Chris Rhodes Favorite Techdirt Stories Of The Week

from the stay-relevant dept

This week’s favorites post comes from Chris Rhodes.

Gather ’round, ye Techdirt readers. Whether ye be Kool-Aid drinkers or anonymous trolls, freetards or industry shills, spam bots or Dark Helmet himself, gather ’round, and I shall impart to you the harrowing tale of the best of Techdirt. Looking back, if I were to assign a Word of the Week to this week’s stories, that word would have to be “irrelevance”, as it seems to be a key point of many of the choice posts, whether it was applied to IP maximalists, government organizations, or even your average blogger.

The Righthaven saga hit a little bit closer to home for me when Radley Balko, another blogger I read regularly, decided to preemptively take down a great post he had written after some of his friends pointed out that quoting and linking to the LVRJ was likely to get the Righthaven lawyers drooling into their briefcases. So it was with great delight that I read this Techdirt post: Another Judge Slams Righthaven For Chilling Effects That Do Nothing To Advance Copyright Act’s Purpose. Just as its title implies, it tells the tale of yet another judge who sees right through Righthaven’s transparent attempt to enrich themselves at the expense of the public, and delivers them the verbal pistol whipping that their evil shenanigans so rightly deserve. Will it stop them? Probably not. But how long is such a business model sustainable? As Radley says in his explanation, “The Las Vegas Review-Journal […] is apparently hellbent on making itself completely irrelevant in the information age. Far be it from me to get in their way.” Indeed.

Next up, I would be completely remiss in my duties if I didn’t mention the disparity between the attitude of people like Nina Paley (as evidenced by her fantastic Yes Means Yes post), and the attitude of people like James Gannon (as evidenced by his comments here). Nina Paley wants you to copy, share and spread her work to wider audiences whenever and wherever possible, and believes that asking permission is a complete waste of time for all parties involved. Gannon, on the other hand, believes that people should rush to ask his permission before even linking to or quoting from the content he’s already posted to the world at large (perhaps he writes for the LVRJ?). Which attitude is likely to keep an artist relevant in the long run? It’s a rhetorical question. Keep in mind, however, that if you don’t let anyone talk to or about you, you just might end up talking to yourself.

And the week just wouldn’t be complete without more examples of security theater at the TSA, where fondling Miss USA and enforcing a “rules is rules” approach to security without a hint of rational thought behind it is somehow equated to passenger safety, but where making sure the passengers you choose to screen actually get screened is not. I imagine it requires quite a strong stomach anymore for people to rush to the comment sections of stories like these and proclaim that the TSA still deserves the benefit of the doubt. As more evidence of invasive searches, haphazard enforcement, and ludicrous policies surface, the populace is beginning to see how irrelevant the TSA really is on the issue of safety. As Lewis Black once said, perhaps they could skip all the standard procedures and just point a magic stick at us instead, chanting “OogaboogaOogabooga”. It would probably be just as effective in the long run, and would no doubt be a whole lot cheaper for all parties involved.

Happily, on the other side of the coin, we have a story about a theater owner who understands how to stay relevant in an era of big screen TVs and Blu-Ray players, and that his job is selling an experience, and not necessarily content. Any piratebay goer can torrent a film online, but very few can reproduce a good theater experience. If owners started to take their job of improving the theater experience as seriously as they seem to whine about every new technology that appears on the market, perhaps they wouldn’t be in such a bind these days. Kudos to Tim and Caitlin at the Alamo Drafthouse Theater in Austin for recognizing this.

And with that, I’ll wrap this post up. Stay relevant, kids!

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