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by Leigh Beadon


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history, look back



This Week In Techdirt History: September 17th - 23rd

from the stuff-that-happened dept

Five Years Ago

There was all sorts of copyright nonsense this week in 2012, beginning with a claim from the Canadian Mint over a musician's album cover photo that included some pennies sitting on a table. We noticed some disturbing things hiding in the history of US copyright, like the fact that the Copyright Act explicitly says disruptive innovation should be blocked, or that somehow a letter written by John Adams in 1755 had still not entered the public domain. The Spanish octogenarian who gained notoriety after her extremely poor "restoration" of a fresco of Jesus decided, for some reason, to start exercising her copyright over the famous failure, and we also saw the beginning of the copyright dustup over The Innocence of Muslims.

Also, this was the week that the Big Four record labels became the Big Three, with regulators approving Universal's purchase of EMI.

Ten Years Ago

Things weren't much better this week in 2007, with the copyright czar stepping up to sing the praises of the DMCA and copyright holders gloating over every mole successfully whac'd in their pointless crusade. NBC seemed insistent on making life harder for paying customers> (though CBS seemed to have a better handle on internet video), the Canadian recording industry was flip-flopping on private copying levees lest people get the impression downloading was legal, and a book store at Harvard was trying to claim copyright on... its book prices.

Fifteen Years Ago

Guess what? More of the same this week in 2002. The music industry was touting new "CD-killer" music formats without mentioning their real motivation was the enhanced copyright protection of new, pointless devices, while at least one record company was taking the absurd anti-leak action of sending reviewers individual players containing the CD and glued shut. Cablevision gave everyone a preview of the DRM future by accidentally turning on new copyright protection technology for a little while. At least CEA head Gary Shapiro was eloquently making the point that downloading is neither immoral nor illegal, though that sensible understanding of the situation unsurprisingly didn't catch on with the entertainment industries.


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  • identicon
    Chai, 23 Sep 2017 @ 12:44pm

    Harvard retro

    Harvard Bookstore...'trying to claim copyright on... its book prices...

    It is novel and interesting that, in the comments, sentiments that (essentially)say "If it your store you may choose who you serve".

    A more innocent time, I think, when Christian bakers would not have been prosecuted for refusing service to homosexuals.

    Are things better now? I wonder.

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

    • icon
      Leigh Beadon (profile), 23 Sep 2017 @ 1:38pm

      Re: Harvard retro

      It appears to me to be a multi-sided discussion about anti-discrimination laws, with many commenters asserting that they are a good thing.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2017 @ 11:38am

        Re: Re: Harvard retro

        "anti-discrimination laws"

        Is really just "discrimination laws".

        In short anti-discrimination is an oxymoron. You either have discrimination or you don't.

        Once any class of humans received protections another class does not, then you are only fighting fire with fire and now that both sides are burning all that will be left are the ashes.

        On a positive note, those ashes might give rise to fertile ground for beautiful growth. The problem comes from people thinking they are the only ones allowed to burn while the others is to be snuffed out.

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

        • icon
          Leigh Beadon (profile), 24 Sep 2017 @ 11:48am

          Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

          Such laws do not single out classes of people. They prevent discrimination on a given basis - race, religion, sexual orientation, etc. - but offer no one group on any of those spectrums more protections than another. It is just as illegal to refuse service to Christians or heterosexual couples as it is to refuse service to Muslims or gay couples.

          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, 24 Sep 2017 @ 12:10pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

            I believe what I have said reaches too deep for you to understand.

            The law is explicitly written to identify what class everyone belongs too when you go before it. When you go before the law, your name, your age, your financial status, your occupation, your group associations are all under review.

            "Such laws do not single out classes of people."

            the mere utterance of this sentence makes clear, your deep and ignorant cognitive dissonance. The state itself is a massive machine of a singled out class of people that only regards the people by their classes "or demographics if you will". The law treats us all differently based on which class it believes that we belong to.

            Upper class, middle class, low class... just to name only a very small few. We each have multiple classes that we belong to, and we all judge each other based on our perceptions of them. We also support "different" laws for different classes as well.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Sep 2017 @ 1:25pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

              I believe what I have said reaches too deep for you to understand.

              Take it away, Bender.

              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, 24 Sep 2017 @ 4:47pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

                And you wonder why your liberties are being destroyed before your very eyes.

                I come to TD nearly every day to watch the masses piss and moan about their plights while they sneer at those telling them how they only did it to themselves.

                Keep laughing because you won't be having any fun when the boot you have been building falls upon the back of your neck.

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

            • icon
              Leigh Beadon (profile), 25 Sep 2017 @ 8:59am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

              Don't confuse "deep" with "vague and ill-formed"

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 23 Sep 2017 @ 5:21pm

      Re: Harvard retro

      You must have read a different article than I did, because I just went through the comments and the closest I could find was people arguing that a store could discriminate, so long as they weren't honest about it and came up with a bogus excuse as to why they were kicking someone out(with other people pointing out that no, you can't).

      As for your rhetorical question, in general yes, yes they are, as the example you yourself provided demonstrates.

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

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 23 Sep 2017 @ 6:37pm

      Re: Harvard retro

      Prosecuted? None that i remember.

      Christian? That is hardly the actual defining factor.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 23 Sep 2017 @ 7:34pm

      Re: Harvard retro

      when Christian bakers would not have been prosecuted for refusing service to homosexuals

      The religious beliefs of those bakers in Colorado have no bearing on whether they broke the law. They could have been Jewish, Muslim, Buddhist, or even atheist—they still would have broken the law by using sexual orientation as the reason for refusing service to gay people.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2017 @ 11:53am

        Re: Re: Harvard retro

        "The religious beliefs of those bakers in Colorado have no bearing on whether they broke the law."

        So you have made it clear that the 1st Amendment is worth nothing to you then. Freedom of practice of religion means that people cannot be legally compelled to perform in ceremonies their religion speaks against. Shall we force Muslim butchers to process pigs? How about Jewish butchers? Should they even be allowed to even market or claim kosher or halal ideas? Why do people have to follow your null-god religion in lieu of their mono or poly god one?

        Remember this as an Officer lets you know that your 4th, 5th, and 6th amendments rights are equally as worth nothing. Since you are okay with using corrupt logic it justify the removal of another persons liberty because you do not like their behavior then you also justify corrupt logic that removes your liberty.

        Since you are okay with destroying other peoples liberty, you no longer have any right to complain about the loss of liberty at all.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2017 @ 12:41pm

          Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

          I love how you people fundamentally misunderstand how public accomodation laws work and why they exist. And using that old chestnut about Muslim butchers is just the cherry on top of your bullshit cake.

          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, 24 Sep 2017 @ 4:40pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

            "I love how you people fundamentally misunderstand how public accomodation laws work and why they exist."

            I love how you people fundamentally misunderstand the Constitution works and why it exists.

            "And using that old chestnut about Muslim butchers is just the cherry on top of your bullshit cake."

            It is just an example. It is sad that you think supporting and advancing the ideals of the Constitution are "bullshit cake". You sure do scream loudly when your rights are trampled, even though it was shortly after participating in the trampling of another's rights. Since you would deny them theirs, they will deny you yours!

            Hypocrisy... go to a mirror and get a good look at it.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2017 @ 5:50pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

              OH if only you had an actual clue about how dumb that example is. But do go on, I love to watch people project their feelings of inferiority all over the place.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Sep 2017 @ 6:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

              It is just an example.

              It is also a horrible example.

              If a Muslim man opens a butcher shop that serves the general public, that butcher can refuse to sell pork products. The law does not and cannot force him to serve certain items on his menu.

              In turn, that butcher cannot refuse service on the basis of religious creed, sex, age, disability, ethnicity/skin color, and any other factor covered by anti-discrimination law. He also cannot offer “special” services to one group of people while refusing it to all others. That is the compromise he made when he opened his business. If he wants to have those specific rights, he must stop serving the general public.

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

        • icon
          Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Sep 2017 @ 1:00pm

          Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

          If a business purports to serve the general public, it must serve the public equally under both federal law and the laws of the city, county, and state in which it exists. The business owners must offer the same “menu” in the exact same way to all customers. To follow your example: A Jewish butcher cannot refuse to sell kosher meat to an atheist customer because that customer is atheist.

          With that said, a customer cannot force special treatment from such a business. That same Jewish butcher can refuse to sell non-kosher meat so long as that refusal covers everyone. If no one can buy it, everyone receives equal treatment.

          The case involving Masterpiece Cakeshop revolves around whether their discrimination of a gay couple is justified. The bakery refused to so much as bake a basic, no-frills, ordinary wedding cake for the couple—and cited a religious belief as the reason. But under Colorado state law, the bakery’s refusal was a violation of the law, since they refused to offer something toward a customer on the basis of sexual orientation.

          The tricky question about this situation goes as such: “At what point does serving the general public become compelled speech?” On the surface, a straight Christian baker refusing to bake a wedding cake for a gay couple seems like a clear-cut case of protecting against compelled speech. Dig deeper, however, and the details say something else: The baker could have just as easily baked a basic, no-frills, lacking-in-decoration wedding cake for that couple and sold them whatever they needed to decorate it.¹ And no one could credibly claim that the baker either supports or decries same-sex marriage—after all, the cake would be the same basic cake offered to any other straight couple. Had the couple tried to force the baker into decorating the cake in a way that showed even implicit support of same-sex marriage, that would likely have been ruled an act of compelled speech.

          When we enter the public sphere, we compromise with each other. Society holds together because of such compromises. One of them is putting aside our religious beliefs, if only temporarily, to do business with people whose beliefs may differ from ours. That compromise does not stop people from holding a certain belief, nor does it stop them from practicing their religion in private. It also does not allow others to compel speech that violates those beliefs. But baking a basic cake is not “speech”—and selling that cake to a gay couple does not violate the free practice of religion.

          ¹ ~ Another Colorado Baker, Azucar Bakery, won a discrimination case partially because it made such an offer. A Christian customer wanted Azucar to bake him some “Christian cakes”, including one shaped like a cross, and decorate those cakes with anti-gay messaging. The bakery made his cakes but refused to decorate them, offering instead to sell him the tools needed for decorating it himself. The customer sued Azucar, charging them with religious discrimination. The courts ruled in favor of Azucar for two reasons: The bakery had a store policy against decorating products with hateful messages of any kind, and it tried to accomodate the customer as best it could while adhering to that policy. Azucar Bakery treated him no better or worse than the average customer; his religious beliefs were not the basis for any supposed “discrimination”.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2017 @ 4:25pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

            "To follow your example: A Jewish butcher cannot refuse to sell kosher meat to an atheist customer because that customer is atheist."

            This does not follow the example.

            "The case involving Masterpiece Cakeshop revolves around whether their discrimination of a gay couple is justified."

            I never made the claim it was justified.

            "But under Colorado state law, the bakery’s refusal was a violation of the law, since they refused to offer something toward a customer on the basis of sexual orientation."

            The 1st Amendment and all other amendments in the Constitution supersede all other laws. You cannot constitutionally make any law that it in contravention of the amendments. To do so justifies all of the other problems that TD discusses, namely Civil Forfeiture.

            I am directly making the case that since you are okay with sacrificing the 1st Amendment you tacitly approve of the government also removing every other constitutional right you have.

            The issue I am describing is not what is right or wrong according to anyone's morals, but what is constitutional or not. Because you have proceeded to perform mental gymnastics to justify legal action against someone who has denied service to something they religiously disagreed with, the government has also felt free to perform the same mental gymnastics to also, murder black people for being black on a Friday night, for taking your property because they felt that might have been used in a crime without due process, to search you without cause for any reason they deem necessary, and to imprison you for lengthy periods of time... all of these things without due process or concern for your liberty.

            The bakery issue is just one example of how people like you have taught the government, that our rights are meaningless. They have certainly listened to you. They now know, that as long as they can make your rights look like they are protecting someone or something you do not like, it is okay to dismantle them.

            This is what Karma is, the failure to do what is right because you disagreed with what a person did with their rights, leading directly to you losing your rights!

            This is how you destroy your own self in the attempt to destroy your "perceived" enemies.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Sep 2017 @ 5:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

              If I had as sad a grasp of logic as you do id resort to histrionics as well.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Sep 2017 @ 6:10pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Harvard retro

              I never made the claim it was justified.

              Directly? Maybe not. But you did say this: “Freedom of practice of religion means that people cannot be legally compelled to perform in ceremonies their religion speaks against.” Your own words imply a belief that anti-gay discrimination is justified with a “my religion says I gotta” excuse.

              The 1st Amendment and all other amendments in the Constitution supersede all other laws.

              Tell that to the lawyers of anyone who has ever killed in the name of religion. See how many of them laugh you out of their office.

              You cannot constitutionally make any law that it in contravention of the amendments.

              We have laws that supercede the protections of the First Amendment—after all, you cannot claim “free speech” if you order someone to kill me, and you cannot defame me without consequence.

              I am directly making the case that since you are okay with sacrificing the 1st Amendment you tacitly approve of the government also removing every other constitutional right you have.

              If I were okay with that, you would have a point. But I am not—so you do not.

              you have proceeded to perform mental gymnastics to justify legal action against someone who has denied service to something they religiously disagreed with

              In Colorado, the law says people cannot open a business and refuse to serve a gay person because they are gay. Whether a business owner considers that a burden on their religious beliefs should not matter unless a customer is trying to compel speech from the business. The business is open to and purports to equally serve the general public—it does not have the right to choose who makes up “the general public”.

              murder black people for being black on a Friday night, for taking your property because they felt that might have been used in a crime without due process, to search you without cause for any reason they deem necessary, and to imprison you for lengthy periods of time... all of these things without due process or concern for your liberty

              Cool story! Not relevant to the particular discussion at hand.

              The bakery issue is just one example of how people like you have taught the government, that our rights are meaningless.

              A gay person should not lose their civil rights because of a Christian’s religious beliefs—just as a Christian should not lose their civil rights because of a gay person’s dislike for religious bigotry. But balancing those rights requires compromise. If you believe that compromise should always favor one party over another, you effectively believe that the disfavored party’s rights are meaningless.

              This is what Karma is, the failure to do what is right because you disagreed with what a person did with their rights, leading directly to you losing your rights!

              The bakery did not have, and currently does not have, the right to inequitably serve gay people because they are gay. (Whether they gain that right in the future is up to the Supreme Court.) They should not have that right, even if their religion tells them to hate gay people, unless a gay customer either presses for special treatment or attempts to compel speech with which the baker disagrees.

              To make a long post short (too late): A cake is a cake, not a form of speech, and baking the same generic cake for gay and straight customers alike is not a burden too large for an anti-gay Christian to bear. If that Christian cannot bear to follow the law that governs all peoples, they have a compromise to choose: stop selling that specific service, stop serving the general public, or close down.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 23 Sep 2017 @ 1:01pm

    Twenty years ago

    Last week continued…   It was twenty years ago, today

    Up-To-Date September 14 - 20, 1997

    Rolling Stones to "webcast" a concert next week...

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


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