Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the les-commentaires dept

The leaderboards this week are dominated by comments about France — and not from just one story. On the insightful side, both of our top comments come in response to France's ambitious belief that it can regulate the entire internet, and its attempts to fine Google for not globally enforcing the right to be forgotten. GrooveNeedle won first place on the insightful side with a straightforward question:

I just don't understand how this "right" to be forgotten can be so misplaced. Google and other search engines are not the arbiters of the internet. They search for what is there, that's it.

If this truly is a "right" (and I don't think it is), then the specific sites hosting the information are to blame. Google's role in this is non-existent. Are the French politicians so out of touch, even in the 21st century, that they can't grasp that simple fact?

...and the second place winner from That One Guy came in direct response:

The difference between that which doesn't exist, versus that which does exist but cannot be found

It's a matter of terminology, and in particular trying to pretend that something isn't what it actually is. If they went after the sites directly then they'd be hard pressed to explain why what they were doing wasn't blatant censorship, given they're ordering the removal of content not because it's in violation of any laws but simply because someone doesn't like it.

By instead going after the search engines however they get to pretend that that's totally different, and absolutely not censorship at all because see, the content is still there, it's just no-one who doesn't already know where it is can find it.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with the story of the film director who was told he can't find out if his work will be infringing until he actually creates it and goes to court, all because it's not clear if a 1928 book is still under copyright. This prompted jupiterkansas to make what should be a pretty obvious request:

If the government is going to institute copyright, it's the government's responsibility to also institute a database that accurately tells what is actually covered under copyright and for exactly how long. Without that, the whole system doesn't work.

Next, after we noted that the RIAA was raking in billions in streaming revenue but still complaining about streaming, rw tacked on another important question:

So, of the 2.4 billion the RIAA gets how many thousands are going to artists?

Over on the funny side, we return as promised to France — partially. When the French police report on the Paris attacks showed no evidence of encryption, the good ol' New York Times decided to go ahead and invent some out of thin air. This prompted yet another win for That One Guy who won first place for funny by having a couple zingers at the ready:

Q: How is the NY Times like a hardware store?
A: Both are filled to the rafters with tools.

Q: How is reading the NY Times like watching a mime?
A: Both involve someone trying to convince you that something that doesn’t exist actually does.

Then on that same post, TheResidentSkeptic chimed in and won second place for funny with a comical analogy:

You are under arrest

"What for?"
"Smoking Marijuana"
"What? I don't do drugs.. there are no drugs here!!!"
"Correct. Since we didn't find any, that's how we know you smoked it all"

For editor's choice on the funny side, we head to the news of Sean Parker's new "Screening Room" service that enables the (expensive) home viewing of newly released movies. We noted that, of course, movie theaters were still complaining, and DannyB tried to pay respect to some of their concerns:

Piracy is a major concern with this Screening Room

If you get to watch this in your home, you might also have a friend watch with you who did not also pay the incredibly expensive fee.

It seems like the piracy proof set top box better have something like a camera that watches you while you watch the movie. Prevent any unlicensed persons from viewing.

Did Sean consider that the fee paid to watch a first run movie in your home should also have a higher price if your room has more comfortable chairs?

I can see other legitimate concerns the movie industry might have with this. Considering how much you paid, shouldn't you also be subject to random people's cell phones ringing, and cell phone conversations? Babies crying? Small children talking or yelling? If you're going to pay a premium price and get to watch the movie sooner than most people, you should be subject to all of those annoyances, or it would be unfair to the movie industry.

Finally, we head to the UK, where we noted that being a clueless and ignorant bigot shouldn't be enough to get you arrested, like it was for one jerk's tweet. TheResidentSkeptic makes another appearance to propose that properly applied, such a law might not be so bad:

If "clueless and ignorant" qualifies for being arrested, that takes care of congress and the senate - not to mention the leadership of all the TLAs - this could be much easier than a revolution...

That's all for this week, folks!


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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 27 Mar 2016 @ 7:04pm

    "France's ambitious belief that it can regulate the entire internet, and its attempts to fine Google for not globally enforcing the right to be forgotten"
    Isn't there some ISDS that google can sue France under for loss of profits?

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

    • identicon
      Wendy Cockcroft, 1 Apr 2016 @ 5:32am

      Re:

      They'll have that soon enough under TTIP, if it gets through.

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

    • icon
      Bergman (profile), 1 Apr 2016 @ 9:21pm

      Re:

      Or better yet -- Holocaust denial is illegal in France. But content-based censorship is illegal elsewhere. Sue Google for censoring you in France, and compel Google France to list those links.

      After all, if France can issue a court order to US servers despite such an order being illegal under US law, then OF COURSE a US court could do the same to a French court located in France. After all, companies must comply with all court orders!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 28 Mar 2016 @ 12:28am

    Oh wait now I realise what they have against premium in home streaming. They fear the perfect camrips that would be produced

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


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