Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the a-balanced-week dept

I have to admit, in the many months we’ve been doing the “funniest/most insightful” posts, I’ve never seen the voting so evenly distributed for insightful posts. Usually, there are a few dominant ones, then a second tier of highly rated ones. This week, the top 10 vote getters for most insightful were really closely ranked (a few ties in there), with a difference of just a few votes, from top to bottom. So rather than name the top two and then editor’s choice, I’m going to post the top six comments based on votes… Yeah. It was that kind of week. One interesting point is that the insightful comments mostly came bunched around two stories. First, we had some comments on the apparently controversial post about people getting arrested for dancing at the Jefferson Memorial. Bob V tries to add a little perspective:

Public disturbance??? I walked through a crowed going the other way the other day, should I be arrested. A little bit of common sense and a lot less lawyers would go a long way to fixing this country.

anyone rember these words…

We hold these truths to be self-evident, that all men are created equal, that they are endowed by their Creator with certain unalienable Rights, that among these are Life, Liberty and the pursuit of Happiness. ? That to secure these rights, Governments are instituted among Men, deriving their just powers from the consent of the governed, ? That whenever any Form of Government becomes destructive of these ends, it is the Right of the People to alter or to abolish it, and to institute new Government, laying its foundation on such principles and organizing its powers in such form, as to them shall seem most likely to effect their Safety and Happiness. Prudence, indeed, will dictate that Governments long established should not be changed for light and transient causes; and accordingly all experience hath shewn that mankind are more disposed to suffer, while evils are sufferable than to right themselves by abolishing the forms to which they are accustomed. But when a long train of abuses and usurpations, pursuing invariably the same Object evinces a design to reduce them under absolute Despotism, it is their right, it is their duty, to throw off such Government, and to provide new Guards for their future security.

An Anonymous Coward noted that this did not seem like the America we were promised:

They boogied with Jefferson to challenge this month?s U.S. Court of Appeals ruling that dancing at memorials is forbidden ?because it stands out as a type of performance, creating its own center of attention and distracting from the atmosphere of solemn commemoration,? according to the panel?s ruling.

Read that, have you ever, ever heard anything so insane? You’d figure that text came from an Iraqi court because people were dancing at a Saddam statue right? Nope, right here in the USA.

Prometheefeu got confused by someone talking about “disruptive behavior.”

I think this was indeed very disruptive. If I was visiting a national monument and uniformed goons suddenly started yelling, grabbed people, slammed them on the ground, took them prisoner and then kicked everyone out, I would indeed find this a powerful obstacle to my enjoyment of the place.

Wait, I just realized we may not be speaking about the same thing.

And, TDR responded to the claim that these dancers should have just obeyed the police:

I guess you think Rosa Parks should have stayed at the back of the bus, then. And that you also lack a little thing called common sense – these people were no danger to anyone at all but were peacefully and quietly protesting. The whole point of a peaceful protest is that it must be public for the point to be made. And it was peaceful. Thus, any violence used upon them at all is both wrong and inappropriate. I guess you just get off on thoughts of police states, though.

At a personal level, can I just say how much it warms my heart that these four comments were voted as most insightful this week. I have to admit that I was caught off-guard, and somewhat shocked and dismayed at how many commenters seemed to think that it was fine to arrest and body slam to the ground people who were dancing quietly and peacefully at a monument to Thomas Jefferson. We even had one commenter (an admitted stronger copyright lobbyist, believe it or not) cheer on the fact that those arrested might get violently raped in prison. I’m happy to see that these views are seen as fringe in this community, and that common sense recognition that dancing at the Jefferson Memorial does not deserve such actions. Also, for those who claimed that these dancers were “creating a disturbance,” I’ve been to the Jefferson Memorial many times, and these dancers were a hell of a lot less “disturbing” than the throngs of elementary school students normally running around and screaming.

The other post that got a lot of insightful comments was about the new (RIAA written and supported) law in Tennessee that makes it a crime to share your music service login or face jail time. A few commenters insisted this law was fine because it’s a violation of the terms of service. Two of our regular commenters debunked that claim pretty thoroughly, and both of them had their comments rated quite insightful by the community. First, was Marcus Carab, who pointed out that the “terms of service” argument made no sense:

The terms of service already tell you the rules about sharing accounts. Defying these terms can get you booted from the system. Circumventing this enforcement technologically, or by misrepresenting your identity, would make you guilty of hacking or fraud. Why the hell is a new and specific law needed?

And then Chronno S. Trigger went beyond that to point out how this was quite different than just a law concerning violating terms of service:

Pay attention damn it. They’re trying to make it a criminal matter, not a contract dispute. If Netflix or AAA wants to cancel your account due to a violation of the TOS, then that’s their business. Having the police arrest you and throw your ass in jail for violating a TOS is something completely different.

I would also like to add that I have no intention of getting a second Netflix account and logging out of my roommate’s and into mine every single damn time I want to use the Google TV

Okay. Enough insight. Let’s get funny. The top rated funny comment also came on the Jefferson Memorial story, and made the same point I made above about screaming kids, this time written by The dood:

How come they are not arresting loud screaming school children? Are they not by letter of the law causing a disruption? At least pepper spray the little bastards.

Coming in second is a comment from Marcus Carab, which I don’t condone, since I prefer that the discussions here not devolve into personal insult throwing sessions, but I have to admit that if you are going to start going down the personal insult route, Marcus’ response to one of the copyright maximalist’s decision to toss around some insults is pretty classic:

You preach originality, but the best insult you can come up with is “chubby nerd”? Come on! You are such a malformed little imp I suspect your mother freebased thalidomide. You are so bad at thinking that when you talk, Chinese schoolchildren have seizures. You couldn’t out-debate a horse if you took away its peanut butter. According to my Dick Compensation Conversion Chart, your style of argument is the equivalent of 4 Corvettes and 2.5 Assault Rifles. The only reason the secret world government hasn’t euthanized you yet is that pity for you is the only thing stopping the aliens from blowing us up.

I mean, if you’re gonna go the insult path, might as well make it an artform.

My two editor’s choice picks were also pretty highly rated, just behind the top two. First, we had a comment from mermaldad on Bill Benzon’s post (which was cross posted on Techdirt and QuestionCopyright) about how a publisher made him give permission to “quote” his own works in a book, because some of the works in the book had already been posted online:

Hey Bill, the same text is posted on the Question Copyright blog. Did you get permission from the author to post it here?

Witty. Finally, we had an Anonymous Coward respond to the ridiculous assertions from some commenters that running a Tor exit node is tantamount to admitting that you’re support child pornography. The AC took that logic to the obvious conclusion:

To be honest, there’d definitely be no access to child porn at all if we just banned children and be done with it.

Now I realise that such a ban could have downsides but if you’re against it, you are definitely promoting child porn.

And there we go. Last week was a short week so fewer chances to be insightful and/or funny. This week, we’re back to a full schedule, so I expect you all to bring your A games.

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

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Ken says:

RIAA could sue every school for playing music at Prom.

Nearly all school dances are play music without permission from the copyright holders? What do you copyright maximilists think of that and would you support the RIAA suing schools for holding proms unless they pay for each song which few if no schools could afford?

Many people think that school dances are somehow exempt but they are not. Neither are churches that conduct dances and play music at socials. This will become an issue if and when the recording industry becomes more desperate and starts sending cease and desist orders to schools ordering them to stop playing music at dances.

Ken says:

Re: RIAA could sue every school for playing music at Prom.

At some point these companies have to realize the benefit they get from free advertising and word of mouth buzz that is generated from people hearing their music. It is if they feel it is an a front to them that anyone would ever hear their music apart from their tightly controlled channels and if someone hears a song for free they will never buy it. If the RIAA was to get everything they wanted it would be very difficult and expensive to get the word out for any of their music.

Ken says:

Re: Re: RIAA could sue every school for playing music at Prom.

Mike I am checking into it. I am contacting some of the school districts in my area to see what the policy is. I would also like to know if there is just an understanding with the recording industry that they will not sue thus giving them an informal blanket or if schools have a formal agreement. It is my understanding though that schools do not have any legal exemptions for playing music at dances and without any agreements with the recording industry they may be violating copyrights. It may be a good story for Techdirt to pursue.

Ken says:

Re: Re: RIAA could sue every school for playing music at Prom.

I would imagine though even if there is no formal agreement if the RIAA started sending out c&d orders on school dances the outcry would be so great that Congress would have to act and create a blanket exception for schools so this is one can of worms the recording industry may not step into but who knows.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: RIAA could sue every school for playing music at Prom.

I would imagine though even if there is no formal agreement if the RIAA started sending out c&d orders

Just to be clear, I don’t see how this would be an RIAA issue at all. It’s a performance issue, which isn’t the RIAA’s bag. It would be ASCAP/BMI.

Marcus Carab (profile) says:

If anyone’s curious, the Conversion Chart I mentioned is something I found in a very questionable overseas knock-off Trapper Keeper. Distressingly, it also includes charts for converting religious pamphlets to donor kidneys, and running shoes to children’s gruel rations (measured in Kilotracts, Pairs, Pairs and Millitwists respectively)

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