Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
from the step-2 dept
Two other things. One. People now read sometimes half a dozen newspapers daily, not just one. Two. They aren't going to pay six newspapers.Sometimes it's the short and sweet ones that make the clearest points. Coming in second was Ima Fish's comment concerning the problem of people calling things like fair use a "limitation and exception," when reality is it's the opposite:
It's actually worse than that. Copyright and patents are the exception and limitation. Not fair use.Over to editor's choice insightful comments, we'll start with Erik J. Heels interpretation of the RIAA chart that showed how much music was obtained in various ways, some by authorized means and others not so much. Heels suggests a re-labeling is in order:
Property rights are considered inalienable rights in the Constitution. They're also considered natural rights. They can be thought of as inherent rights. They're not given by government. They are given by nature itself. The purpose of government is not to give such rights, but to protect such rights. And the government can only intrude upon such rights through due process.
Unlike property rights, copyrights and patents needed to be explicitly included in the Constitution because they were not natural. The concept of giving out monopoly rights to ideas was contrary to nature. Thus, such monopolies were by their nature an exception and highly limited.
As pointed out here before. Copyrights originally lasted only 15 years. And even more interesting, copyrights did not cover music or literature.
But as money was made on these limited monopolies, those who collected the rents needed more gates from which to collected upon. So music was added. Literature was added. The length of time was increased. The monopoly on publishing was not enough. Soon performances were added. And now we're stuck with a convoluted draconian system where we need to pay a license to combine music with video, separate from the publishing right, and separate from the performance right.
The reason we think of fair use as a limitation and an exception, is because for over two centuries, copyright law has turned on its head.
The RIAA should re-label its chart.And, finally, we have Duke's excellent response to a bunch of legacy artists demanding that Google & ISPs solve the artists' own inability to change with the times.
Change "unpaid" to "marketing" and "paid" to "sales."
Ah, isn't it nice when legacy artists (or the lobby groups behind them) manage to show just how out of touch they are. Why, only a couple of weeks ago the PRS (record label collecting society) published a fascinating report (jointly paid for by Google) into the status of "illegal websites" and found that search engines had a very minor role. So even their own lobby groups are saying they're talking complete nonsense.Moving over to the funny side of things, the clear winner this week came from an Anonymous Coward on the story about someone selling waffles at an event complaining about the Swedish Young Pirate organization daring to give away their own waffles for free. This AC wondered how the RIAA equivalent of the waffle-sellers would react:
Of course, the whole "search engines are promoting illegal stuff" argument is great in itself because it tells us a couple of key things:
Firstly; people want to find mp3s of popular music that they can download. If they didn't, they wouldn't be searching Google for them.
Secondly; Google, as a search engine, is there to give *its users* what they want. They're not there to serve the BPI (or whoever was behind this). It has all those complicated algorithms to work out what is popular and ... surprise surprise, sites allegedly offering free or cheap mp3 downloads of popular music do well.
Thirdly; If the first n pages of a Google search for "Adele mp3" (to use the example given in the programme below) are all to supposedly unlawful sites, what has happened to the lawful ones? Why aren't they right at the top of the list? Because the sites that do that don't exist. And if they do exist, they're hidden behind terrible websites, paywalls and the lot, so you can't find them easily through a search.
So, what do we do about this? Well, if these legacy musicians want to fix their little problem, it seems the solution is quite easy:
1: Have sites that provide legal downloading of mp3s and similar stuff.
2: Recognise that the consumers (including 'pirates') actually want music, but they want it a certain way, and if you're going to try to act as a consumer-facing business, you should try to match their demands.
3: Make sure that the sites in 1 are easily accessible, well-designed, and will actually turn up in search results.
Sadly, signing a letter that says "blame Google" is less effort.
For those interested, they even got the BBC to do a Newsnight segment for them on this rubbish. Interestingly, I did a search for "adele mp3" on Google; the top few results appear to be theoretically legal in the US (only hosting information, or previews, with DMCA-compliant stuffs, and linking to paysites in the Ukraine and Russia which may be legal over there due to collective licensing rules).
The other thing I found particularly illuminating was that the top page has 10 search results (including one for amazon.com) and 8 notices covering 18 entries removed following DMCA notices. Somehow I don't think the takedown requests are doing that much good anyway.
To stop this from happening, commercial waffle makers should start selling waffles with bits of broken glass in it, insult their customers as wafflethieves and follow them around to spy on them.Coming in second was our own Dark Helmet explaining how video games drove him to violence:
To be fair, as a child of the 80's, I once rushed into a pet store, removed all the turtles from their cages, and began stomping on them repeatedly while screaming "Where's my damned Princess!?!?!?".This reminds me of the famous Marcus Brigstocke joke: "If Pac-Man had affected us as kids, we'd all be running around in dark rooms, munching pills and listening to repetitive electronic music."
Years of corrective therapy later and I still am not allowed into Chicago pet stores....
Moving on to editor's choice, we've got Josh in CharlotteNC responding to someone trying to play down the US government quietly admitting that it violated the 4th Amendment with its surveillance efforts, by saying that it wasn't a big deal because they "admitted that at least ONCE, upon review, their actions where not in keeping with the 4th amendment." Josh responded with how things would sound on the flip side:
No, officer, I wasn't ignoring the speed limit. Upon review by your radar gun, my speed was not in keeping with the limit. By this logic, you cannot give me a ticket.Finally, we've got an Anonymous Coward explaining the RIAA's brilliant business strategy concerning its efforts to kick people off the internet:
Step 1. Kick people off of the internetHey, perhaps we can help! Either way, we'll be back tomorrow with something else to say about something.
Step 3. Profit!
2/3rds of the way there, RIAA, keep up the good work!