Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the short-week,-still-funny-and-insightful dept

Short week, but people were still both funny and insightful. Wonders never cease. Leading the pack was ken with his simple reminder of a useful aphorism:

Just like the saying goes “you have tyranny when the people fear their government and you have freedom when government fears the people.”

Coming in second was Chris Rhodes, responding to a comment from someone saying that people support SOPA because “they also think theft is bad too,” to which Chris responded with the obvious question:

Well yes, but what do they think about copyright infringement?

For editor’s choice, I’ve got Overcast with an interesting historical parallel:

Funny thing about this whole copyright/technology/pirate debate is this…

Three inventions that are now looked at as 3 *critical* turns in human history, perhaps 3 of the most important 20 inventions in all of human history… did/do the exact same thing as new media on the internet – copy.

First we have the Gutenberg press. What was it’s purpose? To copy media. No other real purpose. Copy it in mass, actually – that was it’s claim to fame. I’m sure it put many scribes out of work – if not all of them, at least 95%. Luckily for humanity the scribes didn’t convince the king that it was ‘infringing’ upon them. Else, so many more people would have remained illiterate….

Then we have the phonograph. Probably the only reason a ‘music industry’ even exists today. Prior to that, sheet music and live performance was it. At that time, music was one of the very worst paid professions a person could go into – heck, Mozart was broke all his life practically. Luckily for human history, the sheet music companies and those that ran the theaters didn’t petition the king to destroy their invention due to copyright issues.

I mean – what would have happened if Handel’s family would have insisted on royalties for the first real recording and blocked it’s production if they didn’t get their demands, which would have been likely at the time. He died in 1759, so that’s not totally an impossibility.

(The phonograph cylinder recordings of Handel’s choral music made on June 29, 1888 at The Crystal Palace in London were thought to be the oldest known surviving musical recordings,)

Then finally we have the camera. A device that could run literal circles around any painter. No more were multiple hour long sitting sessions necessary for a photograph and eventually the art of making these pictures ‘motion’ has lead to one of the largest industries in the history of man.

In all of these cases, many multiples of Artists, Corporations, Investors, Entrepreneurs, Common Folks, small business and others have made much proft from. In turn these inventions spawned untold numbers of improvements and progress from.

Pretty much all modern media owes it’s existence to devices that copied media. Without these copying devices, we wouldn’t be having this debate, because the entertainment industry wouldn’t even exist.

Proof is that entertainment industry in 1750… what was it? 🙂

And then Just John pondering politics and government these days:

I have reflected on this question much lately, enough to wonder if someone like me, who could care less about laws, but does properly understand the world we live in today, should run for president.

No, I am not here to announce a move to try to become president, I am just highlighting the question of: What is the purpose of government?

Many people try to discuss how piracy is evil, and many others discuss how it exists because customer demands are not being met. Every side has some validity, some more than others, but in the end, does any of this address governments role in society and laws?

Given that our US government is created “For the people, by the people”, we seem to forget the “for the people” aspect.

Why does the government exist? To watch over the public good. To provide for the public benefit. To inact laws that the public wants and needs in order to allow the public to operate in order, not in chaos, at the publics will.

The interesting part is, government is not there to create, judge, or protect any business models. This problem has only arose because some entity within the government decided to allow a corporation to be a “Citizen”, but even then, that single corporation is 1 single voice out of all the citizens.

If you took the three biggest record companies, their “voice” should be 3. So, that would be equal to me, my mom, and my dads voice. This is how it should be, but instead we, the people, have let the government officials, who are suppose to look out for our interests, dictate based on how they feel about something. This allows corruption. Fill my pockets, I will help you get your laws passed.

Tell me, at what point does Copyright, IP, any of this become invalid because society chooses to ignore it? Is not the purpose of government to follow the peoples will? If they do not follow our will, then can we say they are even our government, our spokesmen, anymore? So they criminalized my copying an MP3. I guess they have that power, but is it their right? Should I be forced to submit to their will even when their will has been proven to not follow their mandate, to enact the publics will?

Some on here defending things like SOPA, PIPA, DMCA, seem to forget that, yes, our government can pass this, but if the government is acting outside of the realm of public consent, for their good instead of the good of the citizens, does that then means that we are obligated to follow that law?

If the government made a law saying you must shoot black people that you saw on the street after dark (This is part of an old law in Idaho that was never removed from the books, although it was “Could” not “should”), that we have the right and need to shoot them just because someone made a bad law?

Me, I feel if we do not stand against corporate backed censorship, than we will loose our voice. Even if this passes, people will still dictate our rules, and choose to ignore theirs, because it is our will, and the government should be governing for that.

Yes, some will be made examples of. Some will go to jail. Some will decide to go out of their way to follow the rules out of fear of loosing something, be it their freedom (incarceration), their money (Fines and litigation), or even their life. Ultimately though, if it is the will of the people, it will not stop. It will not be silenced. It will instead be bypassed, ignored, attacked. What RIAA and MPAA forget when they do this is, unjust laws will not turn people to them, but instead will create a backlash that will ultimately hurt them more than what they seek to prevent.

Me, I will fight against it. The harder they push, the more I pirate. The more they try to silence me, the more I will speak. Those who want to defend them, remember, you can cry about the illegality whatever you wish, but just remember. The government is for us, and our will is going to either triumph, or they will need to become the very communistic, fascistic, or tyrannical government they claim to be against to stop us.

So for me, the battle over things like SOPA is not against those nasty pirates. It is part of a whole. We saw freedom eroded with the patriot act. We see our public domain eroded by companies like Disney because they do not want someone else using Mickey Mouse. We see the attacks against Wikileaks for giving the people back the information their government has tried to hide from them. SOPA is just another step to erode the freedoms we live under, those that are left, and I will fight as long as possible to keep it.

So keep crying about nasty pirates. Keep trying to hide behind the artists that you claim to protect, while screwing them every way you possibly can. Keep trying to tell me how it is “For the children” and “For the soldiers” (PS I was in the Military, and that is a bunch of shit). It falls on deaf ears because we know the BS you spew, and will fight you until all dissent is ground into poverty, jailed for daring to be free, or so scared because you have become the tyrants our government was formed to protect us from.

Now there’s a rallying speech for a holiday weekend…

Moving on to the funny. First up was :Lobo Santo responding to the post about the government fearing free speech:

That’s the exact same reason why the government cracks down on organized crime. They just can’t stand the competition.

Coming in a close second was hothmonster’s pitch perfect attempt at “trolling” Congress in the same manner as some of our critics like to troll us:

The wild west days of congress are over. No longer can the company with the most money just strut around demanding laws to support their failing businesses that are unwilling to adapt. Hope you cowboys had your fun time to start working.


Yes, it seems you are doing it right, indeed. For editor’s choice, we’ve got Prisoner 201 giving us the Orwellian troll explanation for why patent trolls aren’t a problem:

There are no invalid patents. There are no bad patents. There are no patent trolls, big or small.

If you just follow the law, you won’t have any problems with patents. It is very easy to know what is patented. Just be original and do not leech off others.

Stealing is wrong. Murder is wrong. Especially murdering children. Everyone knows this. If you are against patents you support the kidnapping and murder of children. Everyone likes patents.

Patents bring us a better future.

And finally, gotta give one to Dark Helmet for taking on a pet peeve of mine as well: the number of folks in the comments who keep referring to “probable cause” as “probably cause.” And it’s not just a typo, because some commenters do it every time:

Dear everyone:

I know it shouldn’t be that big a deal, but it’s “probable” cause. Probably cause sounds like the beginning of a statement explaining why I shaved a mohawk into my dogs over the weekend:

“Well, honey, probably cause I was drunk, so how do ya like that?”

Indeed. Hope everyone’s ready to get back to work tomorrow, and if you’re wondering where the long weekend went already it’s “probably cause” you’re overdosing on turkey leftovers…

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

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Trollholio says:

Freetarded, bootlicking, pirate-mike loving communists. We need more regulation to keep the parasites from changing with the global economy. If anyone ever has to change, then it’s not capitalism.

We won’t let those communists/socialists undermine our government granted monopoly. Free speech and civil rights are for communists.


jakerome (profile) says:

I had to search for Handel's Messiah recordings

And this is what I found.

The original recordings have been out of copyright for many years. However, the transfers of these recordings are still in copyright. I am extremely grateful to the Edison National Historic Site, National Park Service, U.S. Department of the Interior, in New Jersey for sending me not only copies of the recordings, but also some research into them which had already been carried out. The copyright in the original transfers belongs to the Edison National Historic Site. I have carried out some limited audio processing on the original transfers to improve the audibility of the performance. The copyright in this audio processing belongs to the owner of this website.

I don’t think there’s a better encapsulation of the absurd lengths copyright maximalists will go to remove historical works from the public domain. I know there’s case law that basically says you aren’t granted a new copyright for engaging in a simple transfer or non-creative clean up (removing scratches from paintings or music). Yet the copyfraud continues. Make it stop.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I had to search for Handel's Messiah recordings

When the penalties for copyfraud meet or exceed the penalties for infringement then it may stop. Crimes against the public are fine, but violating a government established monopolist’s privilege is not OK, because government granted monopolists get the high court treatment. Our laws are nothing short of an attack on the public good.

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