That Anonymous Coward's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the no,-not-that-one dept

No, not that Anonymous Coward, but That Anonymous Coward is handling this week’s favorites….

Everyone on board the short bus!

I’m your tour guide, That Anonymous Coward but you can call me TAC.

So I was as surprised as you now are, when Mike asked me to write the Favorites of the Week post, but like moss I grow on you, given a chance. Everyone buckle up and lets review the short week as we ride the short bus.

If you look to your left, you can see Facebook whining because someone made their button illegal in Germany. They seem to be bothered that it is no longer the awesome tracker (read: money machine) they intended it to be. Who cares about silly laws, this is Facebook we are talking about.

Coming up on the right, just past the smoke from the fire and brimstone burning in the moat, you can just catch sight of the MPAA offices. After getting a court to decide the length of the cable matters in determining infringement, they then decided to put out some more “unique” uses of math showing losses to “piracy”. They really aren’t trying very hard any more to look remotely serious in their statements.

Now we turn the corner and zut alors! – France has decided Copyright is more important than Human Rights. I guess when you’re sleeping with a model/singer you get a little confused. Oh and if you can’t get the people to lay down to accept you screwing their rights, just sneak it in. (And let us not forget that they violate copyright when its convenient for them.)

Hold tight as we speed up to get past the villagers getting their pitchforks and torches ready to pay a visit to the capitol… and on your left we have, no wait, look away…. nothing to see here…. just making sure there are no terrorists hiding inside that nice lady’s vagina.

And now we come to the Copyright Troll Cul-de-sac, over there you can see the new house being built by lawyers representing a religious group. It seems they were upset over some former members saying unkind things online. They couldn’t get their names as they forced material down, so they filed for a copyright and boom the doors opened wide. Copyright is a great tool for bypassing those silly freedoms people expect.

Oh there is a moving van over at the USCG McMansion. They are considering shopping for a court that will blindly rubber stamp their lawsuit so they can “settle” with alleged copyright infringers. Little known fact: one of their clients is Uwe Boll, voted the worst director in history. Even Uwe saw the benefit in turning one of his “fantastic” films into box office gold by scaring people into paying on fairly questionable evidence.

And Swatch, this odd little shack seems just jammed into the neighborhood. We record our announcements so we can claim copyright if you report too much. This makes only slightly more sense than getting arrested for filming cops in public.

This little burned out quonset hut is the EMI “ranch”. It used to be nice, and there were hopes the new owners would fix the property up. Instead they have some lawyers chasing kids out of their yard.

Holy Hell!… A huge new section has been added to the Cul-de-sac, as if overnight it just sprung up before our eyes. It’s as if someone waved a magic wand and made every copyright holder’s wet dream come true. Those fires burning over there?… Oh those are just the things now made illegal by the public domain being gutted.

Because it’s my tour, I want to give a shout out to Steele Hansmeier LLC and their little stick house. So what if its on Ars… its my tour and I’m driving. Why yes your honor, we lied when we said the IP address would let us name the infringer… now let me search all the computers in the house because he refuses to settle. We’ll huff and we’ll puff and we’ll blow our own damn house down.

Oopsie the cul-de-sac’s private security force, those nice officers from ICE, are taking aim at us, and so we drive on….

Hey is that a wrecking ball heading towards the Cul-de-sac? I think that is being driven by Judge Bernard Zimmerman. He seems to be heading towards one of the smaller houses.

Look over there, ohh sweet a double rainbow… what does it mean? Yeah, I don’t understand, and neither does he.

Who here is from America, no hands… ummm I can tell some of you are pretending to be Canadian, I can understand why. When we aren’t secretly forcing other countries to do things we can’t do here, and shilling for Microsoft, we are getting the money flowing back here… for content holders…making laws up as we go along… just to support those who don’t pay their fair share… and want everyone else to pay to protect their content…. Well, I dunno what to say about that, eh?

Oh crap, pretending to be Canadian won’t cut it any more. What else can we pretend to be?

bump bump

Oops sorry folks, just a speed bump as we run over Ubisoft screwing their customers yet again and finding new ways to fail.

And that gleaming spire there on the horizon… that’s the number of “Patriot Act Warrant Requests”, I guess drugs are terrorists too…. It is ok give us unlimited powers with no oversight or responsibility… we won’t misuse it… Trust Us.

Intellectual Property is our greatest asset, it is a great slogan on that billboard over there. The shame is, they seem to only want to apply that to some people’s IP. When the people who actually make the new jobs, instead of cling to a crap business model, are against it, isn’t it worthy of some debate? If you really wanted to fix the whole problem with Imagin… I mean Intellectual Property, shouldn’t you keep people from having to find new way to do the same thing each time?

And here we are… safe and sound at home again. I hope you enjoyed the tour as much as I did giving it. Thank you Mike for the use of the bus, and letting me take your readers hosta… I mean for a ride. It shouldn’t take much to get the steering column repaired from me hot-wiring it.

I am and remain….


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Comments on “That Anonymous Coward's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week”

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

And after this was in, some really cool stories broke. That is part of what I enjoy about TechDirt, there are stories on my “pet” topics but I see other things as well.

So remember even if you don’t think a story is your cup of tea, there is no reason to ignore it… you might learn something by expanding your view.

Oh and my weekend kicked off on a good note –

One of the first trolls I ever learned to loath, Evan Stone, got what was coming to him…

Seen via

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I am waiting to see what the Judge will do with #3 in the instructions.

Because the “settlements” were done outside of court, I am unsure the Judge can insert and void them. I am unsure he can force Stone to return any money.

That being the case, the wording of Stones settlement letter might be enough for him to be sued by the Does for deception. At the time the subpoenas went out there was actually no force of law to them and no case moving forward. It would be fun for Mick Haig to leave him hanging and flee as they are a German Company with few ties to the US. Maybe those Does who were scared into settling could combine their powers to file a mass suit against Stone.

Lord help Stone if any of the letters alerting the Does to this court order just happen to go out after he gets another settlement payment.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

The judge cannot void them, for the reason that they were done seperately from the court system but the court can then notify them that the subpoena their ISP received was NOT sanctioned nor legally authorised by a court and that Mr Stone was not acting as an officer of the court at the time.

At the very least the Does, and the ISP’s have a good case of undue influence, even up to fraud (maybe even racketeering.. though i am not that knowledgeable on your RICO act) against Stone personally (as well as numerous other civil torts and since he was acting as Mick Haigs Agent, agency laws of neg can apply too… eek), and his normal immunity as an officer of the court is non-existent for this instance due to the court order.

This is not going to be pretty and could become a tipping point event to as the court states “deter similar misconduct” by other current and future plaintiffs.

Oh and though $10,000 might not seem like much to anyone in regard to a law firm, this is to an individual attorney, and will be on their record permanently. Not to mention sanction #4 that states that Stone must pay all the ad litems costs as well, which could add up to quiet a lot of billable hours.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I was also impressed he has to file this ruling in all of his other active cases as well.

I know of at least 2, which means Funimation is going to be very happy with their in-house council being reprimanded by a court for misdeeds in a BitTorrent case while pursing a few other mass BitTorrent cases. I admit to letting him fall to the wayside on my Troll watch list, after Hustler dumped them and he basically called them whiners I thought he was done.

wvhillbilly (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

@TAC: Do you have any details of the EU’s retroactive extension of copyrights and sacking of the public domain? I have heard about it but have not seen any details concerning this action, other than that the extension of time was 20 years.

Copyrights, as originally established, were for a limited time — I believe for 14 years with one optional renewal — to give the authors of the copyrighted works a chance to benefit from them. Now with the term of copyright being extended backwards and forwards every time someone’s copyright is about to expire, copyrights will never expire and the term of copyright will be de facto forever. What’s your opinion on this?

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Is this like the TechCrunch? ( aka Tc. )

ummmm maybe? Never been to TC.
But “we” have less AOL and bribery scandals on “our” wikipedia page.

I get to say we and our because a troll has declared me as the right hand puppet…

Take a look around, see if you like the place…
We have interesting topics and a thriving troll community, though the latter seem to be lacking on so very many levels. One can even find divergent points of view being discussed without anyone being called Hitler in the first 20 seconds.

vancedecker (profile) says:

Re: Re: Is this like the TechCrunch? ( aka Tc. )

I’m confused.

Without Tc.’s:
– Corp-Marketing-Dept-Press-Release-As-News Articles
– Grandpa Murdoch’s latest Tech Bloopers (The Daily)
– Lost iPhone Guerilla Marketing
– & assorted self serving stock pumping news (Quora)

…how do they fill in all the stuff underneath the titles?

Understandably, I’m concerned about the amount of material to work with?

Also, where are all the pictures?

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Is this like the TechCrunch? ( aka Tc. )

We store all of our pictures on another server, it forces the trolls to pretend to read before they start spouting their daily talking points.
The pics are here –

There is quite a bit of material to work with, and some is submitted by users. We like to have discussions with brief troll smashing breaks. ๐Ÿ™‚

You might miss press releases, because they don’t do those here. We make fun of stupid ones though. ๐Ÿ™‚

Look at it this way… the guy with the Guy Fawkes avatar got to have a post about what stories of the week he liked, and he turned it into a bus tour (I even went off the reservation for one of them), and it still got posted.

Dis is serious business… sometimes…

Anonymous Coward says:

I was sort of hoping for a list of the the things Mike punted this week.

Example is not understanding that US diplomats help to bring business to US companies.

Another example is not thinking that plagarism is a big deal in universities.

It was a good week on Techdirt, plenty of chances for Mike to prove that he isn’t a lawyer.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Except these are the posts I liked, hence them being my favorite posts.
Yep I’m still not Mike.

I’m sorry you think MS is a US company? Then why did they move things to Ireland to avoid US taxes. It is so nice that they get the benefits of the US but contribute as little as possible to the US. And having the Government shilling for one specific product when there are many US options in the marketplace is wrong.

Plagiarism may or may not be a huge issue, but the actual point of the article you failed to read, was that the Professor felt that spending so much time being the secret police investigating these things actually harmed the classroom experience.
One could make the argument that you have seen that model playing out with the content industry, they are so focused on stopping the “bad” people that the entire experience is being lessened for the “good” customers and the methods being used push some of the “good” customers into the bad areas to just get the content without the insane restrictions.

But I was having more fun showing other people the Copyright Cul-de-sac then to just parrot all of this weeks articles back. My context in most things is copyright and the abuse there of, but I do read other stories as well. You should try that….

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Last time I looked, Microsoft was located in Washington state, and listed on a US stock market.

As for plagarism, a single professor might feel that way. But left unchecked, most students would just breeze through essays without effort, copying from online sources and passing off the work as their own, coming out of the classes without the true understanding of the material.

One could make the argument that the moon is made of cream cheese. You would be wrong, but you could make the argument.

I read plenty – but I try not to read them with a tardian slant.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

And MS has gone out of their way to minimize their taxes paid on the state and federal level, while demanding that the states and federal governments do things to help them. If they were not given such preferential treatment compared to other companies in the US it would not be an issue. This might be an example of them reaping the benefits of a system they attempt to avoid to keep functioning, shifting their “fair share” onto everyone else. They use a portion of the savings to buy the laws that benefit them and hurt competition. This is the way of the corporation, but it is made worse when our government uses its international relations to push only MS products.

If the grading to students was simply on essays then that would be a failure of the educational system. You talk about plagiarism being a horrible thing when we have well known plagiarists holding office in this country.
Being able to see if a student has a true understanding of the material takes more than an essay, but if teaching that material suffers as a teacher has to invest much time trying to ferret out the bad apples, and carries resentment towards those trying to take the easy path there is a larger issue.

“I try not to read them with a tardian slant.” – citation needed.

You have your own slant, but pretend your unbiased. I am well aware of my own slanted views, and anyone who follows this site is aware of my positions. I present them as my opinion and not as fact. I do not demand others accept my statements as gospel or take the time to take potshots at our host for him not ghostwriting a submission written by someone else to cover your special picks.

I’m sorry my favorite posts of the short week did not live up to your expectations. It seems that your also trying to grill Mike on topics that actually did make it onto the site as a whole, but you feel he should have given more coverage to by jamming them into my list.

Lauriel (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

As for plagarism, a single professor might feel that way. But left unchecked, most students would just breeze through essays without effort, copying from online sources and passing off the work as their own, coming out of the classes without the true understanding of the material.

The point the professor, and the article, were trying to make was that even though plagiarism exists, settling for dishing out simplistic essays that can be easily fudged then spending all your time and effort fighting the plagiarism is futile, and lessens the experience for the students. The point is to route around (change the business model, so to speak) the system that encourages plagiarism. Rather than leaving it to rage unchecked, make it easier to pass without plagiarism.

The professor argued that instead, the teacher could focus on providing a more interactive and stimulating learning environment, where marking doesn’t rely on proforma essays, but on things like group work, peer evaluated work, peer presentations, etc – things that can not easily be fudged.

A teaching strategy where you spend all the time fighting your students leads to student dissatisfaction and disenfranchisement. A good teaching strategy encourages student input and rewards engagement creates student stimulation and discourages plagiarism.

From a teacher’s perspective, students will almost always learn more from a constructivist class. A class that allows them to interact with the material, try out different theories, and make meaning as they go, will result in a much better understanding than absorbing very little from lectures/notes and regurgitating it back. Essays have their place, but the more proforma, the less effective.

sophisticatedjanedoe says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

As always, it all boils down to one?s main premise:

– either the majority people are naturally born criminals, and as such require increasingly stricter rules and enforcement of those rules in order to contain the evil inside them;

– or the majority is comprised of socially responsible citizens who can flexibly govern themselves on every level, down to an individual and his shame as an internal ?correction institution?.

Most of the arguments seen on any discussion board can be traced to one of these two believes. And although I?m not a proponent of black-and-white approach, I see a pattern here.

A simple example: the approach to forum moderation. Open forums like this one naturally attract mostly those who believe that people are inherently good and will always keep occasional trolls contained (without banning them outright). On the contrary, MPAA?s forums don’t allow comments at all, and although MPAA may argue that opening their forums to comments will result in all sorts of hooligans, “content thieves” and other “scum” polluting their impeccable truth and preventing it from reaching out, it is clear that those who treat their potential customers as criminals, can?t interact with the world based on anything but “Homo homini lupus est” credo.

So getting back to this particular question, I?ll quote the other side?s argument without elaborating further (I hope that my point is clear enough):

…left unchecked, most students would just breeze through essays without effort, copying from online sources and passing off the work as their own, coming out of the classes without the true understanding of the material.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Can you indicate the reasons for the cheating to occur?

I can think of some reasons:

– The price of education is high, than mostly in colleges everywhere nobody wants to fail, that would mean a painful financial experience.

– The work load is to high which forces most to be creative to reach the goals.

I once saw a factory manager complaining about how to much defects were occurring in the assembly line, he tried every screaming possible and failed, the thing is the workload was immense he never bothered to go down there and do the work himself once, to understand what the demands where on people and so he kept increasing productions targets and people started to throw out pieces of goods and mark them as defect loses to achieve the numbers he was asking, in the end he was gone and a new guy appointed one that worked in the line and understood how much he could push people.

So I bet that if there is a lot of cheating there is a reason for it, what are the reasons?

People don’t naturally cheat, most people will try their best to achieve some goal only when they fail they will try and cheat, why are people failing? and what can be done about it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“People don’t naturally cheat, most people will try their best to achieve some goal only when they fail they will try and cheat, why are people failing? and what can be done about it?”

That doesn’t seem to line up with the current mentality of that particular age group. You know, the group who can download anything, think nothing of ripping content for anyone else, streaming anything they can, and so on.

Morally, they just don’t appear (from what I can see) to have an issue with cheating. It isn’t the “last choice”, it’s the choice to get by without effort.

You can plagerize someone else or use an online paper service and get a good night’s sleep (or go partying!), or you can stay in your dorm for the next 3 days researching and writing a paper about a subject that you aren’t enjoying much.

“failing” is the least of their concerns. It’s time management.

Bnesaladur (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“they are so focused on stopping the “bad” people that the entire experience is being lessened for the “good” customers” –TAC

This is like arresting people and throwing them in away for life, JUST IN CASE they might be criminals. All steps must be taken to protect the innocent. Who needs proof if they have the potential to be a criminal. Are they smart? Have they ever been upset with their government? Criminal, accuse them and throw them away. Or even better, gather a lot of random people up in mass and accuse them all and offer them the chance to pay you $10K to be let off. Its a good way to better the economy. (We can even pretend we are making people safer at the same time. Some might actually believe us.)

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

More like not being able to see the forest for these damn trees, so lets clear cut it.

They take actions to “protect” their interests, and seem to ignore that each time they do this their interests suffer more.
The difference is now, they have bought and paid for all of the laws they could desire… only to discover it is not enough.
They are busily trying to get the illusion created that it is only because a movie is downloaded, or a sing listened to with out being paid for that the entire world is in ruin. It can not have anything to do with special laws and help for corporations who refuse to accept that to stay in business one needs to adapt to changes in the marketplace.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

As someone who holds a LLB myself I resemble that statement!!

Though as I have stated before around these pages, I don’t have a shingle out to practice law for a few reasons not the least of which being that I actually think the law should be about “no fear nor favour” and being the cynical bastard (and proud of it) I am would likely be in contempt most of the time.

sophisticatedjanedoe says:

A driver led us through a week of nineteen-eighties.
I was a passenger, I did not buckle up, hence I was flying.
I saw my shadow in the back, next to the aisle.
His face was pale and hair was silky, she was scared.
Forgot him? Not at all, we’ll reunite when bridges fall.
A thunder, lightning’s shadow, sealed this promise.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I prefer to think of it as Lt. but mainly because of something Margaret Cho once said about muppets. I would like to think that I bring something to the table in these discussions. Being chosen, even if for a short week, tells me that people do notice what I add.

I have been doing my best to redeem the title of That Anonymous Coward from the insult it once was, but I’m not above RickRolling someone if need be. You can always tell people I took you hostage, I am afterall a Tardian Terrorist Pirate… or not….

I’m glad you and others enjoyed the tour.

Anonymous Coward says:

Patents as a weapon of mass disentivation.

Many professionals in biomedical industries, in contrast, say that they need protection from patents to make sure competitors don’t feed off their efforts.


That right there tells anybody what they need to know about why patents exist it is to stop others from doing something and in doing so stop the natural spread of knowledge which means technology spreads slower.

Dufuses of course will disagree.

What patents do is to kill the natural vectors necessary for the spread of knowledge and slowing down development of technology.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Well this story wasn’t meant to convert everyone to be just like me, damn that would be boring, but these are important topics from the week I liked.

The topics are sometimes much to serious for their own good, which could explain my comical approach to relating what I liked.

Everyone can relate to being on a crappy bus tour, and I was covering large chunks that could be seen as “destinations” and somethings that we just saw in passing that might need a second look.

Louis Smith says:


You should learn to communicate in complete sentences, and similar thought. The generation that has grown up thinking in 150 character texts and shorter tweets are racing to the bottom of the literacy ladder. That was the most incoherent bunch of nonsense I’ve read in a long time. What the fuck are you even talking about.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Giberish

Aww did you have problems keeping up with the way that I express myself?

While you would like to think I am younger, I am in fact not.

Maybe you were unable to detect the subtle sarcasm running through the narrative format I used to express my selections of the stories of the week that I found compelling.

Maybe you had your undergarments in a bunch because you have never been selected to highlight the stories of the week that you found interesting.

When the nurse comes in to change your ostomy bag maybe she can draw pictures for you, giving you a better chance at understanding what I was communicating.

Reading, I know its hard but on the internet, no one can see your lips moving while you attempt to sound out the words I have typed.

I’m sorry that you hate whimsy, but do not blame your lack of imagination on my skill as a writer.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It appears that it is a sentence. My skill at grammar aside, one has to note your inability to respond with anything but trying to point out I am fail at grammar. I’ll let you in on another secret, I typo quiet often to.

When your attacks boil down attacking the method, I am left to consider you can not come up with any way to deal with the substance of the topics.

Given much of the random troll blather we face, my style is not as horrible as you would make it seem. I may not pass a high level English course, but somehow the others seemed to pick out the message I was conveying.

And dis is da interwebs, dis is serious business.
I can has cheezeburger?

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