I think her problem isn't actually with anonymity per se, just community management:
It makes for many an ugly day, discouraging thoughtful discussions and repelling readers who don't have the stomach for the daily dose of vitriol. The Plain Dealer's John Kroll leads the heroic effort to keep the site civil, but it's an ongoing challenge.
Some argue that allowing anonymity is a way of outing the bigots among us. But reading multiple posts, often by the same person using a variety of identities, amplifies voices and exaggerates numbers. The haters are small in number, but they are tenacious, and the resulting echo chamber fuels a growing climate of fear and rage born of false impressions.
Her problem is that (allegedly) anonymity leads to trolling and sock-puppeting. Both of those are problems TechDirt has resolved quite well (in that trolls here just make poor arguments, instead of "u r retarded" Youtube fare).
Mike, you ought to be referring to several of the great posts you've written about developing a good commenting community, not pointing out the Federalist Papers were written anonymously.
I know common sense and the law don't mix, but how could this ruling possibly stand?
This seems like it has immense problems for all commerce. Especially with how Omega snuck in the copyright. Honda could do the same thing and claim used car lots can't sell their cars. Would foreign book importers need permission from each author to stock the books? What about a small record store purchasing and reselling music or movies from abroad?
I'm not that knowledgeable on the specifics here, so maybe I'm missing something, but wouldn't this create huge problems in just about every sector?
I think the risk/reward is misaligned for politicians on this issue. Let's say someone came out very publicly and very strongly against these abuses and for oversight, safeguards, etc etc. At best, they're doing a service to the American people, but not in a way that particularly moves voters. At worst, a terrorist attack occurs they'll be blamed for making America less safe.
So instead, it's easier to just keep status quo.
There are exceptions, but for most politicians job security is their top concern. Unless voters start caring about privacy abuses, they don't have the incentive to either.
I really think this story gets funnier and funnier. It really is like a policy from a bizarro world where Ubisoft is following Mike's advice to Piss Off Fans + Reason To Pirate ('PoF + RtP' for short).
You have to hand it to Domino's ad team, though, for taking a lawsuit that didn't even involve itself, and then creating a TV ad about it, which doesn't even mention how the competitor they're mocking won that lawsuit. That's bold.
I'm not sure I understand your emphasis on Papa John's winning the lawsuit. They didn't win that suit because their pizza actually had better ingredients and was better, they won because the statement is subjective, not a declarative fact, and not deceptive in advertising.
So Domino's is pointing out that Papa John's claim of 'Better Ingredients, Better Pizza' is admittedly a subjective advertising claim, not a factual statement. I don't see why it matters if Domino's was involved in the suit or not, or if Papa John's won.
I imagine it's just an ass covering mechanism to placate corporate higher-ups. If they didn't include a DRM, and it was available to download for free, then there would be lots of angry meetings. By slapping a DRM on it, even if it gets cracked immediately, they can just wave their hands and say they tried.
That still isn't sensical, but I imagine the general way it goes. Eventually video game DRMs will have to go the way of music ones. You can't sustain selling a product that is demonstrably worse than one that is free. It's some sort of bizarro RtB, where they package their product with a Reason to Pirate.
I am sick and tired of corporate whores acting like me and people like me who are copyleft advocates are trying to destroy the modern world. We aren't. All we want is to be free of corporate influence at every turn.
I definitely agree with you that the 'Digital Barbarism'-style characterizations are tiresome, but I think you're making too sweeping statement here, and may be conflating 'copyleft' with just 'left'. I'm strongly pro-capitalism and pro-corporation, but that's why I'm also strongly in favor of copyright/trademark/patent reform. Government enforced artificial monopolies are antithetical to a healthy capitalist marketplace. I imagine there other reform supporters who feel similarly.
If you want to tell American Reading's CEO Jane Hileman how you feel about a company whose goal is to encourage reading threatening a community group that encourages reading, you can share your thoughts with her here: jhileman (at) americanreading.com
This could also just be some good ol fashioned racism. Maybe she's not mad her billboard is in a movie, but that it's in a movie that black people(!) will see.
On the flip side, for example, if in a film a sign promoting Techdirt with Mike's photo on it is easily seen in the background of a scene depicting graphic child rape and murder, you would likely have an excellent case that such use of your trademarked name (assuming for the moment it is trademarked) and your image has caused you damage in the community by associating it with an image of an heinous crime.
I know you didn't intend it this way, but you are comparing one's image being in the background of a movie about a black artist... to being in the background of graphic child rape. Yeah... those totally sound just as bad to me...
There's also the obvious point that it's a billboard. It’s an advertisement whose entire purpose is getting incidental views. Wouldn’t appearing in a movie be making it more effective? The mind boggles.
Looks like we've come full circle- the modern newspaper has its roots in the coffee houses, cafes, and clubs of the 16th and 17th century where people would congregate to read and discuss current events.
How would this work in practice, as it stands it's something along the lines of big group with lots of lawyers says:
"I'm suing you over something baseless! But it is more costly to defend yourself in court than just settle! I have made a mockery of justice!"
The NH law changes it to:
"As above, except now you could try to prove to a court my claim is baseless. But it will cost you more to try and allege that in court than just settle. I win again!"
I don't think we're really disagreeing over much. I think the labels are fighting basic economics, I agree infringement is still illegal, and I'm not for the abolishing of copyright, just getting rid of the excesses of the 'abusive territory' you agree its been wildly defined into.
"it clearly and specifically their right to sue people who don't abide by the current law of the land."
A response to this though:
We're a bit off topic now- the original post was whether they -deserve- payment. I think entitlement and economics don't mix, and they don't -deserve- anything. But that's not saying they can't sue for it as the law allows. Do you feel they -deserve- the money though?
"I think the point is that music is now free by default".
This is the crux of the issue. The music in question here is decidedly *not* free. There is a quite specific price attached to it by the Label who is selling it.
Should it be free? that's an entirely different question.
Should has nothing to do with this- it's not that music should be free, it's that it IS. And the music in question here decidedly IS free- I can go and download whatever I want, right now, for free. The labels are offering that same free product, with a plastic disc bundled into the package, for cash.
This is just economics- I agree that the law hasn't caught up with the marketplace yet. But law is just creating artificial barriers.
But the reverse, that *no one* would have bought it, is likewise not a reasonable statement either.
I don't think Mike (or anyone) is arguing that the only people who infringe music are people who would never pay money. In fact, Techdirt's highlighted a number of times that these same people -will- pay money, given a reason to.
I think the point is that music now is now free by default. The cost of distributing a song to everyone with a computer doesn't cost anything. Joel (and others) didn't want to pay money for the physical CD disc, and instead just got the music at cost online.
Customers will willingly (gladly even) pay money for things they want. Strongarm lawsuits, government protection, and grandstanding in the media aren't things customers want though.