Dan Gillmor's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week
from the a-few-must-reads dept
Greetings to all. If you’re like me, you’ve made Techdirt a must-read stop. It’s also obviously in that category for many of the folks I follow on Twitter, because I increasingly see links to posts here.
Dave Allen’s “Musicians on the Wrong Side of History” resonated for all kinds of reasons, not least the fact that I used to play music for a living. I suspect I’d never have left music if today’s technology had been around in my day, because it would have enabled us to do things we couldn’t contemplate back then. Allen’s deconstruction of several famous musicians’ songs of woe is worth reading by anyone who’s a creator or “consumer” (a word I hate and wish we could replace). Mike Masnick, meanwhile, told us about a Facebook post by Billy Bragg — who’s not enamored, in general, about the Internet’s effect on the music business — explaining why the record labels are the major problem with the streaming services.
Meanwhile, as someone who’s been a member of the fabled “traditional media” and who still dabbles in it, I always enjoy reading Techdirt’s takes on the latest follies in the news media. Two notable pieces this week including the totally unsurprising discovery that pro-NSA, anti-leak guests have dominated media coverage of Edward Snowden’s revelations. Even given the tendency of journalists — and the Washington press corps in particular — to serve as stenographers for the powerful, this was disheartening.
Governments have been trying to demonize the journalists who’ve told the rest of us about what’s in the NSA documents, and their efforts have, as you’d expect, engendered plenty of official torturing of logic, not to mention hypocrisy. The UK government has been making a variety of insane statements about David Miranda, Glenn Greenwald’s partner, who was held for hours at Heathrow airport on his way back to Brazil from Germany — and topping the recent list was the assertion that Miranda was engaged in what might qualify as terrorism. The abuse of terrorism laws to threaten journalists in other countries brought U.S. condemnation, as it should, but our State Department didn’t do the same in this case.
But it was wonderful to read the latest in the saga of “Team Prenda,” the odious copyright trolls who at long last are getting hammered by some clued-in judges in several jurisdictions. We can all rejoice that this crew “loses big again” — and again — maybe, just maybe, justice will prevail.
Mike’s explanatory-sarcasm quotient reached new highs “Office Depot Sends World’s Worst DMCA Notice To Reddit” — a piece one hopes the legal gnomes at the office-supply company scanned carefully. Or better yet, maybe their bosses read it and invited them to get more suitable employment, because they sure didn’t seem to know much about the law they were citing.
Likewise, Tim Cushing’s deconstruction of the unintentionally hilarious Keith Alexander video “interview” — with highlights from the comments, some of which are just brilliant — had me laughing out loud at points. This was awkward, as I was at a conference. At least I didn’t spit out the coffee.