Crade's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the favorite-them-up dept

This week's favorites post comes from crade

Happy Saturday to the workers. I guess we have another week of dirty tech and it would be good to review, summarize, and have a look at the best posts of the week. We aren't going to, though; we are going to have a look at the ones I happened to take a fancy to instead.

Now I am a great lover of irony and one of the things I have found the most ironic about this whole ever-encroaching copyright "cage of security" is that while the biggest pushers for a smaller cage claim it's all for the protection of the artists, they are near legendary for their constant mistreatment of those artists. Not only that but copyright is one of the strongest tools they have used to do it. So it was in the heyday of vinyl and so it is today. So, here they are again, using copyright legislation to force the takedown of the work of an emerging artist. And using their stricter rules to censor people trying to speak against them and to keep people from trying to be artists all while Senator Leahy claims there is no First Amendment issue at all.

Ironic enough? Ha! It gets better. At the same time that the record labels use stricter laws to censor new music, they are also breaking the law themselves. The artists are lining up to sue the labels for infringment and the record labels could owe them up to $2 billion. Of course making sure artists get paid for their hard work is the labels' greatest desire, their raison-d'Ítre and certainly the reason they need to make the security cage so tight we can't breathe.

I know I shouldn't find this stuff funny, but I can't help it.

Besides being a lover of irony, I am a somewhat lawfully minded individual. I believe in the law (to a decent extent). Laws are decided jointly, to a minimum extent (if they were not, there would be rebellion), and when the law is wrong, or bad, I believe it needs to be addressed, not reinterpreted to do "less" harm, nor ignored nor casually broken. Now laws that are wrong are not easy to fix, certainly my opinion is not going to do it, and I'm not entirely convinced even logical arguments from the Harvard Business Review, explaining how big content is strangling innovation, are going to get the job done. In order to get laws changed, we need outrage.

The completely unjustified secrecy around ACTA generated some nice controversy and got a few people asking questions, and now with the TPP, they may be doing the same thing. Splendid! Alzheimer's Institute of America directly interfering with Alzheimer's research by suing a bunch of other researchers has the potential to ruffle a few feathers. Although the ridiculous liability issues Google and Yahoo are facing (Google is being found liable for its Autocomplete Suggestions and Yahoo for its users being able to search for infringing movies) are over in Italy this week, perhaps it is a sign of things to come. Or maybe it will piss them off enough to start doing more about the issue in general.

We have seen that people are willing to get up in arms about the hyperbolic amount of cashola involved in copyright infringement lawsuits, so maybe it's a good thing that the record companies aren't letting up on that front, as well, and are still appealing to try to get Joel Tenenbaum to pay $675,000 for downloading a measly 30 songs. Sliding in at the last minute, Denmark's recent decision to endorse retroactive copyright extensions sure seems outrageous to me, so here's hoping it makes some waves.

So thats what I come to Techdirt for. A little humor, and hopefully some pot stirring and a bit of hope for the future!

Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1. icon
    Dark Helmet (profile), Apr 9th, 2011 @ 6:11pm

    Well done, sir. So much better than another Marcus post...

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2. icon
    ChurchHatesTucker (profile), Apr 9th, 2011 @ 8:37pm


    Yeah. I hate when we get the same guy over and over...

    Also, "A little humor, and hopefully some pot stirring and a bit of hope for the future!" could be a techdirt tagline.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3. icon
    Jay (profile), Apr 9th, 2011 @ 8:42pm

    Dear goodness gracious, the other thread has grown exponentially...

    And the fact that there are people that say that Joel Tenenbaum's $675K lien is constitutional should really have their head examined.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4. icon
    Andy (profile), Apr 10th, 2011 @ 12:15am

    "Laws are decided jointly"

    Just two comments:

    First, isn't much of what we are struggling with in these discussions evidence of the fact that, although laws should be decided jointly, the fact is that they are actually decided by a very small minority (legislators) influenced by powerful vested interests.

    Second, I suspect the sentiments that give rise to your comment that "certainly my opinion is not going to do it..." are very much the reason most "normal" people feel somewhat powerless to effect change.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5. icon
    Christopher (profile), Apr 10th, 2011 @ 5:58am

    Outrage = corporate disobedience

    And as a result: break the laws, and keep finding ways to infringe, until this gets ratcheted down. Bad laws, even watered down, are still bad.


    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6. identicon
    coldbrew, Apr 10th, 2011 @ 6:39am


    I was starting to think the copyright cartel shills had given up on this site. Apparently not.

    I've only got 350 comments to go on that thread :) (which is 2x the size of when you made this comment).

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  7. icon
    Christopher (profile), Apr 10th, 2011 @ 7:10am

    I have to disagree on that point about laws. When laws are in violation of human rights and the right of people to protect their investments? They should be ignored.

    "Da law is da law" is not always the case in the real world, only in the fantasy world of copyright maximalists, criminal justice people, and politicians.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8. identicon
    Nina Paley, Apr 10th, 2011 @ 7:15am

    Re: "Laws are decided jointly"

    Agreed - laws are most definitely not decided jointly. If they were, I'd have some faith in them. Also they would be totally different than what they are.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9. icon
    Jay (profile), Apr 10th, 2011 @ 7:19am

    Re: Re: "Laws are decided jointly"

    When you say "jointly", are you meaning by the political party or do you mean between legislators and the public?

    The former shouldn't be of special interest in regards to how it performs for the latter.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10. identicon
    coldbrew, Apr 10th, 2011 @ 7:37am

    Re: Re: "Laws are decided jointly"

    I optimistically believe that we will use this technology developed over the last 20 years to reform our ~200 year old government. I know of several promising projects (gov 2.0) already in existence, and I have been designing my own that I hope will make a significant contribution. One of my favorites is a project on git that allows for use of git, ironically, in managing legislation (i.e. revisions and their contributors).

    People like Craig Newmark and Evan Williams are in a perfect position to bring revolutionary solutions to these problems. They have both reach, and financing.

    There are so many issues, plenty to go around. We can affect change by persisting, and by using logic and facts, rather than emotional appeals. Each of us should be focusing on the small piece we can change, and it seems you are doing your part more than most of us. I hope to join-in meaningfully in the near future.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11. identicon
    coldbrew, Apr 10th, 2011 @ 7:50am

    Re: Re:

    So many distracting things going on this morning (french toast ios really, really good), it's slow going through that thread, but apparently, copying files is like kicking somebody in the balls.

    It's quite bizarre in that thread. I'm not sure what to make of it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12. identicon
    coldbrew, Apr 10th, 2011 @ 7:54am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Obviously, the mimosas :-)

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13. icon
    vivaelamor (profile), Apr 10th, 2011 @ 10:19am


    "I have to disagree on that point about laws."

    Me too. The point of view put forward in the article seems to be based on the premise that breaking the law is inherently harmful. On the contrary, I would think that relying on the law to make decisions is inherently harmful and that breaking the law when you don't agree with it is the sign of a healthy free thinking society.

    That's not to say that you should break the law if you disagree with it, but that actions shouldn't be judged on whether they're lawful or not.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  14. icon
    crade (profile), Apr 10th, 2011 @ 11:15am

    Re: "Laws are decided jointly"

    There is a difference between being decided jointly and every person having an equal say. I do not pretend that the legal system either in Canada where I live, or in the U.S. is perfect, but neither do I pretend that any citizen has no influence.

    As for the second, if my opinion changed the law, what would that make me? What of my neighbor's opinion?.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  15. identicon
    coldbrew, Apr 10th, 2011 @ 2:05pm

    I'm just going to throw this out there in case some copyright apologist actually stands behind what they are saying in that monstrous thread:

    *We* do happy hour at the Wynkoop brewery in Denver every Thursday and Friday. Please come and loudly proclaim your allegiance, out loud, to current copyright laws. Please try to "kick me in the weenus" and see where that gets you.

    If might makes right, you need to come to Denver and show us. Somehow, I doubt the pussy making such claims will ever show up.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  16. identicon
    coldbrew, Apr 10th, 2011 @ 3:06pm


    If you like copyright law as it stands, you are a giant gaping vagina. End of story

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17. identicon
    Gene Cavanaugh, Apr 10th, 2011 @ 3:28pm

    Great article, and entirely correct

    Even though I am an IP attorney, I strongly support such ideas.

    So, who is going to start an EFF-type organization to battle these people who are abusing our laws (and our "right to happiness")?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 10th, 2011 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Great article, and entirely correct

    Who can?

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19. icon
    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Apr 10th, 2011 @ 6:22pm


    Hear, hear. Excellent work, Crade. Also so much better than an end of the week guest post crammed into the 'dirt at the last minute. Especially one that was clearly written by Mike who, in his effort to deflect blame, posted it under DH's given name which I can never remember. (Jake?)

    I can't help but notice this post has not made this list, presumably because of print deadlines (that's a little journo humor/humour). I would have voted for it nearly as many times as you appeared to have voted for your own comment(s) if I'd had the chance.

    Well, there's always next week. Perhaps if you talk to Marcus, he'll go ahead and add Mike's ghostwritten (but darkly helmeted) post to the "just-in-case list."

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20. icon
    crade (profile), Apr 10th, 2011 @ 7:59pm

    Re: Re:

    Well, it not so much that there is inherent harm, it's more that I feel responsible. I feel that if I ignore the law because it is flawed, I am masking some of the flaws with the law which need to be visible in order to get them fixed and it isn't fair to those who can't ignore them. Like with copyright law or the patent system for example. I imagine that if everyone actually obeyed the rules to the letter as they are now, the great amount of damage they cause would be obvious and they would have been fixed ages ago.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21. icon
    The eejit (profile), Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:25am

    Re: Re: Great article, and entirely correct

    All of us, we'll call ourselves the Sensible Party.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Apr 11th, 2011 @ 1:29am

    Re OP: Laws not easy to fix

    I have a wonderful quote from a friend that shall remain nameless for his own safety. It was in response to the problems with politicians willfully or ignorantly doing the bidding of big media, and the general refusal to embrace the future.

    "They have to die. All of them."

    Now, he was not advocating any direct action to this end. What he meant was that we are not really going to see any change for the better until the current crop of politicians, CEOs etc, get replaced by people who have grown up with the internet as an intgral part of their lives.

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

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