Deputy Attorney General Trots Out All Sorts Of Silly Analogies About 'Intellectual Property'

from the guys,-stop-this dept

We've always had difficulty understanding why copyright or trademark law should even have "criminal" components to them. It seems fairly obvious that they can be handled easily enough with civil actions, without involving law enforcement. And this matter is only reinforced every time law enforcement tries to get involved in copyright and trademark enforcement. They seem oddly... almost unable to comprehend that infringement is different than theft and that it requires a different thought process and analysis. Time and time again, we see this crop up, both in the US and around the world. And it remains consistent no matter who is in charge. Under Obama, the DOJ was terrible on intellectual property issues, and that's now carrying over to the Trump administration.

Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein just gave a talk at the Interpol International Law Enforcement IP Crime Conference -- which, as you can imagine, is not a place where nuanced discussions on infringement are expected. And Rosenstein lived down to low expectations in delivering a speech full of silly analogies and misleading statements that show little understanding of the deeper underlying issues when it comes to copyright, trademark and patents. It starts out with a particularly silly analogy:

As a child, I learned a fable about a hen that finds some wheat grains and asks other animals for help in planting them. Nobody is willing to help, so the hen does the work itself. At every stage of the process – harvesting the wheat, threshing it, milling it into flour, and baking the flour into bread – nobody wants to help. But when the work is finished, everyone wants to eat the bread.

Modern intellectual property is more complicated than baking bread, but the same fundamental principle applies. If we let some people steal things without compensating the people who produce things, the incentive to create new things will be lost.

Huh? The famed Little Red Hen story isn't about "letting some people steal things without compensation." It's got nothing to do with that. But, already we're off on the wrong foot as Rosenstein has leapt to a misleading understanding of intellectual property issues in the first place -- comparing a finite resource with an infinite one, and falling back on a silly -- and legally incorrect -- claim of "stealing."

Similarly, "the incentive to create new things will be lost" is a familiar trope, but one that is simply proven wrong time and time again by history. As we've noted, over the past twenty years or so, even as the internet has enabled ever greater piracy, it has also created an astounding revolution in new content production. The problem is that so many people assume -- incorrectly -- that the "incentive" for creation is getting the copyright, patent or trademark, rather than the many other incentives. Many of those other incentives do involve making money, but not necessarily by using intellectual property law to do so. And for many, it's not the monetary incentives that drive creation at all. Arguing that infringement decreases incentive to create is simply not borne out by history. It shows a level of ignorance that is disappointing, if not surprising, for a top DOJ official.

Intellectual property enforcement assures innovators and investors that when they devote time and money to develop new concepts and products, they will reap the financial rewards.

No, it doesn't, actually. There is no guarantee that anyone reaps any financial awards. It's not a system of welfare for creators. And, even if you make the argument that the laws themselves help structure a business model that allows the holders of the copyright, patents and trademarks (not necessarily the creators of the underlying works) that still has nothing to do with criminal enforcement. And, again, there are many, many business models that don't rely on copyright, patent or trademark law to "reap the financial rewards." Insisting that those are necessary is short sighted and misleading.

If governments fail to protect intellectual property rights, the immediate consequence will be monetary losses to individual property owners.

Not necessarily. This assumes that any infringing copy is a lost sale -- a myth that also is rarely supported by evidence.

But the long-term impact will be less investment of time and resources, and fewer innovations for society at large.

Another myth, not supported by actual data. As we noted above, even as internet piracy increased, so did the development and output of content.

This conference represents an ongoing commitment by law enforcement, industry partners, and other stakeholders from all over the world to come together and identify ways to protect intellectual property and the industries that fuel the modern global economy. These protections are critical to almost every sector of the economy, from new, life-saving drugs and medical techniques that allow us to live longer and healthier lives; to computers and software that run the devices we use to navigate the airplanes and trains and taxi cabs that brought us here today; to applications on the smartphones we use to purchase coffee.

The thing is, many in the tech industry don't want the DOJ getting into their business. They don't need "protection." They just want to innovate. The people making apps on smartphones these days are often the ones leading the charge against over aggressive enforcement of IP laws. Yet, here, Rosenstein is pretending that he represents their views.

One of our challenges is that intellectual property crime does not look like traditional crime, where the perpetrator takes a physical item directly from the victim. Everybody understands that it is wrong to walk into a business and take property without permission. In contrast, the individual act of downloading a movie from a file-sharing site, or buying a cheap knockoff of a name brand item, may seem harmless. But the accumulated economic loss from thousands or millions of those illegal transactions can destroy legitimate businesses, eliminate the incentive to invest in innovation, and undermine the rule of law.

It doesn't look like traditional crime because it's not traditional crime. And in many cases it seems harmless because it is harmless. Clearly, that's not true in all cases, but in many, it is. Many people downloading a movie would never pay for it in the first place. There's no economic loss there. Many people buying a cheap knockoff brand item, would never buy the full price item. There's no loss there. In fact, multiple studies have shown that when it comes to knockoff goods, the purchase is often an aspirational purchase. That is, they know they're buying a fake, but they buy the knockoff and end up buying the real version later, when they can afford to. In other words, knockoffs and copies often act as cheap or free marketing for more expensive products.

But Rosenstein can't even consider that as a possibility. Rosenstein's piece goes on in this vein for quite some time, and at some point there's no use debunking each and every point. The problem here is really the simplistic "law enforcement" mindset that insists that infringement is theft (it's not) and that any infringement must be bad (even though it's not) and damaging to society (even though it's not). Is it really too much to hope for officials who can actually understand the nuance related to these issues?


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  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 29 Aug 2017 @ 6:36pm

    Public officials representing... their special interests

    > Is it really too much to hope for officials who can actually understand the nuance related to issues?

    TFTFY.

    E

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

  • icon
    TechDescartes (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 8:00am

    Excellent post...

    ...but someone needs to go check on Mike. I think he broke the Ctrl+B and Ctrl+I key combos on his computer pressing them so hard.

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

  • icon
    Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 8:29am

    My guess is...

    ...that Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein has never used a library.

    Then again, Hollywood is an international concept, and so is the money those that follow the concept spend on politics. The blindness exhibited by such entities is fueled by their perception that their paychecks would be higher if 'piracy' was eliminated. That presumption is fed by the idea that every act of 'piracy' is a lost sale, and as Mike pointed out, that is not the case.

    It's about control, not profit so much, though profit is expected with that control.

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

  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 8:44am

    Good Lord they're still at these flimsy bullshit claims?

    I'll fix the little story for him:

    As a child, I learned a fable about a hen that finds some wheat grains and asks other animals for help in planting them. Nobody is willing to help but some will give it money via crowdfunding campaign, so the hen does the work itself hiring some people to help. At every stage of the process – harvesting the wheat, threshing it, milling it into flour, and baking the flour into bread – it keeps building and people keep financing it as they are interested in the results. But when the work is finished, everyone wants to eat the bread. So the hen makes infinite copies of that bread and everybody is happy, some even pay for some copies! Seeing how successful the bread is, hen decides to go for Bread 2.0 with new pepperoni fillings. The end.

    Yes, I would download a bread.

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

    • icon
      Ryunosuke (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 11:38am

      Re:

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 1:17pm

      Re:

      It's interesting he didn't mention the yeast, which is literally a self-replicating organism floating through the air. For sourdough, you just mix flour and water and leave it for a few days until wild yeast shows up and starts to grow (for free!), which is why the taste varies by location.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2017 @ 6:48am

        Re: Re:

        "It's interesting he didn't mention the yeast, which is literally a self-replicating organism"

        Evolution has had billions of years to perfect innovation, yet somehow it never managed to develop "intellectual property".

        Hmmmm....

        Perhaps it doesn't work as a mechanism to encourage innovation?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2017 @ 10:46am

      Re:

      Would you copy a fish sandwich and share the copies?

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 9:53am

    Only one part in bold is imprecise and needs added to:

    "Intellectual property enforcement assures innovators and investors that when they devote time and money to develop new concepts and products, they will reap the financial rewards." -- And all other persons are prohibited from just taking the work without paying even a token, nor can anyone else gain money off it.

    That's right from the Constitution. The Copyright Clause is no accident, and it's not lessened now with gadgets. It's always been easier and more profitable to just copy than to create.

    All the copyright pieces are based on the problem of piracy while insisting isn't a problem. Techdirt always CHEERS difficulty of enforcing copyright. Here's why.

    Techdirt's position is that copyright does more harm to the company than brings benefits. -- It's mere coincidence that makes theft easy for pirates.

    Yet the fools running companies just stubbornly continue to worry about piracy! Should just put products on torrent sites, and wait for the money to roll in, right? Why don't they take Techdirt's brilliant advice?

    Because if the cultural milieu were to shift fully to notion that all content / software should be free -- including without advertising -- then HOW EXACTLY does a company ever get any income?

    ... It doesn't. Piracy itself is possible only when small relative to the number of honest people who pay the pittance, else the system would collapse and no new products put out.

    Pirates are taking value, not trading. To protect easily-stolen intellectual work from the lazy and greedy is precisely why the Copyright and Patents Clauses are in the US Constitution. New gadgets don't change the moral ground though do facilitate theft from creators.

    The above seems a lucid argument to me, entirely supported by the last hundred years of mass entertainments. -- Mass re-production by gadgets made intellectual work MORE valuable, not less! Copyright has directly enriched millions of people, and offers the rest expensive-to-make entertainments for a pittance.

    But here at Techdirt every piece on copyright jeers at the very notion of "intellectual property", and especially jeers at attempts to get income if means controlling copies. They keep chanting "new business model" without ever a working example that doesn't actually rely on the current moral milieu, of creators deserving rewards, remaining in place.

    Repeats endlessly. The pirates here at Techdirt simply refuse to concede that creators have any rights at all. They don't have a cogent argument, only demands to be entertained for free.

    And that's why I conclude that Techdirt is simply piratey kids having no concern for producers.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:29am

      Re: Only one part in bold is imprecise and needs added to:

      >It's always been easier and more profitable to just copy than to create.

      Which explains why the proponents of strong copyright are those who buy the work of others for a pittance, so that they can sell copies. Further they select a few works from the many thousands created to make copies of, so that new works appear to be rare and valuable.

      Given the way that they limit the works on the market, making money is not a primary driver for creating new works, as hundred, if not thousands of works are created for everyone that makes some money for its creator.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:35am

      Re: Only one part in bold is imprecise and needs added to:

      ^^^Heh, heh. That did NOT appear until I'd removed the dashes and got the one in below.

      I always check, and here got the "Held For Moderation" lie ten times, which experience has shown for me means never. (You don't see the other nine, do you? Point proven. :)

      Masnick seems to usually lock down his posts.

      So blame Masnick for all duplication.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:37am

      Re: Only one part in bold is imprecise and needs added to:

      ^^^Heh, heh. That did NOT appear until I removed the dashes.

      I always check, and here got the "Held For Moderation" lie ten times, which experience has shown for me means never. (You don't see the other nine, do you? Point proven. :)

      Masnick seems to usually lock down his posts.

      So blame Masnick for all duplication.

      And there may be some here, same cause...

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 11:15am

      Re: Only one part in bold is imprecise and needs added to:

      The pirates here at Techdirt simply refuse to concede that creators have any rights at all.

      Their “intellectual property” rights are given to them by a set of laws that never foresaw modern technology. If copyright could be updated in a way that aligns with the Internet Age, the ease of copying data, and the original intent of copyright, I would likely support it. But it cannot—at least, not while corporations control the writing of such laws—so I cannot.

      I will stand against black-box code that cedes partial control of my device to someone who does not own it—DRM. I will stand against instant takedowns content if even a small part of it uses someone else’s content under Fair Use guidelines—the DMCA. I will stand against a corporate welfare system that locks up the cultural commons behind a gated wall—the current length of copyright terms. I will stand against any part of copyright law that forgets the law’s original purpose: To strike a bargain between the artist and the general public such that they both benefit from the creation of any given work of art.

      I will also support, in any way that I can, artists whose work I enjoy. I will ask others to support artists in any way they can. I will ask people to pay the often underpaid and overworked freelance artists more than those artists think they deserve for their time and skill. And I will support an individual artist's right to monetize their work as they see fit.

      You may judge me by these principles. Doing anything less will show a distinct lack of your own.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 11:46am

      Re: Only one part in bold is imprecise and needs added to:

      Oh scooter no one cares about your wrong opinions about IP. What we really want to know is if you and Hamilton filmed each other sharing that TOR exit node while calling each other "filthy pirates!"

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

    • icon
      OldGeezer (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 12:32pm

      Shouldn't flag a comment just because you dissagree

      While I didn't agree with any of this, the writer expressed his views coherently without being abusive. I thought this community promoted free speech. Many articles by the staff come out against efforts to stifle even offensive writings because well intentioned laws can backfire.

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

      • icon
        Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 12:37pm

        Re: Shouldn't flag a comment just because you dissagree

        If anything, it was flagged because he tried to make the same comment at least twice. Posting disagreements is fine; spamming them is not.

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

        • icon
          OldGeezer (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 2:12pm

          Re: Re: Shouldn't flag a comment just because you dissagree

          I wasn't aware of that, but I have replied to more than one post on an article saying some of the same ideas with no intention of spamming. I had just skimmed through the earlier posts. I clicked to show and at least it wasn't that numb nuts that keeps posting that Mike hates copyright.

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

          • identicon
            Thad, 30 Aug 2017 @ 4:06pm

            Re: Re: Re: Shouldn't flag a comment just because you dissagree

            If it was the numbnuts that keeps posting that Mike is intentionally blocking his posts, he's not any better.

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

            • icon
              OldGeezer (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 4:29pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Shouldn't flag a comment just because you dissagree

              Before I knew how the flagging was done I read a blocked post that was by a guy that usually wrote some pretty stupid drivel. This one was the exception. It not only was very insightful but I fully agreed with it. When I posted that the flag should be removed Mike replied that the staff has nothing to do with this process.

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

              • identicon
                Thad, 30 Aug 2017 @ 5:01pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Shouldn't flag a comment just because you dissagree

                I'll take your word for it. At this point I've blocked all the anons because the obnoxious ones were sucking up all the oxygen.

                (I apologize to any non-obnoxious anons.)

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 5:49pm

      Moderated means Respected

      Yes, it's pretty obvious that the paid posters on Techdirt are certified idiots without a clue about either the US, the Constitution, business, wealth creation, or fair play. Unsupervised childish idiots, pretty much.

      I would point out to you a recent discovery I made about Moderation:

      Even moderated posts are posted within a day or so, and then they last forever on the Internet, along with the other gibberish from the idiot children.

      So accept the moderation in stride, I do. It doesn't mean anything, only a slight delay in the first posting of your words, they come eventually anyway. And, you an avoid the social responsibility of responding to the idiot children like PaulT and Stephen T. Stone. Just ignore them, it's really quite a nice benefit of the delay.

      I really enjoyed your post, and I read it first, since it was hidden. It's kind of a badge of honor to have your post hidden by these imbecilic children. It shows you are saying something dangerous, in their idiotic rule system.

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

    • icon
      The Wanderer (profile), 31 Aug 2017 @ 6:53am

      Re: Only one part in bold is imprecise and needs added to:

      "Intellectual property enforcement assures innovators and investors that when they devote time and money to develop new concepts and products, they will reap the financial rewards." -- And all other persons are prohibited from just taking the work without paying even a token, nor can anyone else gain money off it.

      Or rather, the original quoted statement (from DAG Rosenstein) is wrong, because it has one detail backwards. A more correct version of the same statement would be:

      "Intellectual property enforcement assures innovators and investors that when they devote time and money to develop new concepts and products, no one else will reap the financial rewards."

      Why exactly this is to be considered desirable, given that "no one else makes money" does not mean "I make (more) money", is less obvious than many of those who advocate for absolute intellectual-property rights and enforcement seem to think it is.

      And that's why I conclude that Techdirt is simply piratey kids having no concern for producers.

      And this is the statement that makes this post flag-worthy. (The two paragraphs preceding it pull it in that direction as well, but are arguably borderline; this one would be enough all on its own.)

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:01am

    A far more relevant fairy tale I learned when I was young was called "The Boy Who Cried Wolf". A young shepherd, bored while looking over his sheep, decided it would be a good idea to amuse himself by shouting about a wolf attack. The villagers would scramble as a result, only to find their time wasted for the shepherd's prank. Eventually, a wolf began attacking the shepherd's flock, savaging the sheep, but this time nobody would heed the shepherd's cries for help, and his flock was devastated.

    Everyone, save for a minority of dedicated sycophants, are sick and tired of "IP-driven industries" (which somehow include supermarkets of all things, because nobody would buy anything if not for IP law) screaming about how they're being destroyed while breaking records every year, recession years included. It seems Rosenstein wants to learn the hard way what happens when everyone is fed up with hearing the shepherd cry wolf.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:02am

    you're the one Mike, wo is not understanding! these law enforcement people are PAID to not understand any of this and PAID to mislead, if and when possible, as many people as possible so as to be able to justify the complete fuck ups they make and to justify what the US (mainly) entertainment industries and Hollywood in particular, are doing as far as getting old laws ramped up from civil to criminal and new laws introduced to make out that no one can live without music and movies but we should pay a fortune for every single piece of each that is produced. the biggest things ignored from that are the amounts the heads of studios get out of each piece produced, the lack of taxes paid, the totally untrue number of jobs that are produced within the industries and how WHAT IS SPOUTED BY ALL THESE PEOPLE IS COMPLETE BULLSHIT!! theft, my ass!!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:08am

    Copyright is tyranny!

    It should be a-bolished.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:39am

      Re: Copyright is tyranny!

      This was ME, testing, to try and get approved session from TOR, and went right in! Then the following long post was blocked, until I removed the dashes. Some coincidence, eh?

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:11am

    Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

    Only one part in bold is imprecise and needs added to:

    "Intellectual property enforcement assures innovators and investors that when they devote time and money to develop new concepts and products, they will reap the financial rewards." -- And all other persons are prohibited from just taking the work without paying even a token, nor can anyone gain money of it.

    That's right from the Constitution. The Copyright Clause is no accident, and it's not lessened now with gadgets. It's always been easier and more profitable to just copy than to create.

    All the copyright pieces are based on the problem of piracy while insisting isn't a problem. Techdirt always CHEERS difficulty of enforcing copyright. Here's why.

    Techdirt's position is that copyright does more harm to the company than brings benefits. -- It's mere coincidence that makes theft easy for pirates.

    Yet the fools running companies just stubbornly continue to worry about piracy! Should just put products on torrent sites, and wait for the money to roll in, right? Why don't they take Techdirt's brilliant advice?

    Because if the cultural milieu were to shift fully to notion that all content / software should be free -- including without advertising -- then HOW EXACTLY does a company ever get any income?

    It doesn't. Piracy itself is possible only when small relative to the number of honest people who pay the pittance, else the system would collapse and no new products put out.

    Pirates are taking value, not trading. To protect easily-stolen intellectual work from the lazy and greedy is precisely why the Copyright and Patents Clauses are in the US Constitution. New gadgets don't change the moral ground though do facilitate theft from creators.

    The above seems a lucid argument to me, entirely supported by the last hundred years of mass entertainments. -- Mass re-production by gadgets made intellectual work MORE valuable, not less! Copyright has directly enriched millions of people, and offers the rest expensive-to-make entertainments for a pittance.

    But here at Techdirt every piece on copyright jeers at the very notion of "intellectual property", and especially jeers at attempts to get income if means controlling copies. They keep chanting "new business model" without ever a working example that doesn't actually rely on the current moral milieu, of creators deserving rewards, remaining in place.

    Repeats endlessly. The pirates here at Techdirt simply refuse to concede that creators have any rights at all. They don't have a cogent argument, only demands to be entertained for free.

    And that's why I conclude that Techdirt is simply pi-ra-tey k-i-d-s having no concern for producers.

    ---

    A previous browser session that worked was BLOCKED, here at the "Free Speech" edition of Techdirt. So long as agree.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:39am

      Re: Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

      For what it's worth, I just checked the spam filter, and there was one attempt at a similar comment that was incorrectly caught as possible spam. It was released, as always, during our usual review. There were no 9 other tries. And, as always, we will release such comments, no matter how silly they may be.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:44am

        Re: Re: Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

        Holy cow! After hundreds of my complaints, you actually responded! And cogently!

        For what it's worth, I have ONLY ever complained when I feel there is cause. And when I don't encounter such cause in future, I won't be distracted and mention.

        I've ONLY ever given my honest views here, silly as they are.

        Stating them is all I've ever asked. However, if the censoring, I mean "hiding" notion goes on when they're well within common law, I'll complain about that.

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

        • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:46am

          Re: Re: Re: Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

          >>> However, if the censoring, I mean "hiding" notion goes on when they're well within common law, I'll complain about that.

          NOW I see that the duplicate HAS been hidden. That's equivocal, but meh.

          By the way, again, there's NEITHER quid pro quo nor threat in what I state, just that's the way humans react.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 11:04am

          Re: Re: Re: Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

          I see you welcome the response, while ignoring that you have been caught lying by exaggeration. Also you keep on pedaling the lie that people should be forced to listen to you. Your nose must be many miles long by now.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

            So the self-professed spambot with a massive hate-boner for this website turned out to be lying about his professed spamming? Wow, that's an M. Night Shyamalan plot twist if I ever saw one...

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

        • icon
          Gwiz (profile), 31 Aug 2017 @ 12:37pm

          Re: Re: Re: Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

          For what it's worth, I have ONLY ever complained when I feel there is cause.

           

          Laughing my ass off here. Pretty much all you've EVER done is complain for years, Blue.

          Here's a comment I wrote back in 2011 poking fun at you for how much you complain about the platform that is providing you a place to complain:

          https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111127/18464916904/may-dolphin-be-unflogged-paskistani -government-censors-texting.shtml#c536

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2017 @ 10:03am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

            Other: Wow Blue you seem like a really fun guy. Let's hang out and go to parties.

            Gwiz: Yeah, loads of fun there.

            Gwiz: Blue would complain that the chips are /stale/, the dip is too WARM and the /couch/ is lumpy. Then he would insult the host by complaining that the party was too /BIG/ and demand to be reimbursed for the gas to drive there because it was so /far/ AWAY.

            WOW! You really shot me down! You made up a hypothetical about a physical party and what you think I'd do. Yup, it's a killer.

            Sheesh. To assert that my comment there is attacking the site: clearly that was just the first of yours that your alcohol-soaked brain concluded even vaguely fit, but it doesn't.

            Now, I can't keep up with so many knuckleheads, and you're just a minor one. BUT STOP TROLLING ME. GET ON TOPIC, YOU TROLL. -- I've certainly been complaining about you fanboy-pirate-trolls here for years, and of course does no good, because it's all you've got.

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

            • icon
              Gwiz (profile), 1 Sep 2017 @ 4:24pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

              It simply amazes me that a person can be such an ass to everyone around them and then be all indignant that everyone treats them like the ass they are being.

              Give me one reason why you should be treated with a single iota of respect when you show none to anyone else here.

              I am genuinely curious to understand how the simple logic of "Action A" causes "Reaction B" from those around you seems to be a concept that eludes you.

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

      • icon
        OldGeezer (profile), 31 Aug 2017 @ 12:22pm

        Re: Re: Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

        Glad to see you truly believe in free speech and make an effort to permit opposing views. Someone can post that is 100% head up their ass wrong, but as long as they are not in violation of terms you allow it! :)

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2017 @ 9:53am

        Re: Re: Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

        Well, well. After catching up in the just prior pieces, NOW I perhaps see why you're at all conciliatory: enough dissenters have accumulated that you can no longer just block and/or ignore: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20170829/09023438101/npr-gives-up-news-comments-after-all- who-cares-what-your-customers-have-to-say.shtml#c38

        *As for Masnick calling me a liar about number of attempts: I cannot tell when "Cloudflare" blocks/flags a TOR address -- nor IF it does, that's just what I've read elsewhere, so I guess it's possible he didn't see the prior 9. But Cloudflare may no longer be able to block all TOR addresses, and THAT could be part of why this admission.

        There's NO doubt that I've complained hundreds of times right here on either difficulty getting through or never comes out of "Moderation", yet you (or any administrator) have only this once responded officially (that I've seen, I hedge, to be fair), let alone admitted anything prior.

        OR Masnick's reason could be that I got curious about rare commenters with accounts, MANY having gaps of several YEARS, and you want me to drop that.

        So I see FOUR causes more credible than just suddenly noticed problem and immediately fixed:

        1) too many persistent dissenters have home IPA blocked becoming known 2) TOR browsers, and Cloudflare may not be keeping up with new TOR addresses 3) my hundreds of complaints -- and your ignoring -- on the site establishes that there's problems with your system, at best 4) you likely noticed with your administrator view of page visits that I've skimmed a couple hundred user accounts, and you may well know that MANY are ODD -- oh, I know all will say "crazy", but there is the juxtapostion in time of my pointing those up and the response from Masnick; it's just evidence to weigh TOO

        I can only guess motives. But for certain, Masnick's long silence says much not good. Any admission at all now suggests a "limited hangout" to prevent worse.

        @ Masnick: are you stating that I'm a liar, or is there some other explanation possible? Because clearly your fanboys are going to use your offhand words as basis for attacks. If there's new tolerance on, I'm sure you'll want to clear up misunderstanding.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 3 Sep 2017 @ 2:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Now here's what I couldn't get in after 10 tries:

          The number of dissenters hasn't changed. Darryl is gone, bob is gone, antidirt shakes his fist from far away, Technopolitical is gone, angry dude is gone. Hell, most of the mainstays have fallen into the wayside, and had you chosen not to associate yourself with a website that you absolutely loathe, you might have vanished into the ether with no consequence.

          What has changed is the lengths at which the trolls will go to, including screwing with their IP addresses. An act which they have regularly claimed only pirates will do, to give themselves a veneer of legitimacy.

          The reply is little more than Masnick choosing to feed the troll a breadcrumb (not a smart move in my opinion, but this isn't my site), knowing the idiot will spam paragraphs of balderdash regardless.

          But sure, hang around. When you come across the article that describes John Steele's downfall in full detail, the meltdown you will have will be priceless.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:13am

    Apprently "pi-ra-tey k-i-d-s" without the dashes is BLOCKED!

    Yup. A dozen tries with that text prior, and ten just here, were always blocked.

    Masnick going to play games on the new "free speech edition" of Techdirt too? For the phrase "pi-ra-tey k-i-d-s"? Sheesh.

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:37am

      Re: Apprently "pi-ra-tey k-i-d-s" without the dashes is BLOCKED!

      Every time I post something pro-T-R-U-M-P or anti-S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-T it gets blocked! Masnick is obviously anti-T-R-U-M-P and pro-S-O-C-I-A-L-I-S-T! I would provide examples but they're all blocked!

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

  • identicon
    AnonCow, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:15am

    Insert standard quote here

    "It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends upon his not understanding it!"

    -Upton Sinclair

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:30am

    Virtually every crime has a civil counterpart, so the logical result of the argument presented in the article would be the elimination of virtually all criminal laws.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      Virtually every crime has a civil counterpart, so the logical result of the argument presented in the article would be the elimination of virtually all criminal laws.

      That doesn't mean that civil law has a criminal counterpart. Just as every poodle is a dog doesn't mean every dog is a poodle.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:38am

    "It seems fairly obvious that they can be handled easily enough with civil actions, without involving law enforcement"

    Sure but that means using their OWN money, involving law enforcement uses Taxpayer money, and we all know how they like to pay taxes

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 10:44am

    one administration has a problem with the concept of property the other with the concept of intellectual.

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

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 11:06am

    Consider Hunter S. Thompson's Fear and Loathing in Las Vegas a funny book with a lot of drug use. There's a scene in the book where Raoul Duke attends a police anti-narcotics conference and mocks the inaccuracies in the "expert" presentations.

    The book isn't pro drugs; "Fear and Loathing" is in the title for a reason. Likewise the police weren't mocked because they were anti-drugs; they were mocked because they were clueless about the nature of the problem.

    That's what you're seeing here. Deputy Attorney General Rod Rosenstein speaking at a Law Enforcement IP Crime Conference, demonstrating that he's clueless about the nature of the problem. But no doubt someone will dishonestly or stupidly misrepresent the Techdirt story as pro-piracy.

    That book was published in 1971, the year the term "War on Drugs" was popularized by the media after Nixon's speech to Congress on Drug Abuse Prevention and Control. There are many other parallels with today's War on Piracy. Ridiculous penalties for minor infringers for example.

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

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 11:17am

    https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9b6Dj_TzSpQ

    Nobody ever had a reason to create anything until there were intellectual property laws to force monopolies on a lazy, selfish populace.

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

  • icon
    ECA (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 12:09pm

    I know a few stories also..

    There once was a little Girl,
    Who made a lemon aid stand, and Priced it at $5.
    It was good lemon aid, as mother had made it.
    The price was to high, and mother told her to lower the price.
    $4 per cup..
    And still no one came.
    $3 per cup and still no one came..
    $2 a cup and a few bought a cup or 2..
    $1 per cup, and more people bought the lemon aid..

    Another story..
    The same little girl the next year..
    Starts out making lemon aid at $1 per cup..

    Another little girl across the street OPENS HER lemon aid stand..
    0.75 per cup..
    And she get more business..
    1st little girl walks across the street and hands her a contract, She will buy all her lemon aid, and 2 pitchers every day, IF she wont make any more lemon aid..

    She goes back across the street and raises her prices to $1.50..

    NOW lets change something in this story.
    Lets call it WATER, out of the garden hose and Ice cubes.
    ---------------------------------------------

    THE music/movie industry ISNT the creator.
    They are the Production and Sales..THATS ALL.
    And they CHARGE TONS of money for Production.
    IF' the recording industry would DROP price after the initial SALES to a comparative Price(after paying off production)...The price of the Music would DROP to about 1/10.

    NOW, lets look at DIGITAL music distribution..
    The CORP does not want to be the SELLER..so they get OTHERS TO DO IT. AND CHARGE THEM FOR..
    1 sound track, sold over and over..(thats the water hose)
    Production costs are GONE..Paid for long ago.(buying out the competition)
    No artist to make COVERS, no PACKAGING..NO SHIPPING/HANDLING..NO LOCAL DISTRIBUTION LOCAL(no store needed)(no lemon aid stand)
    Can sell WORLD WIDE from 1 distribution..(1 cup of water/lemon aid sold over and over and over)(1 big water hose, and everyone has a cup)
    Yes, you have to PAY the Creators..About 10cents per sale.. but you are Charging 30-50cents to the RE-SELLERS.. WHO have to markup the goods to make THEIR profit.

    How many Creators Could/CAN/DO go direct and independent??
    FEW..as someone comes along and SAYS they can do it better, and ONLY PAYS them the SAME amount as they were getting, and raises the Prices..

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 12:27pm

      Re: I know a few stories also..

      Are YOU an AI?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 12:48pm

      Re: I know a few stories also..

      How many Creators Could/CAN/DO go direct and independent?? FEW......

      You do not get the Internet do you, as it is full of independent content creators in all fields of content creation.

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

      • icon
        ECA (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 2:03pm

        Re: Re: I know a few stories also..

        Psst:
        Im 58 and been dealing with computers over 30 years..
        The Net over 20..
        Iv seen notices from Major Creators, about the Recording industry being SUE'd because they didnt PAY ALL THE ROYALTIES..

        I know the independents..and if you KNOW those from the past, and compare numbers...THERE ARE NOT THAT MANY..YET.

        There are many Perpetual business's..from books, comic, Music, Video...and a few others that are HATING THE NET..
        Those that LEARN the net and HOW to make money, will prosper. the CORPS are going to fight this Tooth and nail..They are going to TRY and make every penny they CAN, before it all crashes around them.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 12:17pm

    It's hilarious how many people that read this site are ashamed to admit they steal from artists but still puff out their widdle chests and complain about intellectual property.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 12:29pm

      Re:

      Tell me, how often do you watch unofficial/unauthorized uploads of content on YouTube?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 12:31pm

      Re:

      I know right? All those poor artists, with all of their stuff stolen, it just ain't...

      What? They still have all their stuff? People are making copies of some of their stuff, but leaving the originals where they were? But this dude said their stuff was stolen, doesn't that mean they don't have it anymore? Oh, he's just an internet buffoon who refuses to use the correct terms just because it makes his point sound better than it actually is, gotcha.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 2:43pm

      Re:

      Would you like to try out a second draft of that comment there, chum? You seem to have misspelled comment, infringe, little, and discuss.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 2:56pm

      Re:

      Now now, just because you do so doesn't mean everyone else does.

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

    • identicon
      observer, 30 Aug 2017 @ 4:13pm

      Re:

      Does the phrase "argumentum ad hominem" mean anything to you?

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

  • icon
    Advocate (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 4:01pm

    Copyright is detrimental to society in a world with global communication. Eliminate Copyright!

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

  • icon
    That Anonymous Coward (profile), 30 Aug 2017 @ 6:00pm

    "the incentive to create new things will be lost"

    Unless your new thing sounds like an old thing, and then the heirs will demand billions of dollars in damages because we've turned IP into a weapon.

    We have video of a walk in a forest taken away because a company claims to own the bird song, twice. No punishment.

    It's hard to create new things when IP has devolved to the point that somehow mailing cassettes to people allows someone to seek millions in royalties from someone posting an MP3.

    We rewarded these "creators" with the ability to imagine new ways their creations can be applied to new ideas & collect rent.

    Stories from the public domain of hundreds of years ago are scooped up & locked away from new creators who have a different view.

    To protect a cartoon mouse, we all have to suffer from having corporations trying to maintain control because they imagine a penny isn't being paid to them. People willing to pay them are punished for doing the "right" thing.

    IP is a buzzword thats been stretched to silly proportions.
    The amount is actually adds to the economy (hollywood acccounting) is tiny yet is controlled by multibillion dollar corporations that get their money from somewhere.

    Let us stop worrying about the hypothetical wolf going to huff and puff our houses down & focus on the fact that the last 999 times they cried wolf, they actually made MORE money when they embraced what they thought was a wolf.
    (I await a letter telling me I owe the great great great great grandchildren of an author millions in damages for daring to use his idea in my comment)

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 6:45pm

      Re:

      I really like your post. It is so ridiculous that it will be useful in the future to anyone wishing to discredit Techdirt. What an obtuse idiot you are.

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

      • icon
        That Anonymous Coward (profile), 31 Aug 2017 @ 8:27pm

        Re: Re:

        Luckily for me, my mom still thinks I'm cute.

        Sorry your a orphan, but I can understand them wanting to fake their deaths to avoid you. :)

        So other than trying to throw up big words to give your manhood that special tingle, did you actually have any facts to dispute what I said?

        Everything I said is based on actual facts that happened (and if you were an actual techdirt reader you'd know that because you would have read them) and really highlight how broken IP has become when they have all these government types pushing for more law to protect the artists, while ignoring that despite this kajillion dollar "theft" of their content they are still making billions. (though not this year because OMG they made some REALLY SHITTY movies, its almost like they scared creative people from making things for fear of being sued by death authors great great great grandchildren...)

        *drops the mic*

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 6:05pm

    Imaginary property is what it is... imaginary.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 30 Aug 2017 @ 7:44pm

      Espionage is not imaginary

      Economic Espionage

      In general terms, economic espionage is the unlawful or clandestine targeting or acquisition of sensitive financial, trade or economic policy information; proprietary economic information; or technological information.

      The Economic Espionage Act of 1996 (EEA), 18 U.S.C. §§ 1831-1839, defines the term "economic espionage" as the theft or misappropriation of a trade secret with the intent or knowledge that the offense will benefit any foreign government, foreign instrumentality, or foreign agent. See 18 U.S.C. § 1831. The act of receiving, purchasing, or possessing a trade secret known to have been stolen or misappropriated, as well as any attempt or conspiracy to commit economic espionage are punishable as a federal crime under the EEA

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

  • identicon
    tp, 31 Aug 2017 @ 3:58am

    Intellectual property

    Here's a question for the community to answer:
    1) assume there exists people who are doing nothing
    else than creating digital products
    2) everyone in the market gets that product for free
    3) there isn't any way to swap digital products for money
    4) money is the only way to buy food
    5) the question is, how does those people who create these digital products, get food?

    It's known that money/food cannot be duplicated like digital products can... How many digital products do creators need to produce to get their food stamps?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2017 @ 4:56am

      Re: Intellectual property

      How many digital products do creators need to produce to get their food stamps?

      A better, and more relevant question is how often do they need to produce new content to keep their patrons on bard, and that depends on they type and quality of the content being produced. There is this general assumption amongst many Youtube creators that they will only have an income so long as they are creating new content, and no expectation that their great great grandchildren will be receiving money from what they created.

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

      • identicon
        tp, 31 Aug 2017 @ 7:43am

        Re: Re: Intellectual property

        > that depends on they type and quality of the content being produced.

        Sure, but producing high quality product takes more time. Thus the person needs more food.

        The basic question is that _is the system killing these people or not_. You don't need to think anything else.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2017 @ 8:00am

          Re: Re: Re: Intellectual property

          As there are a considerable number of people who make a living making content for Youtube, so it is very much possible to make living creating free content.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 31 Aug 2017 @ 6:03am

      Re: Intellectual property

      Water is available for free for pretty much anyone, and yet the bottled water industry seems to be doing fine, so the fact that a product can be attained for free does not mean someone can't make money selling it. Sites like Bandcamp allow people to listen to entire songs, and more often entire albums, completely for free and more often than not repeated times, and yet they seem to be doing quite well in the sales department.

      The question is not, as pointed out by the AC above, 'how many', but rather 'how often', and much like any other job if you want the money to keep rolling in you need to keep producing something, make it something that people want, and provide both incentive to pay and the ability for people to do so in a convenient way.

      Make something that no-one wants? No one's going to buy.

      Make something that people do want, but no-one knows about? No one's going to buy.

      Make something that people do want, and that they do know about, but require any would-be-buyers to jump through numerous hoops in order to be granted the privilege of giving you money? People might still buy, but it's going to be much smaller than it could have been.

      Make something that people do want, but set the price high enough that people don't think it's worth the cost? Not many buyers.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2017 @ 6:10am

      Re: Intellectual property

      Why "3) there isn't any way to swap digital products for money"?

      Is it a legal requirement that digital products cannot be swapped for money?
      Could you do the exchange on the black market for other stuff that can be converted to money?
      Is it that no one has yet developed a way to exchange digital products for money (no credit cards/paypal etc)?

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

      • icon
        The Wanderer (profile), 31 Aug 2017 @ 6:48am

        Re: Re: Intellectual property

        Presumably, that item is derived from the idea that (paraphrasing a much longer and more detailed discussion) "digital objects can be infinitely copied at zero cost, therefore the natural market price for such objects is zero, therefore it is either impossible or impermissible to charge money for such objects, therefore such objects cannot be exchanged for money".

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2017 @ 6:43am

      Re: Intellectual property

      Here's a question for you to answer.

      Where in copyright law exists the right or avenue for a creator to take off everything he created at a certain point out of availability, even out of the public domain?

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

    • identicon
      observer, 1 Sep 2017 @ 9:23am

      Re: Intellectual property

      Universal basic income. You're welcome.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 1 Sep 2017 @ 9:31am

      Re: Intellectual property

      It's known that money/food cannot be duplicated like digital products can

      So I suppose you're against patents.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 31 Aug 2017 @ 6:21am

    ![Image](https://www.gnu.org/graphics/jesus-cartoon.jpg)

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


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