Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the winning-words dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side (and also racking up a lot of funny votes) is MathFox with a simple take on how to stop piracy:

If you want to do something about piracy you should have the navy patrol more in the areas where pirates operate. Have ground support for cleaning out the pirate's bases.

Stopping "unauthorized copying" is hard. The Internet works because computers and routers make copies. Determining which copies are authorized is a hard problem. Remember the analog tapes where you could copy the music from your friends' LPs?

And lastly, can you tell me why corporations should decide which people can have access to "culture" and consequently other people should be denied access?

In second place, we've got The FIRE's Adam Steinbaugh stopping by to ask a simple question about the assertion that Gavin McInnes's lawsuit against the SPLC seems legit:

So there's an objectively falsifiable, legally-cognizable definition of "hate group"? What about "hate speech"?

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with a thoughtful comment from bob about the impact of piracy, and how to compete with it:

I believe the damage caused by piracy is real but also not to the levels you believe. No doubt, the trade off between piracy vs paying full price for content is one that many people debate each time they look for things on the internet.

But you have to also remember price is not the only factor when people want to consume or have something. It may be a large portion of the decision but not the only thing.

For example:

  • The convenience of obtaining the item,
  • where can the item be obtained from,
  • how to store the item,
  • where the item can be used,
  • how often the item can be used,
  • how easy to share it with someone either together or loaned out for a short time,
  • how easy to resell the item,
  • trustworthiness of the seller/source, are just some of the many factors consumers take into account when purchasing something.

If your business model is only satisfying some of these issues while piracy satisfies most, maybe you should change your business model.

Studies by Copia and others show that people will pay instead of pirate if it is considered a fair price and if the manner to obtain the item is not burdensome. So companies like Netflix have found a way to adapt to the new market consumers and provide a service at a reasonable price that consumers enjoy. While companies like major record labels didn't adapt and don't provide a good enough reason all the time so naturally customers don't enjoy using their services at the price points they offer.

No matter how high a penalty you place on pirating content someone somewhere will still do it. You may get most of the population to stop pirating but that doesn't guarantee that those same consumers will, by default, still use a bad service or pay the prices for a digital item just as much as they did in previous years. Most likely they will just not consume your digital goods and the old business model won't work. So my list should also include a factor for how badly someone desires the item as a consideration.

Your suggestion to make the internet 100% pirate free will never happen. For it to be implemented would require a rewrite of protocols and network controls to such a degree that essentially you will replace the majority of the internet. So yes it would break the internet.

If the world corporations and governments did create that environment I can bet you people would not follow en masse nor willingly.

No one here says piracy is the way to go for obtaining digital goods. But they do recognize that piracy will happen and if you don't establish a business model that accounts for that variable your company will not be able to compete.

Next, we've got an anonymous response to a comment about what "the internet" needs to do to function fairly:

I'm entertained by the humanization of "the internet".

The diverse protocols & devices that make up "the internet" are working exactly as expected - they are routing around blockages & moving data without issues. The basic computational concepts of moving, copying, & renaming data are fundamental to the logical concepts of most electronic devices & thus copyright maximalists are fighting a losing battle (as are the folks trying to legislate encryption) by attempting to bypass, avoid, & control mathematical, physical, & engineering operations.

Perhaps we should engage in something that the enterprise security community has understood for years - make the options to do things the legal way far easier than the effort required to bypass the system.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Qwertygiy offering up a very poetic mea culpa after incorrectly lamenting the lack of a "preview" function in our comment section:

Welp. That it is. Right there. The very button I lamented not existing. Next to the button I had to push to send my lament of non-existence.

I'd blame it on the liquor, except I don't drink.

I'd blame it on the moon, except I'm a non-lycanthropic cis-dude.

I'd blame it on optical deformities, except I'm wearing my glasses.

I'd blame it on Mike for conspiring with Google to hide it from me until I complained about it, except I'm not blue.

So according to music, that leaves to blame it on the boogie, the rain, the stones, the sun, the bossa nova, the summer night, my last affair, or me.

Gonna have to go with Evanascence here. You can blame it on me.

In second place, it's Comboman making a joke someone had to make after Germany capitulated to France on one of the many terrible aspects of Article 13:

So the one time in modern history the France doesn't surrender to Germany and THIS is what they choose?

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with Valkor who (intentionally or otherwise) invoked one of the ur-examples of internet-piracy-as-culture in response to a link to a YouTube video about YouTube's copyright abuse problems, offered with minimal description:

Last time I followed a vaguely described Youtube link like that, I got rickrolled.

Finally, we've got Stephen T. Stone with a tagline for the latest appearance of Paul Hansmeier:

Prenda: The gift that keeps on grifting.

That's all for this week, folks!


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  • icon
    ECA (profile), 10 Feb 2019 @ 1:59pm

    aS TO:

    As to, Sales and pirating.. how do you rate pi'.. We have all said it, how many others know and understand the same thing.. The corps had a chance to create their own services but didnt even try. They let others create what they decry. Like the neighbor that rebuilt a beautiful home on the cheap, Why didnt you do it ALSO.. why scream at the city inspectors to condemn what someone ELSE did, and YOU could do also...because you are rich, and couldnt figure it out?? Because if you asked someone to build it for you(not doing it yourself) it would cost you more money then THEY USED..

    As To: The internet.. Why? What is there to do?? Restrict WHOM... force WHOM.. 1 ISP service to connect, 1000 services to interact with, THAT the ISP didnt create, didnt expand, DIDNT find a cheap way to monetize, Didnt want to spend money on.. As the top post says about the neighbor...HE DID IT, and now you scream...FOUL!!.. The governments Cant figure out HOW, WHO, to scream at..That person wrote it, that site posted it, that server has it, That company supplied the server, and that person OWNS IT ALL.. And that Person spent Billions of dollars to get it all...and NOW they want some of that money, without doing anything. So you try to pass laws/regulations/restrictions and piss off the Person, just to see if he will Pay you, NOT TO.. The biggest discussion group in the world in the biggest forum, on any/every subject you can think of...for learning, bitching, complaining, expressing, from Any Alphabetical list you can think of... A way for nations to KNOW what their own people THINK about them.. and they wish to SHUT THEM UP.. Might as well be a heathen in a puritan nation..

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2019 @ 2:05pm

    Prenda is the terminator /zombie of lawyers, he always comes back.

    The eu directive is more like gagging the internet, screw meme,s ,fair use , and free speech, can we just turn the open web
    into cable tv or itunes version 2 , Only content that has been through filters that check for all licensed content will be allowed to be shown. Its not humanisation unless you view large corporations as humans

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2019 @ 4:36pm

      Re:

      you have completely missed wherein the humanization (anthropomorphization) of the internet lies.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2019 @ 8:37am

      Re:

      Terminator? Zombie?

      Nah. He's like a bad case of herpes. Annoying, unsightly, impossible to get rid of, and not very dangerous.

      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, 10 Feb 2019 @ 3:08pm

    City inspectors enforce laws broken by homeowners, not exactly the equivalent of those who justify stealing content because they don't like someone's "business model."

    Every pirated copy adds another name/IP address/whatever to a valuable mailing list. The lost sales are only part of the equation. Some pirated materials change the author/title/cover so the audience isn't even aware who created it, while many scam artists use e-books as ad copy for scam seminars/etc. that they intentionally set up to be "stolen." None of this benefits anyone but the thieves.

    You can't get around the value of the mailing list. Even if no one gives their e-mail address often unavoidable in many cases), they can be hit with pop-up ads, or ads placed within the pirated material by the pirates. It's all theft.

    That the internet allows mass theft is not the problem of the copyrightholders to solve, but those who would be liable for the piracy caused by the way the internet is set up. If less draconian measures won't stop it, government will pass more draconian measures until it is brought under control.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2019 @ 3:24pm

      Re:A sad and broken man

      Oh how the “mighty” have fallen. You went from hobknobbing with movie producers, and fronting a band, in addition to running you own publishing house. And now the best you got is some half asses conspiracy theory that other scammers used your list to scam people before you could.

      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, 10 Feb 2019 @ 3:32pm

        Re: Re:A sad and broken man

        Boy my logic strikes nerves among the pro-piracy movement that's going nowhere.

        Posts like the one above reflect very poorly on Masnick, that's for sure. He doesn't seem to care though.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2019 @ 3:44pm

          Re: Re: Re: “logic”

          Ohh Jhon boy we all know you’re a terrible liar. And if you knew anything about logic you wouldn’t brag about being a scammer. But that’s why we like (to make fun of) you actually think we buy the pathetic bullshit you peddle.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2019 @ 4:38pm

          Re: Re: Re:A sad and broken man

          pro-piracy. @@

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2019 @ 5:04pm

          Re: Re: Re:A sad and broken man

          Wrong, it worries those who support the self publisher on the Internet, who represent an flowering of culture. What you want is a return to the days were the gate keepers decide who has a voice, and where the majority are silenced.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2019 @ 7:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:A sad and broken man

          If the mailing list was that valuable, why did you decide to offer premium stuff that you yourself admitted was a ripoff?

          Why would anyone care about Masnick after you yourself said that nobody does?

          I know you're not going to answer any of these queries, but I'm surprised anyone functioned that long with the cognitive function of barely warmed instant mash potato...

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 10 Feb 2019 @ 7:16pm

      Re:

      We get it, you vape.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 11 Feb 2019 @ 8:48am

        Re: Re:

        Huh?

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

        • identicon
          TFG, 11 Feb 2019 @ 9:07am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I shall explain the joke:

          People who vape have a stereotype of never shutting up about it, and never showing off their vaping skills. "We get it, you vape" is a common response, especially on various social media sites, indicating that the responder is tired of this.

          As applied in this instance, Stephen is indicating to the poster he is responding to that their argument is getting tiresome. In this instance, this AC had been harping on mailing list thing for the whole day and basically ignoring all requests for anything at all to back up their assertions, as well as any and all counter-arguments.

          In other words, they're just as annoying as a vaper who won't shut up about vaping.

          And now the joke has been explained.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2019 @ 7:18pm

    The worst argument against copyright infringement EVER: "Pirates wreaked havoc on my spamming business model!"

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 11 Feb 2019 @ 5:13am

      Re:

      Oh if only that was as dumb and dishonest as it got... No, I've seen much more idiotic, including comparing copyright infringement to child porn on multiple occasions, as if the 'theft' conflation wasn't dishonest and blatantly emotionally charged enough.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 10 Feb 2019 @ 7:29pm

    Spam King?

    Is "mailing-list person" this guy, https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sanford_Wallace ?

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


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