Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the anti-troll-edition dept

Close race on the insightful side this week, with jupiterkansas winning by a nose, with this awesome comment in response to the claim that it’s somehow “unethical” not to make use of some musicians’ preferred business model:

I can buy a used CD from Amazon and have it mailed to me for less than it costs to download the album. The artist gets nothing, and I can resell the CD if I don’t like it. Let’s talk about the ethics of that.

The U.S. Government sponsors it’s own legal Pirate Bay where I get hundreds of CDs for just a few bucks a year, as well as all the books and movies I could ever consume. It’s called the public library. Let’s talk about the ethics of that.

An artist records a song in 1930 and has been dead for 50 years, but it’s still under copyright even though nobody knows or can prove who exactly owns the copyright. Let’s talk about the ethics of that.

A radio station can broadcast a song for free over the airwaves, but can’t broadcast the same thing online without paying enormous fees. Let’s talk about the ethics of that.

Disney gets to sit down at a table with lawmakers and draft new laws that benefit Disney and rob legitimate culture from the public. Let’s talk about the ethics of that.

Some of the most profitable movies in history have still not shown a profit according to Hollywood. Let’s talk about the ethics of that.

There are more things to get worked up about than some intern wishing for a better Spotify.

Speaking of Spotify… coming in second we’ve got PaulT responding to the claims of some that Spotify doesn’t pay enough:

Before the trolls stink up the place, I’d just like to point out one of the major flaws in the anti-Spotify argument, which is assumptions of how people actually use Spotify.

Most of the anti brigade seem to assume that Spotify replaces sales, and thus panic at the naturally lower revenue. But, it doesn’t for many people. If anything, if replaces radio. Personally, I use Spotify all the time, but not to listen to music I would otherwise buy. Sometimes I use it to check out new music, or classic albums I’ve never listened to (but would never blind buy).

More importantly, I use it to listen to music I haven’t got on my device. That’s half the joy of using the service. I’m not limited to whatever 10 albums I happened to have synced to my phone a few days ago, I can listen to any music I want right now as long as the morons at the label haven’t blocked them from offering it to me. That is, every time I listen to an album, the artists get paid *even if I’ve already bought the album*. I’m never going to buy another copy of Hybrid Theory or Black Holes And Revelations, but the artists in question still get paid when I listen to their music.

That’s part of the joy. I pay a monthly fee to Spotify, I get access to more music than I could possibly buy, my listening experience is improved and there’s no reason for me to resort to piracy to preview or relisten to an album.

Apparently, this is somehow a problem… Probably because Spotify hands more control over to the user, and thus revenue gets generated for music that hasn’t been pre-approved by a major corporation. They can’t control a user’s listening habits through Spotify like they can through radio.

For editor’s choice, we’ll start with Chosen Reject’s comment on whether or not copyright is an ethical or economic issue

No, copyright law as written today stands completely on economics. If you move it into a moral or ethical debate, copyright loses every time, and loses hard. In order to have copyright, you have to take away all but the holder’s natural right to copy and mimic and share. This was thought to be a good tradeoff for more works being produced as it gave an incentive for the author to publish. Copyright laws were not written for moral or ethical reasons except that it was thought moral and ethical to attempt to increase the number of works available the public.

The question is not whether sharing is moral or ethical, it is simply whether limiting natural rights is more or less moral/ethical than increasing the quality/quantity of works available to the public.

And, finally, we’ve got John Doe with the perfect response to the expansion of anti-circumvention laws, such as the digital locks provision found in Canada’s new copyright law:

I wish we could get an anti-circumvention clause on the constitution so that the government would quit going around it.

Moving on to the “funny” side of the equation, the top two vote-getters this week fall under the category of “responding to trolls.” Coming in first, with the most votes was Dark Helmet (who I got to meet in person this week, finally), going full-on insult-comic-style ballistic on someone saying a bunch of ridiculous stuff in our comments. It came at the end of a long back and forth where DH finally had enough of this guy. It’s pretty rare to see a comment so far down a thread get so many votes, but apparently lots and lots of people here really liked DH’s destruction of this guy. Either way, the direct response was to the guy he was feuding with asking “u mad bro?”

Yup. Mad at you. Mad at your inbred parents for wanting a family. Mad at your school teachers for passing you through the educational system when you clearly didn’t qualify for advancement.

But mostly…and I mean this truly…I’m mad at every car, truck, and motorcycle that passes you on the street without having the common courtesy of running you over….

Coming in second was another response to a troll — this time done by abc gum — who was responding to someone responding to an earlier abc gum comment, in which this troll argued “you grasp the law as well as Masnick.” abc gum took it in stride and the rest of you voted it up:

“You grasp the law as well as Masnick”

And then a rare compliment emanates from beneath the bridge.

For editor’s choice, we’ve got an anonymous coward trying to fit an analogy:

A musician without a label is like a young lady without a pimp. Wait that doesn’t sound right. A musician without a label is like a model without a cocaine habit. Nope, still not seeing why a musician would want ot be ‘signed’ to a label. Especially not a RIAA member label.

And, finally, we’ve got el_segfaulto demonstrating for us how moral panics work in government in convenient code form:

I’ve taken the liberty of scripting this bad boy out, so that future politicians don’t have to worry…

var i = 1;
while ( i > 0 )
echo (“OMG Teh Terroristz”);

I understand that some of our Canadian readers may be taking Monday off for Canada Day, which — if I understand it correctly — is the one day of the year that it’s warm enough to enjoy the outdoors (I kid, I kid…). For those of us here in America, Wednesday will be July 4th, so we’ll be off. I’m also supposed to have jury duty this week, which is always an interesting experience. Fear not, however, with the exception of Wednesday, posting will go on…

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

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The lesson here is, if money is the barrier make it so, that reduce the cost.

The cost of healthcare is a problem?
DIY, it will do more to bring down unscrupulous people than trying to make laws about it.
No it is not impossible, not anymore.

The cost of living is a problem?
Reduce the costs of living and be happier, being without money doesn’t have to mean tightening the belt, it means you need to work more since you can’t pay for others to do that job for ya.

We need laws, we need organization, we need companies, we need a lot of things, but we don’t need only one way to do those things, there are others ways of doing something always, so what we need the most is the freedom to experiment and monopolies are a threat to that freedom.

markmeld says:

An artist's label...

I detest the RIAA and their army of lawyers but I can see why an artist would want a label. If an artist or band does not have any support, he/they could spend all their time managing the business when he/they could be writing new material or refining their craft/art. Even bands that toured for years without label support, like REM, probably jumped at the chance to put more time into their music instead of organizing a tour etc.

Mason Wheeler (profile) says:

The reason behind copyright

No, copyright law as written today stands completely on economics. If you move it into a moral or ethical debate, copyright loses every time, and loses hard. … Copyright laws were not written for moral or ethical reasons except that it was thought moral and ethical to attempt to increase the number of works available the public.

Wrong, completely wrong. Copyright was first created explicitly as a moral issue, and the fact that we’ve largely lost sight of its origins is the reason behind a lot of the problems with it today.

The original copyright law was the Statute of Anne, passed in 1709 by the British parliament. And in its preamble, it spells out exactly why it was drafted: because publishers were printing authors’ works without their consent and without any contract with the authors, thereby ripping off the authors and bringing financial ruin upon them. Copyright was created to address this issue. It was a moral issue through and through.

The irony is astounding. The original copyright law was created for the explicit purpose of preventing wealthy publishers from abusing expensive modern technology (the printing press) to exploit people. Whereas the DMCA was created for the explicit purpose of enabling wealthy publishers to abuse expensive modern technology (DRM) to exploit people. It was, and still is, a moral issue. Copyright has been corrupted, twisted and turned to evil, and until we start treating it like the moral issue it is, we’re not going to make any progress in getting it fixed.

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