Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
from the going-out-with-a-bang dept
One thing that I’ve noticed each week in doing the funniest/most insightful comments post is that the winners are almost always relatively “early” commenters. This makes sense. The earlier your comment gets in, the more people likely to see it… and thus vote for it. I sometimes feel like I should reserve a special shout out each week for a “late” insightful or funny comment, but I haven’t gotten around to it. So it’s interesting to see that the highest ranked comment this week on the insightful side of the coin is actually pretty far down a thread. It’s the 52nd comment on the thread about how SOPA would create the architecture — both legal and technological — for more widespread censorship, even if it was initially targeted narrowly. Ole Husgaard stopped by to pass along the facts of what happened in Denmark along exactly those lines:
What happened in Denmark.
7 years ago we got a child pornography filter on the Internet in Denmark. Some people said that it was a bad idea, but others said these people were just paedophiles, or trying to help paedophiles. Some people said that it was against our constitution, which it was. So the censorship was implemented in a way so it was formally (but not in reality) voluntary, which ensured that it was not formally a violation of our constitution.
Some people warned that once the censorship infrastructure was in place, it would most likely be used to censor other things. But they were told “Never! This is ONLY to prevent this horrible crime, and will never be used for other censorship.”
Fast-forward a few years, and the Danish recording industry did not like allofmp3.com, so they went to court to get a court order against the Danish ISPs to start censoring allofmp3 off the Danish Internet. The judge basically said “ahh, you already have the infrastructure in place, so there will be no extra cost”, and issued the order to censor allofmp3.com. It was not a violation of our constitution because it was ordered by a judge.
Since then other “pirate” sites have been censored. Most notably The Pirate Bay, which found out that the court would not even allow them to speak their case in court, or even submit a written brief.
Then our politicians found out that they wanted to protect and expand income from taxes. In particular the high taxes gambling providers pay. The official excuse was to limit the horrible disease of ludomania. So they decided that foreign gambling providers had to pay the taxes in Denmark too if they were on the Internet and could be seen in Denmark. If they refused to pay taxes, they should be censored off the Danish internet. So they passed a law saying that if a foreign gambling provider refused to pay taxes in Denmark, a court would – on the request of our government – have to order ISPs to censor its sites off the net, and payment processors to block all payments to it. If an ISP does not censor, or a payment processor or bank does not block payment, hefty fines are issued.
Now our politicians worry that some foreign companies selling medicines on the net are not licensed to sell medicines in Denmark. So they are preparing new legislation that will censor these sites off the net, and block payments to them.
So our Internet censorship started a few years ago with a very limited purpose and good intentions. And it was solemnly promised that nothing else than child pornography would be censored.
But once the infrastructure for censorship was in place, the censorship started spreading to other areas. And the censorship is getting more and more widespread.
That, right there, is exactly what many of us are afraid of. Coming in second was a comment from an Anonymous Coward, responding to the news of Righthaven’s domain being seized and auctioned off. The AC made the comparison to the way ICE seizes domains:
This is how seizures should happen. First the trial, then the seizure (if appropriate).
Seems pretty simple. To be honest, not quite sure why that got “most insightful” votes this week. It should just be common sense. Anyway, moving on to editor’s choice, we’ll kick it off with Loki’s brilliant dissection of the RIAA:
The RIAA, an organization that:
Along with the MPAA, Disney, ect.) pushes for perpetual copyright extension to infinity (so that, in theory, my children, grandchildren, and great grandchildren can financially benefit from work they had nothing to do with, but that in reality most of that money will go to whatever company I am forced to assign my copyright to).
Spend massive amounts of money lobbying for laws that block as much real competition as they can manage.
Sue (along with MPAA and such) companies they can’t get outlawed, hoping to keep them tied up in litigation long enough they go out of business anyways.
Buy into website they can’t find ways to sue (try finding independent stuff on MySpace or eMusic anymore with all the major label crap plastered all over the front of the site, you have to go digging to the backs of these sites now to find it).
Pay radio stations under the table to pay exclusively their content (every couple of years at least one major label seem to get busted for Payola) – then turn around and work hard to impose high licensing rates (which would effectively get them exclusive music for free as their licensing schemes would just funnel their payola right back to them).
File mass lawsuits and send out bulk settlement offers (pretty much a form of extortion, considering how many of those lawsuits have proven to be bogus, any way you look at it). After all, you gotta pay for those campaign contributions, lawsuits, and payola schemes somehow.
Force musicians to relinquish their copyrights (again, little more than a form of extortion, given how effectively they have worked to roadblock all other avenues to success), and then sneak text into bills causing those same musicians to forfeit some of those copyrights altogether (and rewarding the person responsible with a $500K a year job) – even if the actions were later rescinded.
It’s not so much that I stopped believing the argument that copyright infringement was theft, it was that the people making the argument was so dishonest, so much bigger criminals that their opinions/ideas became essentially meaningless.
Seeing as GoDaddy’s support is probably well-publicized by pro-SOPA politicians, they need to go a bit further in their retractions. If they are truly sorry, they should commit money to advertising against SOPA.
I’ll believe you then.
Unfortunately, that’s unlikely. The company’s statements suggest that it won’t actively support SOPA, but may still tacitly support SOPA.
Okay, enough seriousness. Let’s get to the funny. Scoring an easy win this week (yet again) is Marcus Carab, who did a nice callback to the story from a few weeks ago of Mythbusters accidentally firing a cannonball through a residential neighborhood, in his comment responding to Mythbuster Adam Savage coming out against SOPA & PROTECT IP:
…and Savage definitely understands the importance of things being narrowly targeted 🙂
Coming in second was drewmerc predicting the response Senator Wyden is likely to get from the federal government in his investigation into the seizure, denial of due process, and subsequent return of dajaz1.com:
███████████ Dajaz1 ████ ███████ ███████████ ███████████ ████████ ███ ███████████ ███████████ ███████████ ███████████ ███████████ ██ █████████ ███████████ Dajaz1███████████ ███████████ ████████ ███
Nicely done. For editor’s choice… we’ve got an Anonymous Coward responding to me pointing out that startups have created nearly all of the net job growth in this country. To that AC it didn’t matter:
Startups typically do not make campaign contributions to Congressmen. Therefore, they do nothing at all to benefit the jobs that count.
I am sorry to hear you were sued by Hollywood because your lead reindeer has a resemblance to the character Rudolf. To bad they got that restraining order to prevent him from flying this Christmas. My dead grandma was also sued by the content industry for downloading German death metal. Frank Sanatra I would understand but that, not so much.
I know I am going to be on your naughty list next year because I hacked your servers. All I did was look around!! I found that the heads of every record label, TV studio and movie studio is on your “COAL FOREVER” list. Why you did that in 24 pt bold font I don’t understand. I think that is very harsh. People should be forgiving this time of year. It is a time of giving, and hope.
I would like no gifts this year. Instead I would like to brighten the day of the studio execs in Hollywood California. They really need it with how mean they are. I recently learned that “the majority of them, are all with a 20 mile radius of Hollywood, CA”. Which should make delivery of the gift I would like to give them easy. I would like it delivered to The Ivy in LA. The gift is a Tsar Bomba. You might need a bigger sled though.
Signed your friend
Johnny age 12
P.S. Enclosed is a list of changes to your network to make it more secure.
I apologize for taking a year to get back to you. Between federal custody and the YouTube talk show circuit I have been busy. To bring you up to speed. I have to wear an ankle bracelet for the rest of my immortal life. It seems the whole smile and a wink thing, I do to get up and down chimneys, works to get out of jail cells. Who knew? They decided to save face after my 100th cookie run. So they changed the terms from life imprisonment to life with an ankle bracelet. That and no one in the US justice department had jobs lined up for after the change in administration.
So all is well now. I have placed you on my “NICE” (in 24 pt font) list this year and filled a 1 TB mp3 player with your favorite music.
On that note, since this is one of those terrible years where Christmas and New Years falls on a weekend thus “stealing” precious vacation time, we’ll be doing what most other places of work are doing, and taking Monday off as well. So you have an extra day to solve all the world’s problems in the comments to this post… We’ll be back on Tuesday. Hope everyone’s enjoying the holiday season.