Chris O'Donnell's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the people-being-dumb,-thinking-we-are-dumb,-making-dumb-decisions dept

Hi there. I'm Chris O'Donnell and I've been reading Techdirt since the very early days, maybe even as far back as the last millennium. My favorite posts this week all share a theme, they are examples of people being dumb, people thinking we are dumb, and companies making dumb decisions that are counter to their financial interests.

Since companies are now people, we can start with this example of Swedish rights holders shutting down a fan run translation site. Instead of recognizing that fans are adding value to their products, for free, the rights holders made their work less accessible to non-native speakers by shutting down the fan site. Then they doubled down on the bad will by getting the police to react with necessary force.

No post about dumb would be complete without the RIAA. However, in this case the dumb actually falls more on Pandora, who are still struggling to get out from under their dumb decision in 2009 to accept ridiculously high royalty rates that only applied to them. The post also features a conservative think tank and an analyst claiming that a market where prices are set by a 3 judge panel is a free market. Combine all that with the the RIAA being involved and its almost too much dumb in one place.

How could a copyright claim involving a large gorilla statue that sort of looks like Freddie Mercury (deceased lead singer of Queen) be anything but dumb?

Another guaranteed entrant into any post rounding up examples of dumb behavior is the state government of Florida. They accidentally banned all computers and smart phones in the state with a piece of sloppily written legislation.

Dumb criminals are a common subject on Techdirt, and this week's example may be one of the dumbest. Fugitive Wanda Podgurski tweeted "Catch me if you can," while on the run. Since you are reading this here, you probably don't even have to click through to know how this story ends.

Congress is another guaranteed entrant into any carnival of dumb. This week's poster child for idiocy is RIAA lapdog Marsha Blackburn. She is dumb enough to believe the propaganda fed to her by the RIAA and others, dumb enough to publish an op-ed repeating the propaganda, and apparently dumb enough to think it will convince anybody to side with the RIAA.

In another example of a company acting dumb, Putt-Putt decided to remind us all that they are still in business (who knew?) by suing Mojang over user generated content in Minecraft.

Game developer Eidos doubled down on dumb by using DRM to lock out paying users  of the newest version of Deus Ex if they download the game to a jailbroken iOS device. Of course, there is no warning before purchase that the $6.99 you are spending will be wasted if your device is jailbroken.

Finally, we have the not surprising news that Microsoft was a willing participant in helping the NSA spy on Hotmail, Skydrive, and Skype users. The dumb here is anybody that believed Microsoft's ridiculous commercials claiming they were more trustworthy than Google.
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  1. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Jul 2013 @ 12:28pm

    Microsuck's latest UK tv advert portrays how much they value customers privacy. i suppose they think that by not plastering everyone's personal info across tv screens counts as value, while giving everything possible to the Feds as soon as asked to is just 'one of those things we have to live with' is it? there isn't a single company that wont hand over whatever is asked for by law enforcement. the problem comes when that info is handed over for no good reason, without the correct procedures being followed and the correct, complete paperwork to back up the request. all this 'secret court' shit needs stomping on right now from a great height! there is no way that any country can remotely class itself as a democracy, believing in freedom and privacy, when it not only does things underhand against it's own citizens, it does them via agreement of secret judges, in secret courts, ruling secretly over things that are asked secretly and interpreted secretly as well! phew!!

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