This Week In Techdirt History: February 18th – 24th

from the past-tense dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, the Harlem Shake was still taking the world by storm, and serving as a great example of selective copyright enforcement. WIPO negotiations over access to copyrighted works for the disabled were, as usual, shrouded in secrecy, while an anti-piracy group was threatening the Pirate Party with criminal charges, the RIAA was moaning about Google’s lack of an anti-piracy magic wand, and ISPs were gearing up to enact the Six Strikes program. On the other hand, the European Copyright Society was arguing against the idea that linking and framing are forms of infringement, a court tossed out an attempt to block CNET from offering BitTorrent downloads, and the CCIA was making the interesting argument that Germany should be on the Special 301 naughty list… for its attacks on fair use.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, torrent users were fighting back against Comcast’s traffic shaping program by amping up their encryption efforts, while Comcast was weakly defending the practice by rolling out non-experts. Australia joined the list of countries considering the idea of kicking file sharers off the internet (even as, the same week, they declared their previous $89-million internet filtering plan a failure). Meanwhile, nobody could actually explain why stopping file sharing is an ISP’s responsibility — indeed, as the US freaked out about P2P, the EU was investing in it; and as ISPs were starting to insist they can’t offer unlimited access, mobile operators were pivoting to do exactly that.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2003, the Lexmark printer ink case was waking some people up to the DMCA’s potential for abuse. The Turner Broadcasting chairman who called all TiVo users thieves was stepping down, while Hollywood was trying to recruit piracy informants, and Congress was trying to hash out a weak “compromise” on copyright. Meanwhile, the news arrived that Overture would be buying Alta Vista, in what appeared to be another nail in the erstwhile search giant’s coffin — right around the same time that people were starting to seriously talk about the idea of a Google IPO (which would arrive the following year).

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Comments on “This Week In Techdirt History: February 18th – 24th”

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discordian_eris (profile) says:


Y’all were particularly prescient on the potential for abuse of the DMCA. From printers, to coffee pods to John Deere tractors and everything in between.

Now I honestly wonder when someone is claim that, say, converting or editing the format of an ebook you own violates the DMCA. After all, it was encrypted with ROT13. Twice.

Note: I’m talking about a non-DRM encumbered ebook such as an EPUB, not the ‘Zons AZW format.

Anonymous Coward says:

This week in tech news 2018

I’m posting this because I believe all of us in the firearms community should read it. I apologize if the text isn’t quoted. I can’t figure out how to do it from my phone. But here goes:

Posted on Patreon by the Military Arms Channel.

Interview with the New York Times

I was asked to do an interview with the New York Times. I have very strict guidelines I stand by when engaging with the media so they can’t twist my words. I was asked to do a phone interview, but declined and asked the journalist submit his questions in writing to me. Here’s my response to his questions. I will be very surprised if this makes it into print. Here’s my response to Jack, the NYT’s reporter:


I don’t know what your deadline is but I am packing and racing around in preparation for a hunt in Texas this week. We leave 7am tomorrow and I’m trying to get all the stuff packed. I am hunting with an AR rifle and we’re hunting an Axis Buck. I hunt almost exclusively with modern firearms such as the AR15. I can provide you with pictures from the field, however we won’t be in Texas until Saturday late afternoon. I can answer your questions, but I won’t be available for a photo shoot until I return on March 3rd.

This video will give you the back story on my first AR15. I got it while I was in High School. This video tells the whole story if you have the time to watch it.

I don’t publicly discuss the number of firearms I own. I will say I own several rifles based on the AR15 in various calibers. I keep one for personal protection and I have several I use for hunting all around the country. There isn’t a single game animal that can’t be cleanly and humanely taken with an AR rifle of some type. I prefer them because they’re inherently accurate, accessories are readily available, there are plenty of calibers to choose from, and generally speaking they are light weight making them perfect field rifles when you’re stalking game animals sometimes up to 1 mile or more a day on foot.

The AR15 is popular because it’s America’s longest serving US service rifle. Many Veterans prefer to own them because they served with a similiar rifle, the M16A2, M16A4 or M4 Carbine. The AR15 is not the same rifle as these, but is a close facsimile and thus very familiar Vets. Outside of that, even more non-Veterans (Vet’s account for about 1% of the US population) own AR15’s because they’re affordable, light weight for hunting, competitive shooting and for self defense. It’s “America’s rifle”. Most are chambered in .223 because it’s the standard caliber and it’s affordable. This is the caliber the vast majority of AR15’s are chambered in. AR type rifles used for hunting in larger, more powerful cartridges for larger game animals are far more expensive, are larger in size, several pounds heavier and therefore can fire larger calibers. The term “AR” describes a very broad number of rifles whereas “AR15” is very specific, and this is the most common AR type rifle out there, which is chambered in .223 Remington.

I have never used a firearm in self defense, in terms of having to fire the weapon at an assailant. I have deterred one robbery decades ago by showing a 7-11 store robber I was armed. He left the store he was attempting to hold up when he realized I had the position of advantage and I was armed. As with most criminals, they seek out “soft targets”. They look for stores with “no guns” signs, or choose places like movie theaters (almost all of them have no gun policies) or even, sadly, schools because federal law makes them “gun free zones”. Criminals are cowards and when confronted by someone able to fight back, they generally do everything they can to get out of the situation. They don’t want to meet with resistance, they want to carry out their cowardly act with little chance of meeting with armed resistance.

Here is a fact sheet with citations:

It’s interesting to point out that the GOA link above shows that armed citizens who use weapons in self defense do so more responsibly than police. Only 2% of the shootings where armed Americans used a firearm in self defense resulted in an innocent person being killed. Compare that to police who accidentally shoot the wrong person 11% of the time. This is not an attack on police, I 100% support our law enforcement, and police are in far more shootings than average gun owning Americans because of their profession. My point is that armed Americans are highly responsible people who legally use their firearms millions of times a year, without even firing a shot many times, to stop a crime or to save lives.

A Police One poll shows that the vast majority of our nations police believe armed citizens are a good thing and support our 2nd Amendment rights. Police One requires their members to prove their status as LEO’s before being admitted to their website. You can see the article and polling data here:

The media generally seeks out police who are anti-gun, and who clearly are in the minority, to interview as it drives a political agenda many journalists are pushing. I would rather journalists stick to the documented facts and let the political commentators interject their agenda’s into their commentary. It seems true journalism is mostly dead in the United States these days as everyone has an agenda.

The AR15 is not an “assault rifle”. The phrase is a loose translation of Sturmgewehr, or a German word meaning “storm rifle” used to describe the StG 44 developed by Germany during WWII. An “assault rifle” is a very specific phrase that describes a light weight, select fire (machine gun), air cooled, firearm that chambers an intermediate caliber. The media mislabels civilian AR15’s as “high power rifles” as well as “assault rifles”. Neither is factually correct.

During 1994 the Clinton Administration knew the true definition of an “assault rifle” (banned since 1986 by President Reagan with the help of the NRA) so they fabricated a phrase that sounded similar for political reasons. The phrase they created out of thin air was “assault weapon”. The “assault weapon” can’t be defined by function because it’s nothing more than a self loading rifle, so they defined it by features and appearances. A pistol grip, a bayonet lug (how many bayonetings have you read about?), a ventilated hand guard, capable of accepting standard capacity magazines, etc. So, the “assault rifle” is only in common use by the US military while the “assault weapon” is a fabricated definition defined by a set of cosmetic features used to scare non-gun owners into thinking they’re one in the same (assault rifle being synonymous with assault weapon, which isn’t accurate). It’s dishonest and politically motivated.

You will see a confirmation of my assertions above by watching this video. These random folks on the street have been programed by the media using inaccuracies and purposely false narratives to drive a political agenda. This is the net result:

The media gets many things wrong, which I’ve pointed out a few of those items above. Average AR15’s aren’t “assault rifles”. They’re not “high powered rifles”. They’re not “military weapons”. They’re nothing more than a self loading rifle that looks scary and those with a political agenda use these scary looking features to drive a false political narrative to serve their agenda.

According to the FBI more people are killed by hands and feet than are killed with rifles, not just AR15’s, but rifles as an entire class of firearms. We don’t see politicians calling for registration of martial artists or MMA fighters. More people are killed by knives, again according to FBI data, than rifles — and not just AR15’s. AR15’s account for a very small percentage of long arms used by criminals. More people are killed by blunt objects than rifles according to the FBI. Source:

When I see someone commit an act of evil or even gross negligence (like an accidental shooting), I crushes me. However, I’ve known more people killed by drunk drivers, motorcycle accidents and cancer than by a bad person using a gun. I don’t know a single person in my 50 years on this planet, that wasn’t in a combat zone, who was killed by a criminals using a firearm. I’ve known several people killed by drunk drivers. I lost 5 friends to motorcycle accidents as a young man. Should “crotch rockets” be banned?

When a drunk driver gets into a Corvette, that can easily violate the speed limit several times over, and kills a family in a minivan, do you blame the alcohol? Do you blame the car that’s capable of breaking all posted speed limits? Or do you blame the driver of the car? Do you call for prohibition on alcohol? Do you demand Chevy stop making the Corvette? Of course not. You always blame the driver.

When a terrorist blows himself up in a crowded market do you blame the bomb, or do you blame the terrorist?

When a terrorist rents a truck and drives it over a crowd of people, do you blame rental trucks or do you blame the terrorist driving it?

Why does the media grossly over exaggerate the illegal use of firearms and always blame the gun vs. blaming the person using it? Why the double standard?

In the case of the Florida shooter, why aren’t people blaming the FBI who had multiple reports of this mans actions and threatening statements and failed to investigate? Why don’t they blame the school who prohibited him from having a backpack on campus because he was known to be mentally unstable?

As a parting point, I would like for you to read some hard data regarding legal gun ownership in America. Again, all data presented cites the source.

Thank you for your time.

Tim / MAC

Sic Semper Tyrannis

Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Interesting postings

Lawrence posts about links that lead to broken or sex links. I found some broken links, but no sex. Makes one wonder about what constitutes sex for some. It might be prurient, but I went looking for the sex to see what p2p-next might be bringing to our children (not that our children cannot find links to sex on their own). I didn’t find it, but I did find some things I wouldn’t click on.

The other post is a long diatribe about… what they want to diatribe about, but has nothing to do with anything related to the history, but is actually related to the gun lobby. I do not care which version of the AR 15 you carry, nor do I care about how you decide to use it. The real question is… why do you post it here? What are you trying to tell us? Are you trying to change peoples minds about guns?

If that is so, then you are going about it the wrong way. If you want to change my mind about guns, then tell me why they are good. There are some reasonable arguments as to hunting. There are some (and I mean some) arguments as to personal protection. And there are some arguments as to the need, at some point, to refresh the tree of liberty. I am not agreeing to nor endorsing any of these arguments, but some of them are in fact reasonable.

I will be waiting.

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