Techdirt

by Leigh Beadon




Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the so-they-say dept

This week, both our top comments on the insightful side come from our post about the MPAA's latest attack on free speech under the guise of saving it. In first place, it's a simple anonymous point made in response to a critic:

I'd just like to point out that Section 230 doesn't prevent anyone from defending themselves from defamation. It just keeps the focus on the actual speakers, instead of the platforms they use.

In second place, it's Stephen T. Stone boiling down the real lesson about struggling Hollywood companies:

To twist an old axiom: If a business model can be destroyed by the Internet, it deserves to be destroyed by the Internet.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we've got two more comments on that topic in response to other posts this week about the evidence that innovation and legal alternatives are the best way to reduce piracy. Firstly, though this really shouldn't still be necessary, it's an anonymous commenter responding to the ol' comparison to shoplifting and theft:

The supermarket analogy is only barely applicable, because you can't simply instantly and with minimal cost replicate a head of cabbage.

It also fails on the comparison of shop-lifting to piracy, in terms of the logistics of it and realities of it.

Shop-lifting, as a physical action, also denies the ability of a different consumer from purchasing the item that was shop-lifted. The downloading of a copied song does not have this effect.

Shop-lifting, as a physical action, can be caught and stopped by enforcement with a very, very, very low degree of false positive, and for those cases with a false positive, there is an immediate and costless method of redress for the accused (show the receipt, be let go). Preventing shop-lifting has a cost footprint in and of itself ... and even with enforcement, the big players actually account for projected loss of revenue to theft in their annual planning. Even with enforcement, the physical action of shop-lifting is accepted as something that cannot be 100% stamped out, and the amount of enforcement and the focus on enforcement gets balanced against the cost-effectiveness of it, and whether or not it will drive people away.

From the perspective of person hoping to profit off their creative work, there would be no reason not to view piracy through a similar lens - what is the most cost-effective method to reduce it? If enforcement is proven to not be cost-effective, and to potentially actually hurt your bottom line, why would you want to continue with it?

Why not instead pursue tactics that will bring in money rather than drive it away?

Next, it's an anonymous caveat to the idea that pirating a work always means you value it:

That's not necessarily true. At most I'd say it could be an admission that your work might have value, but I wouldn't know that until I've seen/read it. I might be willing to pay a modest fee to trial the work if what I knew of it was sufficiently interesting, but then if it was utter crap I would be less upset at the loss of money and possibly willing to view a future work from you. However, if I paid full price for crap, good luck ever getting any money from me ever again.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is a response from Capt ICE Enforcer to our post about Alex Jones, platforms, and free speech — which, admittedly, did have a lot of preamble:

Gosh. Even the TLDR was TL.

In second place, we've got a response to our post about the cops who lost their qualified immunity over their handling of a Trump rally:

Just an "isolated incident" involving a "few bad apples"

Nothing to see here, people, move along, move along.

And no one had better mention feeling less safe at the sight of a cop, either. That is the /real/ crime, not trusting the police to keep you safe.

Not a mob of 250 cops sending innocent people into another violent mob, to meet whatever fate had in store for them there. That's ok, because #Bluelivesmatter (more than yours), and #Backtheblue, as well, because if you don't, fine, upstanding police might not be protected enough by all the special protections they have.

Playgrounds and suburbs are already a war zone, the police remind us, although where the craters and mangled corpses in jumbled wreckage are, I have no idea.

Back the Blue; it's good for them, and okay for you.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we've got a groaner and a cheap shot. Let's start with the former — Pixelation summing up our post on the problems with West Virginia's cellphone voting initiative:

So what you're saying is...

they're making a bad call?

And now, the cheap shot — from Thad in response to the suggestion that, in order to understand the difference between profit and artistic quality, one should "just look at Batman v. Superman":

I most certainly will not.

That's all for this week, folks!


Reader Comments

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  • identicon
    John Smith, 12 Aug 2018 @ 12:35pm

    "If a business model can be destroyed by the internet, it deserves to be destroyed by the internet."

    Does this apply to the Bar Association monopoly on legal services?

    ALso it's "lack of enforcement of existing law on the internet" that has destroyed a lot.

    As for Section 230, going after the individuals is what we have with copyright law. Section 230 makes the ideal business model one of trashing the competition and false advertising because the websites aren't immune.

    Thanks to Section 230, you can't trust internet advertising, so don't buy anything you see advertised. If that ever catches on Section 230 is history.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 12 Aug 2018 @ 12:42pm

      Re:

      Section 230 makes the ideal business model one of trashing the competition and false advertising because the websites aren't immune.

      Section 230 doesn't prevent anyone from defending themselves from defamation and false advertising. It just keeps the focus on the actual speakers, instead of the platforms they use.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2018 @ 1:03pm

      Re:

      Did you see that shark below you when jumped in with that comment?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2018 @ 3:12pm

      Re: Raising the Bar

      Attacking the Bar is very common refrain from our Neo-=Nazi friends the "Proud Boys." I'm not exactly sure what the relevance is.
      Copyright is a government monopoly. It only has the power of law - there is no barrier to making my own copies of my CD collection.
      The Bar association is there to protect regular people from unscrupulous or krappy lawyers, such as Jason Van Dyke.

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

      • identicon
        Christenson, 12 Aug 2018 @ 3:43pm

        Re: Re: Raising the Bar

        The bar is a double-edged sword....
        It *is* a monopoly...and it is *supposed* to protect people from bad lawyers.
        But..there's this huge oversupply of lawyers..thus #prenda, rightscorp, etc as some find "creative" ways to make work.

        Now as to CDA230 and advertising: There's a definite trust gap -- do I believe that thingy on ali baba is really gonna reach me?? Those chinese (or, if I'm in china, americans!) are just too far away if things aren't on the up-and-up. So of course I want to go after the site instead of the advertiser! (And yes, when it gets beyond about two levels of indirection, that's a bit of a problem).

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2018 @ 3:26pm

      Re:

      Nothing you say makes any sense whatsoever.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2018 @ 6:01pm

      Re:

      Damn gramps that burn musta hurt all week.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2018 @ 8:55pm

      Re:

      Thanks to Section 230, you can't trust internet advertising, so don't buy anything you see advertised. If that ever catches on Section 230 is history.

      "What's that you say? Interactive computer service operators are shielded from liability for claims under the Lanham Act? Well that's it then, I'm going to stop participating in consumer capitalism!" - The average American, heralding the doom of s.230

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

    • icon
      Ninja (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:12am

      Re:

      "Thanks to Section 230, you can't trust internet advertising, so don't buy anything you see advertised. If that ever catches on Section 230 is history."

      It must be sad to be you. Read about Backpage, it should be enlightening.

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

    • icon
      John Roddy (profile), 13 Aug 2018 @ 7:35am

      Re:

      Please stop blaming Section 230 for failing to do things that it was never intended to do. It's just a liability shield that helps ensure the proper parties are targeted in the event of litigation. If a website is actively falsifying its advertising or breaking federal laws, they are not immune, and never were.

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

    • identicon
      Nemo, 14 Aug 2018 @ 9:54pm

      "Thanks to Section 230, you can't trust internet advertising"

      You mean that before Section 230, all advertising was trustworthy? That's news to me. Wow, who knew?

      And even if it applied to ads, dumping it for the sake of slightly-less dishonest ads is too high a price, wh3en the alternative is heavily-regulated comments sections, where they exist at all.

      I wouldn't invest in Yelp, once that horrid Section 230 is gone, and Amazon and other sites which solicit product reviews are on notice, as well. Eliminating 230 tells them "you are vulnerable in court". And virtually eliminating negative reviews makes everyone but bad actors worse off.

      I'm not a lawyer, by any stretch, but dumping Section 230 is going to have a chilling effect on the internet worldwide, IMO. The USA, for better or worse, is the last bastion of personal freedom. If/when we are no longer allowed to shoot our fool mouths off as much, the world will be worse off, not better.

      Advertising will always be a dishonest game, so celebrating a reduction in free speech because "now advertisers will be more honest" is stupid. Advertisers, by definition have money, which will be used to hire lawyers to defend entities and practices, rather than people.

      You, however, do not have money to buy ads, let alone hire a lawyer. Getting companies to quash comments reduces your voice, while pretending that "it's purely voluntary" on the part of the site owners.

      Killing Section 230 primarily, and by a wide margin, will help bad people and hurt good people. That's not cause for celebration.

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

      • icon
        Thad (profile), 15 Aug 2018 @ 10:16am

        Re: tl;dr

        Killing Section 230 primarily, and by a wide margin, will help bad people and hurt good people. That's not cause for celebration.

        It is for him.

        Because he is a bad person.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Aug 2018 @ 1:21am

      Re:

      Thanks to Section 230, you can't trust internet advertising, so don't buy anything you see advertised

      Why the hell would I trust something that is invasive, has a likelihood of giving my machine malware, actively affects my browsing information by scrawling it for garbage to sell to me, and generally ruins my online experience?

      For that matter, why would you?

      If the inability of companies to infect my system with spyware is what you believe to be the downfall of Section 230, my guess is you won't get the results you hoped for...

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

  • identicon
    FuckBethesda, 12 Aug 2018 @ 6:19pm

    Lives Matter

    #ALLLivesMatters >>> #BlueLivesMatter

    I seem to recall a police officer traveling with wife and child, being pulled over by another officer, and then after telling the office that he was a police officer and that he was going to "slowly pull out his badge and identification" was shot repeatedly by the officer. Apparently the officer that pulled them over and shot the driving officer knew his pull over was bullshit and feared for his "job".

    Let's face it, if a cop can't be safe from another cop, then all I can say is that it appears that Cops don't believe that #BlueLivesMatter.

    And if Cops don't believe it, then fuck, why should anyone believe it?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 13 Aug 2018 @ 4:14am

      Re: Lives Matter

      #BlueLivesMatter was created as a cynical response to #BlackLivesMatter. The meaning (if any exists) is only secondary.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 14 Aug 2018 @ 5:46am

    the ol' comparison to shoplifting and theft:

    You mean piracy and theft. Or piracy and shoftlifting.

    Piracy isn't theft. Shoplifting is theft.

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


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