Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the nothing-wrong-with-a-pun dept

This week, we balked at the amount of copyright propaganda crammed into the ESSA education reform act. That One Guy won most insightful comment of the week with his thoughts on what copyright education should actually look like (and will to perceptive students, no matter how it's presented):

Oh by all means, let's teach schoolkids more about copyright.

Let's teach them that nothing made during their lifetime will enter the public domain, if it ever does, because the laws keep getting retroactively expanded anytime it looks like something might do so. Teach them that because of this, any remixes or rehashes, fanfics or fan made films exist only at the 'generous' whims of the copyright holder, and can be crushed at any time.

Let's teach them that sharing a song, or ripping a copy for a friend to listen to, something I imagine most of them would do or have done without a thought, is not only illegal, it carries a potential fine large enough to purchase a decent car or even house, despite the fact that said songs can be bought for a buck each.

Let's teach them that the likes of the *AA's are constantly pushing the idea that it's everyone else's job to act as unpaid copyright cops, making it risky for online services like youtube to host user created content without bending over backwards to try and 'appease' copyright owners, and that if the *AA's and their like had their ways, services like youtube, VCR's, MP3 players, and anything like them, would not exist.

Let's teach them about how completely and utterly one-sided the law is, where there is no penalty for making a bogus claim that gets something taken down wrongly, and the only risk is if a site or service doesn't do so immediately.

Let's teach them that simply having a radio where anyone else can hear it is considered a 'public performance', and collection agencies will try to shake down anyone who does so, that those same collection agencies will demand payment even from businesses that don't play their music just in case they do, and that in at least one instance this has led to a collection agency demanding payment for library workers reading to children.

Indeed, let's educate schoolkids about copyright, and remove any vestiges of respect they may have otherwise had for it due to ignorance on the subject.

In second place for insightful, we've got the other "That" — That Anonymous Coward with a response to the DOJ's obvious lies in response to a FOIA request:

Its almost as if the penalties aren't enough of a deterrent. Perhaps if the money came out of the Assistant Directors paychecks & pension funds...

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start with the story of former DHS boss Janet Napolitano, who deployed a secret monitoring system at the University of California. Always insightful on security issues, Rich Kulawiec expanded on just how awful this is:

Put aside for a moment the horribly unethical conduct of the personnel involved in sabotaging the privacy of faculty, staff, and students. Let's just think about this from a security standpoint.

The university has -- quite effectively -- compromised itself. There's really no need for an attacker to go through all the trouble and tedium of setting up comprehensive surveillance of university systems/networks: it's already been done for them, for free.

All they have to do is tap into the goodies, either on the campus or at the vendor. (The latter's probably easier, since they're outsiders with no professional association. A suitable bribe would probably suffice. Why not? Who would know?)

I've done IT work, including security, at several major universities over the past few decades. This is one of the most appallingly stupid things I've ever seen a campus do to itself, and there's a lot of competition for that dubious honor.

Next, we return to the story about copyright propaganda in education, where Vidiot hoped it might be possible to exploit the earnest wording of the bill:

Loophole

Good news! Paragraph E requires that such subject matter be "evidence based"... and the only evidence that supports the eveything-must-be-owned camp is MPAA/RIAA pablum. Fiction isn't evidence.

Over on the funny side, our first place comment comes in response to the ridiculous copyright situation that continues to keep footage of the first Superbowl locked away. Coogan delivered some sarcasm that hopefully didn't actually need to be denoted:

Come on guys. If this guy's allowed to infringe on the NFL's copyright by selling the tape of the first Super Bowl, then what incentive will the NFL have to produce future Super Bowls?

/s

For second place, we head to the very silly story about the owner of a photobombing horse attempting to get half of the prize for a selfie contest. We pointed out that it's since the prize is a holiday vacation, it's not exactly easy to split in half — but TechDescartes thought laterally and applied the Judgement of Solomon:

What about a one-way ticket?

For editor's choice on the funny side, we head to the perennial story about the ridiculous restrictions on referring to the "Super Bowl", which this year have targeted Key & Peele and their special broadcast that you might be watching today. HarryOScary was quick to bust out a classic and still-wonderful pun:

They might be referring to the Superb Owl. That's happening about the same time as the "Big Game."

But, PRMan was quick to up the ante:

"Big Aim" is what you need to hit the "Superb Owl".

(Admittedly, Key and Peele will probably come up with better jokes.)

That's all for this week, folks!


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  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 7 Feb 2016 @ 12:14pm

    @That One Guy

    One of these times, we really need to dominate the whole board.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2016 @ 12:38pm

    Short Sight fix

    "Let's teach them that nothing made during their lifetime will enter the public domain"
    Let's add to that 'and probably anything made during their parents and grandparents lifetimes as well'.

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

    • identicon
      David, 7 Feb 2016 @ 1:51pm

      Re: Short Sight fix

      Isn't it fun that Hitler's "Mein Kampf" is now in the Public Domain and everybody can send around copies while Martin Luther King's "I have a dream" speech will likely never be legally copyable?

      That's the way we build our future.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Anonymous Coward, 7 Feb 2016 @ 2:00pm

        Re: Re: Short Sight fix

        What is fun is the different ways they have parsed
        "To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries."
        Talk about creativity.

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

        • identicon
          Wendy Cockcroft, 8 Feb 2016 @ 6:10am

          Re: Re: Re: Short Sight fix

          They've actually binned all that and decided instead to characterise copyright as property. We are reaping what we've sown by letting them get away with it and using their terms to describe it.

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

  • icon
    Dyspeptic Curmudgeon (profile), 7 Feb 2016 @ 8:02pm

    Superb Owl 1, 1966

    Re that tape of the Big Aim Superb Owl One, maybe the owner should find some country which is NOT a Berne convention signatory, and offer the tape for auction there, to the highest bidder. No Berne, watch the NFL burn!

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

  • icon
    Richard (profile), 8 Feb 2016 @ 2:11am

    The first rule of Super Bowl

    is don't talk about Super Bowl

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


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