from the palindromic-trolls-and-freudian-typos dept
We've got a tight cluster of top comments this week, with all four of the winners-by-vote coming from just two posts. Up first is our runaway champion of the week: an anonymous commenter who took Most Insightful by a wide margin, and also eked into the first place Funny slot by a few votes. Both of these were well-earned with one of the best comments in recent memory, responding to our post about the Internet Archive offering up records of free TV news programs. We wondered whether the project would meet the definition of "limited" that is required for the special copyright exception it seems to be leveraging, and this AC chimed in with some quippy legal analysis:
The Supreme Court said in Eldred v. Ashcroft that copyright terms can be retroactively extended to absurdity, and remain "limited" as per the constitution. By similar logic, it is mathematically certain that the Internet Archive is making available a limited number of copies. =)
As Mike said in response, this comment is full of win.
Up next, we've got a different anonymous commenter responding to the notorious bob, one of the more... um... unique detractors hanging around Techdirt. Bob showed up on our post about Hachette's increased prices for libraries to go on an anti-library screed, with a list of supposed "FAILS" to be found in the post. This garnered quite a few responses, the top-voted of which took apart bob's argument piece by piece:
Let me start off by saying your comment is more full of fail/stupid than any comment you've written to date. So on to putting your brand of idiocy in it's place.
"The only reason this blog likes libraries is because they offer a story line that helps the legal status of Big Search."
No, bob, the reason this blog likes libraries is because they offer anyone the opportunity to enrich themselves freely. You can check out a book and read it for free. You can go use their computers to do work. You can take your children for summer reading programs.
Basically, they provide a valuable service. One which the PUBLIC has no problem with. Hence the whole "public library" thing.
"FAIL#1: Libraries are the classic gatekeeper. No one reads anything unless the librarian buys it."
Oh my god. Only you would have the gall to call a library a gatekeeper. They are not gatekeepers. And I don't think you know what that word means. I'm not going to discuss this point further, but suffice it to say "YOU FAIL" on it.
"FAIL #2: Libraries take by force. No one chooses whether they participate in a library or not. The tax collector grabs the money from you whether you go or not. It doesn't matter whether you can't read or don't want to read, the library takes your money."
Libraries DO NOT take by force. Libraries are a public place/service. The tax collector also uses your tax dollars on parks, roads, schools, etc. Do you personally have children? Because I don't, yet my tax dollars go to funding public education. See what I'm getting at here? We all pay for things that are for the public good. But in no way are libraries directly taking money from my wallet against my will.
bob, I said it last week and I'll say it again, maybe YOU should go to a public library. Grab a few books, newspapers, etc and start fucking learning a thing or two. Your stupid scares me.
"FAIL #3: Libraries are anti-green. You've got to go to get the book."
And what do you think movies and cds are? You've got to go to the theater, you've got to go to Big Retail (as you'd put it) to purchase the physical discs, etc. And what about getting the products out to the market? Shipped using Big Trucking. Etc.
Again, this is another point that is so retarded I can't believe you tried to use it as a mark against libraries.
"FAIL #4: Librarians love their form of DRM. You want to lend a library book to a friend? You can't do it. You've got to bring it back and let them relend it."
Digital rights management (DRM) is a class of access control technologies that are used by hardware manufacturers, publishers, copyright holders and individuals with the intent to limit the use of digital content and devices after sale.
That is the definition of DRM. In no way do libraries have DRM with the exception of their ebook offerings, and their use of DRM is done basically through force and at the behest of the publishers, otherwise they (the publishers, actual gatekeepers) will withhold content.
But you can still lend out a book. You can either do it by returning it and letting your friend check it out. Or, by handing it over to your friend anyway. There's no library police spying on you 24/7 to make sure you don't lend it out. It goes against the spirit of things but there's no one preventing you from doing so.
"FAIL #5: Librarians don't believe in anonymous lending. You've got to register to take out a book and you better live in the right neighborhood."
No, you don't have to live in the right neighborhood. Using my library card I can check out anything from any public library in all of South Texas. I don't live in all of South Texas. I live in one city, in one county. Yet I can check anything out from any other city in any other county (even some that are hours away).
And the whole point of "registration" is to get a library card. That's it. So it's not some nefarious thing to prevent anonymity.
"FAIL #6: Librarians sleep. The Internet is a 24 hour invention."
Jesus christ. I'm ignoring this "brilliant" point as well. Someone else deal with the stupid on this one.
But just fyi, there are libraries online. And by that I mean actual public libraries. You can check out or reserve content in advance and pick it up as soon as they open. So while you may not be able to go to your local library 24/7, you are free to access their content in a manner of speaking 24/7. For some that is. But slowly more libraries are going "online".
"There's no way around the simple economics. If you're going to share a book with N people, you've got to charge N times more to maintain the same revenue. If we're going to pay authors at the same level as before, we've got to raise library prices."
bob, there's no difference between a physical book and an ebook. Especially as it pertains to libraries. X amount of people will check them out. But the sale has been made. Or donation. You can't charge more for one than the other. It makes no sense. Especially when one is a digital file that cost next to nothing to produce.
"So we've got a choice: cheaper books with something like a Kindle or some odd forced communism where we spend a tax dollars for books we might not like. I"ll take the Kindle and its simple way of rewarding the authors who people like."
Wtf? Did you just bring up communism in an ebook price hike on libraries brought about by publishers? Seriously, seek professional help. You've got some serious issues.
I'm done with you. I think I'm going to see if I can get my brain scrubbed. I fear your stupidity may have destroyed more brain cells than all the alcohol I've drank in my life ever has.
And please. Like you'd use a Kindle. That's made by Big Hardware, and it's core operating system is built upon an OS provided by Big Search. Not to mention the fact that Big Retail (Amazon) is "forcing" you into their DRM system. Or were you not aware that Amazon uses proprietary formats to get you said content?
God I hate you. When the hell can we get Lion Day going, because some "brilliance" needs to be culled before it further spreads among the gene pool. Please, DO NOT HAVE KIDS. I'm aiming that at you bob.
...and that's all that needs to be said about that. For Editor's Choice on the insightful side, we'll start with a comment on our post about Peter Hirtle's look at some examples of copyright insanity like pre-1978 TV shows and even a letter from 1755 that is still under copyright. Peter himself showed up in the comments to offer some additional details:
I want to thank Mike Masnick for bringing my article to the attention of his Techdirt readers. It is clear from some of the comments here that either commentators haven't read it or I was unclear in my writing. I may have assumed that everyone knew that the rules for copyright pre-and post-1978 are radically different, but I should have been clearer about this.
Many commentators asked about the copyright status of television shows. Most pre-1978 court cases said that the performance of a television show did not constitute publication. This is currently embedded in copyright law in 17 USC 101. Selling a program to a network would probably not constitute an offer to the public, and so no publication would occur. The program would, however, be protected by state common law copyrights until such time as the copyright owner authorized publication, at which point the Federal copyright clock would start running. In the case of Star Trek, the first episode was broadcast n 1966, but it was not published with notice until 1978. It was not necessary to register a copyright to receive copyright protection, but Desilu Studios did do so, noting a publication date of 1978. As a work created before 1978 and first published between 1978 and 2003, this episode of Star Trek is subject to the copyright term specified by 17 USC § 303: 95 years from first publication or 120 years from creation, whichever is shorter.
State common law copyrights, BTW, were perpetual, which is why the copyright owner of the Adams letter could authorize its publication in the 20th century and receive the full 95 year term on the letter.
Hey... with another retroactive copyright extension or two, we could get Star Trek to fall into the public domain after the year the show is set in!
For the second Editor's Choice, we've got AJ on our post about the Amanda Palmer volunteer musician kerfuffle. One thing a lot of people seem to be forgetting in that debate is that Amanda does employ a bunch of musicians and other creative professionals—so the stance of the detractors is not so much "we think she should pay" as "we think she should pay slightly more than she is". AJ highlighted this, plus the fact that the money she's now paying to musicians had to come from somewhere:
Someone must have lost out, although we don't know who that was. If most of the money to pay the musicians came from the video budget maybe they're paying for fewer camera operators, or they'll be do less work in post-production so the result might be less polished. I'm not trying to find out the full details, but to imply that nobody has lost out because of the change is obviously incorrect.
Now on to the Funny! We've already seen the First Place winner, and in second place we've got another comment on our post about Hachette prices, from another anonymous commenter. This AC decided to highlight the absurdity of treating digital content like physical goods:
You fail to mention the recent eFont crop shortage due to the hot summer we had. That's the real reason for costs to spike. Just wait until eFont crops get back to normal.
For Editor's Choice on the funny side, we've got two nice little one-liners. First up is an anonymous comment on our post about the TPP delegates' ongoing false promises of transparency, pointing out some of the irony in their behavior:
For a bunch of people who claim to hate counterfeiting, they sure love to counterfeit transparency.
Next we've got a comment from MikeVx. We're always grateful when commenters point out typos in our posts here at Techdirt, but we're also occasionally embarrassed and rarely surprised—so on our post about the White House's draft executive order on cybersecurity, it was nice to start reading such a comment and then have our expectations subverted:
Mike, you let a typo loose in the entry title. There is no R in daft.
I'd rather be optimistic: assume the typo was on the White House's end, and while we're thinking this is a draft of the actual order, it's actually intended as an example to staff of how not to deal with cybersecurity issues. I look forward to a leak of the "Sensible Executive Order".