Killer Cool's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the the-good,-the-bad,-and-the-ugly dept

This week had a lot of articles that I really enjoyed. Between great articles, and good articles that spawned great comments, I had a hard time keeping this post short enough to keep anyone’s attention. So, let’s get to the week.

First, I really liked Monday’s article about DRM lock-in. I always hate to see content producers getting caught up in a DRM craze. It NEVER works like they intend, since all DRM is quickly broken. The only differences between DRM schemes are in how the legit consumer gets impacted. When it doesn’t work, it’s either broken (and a huge waste of production money) or ineffectual (and a huge waste of production money). When it does work, it’s only due to the fact that it doesn’t feel like DRM. Take Steam. They are a great example of “feels okay” DRM… and consumer lock-in. I have over 200 games from them. I enjoy the competition’s product (Good Old Games, etc.), but I feel obligated to check whether the products they offer are also available through Steam, since I’ve sunk so much money into them already. If they go out of business, I will lose access to all of my library, so it’s in my best interest to make sure they stay in business.

Tuesday had great news for the Vandals. I’ve been following this story since the Mike first posted about it, two years ago. Yeah, it took two years for Variety to (effectively) drop a case against a victim who had actually complied with their demands. Seeing as how fair use/parody laws are a thing, I would have liked if the Vandals could have fought this out in court from the beginning. While I wouldn’t wish a real fight in court on any reasonable person, SOMEONE has to stand up to the guys with the big guns, or they never go away. There was also a good write-up on why content isn’t an end product. Mr. Grasmayer’s breakdown of the benefits of viewing content as added value for a product was an interesting read. The discussion that followed in the comments, defending/clarifying some of the examples, was fairly enlightening for me, and more than a little entertaining.

Wednesday brought us the twin travesties of “Linsanity” trademark abuse and the MPAA trying to defend their stance on personal copying. Due to the widespread belief that everything has to be owned by someone, at least two opportunistic… jerks tried to trademark “Linsanity.” What?! Apparently, since no-one had already registered the trademark, that means that someone MUST have a right to it. Right? Ugh.

As for the other article, I thoroughly enjoyed (read: gnashed my teeth and silently raged at) the self-righteous and condescending tone adopted by the MPAA (and, apparently, their toady). Obviously, being forbidden by law to conduct an activity that is only illegal because of DRM, and is, in fact, legal otherwise, is for our own good. Because (and I quote) “Think of ripping a DVD as the first step towards piracy. You may not intend it, but it happens often enough.” According to this fellow, then, we must all forget that anyone who actually wants to pirate already has many highly functional tools at his disposal to rip movies from their discs. But that’s ok. Mother says someone might slip up, so we should all just do as Mother tells us, and leave the (possibly) naughty toys alone.


On a more cheerful note, Thursday brought us the tale of the latest censorship fiasco (JotForm). Despite the disheartening nature of the article, I still consider this a high point for the week, thanks largely to our very own Marcus Carab and his (mostly) calm discussion with a very determined AC. Long after I would have been reduced to incoherent sputtering, he kept dissecting and rebutting every claim about why, just this once, it would be okay to censor many people in order to slightly inconvenience some (allegedly) “bad guys.” Bravo, sir!

Friday started with some schadenfreude, for me at least. When a service, whose sole purpose is to support a failing business model, tells the ones using that model to shape up, there is a serious problem. I mean, Takedown Piracy is telling their clients that they have a problem so serious, actions that would leave Takedown Piracy largely obsolete are the only real solution. But, in the meantime, they’ll gladly take a chump’s money, since he’s too stupid to spend it elsewhere.

I leave you with this: Net-savvy entrepreneurs are quickly turning away from the USA. On the bright side, businesses (and their tax money) leaving is a story all politicians can understand. Contact your elected officials. Tell them jobs are being lost. Tell them tax money is disappearing. Tell them their policies’ effects are damaging our economy. Tell them you can see for yourself that they are failing you, and you will not be quiet. Tell them that they should shape up before they are replaced.

For those that have gone too far, remind them that November is coming.

Y’know. Elections.

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Comments on “Killer Cool's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week”

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Anonymous Coward says:

” Because (and I quote) “Think of ripping a DVD as the first step towards piracy. You may not intend it, but it happens often enough.” According to this fellow, then, we must all forget that anyone who actually wants to pirate already has many highly functional tools at his disposal to rip movies from their discs.”

What is moronic is not understanding the point.

Someone who wants to smoke pot will go out and buy pot, even if it is illegal. They will buy pipes, rolling papers, and all of that. If their intention is to break the law, they will do it.

Now, if you made a pipe, papers, and pot a mandatory part of every household, do you not think that just perhaps the use of pot would go up?

If every PC came with ripping software, and a high speed connection with simple software to share that rip, don’t you think it would happen more often?

It is really hard to get past how dense you are on this issue.

Hephaestus (profile) says:



You can make a pot pipe out of an apple an aluminum foil. You can use a cross pen as a crack pipe. You can use an inkjet refill kit or marinating kit to inject heroin. Just because this stuff is around doesn’t mean it will get used.

The huge problem with your “don’t you think it would happen more often?” is, it is a “what if”. It is speculation with out any numbers.

“It is really hard to get past how dense you are on this issue.”

Jay (profile) says:

As I have stated elsewhere, we need a better system than what we have now. This means we need more parties that represent the interests if diverse groups. No, not just the Tea Party. Not just the Justice Party. We need a way to punish political parties that are too far out of the mainstream consensus. Until we have such a concept, we will continue to have a hypocrisy of democracy.

Anonymous Coward says:


Yes, you need to have as many political parties as they have in Italy. Then each party can get 1 member elected to congress, and you can have total mayhem and gridlock because none of them will agree on anything.

(62 or 63 governments in Italy since WW2… about 1 every 13 months).

More power to the people, for they will be powerless with it.

Anonymous Coward says:


Do we really need political parties? Personally, I think the optimal system would be for candidates to be elected based on how they say they’ll run things, and then actually run things like they said they would.
Theoretically, no legislative changes would be needed to implement such a system; it’d be more like a voter awareness campaign.
This would be an excellent time to run such a campaign as well, considering the widespread lack of faith in the current government. “Tired of electing people who turn out to be complete idiots? Next election, instead of blindly voting for people because of their party affiliation, carefully research each candidate before voting for them, to make sure they (and the companies backing their campaigns) share your political views!”

Richard (profile) says:


If every PC came with ripping software, and a high speed connection with simple software to share that rip, don’t you think it would happen more often?

Every kitchen comes as standard with a set of sharp knives – and yes – as a result there is more knife crime and people get killed. But, guess what, we don’t ban kitchen knives because they are really useful.

Now if this is true for a really serious crime like stabbing – how much truer is it for a “crime” that really shouldn’t be a crime at all – and only is one because some greedy people lobbied for it?

Anonymous Coward says:


For those of us who use open source operating systems the technology is readily available and free to store anything we want. Also the reason they share rips is because it takes time and if your friends are also ripping they can send you that. It is called group work. The only reason it is defined as “Piracy” is because they are sharing the disc in a purely digital instead of digital on a plastic disc.

as so i would like to point you to this

Jay (profile) says:


Political parties form up because of the system. Sure, the optimal system is one person voting based on their hearts, but let’s look at what happens around the country if you’re a third party candidate. Better yet, look at how gerrymandered states are to increase the power of one particular party. The problem is not in just one individual person. The problem lies in how bad our entire system is and how it robs people of actual choice.

I detail here how to change the system and allow political parties as well as increase representation. The hope is to allow more parties to increase the choices and eliminate one party monopolies in areas around the country.

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

Jobs disappearing

While I’ll be one of the first in line to day I’m overtaxed for what I get from it I feel the need to point out that since the crash of 2008 the Canadian economy has done better and has grown than the American economy which has shrunk (slightly).

Yes, this has to do with resources like oil, wood and many others. Our housing market has been stable and prices have risen, not fallen.

I could go on. I will add, though, that a number of the tech industries beginning to flee the United States are moving north.

But to the point. As tech companies flee the United States not only do the taxes they pay and the jobs they create, far more then the entertainment sector, so does the intelligence, drive and education that helped create them. In short it’s called a “Brain drain”. That is never a good thing for any country to be experiencing because it endangers the future as well as the present.

Anonymous Coward says:


So anything that can be used to comit a crime should be illegal then?

So you don’t believe Saeed Malekpour should be freed in Iran and return to Canada but be executioned since he broke the law there. His crime was to wrote a program that upload photos somewhere and somebody used it to post photos that some objected to, now he is responsible for it and will die.

Is that the kind of society you want right?
One everybody is responsible for the dumb things others do, one where laws has no boundaries, no limits and can be applied to anyone.

Anonymous Coward says:


Everybody should just give up everything to defend you is that not right?

Anything that could possible cause harm to you must be dealt with extreme prejudice and eradicated so you can go on living in your safety-bubble.

Nobody else has rights or interests of their own and everybody have to comply with your “reasonable” requests even if it means people have to give up their own rights to make sure yours are upheld and nobody can complain.

I see how that would work well in the real world.

Josef Anvil (profile) says:

Just duh

Comparing pot smoking to piracy is a really really bad analogy.

But let’s jump into it anyway…

“Now, if you made a pipe, papers, and pot a mandatory part of every household, do you not think that just perhaps the use of pot would go up?”

Hmmm according to this premise pot is suddenly legal since its mandatory. So would pot use go up? Probably but its mandatory and legal in this example, so what’s your point?.

Even assuming its legal and mandatory, that still wouldn’t raise the usage among non pot smokers. Those who dont want to smoke simply won’t.

With media it doesn’t work that way. If you give people a legal convenient and free way to consume media, of course they will use it.

Rich Kulawiec (profile) says:


“Trying to make bits uncopyable is like trying to make water not wet. The sooner people accept this, and build business models that take this into account, the sooner people will start making money again.”

— Bruce Schneier

He’s been saying for that 10 years, and yet we are still saddled with inferior people, equipped with VERY inferior minds, who don’t get it.

Anonymous Coward says:


Here is the problem I see with this. All a party (or special interest group for that matter) is is an assembled group of individuals that push for a like minded goal. In a democracy you have to have a consensus of a majority of individuals in order to accomplish anything. Furthermore the ability for like minded individuals to assemble and push for their common goals is essential and guaranteed by the very design of the system (ie. the Constitution.) Where it breaks is when money (or other incentives) are introduced to the mix and corruption and greed is allowed to alter the positions of those who would not necessarily support the view based on the merits of the arguments on the issue.

sevenof9fl (profile) says:

Jobs disappearing

Tech companies can’t seem to leave the US fast enough, in point of fact, and have been doing so since the late 1990’s and early 2000’s in The Great Outsourcing Game that began in the first 2-3 years of the early 2000’s. It’s been hardscrabble work to keep a Tech job unless you’re in tech security or similar field (especially as you approach age 50, regardless of what you know). At the same time, the US Congress can’t seem to stop issuing H1B Visas for Tech workers as they continue pay US workers less and less. Since 1999 I have had more friends lose jobs than gain them, relocate to other states and many go into new careers. One person who even had a patent on a data process ended up becoming a dog walker because she was so fed up with the game. I have written letters and emails and stated your words almost exactly – that the loss of tech jobs not only deprives people of a livelihood, it has the very ripple effect you describe so well: the “Brain Drain. It effects the long-term ability of the US to maintain itself as a technology leader and even a world power. But come election time, people are more interested in . . . other things; social issues, as I’m sure you read about in the press. It’s very distressing. It’s as if I’m watching Rome burning brightly and no one else seems to even smell smoke.

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