Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the anonymous-comments-are-insightful dept

First place in the voting for most insightful this week went to an Anonymous Coward (how many times do we need to point out that anonymous commenters can be good too?) who responded to some copyright maximalists bitching that it was somehow unfair that YouTube named them for sending DMCA takedowns. The AC points out that their argument makes no sense:
If you're embarrassed about sending a takedown notice, stop sending takedown notices. If you truly feel you're standing up for your copyright, you shouldn't feel any guilt.
Coming in second was "Another AC" (see note above) talking about New Zealand law enforcement officials trying to defend the "over the top" raid to apprehend Kim Dotcom:
Maybe the most damning part... Is that the main objective was to arrest Kim DotCom to prevent destruction of evidence... except that NZ police had already seized all of MegaUpload's servers *before* the raid even happened.

Sickening indeed.
For editors choice, we'll actually go with two more comments from Anonymous Cowards. First up is a response to the same article that the first comment above was responding to. Part of the complaint was that artists were embedding these videos on their own sites, and then they looked silly for having videos of their own music on their own sites showing a takedown notice. As one AC pointed out, why were they embedding videos that they thought were infringing?!?
Any idiot who embeds "illegal" copies of his own videos and then complains when the embeds don't work after he himself requests them taken down does not deserve the consideration it took to write this article.
And, finally, we have another AC responding to someone bizarrely claiming (contrary to nearly every bit of actual evidence) that used sales harm the sale of new products. The AC pointed out that this argument doesn't make much sense:
As much as I hate car analogies... you better not be driving around in a used car with that philosophy, or buying used furniture, or accepting it from family or friends. Think of the new sales!!!

Personally, I'm a late adapter and I'm the kind of people the game companies will say "good-bye" to if they continue down their current path. The Wii may be my last console purchase. No console sales = no sales period. I'm not interested in any system that requires an internet connection or that only sells part of a game on disc and makes you download the rest. I don't care how awesome the graphics are. I won't buy the damn system new or used!! Eventually something newer and better will come along, the online networks will go down, or the company will just go under, and I'll be left with a pile of trash that I can't sell or even throw in the garbage nowadays. I WILL however continue to enjoy my older systems, of which I have plenty, to keep my busy until I'm so old that I'm physically unable to play anymore.
Moving over to the funny side of things, I'm pretty sure this next comment scored better in the voting than any comment ever. If not at the top, it's very near the top. It was on our story about the Olympics getting upset about non-sponsors' condoms being used by athletes at the games. Jay made the connection that got many of you to laugh:
Sex in the Olympics…

I have to wonder: do you still get a gold medal if you come in first?
I'll admit that made me groan, not laugh, but it got the votes.

Coming in second was another Anonymous Coward who responded to another Anonymous Coward who argued (really) that anonymous comments "are a real problem" and "should always be removed" with even "the weakest" of complaints. This other AC highlighted the irony:
Can we remove this comment? It's anonymous so he doesn't deserve to get to post things.
For editor's choice, we'll start with JMT responding to one of our most regular critics who tried to argue that perhaps the takedown of the NASA video of Curiosity's landing was legitimate because we don't know "as a fact" that the video was NASA's to upload. Yeah. The obvious response:
NASA is pretty sure they put it up. Nobody else has gone to Mars recently. Are you suggesting they're wrong and it really is someone else's Mars movies?
And, my final editor's choice comment of the week is an all around epic win by Vog. You see, Tim Cushing, in one of his posts, posed a hypothetical math question as part of his sarcastic way of denouncing a ridiculous premise:
If a premise leaves the train station [Point A] at 10AM riding a bicycle at 3 mph for the first hour and increasing speed by .25 mph every hour for the first four hours before decelerating at a rate inversely proportionate to the incline of the grade [17%], at what time will the bicyclist's speed be exactly 1/4 the average flight speed of the Africanized honey bee? Show your work.
Here's the thing. Vog actually answered the math question. And showed his work.
Assuming top flight speed for a honey bee is 12 - 15 mi/h (www.houstonbeekeepers.org/ahbfaqs.htm) and the average may be represented as 13.5 mi/h;

Assuming the rate of deceleration is, literally as stated, inverse to the grade of 17%, and may be assumed to be in miles per hour squared;

We have:
10 AM - 11 AM: 3 mi/h
11 AM - 12 PM: 3.25 mi/h
12 PM - 1 PM: 3.5 mi/h
1 PM - 2 PM: 3.75 mi/h
2 PM - 3 PM: 4 mi/h

After 3 PM, the velocity in mi/h may be represented as v = 4 mi/h - (1/0.17) mi/h^2 * t, where t is the fraction of the hour since 3 PM.

Using v = 3.375 from (0.25 * 13.5 mi/h), we have:

3.375 = 4 mi/h - 5.882 mi/h^2 * t
t = (4 - 3.375) mi/h / 5.882 mi/h^2
t = 0.10625 h

This decimal is equal to 6 minutes, 22.5 seconds. Thus the answer is 3:06:22.5 PM.
Note to Cushing: you need to come up with more challenging math problems next time.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    icon
    Dementia (profile), Aug 12th, 2012 @ 1:35pm

    I actually do like Tim's articles, but dude.....You got OWNED!!

     

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

  2.  
    icon
    Jay (profile), Aug 12th, 2012 @ 1:58pm

    Well, a groan's as good as a giggle to a joke like that. :B

    It's weird: it's a nice little honor, but I'm also feeling a bit disappointed, like I'll never be able to live up to what was only my seventh comment. I feel kinda like I blew my load with that one.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Loki, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    I missed Vog's response to Tim, but I would like to point out that his math only works in static reality. The premise, if postulate in RIAA/MPAA-Land would have, according to their math as a direct result of piracy, have reached terminal velocity before it even left the station, and would have been traveling backwards by 3PM.

     

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  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 3:29pm

    Re:

    *pwned

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 4:22pm

    Next...

    I want to see the answer from someone who took Statistics because Algebra was too hard.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    Vog (profile), Aug 12th, 2012 @ 5:28pm

    Re:

    Zing.

     

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

  7.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 5:54pm

    An Older Lesson In Copyright Maximalism

    This rush to try to claim “intellectual property” rights over everything is far from new. One example from the 1930s is C K Ogden’s Basic English, which was English simplified in some ways, most notably by slashing its vocabulary to under 1000 words. Unfortunately, it was copyrighted “to preserve its purity”, and that killed it.

    There is a moral here somewhere for all who seek proprietary rights in programming languages.
    — Bryan Higman, “A Comparative Study of Programming Languages”

     

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  8.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Aug 12th, 2012 @ 6:19pm

    Re:

    I feel kinda like I blew my load with that one.

    I see what you did there.

     

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

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 6:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Pics plz

     

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

  10.  
    identicon
    Minimum Wage Shill, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Next...

    I took calculus because Hollywood math was too hard for me to understand so I quit.

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Minimum Wage Shill, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 7:51pm

    Re: Re: Next...

    I also failed Hollywood math (but I did manage to get an A in calculus), but don't tell my bosses, I sorta lied on my resume and told them the opposite.

     

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  12.  
    icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Aug 12th, 2012 @ 8:01pm

    Re:

    I know. I had to give Vog my entire collection of hard-won internets I had collected over the years. In addition, I was legally required to bestow upon him the honorary title of "godfather," which does very little in the actual way of power, money or respect, but does saddle him with some additional children should my plan to live forever develop some fatal flaws.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 8:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Next...

    Hollywood math is easy, just make up whatever number supports what you want people to believe.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 9:44pm

    Your "editor's choice" of a comment by JWT suggests to me that many of the articles and comments regularly made here, and apparently quite favorably received, are based upon what those of us practicing law refer to as "assuming facts not in evidence". While it certainly seemed more likely than not at the time that there was no claim to copyright, facts necessary to confirm this were notably absent.

    Correlation is not causation, just as assumptions are not facts.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 9:44pm

    Your "editor's choice" of a comment by JWT suggests to me that many of the articles and comments regularly made here, and apparently quite favorably received, are based upon what those of us practicing law refer to as "assuming facts not in evidence". While it certainly seemed more likely than not at the time that there was no claim to copyright, facts necessary to confirm this were notably absent.

    Correlation is not causation, just as assumptions are not facts.

     

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

  16.  
    icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Aug 12th, 2012 @ 9:51pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Next...

    I have studies that I've funded that disprove that.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Al Bertinestine, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 9:57pm

    FTFY

    I missed Vog's response to Tim, but I would like to point out that his math only works in static reality. The premise, if postulate in RIAA/MPAA-Land would have, according to their math as a direct result of piracy, have reached terminal velocity before it even left the station, and would have been traveling backwards at light speed by 3PM.

     

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

  18.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 12th, 2012 @ 11:54pm

    Re: Correlation is not causation

    And what exactly are we supposed to conclude from that?

     

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

  19.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 12:28am

    Re: Re: Correlation is not causation

    Ancient aliens.

     

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

  20.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 1:12am

    Re: Re: Re: Correlation is not causation

    Pirate aliens are not to blame.

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 13th, 2012 @ 1:36am

    Re:

    Your "editor's choice" of a comment by JWT suggests to me that many of the articles and comments regularly made here, and apparently quite favorably received, are based upon what those of us practicing law refer to as "assuming facts not in evidence". While it certainly seemed more likely than not at the time that there was no claim to copyright, facts necessary to confirm this were notably absent.

    Correlation is not causation, just as assumptions are not facts.


    There's making assumptions... and then there's the point at which you know something is totally bogus.

    You bizarrely claimed that the video NASA uploaded of NASA's footage of NASA's rover landing on Mars, might actually be someone else's copyright.

    No reasonable human being would assume that "facts necessary to confirm this were notably absent."

    You are not a reasonable human being. There were plenty of facts necessary to confirm what was stated. Just as there are plenty of facts to confirm that you are wrong again. You seem to be making a habit of it around here.

    By the way, I'm still waiting for you to admit you were wrong when you bizarrely claimed that Bret Easton Ellis has no fans.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Aug 13th, 2012 @ 2:04am

    Re:

    Your "editor's choice" of a comment by JWT suggests to me that many of the articles and comments regularly made here, and apparently quite favorably received, are based upon what those of us practicing law refer to as "assuming facts not in evidence". While it certainly seemed more likely than not at the time that there was no claim to copyright, facts necessary to confirm this were notably absent.

    Correlation is not causation, just as assumptions are not facts.


    Those of us who practice science know that "nature cannot be fooled", whereas those who practice law know that judges and juries can be.

    I'll leave the neutral parties to judge for themselves who is most likely to respect the need for real evidence.

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Aug 13th, 2012 @ 2:26am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I'm happy not knowing if it happened or not :)

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    Niall (profile), Aug 13th, 2012 @ 2:28am

    Re: An Older Lesson In Copyright Maximalism

    I thought languages were immune to copyright, being 'factual'?

    And how can you 'copyright' a simplified subset of an existing language?

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Aug 13th, 2012 @ 2:35am

    Re:

    Pot - meet kettle...

     

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

  26.  
    icon
    JMT (profile), Aug 13th, 2012 @ 3:51am

    Re:

    "...what those of us practicing law refer to as "assuming facts not in evidence"."

    So I'll repeat the question you were unable to answer the first time around. If the footage might not be NASA's, whose could it be? I'm perfectly willing to concede it might not be theirs if you can give me even one plausible alternative.

     

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

  27.  
    icon
    hfbs (profile), Aug 13th, 2012 @ 4:01am

    Re: Re:

    Scripps News, obviously. They're the one who issued the takedown (automatically or not) so it must belong to them and as we know, the takedowns are only ever used for legit copyright infringement.

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Aug 13th, 2012 @ 4:33am

    Re:

    Relativity at its finest. Maybe? I remember reading that book from Mr Hawkins, do you think this MAFIAA land is one of those dimensions squeezed between the other layers? If you think about it, it may explain some of the losses claimed by the MAFIAA, they could be there in form of little wavelets between the major layers of accounting practices.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 7:25am

    Re: Re:

    "There's making assumptions... and then there's the point at which you know something is totally bogus."

    yes, I heard you had that magic ability to create facts out of opinion. Nice!

    "You bizarrely claimed that the video NASA uploaded of NASA's footage of NASA's rover landing on Mars, might actually be someone else's copyright."

    No, that particular video is not copyright. However, framed into a video window broadcast with other material on the screen (even a logo) makes that particular PERFORMANCE copyright. That's the difference.

    You are confusing part of the content with the rest of the content in a single video, and thus making a bit assumption which is just not true.

    "You are not a reasonable human being."

    I have already shown how you have made a notable error here, and drawn conclusions based only on assumptions, not facts. Yet you feel you are the reasonable one here?

    "By the way, I'm still waiting for you to admit you were wrong when you bizarrely claimed that Bret Easton Ellis has no fans."

    By the way, I am still waiting for you to stop violating anonymous cowards rights to post anonymously.

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    The eejit (profile), Aug 13th, 2012 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re:

    MAFIAAland is like Flatland, only with $$$ instead of normal shapes.

     

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

  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "By the way, I am still waiting for you to stop violating anonymous cowards rights to post anonymously."

    Anonymous != unaccountable

    Without the contextual information available to us now, it is still possible, upon careful reading, to conclude that the Federalist was not one man. Similarly, a careful reader, by comparing writing styles, would be able to make a reasonable assumption of which articles were written by Madison. Without IP lookup.

     

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  32.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 7:52am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Have you considered that the piece may have had additional content in it that was copyright to Scripps, such as descriptions or other content?

    No?

    Mike trained you well. You have stopped thinking!

     

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

  33.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re:

    Having extensive experience dealing with NASA, I have learned that many of the work tasks associated with NASA involve the participation a a very, very large number of private contractors, and that these tasks include all manner of launch-related services. This being the case, I cannot state with absolute certainty who was tasked with creating the video included in the article. NASA? Obviously likely. But for a certainty? That is impossible to know withoout more information being provided. Was the video taken by a NASA employee under circumstances where it meets the legal definition of what constitutes a "work of the United States" as specified in 17 USC 101? If it met the definition, then certainly it would be a "work of the United States Government". If it did not meet this definition, but instead was governed by 17 USC 105 in which the USG in not precluded from NASA holding copyright transferred to it by assignment, bequest or devise, it is possible that NASA could be the rights holder, but that such rights would not be deemed automatically falling within the class of public domain material. Barring assignment, bequest, or devise, rights to a work would reside with the party who actually took the video.

    The article and comments simply assumed that the video maker was a NASA employee. While this certainly seems to be the most likely scenario, to draw this conslusion depends upon the existence of facts that are not presented.

    More facts are needed to ascertain if this was in fact the case. Unfortunately, these facts are missing from the article. Hence my cautionary note that assumptions are not a substitute for facts, and that additonal information is needed to accurately determine the status under copyright law of who actually is the holder of the associated rights under copyright law, and that among such facts would be the provisions of the terms and conditions stated in a contract between NASA and a private contractor (which terms and conditions are governed by the Federal Aquisition Reglation, also know as the FAR).

    Sorry, but in this case your analysis was incomplete.

    Sorry, but in this specific instance relevant facts are needed to answer the question with any degree of accuracy.

     

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

  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 8:07am

    Re: Re: Re:

    "By the way, I am still waiting for you to stop violating anonymous cowards rights to post anonymously."

    You are aware you are still posting anonymously, right? And that no one has any idea who you are, right? And that Mike doesn't either, right?

    In fact, all he's done is tie one of obviously your comments to another. You're still completely anonymous. Your "right" to post anonymously hasn't been violated in any way.

    Stop grasping at straws and grow a back bone. Either be a man and come up with a username so we can track your comments (don't even have to register to do so) or realize that you are still commenting anonymously and nothing has been violated by Mike saying you were wrong and you've til now refused to admit so. In which case, boohoo AC. You got called out, deal with it you Anonymous Coward.

     

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

  35.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 9:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "In fact, all he's done is tie one of obviously your comments to another. You're still completely anonymous. Your "right" to post anonymously hasn't been violated in any way."

    Mike does it by checking posting IPs and other information in the admin area. Sorry to burst your bubble, he's not that good.

    You are even worse, because you haven't figured out I wasn't the original anonymous posted. Carry on.

     

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

  36.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Oh come on, only a complete moron couldn't tell who you were.

    You don't need l33t admin hacks to see you're the same moron from all those other moronic posts.

     

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

  37.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 9:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You do not have a right to be anonymous on techdirt.

    If anything you're the one violating that right yourself by being an idiot. I can always tell it's you because you can't resist derping all over the comments. No mike needed

     

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

  38.  
    icon
    Richard (profile), Aug 13th, 2012 @ 10:32am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Have you considered that the piece may have had additional content in it that was copyright to Scripps, such as descriptions or other content?

    Have you read the article?

    If you had you would realize that you have just written a big load of rubbish.

     

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

  39.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    Re:

    And this isn't a court of law...so, your standards don't really matter all that much do they?

    See that's the difference between having a normal conversation and having a staged re-enactment of a conversation that happened some time in the past when a law was written - and I'll be very clear about the next statement - and not all of the facts in a particular case were known (or even could be known).

    Legal proceedings are always based on assumptions and arguments - in the old days we called this oratory...seldom do facts play a role. Just because you call them the "facts of the case" don't make them so.

     

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

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re:

    "...seldom do facts play a role."

    Please excuse my complete surprise that anyone would even harbor your view that facts seldom play a role in contested matters. And to think that for centuries judges have been issuing legal decisions in civil cases comprising "findings of fact" and "conclusions of law". How they could misconstrue the first, which by your comment would be titled "findings of assumptions", eludes me.

     

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

  41.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 12:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    As opposed to the MPAA/RIAA's campaigns for keeping an open m,ind on copyright issues?

    Right

     

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

  42.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 3:27pm

    Re:

    Dude... NASA streamed that video live during the event. On their own website. I'm pretty sure that's all the evidence most people would need. Plus the fact that Scripps isn't in the space exploration business. The only way they could lay claim to those videos in this case would seem by tapping into the feed from the origination, not online with the NASA logo in the corner of the screen, and try to preempt NASA's posting.

     

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

  43.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 3:38pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    First, you don't actually have a 'right to post anonymously.' Mike does have the right to expose you, which he hasn't actually done.

    Second, slapping a logo on public domain content doesn't make the original content your own.

     

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

  44.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 13th, 2012 @ 4:18pm

    Re: I thought languages were immune to copyright, being 'factual'?

     

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

  45.  
    icon
    Karl (profile), Aug 14th, 2012 @ 12:34pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, that particular video is not copyright. However, framed into a video window broadcast with other material on the screen (even a logo) makes that particular PERFORMANCE copyright.

    No, it absolutely does not.

    If a work is in the public domain, then no copyright holder can ever claim rights to it. Framing it on screen with other material would not grant you, or anyone else, any kind of copyright on the public domain material ("performance" or not).

    In fact, if anyone tried to claim copyright on it, then that would be copyfraud (a fraudulent copyright notice). This is a criminal act under 17 USC 506(c), and anyone using it in a DMCA notice is guilty of perjury under 17 USC 512(c)(3)(A)(vi), and liable for damages under 17 USC 512(f).

    The only possible claim would be a trademark claim (for the logo itself), which is not covered by DMCA notices.

    And, in fact, I just watched the footage, and no such logo or "framing" appears at all.

    So, your argument is totally, 100% bogus.

     

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


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