Shaun Wilson’s Techdirt Profile


About Shaun Wilson

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  • Mar 31st, 2014 @ 6:10am

    (untitled comment)

    The United States wouldn't negotiate away its right to regulate in the best interest of its citizens

    The US (and really any other) government does this all the time when they want to pass laws that aren't "in the best interest of its citizens". This occurs when they want to help out political donors as with copyright law and when they want to attack minorities and maintain/increase police power over their "citizens" as with drug prohibition.

  • Mar 5th, 2014 @ 12:37am

    (untitled comment)

    They have already done this with previous pokemon games for DS - "Pokemon Black and White" and "Pokemon Black 2 and White 2". They used to have an online component called the dream world but they shut this down not long before the new 3ds games came out. Without this online functionality it is still possible to "complete" the game - though significant functionality is lost. This is particularly a problem with pokemon games as they are still played long after the initial release - as reflected by their high resale value years after they are no longer available new.

  • Jan 14th, 2014 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    If you just leave your computer on with a webcam pointed at your pet basket when you go on holiday, or have a baby monitor that includes video (though not a nanny cam) and that happens to catch a recording of a criminal act then you probably would be able to argue that the recording is incidental (and hope that any cops and judges you encounter aren't having bad days). However the point of a security camera is generally for security. Good luck convincing anyone that the real purpose for your security camera is to check if you remembered to turn the light off, even if you use it for that purpose far more often than for recording criminal acts.

  • Jan 14th, 2014 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re:

    Firstly, I would think a home security camera recording would not fall under this law because the recording is incidental.

    Actually, with regards to a security camera the recording of your neighbors walking their dog is incidental but the entire purpose of a security camera is to catch criminal activity - ie you are "conspiring to produce or create" a recording of any criminal activity that happens to take place in view of the camera.

  • Nov 19th, 2013 @ 2:28pm

    (untitled comment)

    We're now showing warnings from both Google and charities at the top of our search results for more than 13,000 queries

    This actually shows one reason surveillance is inappropriate - my first impulse upon seeing something like this in a story is to try googling various "suspicious" terms to see how these warnings show up and what they consist of. Post Snowden I have been increasingly self censoring my searches in regards to news stories about illegal or even what would commonly be considered merely immoral content. I now have to assume that my past academic interests in various subjects may well have resulted in my presence on some watchlists and that I could be only a single google search away from a lifetime of "coincidental" police stops, "random" searches and other forms of harassment.

  • Oct 11th, 2013 @ 12:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Woops looks like I mixed up crack with regular cocaine, pity it US government wouldn't do that (in the opposite direction), the sentences are still 18x higher for crack vs powder cocaine - and that's an improvement from the previous 100x.

    What I was thinking of was neuroscientist, Dr Carl Hart, who referenced a 1914 New York Times editorial "Negro Cocaine Fiends Are New Southern Menace" which represented some of the racist hysteria that led to drug prohibition early on. You should look into him for more (and accurate) information about drugs and drug policy.

  • Oct 7th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re:

    Actually drug laws were generally put in place in order to oppress minorities associated with them. You had crack to lock up the "Negro's" who were getting uppity after no longer being slaves, "Marijuana" (a new name for the corner store drug Cannabis) to go after Mexican workers "stealing" whites jobs and psychedelics in general to lock up those damn unpatriotic, anti-war hippies.

    Any other professed reason for the war on drugs for the majority of proponents is a (extremely thin) smokescreen.

  • Sep 27th, 2013 @ 6:16am

    (untitled comment)

    "Weapon - the term shall include ... cutting tools .... and shall include any item that is represented to be a weapon"

    Or in other words "Weapon - the term shall include ... scissors .... and shall include any item that is represented to be scissors". It used to just be "don't run with scissors", now it appears you get a 10 day suspension or expulsion for simply holding scissors at any time (or anything that looks like scissors).

  • Sep 17th, 2013 @ 11:34pm


    Exactly, if a police officer or any other government official breaks the law they should be the one to face the consequences just like and private citizen. Similarly if they break into the wrong house serving a warrant they should be treated exactly as if anyone else illegally broke into someone's house, being liable for trespass, breaking and entering, assault with regards to anyone they detain or threaten and murder if they kill anyone.

  • Sep 16th, 2013 @ 9:41am

    Derivative works

    If ongoing works by the original creator of a character are not derivative works then neither are works created by other authors using those characters. Therefore these (non)derivative works can't be blocked by copyright - you can't have it both ways.

  • Sep 9th, 2013 @ 8:22am

    (untitled comment)

    But we don't allow it because the Constitution says you can't do that.

    The constitution was torn up long ago, they just put it through a shredder as well post September 11. Your federal government would just settle disputes between the states and help organise resistance to repel foreign invaders when and if necessary and pretty much nothing more if it actually followed the constitution. Constitutionally the US federal government should be tiny, one of the smallest governments around, but instead it is the largest and most powerful in the world.

  • Jul 10th, 2013 @ 7:38am

    (untitled comment)

    It could almost be legitimate if it was an issue of parties happening in dense residential neighborhoods causing noise complaints... thing is if there's a noise complaint then the cops know where to go and don't need to be notified in advance - and if there's no noise (or similar) complaint then a 300+ person party isn't a problem.

  • Jul 3rd, 2013 @ 7:30am

    Re: Missing it.

    Well it could have something to do with the fact that caffeine is more addictive than about half the illegal drugs out there, maybe they just want to be consistent and add it to the list - just say no to "drug paraphernalia"!

  • May 16th, 2013 @ 11:59am

    Doesn't lying to congress = prison time?

    I believe people who have been convicted of lying to congress in the past have been sent to prison on occasion. Wouldn't it be interesting to see a response to a petition requesting Holder be prosecuted?

    Of course such a petition would most likely be ignored like all the other ones that said more than "We love Obama!" but it might help to get some media attention to those lies at least.

  • May 13th, 2013 @ 1:55pm

    (untitled comment)

    The computer program part is the complete opposite of the seed part:

    another copy or adaptation of that computer program provide[d] that such a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the computer program

    If you replace "computer program" with "seed" then it would be allowed - obviously "a new copy or adaptation is created as an essential step in the utilization of the" seed - that's simply describing the whole process of growing plants - especially with seed crops.

  • Feb 19th, 2013 @ 7:45pm


    I'm pretty sure it's the same in Australia, I used to work in a library and I remember some mention being made of a fee that had to be paid based off how often a particular work was loaned out.

  • Jan 30th, 2013 @ 8:37am

    Try assuming that infringement = theft

    Lets just assume for the sake of argument that the record labels arguments are correct: there is absolute proof that the accused downloaded $6.57 worth of songs and that it is the equivalent of theft.

    Basically the real world equivalent of a kid stealing a drink and a pack of chips from a corner store and being caught on a HD security camera. Obviously the kid would have to pay cost of their stolen goods and I would suggest perhaps doubling the value as punishment - but if the kid admits their crime and pays up it should end there. If they decide to fight the charge and are then found guilty then they should clearly incur costs, but how much? If the store owner hires million dollar lawyers then that would be clearly unjust to force the kid to pay for them. I would suggest that the costs should bring the damages up to no more than triple value ie 300%, $19.71 in this case. Instead the alleged infringer is expected to pay 9385% in damages? How does this make any sense at all, even remembering that we are taking the accusers claims at face value in this case?

  • Feb 21st, 2012 @ 8:42am

    Sense to laws

    If someone has read much of this site and hasn't already come to the conclusion that copyright is "a law that makes no sense at all" then I seriously question their reading comprehension.

  • Jan 17th, 2012 @ 9:04pm

    MPAA skews facts?

    I thought it was more the politicians campaign funds that the MPAA typically "skews"

  • Oct 17th, 2011 @ 11:17pm

    Loooots of posters!

    This is definitely a good thing. I've been thinking for a while now that it would be good to get some posters and/or t-shirts of a few of the bands I like, who's video clips I often watch on youtube. The reason I haven't so-far is that it's too much of a hassle to track down the artists site, find their store, sign up for a payment system, figure out international postage (if it's even avaliable) etc. If it's right there on youtube I'll definitely be much more likely to buy things - assuming they're reasonably priced of course.

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