Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the a-level-playing-field dept

Taking the top spot in "insightful" comment voting was Bengie, responding to big broadband players in Kansas City demanding a "level playing field" against Google's fiber offering. Bengie points out what a real "level playing field" might look like:
AT&T/TW/Comcast/etc have gotten about 1.2tril in grants and tax-breaks over the past 15 years with the intent of actually upgrading the USA's infrastructure.

I say even the playing field, but retroactively give Google a fair slice of all that stimulus. I figure a cool 100bil of free money should be enough for Google to "fairly" compete.
Coming in second was Coises with a "better idea" for a CAPTCHA to stop trolls, responding to the story about an "empathy CAPTCHA."
What about just asking a question that tests whether you actually read and understood the article?
That one actually came in second place on both the Insightful scores and Funniest. Either way, if anyone could implement that one, let us know... Moving on to editor's choice, we've got an Anonymous Coward questioning the US district court judge who denied Megaupload's attempt to get the case against it dismissed because the US could not properly serve the company. The AC questions one bit of the judge's reasoning:
I'm particularly struck by the judges claim that MU *purposefully* did not set up an office in the US. What kind of reasoning is that? If a foreign company does not set up a US office, this makes them automatically intent on criminal activity, even if the comapny's customer base is by no means US centric (MU was big in Southern Europe, Latin America and Asia, and had only a small percentage of US users)? This judge displays the kind of parochialism that seems unfortunately to be typical of many Americans these days. Wholly absurd reasoning, given that MU intentionally complies with the DMCA even though as a non-US company they didn't have to...
Next up, we've got a comment from Ninja responding to the story of Sony suing an actor from its commercials for appearing in another commercial and... um... looking too much like himself.
If I were the actor I'd then ask for a lifetime monthly wage since they are earning so much with my image that I can't get any other jobs as an actor. Sounds fair.
Moving over to the funny side of the ledger... we've got Beech's response to someone claiming that Google fiber is a form of "fascism":
If it gets me gigabit broadband for what google is charging the people of Kansas city, then I, for one, welcome our new fascist google overlords.
The second place comment we already mentioned above, so we'll jump straight to the third place comment, which was Mike C.'s response to the Copyright Clearance Center trying to insert credit to "copyright" for the Google book scanning settlement. Mike C. suggested that their statement left out a few words (in bold):
Mike, Mike, Mike... you're such a realist, always trying to look at the bigger picture. Of course, in doing so, you completely misread the quote. Let me "enhance" it down for you:
"Today's news not only further establishes the value of copyright as a tool to hinder innovation and progress while generating new sources of legal fees, but also points to the importance of working with rightsholders when undertaking mass digitization unless you WANT to get sued, of course. Collaboration is key when it comes to copyright because if you don't collaborate voluntarily, we'll just get the courts to force you."
See? It's all in reading the hidden meanings...
For editor's choice, we've got two separate comments from yet another case of the RIAA's questionable math skills being shown again. A thorough debunking of the RIAA's claims that there were 41% fewer musicians today than in 1999 apparently brought out your funny bone. First up, we've got Chosen Reject rejecting my theory that this is about bogus math. Instead apparently I just didn't get the right equation:
That is demonstrably false. Politicians are very good at math and can readily calculate the correct sum. An RIAA lobbyist will tell them that they donated X to their campaign to get them elected, and will donate Y if they pass bill Z. All politicians were successfully able to calculate the sum of X and Y. Further, they were also able to determine that (X+Y) > X (X and Y > 0 being a given). In addition, the politicians were finally able to compute that (X+Y)-(Cost of vacation for spouse) > (cost of hookers and blow).

I dare say you need to retract your obviously false statement and publicly recognize the great intelligence found in the political species.
Finally, we've got saulgoode pointing that if the RIAA's numbers are accurate, it also means something else that the RIAA probably wouldn't want noticed:
So what the RIAA is saying... is that Sonny Bono's Copyright Term Extension Act of 1998 has been an abject failure resulting a dramatic reduction in the number of artists being "incentivized" to create.
Seems like a relevant point... that will get almost no attention in Congress.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2012 @ 2:43pm

    "I'll go along with that - with the stipulation that the money comes from the incumbents who failed to upgrade sufficiently. "

    ^^^^^THIS!! This should be mandated, the incumbents should be fined and penalized for wasting taxpayer money and scamming the public blind and that money should be directed away from the incumbent failures and towards successful companies.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous, Oct 14th, 2012 @ 3:12pm

    Let the joyous news at once be spread...

    Arlen Specter is finally dead!
    Ding-dong, the Specter's dead...

     

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  3.  
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    Beech, Oct 14th, 2012 @ 5:46pm

    Re:

    As much as I loathe hearing about these kinds of stories about huge companies blatantly screwing the public, I find it hard to blame them. A company is only going to do what it believes will make it the most money (in either the short or long term, depending on the company). In this way they're at least kind of honest, well, if not honest, we at least know what to expect from them.

    In this instance specifically, I can't muster anger against the incumbent ISPs for taking government money and doing as little as possible. I blame the government for giving them that money without more strings attached. The company did what companies are made to do, maximize their own revenue. Even if they needed to severely coax the politicians into it. Shame on the politicians for letting them. I mean, if congress leaves a big loophole in a law, it's not shame on me for walking through it, its shame on them for not writing the law better.

    TL;DR It's not the ISPs that failed you, it's the asshats giving them money for nothing.

     

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  4.  
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    Mike C. (profile), Oct 14th, 2012 @ 6:19pm

    Re: Re:

    So now, I think what we need to do is get the politicians to realize that the common carriers have not held up their end of the bargain and need to repay that $1T+. Just think of how big a dent that could make in the deficit... and how much people would want to reelect a politician that helped make that dent.

    /never happen, I know.
    //Still fun to think about..

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2012 @ 6:33pm

    "Seems like a relevant point... that will get almost no attention in Congress."

    Nah, just typical 'tardian bullshit. Congress is stupid, but not THAT stupid.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2012 @ 7:05pm

    Either way, if anyone could implement that one, let us know...

    Easy... Just implement a system that if an author is going to post controversy (read "troll attracting") article, they'd be given an option to write in some excerpts and customized question and answers.

    The captcha bots owners should at least read the article once to deal with this kind of question.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2012 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Let the joyous news at once be spread...

    Only a truly heartless bastard would celebrate someone dying.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2012 @ 8:43pm

    that will get almost no attention in Congress.

    That's because it's the silliest attempt at 'correlation equals causation' that they've ever seen.

     

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  9.  
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    Spencer (profile), Oct 14th, 2012 @ 10:01pm

    Re:

    They did say it was the cause. The exact opposite, in fact. They are saying that the act obviously failed at doing what it was meant to do, according to the RIAAs own numbers.

     

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  10.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 14th, 2012 @ 10:29pm

    Re:

    Why is it "the silliest attempt"? If the argument is that stronger copyright is needed as an incentive for artists, and RIAA statistics are to be believed, why is it therefore wrong to point out the contradiction?

     

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  11.  
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    stefenluo (profile), Oct 14th, 2012 @ 10:48pm

    "Arlen Specter is finally dead!
    Ding-dong, the Specter's dead..."

    Sad to hear that. it that ture

     

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  12.  
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    twilightfog, Oct 14th, 2012 @ 11:15pm

    So, the judge is essentially saying that a company needs to have an office in *each* country where their users are. Would have pretty far-reaching implications for internet companies.

     

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  13.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2012 @ 12:49am

    Re: Re:

    First, consider that without it, perhaps the stats would be even worse.

    Second, consider that, according to Techdirt, the music business doesn't start and end with the Music Industry.

    Third, when the law was passes, nobody considered the implications of Napster and widescale piracy.

    There is no cause and effect relationship, it's a poor attempt to try to slag off copyright law.

     

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  14.  
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    Beech, Oct 15th, 2012 @ 1:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    First, consider that without it, perhaps the stats would be even better.

    Second, consider that, according to the Music Industry that pushed that and similar laws through, the music business DOES start and end with the Music Industry. Which means that even with them getting all the laws they're writing pushed through for the sole purpose of benefiting themselves, they're still getting their asses handed to them in the market.

    Third, when the law as passes (sp?), nobody considered Jupiter being in the third house of Aquarius. Studies show that piracy can be very very GOOD for music as a whole, unless you do things exactly the way the Music Industry has been doing them.

    There is no cause and effect relationship, it's a poor attempt to justify more and harsher copyright law.

     

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  15.  
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    The eejit (profile), Oct 15th, 2012 @ 3:15am

    Re:

    Not just them, but also the megabanks that don't have official offices in some countries they operate in.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2012 @ 5:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    First, unknown, so there is no way to draw conclusions based on it. Thanks for confirming that there is no way to have a cause / effect relationship here.

    Second, you are assuming a market that doesn't change, and it has. Theft is up to incredible levels. If your store had 99% shoplifting levels, you would have your ass handed to you too.

    Third, get stuffed. Clearly you are trolling.

    There is clearly cause and effect between your lack of intelligence and your low end trolling.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2012 @ 5:51am

    Re:

    No, the judge effectively said that if you are going to take people's money, you have legal responsibility in that country, even if you willfully and intentionally don't have a corporate presence in that country.

    The judge saw through Kim's shenanigans. Shame on anyone for thinking Kim did something good.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2012 @ 6:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If your store had 99% shoplifting levels, you would have your ass handed to you too.

    Shouldn't it be 99.9% shoplifting levels? I mean, if you're just making stuff up, why not go all the way? Wait, why not 100% shoplifting levels?

    Why not 110%?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2012 @ 12:21pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Second, consider that, according to Techdirt, the music business doesn't start and end with the recording industry.

    FTFY. Helps to be factual and make sense when you're trying to make a point.

    As to the '99% shoplifting levels' you pull out of your crannies a bit further in the thread? You're again conflating digital goods with physical goods. If that figure were true, then the recording industry would already be dead.

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2012 @ 12:23pm

    Re: Re:

    And as others have pointed out, this puts a lot of US companies on the line, as well. What's good for the goose is good for the gander.

     

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  21.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Oct 15th, 2012 @ 2:41pm

    Re: Re: Let the joyous news at once be spread...

    I bet you spent a week in mourning when Jack Valenti died, huh?

     

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  22.  
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    Beech, Oct 15th, 2012 @ 2:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    First, I lifted your first post almost word for word to show how your use of the "weasel" word "perhaps" could be used to show weak hypothetical anecdotal evidence for either side of the position. Funny that you were trying to prove something in your first post, then after i show how dumb it was you suddenly change your mind to "unknown, so there is no way to draw conclusions based on it." If it's unknown whether or not copyright hurts or harms creativity, why did you bring it up in the first place?

    Second, of course the market changes. There are a number of factors, one of which the Music Industry was heavily focused on, namely making new laws trying to shape the market to their whims. If they're losing their asses in the new permutation of the market it is their fault. It is their job to keep up with market changes. If they don't they will go bankrupt and someone else will move in to fill the void.

    Third, ad hom. I guess to refute this point i would say something along the lines of "Nu-uh, YOU'RE trolling, Trolly McTrollerson!"

    More ad hom. Its like the logic center of your brain shut down and it humors me. I was merely trying to show how if there is "no cause and effect relationship" it's dumb to try to base legislation on it either way. Unfortunately, there are those on either side who are trying to do just that.

     

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  23.  
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    Beech, Oct 15th, 2012 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Also, if I had a store where 99% of the people who came in took something off my shelves and left without paying, but never actually reduced my inventory at all, and I can potentially have millions of customers an hour, then I think the 1% that did pay would be plenty to sustain my business model of abundance.

     

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