Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the the-long-view dept

This week, as part of its fearmongering duties regarding the PATRIOT Act, the New York Times quoted a senior administration official as saying “we’re in uncharted waters.” This tired cliche spawned one anonymous commenter to give us our most insightful comment of the week:

No the fuck we’re not. We’ve been fine for hundreds of years. This ramping up of insanity has only been a recent blip on this country’s history.

In second place, we’ve got a comment from Just Another Anonymous Troll, who cut through the legal details to note that Sherlock Holmes being under copyright makes no sense and serves no purpose:

So glad that the corpse of Sir Arthur Conan Doyle is still able to receive royalties, just in case he spontaneously reanimates and needs to buy brains or something.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’ll start out with one more comment on the same subject from s7, this time really putting the absurd length of copyright in perspective:

Making copyright longer isn’t promoting anyone to make anything new, it just makes sure that Great Grand kids get paid for something they had nothing to do with creating, way before they were even born.

These are some things that happened in 1923. It was a LONG time ago.


Time Magazine is launched on March 3rd

The Hunchback of Notre Dame, starring Lon Chaney is released.

Women’s One Piece swimming suits begin to be worn.

The Ten Commandments directed by Cecil B. DeMille.

First Le Mans 24 hour race run in France.

The first Yankee Stadium opens its doors in the Bronx, New York City

The Hollywood Sign is inaugurated in California (originally reading Hollywoodland)

Roy and Walt Disney found The Walt Disney Company


I don’t know how long copyright should last, but it should be a lot shorter than it is now.

You could still buy a NEW Ford Model-T from Ford when these last ten stories were published for crying out loud.

Next, we’ve got a response from That One Guy to Ross Ulbricht’s sentencing. While nobody was especially surprised by the punishment, and nobody’s claiming he’s innocent, it bears noting that once again, the hammer of justice is capricious and imbalanced:

Ross Ulbricht, who created and ran a marketplace to sell illegal drugs, is sentenced to two life sentences, along with “max sentences on all other charges”, and is held personally responsible for every single sale made.

Large banks, who launder money for drug cartels, aren’t prosecuted at all, because the government sees them as ‘too big to prosecute’, and the potential economic harm too large should they do so.

Other than one of the people involved in leaking the details of it, not a single person in the US involved in the kidnapping, torture, and at times murder of enemy combatants and even civilians has faced any charges at all, without even an investigation into a single one of them.

So, to sum up:

Operate a marketplace where illegal drugs are sold: Two life sentences, held financially personally responsible for each and every sale.

Launder money for drug sellers: No investigation, no charges brought.

Order or perform the kidnapping, torture, and murder of prisoners and/or civilians: No investigation, no charges brought.

As the US ‘justice’ system, truly an icon of fair treatment for all, no matter their crime, position, or the size of their bank account. /s

Over on the funny side, we start out with what may go down in Techdirt history as a famous funny comment: Joe randomly took it upon himself to gather some stats about the Techdirt lexicon:

Techdirt Swearing stats

I get Techdirt by RSS so I had some fun checking out which author has the biggest potty mouth.

This is highly (non) scientific based on what stories were in my RSS folder this afternoon.

Pics or it didn’t happen –

Mike Masnick – 9
Karl Bode – 6
Tim Cushing – 6
Timothy Geigner – 3
Leigh Beadon – 1
Michael Ho – 0

Mike Masnick – 6
Karl Bode – 0
Tim Cushing – 6
Timothy Geigner – 3
Leigh Beadon – 2
Michael Ho – 1

Mike Masnick – 13
Karl Bode – 10
Tim Cushing – 10
Timothy Geigner – 9
Leigh Beadon – 1
Michael Ho – 0


1. Michael Ho’s mother reads all of his articles.

2. Karl Bode doesn’t like the F word.

3. Mike and Tim C are part time sailors.

Side note: stats for the word ‘shit’ include it’s presence in the term ‘bullshit’. So of the 13 times Mike said ‘shit’, only 4 of those were plain old ‘shit’, indicating a 69.2% preference for ‘bullshit’.

In second place, we’ve got a fucking response to the “reputation management” company sending out incredibly dubious threats(-ish) for a high price tag. Among the many red flags on the service, Bt Garner couldn’t ignore their hideously designed materials:

Is it just me, or does that “Notice of Infringement of Defamation” letter look like a “Participation Certificate” for a School’s Field Day where they could not afford ribbons for everyone?

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out on yet another story about police misbehavior where someone played the “what if…” card to sow fear and doubt. Eponymous Coward crafted a truly excellent response to this tactic:

Ooh, Worst-Case Scenario, the Home Version, I love this game!! My turn.

What happens when, in case 1 or 2, the cop performing the search is too busy violating his oath and the citizen’s rights to notice the bug meteor that is heading their way? His diverted attention allows the meteor to continue unimpeded, and when it strikes the ground it vaporizes 3 million soup kitchen workers and one very unfortunate alpaca named Constance. Sadly, the illegally detained citizen was a super scientist who was seconds from finishing his anti-meteor shield, and had he been able to get to his lab on time we would have been spared this horrible, alpaca-rending fate.

I’ll always win this game, because your vision of unreality is too limted.

Finally, we’ve got a comment on our post about this week’s Most Hated Man Online, Richard Prince. After we pointed out that the Washington Post was clueless in its assertion that Prince’s work means your Instagram photos aren’t really yours, one anonymous commenter thought it fair to cut them a little slack:

In a world where the RIAA argues your CDs aren’t your CDs, Facebook argues your posts aren’t your posts, and tractor companies argue your tractors aren’t your tractors – is it really surprising someone would end up making the above conclusion?

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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CK20XX (profile) says:

I’d much rather see the Ross Ulbricht case turn out like Frank Abagnale’s. There’s a guy who did a lot of stupid things in his youth and was practically thumbing his nose at the law even after he got sent to prison, but quickly turned his life around and became a productive member of society. We need to see more positive reform cases like that if people are to respect the justice system.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Actual respect is something they don’t care about, as it takes too much work and would require the system to actually be, you know, just. No, they’re perfectly happy to settle with people fearing the system.

As for reform of prisoners? Yeah, the US ‘justice’ system is not even remotely interested or aimed towards that, and in fact with how many private, for-profit prisons we’ve got, the more prisoners the better as far as the system is concerned.

Lawrence D’Oliveiro says:

On Al Jazeera This Week ...

… is doco “Searching for Steele”. James Steele is a specialist in “counter-insurgency” operations. That is, if by “counter-insurgency” you mean “to do with rounding up of anybody you suspect of links to the rebels, holding them in brutal conditions, beating and generally torturing them, and sometimes just killing them”.

He was a Colonel in charge of a group sent to help prop up the right-wing government in El Salvador during the civil war. Then he popped up in Iraq after the invasion, when it became clear that hopes for “peace”, “freedom” and “democracy” were rapidly receding into the distance. He held no official miliary rank there, but he was directly reporting to Donald Rumsfeld.

Daydream says:

Small corrections.

I’d like to note that all the recorded swear words quoted and otherwise mentioned in this post should raise Leigh Beadon’s scores as follows: ‘Fuck’ up by 3, ‘Shit’ by 7, ‘Bullshit’ by 3, with all instances of ‘Shit’ occurring in ‘Bullshit’ being separately noted as per usual procedure…

corey says:


the absurd length on the copyright is about giving control and continual revenue to corporations and other NON natural persons, who currently hold the copyright, who had absolutely NOTHING to do with creating the original work.

look at Disney as perfect example. related to the original mickey mouse.

Another point about the absurd length on copyright is it is recreating the system of “james town” failure. getting paid to do nothing, while those that work hard is getting less or equal as those not actually working.

That is why the original copyright was limited to 28 years. So those who actually worked hard got paid while those who chose not to work did not.

It also is a factor of today’s wealth inequality. those working the hardest getting barely paid while those who are not working beyond ensuring their free ride getting most of the wealth by holding said copyright.

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