Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the you-got-your-insight-in-my-funny;-no-you-got-your-funny-in-my-insight dept

So we had one runaway winner this week in both categories. It wasn’t even close. On the insightful side, this comment got what I believe is the highest score ever and got exactly double the amount of votes that second place got. Yes, double. On the funny side, second place was closer, but this comment still won by a big margin there too. So, step on up, Chris Rhodes, for winning both the funniest and most insightful comments this week, with this gem on our post about TSA groping. To understand Chris’s comment, first you have to read the comment to which he is replying, which tossed out the mother of all logical fallacies: “Once again, if there is molesting and groping going on, why don’t they call the police? Oh wait, it’s a valid and legal search. Stop whining already.” Chris responded:

“Once again, if denying women the vote is wrong, then why don’t they call the police? Oh wait, it’s valid and legal to stop women from voting.

Stop whining already.”

That’s a very good point you make.

“Once again, if making black people sit at the back of the bus is wrong, then why don’t they call the police? Oh wait, it’s valid and legal to make black people sit at the back of the bus.

Stop whining already.”

Can’t argue with that line of thinking at all.

“Once again, if rounding up Jews is wrong, then why don’t they call the police? Oh wait, it’s valid and legal to round up Jews.

Stop whining already.”

You’ve certainly backed me into a logical corner there. I don’t see any way to assail your iron-clad premise. Kudos to you, sir!

It makes me happy that people voted for that comment so strongly. People who are willing to say “this is okay because this is the law, end of argument” need to understand the consequences of their thinking. And, we actually had a ton of votes this week and lots and lots of comments marked “insightful,” many of which were fantastic. In fact, we had probably ten to a dozen comments that got enough votes to have won last week if they’d been made last week. But in second place was this anonymous comment in response to our article about PROTECT IP. It also got a lot of funny votes, but there were still a bunch of comments that got more. The comment discusses the likely success of using “fear of punishment” as a motivator, rather than cultural acceptance:

It’s worked so well for the “war on drugs”. Drug use has pretty much disappeared thanks to three strikes, long prison sentences and heavy fines.

I sense some sarcasm in both of these winners this week. Okay. On to editor’s choice. As mentioned already, there were a ton of comments that got a tremendous number of votes, and it was really hard to narrow ’em down, but here are a few that hit me (and, actually, I’m realizing a lot of my favorites got a lot of votes for both insightful and funny, so this week’s may all blend together a bit. However, to kick it off we have two comments on our thread about Hollywood destroying Netflix. The first one, from an anonymous coward, explained the inevitable trend in the movie industry:

Well, if you really believe sticking the head in the sand approach helps, then by all means feel free.

Fact is, digital content is to all intents and purposes infinite, the internet is here to stay, content will be on the internet and will be available for free.

There can be as many laws against it, and we can spend as much money as we like to prevent it but all that will do is waste time, money and a whole host of genuinely finite resources.

We have seen the results of attempting to criminalise what some wish to consider immoral, prohibition and the war on drugs to name but two. The results are, that you criminalise the average person and on top of that, if there is anyway for genuine criminals to make money from it, you enrich them too. The one thing you cannot do is meet the supposed aims of the legislation.

The advice generally given here, to the best of my limited understanding is that there are still plenty of ways for the people who create content to generate revenue from it and there are money generating ways of distributing content.

Unfortunately the legacy industries are so focused on trying to make the digital world an exact copy of the analog world that they are blinding themselves to the opportunities here.

To be honest, to me, the doomsayers and the strong anti-piracy brigade are being as foolish as the movie industry was when it attempted to get VCRs banned on the basis that they would destroy the movie business. They were not, in fact they were the saviour of it and the internet and new forms of digital distribution will also be their saviour.

The mission (should you choose to accept it) is to prevent them from destroying themselves whilst ruining the lives of many and hampering business and growth before they eventually come to grips with the much bigger playing field that the internet has created and the possibilities that it has opened up for them

And, the second comment, from Ken, makes a similar point, but from a slightly different angle, which I think complements the comment above nicely:

One thing the Movie and Music industry does not understand is that piracy is competition. The only way to really fight it is to out-compete by giving better and higher quality and more convenient offerings. The dirty little secret is that “free” is not what drives most people to pirate sites it is availability and convenience that does.

The industry has put all their eggs in fighting piracy through litigation, onerous laws, and consumer unfriendly policies that do more to drive people away from them than entice people to take the legitimate route.

When the pirates are meeting the demand of consumers while the legitimate counterparts are putting up road blocks and hassles people are going to go to the pirates. It is human nature and no laws or pleadings or calling people thieves or “educational” campaigns are going to stop it.

Next up, we have Chris Rhodes again. Yes, I know he already won both top places, but this next comment is too good to leave out (and, um, he’s going to make another appearance below too). This one was in response to the effort by copyright lobbyists to use child porn as the bogeyman for why the world needs anti-piracy filters. Chris cut right to the heart of the matter and highlighted the cognitive dissonance at work:


Only two things you need to know:

1. We have to prevent the filesharing of movies, because otherwise people will have zero incentive to make more. 2. We have to prevent the filesharing of child pornography, otherwise people will have a massive incentive to make more.

And for the final editor’s choice on insightful, we have Ima Fish, singling out a key point that so many people had trouble with in this past week’s big monkey copyright story. It’s that so many people can’t wrap their head around the concept of the public domain, and insist that the copyright must belong to somebody.

“Until I hear from the monkey?s lawyers, I will stick to the belief that I own the copyright,”

Notice out Slater presupposes that someone must “own” the copyright. To him there are only two possibilities, either he owns the copyrights or someone else does. The third possibility, that they’re not covered by copyright is unimaginable to him.

Okay. We already had the top place finisher for funny, but who was second? That honor goes to Dark Helmet, (who also surpassed 5,000 comments on the site this week, which makes me feel like I need to send him a cake or something). DH got the silver medal by going silly. In response to the claim that perhaps the famed monkeys could have a publicity rights claim, rather than a copyright claim, DH went musical:

Oh please, the monkeys do NOT deserve publicity rights.

They were just cheap knockoffs of the Beatles….

And since the real winner of the funniest is sitting pretty on the insightful side, why not share the third place funniest as well? That one goes to Gwiz in response to Verizon shutting off its tethering features (unless you pay) despite promises to be open. Gwiz explained away the confusion:

No, no, we just misunderstood when Verizon was talking about “open”. They meant “open” as in “open your wallet”.

As for editor’s choice, again we’ve got a bunch. We’ll kick it off with Prisoner 201, in response to Michael Jackson’s estate asserting copyright over a prank call some joker made to MJ years ago:

This has to be stopped, or there will be no incentive for dead poeple to answer the phone.

The next two scored very well in both insightful and funny, but I’m putting them here, because that’s the kind of thing I can do. First up is Chris Rhodes again (yes, again; dude had a good week), explaining why it was okay for Congress to condemn Belarus for doing some of the very things it wants to do in the US. Chris explained how it all made sense:

We’re different!

In the US, we violate rights to protect them!

Then we’ve got this response from an anonymous coward on the thread about Nina Paley’s movie being blocked on YouTube in Germany due to the crazy antics of German music collection society GEMA:

The following quote is priceless:

“I suspect that some members of GEMA’s supervisory board have not yet arrived in the digital era,” said Edgar Berger, CEO of Sony Music Entertainment GSA

When you have Sony pointing out how much you misunderstand the internet, you *know* something is wrong.

It’s like being called a luddite by the Amish

And, finally, a special editor’s choice/honorable mention for this entire thread concerning how to respond to Caters News Agency concerning their takedown request for the monkey pictures. Someone suggested crowdsourcing responses to them, and Dark Helmet kicked it off in poem… which started a flood of responses. You really should read them all, but I’ll just show the first two (which were also the highest rated of the bunch):

To: Caters
From: Techdirt Ficticious Legal Counsel Dark Helmet

Our client received your response today,
And I really do have to say,
That you should probably consult a laywer,
Or some other legal employer,

It appears you know nothing of Fair Use,
Which is the legal defense we’d rely on,
To stick it straight up your caboose,
For any cases you might try to file on,

Monkey see, monkey do, so only the monkey has standing to sue,
But if you refuse to see that that’s true, we’ll fling legal poo at you,

So consider this a denial of your takedown request,
And think not of putting this to the test,
And stop whoring copyright like Betty Boop,
Love: Dark Helmet’s Legal Notice Writing Group

And the response comes from Lauriel:

To: Techdirt Ficticious Legal Counsel
From: Caters Imaginary Legal Defence Team

Dear Mr. Helmet,

I am writing to you at my client’s behest
Regarding your denial of takedown request.
With all due respect we believe you are mistaken
And we intend to commence litigation.

Your claims of Fair Use seem misguided.
For this, you will be fiscally chided.
For those of us on the PRO IP scene
Fair Use is a freetard’s misguided wet dream.

We refute it’s existence, and furthermore
Think those who claim it simply whore
Our legally owned art. We demand money
For our copyrighted work (or produce the monkey
And prove he is the author of said art.
We’ll sue him too, we have no heart).

Take down the content and give us money
This isn’t a joke, it isn’t funny.
Stick it up our caboose? Go to Hell!
We’ll return the favour and sue you as well.

In regards to your comments of flinging legal poo
Bring it on (ducking shit is what we do).
PS: Our client doesn’t know this Betty Boop,
But if she even looks at our photo, we’ll sue her too.

Regards: Clueless Idiot with a Law Degree,
On behalf of Clueless Idiots without one.

You guys set a super high bar in the comments last week. Let’s see if you can keep it up this week. I know on our front we’ve got some exciting stories…

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

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Chris Rhodes (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Obviously taking something way off to the extreme end of the scale

Logic doesn’t cease to be logic just because some stakes are higher than others. Two plus two equals four, regardless of whether I’m calculating the trajectory of a space shuttle or just making change for a soda.

“It’s right because it’s the law” is not a rationally defensible position, unless you can explain why all the examples I posted aren’t examples of the law being morally wrong. I won’t hold my breath.

Richard (profile) says:

We have to prevent the filesharing of movies, because otherwise people will have zero incentive to make more. 2. We have to prevent the filesharing of child pornography, otherwise people will have a massive incentive to make more.

Good to see that point recognised – I’ve already made it in the comments here on several occasions – most recently here.

but also here

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Related doublethink

On another topic…

IN the US/UK the right to life is the most important human right – therefore we must ignore other human rights to prevent even the tiniest possibility of terrorists killing even one person.

However Saddam Hussain/Colonel Gaddafi/The Taliban don’t respect human rights (like democratic government/free press / freedom of speech etc) and therefore we must invade/bomb etc and if some of our brave servicemen/ their civilians are killed then that is unfortunate but it is a price worth paying for human rights and freedom….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Related doublethink

IN the US/UK the right to life is the most important human right – therefore we must ignore other human rights to prevent even the tiniest possibility of terrorists killing even one person.

But that only applies to people living in the US/UK. People living elsewhere don’t count.

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