Silverscarcat's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the stay-frosty dept

Hey, Techdirt readers. What’s up? Yeah, looks like it’s my turn to pick my favorite posts of the week. Lots of stuff was covered this week, so how about we get into it?

I’ve always been interested in various copyright laws, since I, like many fans, tend to use the “gray” area of copyright known as fanfiction and fanart. Really, it’s just a good story or good artwork that can get me interested in a show easier than anything else.

And it’s because of that that when I see stuff like SOPA, PIPA, ACTA and TPP that I get worried. Stuff that I and many others enjoy would suddenly no longer be protected by safe harbors that’s afforded by the DMCA.

Which is why when I see the weak response that the White House puts out about their stance about ACTA, it’s both worrying and angering. After all, the internet should be free and not limited because businesses can’t innovate.

Speaking of things that can’t innovate, the RIAA seems to think that making new laws will stop piracy. I think we need to get the RIAA and MPAA execs in a room and give them a full history of Prohibition and the results of that. Or maybe the war on drugs, which has done nothing to stop people from getting the drugs and instead just increased the prison populations.

Of course, when they realize that stakeholders are no longer able to fit in one room, maybe then they’ll start to understand the internet a little more. This is the internet and information age, we’re connected all over the world and people force businesses to increase their customer service or lose business.

Speaking of the internet, it’s pretty sad that there’s all these data caps on information. What? Does information that comes from the government taste better than the information from Google and Wikipedia?

I used to watch the Simpsons a lot when I was younger, so when I see that Fox News is making an idiot out of itself, I can’t help but think of Kent Brockman going “This just in, flying birds are attacking ugly pigs, more at 11, but first, a word from our sponsor.”

Speaking of television, it saddens me that television is slowly starting to die off. Television could do so much better if they would put better shows on the air. I admit, the most popular shows on the air are stuff like Survivor and American Idol, and you wouldn’t believe how long it took me to remember the names of those shows. The problem is, while they’re the most popular, how often do you hear people the next day talk about the shows at work? You don’t. Give me good shows like Avatar the Last Airbender, Transformers Prime, Buffy the Vampire Slayer, Star Gate SG1. Sure, you don’t have people talking too much about them the next day, but they are, in my opinion, way more engaging. That doesn’t mean I don’t watch reality-like shows, I love Mythbusters, Ninja Warrior, Storage Wars and Pawn Stars after all, but there’s no forced drama there, like there is in most reality TV series.

When I saw that copyright might just be to keep Hollywood from competing with itself, it does make me think a little. After all, who wants to compete with themselves. It’s like if you cloned yourself and you and your clone went after the same person. Boy, wouldn’t that be awkward.

Speaking of cloning yourself, imagine how complicated death will become when we can easily clone ourselves or transfer our minds into robot bodies. By the way, if we can do that before Stephen Hawking dies, I recommend that he gets to be the first in a robot body so we can clone him a new one.

Ironically, the day after that came out and I thought about it, it looks like some SciFi writers are thinking the same thing.

You know, if the government taxes stuff, does that mean that piracy is now legal in Germany? After all, you can only tax stuff that’s legal, right? And if piracy isn’t legal in Germany, then why are people getting taxed for it? That makes no sense to me.

I couldn’t think of anything for this next one, but, just call Congress, call them now, get this passed somehow. Hey, that rhymes.

While Congress might be out of touch with the internet, it looks like the White House really can’t understand anything, not that it’s surprising, since when do politicians know anything about technology. I bet Mr. Rogers could have gotten Congress to stop trying to lock down the internet like he did with the Betamax and the VCR before.

Until next time, stay frosty.

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

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K says:

I follow this website a lot, but haven’t commented here yet. Gotta say I’m right there with you, silverscarcat, on fan fiction and fan art. This is stuff I’ve grown up with since I first got a computer way back when, because I’ve always loved stories/shows/movies and I’ve always had a strong creative muse in my head.

It’s pathetic that they might want to criminalize being fan. It’s just another disgusting angle in all of this. Why would I bother to consume their media if I can’t enjoy it the way I have in the past?

TtfnJohn (profile) says:

At the moment I can’t imagine transferring my mind, memories, thought processes and so in into a robot body as death nears. To be honest I’d rather do it right now as I continue on with life dealing with the fun and joy of a broken back.

Perhaps the only drawback to that would be having to return to work after getting comfortably settled into an early retirement due to the injury. Just why do things have to be so darned complicated?!?! 🙂

The response to anything, anything at all, which the RIAA/MPAA don’t like has been to attempt to criminalize it. It’s one of the sadder realities that the “entertainment” industry feels that need but to lump on top of that misleading, shall we say outright lies?, figures concerning employment, monetary importance and just about anything else that they might find that may help them justify this including bleats like “what about the starving artists?” from their PR hacks while their accountants do their level best not to pay what is due to these self same artists as they create fictional entries into accounting sheets and bill them to the artist.

One has to admire the creativity that goes into this and I wait anxiously for them to get a patent on this business method so that we can all have a look into the mysteries of this after a cadre of lawyers has had at it.

Fan adaptations of popular and cult characters has been with us since I can remember, not wanting to sound too old but feeling it at times, while it’s also served as a springboard for some companies to relaunch the character in an updated form or to lavishly borrow from fan fiction to get the script of a TV show or movie. Without this Star Trek would have vanished decades ago, Doctor Who wouldn’t be back on the Beeb in what passes for a regular basis in England, Vampirella would be lost to the next generation of 16 and 17 year old boys who would notice anything but what has often been very good story writing, James McQuade would have had to renege on two or three promises to kill off his Misty series before this current hiatus, The Spirit would have been lost forever.

The obvious answer from the “entertainment” industry is, of course, criminalize it. The fact that to most of us who have functioning brain synapses uses such as those are the very definition of fair use/fair dealing but people shouldn’t be allowed to do this even if it does, in the end, add tremendous value to a “property” that had been collecting dust and worthless prior to the fan art and stories. Once upon a time I’d have had to work very hard to come up with any kind of reason why anyone would want to do that. I don’t need a reason anymore as it’s just the thoughtless knee-jerk response of the RI/MP AA and their ilk as they don’t seem to need a reason either.

That the “entertainment” industry is several hundred years behind the times around what the Internet is and how it does it all shouldn’t surprise me. As vast consumers of technology including the Web and ‘Net I can be excused for thinking they’d have a clue. That those they employ, the politicians of the western world from the President of the United States down to the mayor or Reeve of some tiny village with a weird name in England or Wales or, even, Canada are clueless as well is no big surprise. They, at least, are paid for being clueless as are a few of our more loved trollers here at Techdirt. (Some of our trollers are clueless about everything including the meaning of life, the universe and everything is just plain sad when it isn’t disturbing.)

Thanks, Silverscarcat, for reminding me of the week and what it brought us. In so many ways large sectors of humanity have ceased t be creative. So much so that the arguments scripted for Mr Rogers all those years ago to tell us all about the evils of home video recording in any format was wicked and dangerous are word for word what they’re claiming now.

Plagiarism is alive and well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Free Speech

Free speech is against the law in The United Police States of America.

It is your legal obligation at all times to be a well-behaved citizen as defined by the government that you employ (no matter how undocumented, arbitrary or ridiculous the law may be) or face drone attack and death as an Enemy Combatant.

Anonymous Coward says:


1) What does this have to do with free speech, other than the guy telling the mayor to get fucked? (Not like I haven’t done the same with Mr Finkbeiner.)

2) Seems to me the cop getting injured is in part the cop’s fault for being on the street instead of dragging the suspect to the sidewalk, and the bus driver’s for ignoring people on the street.

Anonymous Coward says:


@ #3

the entertainment industries put more creativity into their ‘Hollywood accounting’ scams than they ever could into the various media forms they produce. luckily though, they have the government and almost all politicians to back up their army of lawyers to be able to continue blaming a lack of income due to ‘piracy’ as the reason artists dont get paid whilst managing to find $billions for the execs. how lucky can you get?

Rikuo (profile) says:


You do realize that’s a subjective opinion of what is good and what is not? I loved Avatar the Last Airbender and I’m currently watching my way through Stargate SG-1. I haven’t seen the other two, so I can’t comment on them.
Next time, try to have a relevant comment to add, beyond the fact that you don’t like some shows that someone else does like.

AB says:


Aside from the obvious idiocy of the police chasing someone for swearing in public I fail to see what this has to do with free speech. He was charged with assaulting an officer, and while the whole thing sounds a bit contrived (3 years? Really? Rapists routinely get less.) that doesn’t mean it wasn’t justified. Besides, if he hadn’t run they would probably not have done anything anyway.

Also, I don’t see what I’m supposed to ‘do’ about it. There are far too many real issues taking up my time just now for me to get terribly worked up over a man’s right to swear or be generally rude in public.

AB says:


This may come as a surprise to you but many people have better things to do then whine about someone getting arrested for pushing a police officer in front of moving vehicles.

As for your insult, I have never stolen music in my life. Nor have I ever complained about laws against stealing of any kind. Please stop assuming that everyone thinks the same way you do or has the same priorities as you. You are not the center of the universe.

This conversation has been mildly entertaining but not enough to maintain in this one-sided manner. I responded to your article in case there was something I was missing. Perhaps you had some information beyond what was in the article. Likewise, I provide this information on the admittedly small chance you are not a troll.

I always try to give people the benefit of the doubt. Cheers.

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