Copyright Maximalists And Lobbyists Insist 'Criminal Elements' Are A Part Of The Copyright Reform Effort [Updated]

from the tinfoil-hat-time dept

George Mason University — which not too long ago put out an entire book about the need for copyright reform — apparently also wants to present “the other side.” It recently held a conference entitled “Common Ground: How Intellectual Property Unites Creators and Innovators.” You might assume that this would be along the lines of the point we’ve been making for years that content creators and entrepreneurs are really on the same side, creating new content and tools that better serve the public. But it was actually a conference that appears to have only invited copyright and patent maximalists, to talk about how oppressed both of them are by efforts to reform those two bodies of law away from the maximalist positions. It was a laugh riot, I’m sure.

A permanently paywalled article alerted me to some of the claims made on one panel, that I’ve since confirmed from an attendee at the conference — with the specifically nutty claim coming from the Copyright Alliance’s Sandra Aistars, insisting that efforts for copyright reform are really coming “from criminal elements” and that no one in “any sort of innovative sector” is actually on board with the copyright reform they espouse. Oh really, now? Apparently all the other panelists quickly agreed with this assertion, that it’s coming from that “criminal element” which Aistars explained was really “cyberlockers and entities like that.” (See update below for clarification and transcript).

Now, that’s interesting. Beyond the broad “entities like that” phrase, which could mean just about anything, I’ve been fairly active with folks in various copyright reform circles for over a decade, and I can’t recall a single situation in which anyone associated with a cyberlocker was even remotely involved in such efforts. To be fair, there was a brief period where Rapidshare hired a few lobbyists, but they weren’t involved in any of the major copyright campaigns. But that’s about it as far as I can recall, and last I heard, Rapidshare gave up on its DC lobbying efforts. Instead, out here in the real copyright reform world, there appear to be lots of actually innovative companies, along with venture capitalists, academics, digital activists and the public interested in the efforts. To brush off all of that as really coming “from criminal elements” is so delusional as to raise serious questions about the entire Copyright Alliance effort.

It also demonstrates just how ridiculous these debates have become. When copyright maximalists are flat out smearing copyright reformers by insisting that they’re all just part of a “criminal” effort, it makes real discussion nearly impossible. Of course, perhaps that’s the goal.

Update: After this blog post came out, George Mason University finally uploaded video of the panel (wonder what took so long?) and Terry Hart, who works for Sandra Aistars, provided us with a transcript of what she said, which substantially confirms everything in the post (despite some in the comments suggesting we made this all up), with one exception, which we’ll explain in a moment. Here’s the transcript:

Mark?s question:

It seems like the ground is shifting in recent years regarding the perception of the value of intellectual property protection. From rhetoric vilifying ?big copyright? to claims about so-called ?patent trolls,? the climate for those who own and assert intellectual property has become less friendly in Washington. Why has this happened, and what can be done to fix it?

Sandra?s answer:

?. . .

The one thing that I think has truly changed and is something that we should all be worried about is that, different from 40 years ago, where I think the debates were occurring really between legitimate businesses on both sides (disruptive forces seeking to move aside, maybe move forward, in different ways than the existing industries had been moving forward), I think now there is an additional element to some of these arguments that we?re hearing against intellectual property protection.

And an element that goes a little bit further than what we?ve heard before and almost seeks the entire elimination of intellectual property protection, and that element I think is coming in its most aggressive form not from any sort of innovative sector in any business, but is coming more from the, I?ll call them ?criminal elements,? cyberlockers, entities like that who support and benefit from cyberlockers, and they are not interested intellectual property in any way, and I think those of us who rely on intellectual property in our business lives are just collateral damage.

What these entities are interested in is to use our works as a lure to get eyeballs to their sites, and they?re not interested in what they?re using as a lure, they?re interested in what data they?ll be able to gather on one end (and that?s the least nefarious issue). More troubling are the sort of privacy violations, the fraud, the malware, the other scams that are perpetrated by these sites, and so I think that?s the issue we need to worry about fixing, if we?re worrying about fixing anything.?

From this it’s clear that she did not say that the “criminal element” was leading the copyright reform effort, but that it was a significant element that was “different” than in the past and somehow overwhelming the debate between “legitimate” industries. Given the clear implication of the statement, it’s completely reasonable that two separate sources — one a reporter and another a well-respected lawyer — who were our sources for the original story, received the clear implication that Aistars was suggesting “the criminal element” is driving the copyright reform effort, rather than just a major “element” in that effort. Whether you think this direct distinction matters may depend on where you sit in this debate, but we apologize for repeating the allegation that Aistars that “the criminal element” was “leading” the process rather than such a significant “element” of the process that it deserved mention (something she’s totally wrong on, but that’s a different issue).

Either way, now that we have the full transcript, we can see exactly what Aistars really said, which I’m glad, because it still demonstrates how Aistars and the Copyright Alliance views this debate. I stand by the assertion that this claim is simply wrong, and as far as I can tell, there is no “criminal element” anywhere in this process at all and its simply smearing for Aistars to have suggested otherwise, even if her initial claim wasn’t quite as broad as the initial report.

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Comments on “Copyright Maximalists And Lobbyists Insist 'Criminal Elements' Are A Part Of The Copyright Reform Effort [Updated]”

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219 Comments
antidirt (profile) says:

George Mason University — which not too long ago put out an entire book about the need for copyright reform — apparently also wants to present “the other side.”

That book was from the Mercatus Center, which focuses on markets (“mercatus” means marketplace). This conference was by the CPIP, which focuses on protecting IP. Both centers are at GMU, but they’re run by different people and have different agendas.

A permanently paywalled articled alerted me to some of the claims made on one panel

Did you actually read the “articled”?

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yes, one of Honest Mike’s famous tricks is to allow your post to appear uncensored if you’re reading it from the IP it was posted from.

I restarted my computer, and now all the “reported” comments are showing up as such. Honestly, I wouldn’t be surprised to learn that it’s Mike himself desperately trying to hide all the dissenting views.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

I read somewhere either on this site or on some other site a few months ago that if a website bans a user for some reason and they block the persons IP address then should the person change their IP address and gain access to the same website (being as they are banned with the original IP address being blocked) then the person was breaking the law as it was against the law to change an IP address in order to circumvent the block to the website that was on the user.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

From what I have read in the past from reading comments it seems that quite a few comments being made from people who use TOR or some other method that changes/hides an IP that the message does not appear straight away but is put on hold in some spam filter until it is viewed by someone before being allowed or not to be allowed in posting. If this is true then the same could well be the same with those report votes and if so then once those report votes are in the spam filter they may never be accepted as votes and just be deleted.

If report votes are indeed ending up in the spam filter due to people using TOR or by some other way to hide/change an IP address then it will take a lot more than dozens of report votes for a comment to become hidden being as these report votes probably not being actually counted as they are marked as spam.

Losing Sanity says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“But, yeah, people here don’t like dissenting views.”

I’m fine with dissenting views. Too bad most of your posts aren’t that at all. You need to adjust your attitude, man! Note that I’m not telling you to change your opinion or anything, just your bad attitude. Ok, that and maybe try not to show off your unhealthy, not to mention creepy, obsession with Mike so much. Then you won’t get reported nearly as often. Well, provided you haven’t burned out the last of the goodwill here of course…

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Strictly speaking Censorship is when a government prevents you from publishing, or speaking your point of view. You like many people with extreme views scream censorship when somebody else will not let you speak in a meeting that they arranged, or carry your speech at their expense. Neither of those actions are censorship, and you come across as a petulant child who is not given exactly what they want.
You can still logon to this site, so nobody is trying very hard to prevent you speaking on this site. Often you comments are hidden, and can be shown by a single click, because they do not contribute much to the discussion. That is not censorship, just marking them as comments that can be ignored by those people interested in a sensible discussion.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Strictly speaking Censorship is when a government prevents you from publishing, or speaking your point of view. You like many people with extreme views scream censorship when somebody else will not let you speak in a meeting that they arranged, or carry your speech at their expense. Neither of those actions are censorship, and you come across as a petulant child who is not given exactly what they want.
You can still logon to this site, so nobody is trying very hard to prevent you speaking on this site. Often you comments are hidden, and can be shown by a single click, because they do not contribute much to the discussion. That is not censorship, just marking them as comments that can be ignored by those people interested in a sensible discussion.

You (if you’re the same person) haven’t answered my question, which is whether this would violate the First Amendment as censorship if the government did it. I think it clearly would. I disagree that only the government can censor. Of course, whether it’s censorship when people “report” posts here that they don’t like depends on what one means by censorship. I take a broad view of censorship, one that includes actions by private individuals. I believe Mike does too. Do you think this is censorship under Mike’s broad use of the term?

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I do not think it would be a First Amendment problem since you comment is still viewable. If a government person deleted the comment then I would agree with you.

I disagree. It’s a speech restriction since it makes the speech more difficult to see. Being that it’s a content-based restriction, the test would be strict scrutiny. I fail to see what compelling governmental interest could possibly justify making unpopular speech more difficult to see, so I think it would violate the First Amendment. That said, do you think Mike would approve of the government doing this? Do you think he’d think that it doesn’t violate the First Amendment?

RD says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“I fail to see what compelling governmental interest could possibly justify making unpopular speech more difficult to see, so I think it would violate the First Amendment.”

And yet, you yourself do NOT want people have the freedom to express their dislike of you by clicking a “Report” button, which is an expression of saying “I don’t like this person/comment, here is a warning to everyone else that it sucks.”

Your hypocrisy knows no bounds.

Also, not censorship as the report clicking is done by THE PUBLIC, and many people, and not the Government and a single-authority. Not even Mike (though your paranoid delusions won’t let you believe that.)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

Not only that, his content is still there — you just have to do an extra mouse click to see it. This is the most elegant solution I’ve seen anywhere, as nothing gets deleted, but the horde gets to decide what shouldn’t be part of the main conversation.

I wish more forums would use this model.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

I do not agree with antidirt’s general opinions, but he most definitely IS right here. Even if it is the public, it is still censorship. If the majority gets to decide if someone is allowed to voice his opinions, you have no freedom of speech anymore. The whole point of freedom of speech is that he is allowed to speak even if the majority dislikes his speech. That’s kinda fundamental to the whole concept.

The freedom of said majority to express their opinion would be completely served by adding some ‘reported’ icon that does not interfere with viewing the post – that would allow the majority to express their dislike without interfering with his speech. And even that is a special allowance unneccesary, because they can just express their disapproval by answering his speech in their own post. Hiding his speech is a restraint on it, a small and easily circumvented one, but it is one.

Analogy: you have a really conservative community, like a small town. The majority decides that the uncomfortably liberal gay in the community speaks loads of disliked stuff, so they restrict him to sidestreets for speaking. By your argument that would not be censorship, because hey, it’s the majority, and well, if you want to hear what he has to say you can just go down that alley over there, easy. By the way, the same obviously applies to a liberal community with the lonely religious fundamentalist.

Free speech is a principle that needs to be held by a community and that guarantees the minority opinion the right to not be suppressed. As is often pointed out: the answer to speech must be more speech, not hiding the offending speech.

On a side note: I always thought the report buttons were intended to flag spam, comments rising to serious threats or otherwise legally problematic stuff. Not to express personal dislike of the opinion expressed therein. In my view the reporting of opinions because someone thinks they are stupid/wrong was always a serious misuse of the ability to report.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Another side note in reference to the xkcd strip linked a few times: I do not think this applies here exactly. It’s a bit of a have-your-cake-and-eat-it-too scenario: Either remove antidirt from the community – kill his account on TD – which means you use your freedom of association and expression to not listen to or engage with him, because you think he is a troll/an asshole/a waste of time. Or keep him as part of the community – then you should not censor him.

I can totally agree with the xkcd strip, but it does not change that what happens here is exactly censorship. The reason there is this difference between the government and private communities is that the government does not have the option to exclude people from the community (you can’t just deport people you do not like). You can jail them, but only for real offences – i.e. violating the law. It’s the balance between the rights of the individual and the rights of the society that means you can exclude people from private communities (which can be avoided while living in the same location) and not from public ones (which are not as easily chosen or avoided). But WITHIN any community, certain basic principles should be adhered to if you want any kind of civilised society. And one of those is freedom of expression/speech.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

If only those who take immediate offense to the fact someone they do not like is posting comments would reflect for even a moment upon the impact their reporting propensity has on others. By forcing comments to be hidden they are placing a burden upon others who are doing nothing more than trying to read what is being said in a thread. Here the problem is particularly apparent given the large number of hidden comments. Not only does hiding interfere with readability, in my case it has resulted in glitches on my desktop and mobile devices that cause my browser to stop responding to any inputs.

There is a very simple way to deal with messages that cause consternation without resort to forcing the messages to be hidden. Simply ignore them and move on to something else. Nowhere is it written that every message demands a response. If you do not like it ignore it. Otherwise, others who have no dog in the fight are inconvenienced because you fell compelled to act when there is no need to do so.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Thanks for posting this. I have no trouble with people disagreeing with me, preferably explaining why they think I’m wrong. I am troubled, however, that people here “report” my comments because they don’t like me–even if the comment is anything but trollish. I wish that Mike would step in and say something like what you’ve said here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“I do not agree with antidirt’s general opinions, but he most definitely IS right here. Even if it is the public, it is still censorship. If the majority gets to decide if someone is allowed to voice his opinions, you have no freedom of speech anymore. The whole point of freedom of speech is that he is allowed to speak even if the majority dislikes his speech. That’s kinda fundamental to the whole concept.”

No offense, but you and antidirt are both idiots who clearly have no idea of what Freedom of Speech is.

Freedom of Speech means one thing and one thing only, the government cannot silence. Period.

Freedom of Speech DOES NOT, repeat DOES NOT, mean anyone has to listen to you, provide you with a forum or podium to speak from or anything of the sort.

Please, do not speak further about freedom of speech if you don’t even know what it is or who can encroach on it.

A reported comment is still viewable and that also ends the debate as far as “censorship” goes. Censored to put it simply means removed. Clicking one extra button to see a reported comment by its very definition is the exact opposite of censorship. Can you see it? Then it wasn’t removed and therefore not censored. Period.

As for everything else you said, well, much like antidirt you should get up off that podium before you say anything further that can be construed as naive at best or retarded at worst. No offense, but you’re bringing arguments to the table about a subject you’re already incredibly naive or willfully ignorant about, that being freedom of speech.

“Analogy: you have a really conservative community, like a small town. The majority decides that the uncomfortably liberal gay in the community speaks loads of disliked stuff, so they restrict him to sidestreets for speaking. By your argument that would not be censorship, because hey, it’s the majority, and well, if you want to hear what he has to say you can just go down that alley over there, easy. By the way, the same obviously applies to a liberal community with the lonely religious fundamentalist.”

As for that, well, as much as I wouldn’t agree with such an example, as long as no laws are passed or government actions or anything are undertaken that force someone to ONLY speak on those side streets then the same thing. Freedom of speech has in no way violated.

And since I am damn certain you still won’t understand things here is, posted yet again in this very post, a comic explaining what free speech is.

https://xkcd.com/1357/

I suggest you view it. Think about it. View it again. Think about it some more. And then view it one more time before even attempting to discuss it with the class, just to make sure you understand things before coming off sounding like a fool again.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

I know that strip. You might want to try to think openly and critically about opposing points of view instead of just calling someone idiot. I’m tempted to descent to your level or reasoning, but I shall restrain myself. You might try that sometimes.

Also, I thought the analogy implied quite clearly that the majority restricted him to only ever speak on those sidestreets and forbade him to talk where they could see them in their everyday lives. See various references around the net to colleges, ‘free speech zones’ and the discussion about freedom of speech related to restriction of time and place for speech.

Regarding your general dismissal by way of reposting again that xkcd strip, which is well known to me:

The freedom of speech guaranteed in the United States constitution only restricts the government, yes. But your precious constitution ist not the basic definition of the principle of freedom of speech, only how it is applied in your legal codes in your country. Youu need to differentiate between the general principle of freedom of speech and the constitutional right to free speech. To censor in a private community such as techdirt is legal, because of this, but it does not stop being opposed to free speech.

I tried to explain that: Your country recognizes (rightfully so in my opinion) a difference between the public space and the private one. This difference is grounded on the fact that it is at least very difficult, if not impossible, for most people to leave the public community in which they live, so it must be ruled by laws and principles that safeguard everyones right equally and balances them. Private communities in contrast can be avoided. It is easy not to be part of a certain club or website or special gated community in the suburbs. Because of this, your constitution recognizes – in limiting the guarantee of free speech rights to actions of the government, and therefor the public space – the right of private communities to define their own rules. Because if your community is run as a censorious despotism people can just leave or not join in the first place.

Just because you are free to violate the principles ruling the public space and the goverment in private space does not mean that those principles do not exist or change their nature in private space. If you suppress speech you do not like on your own internet forum, than that forum is not governed by the principle of the free speech, period. This is your choice to make, of course, and I fully recognize that right to choice on your part. Just because it is legal doesn’t mean it’s not a violation of the principle of free speech, only that it’s not a violation of your constitutional right to free speech.

The principle of freedom of speech is not unassailable, per se. Most societies that recognize freedom of speech also recognize limits to that freedom. If used to harass, threated, blackmail etc. pp. most often that is not protected. But just because those limits are agreed upon does not stop them being limits, just as just because you are legally allowed to limit speech as much as you like in private space does not stop it from being a limit on free speech.

The problem with the censorious reporting here in the comments is not that it is illegal or a violation of the first amendement. The problem is that Techdirt constantly espouses an ultra-robust principle of freedom of speech as it’s own ideal. I’m not sure if the above mentioned ‘the solution to speech you dislike is more speech’ is from TD or from popehat originally, but generally it is an idea often presented on both sites.

And universally censoring all of antidirts comments is a contradiction to those principles. The only thing preventing a really big hypocrite alarm from going of is that, most probably, the authors espousing that principle are not involved in reporting any of those comments. But I still feel it’s a behaviour unworthy of this community, something that devalues us all.

Yes, antidirts comments are sometimes, perhaps even often, inflammatory, ad hominem, hyperbolic, logical fallacies and whatnot. I find some of them quite offensive, and most of them completely wrong. Yes, I could even see someone call them trollish and concede that as a valid viewpoint. But all this does not change the above facts one bit. The reason your xkcd link is completely inappropriate here is that I do not hold you and others to the U.S. consittution, but to the standards of this community, this website, and the political and philosophical stance held therein.

If you think it foolish to have moral and ethical values and guiding principles above the laws of the nation you live in, then yes, call me a fool all you want. I have faith in this community however that others will rather see the fool in your rather impolite answer.

tl;dr Your constitutionally guaranteed right to freedom of speech is a legal matter and not the same as the general concept/principle of freedom of speech in general. Things can be a violation of the principle of freedom of speech without being a violation of the first amendement.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Fuck your obsession with Mike. You’re not talking to him at the moment and you know it.

As to your 1st Amendment whining, the obligatory xkcd tutorial.

As to why your comments keep getting reported: you’re an asshole. Every person clicking on the Report button is expressing their opinion that you’re an asshole. Are you trying to censor people’s opinions? Your whining about that just makes you a hypocritical asshole.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yes, several of you have “censored” to the point that someone like me who would like to read the string of comments in its entirety and without interruption is effectively prevented from doing so. Where is a “button” that allows a reader to simply activate on their screen all hidden comments at one time?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

How could have I overlooked your simple and elegant solution? Simply scroll down and down and down on my mobile device looking for the many instances where comments were closed, click on each individually to unhide, and then scroll back up to the top to begin reading. Never mind that on a mobile device this can be a tedious process.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Yes, several of you have “censored” to the point that someone like me who would like to read the string of comments in its entirety and without interruption is effectively prevented from doing so.

I think that’s the idea. They want to hide dissenting views so that it’s more difficult to see what the dissenters are saying. And, of course, Mike never says anything about the “report” button being abused. I wonder if hidden comments aren’t picked up by search engines. That would be a nice little bonus for Mike, I’m sure.

Ninja (profile) says:

It’s hard to discuss with people that brand everybody that disagree with them as criminals. These are the types that should actually be left out of the process. But alas we live in a somewhat democratic world and they too must have the right to spew their nonsense.

The notion that cyberlockers are criminal activities amuses me. Surely Google Drive, One Drive and many others that work exactly as cyberlockers (you can share uploaded content) to the point of having paid tiers should be judged and their executives put behind bars, no? The MAFIAA doesn’t have the balls to suggest such thing against the powerful players so they’ll go after the smaller ones and try to set precedents to use…

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“It’s hard to discuss with people that brand everybody that disagree with them as criminals.”

Yep, and that’s the whole point of the strategy. They don’t want any discussion. There’s also the bit of brain-damage that we see here very often: the idea that if you don’t agree with the maximalist point of view, the only possible explanation is that you hate artists, that you are in favor of piracy, or both.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: The devil is in the details.

Well… I am in favor of “piracy”. So is Copyright Law itself.

The ultimate goal of Copyright as stated in the US Constitution is “piracy”.

I should be able to share the 30+ year old elements of my media hoard freely (and legally).

It’s the notion of what constitutes “piracy” that’s been distorted.

ltlw0lf (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: The devil is in the details.

The ultimate goal of Copyright as stated in the US Constitution is “piracy”.

The ultimate goal of Copyright as stated in the US Constitution is “sharing”.

Piracy is discussed in the Constitution (Article I, Section 8, Clause 10,) and the Constitution specifically states that Congress has the power to define and punish Piracy and other felonies on the high seas. As far as I am aware, Congress has not defined piracy to be copyright infringement. Also, the punishment for Piracy is usually up-to and including the death penalty.

JEDIDIAH says:

Re: Re: Re:2 The devil is in the details.

“Piracy” and “sharing” are both the same thing.

The only difference is where you draw the line. That line used to exist in a place where much of my media hoard could be shared freely and legally.

Due to corporate lobbying, sharing that stuff would now be considered illegal and possibly criminal. This has happened in my lifetime and during the lifetime of the works in question.

The corporations that are whining about “criminals” are the ones redefining what constitutes “criminal”.

MrTroy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 The devil is in the details.

It’s the notion of what constitutes “piracy” that’s been distorted.

“Piracy” and “sharing” are both the same thing.

Actually, that’s the distortion there. ltlw0lf was pointing out to you that the constitution defines piracy as the high seas robbery variety.

Unlicensed sharing as piracy came along much much later. Also, licensed sharing is not piracy, for what that’s worth, so even the modern version of “piracy” isn’t the same thing as “sharing”. They overlap, but they’re not the same thing.

Karl (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 The devil is in the details.

Unlicensed sharing as piracy came along much much later.

Actually, that’s not true, at least not in the colloquial sense.

The word “piracy,” used as a term for unlicensed copying, predates even the Statute of Anne. The first time that it was used this way (to my knowledge) was in “The Wonderfull Yeare” by Thomas Dekker, in 1603.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

This strategy can backfire…

http://www.macleans.ca/general/vic-toews-vs-the-child-pornographers-whose-side-are-you-on/

In canada, this made child pornographers look a little better, and politicians like Vic look a lot worse. If people are more intelligent than you give them credit for, insulting them is not going to win them to your side of the argument.

So if the politicians disagree with them and are painted as criminals, that’ll make the politicians question their argument (and following arguments) by default.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re:

It’s hard to discuss with people that brand everybody that disagree with them as criminals. These are the types that should actually be left out of the process. But alas we live in a somewhat democratic world and they too must have the right to spew their nonsense.

I think you’re giving Mike too much credit. We don’t really know what was said by Aistars. Mike mentioned an article behind a paywall that he didn’t bother to link to and that he may or may not have read, and he also mentioned some unnamed person that supposedly was at the event. Where are these alleged quotes from Aistars coming from? And even if they’re accurate, which I doubt they are, what was the context? The article appears to me to be poorly sourced and woefully incomplete, and its purpose seems to be nothing but another personal attack against someone Mike doesn’t like. For a guy that frequently berates the journalistic integrity of others, I’m not seeing any actual journalism here (journalism!). It appears that the video of this panel will be posted soon, so then we can all see what Aistars really said and the context she said it in. Until then, this strikes me as another baseless TD FUD piece.

Ninja (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Dude, you are one clear example of such group. I would appreciate dissenting opinions and people bringing into attention some inconsistency or lack of source/evidence such as you try to do it but there’s plenty of comments from you that show you are just some troll and you are not looking for reasonable discussion. So far I have yet to see baseless FUD pieces from TD and even when there was such a thing TD published updates and apologies for the mistakes. When will you admit you are in the wrong?

Let us see this video indeed and then watch you try to flip something out into an attack at Mike.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Dude, you are one clear example of such group. I would appreciate dissenting opinions and people bringing into attention some inconsistency or lack of source/evidence such as you try to do it but there’s plenty of comments from you that show you are just some troll and you are not looking for reasonable discussion. So far I have yet to see baseless FUD pieces from TD and even when there was such a thing TD published updates and apologies for the mistakes. When will you admit you are in the wrong?

Let us see this video indeed and then watch you try to flip something out into an attack at Mike.

Would any of the real journalists that Mike routinely berates have posted this piece? I sincerely doubt it. I don’t know what Aistars said. I merely doubt that this post is accurate. If the video shows that Mike’s portrayal of what she said is wrong, do you really think he’ll post a correction and/or retraction? I seriously doubt it. And can you really not see how this is baseless FUD? Do you really think he showed that “copyright maximalists and lobbyists insist” these things? I don’t. It’s sensationalism, as are so many of Mike’s posts. It’s hilarious that he laments how “real discussion” is “nearly impossible.” As far as I can tell, Mike will be the last person in the copyright debate to have a “real discussion.” Instead, we get hit pieces like this. Is Mike doing anything towards a “real discussion” with this post? Of course not. It’s the opposite of that.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I had hopes that despite your occasional slips in to trollish behavior, you’d be a real dissenting voice that would actually discuss the issues. As you have noted in the past, there are many significant and important issues with Copyright that need review.

Finally, as you may have noted, Mike doesn’t appear to comment beyond the articles very often. However, there are many that seem to be up for rational discussion, Ninja for example, and I would love to see that discussion continue.

I’m betting your paycheck depends on Copyright in some way and I wouldn’t blame you for having strong feelings on it. You’ve also shown a perchance for rational arguments yourself, including a couple Mea Culpa’s. I am eager to see an rational discussion that covers both sides of Copyright.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I love the irony that in the comments to a post where Mike pretends like he’s so worried about there being no “real discussion” about these issues, all the dissenting views are being quickly “reported” and hidden from view. I’d love to discuss the issues with Mike. I think we both know that’ll never happen. He’s not willing to have that “real discussion” he pretends to want.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

So does that mean you’ll not continue rational discussions with the rest of us?

I’d think you’d enjoy a intelligent discussion with anyone that could provide a challenge.

Of course. Check my profile. I’m happy to have substantive discussions. There’s not much about this post to talk about, though, since it contains no substance.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Considering how often these “dissenting views” are personal attacks and general trolling mike would be well justified in outright deleting the comments entirely.

Every time I click to expand the reported stuff to see what you claim is “censored” comments I’m greeted with trollish bullshit

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

Considering how often these “dissenting views” are personal attacks and general trolling mike would be well justified in outright deleting the comments entirely.

Every time I click to expand the reported stuff to see what you claim is “censored” comments I’m greeted with trollish bullshit

I have seen numerous comments “reported” that aren’t trollish. Look at the very first comment above (#1). There’s no reason why that should have been “reported.” I merely explained that Mercatus is not CPIP, and I asked whether Mike had read the article. Give me a break with the ridiculous race to hide any view that isn’t popular here. It’s just sad. Especially for a site that purports to value free speech and dissenting views.

RD says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“Every time I click to expand the reported stuff to see what you claim is “censored” comments I’m greeted with trollish bullshit

I have seen numerous comments “reported” that aren’t trollish.”

I auto-report ALL his comments now (ar;dr) because of all his many, many PREVIOUS trollish comments. Of course, he ignores all of his own history when it’s convenient and whines on about “Censorship” or not being given some kind of “fair” chance, even though he has squandered any good will he might have ever had by being the single biggest Shilltroll(tm) this site has ever seen, and ALWAYS siding with Big Copyright and all their arguments, while ALWAYS criticizing anyone and any comment against copyright, no matter how mild or reasonable.

If you are going to give Big Copyright and auto-pass EVERY time, I am going to give you an auto-report EVERY time. This is because of YOUR past comments; you have no one to blame but yourself.

Eldakka (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

I auto-report ALL his comments now (ar;dr) *because* of all his many, many PREVIOUS trollish comments.

This is bad behaviour and in some ways supports antidirts position.

Each and every comment should either be:
1) read;
2) ignored.

And only in the case of 1 should a determination be made whether to ‘report’ the comment or not.

While most of antidirts comments are trollish personal attacks, a few, a very few, are valid, insightful comments.

A good, insightful post is still a good, insightful post even if made by a crack-pot reactionary loon who I wouldn’t piss on if they were on fire on the footpath in front of me while I had a full bladder and was desperately trying to find a toilet to take a piss in.

Losing Sanity says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

I agree as well. Occasionally antidirt makes an intelligent, on topic comment that is actually worthy of being read and debated, even though they typically involve his absolute support of everything the copyright industry says and does no matter how insane. I like those comments/threads in spite of the knowledge antidirt isn’t so much a copyright maximalist, but a copyright fundamentalist taken to the extreme. I assume it’s because his livelihood depends on it. Sadly, such posts/threads are few and far between. More often than not they devolve into the typical BS we’ve heard from him ad nauseam. This usually involves either whinging about perceived censorship of his comments (he refuses to listen when shown clearly why it’s not) or obsessing over Mike in some way as though it matters or would change anything (it wouldn’t).

It wouldn’t be nearly as bad as it is here if everyone could just show a little self control by not replying, aka feeding the troll. If a comment is worthy of being reported, do so and move on. However, if you’re going to reply, why hit the report button then? It’s illogical and makes no sense. In fact, it actually lends a bit of credence to some of his complaints when you people do that. Personally I’m finding it all rather sad and pathetic. It certainly doesn’t increase the value of the TD comments section, that’s for sure. Quite the opposite, actually, given how much crud one has to wade through just to find the gems hidden within. Mike should find someone else to report on copyright issues instead of doing it himself. Then again, antidirt’s head might explode if that happened given how obsessed with Mike he is. Can’t have that now, can we?

JMT says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

“There’s no reason why that should have been “reported.””

As has been explained to you many times, it’s not because your views may be in opposition to Mike’s, it’s because you’re an asshole. Nobody wants to hear from you, because even when you post good info, you’re still an asshole. Every comment from you has to contain a slam on Mike, because you’re always an asshole.

The problem hear isn’t Mike, Techdirt, other commenters, it’s you. Try a change of attitude.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

So pay for it.

Put your money where your mouth is.

Pay for the article that isn’t even identified in the post? What article is it? Did Mike even read the article before commenting on it? Did Mike put his money where his mouth is? I’m happy to read it, and I would have read it, as well as watched the video of the panel discussion, before publishing a post about it. But that’s just me. I prefer substance to FUD.

jackn says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

But instead of doing any research, or watching any videos, you are willing to come here and post about it? To post your non-substantive, negative-campaign?

We are supposed to believe this is a noble pursuit when compared to running this site day-in and out?

Hopefully; you do realize what an idiot you are?

Dude, you’re dead here now.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

I would disagree with you since he actually confirmed that information with an attendee. Something many journalist are lacking these days. Since that attendee wasn’t named, he/she probably wanted to remain anonymous. If I couldn’t get it right from the source then I think the attendee is a far better source than the paywalled news source.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

I would disagree with you since he actually confirmed that information with an attendee. Something many journalist are lacking these days. Since that attendee wasn’t named, he/she probably wanted to remain anonymous. If I couldn’t get it right from the source then I think the attendee is a far better source than the paywalled news source.

Without any information about this supposed attendee, we can’t judge reliability. And what did he confirm? A couple of phrases pulled out of context? And who are these other “lobbyists” who supposedly “insist” all these terrible things? What did they actually say? This is just shoddy reporting. No real reporter would have published this.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I thought of that before. It’s certainly possible …. though IP extremists (as I linked to examples above) have had a very long history of saying very ridiculous things so it’s not really that hard to imagine the trolls around here are real and not hired by those that oppose their stated positions. The current state of IP law should tell you what kind of people are behind the push for these laws so clearly these people are around.

IP defenders don’t need people to hire a parody of them to make them look stupid. They look stupid all on their own.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Now you are are taking patent on martyrdom.

No trust in opposing claims, without having better backed alternative claims, check.
Attacking integrity of opposing view-holder, check.
Circular fabrication – Claim: doubt, lack of integrity. Evidence:. Conclusion: reason to doubt claims, check.

Use of anonymous sources is a timehonored journalistic tradition. Particularly when a dissenting view comes from someone wanting to appear neutral like an academic or doesn’t want to risk their job as an insider in what the person could be seen as part of. The rights-industries has made it so much of an us versus them that their own dissenting views are suppressed.
As long as the video isn’t up, it might be a good idea to halt the completely fact-free berating.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

First of all Mike is not saying that this is unequivocally what happened. He is merely reporting on the evidence he has to believe what happened.

“A permanently paywalled article alerted me to some of the claims made on one panel, that I’ve since confirmed from an attendee at the conference”

So there was an article that alerted him to something at a panel. He confirmed it with someone that attended the panel. Those two things are facts. He is merely reporting on those facts. There is nothing wrong with simply reporting the facts.

Yes, it could be the case that the paywalled article and confirmation source were wrong. That is up to the reader to decide. But there is nothing wrong with Mike reporting on those two facts and telling us his opinion of and on what he thinks happened and why he thinks it happened the way he thinks and what he thinks about what he thinks happened.

Also Techdirt is not a journalistic source. Yes it may engage in ‘journalism’ from time to time but it’s an opinion blog. Mike is merely giving his opinion.

People can then determine what they think happened and come up with an opinion about what they think happened based on the facts presented by Mike, based on their knowledge of his history and integrity, and based on the merits of his opinions. I believe that’s the point of this discussion. If you don’t like it, if you don’t like what Mike reports and posts on, you can find another blog to visit and comment on. Or you can start your own blog. But don’t come here and tell Mike what he should and should not post and expect to be taken seriously. If you think you can do better start your own blog. But I think very few people will visit your blog. Since you don’t like what Mike posts about and you wish to censor his posts (but you can’t) your solution is then to demand that he stops posting that which you disagree with (or try to get him to stop posting it). You think you should be in a position to tell Mike what he should and should not post about on his blog. Which is very typical of IP extremists, censor when possible (ie: acquire broadcasting and cableco monopolies and wrongfully and unconstitutionally abuse those government granted monopolies to censor speech you don’t like. Block dissenting comments off of your blogs completely when possible or just disable comments), complain when not. and the strategy is no longer working. The public is waking up to this scam and how IP extremists have managed to subvert the democratic process to scam the public and now you’re just having a panic attack. Can’t include the public into the discussion because only your opinion should matter. Poor baby!

“And even if they’re accurate, which I doubt they are”

and who are you to doubt their accuracy? Why should I care about whether or not you doubt their accuracy? From the things that I see coming from IP extremists alone (in the comments on this blog) I find it very likely that what was said is accurate and not out of context.

The current state of IP law itself is evidence to the nefarious nature of those defending IP laws. The penalty structure is extremely one sided, the terms keep getting retroactively extended, the lengths last way too long, and those pushing for it subvert the democratic process by engaging in secretive negotiations with politicians and essentially buy the laws. It’s not difficult to tell what kind of people are behind defending IP laws and trying to expand them. They’re people with no moral conscience whatsoever who’s opinions have no merits and so much of what they say is absolute nonsense. So it’s not hard at all to believe what was allegedly said.

For examples of ridiculous things IP defenders have said

https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100305/0317058431.shtml
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100624/1640199954.shtml

IP extremists have attacked just about every new technology as being the bane of society claiming that they will enable mass infringement and destroy the movie and music industries. If anyone doubts that what was allegedly said is something these crazy and insane people would say then you haven’t been paying much attention.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Also Techdirt is not a journalistic source. Yes it may engage in ‘journalism’ from time to time but it’s an opinion blog. Mike is merely giving his opinion.

I think this is nonsense. Mike expects things presented as fact to be accepted as fact. The headline and the article present the comments from Aistars as a factual account of what she said.

and who are you to doubt their accuracy? Why should I care about whether or not you doubt their accuracy? From the things that I see coming from IP extremists alone (in the comments on this blog) I find it very likely that what was said is accurate and not out of context.

And that’s part of the problem. Mike wrote it, and lots of people take it as fact and believe it. I spoke to someone who was there, and they assure me that Aistars did not say that this criminal element is leading the reform movement and she did not say that no innovators are seeking reform. Mike presents this unsupported straw man just to knock it down. And he expects people to believe what he says. I have to wonder if he even believes it.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Can you explain why you think I’m a “lier”? (By the way, you might to learn to spell that word as proper spelling makes you seem more credible.)

By the way, you might want to learn grammar, and include all of the words in the sentence, it might make you look a little more credible. doubt it, but anything is possible.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

By the way, you might want to learn grammar, and include all of the words in the sentence, it might make you look a little more credible. doubt it, but anything is possible.

You got me there. I made a mistake. I left out a word. I erred. See, it’s easy to admit. I think there’s a difference, though. This poster has called me a “lier” before, so it seems clear that he/she doesn’t know how to spell the word. I, on the other hand, do know proper grammar, even if I make an occasional mistake grammar-wise. Regardless, I made a mistake. Mea culpa. Thank you for pointing out my error. I appreciate it. I have no trouble admitting the error, and I have no trouble thanking those who point out my errors.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

I spoke to someone who was there, and they assure me that Aistars did not say that this criminal element is leading the reform movement and she did not say that no innovators are seeking reform

You should take it up with Bloomberg Law who reported the very same quotes Mike did via a reporter in attendance. So we’ve got two reports of Aistars actually making those comments vs you – a confessed and admitted troll – insisting they didn’t happen. Guess who’s credible.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

You should take it up with Bloomberg Law who reported the very same quotes Mike did via a reporter in attendance. So we’ve got two reports of Aistars actually making those comments vs you – a confessed and admitted troll – insisting they didn’t happen. Guess who’s credible.

Mike says Aistars thinks the “criminal elements are secretly leading the copyright reform effort,” yet he didn’t cite anything from Aistars or Bloomberg that backs that up. Mike says Aistars thinks that “there is no legitimate interest in copyright reform, but that it’s really all coming from that criminal element,” yet he didn’t cite anything from Aistars or Bloomberg that backs that up. You appear to have read the Bloomberg piece. Can you quote us any language from it that backs up either of those two claims?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

“Mike expects things presented as fact to be accepted as fact.”

No, this is something you made up out of nowhere. Mike attempts to present the facts the best he could and allows the reader to determine for himself what alleged facts to believe, what not to believe, and how to interpret the facts.

“Mike wrote it, and lots of people take it as fact and believe it. “

It’s not that people take what was alleged to have happened as ‘fact’ it’s that Mike presents us with the facts the best he could that

“A permanently paywalled article alerted me to some of the claims made on one panel, that I’ve since confirmed from an attendee at the conference”

and the reader is to be the judge of what they think happened. They can use different factors such as Mike’s history, his reputation and judgement, his reasoning/logic, and the reader’s own reasoning and logic to determine what they think might have happened. That’s the point of having this presented in a discussion, so that we can discuss it.

“I spoke to someone who was there”

and who are you that I should take seriously or believe a word you say?

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

No, this is something you made up out of nowhere. Mike attempts to present the facts the best he could and allows the reader to determine for himself what alleged facts to believe, what not to believe, and how to interpret the facts.

I disagree that Mike does “the best he could.” I think he hears a couple of things and spins into the most ridiculous version of the “truth” that he can. This post is a prime example.

It’s not that people take what was alleged to have happened as ‘fact’ it’s that Mike presents us with the facts the best he could that

He presents it as fact, and people here accept it as such. There’s no hedging on his part. He claims that Aistars said those things. His headline insists that she said it, and that these other unnamed people agreed. The whole post is bullshit.

and the reader is to be the judge of what they think happened. They can use different factors such as Mike’s history, his reputation and judgement, his reasoning/logic, and the reader’s own reasoning and logic to determine what they think might have happened. That’s the point of having this presented in a discussion, so that we can discuss it.

And the comments make clear that no one other than me questions what he’s said. They accept his account, as unsupported as it may be, because it feeds into the TD narrative that “they” are clueless. The only thing this post shows is that Mike doesn’t care about getting the facts right and that the people here can’t wait to agree.

and who are you that I should take seriously or believe a word you say?

I’m just commenting. I don’t expect you to believe me without proof. If I were writing a post where I claimed that so-and-so had said something, I’d back it up. I’d link to that article that supported my claims, even if it were behind a paywall. I’d name that person who was there. I’d base my claims on the quotes that I provided, not based on some crazy, extremist takeaway that the provided quotes don’t support. I think you give Mike way too much credit. I think you give the readers here way too much credit. Everyone here gulps up Mike’s claims wholeheartedly. Anyone who dares to challenge him is summarily “reported” for the blasphemy of thinking for himself and sharing that opinion. TD is the worst echo chamber I’ve ever seen. Hands down.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

“I disagree that Mike does “the best he could.””

and why should I care.

“I think he hears a couple of things and spins into the most ridiculous version of the “truth” that he can.”

Why should I care what you, personally, think.

I don’t see where he’s spinning anything and I hardly find what allegedly happened to be unlikely. IP defenders have a very long history of saying very ridiculous things so how is what allegedly happened unlikely? It’s not. It’s very likely to be exactly what happened and I (reasonably) believe it’s probably what happened. Do I know this with absolute certainty? No but I would argue it’s more likely to be true than not.

“I don’t expect you to believe me without proof. If I were writing a post where I claimed that so-and-so had said something, I’d back it up. I’d link to that article that supported my claims, even if it were behind a paywall. I’d name that person who was there.”

Given that you’re some random anonymous commenter I absolutely agree, you should not be believed without proof. Mike, OTOH, has a non-anonymous reputation to maintain (a good one). You don’t (just the reputation of some random and variable anonymous nick and a bad reputation at that).

“I’d link to that article that supported my claims, even if it were behind a paywall.”

If you think you can do better then start your own blog. No one is stopping you. This isn’t your blog and no one cares what you would personally do.

“I’d name that person who was there.”

Which will then prevent you from receiving any more tips and would probably get the person involved in trouble by the crazy IP extremists who don’t want the contents of their secretive meetings revealed.

It’s common in journalism to hide ones source. The reader is then to depend on the reputation and judgement of the source revealing the information to help determine the validity of the information and whether or not it did come from a reliable source. That’s often how journalism works. The reader should also consider the likelihood of the revelation. Considering Mike generally tries to be accurate (though he’s not perfect) and the revelation is very likely to be true (IP extremists have a very long history of saying very ridiculous things) I would argue, on both grounds, that what was alleged to have happened is likely what happened. I see very little reason to doubt otherwise.

You’re only mad when Mike does it because he’s saying something that you don’t like.

For you, an anonymous person without a reputation to lose, to claim that you talked to someone who was there means nothing. You’re just an anonymous commenter and so I have no reputation to depend on and what little reputation I do have from your comments suggests to me that you would not be a very reliable source at all (ie: the fact that everyone must keep explaining basic things to you and you keep ignoring them and you act more like a troll than anything). I’ll let the reader be the judge but I suspect most readers would not take you for a reliable source.

Again, this isn’t your blog. No one cares what you would personally do. Why should I care? If you think you can do better then start your own blog. But I suspect very few would visit.

“I’d base my claims on the quotes that I provided, not based on some crazy, extremist takeaway that the provided quotes don’t support.”

It’s hardly crazy and extremist to believe that a panel of IP defenders said the above. IP defenders, once again, have a very long history of saying crazy things.

It’s funny how you consider Mike’s view to be extremist when you take the extremist view that the only way someone reporting on something should be taken seriously is to reveal their source. In fact your view has an underlying dishonest motive, to derail the person involved and prevent them from attending these panels so that the dishonest IP extremists involved in subverting the democratic process through secretive meetings can continue on with their subversion. It’s either reveal the source and get them in trouble or discredit the source revealing the information. Have you ever heard of the false dichotomy fallacy?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/False_dilemma

When your arguments are so blatantly fallacious why should you or your opinion be taken seriously?

MrTroy (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

And that’s part of the problem. Mike wrote it, and lots of people take it as fact and believe it. I spoke to someone who was there, and they assure me that Aistars did not say that this criminal element is leading the reform movement and she did not say that no innovators are seeking reform.
We shouldn’t believe Mike for mentioning some comment from an anonymous source with no citations, but we should believe you?

Mike presents this unsupported straw man just to knock it down. And he expects people to believe what he says. I have to wonder if he even believes it.
Pot, meet kettle.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

Google Drive and Dropbox don’t offer cash “rewards” to incentivize the uploading of infringing content. It’s the difference between a criminal enterprise and legit business.

Ms. Aistars comments were spot on. Sort of funny to see Masnick twist himself into a pretzel in an effort to justify his fact-deficient and careless first “draft.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Even if those who wish to offer currently protected content wish to participate in the democratic process to abolish IP laws so that they can (legally) do so there is nothing criminal about that. It’s called democracy. Everyone is (or should be) legally allowed to participate in the democratic process. There is nothing ‘worrying’ about this and, is in fact, a sign of a healthy democracy.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Please provide an example of Techdirt smearing anyone just because they’re standing up for their rights. I don’t remember this happening. When I see critical articles, the criticism isn’t because someone is standing up for their rights, it’s because they’re trampling on the rights of others.

Can you point to a single post by Mike where he (1) said that he thinks authors should have any exclusive rights in their works in the first place, or (2) spoke positively about someone enforcing their exclusive rights?

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Can you point to a single post by Mike where he (1) said that he thinks authors should have any exclusive rights in their works in the first place, or (2) spoke positively about someone enforcing their exclusive rights?

What is with the loaded, one-sided questions, AJ? (BTW: When did you stop beating your wife?) Why would Mike answer either of those questions if he is not 100% sure that our current copyright scheme is the best way to do things? Your questions limit him to what we currently have and completely eliminate other solutions.

Mike has explained (to you specifically, even) that he feels that artists should be compensated based on his personal morals and also that he’s not convinced that our current copyright laws are the best way to do that or the best way to benefit our society.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

What is with the loaded, one-sided questions, AJ? (BTW: When did you stop beating your wife?) Why would Mike answer either of those questions if he is not 100% sure that our current copyright scheme is the best way to do things? Your questions limit him to what we currently have and completely eliminate other solutions.

Really? Mike states opinions all of the time even when he’s not 100% sure. This post is a good example.

Mike has explained (to you specifically, even) that he feels that artists should be compensated based on his personal morals and also that he’s not convinced that our current copyright laws are the best way to do that or the best way to benefit our society.

Mike won’t answer the question as to whether he thinks authors and artists should have any exclusive rights. He has made clear that the only thing that’s wrong with infringement is that the rightholder doesn’t like it. He’s also made clear that he thinks there should no such thing as criminal infringement. If he can form an opinion about criminal infringement, surely he can form one about civil infringement. It seems obvious that he doesn’t think they should have any rights, yet he won’t ever just say that. I don’t buy for one minute that it’s because he can’t formulate an opinion on the matter. Mike clearly has lots and lots of opinions, all of them based on incomplete information. I think it’s just that he doesn’t want to admit it. He’s really worried about being labeled as anti-copyright or pro-piracy, for some weird reason.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

I think it’s just that he doesn’t want to admit it. He’s really worried about being labeled as anti-copyright or pro-piracy, for some weird reason.

This is where your disconnect happens AJ. You keep trying to pigeonhole Mike into narrow labels.

I also happen to believe that artists should be compensated for their work, but am not sure our current copyright system is the best way to do so. That doesn’t make me “anti-copyright” nor “pro-piracy” whatsoever, it makes me “pro-artist” more than anything else.

If our current system isn’t benefiting society as it should, then we should scrap it (including the exclusive rights you keep yapping about) and start over. Or we should revise the current system to make it better. That also is not “anti-copyright” nor “pro-piracy”, it’s “pro-societal benefits”.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Yes actually. It was a few articles about the Oatmeal wanting recognition for his comics and ended up being sued. There are string of articles and I don’t remember which one it was exactly but you can do a search for Oatmeal in Techdirt for the full listing.

Was that about exclusive rights, or about attribution (which is not an exclusive right)?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

Attribution is the exclusive right that belongs to an author, and is the only right that does not lapse, so long as the authors name is known. Also it is the only right that cannot be sold, or otherwise transferred. It is a natural right, along with the right to publish, destroy, or leave it for other to decide as to whether a work should be published. As a right, attribution, and control of first publication, are as old as the invention of writing.
What you insist on calling rights are the artificial rights, created by law, to control copying. As such these are much more restrictions on other peoples rights, with the maximalists trying to extend these restriction to what owners of copies are allowed to do with copies.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Attribution is the exclusive right that belongs to an author, and is the only right that does not lapse, so long as the authors name is known. Also it is the only right that cannot be sold, or otherwise transferred. It is a natural right, along with the right to publish, destroy, or leave it for other to decide as to whether a work should be published. As a right, attribution, and control of first publication, are as old as the invention of writing.
What you insist on calling rights are the artificial rights, created by law, to control copying. As such these are much more restrictions on other peoples rights, with the maximalists trying to extend these restriction to what owners of copies are allowed to do with copies.

I’m talking about actual rights that can actually be enforced in an actual court of law. There are no attribution rights in the U.S., save for the limited ones in Section 106A for certain works of visual art. I don’t think those rights apply to “The Oatmeal.” So that’s not an example of Mike supporting anyone’s exclusive rights (the ones that are actually enforceable, not the natural ones that you’re referring to which aren’t legally cognizable).

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I’m talking about actual rights that can actually be enforced in an actual court of law.

see USL v. BSD where the counterclaims by University of California, Berkeley involved removal of the copyright notices, which were the normal BSD type attribution license, and their restoration in the settlement. So yes, attribution can be brought to court.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

see USL v. BSD where the counterclaims by University of California, Berkeley involved removal of the copyright notices, which were the normal BSD type attribution license, and their restoration in the settlement. So yes, attribution can be brought to court.

Thanks for the link. If I understand that correctly, it’s talking about a license condition. If the condition is not met, it’s infringement. But that doesn’t make the license condition an exclusive right. It’s a condition, that if not met, means that the exclusive copyright right is violated. But the condition itself is not an exclusive right. What’s enforced is the exclusive right the condition attaches to, not the condition itself. Regardless, the point is that Mike, as far as I know, has never supported any exclusive rights for authors and artists.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Good lord. I’m not going to answer your questions for two reasons.

First, your questions have been answered repeatedly over the years and yet you pretend that they have not (because you don’t like the answers, I think). Second, your questions have nothing to do with what I asked, and so serve as nothing but a transparent attempt to change the subject.

I am actually interested in the answer to my question.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

First, your questions have been answered repeatedly over the years and yet you pretend that they have not (because you don’t like the answers, I think).

Yes, you’ve claimed before that the answer is obvious and that it’s been stated many times. I’ll ask you the same question I’ve asked you before when you’ve claimed this: What’s the answer? It should be easy for you to tell me the answer since you’ve seen it so many times. Let’s have links and quotes, if you don’t mind. Thanks.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

Again you ask an impossible question, as the answer requires that you read and understand what Mike has said about copyright in the various articles he has published.

Why’s it impossible? Mike has definitively stated that he thinks there should absolutely never be any criminal liability for infringement. Seems like he can form an opinion there. But then as to whether there should ever be civil liability for infringement, he’s completely unable to form an opinion? That doesn’t make sense. I have read his posts, and I’ve been trying to figure this out for years. I know his answer will be imperfect. Everyone’s opinions are imperfect. I know he doesn’t know for a fact what the absolute best system would be. Nobody does. I just want his opinion, yes or no or whatever it may be, as to whether he thinks that authors should have any exclusive rights. He simply will not answer that question. And everyone who claims that he has answered it, so far, has been unwilling/unable to explain what his answer is.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

I just want his opinion, yes or no or whatever it may be, as to whether he thinks that authors should have any exclusive rights.

The thing is, it HAS been answered, just not in a concrete, pin-you-down and lock-you-into-a-label sort of way you want.

My personal answer is this:

If empirical evidence shows that exclusive rights for creators is the best system for the creator and society as a whole – the answer is yes.

If empirical evidence shows that exclusive rights for creators isn’t the best system for the creator and society as a whole – the answer is no.

Now, you supply all the empirical evidence required and I will give you a yes or no answer.

As it stands now, from what I have gleaned, my answer is no. A couple of hundred years ago when the first copyright laws were written and when the length of copyright was sane and the Public Domain was being replenished regularly, my answer would have been yes.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

The thing is, it HAS been answered, just not in a concrete, pin-you-down and lock-you-into-a-label sort of way you want.

I think he purposefully avoids taking a firm position precisely because he doesn’t want to be pinned down.

My personal answer is this:

If empirical evidence shows that exclusive rights for creators is the best system for the creator and society as a whole – the answer is yes.

If empirical evidence shows that exclusive rights for creators isn’t the best system for the creator and society as a whole – the answer is no.

Now, you supply all the empirical evidence required and I will give you a yes or no answer.

As it stands now, from what I have gleaned, my answer is no. A couple of hundred years ago when the first copyright laws were written and when the length of copyright was sane and the Public Domain was being replenished regularly, my answer would have been yes.

I appreciate you sharing your views. I guess my first question to you is how we determine what this “best system” would look like. What you think is best likely differs from what I think is best. And the problem with empiricism generally is that it’s hard to measure these things, assuming you could even identify them, and it’s nearly impossible to compare them, even if we could measure them. I think the empirical approach raises more questions than it answers, and as far as foundations go, it’s not a very good one.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

“I guess my first question to you is how we determine what this “best system” would look like.”

You model which would result in the most economic and/or artistic output. You study different government’s systems which will necessarily have different levels of protection and you measure their output per capita.

“What you think is best likely differs from what I think is best.”

Output is the measure the framers were interested in. It’s the entire point of copyright.

“I think the empirical approach raises more questions than it answers, and as far as foundations go, it’s not a very good one.”

Then we have nothing, because we’re certainly NOT going to make good policy based on feelings and/or anecdotals.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Output is the measure the framers were interested in. It’s the entire point of copyright.

I think that’s a ridiculous view of what the Framers thought, not that I think it matters too much what they thought. I’m happy to discuss this with you, but first I think you need to man up and admit that you were wrong to (1) attribute that other person’s claim to me that you said I wouldn’t defend, and (2) acknowledge that your answer about trademark rights didn’t address my questions about copyright rights. Can’t you admit a simple mistake? We all make them. The better of us admit them. I mean, even RD of all people, thinks you’re wrong. That should tell you something.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Your suggestion then, is that copyright does not result in the most economic/artistic output.

I consider that wildly incorrect, with the post-Napster era being a very ugly and long-term bonafide example.

But I’d like to hear why you disagree with me. Just word it as succinctly as I did- No tl;dr allowed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:9 Re:

Artistic output is dependent on people having time to create, and being able to afford any necessary equipment and consumables. This time include that spent learning how to create. People create for various reasons, with making a living being low on the list of reasons. The advice given to all authors is do not give up the day job.
Once a work has been created, then copyright kicks in, including its negative impact on publication of derivative/fan fiction works. The Internet has made publishing easy, and the creators problem, if they intend to make a living from their creativity, is to build a large enough paying fan base to support them. As a result of this, many more works are published, as any search of the Internet will reveal. For most of these creators, copyright is largely a non issue, as they cannot afford the lawyers to protect their copyrights, and the circulation of free copies brings in new fans.
Copyrights primary use has always been as a means to transfer control over a work to a publisher, where it allows the publisher to make a profit, and occasionally a wildly successful creator or performer to make a fortune. However these traditional publishers are finding that they have increasing competition from self publishers, and not just one or two, but thousands of them. Given that many of them use various creative common licenses, strong copyright is not needed to stimulate the creation of new works. Further a creator’s income from their works, or support via crowd funding, is dependent on them building a fan base, and this is most easily accomplished by allowing free circulation of copies of their works, which is the opposite of what copyright provides.
Note that the RIAA figure, and increasingly the MPAA figures are not a measure of new works being created, and creative output is not shrinking, but rather is growing, its just that the companies that make up those organizations are not gaining control over new works, or getting to keep most of the profit from the works to themselves.

idirtyant says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

“I think he purposefully avoids taking a firm position precisely because he doesn’t want to be pinned down.”

Even if that’s true, and I’m not saying it is, there is nothing wrong with it. I’m betting loads of people don’t have a firm position on copyright yet. I certainly don’t. Whether it’s on purpose or not is irrelevant and none of your damn business anyways.

You, on the other hand, do have a firm and unyielding position. Do you find yourself being pinned down because of it? If not, then why would you expect Mike to be? If so, then you can easily empathize with Mike’s position. So which is it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

Actually, this site does have a firm position. It just refuses to openly admit to it. It is staunchly opposed to any patent and copyright laws that are in any way inconsistent with what it asserts is the meaning of “progress” in Article 1, Section 8, Clause 8 of the U.S. Constitution. Of course, its preferred definition is not congruent with what has been the longstanding definition of that term as articulated by our branches of government.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

The reason that I won’t answer is because there’s no point to it. Your responses to the answers are always the same (which is essentially to pretend that it wasn’t an answer) and then continue to ask the same questions ad nauseum. It’s a disingenuous, rhetorical game that there can never be an end to.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

The reason that I won’t answer is because there’s no point to it. Your responses to the answers are always the same (which is essentially to pretend that it wasn’t an answer) and then continue to ask the same questions ad nauseum. It’s a disingenuous, rhetorical game that there can never be an end to.

So you’ve seen the answer many times, yet you can’t repeat it and/or point to it. I’m convinced.

Dark Helmet (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Just want to point out that this is pure troll. AJ/antidirt was challenged to prove his statement with a citation. Instead of doing so, which would have vindicated him, he instead issues a counter-challenge that has nothing to do with his previous assertion.

1. It is possible to think authors generally shouldn’t have exclusive rights to their works in the form of copyright and not “smear” them for standing up for those rights.

2. This one is easy. Techdirt lauds well-used trademark, for instance. I’ve written those articles myself.

But, as to AJ/antidirt’s stupid little challenge, Techdirt HAS positively reported on people standing up for their IP when it’s done well. For instance: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130214/11232521985/how-to-resolve-trademark-issue-politely-without-legal-threats.shtml

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

Just want to point out that this is pure troll. AJ/antidirt was challenged to prove his statement with a citation.

Um, John wasn’t replying to me. He was replying to this comment: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141019/18125628883/copyright-maximalists-lobbyists-insist-criminal-elements-are-secretly-leading-copyright-reform-effort.shtml#c50 John asked that poster to back up that poster’s claim that Mike smears “creators who stand up for their rights on a daily basis…”

Care to retract?

But, as to AJ/antidirt’s stupid little challenge, Techdirt HAS positively reported on people standing up for their IP when it’s done well. For instance: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130214/11232521985/how-to-resolve-trademark-issue-politely-witho ut-legal-threats.shtml

You’ve moved the goalposts. I asked about copyright rights, not trademark rights, in this comment: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141019/18125628883/copyright-maximalists-lobbyists-insist-criminal-elements-are-secretly-leading-copyright-reform-effort.shtml#c223 Here’s what I said: “Can you point to a single post by Mike where he (1) said that he thinks authors should have any exclusive rights in their works in the first place, or (2) spoke positively about someone enforcing their exclusive rights?”

Try again?

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

What a joke. You don’t admit shit. You’re not really in any position to make demands.

How is it a “joke”?

Dark Helmet claimed that I had made some claim that I refused to defend. He cited this as proof that I’m a troll. But the reality is that someone else made that claim and wouldn’t defend it. Dark Helmet claimed that my question about IP rights was easily dismissed since Mike supports trademark rights to some extent. But the reality is that my question was specifically about copyright rights.

Don’t you think Dark Helmet should admit that he was wrong? I do. And it’s very, very telling that he won’t. I’m happy to admit when I’m wrong. Why isn’t Dark Helmet admitting that he’s wrong here? And not just wrong once, but twice. Why aren’t you asking him to admit his mistake?

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:7 Re:

I think you should stop perpetuating this internet pissing contest you have with ANYONE who takes even the slightest exception to what you say.

So Dark Helmet can attempt to call me out with two completely wrong assumptions, and you don’t think there’s anything wrong with that? I disagree. I think he should man up and admit his mistake. I would.

RD says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

“So Dark Helmet can attempt to call me out with two completely wrong assumptions, and you don’t think there’s anything wrong with that?”

No, this is the one instance you are right. But you are wrong in NEARLY EVERY OTHER CASE, that this sort of thing becomes like the boy who cried (whined) wolf, that even when you are right, you are still just perpetuating your hard-on against Mike and this site, and your “I must be right on the internet!!!” pissing contest.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:8 Re:

It’s not a personal attack if it’s not factually proven. It’s especially not a personal attack if it’s a fact you revel in, which you did, in your neverending quest to shove your middle finger up Masnick’s asshole.

I could personally attack you, but I have personal rules against cruelty to animals.

JMT says:

Re: Re:

Don’t for a second claim that this is creators standing up for their rights. That’s BS. This is legacy industry corporations standing up for their “right” to make as much profit as possible from the creative output of others, by putting themselves between the creators and the public using bought-for laws and made-up rights.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

Don’t for a second claim that this is creators standing up for their rights. That’s BS. This is legacy industry corporations standing up for their “right” to make as much profit as possible from the creative output of others, by putting themselves between the creators and the public using bought-for laws and made-up rights.

You’ve apparently bought into the TD narrative hook, line, and sinker. Do you actually know who was on this panel? Do you actually know what they said? Do you actually delve into matters to get to the truth?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 Re:

and if it’s the case that the videos are going to me made public soon what motive does Mike have to not be careful of the validity of his claims. He has every reason to be careful of the validity of his claims.

If you turn out to be wrong though will you admit to it? Will you admit that maybe Mike actually had enough reason to believe the validity of the claims enough to post them?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

There is more chance of hell freezing over then there is of that poster admitting to being wrong. Just bookmark this page and when the video shows that the poster was wrong then link back to this page and just watch them do gymnastics and changing the subject to get out of admitting that they were wrong.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:4 Re:

If you turn out to be wrong though will you admit to it? Will you admit that maybe Mike actually had enough reason to believe the validity of the claims enough to post them?

Of course. I’m happy to admit when I’m wrong. I can almost guarantee you that Mike will not say a thing if the video comes out and shows that Aistars did not say that these “criminal elements” are “leading” the reform movement and that there’s no innovators who want reform. My understanding is that she did in fact say there are “criminal elements” who want to eradicate copyright, but she didn’t say they’re leading the movement and she didn’t deny that many people in the movement are innovators. She was merely talking about a subset of the reform movement (which makes a lot more sense than the extreme view Mike attributed to her). I think Mike will do like Dark Helmet did above–run away rather than admit a mistake. If I’m wrong, call me out, and I will readily admit it. I have no trouble admitting mistakes.

RD says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“Of course. I’m happy to admit when I’m wrong.”

Bwahahahahahahahahhaahahahahahahahahahhahahahahahahha

(deep breath)

hahhahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahahaha!

No wait, you were serious? You can’t honestly expect a single person to believe that, after you have been called out literally HUNDREDS of times and yet have not once admitted to even being so much as slightly incorrect, let alone outright wrong. Even when PROVEN you were wrong, even when your being wrong was as simple as a TYPO, you refuse to admit you were wrong and instead try to turn it back on the criticizer (see the black/white/gray comment above – that is you to a ‘T’) and then keep arguing against the point.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:6 Re:

No wait, you were serious? You can’t honestly expect a single person to believe that, after you have been called out literally HUNDREDS of times and yet have not once admitted to even being so much as slightly incorrect, let alone outright wrong. Even when PROVEN you were wrong, even when your being wrong was as simple as a TYPO, you refuse to admit you were wrong and instead try to turn it back on the criticizer (see the black/white/gray comment above – that is you to a ‘T’) and then keep arguing against the point.

Link to a comment where I was wrong, explain why you think I was wrong, and if I think you’re right, I’ll admit it. I’m happy to admit errors. Let me ask you this, why isn’t anyone here calling out Dark Helmet for his mistake above? Am I held to a different standard than the people that work for TD?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:5 Re:

“My understanding is that she did in fact say there are “criminal elements” who want to eradicate copyright”

That’s a vague and useless statement. One could argue there are ‘criminal elements’ that want to eradicate gun laws. There are ‘criminal elements’ that would like to argue against drivers license laws. What’s the point of such a statement? There is nothing ‘criminal’ and no ‘criminal element’ associated with attempts to democratically change the laws.

If what was meant is that some people who break the law are trying to change it again I’m sure there are people who are break laws who are trying to change gun laws. There are people who break laws who are trying to legalize certain drugs. There are people who break the law who would like to change all sorts of laws. There are people who break the law who may not like to change any laws. Stating that there are ‘criminal elements’ because within any group of people there are people who break the law is meaningless. The point of mentioning ‘criminal elements’ behind those trying to change IP laws is to unfairly and disproportionally associate these groups with crime.

What there are criminal elements in are people (ie: the IP extremists responsible for the current state of IP laws) that attempt to subvert the democratic process through back door dealings to change the laws. Those are ‘criminal elements’. See the difference. IP supporters engage in criminal (or what should be criminal) activity to get their way and that is how they have mostly gotten their way (through democratic subversion). To say that there are criminal elements within a group of people would suggest that a huge part of what the group of people does to get what they want is criminal (ie: IP extremists engaging in back door dealings with politicians to subvert the democratic process and successfully doing so), that the group itself is supportive of these criminal activities. Simply stating that there are members within the group that break the laws as individuals is meaningless because that could be said on just about any group.

Anonymous Coward says:

I hear there’s sick people paying $1,125 per pill to treat hepatitis C.

http://www.foxnews.com/health/2014/10/11/fda-approves-hepatitis-c-drug-that-costs-1125-per-pill/

It’s time for reform. Unless you consider sick dying people paying thousands of dollar per pill, to be ‘criminals’. I’d argue the people charging over a thousand dollars a pill are the real ‘criminals’.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I know someone who is probably one of the oldest survivors of Hep C (Hep C positive for 50+ years). Those pills don’t “treat” Hep C, they just keep the liver from deteriorating at the same rate it would otherwise.

So yeah; it’s even worse than you think. Selling a dream in a pill without treating the actual problem, and then wrapping it up in copyright/patent/etc.

Anon says:

Huh?

What are we arguing about? Author writes an article based on what two sources say. He mentions specific event.

Someone *speculates* that this may not be accurate, based on zero sources, simply their interpretation of author’s point of view (and speculation bordering on character smear).

In the words of the prophet, “put up or shut up”. You have the event. You have the interpretation. Find some *evidence* the interpretation is wrong.

As for the substance – like drug dealers not wanting drugs to be legalized (which would remove their massive profit margins) pirates would not be in favour of less restrictive copyright. First, in no realistic model of copyright reform would Game of Thrones or U2’s latest album be free for the taking. (Hmm, scratch that second one). Second, inducers don’t get rich from legal access – if I can get anything I want on demand from Netflix or an audio service, there goes more than half the bitlocker-type services.

Reform would mean that owning a license would allow access from multiple devices, simpler transfer between devices and mediums, etc. The groups trying to prevent this are no different than the studios trying to prevent Betamax from infringing on their theatre and broadcast revenue stream, because home viewing would never manage to make up for that, would it?

Anonymous Coward says:

Evil Pirate Site

Techdirt is a criminal element. How dare we allow this evil site full of reasonable discussion about copyright be allowed! It is dissenting from our view, therefore it’s bad!

Coming soon, a court order for blocking this criminal site. Because, MPAA/RIAA/GEMA/EMI say to the courts, “Techdirt is a haven of criminal activity. That crime is disagreeing with us.”

Alien Rebel (profile) says:

Aistars' Intro

Introducing Sandra Aistars at these conferences as simply the “Executive Director of the Copyright Alliance” doesn’t cut it. Her title should include considerably more pedigree. When you know her past, having Sandra Aistars speak about copyright is like having a BP exec talk about environmental safety.

Her Bio / Intro should be more along these lines:

Sandra Aistars, formerly a lawyer and registered lobbyist at Wiel, Gotshal & Manges, where she represented legacy IP interests; former Vice President and Associate General Counsel at Time Warner Inc.; cleared advisor to the USTR on ACTA, while Time Warner VP; currently reigning Executive Director of the Copyright Alliance, a tumor on the backside of the Nickles Group LLC, a lobbying firm serving COMCAST, Intellectual Ventures, Koch Industries, and various other fossil fuel industry clients.

Anonymous Coward says:

P2P funds terrorism

At least things are somewhat better today than they were a decade ago, when Bush-league Attorney General Alberto Gonzales (famous for authorizing POW torture) was going around insisting that copyright infringement was funding international terrorism -yes, terrorism- (although no shred of proof was ever presented) and in order to fight this terrorism required the newly created offense of “attempting to infringe”, subject to the same harsh penalties as actual copyright infringement.

http://news.cnet.com/Justice-Dept.-pushes-stiffer-antipiracy-laws/2100-1028_3-5944612.html

Lurker Keith says:

Issue viewing pages

Chrome is reporting there is “script from unauthenticated sources” wanting to run (via a shield in the address bar; it gives the option to reload the page, allowing the script). Because Chrome is blocking it from running, it’s showing your https is otherwise, finally, properly secure (not sure when it started showing that). The shield is visible from your home page & w/in articles.

Also, the last few days, I’ve been experiencing some lag opening the Reported posts. I think this is what crashed the page a moment ago.

Anonymous Coward says:

When copyright maximalists are flat out smearing copyright reformers by insisting that they’re all just part of a “criminal” effort, it makes real discussion nearly impossible.

Two people, one believes that people who violate copyright are stealing, the other believes that copyright is wrong and content should be shared.

Do you ever think they will agree?

Taking it a step further, one believes that an abortion is murder, on believes that it is their right, do you ever think those two will agree?

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

“Two people, one believes that people who violate copyright are stealing, the other believes that copyright is wrong and content should be shared.”

The people who think that copyright is inherently wrong and should be done away with aren’t the people who are advocating copyright reform. So, at best, this is the maximalists shooting at the wrong target. Although, in reality, they’re just trying to paint anyone who disagrees with their opinion as “extremists” while completely ignoring that, by definition, the maximalist position is just as extremist as the abolitionist position.

Anonymous Coward says:

American copyright is one of the things that made this country great. Unfortunately the likes of Sonny and Cher got into writing and passing law, so today American (u.s.a.) copyright law is a laughing stock. As Americans we know we already have the highest prison population per capita in the world, so don’t rag on the Chinese for human rights violations or the theft of intellectual property rights, we have them beat hands down. Most people I know should be in jail for copyright violations, and usually for doing things they were not even aware of as being illegal. Ignorance of the law is no excuse, and ignorance by the law shouldn’t be either.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

American copyright is one of the things that made this country great.

Sorry, but not respecting copyrights and patents of foreigners was what allowed America to become great, just like the film industry moving to Hollywood to pirate Edisons technology is what allowed it to become a great industry. America is a country built on piracy that is now trying to use strong IP to prevent other countries doing what it did.

Anonymous Coward says:

The only criminals here are IP extremists that subvert the democratic process through law buying and secretive negotiations with politicians.

and how is it ‘criminal’ to disagree with the law. One can disagree with the law and seek to have it changed without being a ‘criminal’. Once the law is changed to legalize something then breaking a previously existing law is no longer illegal and so doing so would not make you a ‘criminal’. Those that participate in the democratic process to change the laws to give them the freedom to do something that was previously illegal aren’t criminals. It’s called democracy.

The only criminals here are those (IP extremists) that engage in law buying to subvert the democratic process to get the laws that they want passed using secretive negotiations with politicians.

Anonymous Coward says:

Perpetuum mobile

Antidirt: Is it black or is it white?

Everybody else: It’s gray.

Antidirt: You didn’t answer my question! Is it black or is it white?

Everybody else: We did. It’s gray.

Antidirt: No, no, no. You have to tell me if it is black or white!

Everybody else: It’s neither – it’s gray.

Antidirt: Why don’t you just answer my question: Is it black or is it white?!

Everybody else: It is gray.

Too bad this isn’t a source of energy: We would have solved all of earth’s power supply problems!

antidirt (profile) says:

From the TD Insider Chat window just now:

Violynne:

I agree, Ninja. Given the audicity TD readers have, they wasted zero time in censoring a specific user, regardless if the post wasn’t trollish at all. I FUCKING HATE this hide system TD implemented.

If users want to hide the post of a user, I have no problem with it. The problem I have is their idiotic reasoning is thrusted upon me, forcing me to unhide those comments.

If that’s not the definition of censorship, I don’t know what is.

I appreciate that this person can at least admit that it’s censorship. Censorship is not limited to the government, and it’s not limited to completely removing speech. There’s private censorship too, and making something more difficult to read is censorship. TD users are engaging in censorship at an embarrassing level. Seriously, given the values many here purport to have, you should be ashamed at what you’re doing to the dissenters. Stop making excuses. If you disagree with someone, address the merits of what they’re saying. Use more words, don’t hide words you don’t like.

Gwiz (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Seriously, given the values many here purport to have, you should be ashamed at what you’re doing to the dissenters. Stop making excuses. If you disagree with someone, address the merits of what they’re saying. Use more words, don’t hide words you don’t like.

I actually agree with you on this point.

Personally, I rarely use the report button, except for obvious spam or extremely offensive, non-productive comments.

The notable exceptions to this personal rule have been for out-of-the-blue, who wasn’t really here to engage in discussions, but to simply disrupt and for you, AJ, when all you could seem to post was stupid barnyard noises.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

From the TD insider chat window just now:

Leigh Beadon: That’s fair, Violynne, but I still have to say: many of your points are simply untrue, not a matter of opinion.

This is in no way “censorship”, nor is it the same thing we criticize others for doing

We have, as far as I can tell, the least restrictive and least moderated comment section of any blog with a significant readership. We as admins are not even personally in charge of hiding comments. We don’t ban or block commenters

And comments are never deleted, just hidden behind an incredibly mild click-wall

That’s simply not censorship

Also I think it’s a bit problematic to oppose censorship but also say you have no faith in the court of Public Opinion

the Court of Public Opinion is the ONLY Court that can work to curate and steer discussion without it being censorship

it’s when real, authoritative courts and governments step in to tell you what you can and can’t say that it becomes censorship

The public moderating its own forums is the very definition of free speech, not of censorship

Otherwise, it would be “censorship” to arrange a conference and choose who you want to speak at it, or arrange any concert or show that isn’t an Open Mic

Or to choose which politician’s sign you will place on your lawn, or to subscribe to only one newspaper

The idea that to avoid censorship you must always listen fully and completely to anything everyone says spirals out of control rather fast.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

It is a shame that the author of the “TD Insider” comment does not appear to realize that a very effective way of moderating comments on this site is to simply neither read nor respond to those that are disliked for whatever reason. Nor does he appear to realize that perhaps there are some who would actually like to read a thread to its conclusion without having to continuously un-hide comments, not to mention that the process of un-hiding does exact a toll on system resources for computers and mobile devices.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

Very funny, but we all know that doesn’t do shit.

All it’ll do is prompt you cocksuckers to spam “miek y u no debate me”, over and over and over again. Not that it’s stopped you chucklefucks from spamming the same conspiracy that everyone else is heading an anti-copyright law agenda.

But it’s not surprising that you put so much effort into unhiding each and every bawk, cluck and moo. Trolls gotta breed.

Terry Hart (profile) says:

Video and transcript

Mike, here is a link to the video of the panel that demonstrates that Sandra has been completely misquoted here and by your sources.

I’m including a transcript of the relevant portion below. To set this up, Sandra begins by noting that rhetoric around IP is more heated, but that might just be part of a larger trend of more heated political rhetoric. If you go back several decades you’ll see many similar arguments on both sides.​

Mark’s question:

It seems like the ground is shifting in recent years regarding the perception of the value of intellectual property protection. From rhetoric vilifying “big copyright” to claims about so-called “patent trolls,” the climate for those who own and assert intellectual property has become less friendly in Washington. Why has this happened, and what can be done to fix it?

Sandra’s answer:

“. . .

The one thing that I think has truly changed and is something that we should all be worried about is that, different from 40 years ago, where I think the debates were occurring really between legitimate businesses on both sides (disruptive forces seeking to move aside, maybe move forward, in different ways than the existing industries had been moving forward), I think now there is an additional element to some of these arguments that we’re hearing against intellectual property protection.

And an element that goes a little bit further than what we’ve heard before and almost seeks the entire elimination of intellectual property protection, and that element I think is coming in its most aggressive form not from any sort of innovative sector in any business, but is coming more from the, I’ll call them “criminal elements,” cyberlockers, entities like that who support and benefit from cyberlockers, and they are not interested intellectual property in any way, and I think those of us who rely on intellectual property in our business lives are just collateral damage.

What these entities are interested in is to use our works as a lure to get eyeballs to their sites, and they’re not interested in what they’re using as a lure, they’re interested in what data they’ll be able to gather on one end (and that’s the least nefarious issue). More troubling are the sort of privacy violations, the fraud, the malware, the other scams that are perpetrated by these sites, and so I think that’s the issue we need to worry about fixing, if we’re worrying about fixing anything.”

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Video and transcript

Sandra’s reply in part: “And an element that goes a little bit further than what we’ve heard before and almost seeks the entire elimination of intellectual property protection, and that element I think is coming in its most aggressive form not from any sort of innovative sector in any business, but is coming more from the, I’ll call them “criminal elements,” cyberlockers, entities like that who support and benefit from cyberlockers, and they are not interested intellectual property in any way, and I think those of us who rely on intellectual property in our business lives are just collateral damage.”

Mike writes in article: “A permanently paywalled article alerted me to some of the claims made on one panel, that I’ve since confirmed from an attendee at the conference — with the specifically nutty claim coming from the Copyright Alliance’s Sandra Aistars, insisting that the efforts for copyright reform are really coming “from criminal elements” and that no one in “any sort of innovative sector” is actually on board with copyright reform. Oh really, now? Apparently all the other panelists quickly agreed with this assertion that there is no legitimate interest in copyright reform, but that it’s really all coming from that “criminal element” which Aistars explained was really “cyberlockers and entities like that.”

Looks as though to me Mike is correct in what Sandra said.

antidirt (profile) says:

Re: Video and transcript

We have the video and the transcript. Can anyone find where she said these criminal elements are “secretly leading” the reform movement? Can anyone find where she said no one in the “innovative sector” supports reform? It’s not there. Where did everyone go who demanded I admit it if I were wrong?

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Video and transcript

” and that element I think is coming in its most aggressive form not from any sort of innovative sector in any business”

At best you can argue that Mike’s wording wasn’t perfect but, given the information he had at the time, I would argue that his portrayal of what was said was close to what was said.

OK, she didn’t use the word ‘secretly’ directly, and Mike could have worded that differently, but would you argue that those pushing for reform are ostensibly criminals? If the reform effort is coming from ‘criminals’ chances are they won’t be presenting themselves as criminals so she would have to be arguing that they are secretly engaging in criminal activity.

One could even reasonably argue that what was actually said was even more extreme than what Mike said. For instance

“The one thing that I think has truly changed and is something that we should all be worried about is that, different from 40 years ago, where I think the debates were occurring really between legitimate businesses on both sides … I think now there is an additional element to some of these arguments that we’re hearing against intellectual property protection.”

So the only ‘elements’ that the government should taken into consideration are her arbitrary definition of ‘legitimate businesses’. No one else should matter. The public and others who wish to participate in the democratic process should not matter. These laws should be about business interests and not the public interest. This is practically an admission to this. It’s insane and it shows what kind of evil people are behind IP laws. This is supposed to be a democracy and so everyone should be able to voice their opinion and effect change.

Everyone should be worried when other interests attempt to participate in the democratic process because it’s so worrying if she doesn’t get her way. She might even lose out on some (revolving door) favors from industry. Can’t have that! That she tries to portray her dissidents who try to participate in the criminal process to effect change as criminals shows what kind of fake democracy she wishes this to be.

and this is where the true criminal element comes in. The governments definition of ‘legitimate business interests’ are businesses that grease the palms of politicians and buy laws in return for offering politicians various favors.

IP and others laws should not be about the governments definition of a legitimate business interest (their definition really being an interest willing to buy politicians and personally offer them something in return for laws). They should only be about serving the public interest.

After reading the transcript I’ll admit Mike’s summary wasn’t perfect (given the limited amount of information he had at the time) but, overall, it was accurate. But antidirt will not admit to such instead choosing to nit pick at the exact wording instead of acknowledging the overall extent of the articles accuracy and that it did a good job portraying what was said with the limited information available at the time.

and it’s amazing how she mentions the constitutional basis for IP laws but fails to mention that they should not be about business interests but about promoting the progress of the sciences and useful arts and about serving a public interest. Then she mentions fairness. The constitutional origins were not about her definition of ‘fairness’. It’s not fair that those with no moral standards have managed to subvert the democratic process to buy the laws that they want. What’s fair is for laws to be democratically passed and determined.

and no one is arguing the importance of protecting jobs, the economy, and innovation. Those criticizing IP aren’t arguing against protecting those thing they are arguing that IP protections often hinder those things. But instead of addressing her criticisms she simply asserts that protecting IP is important because protecting jobs and the economy and innovation is important. That’s not addressing her critics.

Anonymous Coward says:

“Either way, now that we have the full transcript, we can see exactly what Aistars really said, which I’m glad, because it still demonstrates how Aistars and the Copyright Alliance views this debate. I stand by the assertion that this claim is simply wrong, and as far as I can tell, there is no “criminal element” anywhere in this process at all and its simply smearing for Aistars to have suggested otherwise, even if her initial claim wasn’t quite as broad as the initial report.”

I think the distinctions are minor and antidirt is just finding any sentence to nit pick over to avoid debating substance but to suggest that there is no ‘criminal element’ anywhere in the process is extreme. In any political process or movement there will be people that break laws. Republicans and Democrats have, undoubtedly, done some shady and potentially illegal things to try and get their way. That’s not to say that both parties, as a whole, are criminals. Within any movement or group of people there is bound to be someone somewhere breaking laws in all sorts of ways. The point of her bringing it up would logically be to suggest that the ‘criminal element’ within this movement and associated with those involved in it that she disagrees with is disproportional when compared to other movements and groups of people. and it’s unfair for her to disproportionately label those she disagrees with as criminals because they wish to participate in the democratic process.

Again, to be nit picky

“Copyright Maximalists And Lobbyists Insist ‘Criminal Elements’ Are A Part Of The Copyright Reform Effort [Updated]”

Yes, ‘criminal elements’ are associated with any group of people or movement to some extent. Perhaps a better title could be

“Copyright Maximalists And Lobbyists Insist ‘Criminal Elements’ Are Substantially A Part Of The Copyright Reform Effort [Updated]”

(or something … you’ll have to think about it. I don’t really care either way).

Anonymous Coward says:

Seems as if some in the phalanx of anonymous sources feeding newsworthy tidbits to this site are not exactly unbiased or skilled in objectively and accurately reporting the news. This points out precisely why waxing poetic on an issue in reliance upon hearsay is not at all a wise endeavor.

As for the rationalization provided in the update, would it have not been more useful to simply say that the original sources proved to be unreliable in this instance? Why double down when there was no need to do so.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

“would it have not been more useful to simply say that the original sources proved to be unreliable in this instance?”

Unless the source recorded the entire thing chances are they aren’t going to remember what was said verbatim. The entire thing was rather long and who’s going to remember exactly what was said at any given time (especially if they didn’t know what to specifically pay attention for ahead of time but was asked about it after the fact). Readers of the OP would naturally understand this. No one is perfect. But the source remembered the substance of what was said and confirmed that what was posted was substantially true. and I would argue it was substantially true. Not perfect, no, but substantially correct.

Anonymous Coward says:

Mike is Mischaracterizing the quote

Mike,

Sandra never said that the “criminal element” is leading copyright reform. She’s saying that the somewhat more aggressive view that is espousing the “entire elimination of intellectual property protection” is coming from the criminal element.

You have the transcript in front of you and still somehow managed to mischaracterize what she said. Congratulations.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Mike is Mischaracterizing the quote

“Sandra never said that the “criminal element” is leading copyright reform.”

What she said was pretty close.

“that element I think is coming in its most aggressive form not from any sort of innovative sector in any business, but is coming more from the, I’ll call them “criminal elements,””

The element in its most aggressive form is at least approximately the element ‘leading’ the reform. You’re just nit picking at her exact word and the ambiguous nature of her language but she basically said what Mike said. But can you admit that you are wrong? Of course not.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Mike is Mischaracterizing the quote

So it’s nitpicking to distinguish between legitimate copyright reform that bears in mind everyone’s interests, and the entire elimination of intellectual property, which serves to only benefit online businesses that want to benefit from content without actually paying for it?

Sorry, didn’t realize they were the same thing to you.

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Mike is Mischaracterizing the quote

“She’s saying that the somewhat more aggressive view that is espousing the “entire elimination of intellectual property protection” is coming from the criminal element.”

Yep, and that is just as wrong.

But Mike didn’t mischaracterize what she said. He reported what he was told was said, which was not significantly different from what she actually said. Once he was able to hear her words for himself, he corrected the post.

I’m not seeing the problem here.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Mike is Mischaracterizing the quote

I also love how people are completely defending Mike’s style of reporting as fact and offering an opinion on something he neither actually heard, nor verified before reporting. It’s like the Fox News of the tech world. Do some research for yourself and come up with your own opinions about things. It’s actually refreshing.

Anonymous Coward says:

“different from 40 years ago, where I think the debates were occurring really between legitimate businesses on both sides”

The problem is that a few decades ago the government-industrial complex has managed to remove the public from the debate so that they can disregard the public interest altogether (the only interest that matters) in favor of only considering industry interests and the interests of politicians wanting various favors (ie: revolving door favors). It’s a win-win situation for the politicians (who receive their nice revolving door favors) and for industry. The only losers are the public. They have managed to subvert the democratic process and keep the public ignorant through wrongfully acquiring broadcasting and cableco monopolies and using those monopolies to spread propaganda while unconstitutionally censoring the opposition (these are govt. granted communication monopolies and so this is effectively a government abrogation of free speech). In doing so they have managed to extend and expand IP laws and make them entirely one sided with no regard for the public interest. Granting cableco and broadcasting monopolies to private entities for commercial use is criminal, immoral, and undemocratic and unconstitutional (it’s a government abrogation of free speech where the government favors the speech of the monopoly holders) and these thugs should be in jail.

Anonymous Coward says:

“different from 40 years ago, where I think the debates were occurring really between legitimate businesses on both sides”

40 years ago is about the boundary between the era when it required factories, or expensive open real tapes to produce copies of music, and the ability of people to produce their own copies using cassette tapes. That if a change from where in practical terms, copyright was effectively industrial regulation, and where it started to impact everyone. Since them copying has only gotten cheaper and easier so that now it is an almost costless process, while the traditional publishers are fighting to make it a strictly controlled process, and under their control.
They are ignoring the fact that the ability to produce a copy is available to everyone, and so everyone now has a much greater interest in copyright laws. The traditional publishers, labels etc. by concentrating on control of copies are becoming ice sellers in an age of refrigerators. They have largely cut back on the services that are of value to creators, that is editing and marketing, because they know that it is easy to do on a computer and therefore the creator can do it, whilst trying to control the other thing that computers make easy, and which is copying.

Anonymous Coward says:

A well known academic who did not attend and who relied on hearsay likewise mocked the speaker, with his banter being joined by several other well known academics. A good time was had by all until the transcript came out. Funny, but that entire conversation on another site has now been deleted. Too bad it was not done when during the banter some took issue with what was being attributed to the speaker. The best comment of all was to the effect that the more provocative and over the top a hearsay comment is reported to be, the more likely that the report is false.

There is a reason that hearsay is to a large degree deemed inadmissible in courts of law. It is inherently unreliable This site would do well to keep this in mind and implement a healthy dose of skepticism when preparing articles.

Niall (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Bawk bawk.

You’ll see that stuff was explicitly reported as hearsay in the first place, and carefully checked with a second source, also mentioned. The speaker was not ‘mocked’ – just held up for having a potentially scary-sounding or scaremongering attitude, none of which was out of character for her or her job position.

Second of all, the moment the video and transcript became available, they were put up and the article amended, which is way way more than many ‘real’ news outlets would do, and especially the faux ones.

Thirdly, this is a news/opinion piece, not a legal submission. It used an appropriate level of ‘skepticism’.

Did you have an actual point other than antidirting?

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