Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the owner's-remorse dept

The ownership situation around things like DVDs has always been somewhat contentious, and this week manufacturers made yet another attempt to use copyright to completely undermine the concept of ownership. James Burkhardt took most insightful comment of the week by raising the excellent point that if you are indeed licensing not owning, there should be additional responsibilities on the other side:

I think the big story here is that by this logic I should get replacements for any lost, stolen or broken DVDs/Blue-Rays. Because its not the disc I am buying. Its access to that content in a specific format. And my access to that content shouldn’t be limited to the Temporal nature of the delivery mechanism.

More seriously, Music tried this very argument against format shifting (ripping and using an MP3 player), that we only bought the music in the cd format. It failed.

Meanwhile, we called out the MPAA over its strategizing on how to make internet censorship sound like a good thing. One dreary and unoriginal commenter accused us of hypocritically hating Hollywood while being “addicted” to its content, and another anonymous commenter took second place for insightful by disarming this loaded question:

We don’t like Hollywood because they seek too much control over things more important than they are, and don’t care about the broader consequences. If you hate the Internet so much, why are you posting here?

For editor’s choice, we head to a precursor to the DVD ownership battle this week: a very similar dispute over the software in GM cars, with the automaker claiming it still owns all the software even if you own the vehicle. That One Guy momentarily rose above the legal morass and pointed out how utterly, fundamentally stupid this is:

This really shouldn’t be that difficult

If a piece of software is required for something to run, whether it’s a car, or tractor, or whatever, then the idea that the software and hardware should be treated as separate items is ridiculous.

No one buys a vehicle and believes that they are making two purchases(or a purchase and a license in this case), one for the car, and one for the software required for it to run. That would be like buying the car, but licensing the wheels. One does nothing without the other, so the idea that they should be treated as separate items is absurd. The customer may not have bought the software itself, but they most certainly should be recognized as having bought a copy of it, and be free to do with it as they will, even if that involves cracking or bypassing any DRM infections.

Next, we’ve got a simple and anonymous rebuttal to our assertion that the TPP isn’t really about trade:

Actually, it IS about trade…

It’s about trading our last remaining freedoms for even more corporate profits.

This week, the funny side of the votes absolutely dominated things, with even second place for funny pulling far ahead of first place for insightful in votes. What’s more, both our top funny comments came from the same person, Violynne, and both on posts about Sony’s hamfisted response to its leaked emails. In first place is a response to our simple message to Sony over a threat letter we received, “go pound sand”:

I get the “go” part, but “pound” doesn’t rhyme with “buck” and “sand” isn’t a synonym for “yourself”.

In second place, it’s a personal tale of reading the leaked emails:

I tried to view the file.

I downloaded it. Moments later, I started noticing my internet traffic was increasing as a rootkit was sending information to Sony regarding files I had on my own computer.

When I tried to open it, I was greeted by an FBI warning message, which I quickly ignored.

Once the warning was over, I had to spend 15 minutes watching previews of other leaked emails I had no interest in.

Finally, once the file loaded, a message came up stating the device I was using wasn’t authorized to view the document. To bypass this restriction, I could pay Sony a fee of $14.99, which allows me a 24 hour access to the file.

I declined.

Being frustrated, I decided to torrent the DRM-free file, opened it in a PDF view, then hysterically laughed my ass off at the irony of a company, once again, having no understanding of how to treat people like people.

Go to hell, Sony.

Since Sony took a beating in the funny winners, we’re going to let the MPAA and Hollywood as a whole take a beating in the editor’s choice. First, we’ve got an anonymous theory about just what the MPAA was thinking when it pirated Google video content to make its own material:

MPAA lawyer –
Your honor: To prove Goliath, er Google, is the biggest threat to copyright ever, I’d like to submit Exhibit A, our willful infringement using Google’s own video found by using

And finally, we’ve got Simon with a followup to Chris Dodd’s request that every movie studio donate $40,000 to Rep. Goodlatte’s election campaign:

“Chris, we find this acceptable, here’s a check for $184”.

“But it’s supposed to be $40,000!”

“Hollywood accounting Chris, Hollywood accounting.”

That’s all for this week, folks!

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