Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
from the for-the-long-weekened dept
The police are supposed to be an organization with rigidly enforced standards of behaviour. They are supposed to be an organization that people trust implicitly.Coming in second was a comment from That Anonymous Coward concerning the Canadian pharmacies' response to Google getting fined by the US government -- and specifically why the people who have been buying drugs from those pharmacies haven't been speaking up about the ridiculousness of the situation. He offers a few possible reasons:
I say this in all seriousness: the entire organization of "the police" should be held accountable for the actions of any one police officer.
When one police officer violates the rights of a public citizen, every single officer is shamed. Every other cop in the country should be standing up and saying that what this officer did was wrong - but we know that's not how the police work. In fact it's quite the opposite: they go to great lengths to protect each other. They also expect (and generally receive) a wide berth for questionable behaviour due to the nature of their job.
That's fine. But if they want to protect each other, and if they want to get special privileges because of the badge, then they need to accept that any action that tarnishes that badge reflects poorly on ALL of them
They forgot to attach the required PAC donation to their complaint letter.I'm not sure any of that is actually true, honestly. But I do recognize it's what many people think these days.
Their representative sent them back a form letter talking about something entirely different.
They've been yelling for years, and they gave up.
They wrote, but died before getting any response because they could no longer afford the drugs keeping them alive
For the editor's choice this week, I wanted to highlight two comments that really are excellent in that they add context and information that people might not have known before. The first came from Rick Falkvinge, who explained how "lay judges" work in Sweden in explaining a ruling that resulted in the acquittal of a teen accused of file sharing. Since the lay judge system is different, Falkvinge explained it.
The Swedish system works like this: you have an educated judge who went to law school in a panel of four at the lowest court. The other three are politically appointed from the municipal level.And, the second was in a discussion people were having about whether or not anyone has ever successfully been able to bring a suit against someone for abusing the DMCA. An Anonymous Coward pointed out a single case where it did happen:
They vote on the verdict. In the case of a 2-2 split, the option that favors the defendant wins. Here, two out of four wanted to acquit, so acquittal it is.
The idea with this is that if a law is obviously bonkers and out of touch with reality and, as it's called, "the public perception of justice", then the lay judges are able to overrule the schooled judge.
In terms of checks and balances achieved, it is therefore similar to the jury system.
However, the lay judges are in a minority in the appeals court, and absent from the supreme court.
Online Policy Group v. DieboldI just like both of these comments because, contrary to the claims of some critics, I know there's a lot I don't know, and part of the point of having comments and keeping them open is that it's a chance for people with more knowledge and information to educate everyone. So thanks for that.
EFF helped protect online speakers by bringing the first successful suit against abusive copyright claims under the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA). This landmark case set a precedent that allows other Internet users and their ISPs to fight back against improper copyright threats.
In OPG v. Diebold, a California district court has determined that Diebold, Inc., a manufacturer of electronic voting machines, knowingly misrepresented that online commentators, including IndyMedia and two Swarthmore college students, had infringed the company's copyrights. EFF and the Center for Internet and Society Cyberlaw Clinic at Stanford Law School sued on behalf of nonprofit Internet Service Provider (ISP) Online Policy Group (OPG) and the two students to prevent Diebold's abusive copyright claims from silencing public debate about voting.
Diebold sent dozens of cease-and-desist letters to ISPs hosting leaked internal documents revealing flaws in Diebold's e-voting machines. The company claimed copyright violations and used the DMCA to demand that the documents be taken down. One ISP, OPG, refused to remove them in the name of free speech, and thus became the first ISP to test whether it would be held liable for the actions of its users in such a situation.
In his decision, Judge Jeremy Fogel wrote, "No reasonable copyright holder could have believed that the portions of the email archive discussing possible technical problems with Diebold's voting machines were protected by copyright." In turn, Diebold had violated section 512(f) of the DMCA, which makes it unlawful to use DMCA takedown threats when the copyright holder knows that infringement has not actually occured.
Outcome: In addition to creating the first caselaw applying 512(f) of the DMCA to remedy abusive copyright claims under the DMCA, Diebold subsequently agreed to pay $125,000 in damages and fees.
Moving on to the funny side of things. This week's winner was a no-doubter in terms of votes. Possibly the most votes ever (at least near the top). In response to my post about someone trying to put public domain material I created back under copyright, Brendan had a suggestion:
Hey Mike,Coming in second was, once again, Marcus Carab, with his comment on the background check company getting sued for confusing Samuel Jacksons. Carab went for the easy layup in regards to one of many Samuel L. Jackson's out there:
I'm not sure if you've heard of them, but I've been reading about this great outfit called "Righthaven." They seem to be exactly the kind of service you need in order to deal with Evans appropriately.
According to their press releases, they're really having great luck in the various courts -- the judges are even helping them to iron out some minor issues with their paperwork, making their cases even more bullet-proof.
Remember, squeeze the balls until his wallet falls out of his pants
It could have been worse. They had previously listed his occupation as Hitman and his primary language as English MotherfuckerDo you speak it? (Sorry, couldn't resist.) As for editor's choice, we've got AdamR's response to Ubisoft's claim that they have to protect their games with restrictive DRM because they put blood, sweat and tears into games:
Well I guess that explains why a lot of games suck! They keep putting the wrong thing in them! Instead good play, replay value, story that makes sense, and looking to make it at a reasonable valueNext up, we have Paul Keating providing us with a satirical explanation for Rep. John Conyers possibly going against the record labels on the termination rights issue:
"The recent statements attributed to Congressman Conyers regarding the "right of termination" was taken out of context and did not accurately reflect the position of Congressman Conyers. The staff person who wrote the release incorrectly believed that the issue being addressed involved the protection of CHILDREN from the plethora of PORNOGRAPHY appearing on the Internet and the termination of copyrights claimed by the creators thereof."And, since this is a long weekend (go out and barbecue or swim or something!), we'll give a few extras. We've got an Anonymous Coward explaining how the punishment may fit the crime for file sharing in some cases, depending on the song:
Mike, I think you are wrong here and that the punishment here does really fit the crime. It depends on a lot of factors, like what song you are sharing.And, finally, this last one is one that I believe is unintentionally funny, in that I believe the commenter may have actually been serious. But it was the one person who actually seemed to think that the 1st Circuit ruling that filming police was protected by the First Amendment was overbroad. The argument is so funny it made me laugh, and judging by the votes, it made other people laugh as well:
For example, if you share a song like "Let's talk about sex" from Salt&Pepper with a 14 year old then it would fall into the category "Making sexual advances on someone less than 15 years old"
But if you share any song from the Emo genre then you are "Provoking someone to commit suicide."
Then there is the method of sharing. Un-encrypted bit-torrent is "Exposing yourself in public" but transmitting data according to RFC-1149 could be seen as "Abuse and cruelty to animals"
I think that this ruling may lead to even more people whipping out their cell phones every time a cop shows up, which will just interfere with the job that the police have to do.For future reference, when trying to troll the comments, it helps if your arguments don't make people flat out laugh. Anyway, enjoy the long weekend. We'll be back on Tuesday...
There will undoubtedly be cases where people will be arrested while filming, and charged with obstructing justice because they got in the officers face with the camera and made it difficult if not impossible for the officers to perform their duties.
It's disappointing to see such a wide open ruling, as it can lead to some serious abuses.