That derringer case is interesting : the Deringer guy was incompetent in the market, otherwise h'd b the better-remembered guy.
What matters is that a product can be bought by the greatest count of people, nothing else.
I have a personal example. My mom innovated a revolutionary technique in chocolates, and some bigger industry tried to copy it, we sued and won and they stopped.
The market had to wait for six years for the patent to expire, before someone actually competent in marketing products got to actually sell volumes of that product.
The original ones were better, but the knockoffs had the advantage of existing on the market, being there to buy.
My point is that, ideas are free. It's not even "obviousness", it's "existence".
Humans have a moral duty to use and apply every idea that exists. The one who deserves money from an idea is the one to manages to get the result to the most people. End.
It's all about who can make it cheapest and quickest and keep supplying the demand. THAT. IS. ALL.
If I invent something that can change the world, all I want is that everyone gets to use it. Of course I'd love to get st up for life for one good idea, but that's not going to happen in a just and fair world.
In a just and fair world, those who get money for products are those who actually sell the product to the most people. That is reality. That is business.
As a Belgian chocolatier, I've been to those industry meetings where they negotiated a label for "good quality" chocolate. In the 90s. (Like, 94-97, I can't remember precisely.) They were worse than worthless.
See, WE asked -with ONE other chocolatier, out of ALL those who felt concerned enough to even show up- that there be NO certification label, but only that ALL the ingredients used in the product have to be listed.
They answered that THERE IS AN EUROPEAN DIRECTIVE THAT SAYS THAT YOU DON'T HAVE TO LIST AN INGREDIENT IF THERE IS UNDER 2% OF IT IN THE FINAL PRODUCT.
That's when we walked out of the meeting. One of our suppliers was there and got certified later, and we SAW one tub of sunflower oil in front of their tank of white chocolate, when we went to visit them. That was NEVER listed in the ingredients lists, even on the technical specifications sheet.
The "rules about what goes in the chocolate" were pre-broken. It's not even the later lobbying that did it.
As for the decline in quality, you're almost right. What happened was that, at some point, people got interested in chocolate without fillings. So, suppliers began to market chocolate displaying prominently their cocoa mass percentage.
Chocolate is made out of three ingredients : cocoa powder, cocoa butter, and sugar. Sugar is cheap, powder is even cheaper, cocoa butter is expensive.
So, to achieve high percentages while keeping their margins, they began to unbalance their recipes and put way too much cocoa powder relative to the cocoa butter.
Those dark chocolates that leave a bitter paste in your mouth that doesn't go away? That's too much powder and not enough butter to make it go down. Long-tasting should means that the flavor is delivered in your mouth, result of a good quality from the bean through a careful processing that respects the product, not that your palate gets unpleasantly coated because of an shitty recipe committed by accountants.
Then, they tried to fix that by adding other fats to the chocolate. As if getting your mouth burned by processed animal fats were better than getting it coated with cocoa powder. Right. Because two wrongs make a right, ostensibly.
I'd say "let the idiots buy from the dishonest makers, at least MY product's GOOD", but then I find it harder to sell my chocolates when people are afraid of eating dark chocolates because they now think it's supposed to taste bad.
It's not the first time someone tries to create a label for "Belgian chocolate". Those have always failed.
You could buy cocoa beans from, say, Callebaut, refine them in Ivory Coast or wherever it is they're grown, ship the half-made chocolate to the US and then finish it with the Belgian methods, it will be Belgian chocolate in all but name. Why not give it the name then?
One Belgian chocolatier only consists of an office and everything is outsourced, not especially in Belgium. They're marketing their product as Belgian chocolate. Does it deserve the name?
You really can't certify that. There is no Unique Secret Recipe, just some nebulous cloud of ways to make the chocolate, like everywhere else. I mean, the sort of output from our couverture factories is different from what you find at the exit of, say, American couverture factories, and that's part of Belgianness. It's made (mainly) from other Belgian products, by people who learned to make chocolates in Belgium. Take the same source product and methods anywhere in the world, you're making Belgian chocolates.
"Belgian chocolate" means about as much as "French fries".
but no-one in Real, Serious Business will fund it, ever.
And the FLOSS guys are too damn incompetent to git dat dun, or it would have been made fucking eons ago.
WHAT is the model of the ONLY software that's entirely reliant on USERS just being THERE?
FLAT. P2P. SWARM.
There is ZERO excuse as of now to build any sort of service that needs to be HOSTED in centralized, easy-to-raid locations, unless it's being built so as to be easy to shut down.
The only service that serves data you can be CERTAIN will hold the data, is the one where YOU serve the data, on YOUR hardware. Then you'd store data for others, so that others store your data, too, and encrypted in such a way that you demonstrably can't access what others store on your device.
NO-ONE is going to fund that, and FLOSS hobbyists aren't professional enough to package those simple, simple services in ways that Normal People can setup with ONE TAP on ANY device. Or just point at a QR code to automagically have all their apps and data migrated to UserCloud instead of WalledGarden.
runs a business in such a way that it's vulnerable to such trolling AT ALL?
Internet is WORDWIDE, remember? HOST YOUR APP STORE IN P2P, RIGHT THERE IN THE PHONES. No software patents applied or enforced there. I'm way past caring about all the poor idiot 'Murrican devs and businesses who can't figure out the meaning of jurisdiction. WHEN THE SOLUTION IS JUST THAT BLINDINGLY OBVIOUS.
But it's "forbidden" because you have to "comply" with "regulations"? Why? Come on, try and stop the bits, BRING IT ON. Internet CAN and DOES take on censorship and WIN.
Reality doesn't care for laws, because it's made of things that still exist when no-one believes in them. Laws stop existing when no-one believes in them. Bits exist, I've seen them, but I've never seen a regulation pop up in my TCP packets.
As for "but devs could be raided" : hahaha lolno. They'd have to raid all of everyone who ever downloaded the Android Dev Toolkit or XCode. And all the publishers, i.e. everyone who owns a phone/tablet/whatever. GOOD LUCK WITH THAT.
Who in France can make them pay? This makes no sense. How would they enforce that?
France : "Twitter owes us fifty mil!"
Twitter: "Fuck you."
France : "..."
What're they gonna do, send French repo men? Where? Or, censor the site, because that's going to work. LOL
This makes no sense. Oh, yeah, so they'd be barred from using French bank accounts to pay and get paid for ads and shit. Like that's critically important for business. Yeah, right.
WHAT are they gonna do? If it was physical goods it'd be easy to stop them at borders or something, but it's a website. How could France punish a website for not paying up this censorship-based racketeering? Or stop it from operating? There are hundreds of sites that extract and sort and filter Twitter feeds, would they try and stop those? It's impossible.
What sort of idiots... Look, the only service you can be certain will NOT be stopped is the one you run yourself. So, the client must be the server. Else, it WILL get raided or abandoned or cut off funds or something, at some point.
Now imagine a p2p news-spreader system borne exclusively within the browser. You are the cloud as long as you're using the site. Theoretically, the system works as long as SOMEone else is using it at the instant you start using it. Sort of NewsTorrent.
There. Problem solved. "I depended on Google and they killed my service, whine whine" - answer: NEVER count on what someone else might stop providing.
Peer-to-peer, flat, mesh network : Problem solved. (The "mesh" part is not all that solved, but "how to build a service that resists everything" is. The answer is "the server is the cloud of users, and crypto-sign everything as if you trust no-one".)
"An Internet service that was hosted on a central server located under US jurisdiction has been shut down because regulatory capture."
Two articles per day on TechDirt to repeat over and over that you can't set up any innovation in the US.
But... there is no regulation on reality. Get over it. Build the service as fully-distributed P2P and PROBLEM FUCKING SOLVED FOREVER. Can't stop "hosting@Home" over TOR and I2P with all transactions in Bitcoins.
Distributed systems. The server is the swarm. That's the one and only way. You can't do more resilient than a net of equal independent agents.
I have exactly zero sympathy for those morons who insist on following regulations and get shut down because of the regulations they never knew, or failed at seeming to follow.
But then you wouldn't be founding a company with VC money for hockey-stick returns, you'd be building something that will enrich you no more than any other user of your system.
I think they're just seeing it as one more revenue stream. The interesting details are the script copies, the short window, and the whole "the US is the world" myopia. There may be more interesting details further, but it's 4AM here and time to try to sleep.
I see what you're getting at, but I think it's important that they're doing it. They're even doing it better than they realize.
They're accepting downloads under short windows, and theater operators (stop calling them owners, they're semi-independent at best) will shut up and like it or face a dearth of movies. It's not like studios don't own the distributors who control who gets to screen what.
They're selling copies of the script. How many people will begin writing because of those copies? Even if none directly. Maybe some fanfic will use a throwaway line from there and make it a meme. How influential on how many future writers in how long a time? No cultural artifact is truly useless.
That's just one, two details off the top of my head. The business is changing, and although they're too stupid to understand exactly how, they're still going in a direction that's not completely wrong : it involves the audience in the process. So what if it's the financing part of movie making? It's still power to the people.
Yeah, they'll try to sell it twice. So what? Kickstart it then torrent the movie, problem solved.
If it was true that their servers were doing much computation, then the game would be basically uncrackable.
That is SO MUCH FAIL that I can't put it in words. They could have made a game for which producing the crack would mean re-programming all the server-side parts, which is flat-out impossible in the kind of time frame crackers release their warez. Unless their crack does hack into the EA servers directly itself, or is basically a standalone server (which means copying the server software from EA if they don't release it which they wouldn't so it means hacking EA or getting it leaked).
So EA just had an occasion to make the first DRM to ever work, and they blew it. So much fail.