Duke's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the so-many-to-choose-from dept

So, another week and another batch of interesting, if familiar-sounding stories. We have an Australian media executive demanding greater enforcement and new laws to protect artists (or more likely, his paycheck) from “digital bandits”. While there is nothing much new here, his examples of authors who would not have survived without rigorous copyright – Shakespeare and Dickens – highlight the copyright enforcement industry’s willingness to completely ignore facts, and to show how connecting with fans can be a far better plan than simply complaining about pirates. Then we have an article from the CEO of something called the “First Amendment Center” seeing a fan introducing his friends to an artist purely as a lost revenue stream, perpetuating the myth that the music industry is seeing “major economic consequences” due to the digital revolution, and using the timing of laws being passed and a healthy dose of revisionism to support his position. On the other side of the debate, we have a blog post thoroughly dismissing the popular “just go without” argument to complaints that major publishers fail to provide their content through a service at a price consumers are willing to pay (if they make it available at all).

Moving away from debates and arguments, we also have the stories of those who are boldly battling “evil” pirates all over the world. In the US, the authorities have seized a few more domain names allegedly involved in copyright infringement; apparently this is a “top priority” for the FBI (it worked so well the last time). On to Germany where one copyright-trolling porn company has skipped the pesky letter-writing stage and is trying to shame people into settling by publishing their names. Onto the UK where more details of the SurfTheChannel prosecution have emerged showing the extreme (and possibly illegal) steps private copyright enforcement groups are willing to take to secure convictions. It is cases such as this that remind me why I am slowly turning into a lawyer.

Then we have the usual stories of government hypocrisy. We have the Russian authorities arresting one of their senior political opponents for answering press statements (AFP reported that he has been acquitted of “holding an unsanctioned protest”, but still faces up to five years in prison for allegedly biting a police officer), while criticizing the UK government for failing to respect diplomatic principles over Ecuador granting Julian Assange asylum. The UK and other governments had already attacked Russia for the original trial of the Pussy Riot group, conveniently forgetting that such actions would probably be just as illegal in their own countries. Meanwhile Ecuador is boldly showing how much respect it has for freedom of expression and political asylum by trying to extradite a blogger who was involved in exposing corruption in Belarus. One of the many great things about an open and unrestricted Internet is that it enables us to get news sources from different countries, making it easier to dig beneath government statements and see what is actually going on.

And finally, the week would not be complete without a healthy dose of ineffective anti-terrorism operations. There is the NSA quietly gathering up vast quantities of data, apparently under the impression that having the data is the important part, not whether they can make any sense from it. Over in New York, we have details of the NYPD’s own “elite intelligence agency” whose “Demographics Unit” has been infiltrating and monitoring Muslims for over a decade, turning up an impressive zero leads. Finally, we have a story showing how the FBI (when it is not too busy seizing domain names) is protecting us all from all the evil terrorist plots it has been creating. Except in this case, the FBI was not even able to get the plot started, leading to the “suspects” warning the FBI about its own “inside man”. I am unsure whether we should be comforted by the lack of support for terrorist acts, or worried by the FBI’s apparent incompetence. It is almost as if religious profiling and mass surveillance do not work – or perhaps there are not quite as many terrorists out there as we have been led to believe.

Ending on a happier note, this week Techdirt celebrated its fifteenth birthday, making me feel rather young and something of a newcomer here. Given the vast changes in the technology world over those fifteen years one has to wonder what developments Techdirt will be covering over the next fifteen.

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

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Anonymous Coward says:

‘One of the many great things about an open and unrestricted Internet is that it enables us to get news sources from different countries, making it easier to dig beneath government statements and see what is actually going on.’

and this is the very reason why almost all governments are doing whatever it takes to gain complete control over it. they cant bear it that people can get so much information, so quickly, from so many places that it’s leading to governments being toppled because people are fighting back and exposing bad practices. how disastrous for them is that?

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Must resist temptation….so strong!….gasp

Sorry guys, but I gotta do this one

“How come no mention of Masnick being outted as a Google shill”.
This is what posts this week were Duke’s favourites. Obviously, the post you’re talking about (where Mike does explain quite logically that he is NOT a shill) was not one of Duke’s favourites.

“Along with Apple delivering the billion dollar beatdown.”
Again, not one of Duke’s favourites. Although, I do worry about you supporting Apple in this case. What does that transfer of wealth from one company to another actually accomplish? To me, it only represents the fact that the next great non-Apple tablet will more than likely not exist, as no company in the world will want to risk competing and getting a legal smackdown of this magnitude.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Gotta love ad homs. First off, Mike wasnt’t outed as anything

1. Mike already disclosed who paid him for the sky is rising report(what google mentioned in the report it was required by the court to give) when he first put it out. You can’t out someone who was honest from the start

2. google was not required by a judge to show who they paid to defend them just on blogggers who recieved money from google and commented on the `case. That’s not the same thing as listing shills.

3. Even assuming google is paying Mike to be their mouthpeice this site does provide good counterpoints to the arguements of copyright maximists and thus is contributing valueable input to the copyright debate.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Actually, Mike was very much outed.

Mike has maintained all along that he doesn’t work for Google. Well, previously he did some stuff with EFF (paid or not, who knows) which has already been shown to be running on Google founders money. Now this case comes out, where it’s not DIRECTLY Google paying him but certainly a group that was created and pretty much run to Google’s agenda.

If this was someone “not working” with the **AAs, he would be all over them like a dirty shirt. Now he’s acting like it’s all innocent.

More than anything, it shows that much of what is discussed here is in some manner done as a filter to get the right message for the people who are paying for it. He’s been caught at it before, and he’s back doing it again.

As a side note, why would Mike take the “Sky is Rising” on tour if it was paid work? I think he was trying to make it look independent, and not being the paid shill piece it really is.

Lurk-a-lot (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Let’s see, straight from the filing…

Google has conducted a reasonable and diligent search, and has identified specific individuals and organizations in this supplemental disclosure who have commented on the issues in this case. Google did not pay for comments from any of the commenters listed in this disclosure. Nor did Google cite or rely on any of these commenters in its briefing in this case.

… and then from Mike’s post…

Separately, because all of this struck me as interesting, I remembered that we did some work with Oracle too! And, just as with what we did with CCIA, it was disclosed publicly at the time. Oracle (along with Intel) sponsored a section of our site, and a series of webinars that we did. And yet, Oracle did not disclose me in their original filing and I don’t believe that they filed a new filing here either.

So I think I can safely call bullshit on your claims.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

How is it bullshit? Don’t you notice the lack of logic?

You use that Google article as “proof” that Mike is a shill for Google…yet, somehow, you don’t call him out for being a shill for Oracle too! So, which is it? Is he a shill for both companies (in which case, somehow, his article is paid by both sides and attacks both…or more than likely he was somewhat neutral) or you’re full of it,

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Again, you are trying to disprove one by the other. Mike’s work for Oracle (which he also tends not to disclose) doesn’t minimize his work directly or indirectly for Google.

I also don’t remember Techdirt holding any events at the Oracle offices… but Google? Yup!

Mike’s repeated denials over the years about Google only make it much, much worse.

Richard (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Heh – when just about everyone on the other side of this argument (including politicians who are supposed to represent the public) being blatantly paid to lie through their teeth how is it that the tiniest bit of financial support to someone who takes your line anyway (and by the way doesn’t baulk at disagreeing with you on other occasions) is seen as reprehensible.

Take the log out of your own eye first – then you might see clearly to remove the spec that is in MIke’s!

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

are yes, the lowest common denominator argument..

yea, sure Masnick is bad, but so is everyone else.. so therefore masnick being bad is ok….

no it’s freaking not..

But you are correct, Masnick is certainly no better than the rest of them.. except masnick does not have the balls to admit he is a fraud..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

no advertising is not a crime, you simply have to seperate ‘comment’ and advertising.. or clearly state that you are paid to promote a company or product.

it is a crime to use your position to promote a product or company without a clear disclosure of the fact that you are being paid for that comment..

this is the case in most countries, that is why people disclose.. not only is it a legal requirement, but a moral one as well.

what is this bullshit about Lisa Simpson ??? get a clue.

gnudist says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Again, the google report submitted to the court is not proof of pro google shilling.

Nowhere in the court filing says that mike was paid to write pro google posts in the oracle vs google case All the filing shows is that google paid Mike for the sky is rising report which Mike had already pointed out BEFORE the court case came up. It’s impossible to out Mike when he said as much himself.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“How come no mention of Masnick being outted as a Google shill.”

What I find funny is that the particular piece of “evidence” that Mike is a supposed “shill” for Google has been out for, how long again?

But only now that Mike wrote an article about it do people come out and say “SEE! MIKE’S A SHILL! WE HAVE EVIDENCE!”. Pathetic. I bet “no one” would pay attention to it if Mike didn’t write the article.

Also, anyone can go back through the extensive archives of this site and see Mike’s opinion of Google (and others) for themselves. Mike is more than happy to slap Google around when they do wrong and praise them when they do right. Same with any other tech company.

No one is unbiased. But calling Mike a “shill” for Google is not just wrong: it is simply being ignorant.

The Groove Tiger (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I have to say, the “I’m a shill, lol!” post has got to be one of the best trolling I’ve seen. We’re definitely getting a rise out of Anonymous Bastard here (and his multiple clones)…

Congratulations are in order. That little bag of flaming shit has been even less coherent after this post, that it’s become so easy to point at him and laugh.

I mean, why would someone post an article like that if not to get a rise out of these trolls?

I have to say this is great stuff.

By the way, I’m a Google shill! I even attended to one of those Google events once and they paid me with a little cardboard box that says Google. Yeah, everything I say is sponsored by Google. And Yahoo. And PornHub.

(By the way, I’m not actually a Google shill)
Disclaimer: I only denied it at the end to make sure you know I’m a secret Google shill. I even went to shill school and all. I have a diploma.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Onto the UK where more details of the SurfTheChannel prosecution have emerged showing the extreme (and possibly illegal) steps private copyright enforcement groups are willing to take to secure convictions.”

What they did was perfectly legal under UK law. Mike just gets grumpy when it’s used against pirates.

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Legal, but very certainly immoral and unethical. SurftheChannel could have been the most evil site imaginable, but FACT were the people who were funding the investigative force that were, well, investigating them. FACT, the guys making the accusations, were given the computers of the people they were accusing (this would be like me accusing you of dangerous driving and the cops giving me your car).
I love how people like you ignore everything done wrong, in order to fight the evil scourge of internet copyright infringement. No rule can be left unbroken, no method is too wrong, in order to bring us to “justice”.

Duke (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“What they did was perfectly legal under UK law.”
Maybe, maybe not. It seems they were almost sued at one point, but Vickerman didn’t have the money to pull it off. Plus some of what they did looks suspiciously like conspiracy to commit a computer misuse offence. Then there are issues with misuse of private information, data protection and a few other things. Plus accusations of deceiving courts and so on. Hence the “possibly”.

We’ll see what happens when the appeal is heard.

Anonymous Coward says:

what one of your fav’s was not Masnick admitting he is a Google Shill ?? you did not like that one !!!!.. seems alot of people did !!!!!

but not you, that might be a reflection of Masnicks bias in picking who gets to pick these favorates, where you told NOT to include that one !@!!!!..

or did you honestly not like Masnick getting his bottom smacked ??? LOL

or are you part of the “rebuild Masnicks reputation panel”..

Good luck with that, you need all you can get..
Gee I hope this gets ‘reported’ as well, then I know ive done right ! as I know at least it will be read.. LOL..

they are usually the only ones worth reading, guard dog defense and rabit fanboi’s are a dime a dozen here.. (but only 1 doz) no more that 12 diehard supporters of masnick..

1 for each year of his “Scam”..

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Let’s see…

1. Ad hominems
2. Lack of logic
3. Spelling (lack thereof)
4. Grammar (Lack thereof)
5. Unfounded accusations (no evidence provided)
For the record, I too have done a Favourites list. No, I was not told what articles to use. If you’re ever asked to do a Favourites list (no wait, that would never happen, you don’t have an account, no means for Mike to contact you…)

What makes you think your comment is actually worth reading? There is no substance, nothing of value in it. So it matters not one iota whether or not your comment gets reported.
And yes, I guess you could call me a fanboy (that’s how it’s spelled, not fanboi) of Mike. Simply, because he has earned it. What have you done?

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So you agree with me then? The comment above had ad hominems, no logic, spelling, grammar and had unfounded accusations?
I did point out the lack of evidence, in that you accuse those of us who write the Favourites lists of being instructed on what articles to post. That doesn’t happen. I promise you, if that were to happen, if 100% verifiable proof did come out that Mike was guilty of everything you say, then I would leave this site.
When you want to accuse someone, give us some proof. Otherwise, you’re just wasting your time.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

And again, there is no proof of mike being a google shill.

There is google notifying the court of something that *might be* biased, but that is not proof mike is biased.

In fact, mike was saying the same things now as he did before google was a thing.

The only way Mike could doing techdirt as part of some google funded plot and not of his own beliefs is if google had a time machine and didn’t care if Mike criticised them or not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

The point is that, if the shoe was on the other foot (someone who supports copyright having done work for a group like the RIAA) they would immediately be shot down as a shill.

Mike has shown multiple connections to Google over the years, including having an event hosted in their offices.

Is he a paid shill? Not directly. But it is an amazing co-winky-dink that Mike’s agenda and Google’s agenda seem to match up pretty well.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

[Patrick Leahy] has shown multiple connections to [Hollywood] over the years, including having [been in their movies].

Is he a paid shill? Not directly. But it is an amazing co-winky-dink that [Patrick’s] agenda and [Hollywood’s] agenda seem to match up pretty well.

Do you not see the difference between a sitting senator and a fucking blogger?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

If the amti-techdirt shills actually brought up good sound debate points then I’d welcome them here.

As it stands they rely on absurd logic and ad homs and are an extension of the music and film industry assoccations which have already discreadited themselves with bogus numbers and repeated irrational moral panics about new technonogy which they first try to ban and later find to be big business for them.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Except that’s not what google said.

Google said that Mike was paid for the sky is rising report(by the way, consistant with what Mike himself says) which *might* make Mike baised towards google.

That’s not the same thing as “paid shill”

You fail reading comprehensiom forever

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

There are three things to note. First, Google naming names pursuant to a court order. Second, Masnick’s name on that list with other prominent and well-know shills, EFF, CDT and PK. Third, Masnick himself railing about being named to a “shill list”.

So even Masnick acknowledges that its a shill list. why can’t his toadys?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Because I disagree with Mike on this being a shill list?

I personally think it’s a “throw names out there to keep the court from bugging us” list.

And again, Mike’s views didn’t change from what they were from before google existed wich leads me to believe that even if google is paying him for anything Mike’s views are still his own.

And again, even assuming google is paying mike for his techdirt posts so what? He’s still providing valueable counterpointa to copyright maximism stance and I think the world would be a worse place if people just assumed their way was best without people like Mike ever challenging there views.

But if you think otherwise then by all means tell me how debate is a bad thing.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

oh right, and they ‘just happened’ to pick Masnick’s name out of a hat of millions of bloggers, included with a detailed description of masnicks support and actions..

of all the names they could have picked, they picked MASNICK, alis “Pirate Mike”..

the ‘point’ is that it’s not mike opinion we are receiving from masnick, it’s opinion he is PAID to provide !!..

BIG DIFFERNCE, that im sure even you can understand..

they are not masnicks views !!! again, when your doing the bidding of your paymasters, you are recieving ‘cash for comments’..

that makes you a shill, by definition. Therefore, you are not hearing masnicks opinions but again, you are being fed what his paymasters want you to believe..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Haters

also how does Masncik make cash from techdirt ?? by selling advertising space to Google, so Google is also directly paying him in advertising revenue..

so, according to Masnick and techdirt, and floor64 masnick is recieving streams of cash on a continuous basis from Google. Without google acting as his paymaster this site would not exist im am sure…

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Haters

I realize it’s silly to respond to these, but just to be clear almost nothing you state is true.

oh right, and they ‘just happened’ to pick Masnick’s name out of a hat of millions of bloggers, included with a detailed description of masnicks support and actions..

There is no such detailed description, because there is nothing there. We did research for CCIA, not Google, and neither organization had any say in what we wrote. Neither company has or will ever have, any say in what we post to the blog.

masnick has never stated that he is a paid blogger for google, yet google have stated in court, under oath that he is..

No, they did not say that because that’s not true. They said that CCIA has sponsored research that I do. They did not say I was a “paid blogger for google” because I am not.

that is his failure to disclose, then to top it off, he claims stupidity in not ‘knowing’ he was a paid shill.

Every single thing that was in the filing we did disclose at the relevant time, as explained in the post.

You seem to not be able to read, let alone comprehend basic English.

yes, ofcourse he is, with Google paying him to run this blog, that would make sense..

Google is not and has not paid me to run this blog.

but most people get paid enough to live, and they dont have to sell out to Google to do it.. masnick does..

We have not sold out to Google. They do not pay me to blog.

also how does Masncik make cash from techdirt ?? by selling advertising space to Google, so Google is also directly paying him in advertising revenue..

This is 100% false. Google does not provide any advertising on the blog. 100% of our advertising is provided by SAY Media.

so, according to Masnick and techdirt, and floor64 masnick is recieving streams of cash on a continuous basis from Google. Without google acting as his paymaster this site would not exist im am sure…

Again, this is simply 100% false.

Can you back up a single statement you make? Of course not.

Anonymous Coward says:

who said Masnick is a Shill…


but he mearly confirmed for us, what we all knew in the first place, that Masnick will sell out to anyone, for anything, for the right price.. .

When you are paid to comment, and you impress your boss so much they use you in court, you’re busted.. simple..

im sure even the rabid fanboi’s “might” possibly understand it one day.. if they can stop shinning Masnicks knob for long enough..

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

That “Pay me 100 mill and I’ll close Down Techdirt” is a JOKE. J.O.K.E.
If Mike were really in it for the cash, he’d set the price a little bit lower, don’t you think? So he could sell it?

Oh but then again, you’re just an angry turd of a person, one doesn’t understand the most basic principles of logic or economics. Or of human decency.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

what youare saying is masnick is false advertising, or ‘fishing’ but joke or not, masnick wants (AND DOES) make money from this web site, and most of that money comes from GOOGLE..

he has admitted that fact, and google fully understand and have admitted IN COURT, that he is one of their paid shills..

sure, google tried to hide it, as did masnick, and by masnicks own standards he is a SHILL.. just admit it, so you can move on..

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

masnick has never stated that he is a paid blogger for google, yet google have stated in court, under oath that he is..

that is his failure to disclose, then to top it off, he claims stupidity in not ‘knowing’ he was a paid shill.

(not knowing and not being willing to admit the truth are not the same things).

Rikuo (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

So, if there is an article on Neil Armstrong, you’re still going to jump up and down, spewing forth your bullshit?

Ya know, I’ve heard of people like that. Who were they again? Oh yeah! The Westboro Baptist Church! Ya know, the folks who turn up at funerals (and at appliance stores selling foreign made appliances for some reason) to protest against society becoming more and more accepting of homosexuals.
I’m not saying you are pro- or anti-homosexual. I’m saying that you have admitted to being the type of person who will disrupt events that have a clearly set tone and mood (an article about the death of what can only be called a hero) simply to accuse someone and all without evidence.

Why is it you can never understand that’s why we can’t stand you? You’re constantly foaming at the mouth here. Have you taken your rabies shots? IF you haven’t, I don’t want you here. They’re very contagious.

Anonymous Coward says:

I’m just going to leave this right here for that one moronic AC who seems to have been absent in school when they taught reading comprehension:

“The CCIA has commissioned studies by Mike Masnick, CEO of Floor64. See http://www.floor64.com/about.php. Mr. Masnick has commented on the case on the TechDirt website and on his personal friendfeed.com account. See Ex. X (available at http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20120523/11050519050/boom-jury-says-no-patentinfringement- google-oracle-case.shtml and at http://friendfeed.com/mmasnick/a3a94012/jurygoogle- did-not-infringe-on-oracle-patents).”

Now, to simplify all that, because I know it has a lot of words which might cause problems for some (looking at you AC who keeps having his comments flagged).

The CCIA commissioned “The Sky is Rising” report, which Mike wrote.

The following are a list of CCIA members (I’m only going to mention the bigger ones, but there are others): Dish, Ebay, Facebook, Fujitsu, Google (oh my god!), Intuit, Microsoft, Nvidia, Redhat, Sprint, XO Communications, Yahoo.

In addition to that report, Mike has also written about the Google/Oracle case.

End of story/bit put for before the court. Nowhere does it say Google pays Mike for his blogging or for putting forth an opinion they present to him (and that’s nitpicking considering he’s recently been writing about some bad moves made by Google lately, but let’s not let that get in the way of the ad hom comments calling him a “shill” and worse). In fact, if they did any of that they would have flat out stated it to the court.

As such, AC, STFU ALREADY! You’re wrong. The facts and evidence presented to the court prove you wrong. So just drop it already. You’re looking sillier and sillier, if I could actually reach through this monitor and slap you for your pendejadas I would. (If you don’t know what “pendejadas” means ask someone who knows Spanish.)

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