Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the speak-now dept

We've got a double-winner this week with one comment taking first place for insightful and second place for funny. Even more unusually, it's from fairly deep into a thread, and most of its meaning relies on that context — but nevertheless, Thad racked up the votes with a response to someone who claimed to have strong evidence of conservative censorship on social media:

Citing a reference is an improvement over not citing a reference, but what exactly are you citing? You've vaguely handwaved toward a Joe Rogan video (which you haven't linked) and said that there is content somewhere in it that supports your claim. You haven't said what that content is, where it appears in the video, or how it supports your claim.

It's like Mark Twain said:

In second place on the insightful side, we've got a response from Natalie Hill to one commenter's assertion (which he's hardly the only one making) about the state of music:

John, when pro-label rats like you start talking about how "music is dying" because of piracy and streaming rates, I have no idea what the fuck you're talking about.

"In the last 5 years the number of working musicians has dropped to less than 50%. Over half the major studios have closed, to be torn down for condos." Well, there's hundreds of thousands of artists on BandCamp, YouTube, and SoundCloud who self-release their work.

Not only that, you used to only see strong music scenes in places traditionally known for music. However, since technology has made it possible to record and release music from anywhere, you can now see thriving indie music scenes in non-traditional music towns like Detroit, Milwaukee, and Indianapolis, where I live. In the Circle City, at the start of the decade, we only had 4 local music venues, no festivals, 1 label, 1 local record store, and the small scene we did have was very centered around punk rock (not that punk is bad). However, we now have 17 venues, 6 festivals, 3 labels, 7 record stores, and a ton of artists of all genres. So clearly music is not "dying" because of piracy.

Sure, most of us are so-called "hobbyists" (I despise that word, as it often implies the musician is unserious), but that was the case with 99.9999% of all musicians who have ever lived, just because there are so many talented musicians in the world, yet the average person only needs so much new music. The only differences now are that recording is much simpler and a day job is no longer mutually exclusive with playing/writing music.

And if you're one of those people who thinks all "hobbyist" music is "low-quality", Eric Pedigo, The Trees, Ross Hollow, and tons of others I could mention prove that claim to be nothing more than an extremely dehumanizing overgeneralization towards us "hobbyists" and our great art.

However, the only reason we can distribute our work is because of such websites accepting submissions from anyone. Websites like YouTube and Bandcamp receive way too many submissions to monitor for infringement, so the only way they could possibly comply with Article 13 would be if they stopped accepting everyone's submissions completely, and limited their platforms to large companies.

If you understand that more music is being released than ever before, and it is NOT all "low-quality", but want laws like Article 13 anyway "because those poor people are losing their jobs!", you sound no different than a Trump-supporting coal miner or auto plant worker. There are a lot of jobs you can learn to do instead.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with one more response on the subject of social media censorship, this time from an anonymous commenter:

Ignoring your baseless non-point for a moment, if all of the big, successful tech giants have a left-leaning tendency the takeaway is that right-leaning industry is less successful. Given that the conservative party is supposed to be the pro-business party this seems at odds with reality. Sooner or later you're going to have to admit that you're a dinosaur and have failed to adapt to an ever-changing world.

Back to your post: The speakers removed from those platforms were removed for hate speech, not simply because they were alt-right. There are plenty of other right-wing speakers still on those platforms espousing the same ideals but in a much more mature and measured way. There are plenty more who probably should be kicked off but have not yet, for whatever reasons.

If you can't be mature in your communications you can be sure you will be heard by fewer people. Go far enough and nobody will be willing to transmit your rants. That's all this boils down to.

Next, we've got Gwiz with a quick response to the assertion that Section 230 exists "to make sure that tech companies don't have to follow the rules other companies have to follow":

No. The point was to place liability on the person doing the actual speaking, not on the tool being used.

Do you also think that pencil manufacturers are liable for everything written with their pencils?

Over on the funny side, not only did Thad take second place with the same comment that won first place for insightful... he also took first place for funny with a followup comment to that one. Got that? Here it is:

The reference for my Mark Twain quote is Huckleberry Finn.

I'm not going to tell you what the quote is. Read the book.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we've got a pair of responses to the recording industry's announcement of massive recent growth. First, it's Bobvious with an interpretation of the data:

As we can clearly see, the US uptick is entirely proportional to Vinyl/LP sales. The MAFIAA should never have stopped selling them in the first place. Now see how they have massively improved the profits. As for the Paid Subscription contribution, that is just masking the Columbia Record Club profits, and their LP of the Month promotion. Also, this has come at the expense of Cylindrical Distribution [wax cylinders]/ Direct Vinyl Distribution (CD/DVD).

Watch out for the re-emergence of Direct-Reel-to-Digital-Reel-Enhanced™ (D®.D®E), and Binaural-Enhanced-Analog-Tape-Systems.

Finally, it's an anonymous commenter expressing general surprise:

What?? The recording industry is still around? I thought we'd killed them off with our tape recorders. And our CD burners. MP3 players. Mobile phones. Torrents.

Dang. Nothing seems to work.

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
    Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2019 @ 12:48pm

    Let me make sure I've got my Techdirt Fake Reality Rules right:

    Musicians never make money from labels, so it's never them that are complaining about getting ripped off by Google. Any musician that says they are paid royalties is a liar.

    Liability for infringement must only be placed on a person. What's that? It's impossible to name every person without help, or successfully play whac-a-mole?
    Tough shit.

    I am not a useful idiot for Google. Just because I have become addicted to consuming infringing works, does not mean that I am now willing to espouse talking points for the biggest corporation in the world- one that is corrupt, deceitful, anti-competitive, tries to influence elections, spies on people, and sells personal information without asking.

    Every website can avoid legal responsibility for anything simply by having user-uploaded content or comments. Insert your questionable stuff there, please. Section 230 means no one can touch us. The joke is on you, sorry.

    Feel free to add any I might have missed.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2019 @ 1:00pm

      Re: Your tears they are delicious

      “I am not a useful idiot for Google.”

      No you’re just a plain vanilla idiot bro.

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

      • icon
        Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 25 Mar 2019 @ 9:45am

        Re: Re: Your tears they are delicious

        "No you’re just a plain vanilla idiot bro."

        That's offensive. Most idiots aren't on his level. It takes a certain aptitude to be as untruthful, offensive, and boneheadedly wrong as our dear old Baghdad Bob/Bobmail/Blue makes a habit of being.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 1:09pm

      Musicians never make money from labels, so it's never them that are complaining about getting ripped off by Google. Any musician that says they are paid royalties is a liar.

      Musicians do make money from labels, but they do not make nearly as much as you might want to believe. TLC famously made that point clear in an episode of Behind the Music.

      Liability for infringement must only be placed on a person.

      Yes, liability for infringement should be placed on those who committed or directly and knowingly aided an act of infringement.

      What's that? It's impossible to name every person without help, or successfully play whac-a-mole? Tough shit.

      Yes. Yes, it is.

      Every website can avoid legal responsibility for anything simply by having user-uploaded content or comments. Insert your questionable stuff there, please. Section 230 means no one can touch us.

      This is such a blatantly willful misreading of what Section 230 does that I am giving you a Funny vote. But more to the point: Section 230 immunizes a platform from legal liability if the platform’s owners/operators do not know about the illicit content. If I were to post a copyright-infringing movie clip on Twitter without the foreknowledge or direct aid of Twitter employees, Twitter could not (and should not) be held liable for my act of infringement.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 2:41pm

        If that's the standard you want to use...

        What's that? It's impossible to name every person without help, or successfully play whac-a-mole? Tough shit.

        Yes. Yes, it is.

        As I pointed out in response to that idea in another article, 'It's too hard to do it legally' has never been a valid excuse, any more than 'I was just following orders', but hell, if that's the argument they want to go with then great, sounds like they just gave a free pass to anyone faced with a plethora of different streaming platforms deciding to just ignore them and raise the jolly roger, because after all paying for half-a-dozen-plus subscriptions because the desired content has been splintered is just such a bother, and the 'damage' from that is much less than being able to run around squashing speech on nothing more than accusation.

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

        • icon
          Anonymous Anonymous Coward (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 3:18pm

          Re: If that's the standard you want to use...

          In other words, they want to kill any culture they don't control, past, present, and future.

          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 Mar 2019 @ 3:35pm

            Re: Re: If that's the standard you want to use...

            Oh I forgot that one!

            "It's not that they want to be paid for their work, it's that they want to control the internet".

            That's a good one, a real classic.

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

            • icon
              Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 3:49pm

              Individual artists may or may not want to “control the Internet”, but you can bet your ass on the major corporations that employ successful/famous artists wanting to do so. If you think the MPAA and RIAA would not jump on the chance to turn the Internet into a one-way broadcast network, you have misled yourself into believing a lie.

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

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2019 @ 3:54pm

              Re: Re: Re: If that's the standard you want to use...

              Depending on whom that 'they' is, it could easily be both.

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 5:18pm

      Re:

      On a farm, that many strawmen would indicate a fertile field, yet in the OP, it only marks an unproductive mind.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2019 @ 6:43pm

      Re:

      Liability for infringement must only be placed on a person. What's that? It's impossible to name every person without help, or successfully play whac-a-mole?
      Tough shit.

      ...No duh? You think you get to nuke a town for orbit because you think that one guy in that town may have made fun of you? Even murder cases don't have your scattershot approach of justice.

      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 Mar 2019 @ 3:53pm

    Terms like "hate speech" are subjectively enforced, which creates the bias that liberals are very comfortable with as long as it suits them.

    Holding a platform accountable for its users postings is not the same as holding a pencil manufacturer liable because the pencil manufacturer cannot remove libelous content. A library, however, can be held liable once put on notice. Female victims of revenge porn were harmed by Section 230, which is why they are seeking a carve-out. Those who support 230 tell these women that they are SOL, that their sexual privacy isn't worth protecting if it harms the bottom line of big tech.

    Music has been reduced to a hobby due to piracy gutting the industry's revenue, costing jobs for many people who used to make livings. It's not just about the artists. TLC (the band that sang "no scrubs" about the broke) still made good money (compared to today's revenue) but signed an unfavorable deal (which artists are free to do). Billy Joel did that when he started out and didn't begin banking until after 1980. Many other artists have gotten wealthy, and in the process made many others who work on their music wealthy. Government used to reap lots of tax dollars for this, money that has to be replaced by other tax dollars.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2019 @ 4:24pm

      Re: Techdirt farms remembers.

      Hey Jhon boy remember when you threatened to rape a man? Would you have take pictures and tried to blackmail him too? Cause that sounds like something you’d do bro.

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

    • icon
      Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 4:24pm

      Terms like "hate speech" are subjectively enforced

      The term “hate speech” is subjective in and of itself; if enforcement of rules against “hate speech” bothers you, you may want to ask yourself whether you endorse the speech being targeted — and if so, what that says about you.

      Holding a platform accountable for its users postings is not the same as holding a pencil manufacturer liable because the pencil manufacturer cannot remove libelous content.

      This analogy makes no sense. No one would think to hold a pencil manufacturer liable for what someone writes with a pencil. (And besides, when was the last time a newspaper or book was published in pencil?)

      A library, however, can be held liable once put on notice.

      Please explain how a library can be held liable for defamatory content it neither published nor wrote.

      Female victims of revenge porn were harmed by Section 230

      Please explain the exact nature of this “harm” in more concrete language.

      Those who support 230 tell these women that they are SOL, that their sexual privacy isn't worth protecting if it harms the bottom line of big tech.

      If anything, we would tell those women that they should be going after the people directly involved in the uploading of revenge porn. Should that group of people include owners/operators of the platform on which that revenge porn was uploaded — i.e., if said owners/operators knowingly solicited/aided in the publication of revenge porn — so be it.

      Music has been reduced to a hobby due to piracy gutting the industry's revenue

      Even before “piracy gutt[ed] the industry’s revenue”, music was largely a hobby for the vast majority of people. For every Madonna or Metallica, there are a hundred no-name musicians who maybe — maybe! — managed to make some “beer money” from their music.

      Government used to reap lots of tax dollars for this, money that has to be replaced by other tax dollars.

      For that, you can (at least partially) blame the various tax cuts for the wealthy.

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

      • icon
        Toom1275 (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 4:58pm

        Re:

        If anything, we would tell those women that they should be going after the people directly involved in the uploading of revenge porn. Should that group of people include owners/operators of the platform on which that revenge porn was uploaded — i.e., if said owners/operators knowingly solicited/aided in the publication of revenge porn — so be it.

        Section 230 posed no obstacle, naturally, to justice catching Pustule Nickelback McHitler III (aka Craig Brittain).

        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 Mar 2019 @ 6:43pm

          Re: Re:

          Except all the other purveyors of this "genre" were not similarly charged, due to 230. That example is the exception that proves the rule.

          People value big tech over women's sexual privacy, until the women begin denying sex to men who think that way. Then 230 gets repealed.

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

          • icon
            Stephen T. Stone (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 6:57pm

            all the other purveyors of this "genre" were not similarly charged, due to 230

            If none of those “purveyors” had a direct hand in soliticing/creating/publishing/facilitating the publication of revenge porn, they should not be held legally (or criminally) liable for the actions of those who did.

            People value big tech over women's sexual privacy, until the women begin denying sex to men who think that way.

            We get it, you’re an incel.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2019 @ 7:35pm

            Re: Re: Re:

            “until the women begin denying sex to men“

            The “root” cause of Jhons “little” problem.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 24 Mar 2019 @ 4:27pm

      Re:

      Hollywood gutted the variety and vaudeville theatres, putting lots of acts out of work, aided by recorded music. Adding sound to films put many musicians out of work, as they were no longer needed to make music to accompany the silent movies. Because of that should all recorded works have been banned to preserve the jobs of live acts and musicians? Do you also object to increasing automation putting unskilled labour out of work?

      Do you really want to prevent human progress because it causes disruption to existing business models and ways of making a living?

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

    • icon
      Toom1275 (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 4:55pm

      Re:

      the pencil manufacturer cannot remove libelous content

      Actually, most pencils made nowadays come with an integrated component designed to do exactly that.

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

      • icon
        Killercool (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 5:54pm

        Re: Re:

        See? Pencil manufacturers figured it out! Why can't tech companies?!

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

        • icon
          Toom1275 (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 6:10pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          The pencil makers just need to hire more people to adequately monitor the use of their products. If they don't then it can only be because they're lazy.

          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 Mar 2019 @ 6:30pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            False equivalence: pencil makers can't remove writing the way internet companies can remove posting.

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

            • identicon
              ryuugami, 24 Mar 2019 @ 6:49pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              You mean pencil manufacturers can't monitor all content written with their tools? Sure they can. They just need to try harder. If it means each of their customers needs a company employee to constantly watch them, so be it; that's the price the pencil manufacturers need to pay to make sure their business doesn't screw any Real Artists(tm).

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

              • icon
                Gary (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 9:37pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Just like Jhon says all the time - if Pencil companies can't hire enough monitors to make sure their pencils aren't being used wrong, they should re-think their business model.

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 24 Mar 2019 @ 11:39pm

      Re:

      Music has been reduced to a hobby due to piracy gutting the industry's revenue, costing jobs for many people who used to make livings.

      This is... laughably false. More people are making money from music than ever before. The industry is thriving. Every single part of the industry is moving upward over the last few years. The only segment that briefly stumbled was recorded music (which has always been just one component of the music industry) and it's been growing for the last few years now and looks to continue that growth (thanks entirely to the internet). Live music has continued to grow. Publishing has continued to grow. Performance rights have grown massively. Merchandising has become a huge business for musicians (did you see Warner Music just spent a ton of money on one of the bigger merch companies?).

      Meanwhile, for those who it used to be a hobby -- those who had no avenue to make any money from their musical creativity -- they are now able to make some money by putting up a Patreon or uploading their music to Spotify or other services.

      Literally everything you claimed about the music industry is 100% false.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2019 @ 12:53am

        Re: Re:

        Let's not forget the money made from copyright trolling.

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

      • icon
        That One Guy (profile), 25 Mar 2019 @ 1:46am

        The theme songs for some people...

        Literally everything you claimed about the music industry is 100% false.

        ... and now I've got Weird Al running through my head again.

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

        • identicon
          Bobvious, 25 Mar 2019 @ 2:58am

          Re: The theme songs for some people...

          OK. Who here dared Out_of_Lube and Jhon_Boy to be stupid?

          So far all I see from them are Word Crimes. Are they from Albuquerque, or is one of them A Canadian Idiot? They seem to complain a lot about Money for Nothing. Even Worse is they had A Bad Hair Day when they were Running with Scissors and now they look like they're wearing a Poodle Hat, but they went Off the Deep End and think net neutrality is the Alpocalypse. They could escape that in an Amish Paradise where they could be White and Nerdy and wouldn't have to worry about Craigslist. A few commenters here have told them "You're Pitiful" and Tacky.

          Maybe one of them is an Angry White Boy who might Want it That Way. When they get together do they each say I Think I'm a Clone Now, or are they A Genius in France? Well here's some Headline News, The Saga Begins with the Waffle Kings, and Your Horoscope for Today says I'm gonna Polka Your Eyes Out.

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

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 25 Mar 2019 @ 5:20am

            Re: Re: The theme songs for some people...

            Except that "I Want it That Way" isn't a "Weird Al" song, but A+ for effort!

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

            • identicon
              Bobvious, 25 Mar 2019 @ 5:51am

              Re: Re: Re: The theme songs for some people...

              Neither is Money for Nothing, so, Close but No Cigar.

              It's Good Enough for Now but it's hot out so I'm going back to Livin' in the Fridge before I bring shame and disgrace on my family name for generations to come!

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

  • identicon
    Bobvious, 24 Mar 2019 @ 4:00pm

    Anyone remember SCO vs Linux AND the World?

    "Citing a reference is an improvement over not citing a reference, but what exactly are you citing? You've vaguely handwaved toward a Joe Rogan video (which you haven't linked) and said that there is content somewhere in it that supports your claim. You haven't said what that content is, where it appears in the video, or how it supports your claim. "

    "The reference for my Mark Twain quote is Huckleberry Finn. I'm not going to tell you what the quote is. Read the book."

    SCO: You owe us $699 per CPU for infringing code that's "in there somewhere, you know where it is, and we don't even have to tell the Judge where it is"

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

  • identicon
    nothanks, 24 Mar 2019 @ 11:55pm

    The reference for my Mark Twain quote is Huckleberry Finn.

    I'm not going to tell you what the quote is. Read the book.

    Somehow, I'm guessing this isn't the quote you where implying:

    “Persons attempting to find a motive in this narrative will be prosecuted; <b>persons attempting to find a moral in it will be banished</b>; persons attempting to find a plot in it will be shot.”
    ― Mark Twain, The Adventures of Huckleberry Finn

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

  • icon
    nasch (profile), 25 Mar 2019 @ 9:40am

    Huck Finn

    The reference for my Mark Twain quote is Huckleberry Finn.

    I'm not going to tell you what the quote is. Read the book.

    I read it. You're right, that quote is perfect.

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

  • icon
    Thad (profile), 25 Mar 2019 @ 9:52am

    I guess you had to be there.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    Zof (profile), 25 Mar 2019 @ 12:32pm

    Our Media/SocialMedia just found out they've been lying to us for two years. No collusion. Not even one indictment for collusion. So our Social Media and Media has been treating more than half of the country like total shit for absolutely no reason other than childish revenge. Revenge because they were wrong and felt bad about it.

    So yeah, pretending social media platforms aren't biased is right up there with pretending russians colluded with a presidential candidate.

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


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