Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the democracy-in-action dept

Another week, another collection of comments. Leading the insightful brigade was this comment, by AJ (which also scored decently on the funny side) concerning the news that Lucasfilm still insisted that Return of the Jedi wasn’t profitable, despite it being the 15th top grossing movie of all time. AJ suggested that if such films aren’t profitable, perhaps the industry has a bigger issue than “piracy.”

Soooo, I guess this tosses the “piracy is killing the artists” argument. If only a possible 14 or so movies pay the artists after the initial production, I can’t see how it’s “hurting” them at all.

When the artists figure out that the pirates are the fans and the middle men are the pirates, your going to see a disturbance in the force….

Coming in second was a comment from ASTROBOI, trying to put the movie industry’s size into perspective, in suggesting that its influence is out of proportion with its actual economic contribution:

The best estimate I’ve seen of the financial strength of the movie business in the USA says that boxoffice gross is about 10 billion with 30 billion for secondary markets such as dvds, cable tv, whatever. Guess who else is worth 40 billion a year. The PET SUPPLIES industry! That figure courtesy of FEMA. Yes, sale of dog leads, bird cages, kibble and kitty litter contributes as much to the economy as the loudmouth movie industry. Put in that perspective, why does the MPAA have such a disproportionate influence? Is hanging around with movie stars THAT big a perk? If ever the tail wagged the dog…….

For editor’s choice, we’ll kick it off with a comment from Killer_Tofu, on why he’s effectively opted-out of copyright:

Me and everyone else I know has already opt-ed out. We don’t care about copyright. For some of the exact reasons listed above. We don’t see it as serving anything except those who wish to oppress. There were a few people I knew who used to be on the fence. After explaining to them all the stuff the labels are doing to make our internet connections bad though, they quickly decided copyright was not something they should respect. You can’t mess with people’s internet access and expect them to just take it.

Things that people have mentioned to me about why they don’t like copyright:
1) A cool video on YouTube disappeared, and there is no good reason why. It was only a tune you could barely hear in the background anyways.
2) DRM on video games makes the game unplayable (and even the user made the connection that it was because of copyright). One user even had to reformat because of Securom before.
3) Fan site they followed got shut down.
4) Got yelled at by their ISP for something they didn’t download.
5) Cool web service online got shut down because of stupid fees they were being charged by the licensing agencies.
I am sure there are others but I cannot say I have but once heard people my age or younger (and a few years older) talk favorably about copyright. The ONLY time I heard people my age talk about it nicely is when they specifically mentioned they wanted to write a few good songs and then not have to work the rest of their life. The rest of the group looked at them with disgust, amusement, and humor. They were mostly laughed at for the comment.

Going back to the start, when I say we don’t care about copyright, I mean the way that the laws are now, we have no respect for. I have some friends who download, and nobody I know sees any harm in it. There is no proof it has harmed anybody. In most cases, the artists they download want the music shared anyways. There are just too many sources of legit content to need to give the big labels any money through any source. It is no wonder that even after all the labels have taken (and in some cases stolen) from the artists, they are trying to take some of their touring revenue too. People are trying to avoid giving those dying industries money.

There are a few of us who attempt to stand up against stupid legislation but our representatives just send us those stupid form letters back basically telling us we have promptly been ignored by a staffer. This further results in even less respect not just for copyright, but for our government as well

The second editor’s choice comes from Ron Rezendes who does a nice job explaining our general view on the world:

From what I can tell, Techdirt does not ever say piracy is acceptable. Only that it is inevitable. So, rather than discuss or try to engineer ways to reduce piracy through draconian laws and DRM etc., TD tries to explain and show how to meet the customers demands (CwF+RtB) for example. Piracy exists because the customers demands are not being met in an efficient manner. I posted this elsewhere on TD but it is really the exact same answer everyone in the content industry doesn’t seem to understand – which is perplexing in and of itself because there are no prohibitive costs to doing business in a consumer friendly manner…

Try using this statement as the crux of the IP “war”:

When what the public actually wants is to be able to experience the content they want, when they want, where they want, how they want, for a reasonable, uninflated price.

If you fail to understand the market then you will fail in that marketplace. The statement above is a clear cut explanation of what the customers want and if you took the time to fully understand that you would see how the infringement issues, piracy, unauthorized file sharing and all the other boogeymen could be taken care of in short order by the content creators themselves if they would just provide their content in such a way that “the public is able to experience the content they want, when they want, where they want, how they want, for a reasonable, uninflated price.”

The solution is actually within their capabilities, yet they are unwilling to accept such an easy road to resolution because the concept of satisfying the customer is not something they understand.

Case in point: I bought an album X from the music group Y in the year 19XX. The musicians got paid, the music execs got paid, the distributors got paid. So why the hell does it matter to any of them if I convert MY album to a different format because I now own different hardware? Furthermore, why is it any of their business at all – it’s MINE! I ALREADY PAID FOR IT! The music company and I are only connected by this transaction, which was completed years ago. Leave me ALONE so I can enjoy the music I PAID for!

Reduce copyright to 10 years and provide me content people want, when they want, where they want, how they want, for a reasonable, uninflated price.

Piracy will still exist but I suspect it will be greatly reduced without lining the pockets of the lawyers, clogging up the courts and with little to zero collateral damage of any innocent parties. All of that money stays in the pockets of the industry. It really sounds almost to good to be true!

That was dinner. Now it’s time for some funny desserts. The top two vote getters were both in response to that Return of the Jedi story, and how the actor who played Darth Vader still wasn’t receiving any royalties. That opened up opportunities to pull from the movie, starting with first place finisher PlaugeSD who went with such the perfect comment, I wish I’d used it as the title of the post:

/waves hand

These are not the profits you are looking for

Second place finisher, Simon, went in a similar, but slightly different direction with his attempt to reference the movie:

So every time he opens “..not profitable, yadadada” letter, does he say “Nooooooooooooooo!” ?

I guess you guys like your Star Wars…

For editor’s choice, we’ve got :Lobo Santo effectively demonstrating the difference between correlation and causation when it comes to TSA security — and how he plans to profit from the confusion:

I have in my pocket a piece of hematite which is 100% effective at deterring terrorist attacks in my vicinity.

How do I know it’s 100% effective? I’ve never been in/near/around a terrorist attack while carrying it.

Seeing as I’m feeling generous, I’ll license my patented hematite pocket-stone technology to the airlines for the low low price of only $100,000 per stone.

They should need only one stone per flight, and perhaps a couple more for each airport, so this is quite a bargain

And, finally, we’ve got JohnJac’s brilliant response to the Authors Guild’s luddite-like decision to sue university libraries for making orphaned works available to students:

Can we just let the future come already? I’ve check the history books and the future wins 100% of the time.

That’s so good I feel like it should be the tagline for this site. But Johnjac would probably sue for copyright infringement….

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

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That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: Ron Rezendes' comment

No in the future they will find it and call it what it was… a horrible idea run amok that lead to the “Culture Wars”.

They will then look at the monument to Rick Astley, nod knowingly and put these fragments of copyright into the museum… hoping now that people will be able to freely learn their history and not be doomed to repeat it.

The Future… I’ve already planned to RickRoll it.

Fizzy Lizzy says:

I enjoyed the second editors choice. I suspect a large portion of the problem is the society we grow up in. It’s all about getting ahead of everyone else, even if you have to step on them to get there. Their thinking also tends to be limited by their nature. As humans, we tend to make decisions based on feeling and gut instinct far more often that soundly reasoned logic. We’re hard wired for survival at all costs, and so we can’t help but lash out at perceived threats, real or imagined. Add greed into the mix and you have a recipe that favors the individual over the community every time.

Robert Doyle (profile) says:

40 billion?

Can we just ask Warren Buffett to buy them out? He is looking to divest his wealth to charity at death… someone set that charity up and rip the industry a new one.

And then there is the point that maybe they shouldn’t be a 40 billion dollar industry… I actually like pets – but I can’t say the same thing for the movie industry.

Anonymous Coward says:

Consumer Boycott

“Me and everyone else I know has already opt-ed out. We don’t care about copyright.”

Unfortunately, certain companies have not opted out of starting lawsuits, nor have judges stopped taking the lawsuits seriously. You need to totally boycott all the companies which threaten you. That is the only way to stay safe.

Carefully distinguish between your enemies and your friends. For all those that threaten you, do not buy their stuff. Do not view or listen to any of their stuff. Do not talk about their products at all. Do not share any of their stuff, by any means. You are aiming to send them broke. Do not give their products any free publicity. Talk about your enemies only to say how bad they are.

“We don’t see it as serving anything except those who wish to oppress.”

Correct. You, the consumer, have to make oppression unprofitable. The oppressors must suffer obscurity and go broke. Consumers have to be disciplined enough only to consume content from their friends, not their enemies.

You need to get determined enough to live your life without seeing Hollywood “blockbusters”. Just remember, Hollywood films these days are intended to appeal to 17-year-old boys. Having a more mature outlook than that is hard, especially if you happen to be 17 and male, but work at it and it gets easier. Help your buddies when they weaken.

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