Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the and-off-we-go dept

Well, it’s another one of those weeks where a single comment won both the “funniest” and “most insightful” categories — and this week it did so by a hell of a lot — over 50% more than second place in either category. Basically, you guys freaking loved this comment. It was from an Anonymous Coward (once again, who says anonymous comments are a bad thing?) responding to the story of the RIAA’s confusion over Google’s DMCA takedown tools, and the general wish that Google magically create a “stop piracy” button. This AC thought of something Google could do:

Actually, Google should on April 1st should have a “Click HERE to stop piracy” button.

When you click it a message pops up “Piracy has been stopped!”

Then two seconds later a message pops up “Oh noes! They’ve figured a way to work around our measure! Click the button!”

Repeat as necessary.

Coming in second place on the insightful side (and which also got quite a lot of “funny” votes) was a short comment from an unregistered user going by the name Applesauce, responding to the claim that “perjury is normally an imprisonable offence.”

Only when the little people do it.

High court. Low court. For editor’s choice… I just couldn’t narrow it down to two, so you get a bonus one this week. We’ll start with Killer_Tofu responding to some of the bogus DMCA takedowns we saw thanks to Google’s new transparency report. KT had an idea for punishing those who issue bogus takedowns that the big entertainment companies shouldn’t complain about (even though they would):

If copyright holders want 3 strikes so bad, we should try it out on them first. After they send 3 takedowns that were found to be completely and undeniably false, like this one was, we revoke their privileges for sending takedowns. After that they have to mail in hand written letters signed by copyright holders. No printed or electronic forms allowed.

After all, stopping all electronic requests like that would support their 3 strikes idea of not completely cutting people off. We would just be slowing them down. They always tell us that is acceptable so it should be acceptable to put this plan into place, correct?

Next up, we have an Anonymous Coward responding to the story of the film director suing Paramount and Universal, after both companies — who supposedly hold the copyright on one of the director’s films — said they couldn’t figure out who actually held the rights, but he couldn’t show the film anyway. This AC noted the obvious irony concerning how these companies demand that others magically know the answers to questions even they can’t figure out:

And then they expect Google to be able to magically determine what’s infringing and what’s not.

And the final editor’s choice comment this week may be my personal favorite comment of the week. It was from unregistered user “Sock” in response to some claims by one of our long term critics (who just recently signed up for an account under the name “Pro Se” — which is actually a pretty clever name considering he regularly insists that he’s only speaking for himself, rather than any particular industry). Pro Se has a history of making outlandish claims based on nothing, and when you call him on those claims, he starts playing tricks, insisting he never said what he obviously said. In this thread, Pro Se tried to suggest that it’s an exaggeration to think that the younger generation views copyright as a problem. Sock gave the best explanation I’ve seen in a long time for how “digital natives” see the world:

@Pro Se: It seems to me that you are one of the more outspoken voices that have come out in support of strong copyright laws and so I’m addressing this post to you. Honestly, obvious troll is obvious so I don’t even know what you’re even doing here trying to fight the horde like you have been but I wish you the best of luck with that. I’m not going to argue the pro’s and con’s of copyright with you. What I will do is try and provide you with a different perspective on the problem.

You see, I’m not very old. I peg you to be in your mid 40s to 50s and so I’m probably somewhere around half you’re age. This is the internet after all so it’s hard to say for sure. If I’m right, then you grew up in an environment that, for all it’s similarities, might as well have been another universe. I wasn’t around in those days but listening to the stories from my parents when they were growing up, it sure did sound like a completely different place – they hardly had tv! A different world, a different set of rules. In those days you’re society was built up of big, well respected institutions. You had your government and Uncle Sam and the American Dream (I’m assuming you’re American as it suits me) and media conglomerates; all of them lovely, large, institutions that were trust worthy and that were doing amazing things. You had technology that; while it brought you information and culture; it was uni-directional, limited, slow and cumbersome. That was ok though because things did not move or change quickly. Essentially you lived in a culture that was write-only. You were given messages and that was that; you read it on a sign board or heard it from a commercial or watched it in a cinema. You did not interact with it, contribute to it, mold it and pass it on. It was separate from you and the channels that delivered it to you were controlled by someone else. That was ok though because you trusted them, after all you were proud be be a [insert nationality here] and one has to stand up and be patriotic of one’s own.

I’ve not known what that is like – I have never lived in that environment. When I was born the internet was already here. I grew up with a cell phone in my hand, an internet connection in my room, social media bookmarks on my browser and free, open source software installed on my devices. I can’t even imagine what it would be like to want to know about something and not be able to fire off a google search and have that information at my disposal with in minutes if not seconds. This technology has become so central to everything that I do that it has become my life. I do not watch TV or read news papers or hang out at cinema’s and arcades – instead I am permanently connected to people from around the world of every creed and gender and persuasion, who at any time and almost instantaneously, can share text, sound, images or video with me; regardless of where I am at the time. Some of them I know personally but most are complete strangers. This is normal for me and I have always known it.

I do not only consume the culture and data that I receive either; I produce it – like this post and the youtube video I remixed last week or the new meme I forwarded to my girlfriend; which was altered slightly so that she would find it endearing. I live in a space that you do not know – that you cannot know. I do not see myself as American or European or Australian or African or South American or East Asian or any other nationality. I am a netizen. This has literally become such an ingrained part of my life that it is now a part of my identity.

Now to my point: I am not alone. There is literally a whole generation of people who are like me. Not only in your country but in every country around the world. As time passes our ranks will swell, your generation will die off and we be in the positions of power that you now sit in. We do not recognise or want copyright. It does not conform to the rules of the universe we operate in; not practically or even morally. We create, copy, modify, remix and forward information and data on a permanent basis. As the meme goes: this is how I roll.

The rules have changed. How then will you stop me?

I think that many who don’t really understand the internet underestimate just how pervasive viewpoints like that are — even if most people don’t present the point quite so eloquently.

Moving on to the funny side of the coin, we already had the top voted winner above, but coming in second place was The Mighty Buzzard’s response to a guy giving diet advice on his blog being told that it was illegal by the state of North Carolina. TMB thought through the obvious consequences:

It damned well better be legal.

Mom: Eat your vegetables.
Kid: Screw that! Get me some ice cream or I’m calling the cops for giving me dietary advice without a license.

And, since you got cheated out of a comment due to that one comment winning in both categories, we’ll also toss up the third place comment as well. This one came from unregistered commenter Beech, in response to the news that TV execs are claiming that anything that increases cord cutting must be illegal:

How to stop global warming:

1) Tell TV execs that global warming will make nice weather all year ’round

2) More nice weather will mean that more people will spend time out side, and may cut their cables because they don’t need TV since they’re spending so much time outdoors

3) TV companies will sue global warming because it “may or may not” possibly make at least one but maybe a billion people stop paying for cable.

4) Global warming will be declared illegal. Problem solved.

Sounds like a plan. As for editor’s choice, we’ve got Paul L responding to the story about chefs who think that photographing the food they serve you and putting the photos online is a form of intellectual property “theft”:

I’m not sure what the problem is here.

Everyone should already know that you’re not BUYING that meal at a restaurant, you’re just licensing a single use of the meal. You have no first sale rights either, so don’t even THINK about taking home a doggie bag!

Sharing? Forget it.. That’s a violation of the license right there. If you order a plate of fries you can NOT share with a friend, that’s outright theft!

These restaurants hire workers of all sorts. Think of the dishwashers?! If you share a plate of fries with a friend you are depriving the dishwasher of an extra dish to clean and thereby hurting the industry and their ability to employ workers….

Silly people.. When will you learn..

And, finally, we’ve got Rich Kulawiec’s response to the story about the actor who played Darth Vader still not receiving any residuals due to Hollywood math:

I find the lack of residuals disturbing.

How can we not end it on a Star Wars reference? Enjoy the rest of the weekend, folks. It’s almost over…

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

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Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

But that would be counter-productive to the idea of having a WEEKLY list of top comments. Not only that, but what exactly do you mean by “necessary marks”? Mike never set a minimum level of votes needed for a comment. If a comment fails to get enough votes to be counted insightful/funny during its week, then too bad. It shouldn’t roll over.

Small edit though: I reread the article and it wasn’t an insightful comment. It was an editor’s choice. I guess I’ll leave it alone.

Chargone (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

also, it’s possible that, despite being from an old article, it got enough insightful markers in this week alone to nudge it high enough to be noticed. good comments do that sometimes.

i believe there’s a minimum number of ‘insightful’ clicks needed for the icon to show up on the comment too, so that would be a ‘minimum’ maybe.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Umm…Mike, I’m a bit confused here. That comment from Sock about digital natives? It’s from May 26th…two Saturdays ago. So it can’t be considered an insightful comment of THIS week.

May 26th is last Saturday — not “two Saturdays” ago. I normally write this post up on Friday nights, and any comment that gets a significant number of votes in the preceding 7 days is fair game…

Beech (profile) says:

Well, maybe its a “weekly” list in the sense that its a list of which comments got the most votes in a 7 day period, not which comment made in the past seven day-period on an article posted in the past 7 day-period. Or the comment was posted in the appropriate week on an article from a previous week.

I mean, if I go to an article from last year, find a comment i really like, and persuade a million strangers to all vote for it, it would technically be one of the highest voted comments of the week, in terms of votes given that week, regardless of the datestamp on the article or comment.

Lord of the Files says:

I had a feeling the “stop piracy button” idea would make it onto this list lol. Glad to see it did. I was actually going to post a very similar idea, but didn’t bother once I saw someone had beat me to it. All in all I think this weeks winners, whether chosen by us or you editors, turned out to be good choices. I especially enjoyed the one by Sock whom is part of the generation which followed after mine. Very enlightening and well written.

On another completely unrelated note, did anyone catch the premiere of Continuum last week on Showcase? I’m going to watch the second episode after I finish typing up this comment to see if they’re still going to peddle the idea that a world run AND policed by corporations somehow makes them the good guys. This show is completely delusional, but I suppose their attempts at brainwashing todays generation had to start sooner or later. As if that wasn’t enough the resistance movement, whom are fighting and dying to restore freedom and liberty to the people, like the right to vote, are portrayed as terrorists. Yes they are the bad guys in this particular TV show. Their punishment when caught? The death penalty if you can believe that.

I’m kind of surprised that it’s a week later and nobody has written anything about it yet. Anyways I thought for sure the protagonist in this show, a corporate cop with far more authority than today’s police officers, would have some kind of revelation that she was on the wrong side, but that didn’t happen. It will be interesting to see just what Hollywood is up to with this particular project.

mattarse (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I watched the first episode and it was……hokey.

But I’m going to watch the second because I’m always looking for sci-fi on TV, even bad sci-fi.

I actually think the Corporations as good guys is how they are going to try to make it an interesting story – over time there will be conflict in the main character and how she slowly comes to the side of the revolutionaries. This will occur as she also realizes some of the seven are not hyper violent. The violent ones will be labelled as on the right side, but misguided in their methods. Because armed revolution is always wrong…

Lord of the Files says:


Just a quick update: After watching the third episode, I feel you may be right. I also agree with you about looking for sci-fi lol. I’m exactly the same. Anyways it really is beginning to look as if the boy helping her may actually turn out to be the bad guy in the end. I really like the chicken and the egg paradox associated with him too, specifically the technology he creates / will create. Or is it a grandfather paradox? Maybe both. Despite the annoying Hollywood propaganda aspect, I’m going to keep watching it and hope you’re right. I’m already wondering if the corporations were the ones actually responsible for the massive body count in the future, done as a means to undermine support for the revolutionaries. It was made clear in the first episode that some citizens empathize with them and want liberty restored, while others believe in the rule of the corporations.

PS: I have a theory about why sci-fi (and to some extent fantasy) has dropped off so sharply. It’s generally a genre much of the 18-35 demographic want and whom the networks have traditionally targeted the most, but since they’re the ones who tend to be the most tech savvy, and thus users of file sharing, they’re preferences are no longer getting counted. This results in skewed ratings with more emphasis ending up on what the not so tech savvy like to watch, which tends to be older folks above 35, and probably women more so than men. They’re the ones who like all that reality TV and soap opera junk which explains why there is so much of it these days. I bet if we looked, we’d find a correlation between the beginning of file sharing and downfall of good TV lol. 🙂

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