Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the replies,-rebuttals-and-revisions dept

It's always frustrating to hear an old-guard music insider talk about the internet with extremely undeserved authority and go unchallenged. That's probably why first place for insightful this week goes to That One Guy for his response to a misguided attack on Google by U2's manager:

'We need the technology giants like Google to do the things that labels, the publishers, the artists, the writers repeatedly ask them to do. They need to show corporate and social responsibility.'

Here's a question I don't think I've ever seen satisfactorily answered: Why?

Why should google, or any other tech company care what happens to the recording industry? Does the movie industry go out of their way, spending time and money to defend and protect the automotive industry? Does the aviation industry move heaven and earth to protect the farming industry? Or how about the recording industry itself, does it tirelessly work to protect the tech industry?(Answer: No, no it does not)

This is something that gets me every time the subject comes up, the massive, glaring sense of self-importance, arrogance and entitlement that people like that demonstrate, as though everyone around them owes them, as though every other industry has nothing better to do than jump to their tune and do everything in their power to 'defend' the movie and recording industries, no matter what it may cost them to do so.

And as far as 'social responsibility', considering the copyright maximalists were so worried about any possible 'weakening' of copyright that they fought tooth and nail against expanding fair use rules to benefit the blind, the sheer hypocrisy in such a statement just boggles the mind.

Of course, I imagine the frustration of talking to someone like Paul McGuinness pales in comparison to the frustration of taking on the NSA's warband of circumlocutory defenders. Second place for insightful this week goes to Ninja for another response, this time to an excuse for the NSA:

The law is so dense and so complicated that it cannot be accurately summarized at a level a citizen can reasonably process.

Really. So why isn't the law written in less pompous language so the common folk won't face a complex pandemonium of words? If the common folk can't understand the law because lawmakers and lawyers made it freaking complexly written so they can pretend they are something better than the average citizen then how can you reasonably expect such common folk to follow it and on top of it say that "lack of knowledge on the law does not exempt one from following it"????

BRING THE LAWS BACK TO A LEVEL WHERE IT WILL BE NATURAL BEHAVIOR TO FOLLOW THEM. People don't kill not only because there's a law but also because we generally accept that killing is bad. We also generally accept that a Government should not be able to abuse its position of power over the regular citizen to spy him/her or do whatever it pleases without the check of a judicial warrant. The list goes on and on. If the law is complex then it is wrong. Plain simple.

Since we've got two regulars taking the top spots, editor's choice features two anonymous commenters, both offering alternate/additional takes on Paul McGuinness' digital issues. First is a quippy but insightful point about the mental disconnect folks like that seem to suffer from:

I just figured it all out guys.
They equate Google to the Internet because they see Google as the Internet's Gatekeeper, much like how Hollywood and the music industry are Gatekeepers. They think because they have an iron fist on all that is music and movies that likewise Google should have an iron fist on all the internet.

And next we've got a longer response that dovetails the death of the gatekeeper with the sunset of rock & roll:

Luddites have never quite come to grips with the internet. They all have an unworkable solution where time and again they have been shown their ideas are totally unworkable.

Google is not the internet. I somehow manage to deal with the internet and never use Google at all. If I can do it so can the hordes of people that use the internet globally if given a sufficient reason to. Make Google a non-player in importance and that is exactly what will happen. Things will go on as usual, sans Goggle. I somehow fail to grasp exactly how that delisting sites will cure the issue.

More to the point is that younger people are no longer considering rock n roll as the main fare for consumption of music according to a recent article I read a few days ago. Neil Young claimed rock n roll will never die but it's days are already numbered if the future generations aren't caring to hear it. The legacy copyright folks have no one to blame for this but the very ones pushing to wall off culture such as you see in this article so being called for.

If you drive away your fan base through threats to them by court, exactly how long do you think this is going to last? At some point the public will get educated but not in the manner that is being sought. The message they will get instead is leave it all alone and there is no issue.

Over on the funny side we start out with some more news about — guess who — Prenda! After the ignominious legal team was bashed by a judge yet again, S. T. Stone won first place by restyling the villains as struggling artists:

I kinda feel bad for the Prenda Legal Eagles.

Think about it for a moment: these guys worked their asses off to create an amazing work of fiction in the hopes of using it to generate a ton of revenue, and they only get bad reviews and legal entanglements in return.

How dare the courts slam these upstanding fiction writers for doing such a great job!

In second place for funny we've got Jay on our post about Adobe's terrible (and doomed) new DRM scheme for ebooks, where he un-rhetoricalized our cries of "what the hell are they thinking?" and provided a summary answer:

How can I drive more traffic to the Pirate Bay while losing revenue?

For editor's choice on the funny side we'll start with a little sliver of good news in the form of the FISA court making small but meaningful changes to the laws about collecting phone records. One anonymous commenter saw a chance to highlight the absurdity of every claim that such changes would be disastrous:

Well billions of Americans are going to die now. Hope you're all happy.

And finally, since we had lots of fun at Paul McGuinness' expense this week, here's... a bit more fun at his expense. The most illustrative one-liner on the subject came from DannyB, who started to flesh out the fictional world in which Google runs everything:

Google bought the Internet from America Online.

That's all for this week, folks!

Reader Comments

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  1. identicon
    S. T. Stone, 9 Feb 2014 @ 1:27pm

    Aw yiss, first place in Funniest.

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

  2. identicon
    Anonymous, 9 Feb 2014 @ 3:17pm

    Funnies/Most Insightful but no Favorites?

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

  3. identicon
    Anonymous, 9 Feb 2014 @ 3:18pm



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

  4. This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger (profile), 9 Feb 2014 @ 3:18pm

    Y'all picked alll that Google stuff...

    ...just to bait ootb, right?

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

  5. icon
    That One Guy (profile), 9 Feb 2014 @ 3:20pm


    Favorites? Those would be the editor's choice ones, unless you're talking about something different.

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

  6. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Feb 2014 @ 5:12pm


    If that little fucktard wants to respond, sure. He can chew on a few report votes for that.

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

  7. identicon
    Just Sayin', 10 Feb 2014 @ 12:15am

    most insightful

    The most insightful comments each week and generally either "censored" by the community or blocked by the filtered and delayed until one of the "staff" deems it worth of posting, usually days later.

    It's trying significant that Techdirt uses various forms of soft censorship to discourage comments that don't match up with the community's belief system.

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

  8. icon
    Ninja (profile), 10 Feb 2014 @ 1:44am

    The sad part is that what I said should be the default process when writing and passing new laws. It's so painfully obvious and yet you can name any country in existence today and you'll find a legislative chaos.

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

  9. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2014 @ 6:17am

    Google as the Internet's gatekeeper

    That was very insightful. Since I have been on the Internet since before "" (I actually used "" for a while), it never occurred to me that someone would think that Google was the central entity to the Internet!

    But thinking about it, it makes sense. Unless your browser is MSIE, the default home page of your browser is a Google search. It is no wonder that less-sophisticated users can think of Google as the way into the Internet. Jumping from there into "Google has control over the whole Internet" isn't that much of a stretch.

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

  10. icon
    Trails (profile), 10 Feb 2014 @ 6:53am

    Ninja's comment

    Bang on. I missed that during the week. Even though the voting is over, I still had to go back and mark that insightful.

    The disconnect between incomprehensible laws and "ignorance of the law is no excuse" is a lynch pin in the prison/surveillance industry.

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

  11. identicon
    Don t Daresay, 10 Feb 2014 @ 7:45am

    Wouldn't it be nice?

    Its going to be so googly satisfying watching all the poor bastards being jailed for speaking the name, g00GLe.

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

  12. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2014 @ 1:54pm

    Thank you for Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week. It has become a staple of my internet diet.

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

  13. identicon
    Kronomex, 10 Feb 2014 @ 2:58pm

    Re: The law...

    Governments and corporations and easy (relatively speaking)to understand laws that ordinary people could grasp made the following spring to mind: Keep them in the dark and feed them bullshit.

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

  14. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 15 Feb 2014 @ 10:41am

    Re: most insightful

    What you say is questionable, though it might be truth, as I don't find any need to prove it true or flase, for me is all the same.

    As for you're opinion on soft censorship, yes I agree that sometimes the comunity's opinions could be interpreted as a total hate for it, but i for one thing everything has a good and a bad side, the thing I search for is the right balance.

    In censorship such balance (what I think it would be correct to apply) is somethink like:

    "According to you're preferences what lies beyond here is something you won't like, if you want to see it anyway then click HERE."

    You see de beauty of it?, through you're preferences they're WARNING you about something, not making it impossible to see it.

    As matter of fact I don't care if other peoples opinions are different than that of my own, and is not uncommon for myself to change opinions if they convince me to do it, thanks to that it has been a rule for me to see any sort of criticism towards my opinions and, in fact, I read all of the flagged replies not only in this, but in all the comunities, blogs and forums that actually let you read them.

    What I do not like, the kind of censorship I despise is that which makes you unable to see something by permanently taking it down or by cutting access to it.

    Yes I navigate through the internet with all filters turned off and have regret it at times, but when I use someone else's pc and don't find a webpage (that I consider absolutely safe) because the filters are turned on, well it's just sad to know it happens because the filters don't work, and will probably never work because no one is really interested in fixing them (aside from us who acces such webs)

    And thinking government wants to apply such filter's is even worse, because once government does it, it will be impossible to turne them off as there is no guarantee the opt out option will actually turn it off (yes they'll probably give access to some pages that criticize it, but will those be all, you'll never know).

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

  15. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 16 Feb 2014 @ 10:10pm

    Re: most insightful

    Bawk, cluck, moo is what you consider insightful?

    I'd measure your intelligence but numbers don't go that low. Chew on a DMCA vote, jackass!

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

  16. identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Feb 2014 @ 12:33am

    Re: most insightful

    horse with no name just can't stand it when due process is enforced.

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

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