Because it's a common maximalist tactic to pretend that the only possible objection anyone could have to overbearing copyright laws is that it will stop them from piracy.
It's more than that. It's a deliberate depiction of anyone who is technologically knowledgeable, as someone who is immature and socially maladjusted. Their arguments can then be dismissed as nothing more than a symptom of personal defects. ("You only think this way because you're immature." "Despite what you say, you only care about getting stuff for free, because you're too socially awkward to get a job." And so on.)
It is used mainly by people who are technologically illiterate, and its goal is to invoke and exploit anti-intellectualism.
In reality, of course, the readership here is generally older, more highly educated, and has bigger incomes than most other sites on the Web. Almost no Techdirt readers are under 18; most are 25-34. There are almost three times as many Techdirt readers with college degrees than without; and about three times as many make over $50K/year than make less.
By why let reality get in the way of good ol'-fashioned stereotyping propaganda?
And now, you're showing that you don't know what you're talking about when you say "common law." Here's a hint: when talking about "common law" vs. "statutory law," common law basically means "case law."
Common law based on facts of existence is what authorizes the Constitution,
The Constitution isn't "authorized" by common law. If the two are in conflict, the Constitution overrides common law. (Just as it does statutory law.)
and statute is tertiary.
When statutes and common law are in conflict, statutory laws override common law decisions. A judge cannot override a statute because case law conflicts with it; if the statute conflicts with case law, it is the statute, not case law, that is binding.
Common law is the general opinion of We The People; truths are self-evident, gov't is only a servant of The People, and everyone is equal before The Law.
Uh, no, it didn't. At least, there's absolutely zero evidence that it did.
It's true that BitTorrent traffic has seen its first decline this month. But it is largely due to two factors: 1. More legal alternatives (which explain why BitTorrent traffic is lower in countries that have e.g. Netflix). 2. File sharers moving to non-BitTorrent methods, like Tor or encrypted cyberlockers.
And, besides, it would only "work" if there were more sales being generated as a result. But on the contrary, recorded music sales have slumped - and for the first time ever, that includes digital sales.
If Google and the other large companies have done nothing wrong then they should be asking for a full investigation to clear their business reputations. Of course they are not calling for any investigation.
Though this latest round of dickery by "On Press" is hardly a surprise, there is a silver lining. It allowed me to get in my WABAC machine to read this hilarious series of comments between Dark Helmet and Capitalist Lion Tamer.
Perhaps someday it will occur to the legal eagles here that one cannot steal something that no one owns.
But we do own works in the public domain. That is because we own our own property (our copies), and our own labor (to create copies, performances, or derivative works). We also "own" our own speech and our own participation in culture.
These are the things that copyright removes from the public, and grants to copyright holders exclusively.
Fun fact: the term "redneck" arose to describe poor, white Southern farm laborers - probably indentured servants or their descendants - in the late 1800's. Around the turn of the century, it was used to describe poor white southern Democrats. In the early 20th century, it was co-opted by the UMW (a multi-racial union of Appalachian coal miners) to refer to a union man or striker.
It was only in the post-Civil-Rights era that the term became a derogatory stereotype of poor whites, especially poor white Southerners.
You should read the source article. Burnett's actually talking about recording medium there, -analogue multi tracks v pro-tools/sd11 files.
The "pitchforks and torches" comment certainly was not. Here's how he describes "Silicon Valley:"
If somebody had come down from Silicon Valley 30 years ago and said "I've got this new technology, and you're gonna be able to see all around the world, transfer your stuff all over the world, you're gonna be able to send things, you'll be able to see your friends, you'll be able to hear music -- all you have to do is give up your privacy and your royalties," everybody would have said, "Get the f--- out of town! Right now! Get out of here!" Instead, these guys came down with their shtick, and everybody went "Well, how can we make money from this great new technology?" "Oh, you're not gonna make money from it. Everything's gonna be free. Just give us the intellectual property we can send around in our pipes, everybody will subscribe, and then we'll be rich. Not you, though." [Laughs.] "Don't ask us what we're doing with the money. Just make the stuff and send it to us for free." That's how much of a straight-up con it's been.
It is, of course, 100% total bullshit. Nobody from "Silicon Valley" has ever asked anyone to do anything like that. The closest would be companies like Spotify - who pay 70% of their revenue to rights holders.
The only reason refusing to register is not a violation of the First Amendment right of free speech is because you can still use it even if it's not registered.
True, but I believe the important word in G. Thompson's post is "exclusive."
You can still use the mark. You simply cannot bring a trademark suit against anyone else who also uses that mark.
You could possibly bring some other suit against them - a common-law unfair competition claim, for example. Those, however, are state claims, and since the Langham Act preempts state claims, they would be unlikely to succeed (and cover claims that are very different than trademarks).
I know, dead thread, but I wanted to make a small point.
We would greatly prefer to negotiate streaming licenses in an open market.
Were that the case, you would be against all copyright protections. Copyright is purely a government-granted monopoly, and is not part of "an open market" at all.
What you really mean is this: "We would greatly prefer it that the government create monopoly rights where rights holders set the monopoly prices individually, rather than create monopoly rights where the government sets a universal monopoly price."
There are pros and cons to that argument, but that is the argument you must make when you are debating compulsory licenses.
How pretentious do you have to be to defend porn as an art form?
Of course it is an art form, or least it's "art" with a small "a." It could not possibly be anything else. It may not be good art, but nobody said that only good art is part of culture.
How about porn as empowerment for women?
That is not an outlandish argument - several third-wave feminists do in fact make this argument - but it's irrelevant. Art does not have to empower women to be art, even to be good art.
At least have the decency to admit what it really is: pandering to our baser selves. It's not uplifting, educational, inspirational, or in any way beneficial.
The vast majority of pop art also panders to our baser selves. You could say exactly the same thing about most horror or action movies, but I would never suggest that those movies are not part of culture.
Other low art forms can be shared as part of the wider community.
If those "low art forms" can be copyrighted (and I can't think of a single one that cannot), then they can only be shared to the exact degree that pornogaphy is.
But hey, what else would you expect from a conservative?
Ironically, your conservative self is making exactly the same arguments that Soviet Russia did to censor artists. Just substitute "the proletariat" for "culture."
In fact, the reason I'm even commenting is because some feminists (though a small minority) advocate stripping pornography of its copyright protections. They make the same argument: pornography does not promote "the progress of science," so it shouldn't be covered under the Copyright Clause.
Though I'm no fan of copyright, especially in its current incarnation, I think this is a terrible idea. It would be stripping away a marketable right simply because of the content of its speech. This is pretty obviously a First Amendment violation, and it opens the door to other content-based First Amendment violations that have nothing to do with copyright.
And I wouldn't be sad to see it all disappear tomorrow because they were driven out of business by amateurs posting their efforts online for free.
As a red-blooded American male, I would mind that very much. But it will never happen, because pornography is fantasy. Amateur content will never entirely replace professional content, for exactly the same reason that cinima verite will never replace every other form of film.
Re: Well, well. The fanboy-trolls really like these pieces: only time they're winning.
Rest of court cases pretty uniformly go against them
No, for the most part, courts have agreed with "us" more than they have with you.
In addition to the Prenda, Righthaven, ACS:Law, and the other copyright trolling cases, judges regularly rule in the ways we have always said were legally correct. Assessment Techs. v. Wire Data, the myVidster ruling, Universal v. Veoh, and every single one of the ICE seizure cases that were challenged - all have been wins for us. (And by "us," I mean the American public, not just Techdirt readers.)
Plus, courts have repeatedly ruled - from the very beginning - that your notion of copyright being a "common-law right" is flat-out, 100% false.
Yeah, I'm sure the porn-producing culture is going to completely evaporate now.
instead of taking the word of rightsholders for it like Beryl Howell
It's telling that the only judge you think is "fair" is the one who was a former lobbyist for the RIAA and Universal. One who helped author bills in Congress that are unabashedly copyright maximalist and anti-Internet (the NET Act, the Digital Theft Deterrence and Copyright Damages Improvement Act, the DMCA, the CFAA, etc), and had a hand in creating the Patriot Act.
And the only judge in the Prenda saga who did not recognize that the joinder of thousands of defendants was not a due process violation.
Just because you dislike a person does not mean you get to strip them of their rights and pin them on baseless charges.
No, it does not. However, when the person defrauds the court, skips hearings, forges signatures, attacks the judges ruling over their cases... Well, then you get to "pin them" with charges, because they're anything but "baseless."
It takes a brave individual to dare to protect content creators savaged by pirates
"Savaged by Pirates" sounds like the name of one of their porn movies.
In any case, the claim that rights holders (who are usually not "creators") are being "savaged" by some dude downloading porn on his laptop, is completely laughable. And someone who uses high-priced lawyers and extraordinarily biased laws to extort money from average people is anything but "brave."
To the Anonymous Coward insisting I hate due process, you don't know what you're talking about.
Apparently he does, since you've never once defended due process. You've only said that judges should disregard it, and simply take the word of rights holders.
I pray that a thousand disgruntled artists and producers show up at your door and beat you to a bloody pulp. How's that for due process?
Due process exists to protect the legal rights of the accused. So, no, a mob beat-down is not any kind of "due process" at all.
But the A.C. has little to fear, since there aren't a thousand artists in the world (disgruntled or not) who like Prenda.
Re: Didn't attribute NOT same as "infringe". This is baloney.
That's NOTHING like the TENS OF MILLIONS of dollars that Megaupload / Dotcom got by ACTUALLY infringed [sic] content.
First of all, the RIAA isn't just suing people like Dotcom.
Second of all, Megaupload and Dotcom did not make "tens of millions" from actually infringing on copyrights. They are not even accused of doing so. Instead, they are accused of secondary liability for their users infringing on copyrights (none of which made anywhere close to "tens of million," of dollars, and probably never made close to "tens of tens" of dollars).
The RIAA, in contrast, directly infringed on the copyrights of the jQuery Foundation. Legally, what the RIAA and BPI did was worse than what Megaupload did.