Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the bringing-the-funny dept

Let's jump right in. The winner of this week's most insightful is no stranger to these "winner" lists over the past few months, as it's Capitalist Lion Tamer yet again, with his comment on Kutiman's latest Youtube remix song:
You can call it "piracy." You can call it "derivative." You can call it "infringement." You can call it whatever your joyless mind imagines it to be. If you can't see the beauty of creating something cohesive from a collection of unrelated parts, then your definition of "art" is incredibly narrow.

If you can't find a single thing interesting or wondrous or flat-out kickass in Kutiman's works or the works of the thousands of other cut-n-paste and mashup artists, then I truly believe your soul is dead. It most likely died at whatever point you believe music stopped being "innovative." (In most cases, this seems to be somewhere in the late 1970's. Of course, there are always outliers...)

Go ahead and heap your derision on these works of art. You'll receive nothing but scorn, lightly sprinkled with pity, from me.
Coming in second is fogbugzd, with his comment in response to someone who accused us of not wanting the NY Times to make money in talking about the NYT's paywall. Fogbugzd explained how that's not it at all:
I don't think the typical TD'er is against the NYT making money off its own content. A lot of us make at least some money off of our own content in one way or another. TD itself makes money off of its content, and no one objects at all. Most of us want musicians, authors, actors, directors, and other artists to get paid for their work.

I dont' think most of us are even angry with the NYT. We are, I think, amused. It is kind of like seeing a banana peel lying on the sidewalk. We know someone is going to slip on it eventually. If we could pick it up we would, but we can't reach it. We can yell and holler to people to be careful, but no one is listening. Since we are pretty sure someone is going to slip on it eventually, all we can do is sit back and watch the show. Maybe we shouldn't be enjoying watch someone fall, but we know that the people who will be tripped up are likely to be arrogant stuffed shirts who are ignoring the world around them.

The unifying theme to the TD perspective is that the Internet and digital media have changed market for many products. There are some ways to make money in the new market, but they are different. We celebrate the new economics and frequently share success stories. I think if Mike had his way, TD would be mostly about sharing the new and innovative methods people are using to share their crafts and make a good living at it.

TD tends to go negative when we encounter stories that involve the people who refuse to adapt to the new realities and try to roll back time to an era when their old business models let them rake in lots of cash. Typically, those are gatekeepers or artists who made it big under the old system. The NYT is trying to do that. The thing that I find most amusing is that the folks promoting the paywall don't even seem to understand what made their old business model work.
And, finally, for editor's choice, I'm going with a comment from an anonymous DJ responding to the fact that copyright holders are starting to crackdown on DJs posting mixes to Soundcloud:
I'm a DJ. I can't speak on behalf of all my peers, but this has resulted in many of my friends moving to the friendlier "mixcloud" service instead. But generally, if a track is DMCA'd I won't hear it, meaning I won't buy it, meaning I won't play it for hundreds of people enjoying the set. DJs in my scene play many tracks from first-time artists, local heads, independent labels, etc. The more you care about your track not being "stolen", the less likely anyone will listen to/download/buy it. There is massive competition, and the culture and labels in general are very friendly to sharing tracks and remixing copyrighted content. It gets the word out, and in what is now a really saturated market, that matters. A lot. Also, when labels region-restrict a track, and I like it, it means I won't buy it but I will find a way to acquire it. Otherwise I buy 100% of the tracks on my set when a purchase link is available (there are a lot of artists share download links to their own track among the scene). Im not familiar with the "top 40/hiphop" bar dj experience- nor do I want to be in the position of being told what to play.

What soundcloud did is a grave mistake. The culture on both the consumer side and label/artist side in the electronic music and dj scene is remarkably forward thinking and anti-restrictive copyright. Soundcloud, by catering to the dj, should have known better. Warner Bros/Sony/BMG can't save them from the exodus unless soundcloud completely sells out and leaves the dj behind (at this rate, good riddance. When will these companies realize that they are REPLACEABLE. Especially when restricting consumer's ability). BTW, Itunes is not one of our storefronts.
Moving over to the funny side of the aisle, we've got Khstapp discussing some planned updates to the NY Times paywall:
The Times announced updates to the subscription price of its print copy. Readers who wish to turn the pages of the Times with their right hand will pay $1 per copy whereas left handed use will cost $1.25. Readers can use either hand for $1.50 a copy. If you carry your copy of the Times folded under your arm with the front page facing outward you will be charged an additional $.25 a copy in case a passerby reads the headline. There is no carrying charge if you carry your copy hidden from prying eyes in your briefcase or backpack. For an additional $2 a month you will receive a 'clipping' license which allows you to cut out up to 10 articles per month to share with friends and relatives. Print subscribers can share an unlimited number of clippings with other Times print subscribers. Finally, for an addition $1 per month subscribers can purchase a 'pet rider' which allows you to line litter boxes and birdcages with used (at least 5 days old) copies of the Times.
Coming in second is an anonymous user, actually copying an old, old joke, in response to Sheriff Joe Arpaio's letter blaming Craigslist for helping him catch some criminals:
Dear Sheriff Arpaio:

Some asshole is writing stupid letters to me and signing your name to them.

Sincerely,

Jim Buckmaster
President and CEO, Craigslist
And, since we're on the fake letter trip, I'll also include the third place finish from Chris Rhodes, publishing his "letter" from Sony concerning a potential boycott of Sony products:
Dear Sehlat,

As you no doubt know, boycotts interfere with Sony's business model. Every product you don't buy from us reduces our profit, and I think it's easy to see that reduced profit is nothing more than stealing by another name. Accordingly, we are sending you this cease-and-desist letter to stop your illegal actions against Sony. To avoid the threat of further legal action, you must immediately:

(1) Cease your boycott of Sony products.
(2) Cease discussing boycotts of Sony products.
(3) Buy three (3) Playstation 3 consoles.

In addition to our ability to prosecute you for theft, your state senator has also been presented with a proposal to make interference with a business model a felony absent reasonable cause ("reasonable cause" to be determined by Sony Corporation) punishable by up to 30 years in prison and fines of no less than $150,000 per interference. Given that your state senator has worked for Sony in the past, and will no doubt work for us again in the future, his vote on this legislation seems obvious.

We hope that, given the above, you will come around to see our side of things and we can resolve this situation amicably. Our research on you indicates that you seem to have built a nice life for yourself. Would be a shame if anything were to happen to it.

Sincerely,
Sony
And, because I'm greedy, I'll include two quick ones as "editor's choice" this week. The first is from Gwiz, discussing Russia's decision not to recognize the Pirate Party, because it doesn't like the name (well, that's the official excuse):
Maybe they should drop the "P" and become the Irate Party.

A lot of the issues that they stand against certainly piss me off.
And, finally, we have Rekrul, discussing the lack of due process in the recent domain name seizures:
All suspects are innocent until proven guilty.*

*Some restrictions apply. Limited time offer. Not valid in all locations. Details may vary. Subject to eligibility.
And, there you go... on to a new week...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Mar 27th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

    Thanks for the votes...

    The other two "insightful" commenters should have taken the prize this week. My comment was pretty much just a fairly coherent rant.

     

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    holeinthewall (profile), Mar 27th, 2011 @ 1:18pm

    I enjoyed the two comments on the NYTimes.

    I have been trying for months to attempt to get a discussion going on at the Times between the public and management/owners on what I thought was a dumb idea coming down the tubes that compose the Internet.

    I am a very very frequent commenter on many Times blogs and opinion pieces, have been for years, and have no intention of paying one cent to supply them with my opinions, humour, and views that they would then use to sell their own product.

    Although my comments on this were published, no public debate was undertaken by the NYTimes.

    Sulzberger did not respond to my e-mail sent via the Public Editor.

    So now I use https://twitter.com/timeswiretap for my access, and if they close the holes supplying that I'll use one of the other tricks out there, and if they close it tightly enough I'm gone.

    Bravo to the techies who made themselves $40 million dollars on this without pointing out to the owners the huge holes in the wall they were building to the Times' specifications.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 1:38pm

    It wasn't a very good week, was it.

    Mike, perhaps you can add "Masnick's biggest errors of the week" to the mix. That would at least add something to the game.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 1:49pm

    Re:

    Why not start your own blog then? It can be a troll blog, where all the techdirt trolls can hang out and troll their hearts out, instead of hanging out on Techdirt and constantly making themselves look foolish.

     

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  5.  
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    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Mar 27th, 2011 @ 2:01pm

    Re: Thanks for the votes...

    This is the internet. A coherent rant is a precious thing.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 2:04pm

    Re: Re:

    That would require them to actually create something, instead of, you know, leeching off of this site. They're so unoriginal.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 3:09pm

    Re: Re:

    You go where the audience is. I can stand in an empty field waving my arms hoping for attention, or I can stand in the middle of a busy train station and get on a soap box.

    Think of it as "remix culture for opinion blogs". Why make anything original of your own when you can just leech off of everyone else?

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 3:20pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So IP maximists are unable to make anything original and capable of attracting an audience so they leech off of Techdirt?

     

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  9.  
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    Mr. Oizo, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

    Forum for trolls

     

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  10.  
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    Kaden (profile), Mar 27th, 2011 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So you're the blog equivalent of that spittle flecked graybeard in gumboots and a plaid waistcoat screaming at startled passers-by about The End Of Days?

    Long suspected, now confirmed.

     

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  11.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 3:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Then IP maximists will turn around and claim that most people agree with them, and these laws were put in place because most people want them, but if that were the case, then why do they have to go to sites that they constantly avidly criticize for an audience? Why not just start your own blog and attract your own audience?

     

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  12.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 3:31pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    They are what they hate.

     

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    Marcus Carab (profile), Mar 27th, 2011 @ 3:41pm

    Re:

    Mike, perhaps you can add "Masnick's biggest errors of the week" to the mix

    And the winner is... "Not Banning TAM"

     

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    Kaotik4266 (profile), Mar 27th, 2011 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Forum for trolls

    I'm a little disappointed that second one doesn't actually exist...

     

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  15.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 4:27pm

    Re: Re:

    Techdirt definition of troll: Anyone that doesn't drink the Mike Masnick kool-aid

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re:

    That's his biggest error of every week.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 4:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    (btw, I'm j/k)

     

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  18.  
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    Mr. Oizo, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 5:00pm

    Re: Re: Forum for trolls

    I was too, when I typed it :-)

     

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  19.  
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    Joe (profile), Mar 27th, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I've never understood why, when it comes to passing laws, the 'majority' are not criminals and want the new laws, but the reason they say they need the laws is because the 'majority' are pirates and are killing their business.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 5:29pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Fighting consumer wants is totally productive! We should make a law! That will help. How could it hurt?

     

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  21.  
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    Rose M. Welch (profile), Mar 27th, 2011 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You go where the audience is. I can stand in an empty field waving my arms hoping for attention, or I can stand in the middle of a busy train station and get on a soap box.

    Regardless of where you're standing, you're still an idiot.

     

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  22.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 8:01pm

    I think if Mike had his way, TD would be mostly about sharing the new and innovative methods people are using to share their crafts and make a good living at it.

    When you find out what's preventing him from having his way with what gets posted here (and instead forcing him to spend inordinate amounts of time and pixels doing nothing but tearing down everyone and everything that represents the 'old' regime), you let us know.

     

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  23.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 8:32pm

    Re:

    "and instead forcing him to spend inordinate amounts of time and pixels doing nothing but tearing down everyone and everything that represents the 'old' regime"

    It's OK for big corporations to spend inordinate amounts of campaign contribution and lobbying time and money to wrongfully obtain 95+ year copy protection lengths for no good reason, but when someone criticizes them for it, then all of a sudden it's unacceptable.

     

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  24.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 27th, 2011 @ 8:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    doesn't make it less true.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 8:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I thought the definition was people so incapable of forming a coherent argument that they have to resort to whining about a vast conspiracy of kool-aid drinkers?

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 8:50pm

    Re: Re:

    (heck, it really doesn't even take them all that long to get laws passed anymore, they got the DMCA passed relatively quickly and ACTA seemed to be moving forward relatively quickly, at least before some public resistance started building up. It's a shame that the public has to spend inordinate amounts of time and effort to repeal absurd laws, like 95+ year copy protection lengths, or even to prevent the passage of laws that will make the existing legal situation even more absurd, like ACTA, and it's a shame that ACTA was negotiated in private with industry reps, only to be released after it was leaked, and it was only the leak and the ensuing public outrage that resulted in the most oppressive portions of it being modified, but the industry can typically get their laws passed at the drop of a hat. But no one said resisting absurdly bad laws would be easy, it does take time and effort, but it's well worth the effort and those who make the effort to resist these laws to change them should be commended for their willingness to go up against such a corrupt and powerful corporate/government complex with tons resources and lots of effort and money focused only on scamming the public and with such little regard for what the public wants that the govt seems to simply ignore the inordinate efforts of its citizens who demand reasonable laws).

     

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  27.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 8:59pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    and despite the fact that it's relatively easy for the industry to get its absurd laws passed, it still spends inordinate amounts of time and effort to make the laws even more absurd. No matter how absurd the laws become, they want them to become even more absurd. Yet, the moment someone criticizes them for it, it's unacceptable.

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 9:16pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Hmmm...so if you go where the audience is and they are all here, you are admitting that your position is unpopular and others agree with Mike more.

    You are adorable LoL

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 9:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I did say for a second that the audience is "all here", only there there is an audience and active posters, not just readers.

    There are some friendly people like Rose, who takes breaks from home schooling her kids to insult people. That's always so welcoming.

     

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  30.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 10:44pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Then they turn around and claim that we're the ones unable to entertain opposing viewpoints. What a bunch of garbage.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 27th, 2011 @ 11:03pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nobody said it was unacceptable, well, except you.

    But all it is is trashing stuff. The proposed alternatives are extraordinarily vague, and all speculative. If there are all these awesome new business models and all these awesome new mechanisms for creating content, why are the posts about them outnumbered by the posts doing nothing but bitching by a huge ratio? Is there a little less "there" there than is constantly claimed? That's the implication.

    Even Slashdot stopped the constant bitchfest about Microsoft. The quality of the place improved mightily when that happened, by the way.

    I understand the value of bitching to "raise awareness," but is there any interest in actually changing things? Because if you haven't noticed, people with viewpoints opposing yours seem to be doing a better job. I'm pretty sure that they recognize that the attention of decisionmakers and lawmakers is a scarce resource. For people that claim to understand the implications of scarcity, gaining access to those scarce resources seems pretty elusive to ya.

    I know, I know, all the decisionmakers are dumb and corrupt. As long as you keep really believing that, you will have a really hard time changing anything, because these people are keys to enacting change. If you can't bring yourself to deal with them, then people who can will have their ears.

    You know how "piracy" is an unfortunate fact that you want media companies to just suck it up and deal with because it's not going away? Well, the way decisions actually get made in the wider world isn't a pure objective ideal. This is an unfortunate fact, and you're going to have to suck it up and deal with it, because it's not going away. You can try to fight it, or you can develop and innovate influence models that work.

     

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    The eejit (profile), Mar 28th, 2011 @ 1:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Who needs to drink it? I snort it with a side of kitten souls.

     

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    Planespotter (profile), Mar 28th, 2011 @ 1:44am

    "People with viewpoints opposing yours seem to be doing a better job."

    Yes, a better job at suing their fanbase, at entering into patent wars, at using legal frameworks inproperly to stifle free speech, at spending vast quantities of cash on legal teams rather than innovation and R&D teams, blah, blah, etc, etc.

    There are many posts on TD highlighting success stories where people and companies have embraced different business models are we expected to provide you wtih links? or can you do your own digging?

     

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  34.  
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    Richard (profile), Mar 28th, 2011 @ 2:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


    I understand the value of bitching to "raise awareness," but is there any interest in actually changing things? Because if you haven't noticed, people with viewpoints opposing yours seem to be doing a better job. I'm pretty sure that they recognize that the attention of decisionmakers and lawmakers is a scarce resource. For people that claim to understand the implications of scarcity, gaining access to those scarce resources seems pretty elusive to ya.


    You do have a point here.

    However they have had over 300 years of practice at it. I suppose that the real problem is that for most of the 300 years the public (even the concerned minority of the public represented by the readership of this blog) didn't really care too much because the technology of the time was a bigger inhibitor of sharing than the law. After all no-one ever got sued for copying out a book by hand! (Unless you believe that the case of St Columba is not a later invention). Also, in those days, the law was not so extreme and (for example) the collection societies didn't pursue people for singing at work!

    During that period the publishing industry got used to the idea that (since copyright was effectively a private bargain within the industry) they could ask for and get just about whatever they wanted. In that time the convention was established (not unreasonably given the prevailing situation) that the only "stakeholders" that needed to be included in the discussion were industry types.

    However I do not believe the current situation will last for ever. Such consensuses have been overturned in the past - one need only to consider global warming. Opinions that were once only held by "voices crying out in the wilderness" are now mainstream and what used to be the government/big business line now attracts the same kind of derision as Nazi apologetics (cf "climate deniers" used in the same tone as "holocaust deniers"). I do not think that this will happen quickly - the entertainment industry is much more entrenched than the oil industry was (and the oil industry has shown itself to be much more flexible - or at least to appear so).

    Finally - if you want to know - there is considerable interest in changing things. I have been active in the campaign against s/w patents in Europe (via the ffii), the campaign against the DEA in the UK (via ORG and 38 degrees) and the imposition of DRM on HD TV in the UK (again via ORG and 38 degrees). Mike has frequently put in submissions to public consultations in the US. The problem we have is that most of us are acting as amateurs/ concerned citizens and we are up against professional, paid lobbyists. However I am not pessimistic in the long run - I think we will prevail - not least because the "vague" business models that you dismiss will ultimately become the dominant ones.

     

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  35.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 2:29am

    Response to: Planespotter on Mar 28th, 2011 @ 1:44am

    Yes, a better job at suing their fanbase, at entering into patent wars, at using legal frameworks inproperly to stifle free speech, at spending vast quantities of cash on legal teams rather than innovation and R&D teams, blah, blah, etc, etc.

    Are you at all concerned with actually changing any of this, or are you just interested in repeatedly pointing it out? What is it that you think repeatedly pointing it out accomplishes?

    There are many posts on TD highlighting success stories where people and companies have embraced different business models are we expected to provide you wtih links? or can you do your own digging?

    Well digging would be the right word for it, wouldn't it now? Success stories are outnumbered by complaints what, five to one? Ten to one?

    Why is this the case? I would be fascinated to have more insight into the agenda behind this blog. Is it supposed to be a big ad for Floor64 consulting services? An effort to maximize pageviews and convert them to sales of T-shirts and ads? Is there a real agenda to change laws or how the New York Times does business?

    Do the people who read and post here even know?

    If this is all a big ad or pageview farm, I can happily accept that. Hell, I would probably not even feel the need to post here if that were the case...

     

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  36.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 2:34am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Here's some advice for you from Dogbert:

    http://dilbert.com/fast/1992-07-29/

     

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  37.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 2:50am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Finally - if you want to know - there is considerable interest in changing things. I have been active in the campaign against s/w patents in Europe (via the ffii), the campaign against the DEA in the UK (via ORG and 38 degrees) and the imposition of DRM on HD TV in the UK (again via ORG and 38 degrees).

    This is, at least, a start. But while you individually have been involved in some more mature, organized "influence models," what about your compatriots? What about the writing staff here? Where are the calls to organize? Where are the positive positions and very specific requests for change? This community has been actively but unorganizedly complaining for years now. All of World War II was fought in roughly the same time period.

    Mike has frequently put in submissions to public consultations in the US.

    And what becomes of these? Are they any more effective than the average Internet petition? Activities that are barely-not-slacktivism aren't compelling.

    The problem we have is that most of us are acting as amateurs/ concerned citizens and we are up against professional, paid lobbyists.

    But you realize that other groups like you have accomplished some change, right? You point out environmentalists as an example. Why isn't this group studying those groups? Why aren't tactics and strategies that have actually gotten things accomplished being promulgated here?

    You have also noticed that lobbying seems to work. When one of the big file sharing sites hired lobbyists (yes, you can do this) I posted that, while I may disagree with the position, at least they were trying an effective strategy. I immediately and repeatedly got sniped at because this was not how government is supposed to work. Maybe it isn't, but that is how it does work.

    Has anybody suggested collecting some money from people using these fantastically-successful new business models to go hire some paid, professional lobbyists? If so, who? If not, why not?

     

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  38.  
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    Richard (profile), Mar 28th, 2011 @ 2:56am

    Re: Response to: Planespotter on Mar 28th, 2011 @ 1:44am

    I would be fascinated to have more insight into the agenda behind this blog. Is it supposed to be a big ad for Floor64 consulting services? An effort to maximize pageviews and convert them to sales of T-shirts and ads? Is there a real agenda to change laws or how the New York Times does business?

    Do the people who read and post here even know?


    Hopefully Mike will chime in with some data - however I think one needs to distinguish the mission/purpose of an organisation from its revenue stream. Successful (long lived) organisations (like for example the Universities of Oxford and Cambridge) know how to do this. Commercial organisations typically don't - which is why few survive for more than a hundred years - and most are gone much quicker.

    I think the purpose of techdirt is to provide a forum for debate on how business needs to adapt to technological (and social) change. Revenue can come from Ads, or from consulting - but neither is the "raison d'etre".

     

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    The eejit (profile), Mar 28th, 2011 @ 3:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    1) Mike has written to the USPTR fro years on ths subject.

    2) Not really, but then, when the USPTR and WIPO ignore the calls for a wholsale scaling-down of copyrights, bribes win. I have sent a number of letters to WIPO personally, and have yet to recieve a single response, even an automated thank you.

    3)I agree wholeheartedly, especially when you effectively legalise corruption as a viable political strategy.

     

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

  40.  
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    The eejit (profile), Mar 28th, 2011 @ 3:08am

    Re: Response to: Planespotter on Mar 28th, 2011 @ 1:44am

    I do. I'm currentl;y working on a device to suck out the souls and consciousness of the entire human race. That way, we won't need no stinkin' laws.

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 3:15am

    I think the purpose of techdirt is to provide a forum for debate on how business needs to adapt to technological (and social) change. Revenue can come from Ads, or from consulting - but neither is the "raison d'etre".

    If that is the case, then why is there no persistent place for debate? Many insightful comments and, indeed, criticisms lie fallow because they fall off the front page. In a real debate, you cannot just avoid responding to something just because the topic gets old.

    If the idea is to provide a forum, why are only a tiny number of people allowed to set discussion topics and why do they all share a practically identical ideology?

    If the plan is to reform business then where are the businesses? How are they being engaged?

    Finally, I don't think it can be easily assumed that the revenue stream and the agenda of a place like this can be so nicely cleaved. Oxford is an extreme exception, not the rule. Even in organizations with vast resources and seemingly untouchable revenue streams, it is always useful to know the agenda and how it generates money. Consider Google: while they have a money-printing machine in the form of AdWords and can afford to try some very interesting things out without creating money, many of their business decisions make a lot more sense if you interpret them in the context of their being an Internet advertising company.

     

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

  42.  
    icon
    Planespotter (profile), Mar 28th, 2011 @ 3:28am

    Re: Response to: Planespotter on Mar 28th, 2011 @ 1:44am

    Unfortunately I'm but a consumer... but in my own way I'm hoping to enable change, I can't do it at the company so I do it via my wallet. Any organisation that acts as a gatekeeper doesn't get my cash directly, my music purchases are primarily in pc formats and I buy from artists and bands direct, no itunes, amazon etc. At parties I'll play stuff that no-one has heard of or stream music from sites like Grooveshark/Spotify. Physical products i pick up 2nd hand form ebay or charity shops. Lots of my friends thought I was nuts hunting through the local charity shops for a Bluray of Avatar... when I got it for 3.50 they started to join me hunting for stuff too!

     

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  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 3:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    1) Mike has written to the USPTR fro years on ths subject.

    How's that working out for all y'all?

    2) Not really, but then, when the USPTR and WIPO ignore the calls for a wholsale scaling-down of copyrights, bribes win. I have sent a number of letters to WIPO personally, and have yet to recieve a single response, even an automated thank you.

    So why do you keep sending them?

    Additionally, why do you think it must be bribes? What if, for every one letter you send, the Sony guys who write the DRM send three? What if the authors guild has 100 authors that send letters every month explaining why copyright extension is vital to the national interest?

    Also, a letter from the CxO of a company in your congressperson's district that employs thousands of people and pays lots and lots of taxes is likely to hold more sway than a letter from "The eejit." even if they don't attend fundraisers and make campaign contributions.

    Bribery and corruption are harsh terms, and I can pretty much guarantee you if you open a dialog with your congressperson about patents by accusing them of being on the take, nothing you say after that is going to matter much. If you try it, though, let me know how it goes.

    Think of the current systems of influence like your version of piracy and follow the advice you'd give an author or company dealing with piracy.

     

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  44.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 3:38am

    Re: Re: Response to: Planespotter on Mar 28th, 2011 @ 1:44am

    I don't know how effective that will be, but at least you're doing it honestly and that's something. I can't stand the blokes who practice "civil disobedience" by just pirating everything and then doing their best to hide their identities. I wonder what would have happened if Rosa Parks had worn a Guy Fawkes mask.

     

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

  45.  
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    Planespotter (profile), Mar 28th, 2011 @ 3:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Response to: Planespotter on Mar 28th, 2011 @ 1:44am

    I suppose for honesty and openess then I should tell you that I have pirated many things over the years, I even worked with a group for 3-4 years pirating all manner of educational material and sharing it to the "freetard" masses ;)

    I'm older these days and my needs are less, now I just don't buy from big business anymore.

     

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  46.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 4:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Response to: Planespotter on Mar 28th, 2011 @ 1:44am

    You obviously don't know the story of how changes always emerge do you?

    Start with people disobeying the law, hiding and then getting tired of the hiding and starting to openly do it.

    Have you seen the photos from the execution of the great purge in Mao's China?

    People hide of course, the more things get harsher the more people hide, in the USSR it was a capital crime to have music from the west, and people still pirate everything.

    Are you so stupid to think you can stop anyone from listening to music? or watching something if they want to?

     

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  47.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 4:35am

    Re:

    This is as persistent as it could get, every year you get the same news and the same debates just in different stories, so I don't understand where you don't see persistence LoL

    Also we keep discussing the same things in every article with the same people always opposing the same things, I don't see that in any other place, maybe you can point me to a copyright vanguard website that allow freely discussions and anonymous?

    Good luck trying to find one though.

     

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  48.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 4:38am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Quote:
    So why do you keep sending them?


    Why not, it cost pennies to do it and maybe someday someone honest will take notice.

    I also believe people should have prepared letters to send to all their representatives and send those same letters once a year every year for the rest of their lifes until something changes.

     

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  49.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 4:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Quote:
    And what becomes of these? Are they any more effective than the average Internet petition? Activities that are barely-not-slacktivism aren't compelling.


    Well, the pirate party is now a global phenomenon it is not?
    So I think people slowly are starting to see how damaging copycrap is.

    Also, people do organize, you people just can't claims damages anymore without heavy scrutiny, those bogus studies manufacture to say something are now being seem for what they are frauds designed to misguide the public.

    I say things will look horrible for you people in the not so long future.

     

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

  50.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Mar 28th, 2011 @ 5:46am

    Re:

    If that is the case, then why is there no persistent place for debate? Many insightful comments and, indeed, criticisms lie fallow because they fall off the front page. In a real debate, you cannot just avoid responding to something just because the topic gets old.

    I totally agree with you there - the "most insightful of the week" has provided some limited persistence - but I am tired of re-responding to the same point over and over - and trying to dig out my old comments to do it (maybe I write too many).

    What we really need is a kind of techdirt FAQ.

    I think a list of stories with recent comments (or a view of techdirt ordered by the age of the most recent comment - rather than the age of the original post) would also help.

     

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

  51.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well, the pirate party is now a global phenomenon it is not?

    um, actually, no, it's not.

     

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

  52.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 6:40am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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

  53.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 6:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 7:05am

    Re: Re:

    Since "tam" doesn't post here, I am not sure why that is an issue.

     

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

  55.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 7:06am

    Re: Re:

    So what you want it "best koolaid drinker of all times" awards?

     

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

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Nobody said it was unacceptable, well, except you."

    It's constantly suggested with the constant complaints against him and the constant commenters who seem to avidly hate him and who throw so many unsubstantiated and inappropriate insults and personal attacks at him.

    "The proposed alternatives are extraordinarily vague, and all speculative."

    So you want the government to provide you with job security for you instead of taking risks.

    Sure, taking risks can be speculative, some do well, others don't. Some people who release content under CC licenses, licenses designed to circumvent copy'right' law, and the content has been successful. The purpose of copy'right' isn't to provide you with job security, it's to promote the creation of content. and content will be made without it and it has been made in the past without it. Sure, that may lead to a vague and speculative situation for the middlemen, who may find it hard to make money, but then it's time for them to either adapt or find other jobs. Art and content will still be created without copy protection laws and the whole point of these laws shouldn't be to help ensure a predictable, methodological, non-vague formula for making money and getting a job, it should be to put more content into the public domain. If you don't like it, find another job.

     

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

  57.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 7:39am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "If there are all these awesome new business models and all these awesome new mechanisms for creating content, why are the posts about them outnumbered by the posts doing nothing but bitching by a huge ratio?"

    For a variety of reasons.

    Because copy'right' costs money to enforce. The government has to waste taxpayer money to enforce it, courts cost money, etc... I don't want my tax dollars contributing to such an atrocity.

    Privately controlled peer review journals often have the research that they publish on publicly funded, yet private entities hold the copy'rights' on that information. Again, my tax dollars shouldn't be used on information that's privately owned.

    The government wrongfully grants monopoly power over information distribution channels, like broadcasting signals and cableco infrastructure. This artificially makes it harder for independents who release their content under a CC license or who independently own the copy'right' of their content to get an audience and to benefit from what having a larger audience has to offer, which can help them create more and better content. It's not inordinate copy'right' lengths that helps the mainstream media make so much money, most of the generated income occurs shortly after release, it's the fact that the government has wrongfully granted gateway keepers monopoly power over information distribution channels. Those gatekeepers distribute copy'right' work and that protected work displaces permissibly licensed work.

    With the Internet that's starting to change (it takes time though, the MSM has had much longer to do it) but in the U.S. the gatekeepers are trying to put bandwidth caps to make it more difficult for independent content creators to benefit from a wide audience. There just isn't enough competition here, the government restricts it all.

     

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  58.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 7:40am

    Re: Re: Re:

    So unoriginal.

     

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

  59.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 7:43am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Also, another reason I forgot to mention, it's the inconvenience that I have to worry about when trying to determine what's in the public domain/permissibly licensed and what's not. The courts seem to think that one should be psychic and automatically know what's been released under a CC license and what's not. Since copy'right' is opt out, there is no central database for me to look up what works are covered and what aren't. I just have to magically know, and if I get it wrong, I can be sued and potentially lose, even if I was told the content is CC released. and it has happened. I don't want to spend a second of my time worrying about what's permissibly licensed, what's in the public domain, and what's not, but I don't want to be deprived of any content as a result of my unwillingness to spend my time worrying about these things. It's my inherit right to copy as I please, if it comes my way I should generally have a right to copy it without worrying about such nonsense. That's why I personally want these laws abolished.

     

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

  60.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 8:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

     

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

  61.  
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    herodotus (profile), Mar 28th, 2011 @ 8:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "I would be fascinated to have more insight into the agenda behind this blog. "

    I wouldn't.

    Nothing gets more tired than reading competing conspiracy theories about which 'corporate puppet masters' are controlling the agenda behind blog x or blog y. The Koch empire on one side, and the Soros empire on the other, have been blamed for pretty much every last bit of political commentary on the net. And every single time, the blaming is an excuse for dismissing someone's argument without trying to understand it.

    Arguments can and should be evaluated on their own merits. Allegations concerning the writer's motivations, whether secret or otherwise, add up to little more than ideological cheer leading.

     

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

  62.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 8:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Because if you haven't noticed, people with viewpoints opposing yours seem to be doing a better job."

    Much of the reason is because the government wrongfully grants private interests monopoly use over more efficient communication channels, like public airwaves and cableco infrastructure. This makes it easier for them to spread their privately interested propaganda and it makes it more difficult for others to spread criticisms. But that's not to say that we should make no effort to spread our criticisms.

     

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

  63.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 28th, 2011 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    When the public has to waste their effort and time deciding what's OK to copy and what's not (or in any way limit what they do copy if they don't want to waste such time), it's an inefficient use of our time. It creates economic inefficiency and it's not worth it, at least not to me. Especially when the laws are so ridiculous that people are often required to be psychic to know or else they can face damages.

     

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

  64.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Mar 28th, 2011 @ 12:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    So what you want it "best koolaid drinker of all times" awards?
    You are noise.

     

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


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