cc's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the han-solo dept

This week’s favorite posts come courtesy of cc, who’s been having fun doing battle in the comments

Do you ever get the feeling that Techdirt has just way too many departments? Yes? Well, it’s thanks to that abundance thing Mike is always on about… And it looks like today I’m adding my own: I think I’ll call it the DHS, short for “Department of Han Solo”. Just because I can.

So on with my highlights for this week.

ICE are living up to their name, trying to create a chilling effect on people linking to stuff they don’t like. As Mike noted, they are skating on very thin ice, and hopefully the courts will put them in their place pretty quick. If not, the US gov’t will be getting some cool new internet censorship toys soon.

Rep. Zoe Lofgren has come forward with blistering criticism of the lack of due process in ICE’s domain seizures, and has given IP Czar Victoria Espinel a thorough grilling about their legality. Lofgren later suggested that the 84,000 websites slandered as child pornographers in the botched seizure should turn up the heat on ICE, and made one thing clear: speak up! If you want your Representatives to listen to you, write them physical letters and you might get some attention.

Funnily enough, it wasn’t ICE who responded to Lofgren’s comments, but the RIAA. Not surprisingly, a response written by industry lobbyists is full of lies and deception, which Techdirt kindly took the time to debunk.

In other important news, a US proposal for the TPP (Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement), the sequel to ACTA, has been leaked. As those paying attention have come to expect, it’s just a list of the things they wanted but didn’t get in ACTA. At the same time, we get the news that a major ‘piracy’ report has concluded that more enforcement is not the right solution — thus bringing all of US foreign IP policy into question. Hey, now even WIPO has said copyright has been pushed too far.

Of interest may also be that the US Supreme Court have agreed to look at the Golan v. Holder case, and specifically whether it’s constitutional to yank public domain works back into copyright. Fingers crossed the supremes will come to the right decision.

On the trademark insanity front, Zynga is trying to trademark most of France, Apple is trying to trademark ‘app’, and the Twilight vampires are on the prowl for anything with the word ‘twilight’ in it.

And while we’re speaking of insanity, I might as well mention how the consumer rights organisations were treated during the joke hearings about the Special 301 report. Keep it classy, boys.

And that’s it for now. May the force… well, you know.

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Comments on “cc's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Considering the only country that has enacted strong anti-piracy is South Korea, why would anyone expect there to already be evidence strong enforcement works?

France hasn’t cut a single infringer off with their laws.

So where would we get this evidence from? The future via time travel?

That report was just typical pirate blather. “Cut prices down and we’ll pay!” No you won’t. Evidence is already quite strong that you can keep cutting and cutting prices. People will still go for the “free” option, whether it is legal or not, as long as it is available.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Music prices are the lowest they have ever been. If you are complaining about digital entertainment costs, you either don’t get out much or are very young.

You can keep cutting all you want. It won’t change the fact that unbridled piracy makes the same product available for the infinitely lower price of $0.00.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Are you daft? Hollywood make sequels because that’s what still sells based on brand recognition, not because they want to. Don’t blame the movie studios for that. Blame the audiences.

As for pharmaceuticals, billions goes into R&D every year. And patent lifespan, including the 3-5 years of medical trials to get approval, is very short.

cc (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Seriously troll, STFU.

If you took the effort to look at the charts, you’d see that in 2010 the top-grossing films have NOT been sequels, with the exception of Toy Story 3. In fact in 2009, Avatar, the highest-grossing film of all time, was an original film.

Pharma spends “billions” on R&D, but they spend way more on marketing, and their profits dwarf most other industries by a huge margin (high-risk business my arse). Their patent lengths are too short? Ask the people who need access to stupidly-priced patented drugs NOW to stay alive, I’m sure they’ll agree.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Irony

Following the logic of your link, similarly, plenty of Internet-based services have been “born of piracy”. But there is no reason they should have to remain that way now or in the future. Just like radio, cable TV, or any of the other markets discussed, they have every chance to now legitimize what they are doing.

If they won’t do it voluntarily, it is the job of the government to make them. Fortunately, governments seem to be grasping that concept as the costs of piracy increase.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Well there is strong evidence that markets grow despite “piracy”, the 15 markets showing growth according to the RIAA, only 4 had such nonsense enforcement laws enacted(i.e. South Korea, Sweden, U.K. and France) recently.

So we see a strong indication that piracy is not really a problem at all, but you can keep saying otherwise.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Also I want to point out that people don’t pirate enough, since labels are slow to die and studios are doing just great.

God I hope free legal alternatives for video start appearing left and right so I can dump your asses once and for all, music is not a problem anymore people can find alternatives like Jamendo and Magnatune that are just great, for books there is at least a thousand years reading on and Gutenberg.

Tell me, to whom you are going to sell that snake oil of yours?
Because I can say with all honesty I don’t need you people and those laws doesn’t matter that much you people are going down one way or another and the more rigid copyright becomes more powerful legal free alternatives become also.

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Speaking of price, the labels and studios spend millions on schemes to make sure their content is nearly unusable for legit customers, so they shouldn’t be offended when I decide to get that content elsewhere. Simple as that, really.

If you want to have me as a customer, you should treat me like a customer. If not, well, there are other people selling.

big al says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Just to put another perspective here (yes I am a baby-boomer) I have recently ‘stolen’ some music – all of which I’d previously paid for on vinyl and also (pre Disney laws) would have been in the public domain by now. Hell, half the artists are dead, so I’m sure as hell not stopping them from creating.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If it didn’t cost anything to make, they wouldn’t have to enforce their copyright. And it wouldn’t be as hurtful when it was ripped off.

But that’s not how reality works.

Remember, Masnick is lying when he says that studies have debunked the fact that piracy is hurtful. It is quite obvious to anyone that isn’t willfully blind that it is very hurtful.

vivaelamor (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“If people didn’t feel a need to access copyright content, they wouldn’t pirate.”

First, I often feel a need to access copyrighted content and I’m not sure even the person that you’re replying to suggested otherwise. They seem to be suggesting that actually people do still feel the need to access copyrighted video content.

Second, ‘pirating’ isn’t reliant on people needing to access copyrighted content, but people merely wanting to access it. I’ve already admitted that I often need to access copyrighted content, but much of the unauthorised copyrighted content I access is because I want to, not need to.

Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Considering the only country that has enacted strong anti-piracy is South Korea

There’s no such thing as “strong anti-piracy”, because when an anti-piracy measure fails, you move the goalposts for what constitutes “strong”.

A year from now you’ll say “We don’t know if strong anti-piracy measures work yet, because China is the only country in the world that executes file-sharers by firing squad. The rest of the world merely boots them off the internet!”

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