Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the the-trolls-win! dept

Well, here’s a surprise. For the past few years, we’ve had one “critic” in our comments in particular who has been particularly active. Yes, there is a small group of regular critics, but one has been, by far, the most active and most thorough in making sure to disagree with almost every post, often in somewhat ridiculous ways. He will, no doubt, now accuse me of unfairly violating his privacy, but this is not true. His style is so clear and so easy to spot, I know his comments as soon as they show up and I have no clue who he really is. I just can tell which are his comments. Nearly every week, when we do the favorites posts and the funniest/most insightful comments posts… he’s one of the first to comment to mock those posts, mentioning “kool aid” and how it’s just some sort of echo chamber on the site whose positions are not reflected by the wider world. Of course, the fact that said wider world never shows up to support his comments suggests that perhaps (just perhaps) he’s wrong.

Even so… this week, this anonymous critic finally got his wish… and actually won for the most insightful comment of the week. How did it happen? Well, Tim Cushing wrote a post asking pro-SOPA people to explain, directly, how they would measure whether or not SOPA was a success — making an appeal to avoid insults and attacks and just stay focused on the simple question. And, in this case, the commenter in question did so… and lots of you felt that, even as you then disagreed with him in response, the fact that he finally seemed to enter into the discussion with a clear explanation of his position deserved kudos. So here it is:

My usual take is this:

Piracy is made up of many levels. There are hardcore pirates, who would steal anything they can get and distribute it widely for whatever reasons they have, social, economic, or what have you. These are people who cannot and will not ever be changed.

At the other end of the scale, you have people who do not pirate, will not pirate, and much prefer to obtain content legally.

In the middle, well, you have the “soft middle”, with people leaning more towards piracy, more towards legal, whatever. You have opportunists, you have tag alongs, and other people who do things because they can. Think of it as the mob mentality, on a grander scale. Many people pirate because they can, because it is easy, and because there is no cost or risk involved.

Right now, the soft middle leans towards piracy because they can, because it’s easy, it works, it’s easy to find stuff, it’s easy to download it, it’s all automated and simple – and the risks are negligible.

With SOPA, there is great potential that many of the pirate sites out there today which facilitate the access, host the files, or otherwise contribute to piracy won’t be accessible from the US – at least not easily. As it becomes harder to find stuff, harder to obtain it, and more effort and risk comes into trying to get it, the soft middle will start to lean back to legal sources. This will be doubly so if these laws encourage legal alternatives to become more prevalent. Already, things like netflix and other streaming services have to some extent started that process.

Piracy won’t go away by any means. But it will not longer be (for Americans anyway) the cheap, simple alternative. Further, if the law makes it harder for pirate sites (and those “torrent search” sites) to make money, they are likely to be less and less common. Remove the economic motivations from the deal, and many of the players who are only there for the money and not for the lulz will fold up their tents and move along.

My feeling is that piracy goes from it’s probably 40% of the marketplace down to something like 20%, and that a good chunk of those people who get out of piracy end up using one or more “legal” services to fill the void, and fix many of the issues.

Further, I think that all of this is very good for independent artists, who will no longer have to compete with the high end product being “free!”, and they may be able to better attract audiences on the basis of their own content, not on someone else’s.

Can we hope that this leads to further reasoned debate in our comments, rather than name calling and logical fallacies? I’m not holding my breath, but it would be nice.

Coming in second was another attempt at quantifying in regards to SOPA. It was xenomancer’s attempt to quantify the math around SOPA concerning the ability to shut down a store like etsy:

We’ll start with numbers that take a little less bending the fabric of space-time to make sense:

It turns out 800000 is a great number to get a sense of the ridiculous burden of liability SOPA will create. Supposing, for sake of because I can, that each store places exactly one infringing piece of work up for sale per day and it takes exactly one hour to locate and verify the infringing status of said work, knowing exactly which store it is likely located in, there now exists exactly 800000 man-hours of new work that Etsy has to perform per day to ensure that no single complaint ruins their entire website. That’s (800000 hours) / (24 hours/day) / (365.25 days/year) ~= 91.262 man-years of new labor the website would need per day. Or, put another way, that’s (800000 hours) / (8 hours/employee) = 100000 employees needed to come in 7 days a week, every day of the year, for 8 hours. Now, those numbers say two things to me. The first is that maybe SOPA can create a whole new industry of staring blankly at a computer monitor looking for infringement because, as everyone knows, “you just know it when you see it.” The other is that the new liability introduced, using those bogus numbers as a far-fetched proxy, will bring the internet to a screeching halt in the name of a few incompetent and lazy middlemen seeking to place the burden of proof on the wrong side of a table yanked out of the rightful setting of the courtroom. Copyright and patent infringement take an adversarial trial to determine, and that is all there is too it.

But, wait, let’s look at the numbers again… 800000 new court cases per day from one company might actually get something done right since the people who actually committed the infringement would get punished instead of the platform in similarly idealistic circumstances. That, and it might alert congress to the widespread abuses and problems with the current system, and how cranky judges get after witnessing a groundhogs day moment once too often before age 65. It is the copyright owner’s right to the rights provided by copyright and it is also the copyright owner’s burden to defend said rights. I could see why the MAFIAA gets so up set since they are in a somewhat similar position with their large catalog of weaslingly pilfered copyrights to scour the universe with, looking for revenue. And let’s be honest about it, the MPAA and RIAA care about artists and the supporting staff only as far the copyright can pay over time. And they’ve been demonstrating less than even that low bar of loyalty lately.

As for editor’s choice, I’ll start with a response from ts to the winning comment above, in which he highlighted one key sentence and pointed to an alternative explanation:

Right now, the soft middle leans towards piracy because they can, because it’s easy, it works, it’s easy to find stuff, it’s easy to download it, it’s all automated and simple – and the risks are negligible.

Sounds like a good business model right there.

Indeed. And then we have the following explanation of SOPA from another Anonymous Coward:

It’s clear that innovation is not something the entertainment industry is able to cope with. This bill isn’t about getting more money. It’s about stopping the next disruptive technology from getting off the ground. It’s probably too late to shut down You-Tube now. it’s too popular to go away quietly without people making a fuss. But if they can stop the next game-changer, no matter the nation it starts in, they can prolong their current revenue streams until the current execs get their golden parachute.

They learned a lesson from Napster. Going to court won the battle, but they still lost the war. Napster changed the way people wanted to purchase music (i.e. right now, over the Internet, rather than from Tower Records) , even though they successfully shut it down. This bill is about shutting things down faster, before people’s perspectives can change.

Okay. Enough of that. Tragically, our friendly critic didn’t also win funniest of the week… but what did win was someone who tried to mimic our regular critics. Amusingly, this comment not only won for funniest of the week… but also was “reported” enough that it was minimized. Some people just don’t get the joke (you may have to open the minimized comment):

I’m sorry, you lost me when you had a bunch of criminals and hooligans who routinely break the law (hackers) voicing their opposition to SOPA. Geez Apologist Mike, getting pretty desperate there aren’t we. Then you go on to include groups like EFF (who is just a puppet whose strings are being pulled by Google). And so on and so forth. This article reeks of FUD. Sorry, but your Wild West free-for-all Internet days are done. As for these “consumer rights groups” and “human rights groups” all I can say is what about artists’ rights? Of course you only care about the freeloaders, but not one person representing any artists is mentioned in this article. And by “artists” I mean ONLY people who matter (directors with 40+ films to their credit, musicians with 10+ albums to their name, etc. none of these whiny nobodys you trot out on a regular basis).


Coming in second was Ima Fish’s response to our story about Universal Music suing its insurance company for not agreeing to pay the $14.4 million settlement Universal Music agreed to for purposely avoiding paying royalties to artists in Canada.

And you say that the copyright industry cannot come up with innovative business models.

For editor’s choice, I just couldn’t narrow it down to only two, so we’ve got three this week. First up, we’ve got a comment from el_segfaulto trying to compare operating systems to female companions:

Open source OS’s (let’s say Linux and BSD variants) are like having a nice girlfriend. They don’t require a whole lot of maintenance but aren’t overly flashy. If you screw something up you do need to know an arcane language to smooth things over.

Windows is like dating a two dollar hooker. You’re paying for something that you can get for free elsewhere, and are running the risk of viruses.

OSX is a Charlie Sheen level high-class call-girl. She’s pretty, she’s fun to show off to your friends, but she’s expensive and wants new things every few months. Also, the word on the street is she used to be a regular girl until a mystical suitor named Steve J. showered her with affection and a makeover.

While funny, it feels like there’s a big segment of the market missing.

Then we’ve got Jon Bains explaining his rather detailed view of the entertainment industry’s new strategic business model around SOPA: “denial of safe harbor” or DOSH:

I’ve had at attitude readjustment, I’m going to go with the flow and embrace what i just realised is the future of business models for the content world.

You see the the anti-SOPA lobby (most of us here) have assumed that the MPAA / RIAA (collectively known as the MAFIAA) weren’t willing to adapt and viewed folk like Anonymous as a threat. That sending letters to individuals a-la ACS-LAW wasn’t a viable strategy. Turns out we were wrong. They actually saw an opportunity. They watched, they learned and are proposing a new model even more impressive than the good old ‘Denial of Service’ attack the hackers use.

(Denial of Safe Harbour)

This new ‘model’ is fantastic especially as  you need virtually NO technical, creative or legal skills to play. It’s truly open and democratic.

Here’s how it works and how I plan to make millions! (so don’t tell anyone!)


  1. Create some ‘music’. Highly recommend GarageBand autoplay instruments. Since a 4 year old can use it, it shouldn’t take more than a couple of minutes to make a tune.
  2. For a one time fee of $35 dollars register your opus with – you can do it online so no need to move off the couch/stool.
  3. Go to Tunecore and get it popped on iTunes for 99c . Make sure you come up with a cool sounding name for your band and label – I’m going with ‘Cognitive Dissonance’ for the band and ‘RogueDoSHRecords’ – am thinking my first track will be ‘Legalise Extortion’ again please don’t steal it as I haven’t registered it yet.
  4. Go to WordPress (if it still exists) and create your label site – to be honest you don’t have to do much more than say ‘welcome to… XX records home of YY’ and pop some copyright notices everywhere and a link to iTunes.
  5. Have a cocktail  – you are now in that elite group – the Content Owner!
  6. Enlist some friends to help out and repeat 1-5  with them – I’m guessing 10 mates/labels would be enough for most situations – a mini Anonymous if you will.
  7. At this point you *could* try and get folk to buy your tune but frankly it isn’t worth the effort instead each of you upload the others tracks to YouTube and/or create some torrents.
  8. So far I reckon they should have taken about a day of ‘real’ time, some hangover recovery time plus however long it takes to get the copyright approved.

STAGE 2 – Exercise your Rights

  1. All you have to do is find a bunch of blogs ( any site on any subject will do these days that allow comments) and get your mates to pop some links to your track on YouTube or to the torrent.
  2. Send the site owner an email accusing them of being ‘Dedicated to infringement’ – and that you will NOT report them to their ISP, payment partner etc if they hand over I dunno – $1000 bucks sounds fair.
  3. Now at this point you would expect the site owner to take it down, if they do just pop it up again ( or even better pop one of your mates tracks up to confuse them. )
  4. After you’ve done this a few times you announce that you have got a some class-action from a bunch of legacy sounding labels including ‘Phonographic Memories’, ‘The Long Tail Players’, ‘8 Track Marks ‘, ‘Tape me up, Tape me down’, ‘Cassette My Ass’ and of course the hip-hop label ‘MP3some’.
  5. Give them one last chance to pay up (it’s going to cost them $5k now btw)
  6. If they DO pay up – wait a couple of days /weeks and repeat with some new labels until they just give up and shut down
  7. If they DON’T pay up shop them to their ISP and Payment partner who are so inundated with these claims that they’ll have no choice but to close the infringing scum down, just in case it’s legit. Don’t worry about needing legalese I’m sure you will be able to find a form letter online to help you out – no lawyers required!
  8. Repeat on as many sites as you feel like, the smaller the better of course. I’m thinking of going for gardening blogs myself – the poor dears won’t know what hit them.

I imagine a motivated team of ten could manage a few dozen each a day while sitting in the pub. Even with a 10% conversion rate you’ll make a load of cash, secure in the knowledge that those who didn’t play ball won’t be able to make any money for themselves! Win Win!

You can of course do this with anything that can be copyrighted so feel free to  make some films of you and your mates celebrating in the pub (Dogma movies are due for a resurgence anyway) and copyright them – go for it! You’ve even got the soundtracks ready made so you can pop a compilation out. Even Better! You are now ‘Multimedia Copyright Owner’ – diversification is everything in this day and age.

And there you have it – as far as I can tell under SOPA its totally legal – we as Copyright Owners and we are entitled to get paid without having to sell even ONE bit of content, attract ONE fan or play ONE gig. Superb. We truly have entered The Golden Age of Copyright.

If anybody says ‘Conspiracy to defraud’ just say ‘The left hand didn’t know what the right hand was doing’ or better yet ‘the tea-boy is going to lose his job UNLESS we do it’.

Go on – try this at home!
the business model for the post-modern creative!

And that’s why I’ve learned to stop worrying and love  SOPA, it’s going to make things soo much better.

And, finally, we’ve got lavi d with his excellent Top 10 List in response to Tim Cushing’s post on SOPA metrics:

Top 10 ways we’ll know that SOPA is a success:

10 – Dry cleaners and popcorn producers worldwide will enjoy a resurgence in business

9 – There will never be another Justin Beiber

8 – No one will ever leave the living room to go to the bathroom during the commercials again.

7 – Viacom won’t have to kill Spongebob in order to pay their CEO’s salary

6 – Computers everywhere will stop allowing people to make copies and will automatically turn into television sets

5 – People will once again flock to theaters to see movies, then rent the movie from websites, then buy it on DVD, then buy it on Blu-Ray, then buy it on…

4 – Musicians and film makers will stop making a living using just the internet. All movies and music will once gain come only from Hollywood and the recording industry, as it should be.

3 – Congress will eventually give the internet to Hollywood, once it’s apparent that they know how best to manage it.

2 – The “entertainment industry” will see a windfall of $100 billion next fiscal year as people go back to buying copies (see #5 above)

And, finally, the number one way SOPA defenders will gauge the success of the bill will be the disappearance of rogue sites like Techdirt, Ars Technica, the EFF, Slashdot, etc where “common” people have the audacity to publicly insist that their government work for them.

Well, as long as we’re still here this upcoming week, we hope you’ll join us for some more comments. It’s a short week since there’s Turkey and such to be had in the later part of the week, but there should be plenty of things to talk about until then.

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

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The Pirate Mole says:

I can’t wait for the industry agents to wack me, I don’t hide everything I do right now is out in the open and even then they appear not capable of hitting me in the head LoL

In the wild west of ideas the imaginary protections will never stop me from digging under those silly fences, that are more like door in a house without walls, why have doors when you don’t have a wall to put them in?

A Guy (profile) says:

I’m surprised no one has made the economic argument against SOPA. (Or maybe I just missed it.)

When US companies are the only ones whom cannot do business with high traffic and legal sites abroad, how is that going to affect the profitability of the GDP of the United States?

Unless the measure is adopted world wide (and it won’t be) doesn’t it open a huge market for competing firms to eat our lunch?

If Google cannot serve ads to a legal site in another country, doesn’t that just open a market for one who does?

If our financial services cannot process payments for those same sites, doesn’t that just open a market for those who will?

How many US dollars that we desperately need to repatriate from China and other places around the globe will we give up so the entertainment industry feels better?

This seems like another strategic mistake by our lawmakers at a time when our debt is soaring, our tax revenue is down, and too many people are unemployed.

If the sites cannot be banned in the country that hosts the content it will still be out there for some bad actor to serve up to anyone whom wants it.

My question to the lawmakers is how many times must we shoot ourselves in the foot before we permanently hobble our competitiveness around the world?

It might make sense to ban ads on specific URLs after a DMCA notice has been ignored. I could actually support that. However, this bill goes too far to the point of being foolhardy.

darryl says:

Fix your web page Masnick !!!!

Masnick, your web site sucks, are you that bad or a web designer.

Look at the freaking size of this one article alone and then the size of you freaking home page !!!!.

Do you not have the skill and ability to privide a short description of the article with a link to it’s full content, or do you not give a shit about bandwidth efficiency and people with download limits??

It’s very unprofessional and makes your web site look like something you knocked up over one lunch break..

Imagine trying to view Techdirt on a phone !!!. or with a slow connection !!


el_segfaulto (profile) says:

Fix your web page Masnick !!!!

My only complaint is the bottom bar takes forever to draw on my tablet. Perhaps you can learn how to write in proper (or understandable) English before you throw stones. The site is clean, the fonts are well chosen, and it is not horribly dependent on outside scripts. Of course, I just do this part-time professionally, so what would I know?

Karl (profile) says:


Take Orlowski with a grain of salt.

Wow, I just read the article, and you shouldn’t take it with a grain of salt. You should take it with an entire salt lick. This guy is no more enamored of the truth than someone like Glenn Beck is.

I mean, come on. Google “benefits from piracy?” Because they awarded a research grant (but did not sponsor the survey), they researchers are “spinning it favourably for their corporate paymasters?”

And because the researchers used the (entirely accurate) word “censor” in one of their questions, it’s equivalent to asking if they approved of “the government unlawfully kidnapping their children while they censored websites and burned the Holy Bible just for fun?”

Here is a guy who seriously uses phrases like “whacking free-riders” and “serial copyright leechers.” Here is a guy who thinks piracy is only about “never paying for anything.”

Maybe that’s why he totally misrepresents the study, and touts the one result that he approves of while ignoring all the others that show he’s utterly wrong (when he’s not outright calling them fabrications).

I suspect we might have found one of our trolls.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Fix your web page Masnick !!!!

*pats you on your pointy little head*

There there.. Bad mean person sent you a nasty bigpond/optus download bill did they? No matter, just think soon we wont be able to pay for electricity due to its expense due to uncertainty over carbon tax, privatisation, fuck ups of labor state govt’s (ex NSW especially) so worrying about dload limits will be moot 😉

Mike Masnick (profile) says:


Below is a list of Mike Masnick’s articles on the real-world effects of piracy on the real innovators and venture capitalists in music, the independent record label.

Hmm. Actually I’ve written about a bunch of indie labels doing some very smart things and adapting successfully.

There aren’t any.

Perhaps you’re unfamiliar with how to use search.

PaulT (profile) says:


Orlowski is essentially The Register’s resident troll, who just happens to write for the site rather than simply post comments.

If you want to know the quality of his writing – I believe he was the one who originally coined the term “freetard”, and the comments are usually disabled on his posts for reasons that will soon become obvious whenever you read the articles.

It’s a shame he does this for a living, but at least he’s paid a salary to do so unlike the less sane commenters round these parts.

Anonymous Coward says:

Another example of how full of shit you are

“Oops: Public backs web blocking in Google-funded poll

Can we elect a new population?
By Andrew Orlowski ? Get more from this author

Posted in Music and Media, 17th November 2011 13:31 GMT
Free whitepaper ? Schlumberger uses IBM System Networking RackSwitch for HPC
Analysis Talk about an inconvenient fact. A survey into US attitudes to internet piracy shows strong public support for blocking access to websites guilty of serial copyright infringement. No fewer than 58 per cent support the idea of ISPs blocking the pirate sites, and 36 per cent disagree with this. Of the respondents, 61 per cent want sites like Facebook to take more action to screen for infringing material.

This may not be what the corporate sponsor Google, which benefits from internet piracy and fights enforcement proposals, had in mind when it funded the research. Google is currently leading the opposition to the new SOPA legislation in the US, which obliges service providers to take greater responsibility.

Perhaps, as in Brecht’s poem, Google wishes “to dissolve the people and elect another”, until they get the answer they want. In fact, that seems to be exactly what happened here.

Columbia University, who Google funded to conduct the survey, has a very hard time spinning it favourably for their corporate paymasters. They resort to the old trick of rephrasing the question until it got the desired answer. (Statisticians sometimes do something similar: it’s called “torturing the numbers until they confess.”)

Asked if websites should be “censored”, 46 per cent said yes, and 49 per cent said no. Fewer agreed if the question was posed in a way that implied legal content was being accidentally blocked. And asked if “the government” should “censor” websites, the number fell still further, with 36 per cent in favour and 64 per cent disagreeing.

The researchers stopped short of asking whether the public approved of the government unlawfully kidnapping their children while they censored websites and burned the Holy Bible just for fun, which is a pity. But you get the general idea. The answer depends on the question.

Two UK surveys have both shown strong public support for stronger law enforcement for online infringement. Even pirates agreed with the proposition that they were doing something a bit iffy, and would stop.

Which brings us to what wasn’t asked in the survey. There are some serious omissions.

In the UK, a mere 11 per cent disagreed with the statement that: “It is important to protect the creative industries from piracy.” But remember this new study is Google-funded research; they don’t want vital context like that spoiling the numbers. The same UK survey also showed that whacking free-riders is popular; 51 per cent polled in the UK thought serial copyright leechers should be punished more strongly, including many “pirates”. That question wasn’t asked by Columbia, either.

The survey instead asked if people had ever committed online copyright infringement, and the answer tells us something we already know: many people have, and the number rises among under-30s. It doesn’t ask if this is a regular occurrence, and how much is casual and how much is “hardcore”. The survey does ask how much of people’s personal collection is pirated, but what would be more useful is a “flow rate” (like the GDP measure), not the accretion, so we haven’t really learned anything about habits or behaviour.

The researchers instead ask whether the public like any of the punishments on offer, and guess, what? They don’t really like any of them very much.

Early data from France suggests most people stop pirating after just one letter, the number of people who have received two is tiny. Spending money on recorded music is now optional, and the copyright industries hope that people who love music go back to buying more, rather than spending the “saved” cash on beer and other entertainment, as they are free to do now. This is the justification for the legislation. (Which is clumsy stuff, as your reporter never ceases to point out; there are other ways of discouraging anti-social behaviour than blocking sites).


No industry research into piracy is ever believed by opponents of digital copyright enforcement, the so-called “copyfighters”. This is for two reasons: studies have in the past have notoriously exaggerated the economic impacts of piracy for tactical reasons. Much like alarmist Greens, copyright groups want the threat to be seen as exceptional, requiring exceptional action. But secondly, pirates don’t want to acknowledge that piracy does anyone any harm ? so they block their ears.

“What’s that you say? Never paying for anything hurts the creator? That can’t be true. And oh, I can’t hear yoooou!””

Richard (profile) says:

Another example of how full of shit you are

No industry research into piracy is ever believed by opponents of digital copyright enforcement, the so-called “copyfighters”. This is for two reasons: studies have in the past have notoriously exaggerated the economic impacts of piracy for tactical reasons. Much like alarmist Greens, copyright groups want the threat to be seen as exceptional, requiring exceptional action. But secondly, pirates don’t want to acknowledge that piracy does anyone any harm ? so they block their ears.

Considering the 300 years of propaganda from the copyright industry, which is almost completely unopposed within the mainstream media it is really surprising that the populous don’t simply parrot back the “official line”. When you consider the fact that the UK population was persuaded to vote 2:1 in favour of the proposition “I’m too stupid to vote first, second and third choice instead of just putting an X”, you’d have to save that the propagandists of the copyright industry have done a really bad job!

The majority of the population over the age of 30 have little understanding of the technology so they do not appreciate the technical implications of things like web blocking and probably have very little economic stake in the issues since they don’t consume much paid for media anyway. They therefore tend to repeat what they have heard – which is mostly MSM copyright propaganda – and only moderate it slightly with personal experience.

If you confine your study to people who know and care about the issues you get a very different result – as is evidenced by the comment columns of MSM whenever the subject comes up.

“What’s that you say? Never paying for anything hurts the creator? That can’t be true. And oh, I can’t hear yoooou!””

Strawman much…
This is not the line of even the most determined copyfighters.
I certainly don’t want to pay beyond the marginal cost of copying – plus a reasonable profit margin – but that doesn’t mean I don’t want to pay for creation of content. What I want is for creation to be unbundled from copying.

This would result in the freedom to do whatever the technology allows without artificial restrictions. We are happy to pay for content creation – we just prefer to do it upfront so the creator gets a fair deal and the product do not need to be encumbered with legal and technical baggage.

Anonymous Coward says:

Another example of how full of shit you are

If you want people who don’t use technology to understand the consequences of said laws you need to translate them to something they do understand. Failure to do so is entirely on the tech savvy people.

For example what SOPA would do is akin to having a marathon runner being able to stop others from running if they don’t get to his minimum levels of performance(for copyright that would be financial performance). If he had the power to do so he could pick and chose who could run or not, he also would be able to tell others how they should run, where they should run and for how long.

One can use cars, restaurants, planes and other things even ants to explain how harmful such line of thinking is.

Anonymous Coward says:


Usually I think your articles and point of view are spot on. Especially in regards to patent/copyright/trademark issues. Or at least only slightly skewed…

However, if you think that
“we’ve got a comment from el_segfaulto trying to compare operating systems to female companions”
is an intelligent comment, and worthy of an editor’s choice, I fell I must re-evaluate my alignment. Does el prefer we all only use linux in little sandboxes and that anything else is whoring ourselves out?

Try playing tech support to your family and friends on linux and see how quickly the world would have given up computers. I am dumb founded by how absolutely stupid this comment is that I was waiting for the punch line.

Tell me I missed the sarcasm tags somewhere?

Anonymous Coward says:

Fix your web page Masnick !!!!

Of course, I just do this part-time professionally, so what would I know?

Seems like not much, if you cannot see how poor quality this ‘web site’ is..

Clearly Mike has little idea about “connecting with fan” or in giving his readers a “reason to buy/browse”.

There are quite a number of outside scripts on this site and some of them regularly fail and cause a page reload. No other site I visit have this problem.

And no other site’s are presented so poorly as this one.

But I understand that Mike does not have to technical skills available for him to make it better, and Mike “does not give a shit” as long as he makes money.

Why put effort into making your product as good as it could be, when you can provide shit and still make a dollar !!!

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Fix your web page Masnick !!!!

“Clearly Mike has little idea about “connecting with fan” or in giving his readers a “reason to buy/browse”

So… why do you spend so much time commenting here then? If there’s no reason to be here, no connection and no browsing experience, why are you here? You do realise that if you object to Mike “making money” from a poor product, your very presence here is part of the very problem you rail against?

Anonymous Coward says:

Fix your web page Masnick !!!!

I did not expect you to take any effort or to listen to your ‘fans’ in regard to a simple issue that you “SHOULD” be able to fix with a minimum of effort.

A simple fix that would make your web site 500% better, would enable you to keep the same size of you main page but have the last weeks worth of posts on it, and not lose to history some of the more ‘important’ articles that we only see a fleeting glimpse of until it falls from your main page.

It would also probably result in more main page hits for you, that would in turn result in MORE MONEY..

It is not about download limits or anything, it is about efficiency and effectivness.

Keeping up with the times and technology, you talk about tech all the time, but your show case of technology (your web site) looks like it has not been revised for the past 15 years !!!.

You talk about innovation and the use of innovation to make your business better, and that using others innovation is “ok”, yet you do not seem to apply that concept to your own actions.

So this is how you ‘connect with fans’ and this is how you give your ‘fans’/customers (marks), a “reason to buy/browse”.

So someone, (or a few) people point out a way that would make the “Techdirt” experience a little better, and you ignore them.

Way to “connect with fans” masnick !!!!

Way to have a ‘showcase’ web site that backs up your continuous claims.

Dont worry about addressing the problem, you would give all your readers a heart attack, no one expects you to walk the walk, like you claim you can, we know you can “talk the talk” but talk is cheap..

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Fix your web page Masnick !!!!

LOL relax. One anonymous user – who complains about everything on this site – uses a comment thread to make an off-topic complaint about layout, and it does not automatically spur everyone into frantic action fixing the “problem”… big fucking surprise.

Fwiw, we actually are working on a major redesign. Of course, I wonder if Darryl will take credit for it now. 🙂

Karl (profile) says:

Another example of how full of shit you are

You know something?

I’ll bet, that as you posted the entire article, that you didn’t do so with the author’s permission, and didn’t pay him a cent in the meantime.

Yet I doubt very much that you think this is “piracy,” even though it most certainly is.

“What’s that you say? Never paying for anything hurts the creator? That can’t be true. And oh, I can’t hear yoooou!”

Karl (profile) says:


haha at the fool that doesn’t understand how google makes their money.

Oh, I understand perfectly.

The majority of Google’s profits come from its AdSense program – which has nothing whatsoever to do with “benefiting from piracy.” If there are AdWords on pirate websites (and there aren’t on the major ones like Pirate Bay), they’re a miniscule part of AdSense’s revenue in general.

Or perhaps you’re thinking of YouTube. Far from “benefiting from piracy,” that website is a free service for content creators that benefits them far, far, far more than it has ever harmed them. For example, if there are ads on the site, they are there at the request of the content owners, who take a significant portion of the ad revenue (more than Hollywood studios or record labels ever gave out).

Plus, Google spent more than the annual gross of most startup companies to develop the ContentID system, which allows copyright holders either to block matching content, or (better) to put ads on the content, and collect half of the advertising revenue on it.

Put simply: Google makes their money by offering their users a valuable service, and helping content creators make money. Pretending otherwise is utter bullshit. If they are a site that is “dedicated to infringement,” that just provides more evidence that infringing sites should be absolutely legal. You’re not making your side look good.

It’s also revealing that the only one of the many, many, many inaccuracies in that article that you responded to, is the one about Google. Kind of revealing, I’d say.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

truthfully i dont know the %s of googles income these days but I know how they got big and rich in the first place; by making a fantastic search engine and somehow managing to cover it in ads while not upsetting me in the slightest that it was covered in ads. Fucking magic trick of the century somehow making millions in ads without one user complaining that this site has too many ads.

Anonymous Coward says:


I would like to comment directly to sir kool-aids comment that won a position in the most insightful list.

First off, thank you for the well written, on topic, clear and concise post. I disagree on some points but we can discuss this now in a good way.

First off, I agree there are many different types of users and your description of them seems pretty accurate for the most part.

Secondly I even agree with, well, pretty much the whole post, except for your view of the effect of the outcome. What I think will happen is that this law will make it easier for companies not to develop better systems, more in touch with modern technology.

Due to the fear of the internet method of transmission many products like like Netflix (a product I support but it bothers me they cannot provide a lot of new product) might continue, but might not and Spotify, which in Sweden (home of the Pirate Party), actually out preforms CD sales, other digital sales, and piracy combined, might continue, but might not.

On the other hand, SOPA probably makes it easier to pursue legal action will likely make it more convenient for the media providers to just sue than to make better products, a process that involves changing the current structure which can be a scary process, especially for those who are very used to it.

Please keep in mind as well that many popular and completely legal services, such as World of Warcraft, use torrents to provide updates to their users. Using torrent sites to help distribute their software is beneficial to all involved by increasing trackers, peers, seeds, and decreasing the amount of effort involved on behalf of these legal services.

In closing, we do disagree on the end results of piracy but I ask that you consider the other possibilities such as the ones I have listed. For better or for worse, as you have said yourself, digital piracy is hear to stay. Lets work to make laws and systems that don’t provide so much risk of collateral damage, and bring people away from piracy by enticing them rather than blackmailing or coercing them.

Thanks again for your post.


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