Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the what's-the-good-word dept

We've got a double winner on the insightful side this week, with That One Guy taking on a pair of bad excuses from law enforcement. In first place, it's his response to the Kansas Supreme Court ruling that officers can search houses without a warrant if they say they smelled marijuana:

"I love the smell of warrantless searching in the morning."

Why do I suddenly suspect that claimed weed use is about to skyrocket in the state of kansas, as suddenly cops are going to be smelling it everywhere they feel like searching?

And all of this over a substance that multiple states have been sane enough to decide should be legal. Lovely.

In second place, it's a response to the New York police union objecting to having to document their use of stop-and-frisk:

Telling objections

If simply documenting what they are doing accurately is considered a hindrance to the point that it would interfere with (what they imagine are) their jobs then that seems a pretty blatant admission that what they are doing wouldn't stand up under any scrutiny, and as such they almost certainly shouldn't be doing it.

Someone for whom a gun is standard gear had damn well better be mentally competent enough to document what they do on the clock, and if the incredibly low bar of recording their own actions is too much then clearly the job they are in is far beyond their ability. Any 'cop' who finds something that pathetically simple too difficult to manage deserves to lose their job and/or be fired for gross incompetence.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with a long comment from cpt. kangarooski responding to another comment full of false claims about copyright:

[The US Constitution] recognizes the Right of Authors and Inventors to EXCLUSIVELY control their works. Period.

No it doesn’t.

The Constitution doesn’t grant copyrights and doesn’t mandate that Congress enact copyright law. It merely empowers Congress to do so, should it wish. That authority is then sharply limited in several respects. Here’s what it says:

The Congress shall have Power ... to promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.

You’re misreading the “exclusive right” sub-clause. It doesn’t mean that they can “exclusively control” their works as though no one else can. An exclusive right is literally a right of exclusion. That is, the copyright holder (who may not be the author) can exclude other people from engaging in certain, limited, types of behavior with regard to the pertinent copyrighted works. It doesn’t mean that the copyright holder has control. It’s the difference between a shield and sword.

This is most clearly seen in the example of blocking patents. (In short, inventor 1 invents and patents an invention. Inventor 2 later invents and patents an improvement to the invention. Inventor 1 cannot use invention 2, and Inventor 2 cannot use Invention 1. Each one excludes the other unless they come to an agreement — or patent 1 ceases to exist, which frees up Inventor 2 to do as he likes.)

Another example would be a libelous book — the copyright holder can use the copyright to prevent other people from printing copies, and his copyright is never diminished in the least during the term, but he cannot himself print the book because it’s libelous.

There can be no quarter given to those with [the view that copyright is artificial in nature and, at the very least, so-called common law copyrights do not survive publication].

Well, that’s basically all copyright scholars then. The Supreme Court too, which rejected your ideas almost 200 years ago in Wheaton v. Peters, 33 US 591 (1834), which was, ironically, about copyrighting Supreme Court opinions — they said no, it cannot be done, and found in favor of the guy accused of piracy.

Since the creators have all of the moral basis which is on bedrock Constitutional law, pirates are not going to win.

There is no moral basis to copyright. It’s amoral, like an ordinance regulating what sort of fence your house can have.

The productive part of society has given pirates every opportunity to show restraint, but there can no longer be doubt: NO ONE WILL PAY IF DON'T HAVE TO.

Your grammatical error aside, there was never any doubt and there has never been any restraint. Publishers have always been nasty about piracy — often even when they themselves were pirates.

But there’s a far easier solution. If authors don’t think they’re getting a good deal, just stop creating and publishing works. Let’s see for once and for all of there are enough authors who care to have an effect or whether society can keep humming along without them.

Next, we've got John Roddy with a good summary of the state of copyright in the culture:

Overreaching copyright laws have bred an entire generation of consumers who see no reason to respect copyright anymore. It is used to shake down innocent people for settlements in literal criminal rackets (see: Prenda), retroactively take away content you paid for (Apple, Amazon, etc.), and lock down your own property because you aren't allowed to own anything anymore.

Why on earth would you believe that making the laws even more draconian will improve anything?

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Shufflepants who took our baby-and-bathwater analogy about the EU Copyright Directive and... ran with it:

It's a nice and simple metaphor, but the real situation is even worse than that. It'd be more like, throw out any bathwater on request, and if you've already thrown out that bathwater, make sure to never let anyone else add that water back into the bath, but don't supervise the tub, don't throw out any babies, especially not babies that are made of water, except for some of the babies that are made of water, unless that baby was added to the water by its guardian, then it should stay in or if the baby's guardian gave some one else permission to put the baby in the bath, so make sure you've monitored communications between all people everywhere so that you'll know which is which, but don't do that if it's too much trouble or impossible, but if you don't we'll fine you a lot.

In second place, we've got an anonymous response to an incredibly bizarre and paranoid comment about Google's leftwing bias being proven by difficulty in finding some arcane radio frequency data:

"I don't know how to use web search terms effectively, it must be a conspiracy!"

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with a response from Baron von Robber to Joe Arpaio's defamation lawsuit that actually only earned an insightful badge, but nevertheless made me chuckle:

For a party that claims the others are snowflake, they sure melt easy.

Last but not least, we've got an anonymous response to the suggestion that the only way to effectively abide by the EU Copyright Directive would be to "hire God to do it", noting that even this idea just puts us in theological paradox territory:

Sorry, the Supreme Being is still busy creating a stone so heavy that He cannot lift it.

Perhaps, after that minor task is done, He may be willing to create an upload filter that is not an upload filter.

That's all for this week, folks!


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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 16 Dec 2018 @ 1:02pm

    Is Twitter Censoring Palestinian Activists?

    You may recall the botched Israeli raid into the Gaza strip on November 11, which was repulsed by Hamas. Soon after that Hamas published photos of the raiders, which the Israeli military has been trying to censor ever since.

    It seems that Twitter is doing its bit to enforce this censorship, by forcing users who link to those photos and such details about the raid to delete their tweets.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 16 Dec 2018 @ 1:35pm

      Is Twitter Censoring Palestinian Activists?

      I invoke Betteridge’s Law of Headlines until you can prove Twitter is systematically censoring Palestinian activists for political purposes alone.

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

      • identicon
        Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 16 Dec 2018 @ 5:24pm

        Re: for political purposes alone.

        Then why delete those particular tweets?

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

        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 16 Dec 2018 @ 5:46pm

          Get a clue

          Ask Twitter, not Techdirt.

          Just because you want a subject brought up doesn't mean it will be brought up on any particular platform. Twitter might be doing it for political reasons. They also might not be doing it for other particular reasons. They might be doing it for some entirely different other reasons. Those reasons might be relevant to your agenda, and those reasons might not be relevant to your particular agenda.

          But assuming that this is the time or place to discuss your agenda is your error, not anyone else.

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

          • identicon
            Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 17 Dec 2018 @ 12:58pm

            Re: Is Twitter Censoring Palestinian Activists?

            Just because you want a subject brought up doesn't mean it will be brought up on any particular platform.

            Well, it has successfully been “brought up” on this platform, has it not? Judging from the number of responses in this discussion, at least: the fact that several of them (including yours) have been clueless is about par for the course in this place.

            Ask Twitter, not Techdirt.

            My question was addressed to the commenter who clearly failed to read the links I had posted, and who thought evidence was lacking that was in fact there to be seen.

            You’ll notice he hasn’t responded further, which tells you all you need to know about him.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 17 Dec 2018 @ 2:10pm

              You have evidence that the tweets were deleted. What evidence do you have that conclusively proves the tweets were deleted for political purposes alone?

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

              • identicon
                Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 17 Dec 2018 @ 3:42pm

                Re: What evidence do you have

                Try answering my question.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2018 @ 7:52pm

                  Re: Re: What evidence do you have

                  So, no, as we thought. Good day sir.

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

                • icon
                  Stephen T. Stone (profile), 18 Dec 2018 @ 3:25am

                  You made a claim, via implication, that Twitter is systematically deleting the tweets of Palestinian activists for political purposes alone. Since you made the claim, the burden lies upon you to back up that claim with evidence (and the proper citations thereof). The whole point of my initial reply to you was what I said in my second reply: If you do not have evidence that the tweets were deleted for political purposes alone, all you have is evidence of the tweets being deleted and personal speculation on the motive(s) behind those deletions.

                  As much as you might want to believe otherwise, personal speculation does not count as objective fact. Unless you have the evidence to back up your speculation, it will remain speculation and nothing more.

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

                  • identicon
                    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 19 Dec 2018 @ 5:05pm

                    Re: for political purposes alone

                    That was your phrase, not mine.

                    Now answer the question: why is Twitter forcing the deletion of tweets specifically linking to identifying information about the participants in the botched Israeli raid into Gaza?

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

                    • icon
                      bhull242 (profile), 20 Dec 2018 @ 12:30am

                      Re: Re: for political purposes alone

                      To reiterate the first point: ask Twitter, not Techdirt.

                      At a guess, I could speculate that maybe the anti-violence or anti-hate speech filter was oversensitive, which is more likely than Twitter trying to hide it on behalf of the Israeli government. Remember Hanlon’s Razor.

                      I’d like to add that this topic is irrelevant to this article and comes out of nowhere.

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

                    • icon
                      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 20 Dec 2018 @ 5:49pm

                      Re: Re: for political purposes alone

                      If I knew why, I would explain why. But I do not know why, so I cannot explain why. The best I can do is speculate, and as bhull242 said, the most likely explanation is a wonky filter. I could even buy into the idea that a reportbombing of the tweets in question led to the deletions.

                      If you have evidence—not speculation—that Twitter had a political motivation to delete those tweets, now would be a good time to present it and bolster your argument. If you have only speculation, quit JAQ-ing off here and go ask Twitter.

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

    • icon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 16 Dec 2018 @ 2:39pm

      Re: Is Twitter Censoring Palestinian Activists?

      There are many atrocities in the world today. They happen all over, and some may be tech related and others not. Still, Techdirt gets to decide which ones to cover, and why, not you.

      We may condemn the supposed atrocity you point out, as a community. There is only so much bandwidth (aka number of articles per week, so to speak) and not all atrocities might make it past their filter. And believe that it is their filter to decide what to cover what not to.

      Trying to re-think Twitters actions in any given instance isn't the point of Techdirt, proven by they aren't a Twitter only condemnation blog. That holds, even if they do sometimes point out Twitter in some articles for some reasons. I think their MO (modus operandi) is to make particular points when the opportunity offers rather than just following some political agenda or other. They could choose to, but that is wholly their decision, not yours.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2018 @ 2:56pm

      Re: Is Twitter Censoring Oolong Activists?

      And that has what to do with the price of tea in China?

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

      • identicon
        Pixelation, 16 Dec 2018 @ 4:57pm

        Re: Re: Is Twitter Censoring Oolong Activists?

        "And that has what to do with the price of tea in China?"

        I don't know but, just wait until God crawls out from under that immovable rock. Then you'll be in trouble.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 16 Dec 2018 @ 5:05pm

          Re: Re: Re: Is Twitter Censoring Oolong Activists?

          Nah, after that he'll be on the copyright issue, and he's not getting past that any time soon.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2018 @ 8:29pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Twitter Censoring Oolong Activists?

            If not for the occasional non sequitur, this site's comment section would be practically dead. As was the case here.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 16 Dec 2018 @ 8:47pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Twitter Censoring Oolong Activists?

              And what's your solution? Chicken noises?

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

            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 16 Dec 2018 @ 9:31pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Is Twitter Censoring Oolong Activists?

              Some sad individuals would certainly wish that were the case, but the consistent stream of comments on article after article would make clear that that is not the case.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2018 @ 12:26am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Did blue finally get a clue?

              That and dunking on your dumb ass.

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

    • icon
      ECA (profile), 16 Dec 2018 @ 10:19pm

      Re: Is Twitter Censoring Palestinian Activists?

      Still needs to be said..
      The internet is going to be as bad as every newspaper...
      Unless the Internet is declared...as an independent nation..
      And can make its own laws, OR NOT make certain laws...

      Every other nation will have an affect on the net..
      BE NICE to every nation or just Publish it ALL, truth or not..
      Until something can be shown/proven...there is little to any truth. and Much of that is the advances in EVERYTHING..from photo's to digital data..
      Unless you can find persons that can TAKE THE BLAME for the proof...it didnt happen.

      truth/justice/or who won the war..
      you decide..
      Truth is VERY HARD...
      Justice is finding a person to blame
      Who won the war is simple..

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Gilets Jaune (fraunch for John Galt), 17 Dec 2018 @ 7:32am

    You with criminal intents have abandoned morality,

    in order to justify thefts of mindless entertainments.

    I'm glad to have drawn you out to make it explicit!

    It's a dangerous course that will soon redound on you. Apparently the US Constitution is optional to you. VERY dangerous notion. Any rights that you can claim are so nebulous that the basis was hand-waved by the writers: "we hold these Truths to be self-evident".

    By same way of easy assertion, and certainly due to you in retaliation: there's no morality to be considered in dealing with pirates. You're like rats, just eating up what productive people make. You can argue that you're a human with rights, but that's exactly what creators do when say "I made it, therefore I own it". Since you don't respect their essential humanity, they are not obligated to respect what you claim of yours.

    IF you're ever haled into court for your thefts, you can put your notions to a jury. I'm sure that after hearing you reject morality any jury will rapidly convict. You are borderline psychopaths.

    You are costing people actual losses of time and money, kids. They worked and invested and thereby have a moral basis. You DO NOT.


    2nd aspect: I've long said that those with BIG money are going to get laws that they want without regard to YOUR rights.

    You don't seem to grasp the practical facts that you're far down on the losing end of Law and Money, even if reject my view of the "morality".

    They're going to totally stop caring about morality in dealing with you when take THEIR work-products.

    And they'll be justified. I too now see no reason why you anti-moral petty thieves should be afforded any rights. (I'll just mention that are corporatized law aspects here too...)

    You empty idiots are willing to forego all the protections of Constitutional Law if can get empty entertainments for free!

    Again, from "Atlas Shrugged": "Brothers, you asked for it!"

    But you do get a "win" on this tiny little pirate site. Enjoy.

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

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 17 Dec 2018 @ 10:14am

      Re:

      You can argue that you're a human with rights, but that's exactly what creators do when say "I made it, therefore I own it".

      When it comes to copyright there is more to that equation. You conveniently leave out the part that says: "I SOLD it to you, but I STILL own it".

      On an aside: Why did the variable page option stop working over the weekend? I prefer to view Techdirt using my entire monitor, not just a tiny column down the center.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2018 @ 10:59am

      Re: You with criminal intents have abandoned Techdirt

      Why are you still here?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2018 @ 2:35pm

        Re: Re: You with criminal intents have abandoned Techdirt

        Trolls are kind of like migratory Canadian geese. If you feed them, they never leave, and soon you'll be sorry you ever did.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2018 @ 10:00am

    Maybe its time to SHUT THE INTERNET DOWN.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Dec 2018 @ 11:14am

      Re:

      Lets shut down the music, film and television industries instead. Creators will still create without them and the rest of the world will be better off.

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


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