Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt
from the commentary-on-commenting dept
Last week, I noted that the winner's roster was dominated by replies to one of our resident dissenters. Not to be outdone, one of the other more disruptive presences here ignited a firestorm of nearly 500 comments, largely by asking the same question over and over again and rejecting all answers that didn't satisfy his mysterious and ever-shifting requirements. The end result? This week's post is pretty meta, because both of the Most Insightful winners are comments responding to a troll responding to a post about winning comments in response to trolls. Got that? Let's get started with Chrono S. Trigger, who refuted both the moral argument and the assertion that it's wrong to call these commenters trolls:
Economically speaking, it doesn't matter if it's moral or amoral. Morally speaking, it doesn't matter if it's legal or not. Legally speaking, it doesn't matter if it's right or wrong. Realistically speaking, it doesn't matter if it's moral, legal, or right. You see how nothing actually relates in this situation? The fact that you won't acknowledge the fact that reality does not line up with the law any more speaks volumes about you.
Here's where you may be getting confused. Copyright isn't actually a right, it's a privilege granted to you for a limited time by the people who copyright is suppose to benefit, us, the public. So when you start talking morality, you're already off track when talking about copyright. If you want to talk morality, then it's moral to ignore copyright because copyright itself has become amoral (wasn't when it was created, now it is).
As for trolls, while you may bring an argument or two to the table, the people you chose to defend demonize and dehumanize themselves. They chose to come here, insult everyone indiscriminately, ignore any logic, and then leave without providing responses, logic, or evidence of their own. We don't do that to them, we just follow the path they laid out for themselves.
Then, an anonymous commenter took second place with a reply to Chrono, expanding on his point to note that the deeper moral right is on the side of the public:
Personally, I would take this a step further back and point out that copyright is a suspension of everyone else's right to do as they please with elements of culture, that there is no inherent exclusive natural right to exclude others from copying your book or song or whatever. It is, instead, an artificial marketplace convenience founded on suspending everyone else's natural rights.
If you want to get moral about it, copyright is a slight immorality that we all tolerate so long as copyright results in a net benefit to society.
For Editor's Choice on the insightful side, first up we've got dennis deems on our post about Disney's misrepresentation of the secret of its success. Dennis laid out some specifics about how Disney's current copyright philosophy clashes with the original roots of its creativity:
The seventh edition of Grimms' fairy tales, source of Snow White, was published in 1857. Alice's Adventures in Wonderland was published in 1865. Collodi's Pinocchio was published in 1883. Kipling's The Jungle Book was published in 1894. If these works had been subject to Disney's hypocritical 100 year copyright prison, Disney would have had to pay for the privilege of making its feature films based on them, to say nothing of the corresponding merchandising. One wonders whether Snow White or Pinocchio would have been made at all. These are the works on which Disney built its empire, and it was able to use them because they were not subject to preposterous copyright claims. Under the terms that were in effect when Disney's version of Snow White was made, the film, its score, and all the characters and visuals associated with it, ought to have entered public domain DECADES ago. This is the point. Disney drinks deep from the well of public domain but contrives to prevent that well ever from being replenished.
Blockbuster didn't want to cannibalize their video sales with streaming options
Kodak didn't want to cannibalize their film products with digital
HBO didn't want to cannibalize their cable products with standalone internet offerings
On the Funny side, the winner is MrWilson on our post about EU Commission VP Neelie Kroes explaining how copyright was built for a world of gatekeepers. MrWilson parodied the fundamental argument of many copyright maximalists:
In my day, young people respected gates. They knew who kept the gates and they knew that they had to pay the toll if they wanted in. They didn't just jump over the gates like kids these days. They didn't have the technology to get over the gates. They had to go through them! They never questioned why we put the gates up either. I tell you, we need to do away with this new technology that allows gate-jumping or else things won't remain exactly the same as when I was making all that money off of charging a toll for use of the gate. I even put up a gate around my yard, but the kids just jump that gate too. Now I have to go outside and yell at them, "hey kids, stay off my lawn!" No respect, I tell you.
I am inadvertently and indirectly responsible for the second-place comment, by way of something I mentioned (about carrots not actually being good for your eyesight) in the Insider Chat, which made its way into our post about first-person shooters actually being good for your eyesight, which in turn inspired Beech to parody the typical troll response:
Leave it to Mike "pants on fire" masnick to once again post his opinions as irrefutable fact! I happen to know, for a fact, from first hand experience, that carrots are yucky! I think it is time for both Mike and my mommy to come out and admit that they're in the pockets of Big Vegetable.
$42.1 billion in wages from direct industry jobs and distributing $37.4 billion in payments to nearly 278,000 businesses around the country in 2010.
These numbers are most likely low. They don't even mention how much they spend buying politicians.
Finally, because it's a pet peeve of all the editors, we've got a response to a commenter (who obviously hasn't spent much time here) complaining that the subject of dead authors' estates does not belong on a blog called Techdirt. An anonymous commenter wholeheartedly agreed:
Yeah, precisely. What does this have to do with Dirt?
Indeed. That's all for this week—join us tomorrow when we get back to our roots with an exposé on keyboard gunk and a feature about VCR head-cleaning tapes, the Boston Strangler's washcloth of the film industry.