Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the talk-of-the-blog dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side came in response to the UK’s absurd cartoon-based IP education program for kids. PaulT offered some interesting additional perspective on “Nancy and the Meerkats”:

This made me giggle. Meerkats have become rather popular in the UK, largely due to an entertaining series of commercials for the insurance comparison website Compare The Market (featuring a bunch of Russian meerkats discussing a website called Compare The Meerkat). The success has gone far beyond the commercials themselves, with all sorts of merchandising and other services wholly unrelated to the insurance product having sprung up. There’s little reason to think that the choice of animal here is anything other than an attempt to reference something the kids would already be familiar with in positive light.

In other words, they’re essentially trying to reach the kiddies about the evils of infringement by appropriating the successful work of someone else, and leveraging the audience that someone else built by copying their product.

“As TorrentFreak points out, the inclusion of a parody of Ed Sheeran is more than a bit eyebrow-raising, considering just how open to and grateful for piracy and filesharing Sheeran has been”

Not really. That would assume intellectual honesty and a level of self-awareness that someone openly lying in this way would not possess. Certainly not people willing to copy someone else’s product for a propaganda piece on how evil copying stuff is.

In second place, we’ve got a message from SteveMB to the democrats who voted to extend the NSA’s 702 surveillance program:

Memo to Congressional Democrats: The predictions of a “Blue Wave” in November are not based on enduring physical phenomena like tides and eclipses. They are based on the likelihood that voters in November will continue to be pissed off at the Trumpanzee while not becoming likewise pissed off at you. If you insist on pissing away the latter, don’t come running to me for an explanation of “what happened?!”

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’re not letting the UK’s anti-piracy cartoons off the hook after only one comment, so here’s another response from PaulT, this time to an old and stupid analogy:

“You wouldn’t download a car, would you?”

As is my usual answer to that particular piece of idiocy – if the car could be freely duplicated without any real cost and no loss of use for the owners of any other car on the road? Yes, I would. Just like many people started downloading their movies instead of being forced to sit through that unskippable crap on their legally purchased DVDs.

Next, it’s an anonymous musing on what happens when the kids turn out to be, y’know, not stupid:

Imagine if one of those kids knew about the problem in the youtube system. Would they be the one to respond well to this message?

“Teacher, if copyright is important and must be respected, why did *insert favorite youtuber* get his video taken down for something he made? Did they steal the copyright from him?”

Either the teacher will have no answer; stumble for an answer in front of the kid; or they will be blunt about it.

“They don’t respect our rights, but they want to force us to respect theirs.”

Over on the funny side, our first place comment is an anonymous response to the latest media freakout about changes to the Facebook news feed:

If you liked this article on the dangers of relying on social media, don’t forget to like and subscribe by clicking on the bell. Also retweet us, share on Pintrest, post on Reddit, message your friends using snapchat, take selfies of you watching the videos, and give us a shoutout on your “XXX reacts to this article!” video you make on Youtube.

Did I miss any “Teh Socials?”

In second place, we’ve got an anonymous reply to one of our regular critics whining about an “anomaly” or something (I can’t be bothered to figure out what he’s on about):

Congratulations you?ve found your one millionth anomaly!

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we’ve got a proposal from DannyB for the copyright troll facing a judge who questions the very existence of their “experts”:

Can’t some of the experts submit depositions stating that the other experts actually exist? Then those experts can swear that the first group also exists.

Finally, we’ve got an anonymous commenter on our post about Kodak’s strange blockchain plans, going straight to the logical conclusion of anti-piracy obsession:

Print screen is the work of the devil and needs to be criminalize at any cost.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
ECA (profile) says:

If we could..

WE HAVE a law about truth in advertising and it gets enforced, once in a while..
WHY cant we get that for TRUTH in what the corps and our gov say..

Its getting REALLY deep in this world..and we are SUPPOSED to be the better country..Everywhere ELSE is supposed to be ridden with lies, conspiracies, BS..
WE SHIP our garbage out, WHY cant we do it with BS..

The Wanderer (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Writing the history

First, I think you’re misreading the sentence; as I read it, it doesn’t say that the truth depends on who is writing the history, it says that one’s definition of ‘truth’ depends on who is writing the history.

Second, I think your stated definition of truth misses the mark.

The way I usually put it is that "facts are about observation, truth is about understanding". Think about your classic detective story: the detective observes the available facts, and it is only in understanding what those facts mean that the truth of what happened is identified.

Truth must be based in/on fact, and a truth once understood can become a fact on which to stand in reaching further truths, but to equate truth and fact is to foreclose on an IMO very useful nuance of the concepts.

discordian_eris (profile) says:

Re: Re: Copyrights and Respect

The following ‘license’ from Smashwords is one of the many reasons I have zero respect for copyright anymore. It continues the BS that started with the software industry in the 70s and takes it to the extreme. They are well aware that their ‘license’ is bullshit, and they simply do not care about actual copyright law. In that regard they are really no different from most of the IP community.

Smashwords License Statement

This ebook is licensed for your personal enjoyment only. This ebook may not be re-sold or given away to other people. If you would like to share this book with another person, please purchase an additional copy for each person. If you’re reading this book and did not purchase it, or it was not purchased for your use only, then please return to and purchase your own copy. Thank you for respecting the hard work of this author.

As you can see, they have zero respect, or even basic understanding of the right of first sale. It has been pointed out to them and their response is that e-books are different and that the purchaser has no rights whatsoever. This attitude is so common now that it is the new normal. You see corporations like the NFL (hell, all of the major sports leagues) repeatedly claim ‘rights’ that simply do not exist. So zero respect for any of them and their copyrights.

Until sanity returns to the field of copyright law, a pox on all of their houses.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: Copyrights and Respect

Copyright law has been extended into places that merely have a cursory brush with IP – and by cursory brush, I mean that a content creator or copyright holder just happens to be involved. Copyright law has fuck all to do with critique, but that hasn’t stopped copyright holders from arguing that copyright law protects them from negative feedback.

Copyright law has become a ridiculous hammer that automatically treats everyone else as a hapless nail because plaintiffs know that judges will always give them the benefit of the doubt. Fuck that noise.

discordian_eris (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Copyrights and Respect

The judiciary is the US has been in the position of being bent over with their pants down to their ankles for a long time.

Stare decisis and the fanatical way so many judges adhere to it has been ruinous to the moral fabric of the judicial branch. See:

Slavish devotion to precedent is extremely problematic. The biggest problem with the judiciary and the law in general in the US is that so much of it based, rather openly, on pure sophistry. Copyright law, as professed by the IP industry is a good example. As is the ‘qualified immunity’ BS doctrine. To be honest, Techdirt exists almost exclusively to highlight this type of BS and inform people about the sophistry inherent in the system.

Dingledore the Previously Impervious says:

RE: Meer

"Meerkats have become rather popular in the UK, largely due to an entertaining series of commercials for the insurance comparison website Compare The Market."

That’s not strictly true. Meerkats became popular in the UK "due to the BBC’s Planet Earth series. Before Planet Earth most British people wouldn’t have known a meerkat from any other mongoose.

The advertising campaign picked up on this popularity and convenient pun on the name.

Anonymous Coward says:

Speaking of funny and insightful stuff about Facebook feeds, I happened to see Tim O’Reilly discuss this recently. Basically he said:

“Remember how Facebook tried a few years ago to change the feeds to make user’s happier and the whole world freaked out? But when a company says they are changing a feature to make more money everyone accepts that as a totally normal business goal. Why is money a better goal to pursue then happiness? How did we get to the point where a company NOT squeezing profit out of you is somehow evil?”

I am totally paraphrasing, but I thought it was an interesting point. I dug around and found that the change back in 2014 was indeed met with a lot of resistance:

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