn the camera off.

    see, it isnt about copyright, it is about privacy. that is what makes this thread the "techdirt whiny friday non-thread", proof that mike will try to pin anything on copyright supporters.

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 7:04pm

    Privacy

    Privacy is not a problem if you never show what you recorded in non-public spaces to anyone besides yourself.

    Copyright, however, is a problem, since you are making a "copy".

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 7:13pm

    Re:

    it is pretty easy, actually. in public places, you can record what you can see pretty much with impunity.

    That's true in private places too, mainly your own, but it's still a fact.

    that would take a better lawyer than average to figure out.

    Common sense should work, but seeing as how the law trumps common sense I guess we should get a lawyer involved.

    if you enter someones private home, you pretty much better turn the camera off.

    Unless you don't. What if the camera is attached directly to my brain and the only way to turn the camera off is to turn my brain off? What if everyone in the world was wired that way?

    see, it isnt about copyright, it is about privacy.

    Yes, privacy does trump copyright, because privacy is natural, and copyright is not.

     

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  10.  
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    R.H. (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 7:44pm

    Re: Re:

    This is my question, I can envision a future where you can intercept signals on the optic nerve between the eye and the brain and store the video on a storage device implanted in the body or even in the brain itself.

    In that case if you let me inside of your 'private home' then you implied that I was allowed to use my eyes to see whatever I saw as long as I didn't go through cabinets behind your back or something. The problem here is that the law doesn't differentiate between storage and optics.

    Is it OK to use the human eye and mechanical storage? Is it OK to use a mechanical eye and storage in the brain? What about the ultimate holy grail of man-machine interfaces, the ability to pull video out of memories. Could I use the video that was stored in my brain via my human eyes?

    Eventually the law will have to deal with these cases. I just hope that we have sensible lawmakers doing so when the time comes.

     

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  11.  
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    Picky, Jun 18th, 2010 @ 8:13pm

    Grammar Mike

    "we've wrote about" should be we've written about.

     

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  12.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 10:45pm

    U R All IdiOTs

    Recording in public is the act of observation. When you see something you are the recorder. Logically when you see or hear something you may record it because you already do in memory.

    The problem here is. Who determines what can be released to other?

    In private recording should require all parties unless a crime is being commited. At which point its open game.

     

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  13.  
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    mike allen (profile), Jun 18th, 2010 @ 11:24pm

    perhaps some can explain

    how can someone be charged with wiretaping when the person had no connection to either the public or police communication system?

     

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  14.  
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    Michael Long (profile), Jun 19th, 2010 @ 12:20am

    "Levine, in mentioning this, queries what happens when he goes to the movies?"

    Nothing. Other than blinding his bionic eye with the movie theater's anti-camera laser system...

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 12:58am

    Re:

    it is pretty easy, actually. in public places, you can record what you can see pretty much with impunity. there are exceptions but the public eye is the public eye. however, you may want to walk around with a "i am recording this and showing it on the internet" sign.

    Lets see, I can come up with at least three counter points found on this very site. (To lazy to look up the stories now.)
    1) As mentioned above, the cop pulling the motorcycle over. The road is a pretty public place. There is also a follow up story about two similar events if I remember correctly.
    2) Google Street View - Need I say more?
    3) Wall Street Bull Statue - And this one is probably most relevant to the actual question. A statue in a public place, and taking and using a photograph of it gave raise to a copyright infringement suit. Heck, why stop there? How about the Korean War Memorial?
    If you extend that, keep in mind every billboard or poster with even a hint of creativity is covered by copyright. Graffiti on a wall you walk past? Copyrighted by creation, and that is public place, so, no I do not think your dismissal is fair, sorry.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 2:24am

    Copyright will die, it is inevitable if a million people think 7 billion will stop sharing, copying and distribution of what they collect, those people are in for a rude awakening in the future. People derive much more benefits from those "illegal" activities then they do following the law, and technology will keep enabling the population even further, today we have gadgets that already record your day, there is glasses coming in the future that will not only record what you see but overlay information into that world, the bad thing is that privacy will be almost non-existent in that world and we will have to come to terms with that too.

    I saw a presentation from a group of researchers from Microsoft demonstrating their research where one could make a call and the people on the market could show them what they were doing while the other was seeing a virtual representation of that market in real time and could send instructions to the other person in that case he was trying to show how a wife could tell her husband what to buy in the market(I think), that of course right now is impossible to do without fear.

    Blaise Aguera y Arcas demos augmented-reality maps
    http://www.ted.com/talks/blaise_aguera.html

     

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  17.  
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    Man From The Future, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 2:38am

    The Future

    Jimmy 12 years old go to school wearing frog mask which he uses to talk to his friends and plan what they will do in that day.

    http://www.frogdesign.com/news/frogconcept-a-digital-escape-05162008.html

    After watching and recording his classes in the morning he hangs out with his friends and transfer images of the cool things he found and ask his friends if they are up to try what they saw in that parkour video in the course of doing the stunt one he gets hurt one of his friends immediately call 911 and ask for help in the meantime he is redirected to a doctor who guide him on how to stabilize Jimmy, the ambulance comes and find Jimmy unconscious but stable and they proceed to download the data from the vital sensors spread across Jimmy's cloth all that data is send to the hospital that is already scrambling to get the right blood type and needed equipment to help Jimmy, police question Jimmy's friend and review the videos recorded from everyone in the scene and conclude it was an accident. Jimmy's parents can see what is happening to him in real time and can see the medical stuff is doing everything possible to help Jimmy.

    Jimmy is now recovering from his injuries and being monitored by a doctor from thousands of miles away that is receiving data from Jimmy's clothes.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    Man From The Future, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 2:46am

    The Future

    Parrot AR Drone (Quadricopter - 4 Propellers) with iPhone App as Controller with Live Video Feed
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2iV7ah8evD4

    Karol gets her air drone and engage her oponents in the streets of her neigbourhood, she destroy 2 opponents before being downed herself, all of this taking place in real and virtual space.

     

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  19.  
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    Man From The Future, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 2:57am

    Those technologies have the potential to totally transform how we interact in society with each other and unfortunately for copyright that technology is already in the realm of possibility, this is not science fiction anymore is possible right now.

    - Sensors that record and monitor not only your vital signs but chemicals in your sweat and under your skin.
    - Microcameras
    - Augmented reality
    - Storage capacity
    - Connectivity(i.e. networks)

    I can envision one network being born out of individuals entirely, that don't even need an ISP to function.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    icon
    Bruce Ediger (profile), Jun 19th, 2010 @ 6:27am

    Re:


    conversations may be an issue if you havent pre-warned the people that you are recording. that would take a better lawyer than average to figure out.

    Wait, shouldn't that be "a better court than average", given that the lawyer only argues a (possibly wrong) viewpoint before a court, but the court actually does the deciding?

    Can I take your article as tacit admission of being a lawyer, as you seem to be giving legal advice?

    Also, e e trollings, you should watch out. Now that you've admitted that it takes a court/lawyer to figure out what constitutes copyright infringement and what doesn't, you should never ever argue that some website (youtube for example) can use some computational or automatic way of deciding what's infringing content. The Collective Memory of Techdirt will remind you that you've argued the other way in the past.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    larry, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 6:30am

    Love

    Love what's going down with all the copyright stuff, becuase it is all leading up to copyright be thrown in into the garbage. Maybe then all the people who have been taking advantage of others under a law that only served to "promote greed" and not the "progress of science and useful art" which is supposedly the objective of copyright law, will then go and get a real job, one where they will be taken advantage of for a chenge.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
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    WammerJammer (profile), Jun 19th, 2010 @ 7:04am

    Re: Let's arrest everyone

    Don't need to be arrested. All of us are already in prison. A Prison run by the Insurance companies who regulate the workplace, travel, and everything that you insure. Welcome to the World of Insurance. You can own nothing without being regulated as to how to use that item by your insurer. I may be called a socialist, but I would rather be managed by the Government that I elect than some faceless executive who makes up rules only to maximize profits.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 19th, 2010 @ 8:58am

    ANSWER to article

    PROFIT

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Jun 19th, 2010 @ 2:48pm

    Re: Re:

    e e trollings

    That made me laugh

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    Fearless Leader, Jun 20th, 2010 @ 3:59am

    Solved

    I have a great system.

    The state makes it law that every audio and video capture device is required to imprint an imperceptible serial number watermark on recorded material. You will be required to show your state issued ID card (UK- very disappointed with the ConLib alliance for scrapping this) on purchase of the device and this would be logged on a government database along with your DNA, health records, emails and text messages. You will be free to film / video anything you wished, however if material is distributed that violates intellectual property, privacy, indecency or (most importantly) anti-terror law it will be traced back to you and you will be punished with impunity.

    Have a great day.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2010 @ 4:51am

    Oh Well, I guess copyright will become a thing of the past.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2010 @ 9:32am

    Oh Well, I guess copyright will become a thing of the past.

    The Amendment Process

    http://www.usconstitution.net/constam.html

    There are essentially two ways spelled out in the Constitution for how to propose an amendment. One has never been used.

    The first method is for a bill to pass both houses of the legislature, by a two-thirds majority in each.

    Once the bill has passed both houses, it goes on to the states.

    This is the route taken by all current amendments.

    Because of some long outstanding amendments, such as the 27th, Congress will normally put a time limit (typically seven years) for the bill to be approved as an amendment (for example, see the 21st and 22nd).

    The second method prescribed is for a Constitutional Convention to be called by two-thirds of the legislatures of the States, and for that Convention to propose one or more amendments.

    These amendments are then sent to the states to be approved by three-fourths of the legislatures or conventions.

    This route has never been taken, and there is discussion in ++"political science circles" ++ about just how such a convention would be convened, and what kind of changes it would bring about.

    Regardless of which of the two proposal routes is taken, the amendment must be ratified, or approved, by three-fourths of states. There are two ways to do this, too.

    The text of the amendment may specify whether the bill must be passed by the state legislatures or by a state convention. See the Ratification Convention Page for a discussion of the make up of a convention. Amendments are sent to the legislatures of the states by default. Only one amendment, the 21st, specified a convention. In any case, passage by the legislature or convention is by simple majority.

    The Constitution, then, spells out four paths for an amendment:

    * Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state conventions (never used)
    * Proposal by convention of states, ratification by state legislatures (never used)
    * Proposal by Congress, ratification by state conventions (used once)
    * Proposal by Congress, ratification by state legislatures (used all other times)

    It is interesting to note that at no point does the President have a role in the formal amendment process (though he would be free to make his opinion known).

    He cannot veto an amendment proposal, nor a ratification. This point is clear in Article 5, and was reaffirmed by the Supreme Court in Hollingsworth v Virginia (3 US 378 [1798]):

    The negative of the President applies only to the ordinary cases of legislation: He has nothing to do with the proposition, or adoption, of amendments to the Constitution.

    http://www.usconstitution.net/constam.html

    Web site designed and maintained by Steve Mount.
    © 1995-2010 by Steve Mount. All rights reserved.

    Please review our privacy policy.
    Skin this site.
    Last Modified: 30 Jan 2010
    -------------------------------------
    (the website is educational,, EVERYONE WHO POSTS HERE SHOULD READ IT)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2010 @ 9:56am

    Re: Oh Well, I guess copyright will become a thing of the past.

    You forgot "armed change"

     

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  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2010 @ 10:02am

    Re: Oh Well, I guess copyright will become a thing of the past.

    Last option forced change.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2010 @ 10:05am

    Re: Re:

    "Now that you've admitted that it takes a court/lawyer to figure out what constitutes copyright infringement and what doesn't, you should never ever argue that some website (youtube for example) can use some computational or automatic way of deciding what's infringing content. The Collective Memory of Techdirt will remind you that you've argued the other way in the past."

    Nah, he'll just say it was somebody else saying that. He yaps and yaps about how anonymity should be banished and that there should be accountability online, but refuses to identify himself (even if it's just by some random alias) just so he won't have to deal with the fact that other people may disagree with him or just prove that he is completely wrong.



    (PS: Notice that this is coming from another anonymous coward, so take it for what it's worth).

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2010 @ 1:44pm

    Re: Oh Well, I guess copyright will become a thing of the past.

    Most people do not live in that country.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 20th, 2010 @ 4:41pm

    Re: Re: Oh Well, I guess copyright will become a thing of the past.

    Doesn't the US stand for Universal Society?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    V, Jun 20th, 2010 @ 9:49pm

    There are other options:

    - People can ignore the law and be confident that inability to enforce it will cause them no harm, it has been done for thousands of years now, chances are that will work pretty well still.

    - Force change through armed imposition.

    - Force change through change in habits, if everybody start looking at the licenses closely they can find alternatives and those people opposing it will have to adopt those licenses too or they can be out of the consumer radar.

    - People can make a list of things they want changed into law and elect one government just for that purpose, can you imagine, millions of voters united to put anybody and by anybody I mean anyone, you put the guy's there so they can vote and pass those laws people want it doesn't matter who it is.

    The law is not the only way to change, there are other ways.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    V, Jun 20th, 2010 @ 9:58pm

    The U.S. government want those laws so it can force other countries to obey and a excuse to use force so it can try and maintain their own business competitive since they got humiliated on the global market by business from third world countries.

    I think people should start a "We want to change congress", put all those rats out of a job and pass laws that will cancel their pensions, because they didn't serve the country.

    Change the liars from congress the support corporations to liars the support the people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2010 @ 2:58am

    Re: Re:

    Such is our TAM. Where would techdirt be without him?

    BTW, sorry, I didn't get the whole e e trollings bit.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2010 @ 3:04am

    Re: Oh Well, I guess copyright will become a thing of the past.

    The constitution doesn't specify that congress must grant monopoly power, just that it has power to do so. That's not to say congress must exercise that power. Congress can simply choose not to exercise it if people elect officials that don't like intellectual property. It is not unconstitutional for congress to choose not to grant intellectual property privileges.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    BBT, Jun 21st, 2010 @ 11:09am

    Re: Re: Re:

    There's a [terrible, but considered by critics to be "good"] poet who goes by the moniker e e cummings who doesn't really care for any of the rules of grammar, spelling, or capitalization. Here's an example of one of his amazing poems:

    n(o)w

    the
    how
    dis(appeared cleverly)world

    iS Slapped:with;liGhtninG
    !

    at
    which(shal)lpounceupcrackw(ill)jumps
    of
    THuNdeRB
    loSSo!M iN
    -visiblya mongban(gedfrag-
    ment ssky?wha tm)eani ngl(essNessUn
    rolli)ngl yS troll s(who leO v erd)oma insCol

    Lide.!high
    n , o ;w:
    theraIncomIng

    o all the roofs roar
    drownInsound(
    &
    (we(are like)dead
    )Whoshout(Ghost)atOne(voiceless)O
    ther or im)
    pos
    sib(ly as
    leep)
    But l!ook-
    s

    U

    n:starT birDs(IEAp)Openi ng
    t hing ; s(
    -sing
    )all are aLI(cry alL See)o(ver All)Th(e grEEn

    ?eartH)N,ew


    Brilliant!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2010 @ 1:24pm

    So when a crime occurs one of the first thing the authorties seek out is security cameras and other such. Since it's since the police are now arguing that recording without permission is illegal. How soon until a case gets thrown out of a mugging murder etc because the recording was done without permission.

     

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  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 21st, 2010 @ 8:54pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Tam's postings resemble archy more, though (a fictional cockroach -- yeah, I know -- who typed poetry but never used capitals due to his size and inherent difficult with hitting the Shift key). I'd attribute e e to TP, but he's already got a non-AC moniker by which he proudly stands.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Jun 22nd, 2010 @ 8:08am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    lol, thanks for clearing that up for me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    Flaskpost, Jul 14th, 2010 @ 11:46am

    Bann eyes

    The only logical solution here, is to Bann Eyes.
    Remove all eyes Now! If you see something, parts of it is copied to your memory in your brain which must be concidered a violation of copyright!

    Bann all eyes now!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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