by Jon Lawrence

Jon Lawrence's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the sarcasm-hats-on dept

Everyone should probably don their sarcasm hats before reading this. Sorry if your hat has been banned or stuck in a port somewhere while the ITC tries to sort out an injunction on sarcasm.

One day, way back in 2008, I found this backwoods, hillbilly blog that was complaining about the Entertainment Industry's position that it's business model must be protected; and I thought to myself - "now here's a reasonable website that will help me make sure I extract as much money as I can from my chosen career in show business; and make fun of a few people along the way! Perfect!"

It's good to know that, four whole years later, everything has changed and we've managed to make copyright clear and easy to understand for all.

It also warms my heart to know that our rich cultural heritage continues to grow and bring new works into the public domain that will increasingly help us find more common ground with each other and a new utopia of copyright free inspiration.

Oh. Wait.

None of that's happened.

And it's 2012. Which is like, 500 Internet Years away from 2008. *sigh*

OK, well then, instead of focusing on the firehose of bad news that really can get you down if you obsess over it (Mike, it's no wonder you need this to keep your head from exploding while writing about all the terrible things happening), I decided to pick out all the GOOD things (which we'll denote just for fun as a YAY!) that managed to slip into the Techdirt stream so we can start out 2012 with some inspiration.

Monday finished out with a zero YAY rating, since apparently everyone was recovering from their rousing send-off of 2011.

Tuesday, rang up a Three YAY Rating.

On deck first (in no particular order) is where Marc Randazza's Search for Naked Emperor's Clothing Heats Up. With Righthaven principals basically hiding under a rock somewhere, getting judgements against the company enforced is turning out to be both tricky and humiliating. But we've been watching the train wreck for long enough that each bit of suffering or potential suffering that Righthaven has to go through kind of fills me with a measure of possibly inappropriate glee.

Next up, The Nerds Devise a Plan for Triumph. Just the threat of SOPA/PIPA and all this other government censorship nonsense is enough to inspire geeks to move DNS control offshore. Way offshore. We just *thought* that nerds were cool before when they invented stuff like IRC and Telnet, but when they start launching their own micro-satellites to create an ad hoc DNS system in space? Just you wait until we have Internet in the Sky, er,

Unbelievably, on the same day we got the post where a Politician Starts Politicking, a guy named Jack Arnold launched his campaign against SOPA supporter Rep. Marsha Blackburn, using his position against SOPA as a point of differentiation. It's nice to hear he's at least putting on the show that the good people of the Interwebs are being listened to (though when it comes time to get real money in his campaign, or get fancy furnishings in his new congressional office if he wins, then all bets are off).

Wednesday. I don't like Wednesdays. It doesn't get any YAY today, but there is this tidbit worth at least a golf-clap.

The only partially good news I saw on Wednesday was that Cultural (File) Sharing is Central to a Newly "Officially" Declared Religion. Which makes me wonder, whatever would have become of any global religions, if copyright as practiced today applied to the Holy Bible or the Koran way back in the days they were written, copied, translated, recopied, remixed, etc?

Thursdays, however, are a different story!

Thursday is my favorite day of the week. It's not quite Friday, but it's not the "T" day of the week that immediately follows Monday. Either way, this day garnered a TWO YAY rating!!!

First off, we got to hear that Pirates Like Hugs Too! As it turns out, indie music site Bandcamp released some metrics that bolster the idea that by embracing people who search for terms that usually lead to pirated music, they could convert those folks into music buyers by giving them what they wanted in an easy to buy package. *OMG* who'da thunk that you really can generate more product sales by not being a dick to your customers and fans. Stick that in your pipe and smoke it RIAA.

Then as luck would have it, we had $5,670 Problems but a Judicial Smackdown Ain't One, the new hit single in the Righthaven train wreck from a process serving company that Righthaven decided it never wanted to pay. Funny thing, wanting to get paid for doing real work. Any bets on whether or not Righthaven will pay up on the suit when it's settled?


Just to be contrarian, Friday is also *not* my favorite day of the week because the day that follows it is the start of work on my two-day-per-week "honey-do" list at the house, which never seems to get any shorter (this weekend, it's fix the dryer squeak, and install air-conditioning in the office, booo). But I digress.

Friday delivered the news that Al Gore Might Get Mad Enough to Uninvent the Internet if SOPA Passes. In some ways, it's a shame that he didn't get enough votes become our 43rd President. Oh wait. Who knew that you could both be trying to find ways to address Climate Change AND still pay attention to other important things in the world. The upshot of this post was that it's always good to see someone with a high profile support freedom of speech and be cogent about fighting censorship of the Internet.

It also gave me an unprecedented THIRD opportunity in one week to laugh at Righthaven, where it has been definitively answered that no, Righthaven is Not Smarter Than a 5th Grader, since they now claim they can't tell the difference between a 5 and a 6 on the calendar and show up for a court ordered appearance on the right date. We'll see if on Monday the 9th, they claim they thought the 9 was really a 6, and they had already shown up and don't have to come again. Hilarious!

So there's my personal happy-techdirt-filter as applied for this first week of the New Year. I think it's important to try and maintain some hopefulness (and act when needed, doing things like calling/emailing your Congressional Representatives) that all is not lost. After all, history is chock full of civilizations that have had their ups and downs, and somehow we all muddle ahead together.

Instead of letting a small part of civilization make all the "progress" for themselves, let's do our best to make 2012 the year we make a little more forward progress for our civilization as whole.

Reader Comments

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  • icon
    Richard (profile), 7 Jan 2012 @ 2:45pm

    Like the positive!

    Nice take on the favourites post!

    Well done!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2012 @ 3:10pm

    dawn -> don

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

  • icon
    iamtheky (profile), 7 Jan 2012 @ 3:10pm

    probably dawn their sarcasm hats

    you should probably also dawn your sheets and that sock, they have sarcasm all over them.

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

  • identicon
    mickeywhite, 7 Jan 2012 @ 3:30pm

    Why does Marsha Want Congress to Regulate the Internet? Why not just say NO FEDERAL branch (the FCC and congress and the federal courts included) has any authority to decide or rule on any aspect concerning the Internet?

    BUT Marsha Blackburn did Vote FOR: Patriot Act Reauthorization, Electronic Surveillance, Funding the REAL ID Act (National ID), Foreign Intelligence Surveillance, Thought Crimes “Violent Radicalization and Homegrown Terrorism Prevention Act, Warrantless Searches, Employee Verification Program, Body Imaging Screening, Patriot Act extension; and only NOW she is worried about free speech, privacy, and government take over of the internet?

    Marsha Blackburn is my Congressman.
    See her “blatantly unconstitutional” votes at :

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 7 Jan 2012 @ 3:31pm

    "...should probably dawn their sarcasm hats..."

    It's "...should probably DON their sarcasm hats..."

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

  • identicon
    MahaliaShere, 7 Jan 2012 @ 6:56pm

    Perhaps "dawn" was on purpose? Still, Good summary.

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

  • identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, 7 Jan 2012 @ 7:23pm

    Most Civiilizations In History Have Had At Least One More Down Than Up

    Have a nice day.

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

  • icon
    ken (profile), 7 Jan 2012 @ 10:22pm

    If Congressman Lamar Smith is so convinced that SOPA will not be abused and all the warnings that experts are giving is all hyperbole then he should agree to immediately resign his Congressional seat if any of the warnings actually occur.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 8 Jan 2012 @ 12:17am


      SOPA/PIPA can and WILL be abused, like the DMCA before them was.

      Here's one example, way back in the 90s, Bush Senior wrote an article in Time Magazine about why he did not topple Saddam, explaining that the aftermath of such a move would have been far, far worse for USA and its allies than keeping him in power. Then around the time Bush Jr. decided to invade Iraq, the article was removed from the Time archives by Bush Senior invoking copyright. Parts of the article reappeared, commented, at MemoryHole, but then Bush Seniors lawyers had it removed even though it obviously fell under fair use.

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

  • icon
    Suja (profile), 8 Jan 2012 @ 2:06am

    just saw this one today made me laugh:

    SOPA. Stop Offering Production Alternatives.

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

  • identicon
    PT, 9 Jan 2012 @ 10:08am

    "whatever would have become of any global religions, if copyright as practiced today applied to the Holy Bible or the Koran way back in the days they were written, copied, translated, recopied, remixed, etc? "

    Funny question that. As far as the Bible goes, penalties included being burned at the stake for copying it, translating it, or even reading it aloud, to protect the legacy monk and priest industry. William "DVD-Jon" Tyndale broke the Latin encryption and was impaled and burned alive for it, but even such harsh measures were unable to stop the rapid spread of unauthorized copies once Gutenberg's file transfer technology became widely available.

    I think there's a lesson there somewhere.

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

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