Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the say-some-more dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is virusdetected with some predictions about the future of the unicorn licensing lawsuit that a judge forcefully deferred:

This case is likely to be a fantasy, too

Determining what merchandise is infringing will require incredibly painful analysis. An Amazon search for "unicorn merchandise" yields over 1,000 hits. A similar Google search produces too many hits to be worth counting. The artist's trademark isn't exactly crisp (neither are her images) and it's unclear what, exactly, she copyrighted. References to unicorns seem to date back to the 4th century B.C. and subsequent descriptions and illustrations cover pretty much every imaginable variant of a four-legged animal with a single horn. This feels just as shady as some of the music copyright disputes ("sorta sounds like" == "sorta looks like"). The judge has exhibited far more patience that the "damn fool" attorney deserved.

In second place, we've got Igualmente69 with some thoughts on one of the RIAA's favorite legal strategies:

"that the DMCA actually requires internet access providers to completely kick users off upon the receipt of multiple (unproven) claims of copyright infringement."

If this is correct, then it is another part of the DMCA that is unconstitutional. The government mandating punishment without judicial determination of guilt blatantly violates the guarantee of due process.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with Bt Garner who has a question for the Houston police chief who wants to prosecute false statements about COVID-19, first amendment be damned:

How far up?

There have been some wildly inaccurate statements from the top of the US government, wonder if he wants to investigate those falsehoods too?

Next, we've got wereisjessicahyde with an observation about Adam Mossoff's argument that longer patents are needed to incentivize the development of coronavirus vaccines:

The 3rd sentence of his own piece reads...

"Biotech companies are racing to develop these vital drugs at record speed with massive investments of time and money"

... so it's pretty clear not even he believes his bullshit.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is David with another response to the unicorn dispute:

Well, Judge,

if due to your inaction unicorns are extinct next year, you will be the reason for it.

Frankly, I'm fed up with those buggers anyway.

In second place, it's DannyB with a question about Jonas Salk choosing not to patent the polio vaccine:

But what incentive would he have without a patent?

If he didn't get a patent, then what could possibly explain why he would develop such a vaccine? What incentive could there possibly be other than unbridled greed? It doesn't make cents.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with That One Guy getting sarcastic about AT&T CEO Randall Stephenson's record compensation:

Makes sense

I mean it takes some real skill to lead a company that lost literally millions of subscribers and tens of thousands of employees, so it's no wonder they gave him millions more in pay than the last year, that kind of talent is clearly worth the pay to keep around.

And finally, for those of you who follow law Twitter and, especially, Techdirt friend Ken White aka Popehat, it's Tim R latching on to one particular detail in our post about the Baltimore cop facing criminal charges for stealing three kilos of cocaine:

"It's former leader, Sgt. Wayne Jenkins, is serving a 25-year sentence on federal racketeering charges."

I guess it really is RICO every once in a while.

That's all for this week, folks!


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  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 29 Mar 2020 @ 6:10pm

    Politicizing The Pandemic

    Epidemiologists are now facing the problem that everything they say is being wildly twisted out of context by one political side or another (actually mainly one side, I think). One of these scientists, Carl Bergstrom, is quoted as saying

    As infectious disease epidemiologists, biomedical researchers, and health professionals more broadly, we're fighting a battle against the biggest crisis in decades. But we are also fighting on a second front that we did not anticipate, fighting a battle against misinformation and disinformation in a hyper-partisan environment where our predictions and recommendations about the pandemic response are deeply politicized. Every twist and turn that the pandemic takes is seized upon by one side or other to claim that some fraction of us are incompetent if not outright mendacious.

    Researchers are pilloried for updating their beliefs based on new information. In this environment, when unexpected facts come to light—a higher than anticipated [infectivity], for example—they are used to discredit scientists who made correct inferences given the data that they had available at the time.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Andrea Iravani, 29 Mar 2020 @ 6:57pm

    Ironically, Sweden is one of the few countries that has not closed schools and/or businesses as a result of the coronavirus, but did recently limit gatherings to 50 people.

    Sweden rightfully believes that the coronavirus response has been politically motivated. Pubs, restaurants, and ski resorts remain open. What do the fascist central planners have to say about that? They always use Sweden as a role-model. Why not on this?

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

    • identicon
      Rocky, 30 Mar 2020 @ 6:48pm

      Re:

      As usual you play fast and loose with the facts since no sane person in Sweden thinks the response around the coronavirus is politically motivated, unless you are talking about Trumps response and some other notable countries that have "some very fine leaders".

      You better keep up with what's really happening, because schools, daycare centers and businesses have closed where needed or because they don't have any business anymore. If you don't understand why only some have closed but not all, perhaps look into Sweden's geography.

      I rightfully believe you are full of shit, and so says my brother too who happens to live in Sweden. He remarked that people like you don't understand the social matrix of people inhabiting the Nordic countries, and how their culture makes social distancing easy when the alternative makes people look like an asshole (look up Law of Jante). On top of that they have a social security-net that means they don't have to drag themselves to work even though they are sick and since Sweden for example temporarily changed the laws governing sick-days anyone can stay at home for 14 days and getting sick pay from day 1 - all without even visiting a doctor.

      So, I'm afraid you have to find another country to hang your faulty reasoning on - but I don't expect any miracles on that front.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 30 Mar 2020 @ 12:14am

    Globalization, Snowden notes, has driven the coronavirus to majorly impact the wealthiest of Americans.

    “Respiratory viruses, Mr. Snowden says, tend to be socially indiscriminate in whom they infect. Yet because of its origins in the vectors of globalization, the coronavirus appears to have affected the elite in a high-profile way,” the Journal piece states. “From Tom Hanks to Boris Johnson, people who travel frequently or are in touch with travelers have been among the first to get infected.”

    The infection of thousands of the nation’s rich and upper-middle-class has driven class warfare in regions like the Hamptons in New York where some of the wealthiest, most liberal celebrities own property.

    A report by Maureen Callahan for the New York Post chronicles how the working class staff of the Hamptons’ elite are turning on them as those infected disregard rules and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines:

    “There’s not a vegetable to be found in this town right now,” says one resident of Springs, a working-class pocket of East Hampton. “It’s these elitist people who think they don’t have to follow the rules.” [Emphasis added]

    It’s not just the drastic food shortage out here. Every aspect of life, most crucially medical care, is under strain from the sudden influx of rich Manhattanites panic-fleeing … — and in some cases, knowingly bringing coronavirus. [Emphasis added]

    “We’re at the end of Long Island, the tip, and waves of people are bringing this s–t,” says lifelong Montauker James Katsipis. “We should blow up the bridges. Don’t let them in.” [Emphasis added]

    While globalization has delivered soaring profits for corporate executives, working- and middle-class American communities have been left behind to grapple with fewer jobs, less industry, stagnant wages, and increase competition in the labor market due to decades-long mass legal immigration.

    Since 2001, free trade with China has cost millions of Americans their jobs. For example, the Economic Policy Institute has found that from 2001 to 2015, about 3.4 million U.S. jobs were lost due to the nation’s trade deficit with China.

    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, 30 Mar 2020 @ 12:15am

    Globalization, Snowden notes, has driven the coronavirus to majorly impact the wealthiest of Americans.

    “Respiratory viruses, Mr. Snowden says, tend to be socially indiscriminate in whom they infect. Yet because of its origins in the vectors of globalization, the coronavirus appears to have affected the elite in a high-profile way,” the Journal piece states. “From Tom Hanks to Boris Johnson, people who travel frequently or are in touch with travelers have been among the first to get infected.”

    The infection of thousands of the nation’s rich and upper-middle-class has driven class warfare in regions like the Hamptons in New York where some of the wealthiest, most liberal celebrities own property.

    A report by Maureen Callahan for the New York Post chronicles how the working class staff of the Hamptons’ elite are turning on them as those infected disregard rules and Center for Disease Control (CDC) guidelines:

    “There’s not a vegetable to be found in this town right now,” says one resident of Springs, a working-class pocket of East Hampton. “It’s these elitist people who think they don’t have to follow the rules.” [Emphasis added]

    It’s not just the drastic food shortage out here. Every aspect of life, most crucially medical care, is under strain from the sudden influx of rich Manhattanites panic-fleeing … — and in some cases, knowingly bringing coronavirus. [Emphasis added]

    “We’re at the end of Long Island, the tip, and waves of people are bringing this s–t,” says lifelong Montauker James Katsipis. “We should blow up the bridges. Don’t let them in.” [Emphasis added]

    While globalization has delivered soaring profits for corporate executives, working- and middle-class American communities have been left behind to grapple with fewer jobs, less industry, stagnant wages, and increase competition in the labor market due to decades-long mass legal immigration.

    Since 2001, free trade with China has cost millions of Americans their jobs. For example, the Economic Policy Institute has found that from 2001 to 2015, about 3.4 million U.S. jobs were lost due to the nation’s trade deficit with China.

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


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