Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
from the another-week-done dept
"Of all tyrannies, a tyranny exercised for the good of its victims may be the most oppressive. It may be better to live under robber barons than under omnipotent moral busybodies. The robber baron's cruelty may sometimes sleep, his cupidity may at some point be satiated; but those who torment us for our own good will torment us without end, for they do so with the approval of their consciences." - C.S. LewisComing in second was an interesting comment from Jake on our post about the sole purpose of copyright being to benefit the public. Someone challenged this statement by saying there are "two sides" to benefiting the public, and Jake pointed out that we actually addressed both sides in our post:
If you read the entire article you will notice that both sides of your equation are talked about, but they are given their proper places as the "purpose" of copyright, benefiting the public, and the "method", incentives for the creators. I believe that his point is that by increasing the use of the "method" we are not achieving the "purpose".For our first editor's choice, we've got That Anonymous Coward explaining how TV could work online:
As an example, say you wanted to make roadways a better way to travel by increasing safety while still allowing you to reach your destination in a reasonable amount of time. That would be your purpose. Now you have to choose your method. You could choose to enact speed limits, you could choose to widen roads to decrease congestion, you could choose to make all roads elevated and double layer. Some of these would obviously work better than others. Now, say you choose to enact speed limits as your method. You start with a speed limit of 60 mph, you look and notice that things are working better, there are less accidents, leading to more safety and less congestion. So you take the next step and lower speed limits, but instead of checking to see if that helped, you just assume it did. Again and again you lower the speed limit, assuming it is helping, until finally it is all about the method and not about the purpose.
So you see, by focusing on the method of copyright, we have lost the purpose.
If you're trying to create buzz for a returning show and plump up your numbers you "accidentally" make sure that a press preview copy gets leaked online.And the second one is from Chris Maresca discussing some interesting details about how much support there is for open source software within the US government:
You then issue a press release saying it wasn't the final product, you didn't authorize it, and you'll get them and their little dog too. This draws attention that viewers (or their teenage computer whiz's) can get a copy to watch within minutes. Then you're interested in seeing if it was changed before the final airing.
This creates a ton of buzz online as people start the discussions early about the show. It draws in the "purists" who feel you can only ever watch the show on the day and time the network releases it, and those who just want to know what happened.
While this is a useful marketing tool to them, they have yet to take the next step. Offering authorized downloads, they are still stuck in the mindset we must always make X, even if X is the number they made 50 years ago. They fear gutting the DVD/BluRay market, which is already shrinking because many consumers just want to watch the show not 20 minutes of forced previews of something else you made that needs a boost.
If they just took the iTunes model of offering the material at a "reasonable" price (and we can debate reasonable for a long time, it is what the market will bear not what they imagine it SHOULD be worth) without many hassles to get and view it you will make more money.
Imagine a world where instead of being forced to buy high priced cable packages just to get the 1 channel you want, and instead being able to just pay directly for the content you want, when you want, how you want.
There will be much shill/troll bemoaning how we all want it for free, and the "evidence" supports that when you ignore that the torrent ecosystem has no authorized competition. That people would willingly pay a few bucks for an episode, they might even buy a package with a higher price tag IF you offer all of the extras you have access to. They worry about their DVD releases not having enough demand to make it worth the effort, so "presell" me the DVD of the season and as a bonus offer me "decent" quality unDRMed files to watch and stay up to date with the show. They don't have to be super quality highend rips, (have you seen what passes for a rip of a tv show these days?!) but something I can watch on my TV, PC, iThingy, Phone, etc... to keep me engaged. And when the season is over then the better payoff... you know how many DVDs you need to make and add bonus content to the people who supported you.
If you refuse to offer something that is completely possible, don't bitch when people make it possible. Stop trying to stomp them out having your moral temper tantrum and compete. You've rested on your laurels for far to long, the future will belong to the companies who embrace the future and offer something better.
The internet... it could be like cable, except no long drawn out contract disputes over pennies.
I worked on major open source projects at DoC and DHHS in the mid '90s and built an open source strategy for 3 cabinet level agencies (Housing, Labor & USDA) in the early 2000's. In addition, I was part of a team that funded and pushed through standards certification of a number of open source projects, all of which were paid for by DoD in the mid-2000's.Interesting stuff, and it's too bad it hasn't received more attention.
Open source is VERY widespread in the US government (and in the three other national governments I advised), it's just not widely known as there isn't a large PR budget to make everyone aware every time it is used.
Just because no one knows about it doesn't mean open source use in the US Government is not widespread. In fact, I would guess that, based on my experience working with a number of foreign governments, the US government has among the longest, deepest and widest usage of open source, in some cases dating back 30 years or more. Not only that, but open source is often used and favored in the most sensitive environments.
Finally, the procurement process is end-result driven, not many people actually care how the result is achieved as long as it meets the requirements. And attempts to dictate technology have generally been disastrous. Open source can be a good solution, mostly because it provides better operational flexibility and better margins for the contractor. Sometimes (like in a US Navy project I worked on in 2002) the lower cost results in much wider technology deployment.
Moving on to the funny. There's been plenty of talk this week about CISPA and its myriad problems (some of which may get fixed, but many of which still remain). However, early in the week we began discussing the concerns and an Anonymous Coward jokingly tried out the SOPA supporters favorite line to blow off concerns about that bad bill -- and people (rightfully so) found it amusing:
This is just Google complaining again, nothing to see here move along...As with one of last week's best satirical comments, that one also got a lot of "report" votes, by the way.
Coming in second was another CISPA related comment, this time from OC, in response to our suggestion that Congress shouldn't mess with things they don't understand. OC was worried about the implications of our suggestion:
That's just mean. That gives them almost nothing at all to mess with.There were a lot of funny comments this week, and I honestly had trouble narrowing down the ones for editor's choice, so you get some bonus comments this week. Well, I won't repost the first two in their entirety, but I suggest that you look at our fun post on machine warning labels and then check out Torg and Rekrul's alternative interpretations.
Then we've got Capitalist Lion Tamer (aka Cush), explaining how Masnick's Law applies to Jack White's 1,000 balloon music distribution system:
Sure, this works for the guy with 1,000 balloons, but what about all the other, balloon-less artists?Indeed. Nothing to be learned here at all. Move along.
And, finally, we've got EF's brilliant ad copy for TSA Security Theater:
As I'm actually about to go through airport security myself, I'm just going to leave it at that...
---"TSA Security Theater"---
The most expensive show in town! Come on down and we'll make you a part of the act! As a participating audience member, we'll put you on stage: you'll get groped, naked-scanned, searched and humiliated. All ages welcome. Bring the kids and grandparents, and your hot girlfriends, we'll screen them all! [No cameras allowed (except ours). Heckling not allowed. No refunds allowed. Gratuity may or may not be secretly collected.]
So pack your bags and come see the show! You won't feel any safer when you leave but you're sure to have bad time!
Now playing at an airport near you!