Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the predictive-value dept

Let’s get right to it. I have to admit, this is kind of funny. The comment voted most insightful is by Hephaestus and involves a suggestion that a bunch of tech companies team up and buy the record labels. While it was actually posted on Wednesday, I have to admit that I hadn’t actually seen it when we posted Glyn Moody’s post making nearly an identical suggestion. Now all we need is for Hephaestus to accuse Glyn of “stealing” his idea, right?

Warner Music Group (WMG) is $1.1 billion USD and they are up for sale for around $2.5 billion USD. Which in my opinion is highly overpriced for a company in a failing industry. EMI, SME, and UMG can probably be bought for around a billion USD each. That having been said.

GOOGles market cap is $184 billion USD. Apples market Cap is 306 billion USD. Amazons Market Cap is $81 Billion USD. Microsoft has a market cap of $215 Billion USD. All four of these companies face serious problems in the future from ACTA, COICA, and all the other internet crushing, laws, and treaties being pushed forward by RIAA. A simple solution would be for them to each buy a record label. Then stop all payments to RIAA.

They could make all their money back in a matter of about a year or two. Destroy the collection societies. Most importantly they will stop all the internet crushing laws and treaties that will hobble them. Which saves them money and allows them to grow faster.

Coming in second was Capitalist Lion Tamer, with his commentary on love, art and money (not necessarily in that order):

That’s the difference between those who create art out of love for art and those who create art/product for financial reasons.

There have been millions of comments (most within the last week) that have confused the desire to get paid to do what you love with the right to get paid to do what you love.

And once you start claiming that “right,” you’re no longer creating art because you’re an artist. You’re creating product because you’re a businessperson.

There’s nothing fundamentally wrong with wanting to create a successful business. But successful businesses aren’t normally built on demanding that your customers pay the price that you want. They’ll pay what it’s worth to them.

Art is inherently “worthless.” That’s why you’ve got to do it because you love it, rather than do it because it’s going to feed, clothe and house you (and your family) for the next 70+ years, because in most cases, it won’t.

I work two jobs and write in my spare time because I love to write. I harbor no illusions that writing will ever take the place of my other sources of income. But that doesn’t stop me from doing it. Many others do the same thing in other fields.

But for some reason, the most vocal minority are those that somehow got it into their heads that the road to riches is paved with art. And to make it worse, they keep claiming that without a guaranteed paycheck, art will somehow die out. Art was never about the paycheck. It still isn’t. People will still pursue what they love without hope of getting paid because THEY LOVE DOING IT.

Those of you bitching about a lack of financial protection don’t love what you’re doing. Stop calling it “art” and start calling it “product” if that’s your thought process.

“I’ll never make money making music thanks to pirates.”

Great. Stop making music then. Who needs you? There are thousands and thousands of others willing to keep going despite the long odds.

“If you don’t protect my art against use by others, I have no reason to create anything.”

Fine. Don’t. We won’t miss you.

“HuffPo didn’t pay us for our blogging.”

I’m sorry. I couldn’t hear you over the thousands of writers shouting “Pick me!”

Very nice. Frankly, looking over the field, these two were probably my favorite two as well, so we’ll dispense with any “editors’ choice” winners this week and move straight over to the funny, where the competition was fierce, with a bunch of comments coming in with scores quite close at the top.

However, eking out the top spot (just barely) and winning the funny gold medal was Dark Helmet with his satirical response to Joe Biden’s ridiculous comments on intellectual property:

You know, I kind of like Jobi. I mean, I hate what he stands for, but I like his style. He’s got that Bill Clinton thing going for him, where when he talks he makes it plain that he’s completely full of shit and knows it, knows YOU know it, and really couldn’t care less. You’ve got to respect that in today’s politician.

What do you want? Another Bush or Obama? Where they say things like, “I believe God wants everyone in the world to be free, and that’s a part of my foreign policy”, and your brain comes to a skidding halt as it tries to figure out how anyone could possible say something so idiotic?

Or maybe you’re watching your President on television one day, and he says, “The Middle East is obviously an issue that has plagued the region for centuries”, and the next thing you know, it’s ten years later and you’ve just woken up from the coma you’ve been in after stabbing yourself through your left eye with a metal spoon to avoid having to think about life in America with a leader who could possibly utter that statement.

No, no, Michael. I for one prefer a Biden-esque politician, one who walks up to you, his hair slicked back and his goofy top-teeth-only smile on his oddly tanned face, a little American flag pinned to the lapel of his hundred thousand dollar suit just so you KNOW you’re dealing with a special kind of douchebag, and he looks you right in the eye and says, “Look, piracy is outright theft”, does a little two step dance while giving you the middle finger, throws six campaign buttons at your face, and then cartwheels away laughing maniacally.

I prefer that, because once he’s done spewing his nonsense we can all just have a good laugh an go back to our daily lives, comforted by the fact that no vice president since LBJ has meant shit in the greater scheme of things….

Coming in second (a very close second) was an Anonymous Coward, responding to ICE’s detainment of Jacob Appelbaum by seeking out the proper explanation:


Wait – wrong story. Let’s try that again.


There we go.

And since it’s simply wrong to pick my own comment as “Editor’s Choice,” I will merely note that my own comment here came in third. For my own well being, I will not repeat it here. However, for the actual Editor’s Choice we’ve got two short ones. First up is Nom du Clavier with his simple response to the lawsuit filed over music based on pi:

A lawsuit over Pi, how irrational.

And, we’ll close it out with a second Dark Helmet comment because it ties together two separate posts. It was in response to a comment on the story about Perfect 10’s appeal in the case over whether or not Google should be liable for indexing and displaying thumbnails of Perfect 10 porn images hosted on other sites. One commenter asked if we had a link to those images, and DH called out to the previous post on the anti-porn Indonesian politician who resigned after being caught surfing porn on his iPad in Parliament:

….you’re an Indonesian politician, aren’t you?

And there we go… time to get ready for a new week.

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Comments on “Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Why doesn’t Google et al just start contributing tons of money to campaign contributions and various “charitable” organizations to get them to influence bureaucrats to act in their favor? Getting bureaucrats to act in their favor will also steer them away from anti-trust problems since the bureaucrats will be favoring them. We’ll see who’s money can buy more influence when the Googles of the world start demanding that the government investigate the **AA for anti-trust violations with campaign and charitable contributions to support those demands.

The supreme court recently ruled that corporations can spend however much they want on political adds. Google, this is your chance. Start making a difference.

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re:

They’ve already started doing that.

The problem is that the Lobbying route corrupts even the uncorruptible. You spend money to have time with a Congressman and sway them to your influence.

You spend money that you could use as a businessman to improve your wares. You spend money in the political arena which makes it more difficult for you to change other aspects of your business. So you become weaker in a vicious cycle. Rather than making your business stronger, it makes it all the weaker.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Violating the law or its plutocratic intent might work somewhat well when everyone is doing it and the government doesn’t have a single entity to target. It’s much harder for highly centralized targets like Google to do that though.

In the future piracy will only get worse, just like the war on drugs. People know the value of having open communication pathways and while the government is in a position to regulate broadband communication pathways now, if they do then people will start to build more decentralized communication pathways that are far less subject to regulation. Sneakernet networks (ie: copying data directly from hard drive to hard drive without going through the Internet) will pick up and the sneakernets of today will be far more advanced than the sneakernets that existed before Internet piracy took their place. People will build more sophisticated wireless (and wired) communication networks that violate govt regulations but because everyone will be doing it the problem will be decentralized and the govt will be practically powerless to stop it. The technology necessary to build such law circumventing networks today is far more advanced than the technology of the past and that technology will only improve. More people are tech savy so the black market of today can produce far more advanced technologies. Look at what the black market on drugs can get away with

The piracy arena will be even far worse for many reasons (ie: piracy is not detrimental to our survival/health but drugs are so far more people will participate in the piracy arena).

BTW, I do not encourage piracy, I avoid piracy myself, but I’m just pointing out what the future looks like. If the govt thinks they can stop piracy, or even appreciably slow it down, they are sadly mistaken.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

and as far as stopping music (or book) piracy, that’s practically impossible. Hard drive space is reaching a point where one person can have a hard drive with enough songs or books to satisfy the content requests of entire groups of people without lacking a single requested song. A hard drive full of songs these days can practically hold more music than anyone would care to listen to in their entire life. Stopping music piracy is practically impossible, I only have to know one person with a hard drive full of music or books to get any song or book that I want. Again, I don’t encourage piracy and I avoid it but fighting piracy is a losing battle. A hard drive can store a TON of (compressed or even uncompressed) text these days and books are just text. How can you stop it today when they couldn’t even stop sneakernet piracy before the Internet boom, back when today’s technology didn’t exist. Things have changed, broadband restrictions won’t slow down piracy today nearly as much as a lack of broadband slowed it down several years before the Internet boom.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

(and while high quality video piracy may still be a lot more difficult to conduct via the sneakernet, data retention capacity and transfer rates have made today’s potential sneakernet based video piracy operations about as easy as the music piracy operations that existed before the Internet boom, if not easier, yet the difficulties of music piracy never seemed to stop it much back then. and low quality video, like 480P, is probably even easier to funnel through a sneakernet network today than music was before the Internet boom. As hard drives get larger, this problem will only get worse. Stopping music or book piracy is practically futile, it’s reached a point where there is no point in even trying. The laws are unenforceable as they stand, they don’t even come close to being enforceable, and there is almost nothing the govt or the industry can really do about it).

Jay (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Optimism

Lobbying exacerbates the problems we have with copyright exponentially. But first, we need to understand what I mean by the abundance vs scarcity mindset:


Look at what Cornelius did with the limited resources he had. Then compare that to the up and coming artists/entrepreneurs that are finding new ways to fund their projects and make money with digital goods.

The ones that lobby to the government nonstop might “win” in the short term but they lose in the long run. Mike has already talked about how he hopes the RIAA succeeds. Hell, I wish them all the best, what with every turn, they make themselves look more and more irrelevant.

You are correct that things will get worse before they get better. But I’d like to think that consumers will be that much better off (after the entire “sue em all” strategies fail, of course).

Piracy, at least consumer piracy, won’t go away. The commercial piracy that the USTR and trade industries want to fight are already gone (no money in piracy now, at least, not the organized crime syndicates of the 80s).

The smart entrepreneurs find ways around these laws. They encourage loopholes to find out how ridiculous the “old guard” is with laws that don’t make sense. Example The Lindows case. Though this is trademark disagreements, it shows just how odd the justice system can be regarding the law of patents, copyrights, and trademarks.

Eventually, I’m sure that piracy will be accepted since there are a lot of people, both in the US and abroad, that want to see various movies and TV shows that aren’t in their area, or locked away behind cable networks. It’s just a matter of time before internet streaming takes over for regular TV.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I want to do a little math to illustrate how much music a 3TB hard drive can hold (and 3TB hard drives aren’t that expensive and their prices will only come down in the future as hard drive capacity improves).

According to this site

80 GB can hold

1491.18 hours of music at 128Kbs (which seems to be a common bitrate), an estimated 1988.4 albums.

That’s 62.1325 days of non-stop non-repetitive music, or about 2 months

3000 GB / 80 = 37.5

a 3TB HD can hold about

62.1325 * 37.5 = 2329.96875 days of non-stop non-repetitive music, or about 77.665625 months or 6.4721354166666… years of non-stop non-repetitive music. Round down for good measure (and for the fact that hard drives need to be formatted and for other overhead drive space that’s needed, and the fact that many people have some MP3’s of higher quality) and you can probably get considerably over 5.5 years of non-stop non-repetitive music.

Seriously, how can you possibly even begin to slow down piracy. The sneakernet piracy banks of today are cheaper to operate and harder to target than ever before. DRM just needs to be cracked once (easy to do) and the songs need to be properly formatted only once for perfect copies to spread everywhere. These laws are practically unenforceable.

Nicedoggy says:

Is COICA smarter than a 3th grader?

3th grade school children can bypass filters imagine what the pirates would do.

The good news is that without filters you apparently can get pretty well paid. (in 3 days)

Darryl says:

2piF/c = wavelength (lamda)

all music is based on Pi.

its like saying “im going to write some music based on SOUNDS” !

Pi is also not a number, it is a ratio.

Sound is made up of SINE waves, sine waves are made up of circules and circules are defined by Pi.

So all the music you allready make is based on SINE waves wich are based on Pi.

If you wanted to do something silly with a number and try to apply it to music.

Then you would not arbiturily assign musical notes to ‘numbers’ and try to make it sound like something.

What would be a better way to do it, would be convert the ratio of pi to any level of precision (1000 places should do).

then convert that number to HEX (base 8) then you can assign each number to a note on the Major scale (ABCDEFGA).

Then you assign a timing of something like 22/7 (instead of 4/4 or similar).

Pi is also a constant, and as its a ratio the actual numbers and weight of places of precision have less and less meaning.

so to base a peice of music on a Constant is quite silly to start with, and to base it on precision of a ratio of an irrational number (not a number).

And trying to “fudge” it so it is even playable seems like a huge waiste of time and effort.

And pointless. and the method chosen to try to do it is just stupid.

Griff (profile) says:

Re: 2piF/c = wavelength (lamda)

Interesting suggestion.

– Pi being an irrational number is by definition not expressible as a ratio, surely.
– hex is not base 8
– you’d actually want something like base 12 as a scale is made up of 12 semitones, not 8 tones.

But if you did this and the resulting music DIDN’T sound absolutely awful, then I guess that would actually be quite interesting.

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