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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the speech-on-speech dept

This week, up here in Canada we were pleased to see our government take a stand against the USTR's Special 301 hearing, although it's a shame they didn't do that before passing new draconian copyright laws. Still, it's a step in the right direction, and That One Guy racked up the most votes on the insightful side with some kudos and hope for the future:

Nice for the Canadian government to show a little spine and stand up to the USTR and the joke that is the 301 Report, and in particular bluntly pointing out that it's not based upon anything more complex than some people whining to the USTR about how mean other countries are to them in not giving them everything they do or could ask for.

Now if only every other government on the planet could issue similar 'Nah, you enjoy that party on your own, we're good' statements perhaps the joke of a 'report' could finally be killed for good.

For second place, we head to our post about the first amendment lawyer who was apparently surprised that freedom of speech applies to movie makers as much as anyone else. We also pointed out the irony of Hollywood constantly whittling away free speech with stronger copyright, leading one commenter to make the old argument that copying has nothing to do with free speech, and specifically that free speech is only completely original speech that you created. Stephen T. Stone won second place by shutting that silly notion down:

No one's "free speech" is reduced simply by not being able to use content someone else has made.

A reviewer of media being unable to quote part of a book or use clips from a movie as part of their review strikes me as a "stifling of speech".

"free speech" pretty much by definition must be your OWN, not simply copying

I cannot think of a single legal precedent that has ever said such a thing, so I would love to see you produce a reference to such a precedent.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with a conversation about asset forfeiture where one commenter noted that they can't understand why anyone needs to travel with huge amounts of cash, and Thad offered up the important reminder that that doesn't matter:

But that's not really the point. Traveling with a large amount of cash (or other valuable assets) is not, in and of itself, a crime, and should not be treated, in and of itself, as evidence of a crime.

People do lots of things that I don't understand a need for. That doesn't mean the police should be allowed to confiscate their stuff.

Next, we head to the legal dispute over Purple's "white powder" and their refusal to offer more details about its composition, supposedly due to their pending patent application. One anonymous commenter pointed out that this doesn't seem to make any sense:

This is blatantly false. By seeking a patent, Purple is agreeing that all such information about the composition of the white powder will become public knowledge. Since the patent application has already been submitted, it is guaranteed that if this powder is patentable, they will be the ones to receive said patent. If it is not patentable, then the application (which will include the composition), will become public after 18 months from the date of application. Either way, there is absolutely no reason at this point to not release details on the composition of their powder.

Except, of course, if releasing that information would support the implications that the powder is dangerous.

Over on the funny side, we start out by returning to our post about movies and the first amendment, and indeed to the same assertion about free speech needing to be original. TechDescartes won first place for funny with quite an excellent response:

Under that standard, you aren't allowed to make this comment. It's been made before.

And TechDescartes is a double winner this week, also taking second place for funny by responding to someone who commented about not having read our post about people who comment without reading posts:

I agree. China should not be selling Netflix flags to protesters in Europe who want two-factor authentication for their cloud-connected toothpaste dispensers, especially without FCC approval of the trademark.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we head to the long-awaited story of copyright troll Perfect 10's demise as its assets go into receivership. One anonymous commenter elegantly summed up this ignoble conclusion:

And so it ends with the hilarious result of a court literally confiscating a porn stash.

An amusing observation in itself, but made even more hilarious by Roger Strong's addition of a truly inspired punchline:

And that's how justice went blind.

That's all for this week, folks!

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  • icon
    Adam Bell (profile), 12 Mar 2017 @ 1:56pm

    Traveling in the USA with cash.

    I used to carry cash just under the reporting limit at the US/Canadian border ($10,000) for the simplest of reasons:

    1) I receive part of my income in US dollars and keep them in a US dollar account in Canada.
    2) Converting currencies involves a bank conversion charge of about 3-3.5%
    3) Using a Canadian credit card in the USA invokes an additional fee for conversion.

    So, on a shopping trip with my wife, I pay for rooms in cash, she pays for purchases in cash. Simple.

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

  • icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 12 Mar 2017 @ 6:19pm

    Maybe Next Time

    I agree. China should not be selling Netflix flags to protesters in Europe who want two-factor authentication for their cloud-connected toothpaste dispensers, especially without FCC approval of the trademark.

    Should've won insightful comment of the week.

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

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 13 Mar 2017 @ 8:25am

    "free speech" pretty much by definition must be your OWN, not simply copying

    So much for speechwriters.

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

  • identicon
    Thad, 13 Mar 2017 @ 8:52am

    I would add, though, that "Don't carry large amounts of cash" is good advice. Not in a blame-the-victim way, just as a warning to take precautions.

    If you're carrying a large amount of cash and a police officer confiscates it, that's not your fault, any more than it would be your fault if a mugger took it. But it's probably a good idea not to put yourself in a position where you're vulnerable to thieves (badge-wearing or otherwise), if you can possibly avoid it.

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

    • icon
      Roger Strong (profile), 13 Mar 2017 @ 9:03am

      Re:

      Also, "Don't have large amounts of money in your bank account while travelling."

      [T]he Oklahoma Highway Patrol has a device that also allows them to seize money in your bank account or on prepaid cards.

      It's called an ERAD, or Electronic Recovery and Access to Data machine, and state police began using 16 of them last month.

      Here's how it works. If a trooper suspects you may have money tied to some type of crime, the highway patrol can scan any cards you have and seize the money.

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

      • identicon
        Thad, 13 Mar 2017 @ 9:47am

        Re: Re:

        Gah, hadn't seen that one, but yeah, sounds like my strategy of keeping a small amount of money in my checking and all my savings in a separate account whose card I don't carry with me is a good idea for more reasons than just earning interest.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 13 Mar 2017 @ 9:31am

    '"free speech" pretty much by definition must be your OWN, not simply copying'

    This guy isn't the first to say this so by his own logic it's not legitimate protected speech.

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


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