Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the putting-the-sense-back-in-common-sense dept

The comment that won for "most insightful" this week actually scored twice as high as any other comment (in either category). So, step on up, John Fenderson. People thought your short comment, in response to Canadian politician Dean Del Mastro's nonsensical claim that "format shifting" legally purchased content was the equivalent of stealing shoes if you bought socks. Fenderson decided to fix the analogy:
Ripping a CD to your iPod is like buying a pair of socks then wanting to wear them with one of your other pairs of shoes.
With analogies that actually make sense like that, you'll never be elected to the Canadian Parliament, John.

While the comment that came in second was way, way behind in votes, the second, third, fourth and fifth comment all scored remarkably close to one another, so I think we're just going to post them all and use up my "editor's choice" slots with the overall audience favorites. First up was an Anonymous Coward, responding to a statement by the MPAA applauding the censorship of The Pirate Bay, claiming that "The court verdict found that The Pirate Bay is predominantly devoted to illegal activities with more than 90% of all content infringing on copyright." This AC had a question about the stats:
I want to know how the court found that a site that doesn't host any content had 90% of its content devoted to infringing.
Next up was Ed C. responding to my "crazy" suggestion that perhaps copyright reform should be (*gasp*!) based on "actual evidence and understanding of basic economics rather than faith." Ed suggested I had perhaps set my sights too low by thinking that just copyright reform should use such a system:
The same should be said about all policies. But that's just not how government works.
Next up, was Pjerky discussing the ridiculousness of the TPP agreement being completely secret:
Personally I think that any law/rule that is secret or is negotiated in secret should be automatically considered illegal. The same with any legal interpretations. There is no way anyone that is subject to a law can possibly follow a law they don't even know the details of or if it exists. The same with interpretations of the law.

And you shouldn't be subject to any law that you or someone that can represent you (outside of big businesses and the government itself) can have any input on. It just doesn't make any sense to require that of anyone.

You wouldn't do this at a company. Create a rule that you expect all your employees to follow, but never tell them what it is and even have secret interpretations of it. You would get sued in very short order and possibly be shut down depending on the severity of the case.

There are so many inequities and possibilities for discrimination that no one in their right mind would allow this in the business world. So why allow it in the government world?
And, finally, we've got Jay hoping that someone can talk some sense in the MPAA, after they put out a statement cheering on censorship if that censorship protected their business model:
Can someone please tell the MPAA that Avengers just made over $1 billion dollars in about two weeks? Can someone tell them that when someone looks at the Youtube, it made others want to watch it even more?

Can someone tell the MPAA that censorship does not work nor is it what movie goers want? Can someone please tell them to get it through their skull that the more they fight the people, the harder the backlash and the more out of touch they become?

Can someone tell the MPAA that they are not the morality police, nor does anyone want them to be? Can someone tell the MPAA that we've noticed their problems in other countries and how this is only about control? Something that they will never have on the internet?

Can someone tell the MPAA that they have yet to invent anything but more ways to piss people off? Can someone tell the MPAA that they don't invent movies, merely leech off of them? Can someone tell the MPAA that their significance in the movie distribution process is going the way of the dodo and no one is going to tolerate it much longer?

Finally, can someone PLEASE tell the MPAA to F*** OFF!?
Moving on to the funny side, the winner was Liz with her comment in response to the suggestion that we switch from calling works whose copyright holder can't be found "orphan works" to "hostage works." Liz summed up the visual:
For some reason I just got a mental image of Oliver Twist holding up his bowl and saying, "Please sir, may I enter the public domain?"
Coming in second was an Anonymous Coward, responding to the news about the convoluted story that involved a plea bargain deal between the US government and a money launderer, which resulted in the US government getting a 10% royalty cut on any profits from an upcoming Hollywood film:
Don't they know that no movie makes a profit? Haven't they been following Hollywood accounting?
Moving on to editor's choice, we've got an Anonymous Coward responding to the story of how parts of Toy Story 2 were saved, following an accidental deletion of a key hard drive because one woman on the team had made a copy to her home computer:
Shame on this horrible woman for making an illegal backup of this movie. By doing so, she cost so many workers over a year of salary for restoring it, all for her own selfish greed. Pathetic. When will these freetards think of the workers and the customers?
And we'll close it out with two separate comments on the story of the ongoing dispute between sculptor Frank Gaylord, who is seeking about $3 million from the US government, because he's claiming his copyright was infringed on a US Postal Service stamp showing a photograph of the Korean War Memorial, which he helped design. First up, we had Torg highlight all the "harm" done:
This seems reasonable to me. Can you imagine how many sales of this statue Gaylord must have lost due to the wide distribution of those stamps? I heard he only managed to sell one of it!
And, finally, khory popped in with a suggestion on how to resolve the whole mess:
If this guy still controls the rights for the statue, and is using it for commercial purposes, then we should be charging him rent for the public space that his statue is occupying. That's prime real estate his work is occupying, so back rent could be as much as, oh.... about $3 million. Isn't that a coincidence.

If he objects then we can return the statue to him. We'll gladly deliver it to his house. From a helicopter. While still several hundred feet above- nobody said we had to land first before hitting the release switch..
Now that's the kind of creative problem-solving we like to see around here...


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Yartrebo (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 12:45pm

    "I want to know how the court found that a site that doesn't host any content had 90% of its content devoted to infringing."

    If one wants to get mathematical, any percentage (including percentages below 0% and above 100% and +INF and -INF) are all valid, since both the numerator (number of infringing works hosted) and denominator (total works hosted) are zero. 0/0 can equal any real number.

    Maybe the judge figured that saying 5,000,000% wouldn't have the same impact as 90%, so he used the form of 0/0 that best served his agenda?

     

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

  2.  
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    Yartrebo (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 12:47pm

    "I want to know how the court found that a site that doesn't host any content had 90% of its content devoted to infringing."

    If one wants to get mathematical, any percentage (including percentages below 0% and above 100% and +INF and -INF) are all valid, since both the numerator (number of infringing works hosted) and denominator (total works hosted) are zero. 0/0 can equal any real number.

    Maybe the judge figured that saying 5,000,000% wouldn't have the same impact as 90%, so he used the form of 0/0 that best served his agenda?

     

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

  3.  
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    harbingerofdoom (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 3:06pm

    Re:

    so he used the form of 0/0 that best served his agenda?

    sounds like the government to try to divide by zero.

     

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

  4.  
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    saulgoode (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 4:02pm

    Re:

    I'm not sure even "Hollywood math" permits division by zero (though I never studied it in college -- it was never offered as part of the engineering curriculum).

    Unless someone deviates from "natural" arithmetic (i.e., traditional Dedekind–Peano math), there is no such thing as an equation involving an unmodified infinity (modification entailing something such as "taking the limit", e.g.), nor division by zero.

     

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

  5.  
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    Yartrebo (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 4:24pm

    Yup - 0/0 only has meaning as a limit, and that's how I'm interpreting the court's statement.

    Since the site didn't actually host any content, we have no way of knowing which function was used to generate that limit, and thus no way to prove or falsify the stated value of 90%. Eg., the ratio .9x/x would give a limit of 90%, whereas the ratio .5x/x would not - and both give 0/0 when evaluated at x=0.

    So you're right that it's outside of the realm of mathematics - it fits in the same category as the truth value of the existence of God.

     

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

  6.  
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    vegetaman (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re:

    "We know that all of our privacy problems could be solved if only the math and computer folks could figure out how to divide by zero for us. Come on guys, why do you freetards love piracy and hate America so much?"

     

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

  7.  
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    vegetaman (profile), May 20th, 2012 @ 8:47pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Heh, totally meant "PIRACY" not "PRIVACY"... But I suppose it may work for either case, actually.

     

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

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "We know that all of our privacy problems could be solved if only the math and computer folks could figure out how to divide by zero for us."

    You must use the test for divergence. Yeah, the test for divergence. Maybe that's how Hollywood does it.

     

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

  9.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 20th, 2012 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All of our problems cab be solved ... you just need to apply ... Hollywood Math, and all math problems can be solved. You can make math do whatever the heck you want with a bit of creative Hollywood math.

     

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

  10.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 1:35am

    Re: Re:

    So the black hole is in the rational parts of their brains?

    That explains so much.

     

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

  11.  
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    The eejit (profile), May 21st, 2012 @ 1:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nah, they use meta-quantum micrologarithms for their subdivisions of their incomes.

     

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

  12.  
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    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, May 21st, 2012 @ 10:52pm

    Stupid Google Search Of The Week

     

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

  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 12:07pm

    On the matter of socks, it seems like a more directly relevant analogy would be trying to make it illegal to cut holes in the end of a pair of socks so that you can wear them on your hands, because that might impact the market for gloves.

     

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


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