Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the rebuking-the-rebukers dept

When we posted about the news that all the major movie studios had sent bogus takedowns over the Pirate Bay documentary, the apologists in our comments panicked, and started desperately scrounging for ways to downplay this latest example in the long history of DMCA abuse by Hollywood. Their favorite approach was to claim that because many other DMCA takedowns are legitimate, the multiple examples where they are totally illegitimate and used to stifle free speech just don’t matter, and aren’t even worth discussing. It was the response to this preposterous notion that spawned both of our most insightful comments of the week, with first place going to RD:

Ok so what have you learned? You have learned that:

A) the *IAA’s have issued false DMCA takedowns that are ILLEGAL and a violation of the law, but since this only happens (according to you) in about .1% of cases, its perfectly OK to ignore BREAKING THE LAW since *most* of them are not.

which leads you to the inescapable conclusion that:

B) It is PERFECTLY OK to violate the law, as long as that violation is a MINOR amount compared to the whole.

Which means that:

C) You have ZERO principles and following the law is OPTIONAL for you, and it’s simply a matter of negotiating by what degree of violation you are engaged in.

Which brings us to the final conclusion:

Since the VAST MAJORITY of people (ie the population) are NOT engaged in infringing activities, the few “outliers” are too small to have an impact, and therefore its OK for them to violate the law in THE EXACT SAME MANNER IN PROPORTION that you are swinging in here to defend the *IAA’s EXACT SAME actions.

So by your own logic, you shouldn’t be supporting those who go after infringers. QED.

Since that’s probably far too many logical steps for the apologists to follow, Zakida Paul won second place with a similar idea put in simpler terms:

Highlighting the valid use of a law? Really? There is no need to highlight when a law is used properly. There IS a need to highlight when a law is abused so that we can try and refine and amend it to ensure it does not get abused.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start with DannyB and his rundown of the reality of copyright today:

In practice copyright is used:
* to censor undesirable speech
* to prevent you from owning what you bought
* to prevent competition (even when copyright itself is not at issue)
* to make outrageous but bogus claims (I have the copyright on this feature, this flavor, this color, this style, or over plain hard facts).
* to limit growth of the public domain through abuse of copyright length
* to destroy the public domain by re-copyrighting it
* as a tool to accuse and send extortion shakedown settlement letters, aka “copyright trolling”, (see practitioners: Prenda, Righthaven, MPAA, RIAA)
* to prevent fair use of any kind, no matter how legitimate that use may be
* to enable “collection societies” to collection on works they do not own
* to enable “collection societies” to shakedown people’s private use of the radio (or other music) in a public location
* . . . and other things I’m sure I’ve missed

Copyright bad? Does it need reform? Don’t even think such a thing!

Next, we have an anonymous commenter pointing out the irony of a retired soldier claiming that video games breed “trained killers”:

And what does the military train people to do retired Lt. Col? Go to the middle east and have picnics with and dances with our enemies?

Sure it’s not teaching people to go up and shoot random Americans in the street, and most military people are law abiding citizens, but some of them do kill innocent Americans and commit violent crimes. Just like some violence video game players do those things, but most don’t. By your same logic we should therefore be blaming the military for violent crime done by people in the military.

On the funny side, we start out on the not-so-funny story about high school students being arrested for throwing water balloons. One commenter wondered what the penalty would be for the related lark of kids throwing each other into the river, and Baldaur Regis took first place with his response:

In the US, throwing meat balloons is a Class A misdemeanor. If the meat balloon is less than 147 cm (4′ 10″) in height, the offense is classified as dwarf tossing, a crime punishable by having to appear in a FOX TV reality show.

For second place, we head to the somewhat-funnier story about a would-be murderer foiling his own plot via a butt-dial to 911. Someone parodying our more socially maladjusted commenters under the name average_horse_of_the_blue racked up lots of points by echoing a currently-trendy trolling tactic:

At no point in this story does Mike say that murder is wrong. He’s a murderer apologist. He parses words. Words bad.

He’s words apolologist.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we head to our post about news agency AFP making some major errors in its reporting about Kim Dotcom’s recent patent threat. We were quite surprised that a couple of commenters viciously defended AFP’s error, and doubly so when one claimed that reporting on baseball while calling runs “touchdowns” would be no big deal. This prompted an anonymous commenter to do some reporting of his own:

A famous hockyball player claims to have the greatest number of homedowns in a single quarter. News at 26 o’clock.

And finally, with the fallout of Prenda’s despicable tactics continuing to pile up, some people have strangely claimed that we only applaud justice in that case because Prenda is “anti-piracy” (which they are most definitely not, since piracy was the source of all their money) and Techdirt is “anti-copyright”. On one post, Matthew Cline snuck in first with his own deduction based on such accusations:

Wow, it’s amazing how many judges are anti-copyright!

That’s all for this week! We’re off tomorrow for Memorial Day, and back to business as usual on Tuesday.

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

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ottermaton (profile) says:

Thank you Ms. Streisand

I just wanted to echo a couple of comments from the Major Hollywood Studios All Sent Bogus DMCA Takedowns Concerning The Pirate Bay Documentary article, that I may not have ever heard of TPB AFK if not for this news about the bogus DMCA notices. Now that I’ve watched it I can say I’m glad I did and I definitely recommend it to those of you who haven’t seen it.

So, a big tip of the hat to Viacom, Paramount, Fox and Lionsgate! Thank you for creating exactly the opposite effect you were seeking, you moronic jackasses. ๐Ÿ˜‰

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Thank you Ms. Streisand

The MAFIAA is the best case-study of how not to deal with Ms Streisand I’ve seen to date. Not because they did the worst but because they keep failing regularly. I mean, anybody with 2 or 3 neurons would have figured out that the best thing is to leave things alone in the Intertubes and they’ll be forgotten… The mob has a very short memory generally speaking ;D

RD says:


I’m a winner! Sad, then, that it took having to point out the absurdity of human nature combined with bad laws and the insane interpretation of them, coupled with a giant dose of shill hypocrisy and unprincipled and biased “reporting” from the media industries, to try to point out what everyone except those who make our laws all know: Sharing is not a crime, there is no problem that better products and service (and competition!) can’t overcome, and stricter and stronger enforcement is not a solution.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: #1!

If you’re not part of the solution, you’re part of the precipitate.


Seriously, though, I actually don’t mind copyright as it’s intended to be used. People deserve to be recognised for their work, but as it’s used right now…Copyright as a business model, particularly as a government-granted monopoly (and only granted by the government for generous campaign contributions) is where I have to draw the line, and I’m sure I’m not alone.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: #1!

Copyright was never about attribution, let alone intended for. Turns out taking someone elses works and calling them your own can be punished as fraud and other things as well depending on how you used it, and we haven’t ever really had a problem (that copyright fixed) with the right people getting credit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: #1!

“People deserve to be recognised for their work”

If you feel people deserve something then why don’t you give it to them yourself. Give them recognition and money voluntarily. Do not give it to them at my expense, at the expense of my natural right to freely copy. Sacrifice your own rights and money, don’t sacrifice someone else’s and don’t sacrifice mine.

IP law should only be about serving the public interest and serving my interests as a member of the public. No one is entitled to a govt established monopoly privilege and if these privileges result in less social utility than they are nothing but a social deadweight loss and should be abolished. No one is entitled to having the government helping them at my expense.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: #1!

I’m not sure you understand me. I’m saying that the giant media conglomerates taking all the ownership rights away from the people who actually put their blood, sweat and tears into their work are in the wrong.

Here’s the thing, though – you should only have something as long as you’re willing to work for it. Descendants making money off prior IPs due to the life + however long it is now laws is something I am strongly opposed to.

Anonymous Coward says:

I liked the TPB AFK documentary – but I thought perhaps it could have gone a bit more deeply into the ideological implications of piracy/sharing, as it sort of didn’t really touch upon these issues. However, the scenes with the underground computer labs were like something out of a bond movie/villain’s lair – they were amazing!

Anonymous Coward says:

We are all apologists for something, I for one love pirates they unknowing are at the front of the monopoly wars.

On the other hand we have the people who are monopoly lovers and they really do harm others.

Even the “traditional news” outlets from time to time notice how screwed up that system is.

Here, read the CNN take on allowing companies to patent genes.

saulgoode (profile) says:

Re: That's entertainment

I have to admit, I find the idea of authorizing the victims of illicit computer hacking — who’ve for the most part demonstrated a lack of competence in matters of computer security — to now go after those who’ve already outsmarted them to be somewhat amusing. Sort of like sending a bunch of hens out on a fox hunt.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I hope they get those powers it will be hilarious.

I just see the DMCA and how many “mistakes” get made and I can only imagine how many Hospitals, Police stations, governments agencies and just about everyone will get every day.

“Copyright owners” will DDoS the very thing they need it to be able to exist.


Heck it will be funny if the computers in Studios and labels started getting bricked.

Anonymous Coward says:

Inciteful comments

?INGA BARKS: Shame on the media is right?, by Inga Barks, The Bakersfield Californian, May 24, 2013

BOY did Sheriff Donny Youngblood tell US how the cow eats the cabbage this week. By “us” I mean we in the media.

In his Thursday press conference regarding the death of David Sal Silva, who died after an altercation with sheriff’s deputies, Youngblood released results from a coroner’s report and the department’s investigation, took questions from the press and then excoriated the media for their coverage of the story. And he was absolutely right.

?It’s almost as if the media wanted to incite something, isn’t it??

There’s video of Sheriff Youngblood’s Thursday press conference where he calls David Silva’s death accidental and lays into the media.

Also, the Coroner’s report has been released.

Ninja (profile) says:

On the funny side, we start out on the not-so-funny story about high school students being arrested for throwing water balloons

It is said that the balloons were filled with very dangerous substance known as dihydrogen monoxide. This is not funny. Remember when this substance was reported to be coming out of the taps in Fort Meyers region recently. Given the dangers of said substance you can imagine the uproar it caused…


Common sense is dead. And it seems some people decided to urinate on the grave.

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