Jesse's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the copyright-countdown dept

Just as with our discussions on the efficacy of rain dances, I am most fascinated by stories of the baffling choices of copyright maximalists which, albeit unintentionally, most definitely promote content piracy/theft [insert Chris Dodd's buzzword of the week]. With that in mind, my favorites list will consist of stories about various entities hilariously undermining copyright in spite of themselves.

Copyright Countdown: #7

Number 7 in my "A Week in Copyright" review is actually a multi-part post comparing the economics and psychology of parking to copyright. At first blush, this analogy seems a bit farfetched, but upon closer inspection the comparison is actually fairly on point. Larry Downes does an excellent job of calling out the content producers who want to reap all the benefits of essentially free distribution and reproduction, but not pass along any of those cost-savings to consumers:

Worse, even as the unit cost of media declines, the rules against unauthorized copying have become stricter. It's as if there were suddenly millions of new parking spaces available across Manhattan, but parking lots keep charging more than $10 an hour. And all the meters are suspiciously broken.

How true.

Copyright Countdown: #6

Honestly, I had been waiting all week for a post tearing down Blizzard for their abysmal Diablo III DRM fiasco, but alas my gamer rage will have to settle for a different target. And so we have this post highlighting the generous offering by Crytek to let you play the game for which you paid. Wow. Although I wouldn't fault someone for pirating/cracking a game they own, personally I wouldn't play this game even if someone paid me. If they can't figure out how to let paying customers play their games, I just can't imagine the rest of the product is worth the time it takes to remove the shrink wrap.

Copyright Countdown: #5

Number 5 highlights the cognitive dissonance the American government seems to be experiencing with regards to free speech and copyright. This is particularly amusing/interesting for me because up here in Canada, we actually have laws against "hate speech." Sometimes it surprises me how even the most extreme hatred is covered by the American first amendment. Personally, I am undecided as to which approach is better. At any rate, call me disappointed to learn that while racist hatred is protected by American free speech laws, suppressing speech in the name of copyright is apparently totally fine because, you know, reasons.

Copyright Countdown: #4

The post about copyright infringement and the coming "singularity" was, frankly, quite disturbing. Just when I was beginning to think that death would be my only escape from the insanity that is modern copyright, Techdirt points out that even in the great beyond I will be infringing on copyrights and ignoring shrink-wrap click-through agreements to no end (bringing all new context to the maximalist goal of "forever minus a day"). I guess with that in mind, we can amend that old saying to, "Nothing is certain but copyright and taxes."

Copyright Countdown: #3

I have always said that if the concept of libraries hadn't already been well established prior to modern copyright, they never would have been accepted today. Let's pretend libraries were just invented last week: can you imagine the uproar this would create among book publishers? "Accessing knowledge? For free?! Madness! This is practically a physical manifestation of the Pirate Bay!!1!" Thankfully, we don't have to exhaust our imaginations because the UK Publishers Association won't let a little thing like "reality" prevent them from harping against such an evil as libraries.

Copyright Countdown: #2

This one is a doozy. Apparently, some TV people have just realized that many viewers don't like commercials. So rather than, I don't know, make commercials people actually want to watch, those same people want to make it illegal to skip commercials. I don't really know what to say, but I think this may be one of those instances where a picture is worth a thousand words. [SFW, picture from A Clockwork Orange]

Copyright Countdown: #1

And finally, this post, featuring Ethan Kaplan, once again offers some basic economics lessons on supply, demand and artificial scarcities. Apparently, it's hard to build a successful business if you ignore these most fundamental principles. But the most interesting point here was Mike rehashing a probable causal link between file sharing and increased sales. It occurs to me: there is method to their rain dances copyright expansionism, and their evil genius is much more sinister than previously thought. They are expanding copyright to ridiculous extremes because they know this will only serve to promote piracy, which in turn will ultimately trick us into increasing their sales. How could we have missed that!?

So there we have it: 7 hilarious failures, one for each day of the week. But don't be sad; I have no doubt there will be plenty more next week. And the week after that. Just when you think we've hit rock bottom, someone else steps up to the plate with another hilariously flailing attempt at salvaging the copyright monopolies of yesteryear, but in actuality they only further undermine respect for the law and drive even more people to functional alternatives, legal or otherwise. It's so predictable and obvious, you almost want to charge them with inducement to infringe.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 2:50pm

    I'm nominating this bit for next week:

    http://andrewsullivan.thedailybeast.com/2012/05/building-a-better-bookstore.html

    Tony Sanfilippo reimagines the bookstore as a place with bestsellers up front, a print-on-demand machine in the middle, and a scale of pricing options for how to buy or rent the books in the rest of the store, including ebooks:

    "We can have the publisher drop ship a brand new copy anywhere you like, or you can purchase this used copy. You can also rent the book, but you might want to consider a membership because then the rental is free. Members don’t pay for rentals, though like non-members, if they don’t return the book eventually, the cost of the book is charged to their credit card and we order another."

    "How much is membership?" you ask.

    "For an individual, it’s $49.95 a year. But with that membership you can borrow any book in the store for free. In most cases you can also request that we acquire a book for you to borrow and we will, or we’ll print it for you using our Espresso Book Machine."

    Scott McLemee is intrigued:

    Well into the 18th century, when you bought a new volume from a bookseller, it arrived from the publisher without a binding, to be prepared on the premises according to the customer’s specifications. You could ask to have blank pages interspersed throughout it, for example, for note-taking -- one casualty of progress worth regretting. Sanfilippo’s model takes us back to that arrangement, at least part of the way.

     

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

  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 3:10pm

    Re:

    I was envisioning video rentals the same way. I go to a Redbox and it contains blank DVD's and blue ray disks with best sellers and most recent sellers already available. You request a movie from the list and it has a bunch of really large hard drives inside containing the movie and it burns the movie to a disk for you if it's not something it already has. You return the disk after a while. Or you just buy the disk from the machine if it's an old enough movie and cheap. If it's a movie that's not on the hard drive the machine can download it off the net and burn it for you when you request it, it can download it from a central office.

    Alas, this is already obsolete, forget all that trouble, most people will just get (buy or pirate, stream or download) the content off the Internet.

     

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

  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Re:

    In the near future, computers will be more powerful, hold larger amounts of data, and be more widely distributed with an even greater ability to make networked connections. They'll also be smaller and probably harder to detect.

    I feel sad for people who read that and think, "There outta be a law because copyright infringement!"

    How boring.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is Google's biggest threat, when I can have an entire Google downloaded onto my hard drive and search through it as fast and efficiently as I could on Google's search engine ...

    "60TB Disk Drives Could Be a Reality In 2016"

    http://hardware.slashdot.org/story/12/05/22/2031204/60tb-disk-drives-could-be-a-reality-in- 2016

    When home computing becomes as powerful as powerful search engines and content delivery services our existing industries will once again need to adapt, just like the RIAA/MPAA of the past needed to adapt.

    Of course Google and other services could also become more and more powerful as well, potentially offering more powerful services, but they're going to have to find practical applications for all that power. For example, while it's true that desktops (and laptops) will likely not disappear in a long time because they do have their practical applications, their practical applications are more associated with form factor, ease of use, ease of data input, having a bigger monitor to see information on, etc... rather than power. Many years ago it was better to have a desktop than a laptop because desktops were simply more powerful. Now that's no longer the case, the power difference is insignificant for most practical applications and only applies to high end users. As a result desktops are used less often and a bigger proportion of their use is convenience (and even then many people simply hook their laptop up to a full sized monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers when at home).

    As a result of mobile devices getting more powerful, laptops and desktops are used less often, people who want to quickly look something up, send instant messages, or check their e-mails can use their phones. Laptops and desktops are still useful for more heavy duty inputting and receiving information from a full sized screen. However, smaller devices can be used with larger keyboards, mice, and monitors as well (and you can print from them), sometimes wirelessly and so even laptops may begin to disappear more and more in the future. Will desktops and laptops ever go away completely? I still think we have many years to see that, they will also get more powerful and develop more powerful uses, but more and more common uses will migrate to smaller devices.

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is Google's biggest threat, when I can have an entire Google downloaded onto my hard drive and search through it as fast and efficiently as I could on Google's search engine ...

    "60TB Disk Drives Could Be a Reality In 2016"

    http:// hardware.slashdot. org/ story/12/05/22 /2031204/60tb-disk-drives-could-be-a-reality-in-2016

    (remove spacing)

    When home computing becomes as powerful as powerful search engines and content delivery services our existing industries will once again need to adapt, just like the RIAA/MPAA of the past needed to adapt.

    Of course Google and other services could also become more and more powerful as well, potentially offering more powerful services, but they're going to have to find practical applications for all that power. For example, while it's true that desktops (and laptops) will likely not disappear in a long time because they do have their practical applications, their practical applications are more associated with form factor, ease of use, ease of data input, having a bigger monitor to see information on, etc... rather than power. Many years ago it was better to have a desktop than a laptop because desktops were simply more powerful. Now that's no longer the case, the power difference is insignificant for most practical applications and only applies to high end users. As a result desktops are used less often and a bigger proportion of their use is convenience (and even then many people simply hook their laptop up to a full sized monitor, keyboard, mouse, and speakers when at home).

    As a result of mobile devices getting more powerful, laptops and desktops are used less often, people who want to quickly look something up, send instant messages, or check their e-mails can use their phones. Laptops and desktops are still useful for more heavy duty inputting and receiving information from a full sized screen. However, smaller devices can be used with larger keyboards, mice, and monitors as well (and you can print from them), sometimes wirelessly and so even laptops may begin to disappear more and more in the future. Will desktops and laptops ever go away completely? I still think we have many years to see that, they will also get more powerful and develop more powerful uses, but more and more common uses will migrate to smaller devices.

     

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

  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

    Fuck the copyright cartels.

     

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

  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 26th, 2012 @ 6:47pm

    Copyright laws are gay.

    And not the trendy kind of gay either.

     

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

  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 4:32am

    The best story this week was how the entertainment industry punish itself with the DMCA crazy they are on LoL

    https://torrentfreak.com/copyright-holders-punish-themselves-with-crazy-dmca-takedowns-120525 /

    Now imagine what competitors can do to you if they really applied themselves to it, because lets face it there is no real punishment for getting it wrong so how much it is worth to a big company to trash the PR campaign of another?

     

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

  9.  
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    gorehound (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 11:23am

    Copyright Laws just get worse and worse.No, there would not be a Library if you tried to make one nowadays.Only the fact that they are there is the reason why they can not be shut down.
    Until all of us stop Voting for the same two Parties look forwards to a great Brave New World of 1984ism.
    By next Election I will probably be a Libertarian.They may not be the greatest thing but they do cherish Freedom & Our Founding Fathers.They say on their Party Site they have a live and let live attitude and they hate Large Government and they hate Government Controlling everything.
    We need more options and we need to Vote the Corrupt System out or we will probably see a Revolution within 5 - 20 years.

     

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

  10.  
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    Digitari, May 27th, 2012 @ 12:24pm

    Re:

    ".....Revolution within 5 - 20 years." what makes you think it will take that long??

    Armed insurrection is the duty of EVERY true Patriot........

     

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

  11.  
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    jaacek323 (profile), May 27th, 2012 @ 12:38pm

    great, good to know

     

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

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 27th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

    Did anyone else read this as "jesus's favorite techdirt posts of the week"?

     

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

  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 28th, 2012 @ 7:17am

    Re: Re:

    It would be nice, but I'm afraid it won't happen. The American people are too spineless and blinded by Uncle Sam-worship for that. No matter what the government dishes out, the empty-headed flag-wavers will just keep taking it and taking it. They'll keep marching to the polls and voting for the elephant and the donkey over and over expecting a change. As long as they can fill their guts with beer and pizza, watch a bunch of cars go around a track, and medicate themselves into oblivion, they're happy.

     

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

  14.  
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    Jesse (profile), May 28th, 2012 @ 8:15pm

    Re:

    lol

     

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


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