Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the cereal-abuse dept

When a Pennsylvania student recorded an incident of bullying and brought it to his school’s administration, it kicked off a darkly farcical series of escalations, with the school calling the cops, the cops calling the attorney general, and nobody calling perspective or common sense. An anonymous commenter won most insightful comment of the week by summing it all up in a sentence:

Kid gets bullied, goes to bigger bullies who then refer him to even bigger bullies.

In last week’s comments post, I had mentioned how infuriating it is that the rightsholder’s word is so often taken as law when it comes to DMCA takedowns. That’s just the tip of the iceberg though, and Loki won second place for insightful by delving below the surface:

My issue with this is that in a lot of cases these claims aren’t from actual rightsholder’s and that these people can potentially violate MY rights whenever they feel like it without facing any of the penalties they insist I should face for doing the same.

On top of that, even when they are the legal rightsholders, they like to ignore or pretend other rights I have, like fair use, simply don’t exist (when they aren’t trying to pay or cajole governments into actually voiding those rights) and then get upset when other people do the same to their rights.

All from an industry that moved thousands of miles away so as to avoid what they felt was a totally unfair and restrictive patent system, so they could turn around and impose an equally unfair and restrictive copyright system.

That sort of hubris, hyprocrisy, and arrogance is not even close to deserving of respect, but merely both of my middle fingers raised high in salute.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we head to our post about the RIAA trying to have its pre-1972 recording cake and eat it too. There were two comments on that post expanding on key related issues and exposing the broken thinking behind so much of copyright law. First up, PaulT on the fact that retroactive copyright changes make no sense:

It’s my opinion that copyright changes should never be applied retroactively. If the argument is that copyright encourages or even enables work to be created in the first place, then clearly the copyright terms in force at the time of creation were sufficient. The work wouldn’t exist to argue over in the first place if the artist required today’s copyright laws to create it.perhaps decades after his death – is just wrong.

This is, of course, not the RIAA’s argument, but they can’t just come out and admit that they want to be able to collect huge sums of money for decades after an artist’s death no matter when the recording took place. They have to play word games to pretend they have the moral high ground.

As ever, “fairness” means “letting corporations make as much as possible” rather than anything that actually benefits a living human being not on the RIAA’s board.

Next, it’s Ninja making the related point that paying people for decades-old work at all doesn’t make much sense to begin with:

So we are talking about songs that are at least 45 years old, right?

Funny they talk about fairness. I don’t see old engineers being paid continuously because structures were made based on their projects. In fact, I have yet to see a dead engineer whose estate still receives money for his/her work. You can replace engineer with any profession.

Professionals usually earn money because they put their work, effort, sweat into it. Constantly.

There’s no reason for a 45+ yr-old song not to be in the Public Domain.

Over on the funny side, we start out with our challenge to “find the fib” in some NSA statements. DannyB won first place for funny with a highly appropriate reaction to this scavenger hunt:

That’s like searching for a needle in a needlestack. Therefore, we need to collect all metadata.

Meanwhile, the internet was abuzz this week after a bizarre discovery about Kate Mulgrew aka Captain Janeway aka that terrifying prison cook (just one more thing — aka Mrs. Columbo). She had (accidentally) lent her voice to a trailer for a documentary promoting geocentrism aka stupidity, leading G Thompson to question how such a thing was possible for anyone with a little fame:

What celebrity would ever accept this stupid theory? Of course they all know that THEY are the absolute center of the universe.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start with Digger, who responded to General Mills’ attempts to rope customers into bizarre legal agreements just for buying their product by drafting his own license agreement:



States the following, and I tape it to every box of cereal that I eat.

By allowing my CELA to stick to your box, you, the cereal provider, agree to the following terms.

My agreement supersedes any and all previous agreements. My agreement can never be superseded, ever, even if forced to sign a new contract while someone holds a nuke over my head, my agreement will still be valid and enforceable over yours.
My agreement allows me to sue you for over 1 quadrillion dollars if I so much as bite my cheek while chewing on your cereal, or burn my tongue if I overheat my coffee that I drink while eating your cereal.
My agreement holds your corporate officers and board members fiscally and legally responsible for any and all effects of using your cereal and any activities taken while eating said cereal, no limitations apply.
My agreement says that you owe me $1000.00 per bite of your cereal that I eat just to suffer through the crap you put in it.


And finally, we’ve got a simple answer to a simple question. We asked if you’d trust the NSA’s advice on fixing Heartbleed; an anonymous commenter replied:

Short answer: No
Long answer : Nooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo oooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooo

Indeed. That’s all for this week foooooooolks!

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

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Christopher (profile) says:

In fact, I have yet to see a dead engineer whose estate still receives money for his/her work. You can replace engineer with any profession.

You can even replace “engineer” with “artist” and it still holds true.

Really, quite a lot of copyrighted work is owned by people or organizations that have nothing to do with the actual creative work. A friend of mine has been boycotting the Marvel superhero movies because the estate of Jack Kirby, creator of most of these characters, gets sweet fuck all in terms of royalties. On the DC side, the estates of Superman’s creators have been waging a long legal battle to get some kind of rights and compensation from DC.

As somebody who has toyed with being an artist, I don’t feel very protected by copyright law. If I come up with the next big DC superhero, or the next hit Nickelodeon cartoon, or what have you, I will certainly not retain the copyright.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Which is why there are concerted attempts to kill it with fire – because it is politically expedient to intetnionally misinform people in order to achieve the goals of the ?lite.

You’ve seen it with the SOPA/PIPA debalce, you’ve heard it from the European Commission, and you will hear it from the telecommunications companies soon. because those imaginary people want you to pay many times for the same work. And if they can share it amongst themselves and screw over the public at the same time, why not?

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