Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the law-as-weapon dept

This week, and our first place comment for insightful scored pretty high on the funny side too (though not quite enough to break the top two). After it was discovered that Islamic extremists were using the YouTube copyright dispute process to get personal data on critics, Jon Renaut noted that technically this fulfills an old fearmonger prophecy:

They keep telling us that copyright infringement helps terrorists and now look – sure enough, the laws we made them pass to stop infringement are finally doing it.

By comparison, our next example of abusing the law is less disturbing, but that doesn’t make it any less stupid: a pianist is trying to use the (European) Right To Be Forgotten to take down a four-year-old bad review in the (American) Washington Post. Yeah. S. T. Stone summed up what this suggests about the artist:

A man who believes they should have the right to edit the views of others is asking for censorship?and he is doing so only so he can comfort his own ignorance.

I would rather read ten bad reviews of anything I’ve ever created than a single “edited” good review; at least the bad ones would tell me how I fucked up and give me ideas of how to improve in the future.

Dejan Lazic would rather tell other people what to think about him than hear honest opinions about his work. That alone says more about why this man should not be called an ?artist? than any other work he has ever produced.

And as long as we’re talking about stupid legal reactions to Google like the right to be forgotten itself, let’s use our first editor’s choice for insightful to look at Germany, where a top publisher has admitted that blocking the search engine from using snippets caused its traffic to plummet — and is now seeking yet another legal solution, claiming Google is too powerful. David elegantly explained just how misguided this is:

They fail to understand

It’s not “Google” with overwhelming power in the market. It’s the value of search engines, in general, in the information market. They cannot seem to understand that no matter what they do to Google, or any other search engine, their content is simply undiscoverable without them.

This is a perfect symbiosis. They provide content, Google provides the pathway for people looking for content to THEIR content! And they keep wanting to find some way to screw it up.

Last up on the insightful side, we’ve got a response to one of our least convincing critics defending David Bowie’s right to block astronaut Chris Hadfield from continuing to share his outer space rendition of Space Oddity. One anonymous commenter neatly (though, I’m sure, futilely) explained why the entire situation is absurd:

We are talking about a song that was released in 1969, the year man first walked on the Moon. To many people the moon walk is an incident from history, but a song first released before they were born is still under copyright.

Over on the funny side, we head to the rare news of a court telling the government it can’t just use “state secrets” as a catch-all excuse. This doesn’t happen very often, and AricTheRed took first place for funny when he thought of a great way to illustrate that:

I’m Inspired!

I’m going to teach my dog a new trick.

I’ll say “State Secrets”

And he’ll just lay down and roll over. It will be awesome!

For second place, we head to a court battle about AOL’s terms of service which led to a disturbing 4th Amendment ruling. Michael recognized that it was time to sound the alarm:

All six of those people still using AOL should definitely stop right away.

(Amusing, though the truth you might not expect is that 2-million people are still subscribed to AOL dialup.)

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start with a response to the news that the CIA Torture Report may finally be released. Sorrykb took a shot at predicting what it might look like:

?????? CIA ??????????????? ???????? ???????????
????????? because ??????????????? terrorism ???
???????????????????????justified ??????????????
????????? 9/11 ??????????????? terrorism ??????
???????????????? bad guys ?????????????????????
??? children!????????????????????????????and
?????????????????? OMG terrorism ??????????????
????? John Yoo ????????????????????????????????
?a ctions?????????????? really bad guys ??????????
?????entirely??????????? ? ???????legal.

Last but not least, after UK libraries began protesting draconian copyright laws by putting empty display cases where they’d like to be showing historical documents like wartime letters from WW1 soldiers, one anonymous commenter reined us in and reminded us just how important copyright is to promote creativity in cases like this:

The soldier who didn’t write

Soldier #1: Why aren’t you writing letters to send home to your wife and family?

Soldier #2: I don’t want someone else to potentially profit off of my hard work writing that letter by putting it on display in a Library or something!

Soldier #1: But how will you keep in touch with your family then?

Soldier #2: I won’t, it’s a small price to pay for making sure that greedy people who want everything for free won’t profit off of my writing without paying me.

Soldier #1: But who would pay for a copy of your letters, besides your family?

Soldier #2: Well… fans of me… if I ever hypothetically become famous… I wouldn’t want to lose some of my hypothetical wealth to libraries just putting my letters on display for free! Scarcity is a good thing for increasing my potential hypothetical wealth!

That’s all for this week, folks!

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

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Rikuo (profile) says:

“They keep telling us that copyright infringement helps terrorists and now look – sure enough, the laws we made them pass to stop infringement are finally doing it”

Copyright will inevitably end in murder, literally. Eventually someone will get pissed off enough at a piece of content being under copyright that they want to use freely that they will murder the copyright holder and then patiently wait for 70 years before using it.

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