Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the can-we-get-an-encore? dept

Jumping right into it, the winner this week for most insightful is the awesomely named Taoareyou for his comment in response to someone claiming that it was okay to violate the rights of a guy handing out free lemonade because he was an “instigator” who was “expecting a confrontation.” Tao explains how the world works:

Yes he expected a confrontation. When people wish to trample on your civil liberties and you make a planned effort to stand up for them, that’s going to happen.

Giving away lemonade on a public street is not a crime and thus not “instigation”. Exercising your rights is not an attempt to cause trouble. Knowing that others will oppose you doesn’t make you wrong. If anyone was instigating, it was the farmer’s market guy who claimed he owned the public street and assaulted the filmmaker.

Many times in U.S. history people have had to stand up against authority to protect their civil rights. This person, whether you accept it or not, is helping educate people so they too may defend their liberties.

It’s nice when comments like that win. Coming in second was a good post from Chris ODonnell pointing out how our post about the public health official who almost lost his job for speaking out publicly on a public health issue… wasn’t really about forced use of “real names,” as the story suggested:

If was tweeting anonymously though he would be just another joker spewing his opinion over the Internet. The fact that he wasn’t anonymous, that he was an accountable public official telling us the truth, is what made his tweets valuable, and quite frankly, made him dangerous in the eyes of the anti-vaccine crowd.

I’m a supporter of anonymity online, but I don’t think this is a case that really supports that issue. This is a case of public officials forgetting that telling the truth should never be discouraged

In retrospect, I totally agree, though it is possible for an expert to be pseudonymous and build up reputation. Onto the editor’s choice awards. I was going to give the first one to Rich Kulawiec for quoting very relevant Don Henley lyrics in response Henley’s ridiculous op-ed in support of the entertainment industry’s PROTECT IP Act, but I’m afraid Henley might sue us for quoting his lyrics without a license, thereby destroying his ability to make money. We won’t aid and abet Kulawiec, no sir.

Instead, the first editor’s choice will go to The Logician for his response to a critic who seemed to think we’re saying that live performance is the only way to make money these days. Behold the logic:

Live performance is but one scarcity, AC #7. There are plenty of others that can be monetized in leiu of digital copies which by their very nature cannot be contained. Nor can they be monetized in the old way, because as basic economics clearly states, when supply is infinite and the cost of reproduction is at or near zero, price is naturally and unavoidably driven to zero.

Thusly, you cannot rely on selling digital copies. At least, not for very much. But as self-published authors of ebooks have found, pricing a digital copy extremely low can bring in some sales. Even so, if your content is not of sufficient quality as perceived by those who consume it, you will not profit by it as well as you could. To be effective in the new digital marketplace, you must have good quality, reasonable price, no DRM or other artificial limitations, transparency, and authenticity.

And finally on the side of insight, we have an Anonymous Coward with the perfect response to video game industry folks insisting that used game sales are destroying their business, while profiting massively:

If the resale value is such a goldmine, why don’t the publishers set up a service to buy their used games and resell them. The fact that they don’t is a pretty good sign that it isn’t considered a worthwhile investment. This is just about ruining Gamestops profit.

Okay. We know you’re all here for the funny anyway, so we can do that too. First place by a pretty wide margin comes from Matthew in response to my suggestion that perhaps the MPAA might “buy a clue.” Matthew thought that didn’t make sense:

Why would they buy one when they can get them for free online? Clue piracy is single-handedly destroying the clue market. Mike and the rest of the freetards here who are giving clues away are a big part of the problem. If they aren’t stopped soon, everyone will have a clue and they won’t have paid a dime for it. Tragic.

Man’s got a point. Coming in second was a comment that also made me literally laugh out loud when I read it. It came on that same article about the man giving away free lemonade. Someone in the comments claimed the guy was a “professional malcontent,” and an AC chimed in with a clarification:

.. as opposed to all those malcontents who maintain their amateur status so that they can protest at the Olympics?

That may be one of my favorite comments ever. Okay, but since the crowd took that one out from under me as an editor’s choice possibility, let’s see what I’m left with. First up

We’ll start with two amusing short comments on the post about the older women “downwriting” recipes from cookbooks in a bookstore. First, planespotter recognized the real problem:

Good Grief! Barnes and Noble are obviously guilty of facilitating copyright infringment… quick someone get ICE to closedown their website and all bookshops.

While an Anonymous Coward was first with Big Cooking’s new PSA tagline:

You wouldn’t download a casserole, would you?

Mmm. Downloaded cassserole. And, finally, we leave you with Lawrence D’Oliveiro delivering a history lesson about why the industry would love to go back to clay tablets:

And the nice thing about clay is, it?s soft and doesn?t keep the writing. So you can make them buy your writing again if they want to read it again.

Though I hear there?s this illegal thing called ?fire? that some buyers of clay tablets have been using to defeat the DRM …

Get those fires burning, folks. We’ll be back to etching new stories in clay tomorrow…

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