Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the 211b-baker-street dept

It’s always funny when people accuse demonstrators and protestors of “wanting” to cause a controversy or “knowing” they would get a bad reaction — because of course that’s the case. There’s not much point speaking out about anodyne, agreeable topics — demonstration is about starting a serious conversation, and serious conversations tend to get heated. When one commenter accused a California student, who was banned from handing out copies of the Constitution, of putting on a “staged” stunt that he knew would get shut down, DCX2 won most insightful comment of the week by explaining why that doesn’t matter, and in fact was kind of the point:

So what if it was staged? That doesn’t change anything.

The First Amendment does not say Freedom of Speech requires you to register ahead of time.

Of course, these days, a campus spat is like a vacation from the ongoing constitutional crisis of government surveillance. This week, when the DOJ openly told a reporter they were, to put it bluntly, fucking with him, John Fenderson won second place on the insightful side by giving backhanded credit where backhanded credit is due:

They are being more transparent!

After all, they’re not even trying to hide their thuggishness or their complete disdain for the American people anymore.

I’m curious what the DOJ’s definition of “unbiased reporting” is. I suspect it means “reporting only what we tell you to report”.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start with a comment from MikeH, who picked up on a telling choice of words in Verizon’s mockery of companies that pushed back against the NSA:

My favorite bit:

“I appreciate that the consumer-centric IT firms…” So by converse, Verizon is not consumer-centric. Explains so much of my interaction with this company.

And to close out the insightful side, we head over to our post about the ongoing battle over insight-and-deduction icon Sherlock Holmes. One commenter, who has made his dismissal of virtually all modern culture very clear in the past, accused creators who re-imagine old works of being “hacks” who “taint” the “source”. In response, S. T. Stone provided a good breakdown of why such reuse is integral to culture:

Because that’s how culture works. We take the characteristics of a good story, character, film, song, etc. and work them into our own works, either directly or indirectly and in pieces or in whole. Fifty Shades of Grey started off as a Twilight fanfiction. Practically every modern zombie movie is spun off of the original Night of the Living Dead. We appropriate old culture and transform it into new culture in one way or another. If we had perpetual copyright, culture couldn’t grow because culture would require people to create 100% original works every time they set pen to paper or strummed a guitar or picked up a camera.

Locking up culture behind a wall of control presents the most dangerous threat to culture. Copyright strangles culture. It denies us the right to grow culture and improve culture and create new culture.

That you oppose the public domain (the best resource for anyone looking to grow and create new culture) says more about how much you respect how artists work and create than anything.

As it happens, that same post is the source of our top two funniest comments of the week. In first place we’ve got Michael, who knew just the man to tackle the case of the immortal copyright:

If only there were a man that had such amazing deductive reasoning that he could unwind any mystery through logic. Then, we could have him examine this situation and determine if it makes any sense to continue to have these works remain locked up.

In fact, the story of that happening could make a great book! Someone should write about this character. He should have some kind of side-kick too.

And in second place, we’ve got another response to the aforementioned anti-culture commenter, this time coming from Colin and leaning on good old fashioned sarcasm:

I know, I hate that too! I hear a cover and them I’m all, “Shit, now that there’s a cover I can’t listen to the original anymore! It’s been poisoned or whatever!” The fact that I can’t enjoy the original because it’s been completely overwritten by the new thing is awful.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start with an anonymous commenter who could revolutionize digital information laws with his method of returning an email:

This is easy to do, just send the email back, delete your own copy, then delete the information from your brain by repeatedly banging your head against the wall.

Sometimes you just need to use your head…

And finally, we’ve got Trails, extrapolating from the NSA’s comments about terrorists favoring Gmail:

I heard that oxygen was the preferred inhalant of terrorists. In fact, vast swathes of terrorists use oxygen directly to further bomb making, grainy video production, and training others in bomb making.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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

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out_of_the_blue says:

Techdirt's Blatant Astroturfing.

Among other “innovation”, Mike having his paid writers, fanboys, and pals write “reviews” of the week is the most blatant astroturfing I’ve ever seen. SO blatant that one doesn’t really notice it! Hidden in plain view. SO brazen — or perhaps UN-self-aware — that I believe it’s effectively unique. But since these are always self-promoting and congratulatory without a bit of internal criticism — though some ad hom targeted AT critics — cannot be termed other than astroturfing.

The weekend pieces starkly reveal the Mutual Admiration Society (especially the giggly Sunday “funny” bit). Weekdays the same “Insider” clique write pretendedly objective articles and doubtless inflate the number of comments as Anonymous Cowards. Somehow those never disagree with Mike’s take on anything. So while Mike now and then rails at astroturfing by whatever demon he’s targeting, he and clique are using it EVERY DAY!

On the bright side, I perhaps see fewer references to Mike’s long-ago “Streisand Effect” quip, his one claim to fame. My hope is that I’ve mocked it enough to make even the writers he pays take pause… (BUT if more appear soon, I point at this comment to show how I manipulate them!)

Get Techdirt T-shirts for only cost of distribution! Mike always forgets “sunk (or fixed) costs”!!!

RD says:

Re: Techdirt's Blatant Astroturfing.

“Among other “innovation”, Mike having his paid writers, fanboys, and pals write “reviews” of the week is the most blatant astroturfing I’ve ever seen.”

Start your own fucking site then, if you dislike how this one is run so much. Then you can block EVERYONE from the site so they can neither write nor contribute, but just suckle at the teat of your vast wisdom that you will spoon-feed in the one-way communication model you so completely worship.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Techdirt's Blatant Astroturfing.


Just eight months after its launch Kim Dotcom?s Mega has established itself as one of the dominant players in the secure file-storage business. The site has now earned a spot among the top 1,000 most-visited websites on the Internet, overtaking its direct competitor RapidShare. Kim Dotcom says that Mega is already 50% of Megaupload in terms of the number of files stored, and that?s just the beginning.

TorrentFreak: Mega Relives Megaupload Fame, Overtakes RapidShare

I remember you dude, you was the one calling Kim Dotcom a fat criminal, now look at him, he is a fat cat with a fat bank account, did your head explode yet?!


The dispute between file-hosting service Hotfile and Warner Bros, where the latter is accused of taking down content they don?t hold the copyrights to, is going to jury trial this fall. The movie studio had requested summary judgment in their favor but the court decided that a jury must hear the issue. ?There is sufficient evidence on the record to suggest that Warner intentionally targeted files it knew it had no right to remove,? the judge notes.

TorrentFreak: Warner Bros. DMCA Fraud and Abuse Case Goes to Jury

See there, this is a case to keep an eye on it, because if Warner is found guilty, people could start bugging the MAFIAA to do what they say others has to do. They will have to actually implement some sort of fingerprinting on their search engines for copyright infringiment to make sure those files are actually not the same ones that where cleared before, now wouldn’t that be something?

JMT says:

Re: Techdirt's Blatant Astroturfing.

“On the bright side, I perhaps see fewer references to Mike’s long-ago “Streisand Effect” quip, his one claim to fame. My hope is that I’ve mocked it enough to make even the writers he pays take pause…”

Yeah, coz mocking something that is demonstrably true doesn’t make you look foolish at all…

Loki says:

One commenter, who has made his dismissal of virtually all modern culture very clear in the past, accused creators who re-imagine old works of being “hacks” who “taint” the “source”.

Two words:

Walt Disney.

It’s not really surprising that most maximalists can’t maintain a coherent argument when the company that is probably most responsible for pushing perpetual copyrights is also the company most responsible for re-imaging other people’s works.

Anonymous Coward says:

Unimportant Details...

“So what if it was staged? That doesn’t change anything.

The First Amendment does not say Freedom of Speech requires you to register ahead of time.”

They did it with the 2nd and we do not stand against it. Are you we seriously going to believe the new age Citizen would stand against it now? Colleges have already conditioned their students for just this very thing.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Unimportant Details...

The difference is that, like it or not, the second amendment is actually ambiguous. The two warring camps each have reasonable but very different interpretations. One can reasonably argue that requirements for registration are arguably not in violation of the amendment at all.

The first amendment, on the other hand, is very, very clear and straightforward. There is no such ambiguity.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Unimportant Details...

Yet another uninformed individual.

We can make the 1st ambiguous the same way the 2nd was made ambiguous. The meanings of words change over time and most people just fall victim to it.

“Shall not be infringed…” Go and learn what it truly means.

Requiring registration is defacto infringement. And if it is legal to remove even a convicted criminals right to bear arms then all the Government has to do to prevent the 1st is to come up with a law to take your right to free speech away just for speeding.

Maybe you should consider what things truly mean by looking up the Etymology and the meanings of words from the “Founders” time instead of relying on your poor understandings of them. This is out all the lawyers sucker those such as you.

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