Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the oh-the-people-you'll-sue dept

Another week, another batch of comments. This week on the insightful side, the top three votegetters were so close that I’m just going to post all three. Eking out the narrow victory to the top spot was an Anonymous Coward who compared the situation of Bernie Madoff to Kim Dotcom (who had all of his things seized illegally by the government):

If you run a giant ponzi scheme like Bernie Madoff, you’re granted bail and none of your assists are initially seized. Billions of real dollars lost by regular people, no problem. Billions of imaginary dollars lost by Hollywood, SEIZE EVERYTHING!

Coming in second was another Anonymous Coward, doing a FTFY version of Maynard James Keenan’s whining about his fans sense of “entitlement.” AC thought the sentence would read more accurately as follows:

I think ‘entitlement’ is probably the better word. I think, just in general, our society has gotten to the point where just sing a song, and you expect to be paid over and over for it, without having to do anything new.

And, just narrowly behind that comment wasn’t just any other Anonymous Coward, but That Anonymous Coward with his imagined dialog concerning Hollywood’s five six strike plan:

But but but
The entire plan is funded 50-50 by the **AA’s and the ISPs.
Who are just going to recoup the cost by charging more.

Its just education about the law!
Except the **AA’s have sued dead people and people without computers using this same tech.

*backpeddle* We won’t cut them off entirely, people with VOIP will still have 911 access.
Except we want their speeds cut down to just above dial-up and Voip will not function very well with those kinds of limits.

Consumers can just change providers.
Except in the 71% of the country where the only choice is one of the companies signed up for this.

But but but we are losing jobs!
Except you claim job loss numbers higher than government recorded employment in your industry ever.

But but but we are losing money!
Much of this “lost” money is because you refuse to actually offer the product to the consumer when the consumer wants to purchase it.

But but but piracy!
This is not the 1700’s, you are not on a galleon. There are no “pirates”. (This mindset could be what is holding them back.)

But but but piracy!
Commercial copyright infringement is mostly dead. It is not worth their time and money to compete with the better offerings created by the consumers.

But but but the White House Agrees!
Because Biden is in your back pocket does not make it legal, right, or fair.

I expect people to push, shove, and make lots of noise until several acronyms have to give us half-hearted excuses as to why they will not investigate or why this is okay with them.
Then I expect wise government officials on the local level to terminate monopoly agreements, rights of way, easements.
I expect to see lawsuits asking why Government money is being handed to groups who answer to lobbyists not consumers.
I expect lawsuits to get back Government funds collected from all of us to expand coverage so everyone can be online, that was used to line pockets and stop competition.

I expect to see Sherman and Dodd having to explain how they have any rights to demand anything from service providers. I expect to laugh at those answers.

Maybe it is time to sue them ISPs and force them to be “common carriers”, that thing they are so terrified of… having to let others use the pipes. Offering services not subject to 1 sided the customer is always a thief rules.

If you were pissed off about the SOPA protests, wait till you get a load of this.

For the one editor’s choice comment, then, I’m going to go with Richard’s comment responding to my discussion about how there’s a big cost in companies constantly having to “design around” patents. Richard pointed out that I missed one:

They destroy the possibility of interface standardisation.

Imagine if the arrangement of pedals on a car had been patented – so every maker had to lay them out differently.

Learning to drive would be a nightmare – just like learning to use a new smartphone can be…

Excellent point.

Moving on to the funny side of the ledger, by far the top scoring comment was Hulser’s response to the makers of the Free Universal Construction Kit asking anyone who might sue them to “please think of the children.” Hulser noticed something that plenty of you noticed (and which I have to confess to having missed entirely):

Maybe they should have thought of the children before giving their product a name with an acronym of FUCK.

Coming in second was crade’s response to The Pirate Bay’s plans to try to host versions of the site in drones flying over international waters. Something occured to him:

I guess, in a roundabout way, the copyright system *is* promoting the progress 🙂

For editor’s choice, we actually get a two-fer from Gwiz who did both comments that I’m picking this week. The first was in response to some comments claiming that a record store they worked for in the 90s went out of business due to “piracy.” Gwiz knew it was true because of where he read about it:

Yeah, I read about that in the National Enquirer…

They stormed the shop with cannons and cutlasses, raped all the women and pillaged all the records and cassettes before they scuttled the the shop to the bottom of the briny mall. It was pretty scary.

And, finally, I have to admit that I’m disappointed in all of you for not voting this other Gwiz comment to the top of the list. Despite being my personal favorite funniest comment of the week, it only came in 7th place on the list. However, here for your enjoyment is Gwiz’s response to the estate of Dr. Seuss killing off a book about unemployment done in the style of Dr. Seuss. He entitled it Oh, The People You Will Sue:

Oh, The People You Will Sue

From here you’ll go far.
After trials and tribulations
You’ve finally passed the Bar.

You spent years in Law School
Listening to every Law Scholar
You are not anyone’s fool
You are now an IP Lawyer

Everything is new, it’s a brand new day
Then reality hits and you start to moan
You have to figure out a way
To repay all those student loans

You fire up your ‘puter and look around
You see gatekeepers who need savin’
Against the evil pirates who abound
And think to yourself. I’ll be the next Righthaven!

Oh, The People You Will Sue

As the plan forms in your mind
You’ll sue mothers and printers
You’ll sue anyone you can find
You’ll leave the net in splinters

You’ll sue anyone who utters “Fair Use!”
and companies who use Safe Harbors
’cause in your mind that’s all just abuse
And that’s just for starters

Oh, The People You Will Sue

With patents and trademark abuses
You’ll sue anyone who innovates
Or dares to produce something with uses
And every single company who creates

You’ll file class action suits
For artists against labels, it’s true
You’ll work hard on these pursuits
Because no one gets the money, well, except you.

You’ve become an IP Lawyer
You knew what you were doing
There’s infringers out there
So…get suing!

We’d make a book out of that, but I fear the estate would send a cease & desist…

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

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Suja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I do everyday when I pick up my pen to draw and nobody gives a fuck.

I am but a representation of the vast majority of artists who will never see a dime, yet that hasn’t stopped me from working my ass off on art.

Where’s my money? I should be getting a penny from each of you freetard schmucks cause I can hold a pen, the logic’s worked for most of the MAFIAA’s buzzing beehive of supporters, it can work for me too.

Or I am just not worthy? I guess I wasn’t born a bee.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yet, if you made art that everyone wanted, don’t you feel that you should make a little bit for every copy made?

Would you feel silly to have made the “definitive art of our time” and still be working at your McJob?

I can’t imagine people who cannot understand that, if a musician writes a song that everyone wants, that he or she shouldn’t be doing well from the success. I mean, look at Apple. Ipod anyone? They are making massive profits, don’t you think it is terrible that they profit from their work, rather than giving it away at cost?

Think about the poor starving children in Africa that can’t afford an ipod! Think about them!

You should especially think about them the next time you pirate a song, because basically you are being a mooch. You can afford it, so support the artists!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“failed that badly at monetising that success, it would be my own damn fault.”

It’s not your fault. All the means by which you could monetize it (without having to play lots of miniputt or try to hawk t-shirts) have been removed by the pirates. Your “art” to most people is as free as air, unavoidably so. Even if millions of people love your art and want your art, they will get it for free.

Piracy removes the ability for artists to get paid just to be artists. That is truly sad.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Piracy removes the ability for artists to get paid just to be artists.

Please explain this. Seriously.

As I see it, firstly, we have never lived in a world where artists get paid just to be artists. Artists have always had to do promotional appearances, shows, concerts, etc.

Secondly, what stops an artist from hiring someone to handle the nuts & bolts on monetization for them? To the extent that artists have historically been able to escape the need to do these things, it’s been by hiring people to handle it for them.

In the end, I don’t see how this part of the picture is any different than it has ever been. The real difference is that it is now possible to accomplish all these things without signing your work away wholesale to a third party.

Incidentally, this is no different than literally every other career path available. In every career, a significant part of time and effort must go into things that aren’t directly related to producing the work product. Artists are no exception.

If an artist can’t figure out how to monetize their work, it is indeed their fault. They will fail, just as anyone else in any other career will fail if they can’t figure out how to monetize. This is sad for the individual artist (if monetization was their goal), but doesn’t mean much in terms of the larger marketplace because there are plenty of other artists who will succeed.

Togashi (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

All the means by which you could monetize it (without having to play lots of miniputt or try to hawk t-shirts) have been removed by the pirates.

Dude, maybe some of us like playing mini golf. I would totally start a business where people paid me to play mini golf with them, even if it meant I had to write some good music for it.

Suja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Everyone is way too much for me, my stuff in unorthodox, I have gone my whole knowing no one else likes it but me, to suddenly have everyone and their grandmother liking it… I’d probably have a heart-attack. But I will settle for a healthy fanbase.

Money? I already live a life of luxury, how else you think I can be on the internets everyday doing little else than trolling, playing video games and watching/making YouTube Poops all day?

I learned one thing in life quick and that is: I can be the richest person in the world with a money bin out back and still be empty of the things money can’t buy.

I’ve made several videos, sure, they *are* YouTube Poops and technically crap pasted together, still, there are many worse videos which have millions of views and comments.

My one with the most probably has like…. I dunno… About a thousand views?

I’ve made art before, and I struggled to get like ten people to see it, of the ten I would be lucky if one bothered to comment, if they did it was undoubtfully going to be a variation of “it sux” or “lol kool”.

I guess you can buy views, and comments, and fans, and friends, and even love, but they aren’t genuine. Even the naturally found ones aren’t genuine 95% of the time.

Perhaps if money could buy genuinity, trustworthiness, love, acceptance, friendship… Maybe I would consider.

“Definitive art of our time”? Would be nice… But I am too different, my ideas no one will adopt, I am practically a culture all to my own, I want to see my ideas passed along and accepted. But there’s always some second choice everyone else picks, if not, they’ll make one.

People want familiarity, not difference, I am different, they don’t want me, or my ideas.

It’s just as Nina Paley said:

I write this not to be ?original,? but to share what I perceive as true. I share an idea because I am lonely. The less my reality is reflected back to me, the lonelier I become. I want to find ?my people,? people who can see what I see, who know what I know. Because the arguing gets tiring.

I agree with you that artists should be paid but there is no law to give me what I ask, no services to aid me (Infact they only seem to help those who are already big & bloated with exposure) and not a single clue of what to do except continue to live with it and work on my project day after day wondering if anyone’s gonna like it all or if it’s even gonna to be worth my time to make.

Here I stand, unknown, unwanted, (Spiritually?) poor as dirt & having to deal with the restrictions corporate queens fattened on mhoney and their buzzing assortment of artistocrats force on me and my kin.

I’ve come to learn that the sob story I just recited is actually pretty common. (Though worded differently, of course) I think that is a bigger problem than a few pennies.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You mean like Vincent Willem van Gogh?

Now the iPods, Apple is not charging royalties from every use of an iPod now are they?

I can’t believe you can’t understand that simple fact, people don’t go out and say to others, if you use anything I produced you own me money, only you do that kind of thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“Now the iPods, Apple is not charging royalties from every use of an iPod now are they?”

No, but you pay the FULL price of the Ipod when you buy it. You waren’t going to pay $250,000 for the next Jay-Z soing, are you?

You own the Ipod (but license the software, a debate for another day), but you don’t own the music.

How hard is that to understand?

Togashi (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

You pay the full price for that particular iPod. How much money they have to spend to make any number of iPods is directly based on how many iPods they make. When you go to the Apple store and pay $200 for your iPod, you’re not paying for all of Apple’s design costs for the whole iPod line, so why would it ever make sense to ask one single person to pay %250,000 for a single copy of a song?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The simple idea like land without work applied to it, is nothing. It will not create anything, somebody somewhere must work it, so something comes out of it, that work is what people pay others for, not the idea, not the music, not the land, not the creation.

Don’t you understand John Locke?

If you wrote, painted or created something that is superb you still need to work to make it money out of it, you can’t just seat around and try to say “hey, I made it now pay me and if you use it in any way you own me money” that is not how the real world works.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Troll, the thing is nobody deserves to get paid for life for a one off.

You work, you receive money and move on, what you don’t do is hang around calling others thieves and try to say you are owned money because others made use of something that you claim you created but probably was stolen from others.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The next time I pirate a song, what I will be thinking is:

– Collections agencies that charge me in my restaurant, in my gym, in my storage devices. I already paid so fuck off.

– That the idiot is me for making use of it, finding customers for it, doing all the work and having to give money to a MF who did nothing to earn it.

– About how people are being called thieves for sharing.

– About how this copyright crap is closing venues for other artists.

– About how I am sick and tired of your entitlement mentality.

That is what I will be thinking about when I pirate the shit out of songs.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

If a song was anything like land you should be paying people who work it just like we pay people who work the land.

If somebody plays that music and make money out of it, they should keep it all, because they found an audience, they had all the trouble of making people pay for it, not some douche claiming ownership on it.

So the next time I pirate a song I will remember that.
Parasites good for nothing don’t deserve a dime, they should get ripped off over and over again until the move their lazies asses and start doing some real work.

Greevar (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

You people must have a pea sized brain if you can’t see beyond the superficial. You scream until you’re blue in the face, blaming everybody else for what has always been your own damn fault. You idiots thought you could have a monopoly on communication forever. Well, things have changed. Communication is ubiquitous, unrestricted, and faster than ever. The internet has restored the power of the audience to participate in art rather than being forced to be passive consumers. You can piss and moan how much people are “stealing” from you, but they aren’t stealing anything. They’re just violating a monopoly power that you’ve held far too long, but that’s over now.

If an artist is working but not getting paid for it, that’s their own fault. They made a bad business plan that didn’t take reality into consideration. No one should feel any pity for those that complain about the proliferation of culture being transmitted across the internet. If they were smart, they would seek compensation for their time and labor, a scarce and valuable resource that can’t be taken without permission. You know, the same way most other people with a job earn their income? It’s pretty simple. The artist estimates the amount of time it will take to complete a project and determines what their time is worth. Then, multiply value by time and you get the cost of the project.

I know I’m violating Wheaton’s law here, but I’m out of patience for these bottom feeding shills that keep trotting out the same disproved complaints. They’ve more than worn out my ability to be cordial. They all need a firm slap up-side the head.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“If they were smart, they would seek compensation for their time and labor, a scarce and valuable resource that can’t be taken without permission. You know, the same way most other people with a job earn their income? It’s pretty simple. The artist estimates the amount of time it will take to complete a project and determines what their time is worth. Then, multiply value by time and you get the cost of the project.”

Greevar, this one bit you said really caught my attention. It’s actually something that is going on, just wanted to point out. I like comics and have a pull list that cost me quite a bit per month, but in addition I like to help fund a few great, original (in my opinion) things on Kickstarter.

But what I like is how quite a few comic creators as of late have gone exactly the route you described. They figure out how much time the project will take and then factor in several other things (their bills and necessities like food and whatnot for that time) and give an estimate of how much they’ll need to solely work on the project for that time (without having to get an additional job to support themselves), then including cost for any materials they’ll require and how much it’ll cost to take to print. The amounts are for the most part beyond reasonable and within the realm of reality. These people want to share their ideas/creations with the rest of us and do so in a manner that won’t make them rich, but will net them enough to pay their bills and have maybe a little extra on top which they can put away for the future or use to jump start their next project.

That is the way it should be, in my opinion. Not being greedy and not making demands. In fact, that’s why I love Kickstarter. It’s people saying, here’s my idea, would you like to help me fund it? Not “I have created this, I demand money!”

Vatchen says:

Re: Re:

What about keep working and sing a new song? Put the money earned by a success aside and make some extra money from the investment?

I know things are not that simple but there is a clear mismatch between the constant work that most of us have to do, and the concept of being paid for 70 years for a work that you have done once. And how much the artist get, and how much the record company?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

That brings up an interesting question. In much the same way that the sterilization technique was used to avoid patent infringement in reverse engineering IBM’s ROM BIOS chip, an author might be able to use fair use to avoid copyright infringement. For example. Let’s assume for the sake of arguement that the work created WAS infringement. Even though it wasn’t published it was CREATED. And even if the poem in the comments wasn’t parody of Seuss’s work it WAS parody of the work that was created that wasn’t published. For the first amendment reasons Leigh explained it would HAVE to be allowed. So it seems to me that if an author wants to publish something and is worried about an infringement suit, he need only to have someone else anonymously create a work first for him to parody. Simple.

Anonymous Coward says:

Make a book out of that Dr. Seuss one anyway. Just make it digital, free, and contact the EFF about it. They could probably use it as a legal weapon to get favorable rulings on copyright.

Why hasn’t anyone (especially the EFF) thought of this before? All they have to do is get a bogus patent, use it to sue (say MPAA), and purposefully lose the suit in such a way that a favorable ruling in copyright is passed. That forces the MPAA to “support” better copyright laws.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

You might have upgraded the Diebold software and stymied me yet again Mike, but mark my words I will get another hat trick.

Once again I’m glad some of what rattles around in my head actually resonates with others. If only those I post about could begin to understand half of what I post, what an amazing landscape we’d have.

*adjusts his sails and stuffed parrot*
(turns and stares at the camera)
What? A shill called me a pirate, it must be true.
The sad thing is how many people who decry piracy are unaware of how many times a day they “violate” the real and imagined laws of copyright and also are seen with ships and parrots.

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