Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the from-six-feet-away dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side comes from James Burkhardt in response to someone questioning our use of "OK, Landlord" in reference to copyright holders:

You've missed the forest for the trees there my friend.

As used in this article, Landlord is being used to describe a property owner who extracts passive rents from the use of their property. This can, as you point out, describe most ways of extracting passive rents even when we aren't discussing land. But in the US landlords aren't nobility either, but we still call them landlords. In the same way, a property management company could be called property rental service, like a car rental service, but we've made artificial distinctions between the passive income generated by the exploitation of land versus transportation. Income generated by exploiting the use of property are described as rents.

The rhetorical point of calling them landlords is that while copyright holders claim they own property, they generally ascribe what they own as the content, rather than the rights to exploit the content. And when you describe income derived from those rights as rents and the holder as a landlord, you cast the lie to the claim that what they own is the content rather than the right to exploit the content in specific ways. Active Income is not generated from the content itself or its copyrights, but into the utilization of the content. Copyrights provide a passive rent income, taxing those who wish to utilize the content. The point of calling them landlords is not to suggest they are nobility who owns land, but to suggest they are rent seeking - having secured or developed some content (land) they now looking for rents for its use, rather than exploit the work directly.

In second place, we've got PaulT adding a corollary detail to the commonly-mentioned fact that Disney's success is built on mining the public domain:

Always worth sharing.

It's also worth sharing the origins of Star Wars - Lucas originally wanted to make a Flash Gordon movie, but after being refused the licence went on to create a script that openly plagiarised not only that source, but also Akira Kurosawa movies, world war dogfight movies and various other sources.

If Disney's demands were based in reality, they wouldn't legally have the products they're trying to protect to begin with.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with an anonymous commenter responding to MIT Tech Review's attacks on Silicon Valley's technological innovation:

Since Rotman doesn't understand that not all knowledge transfers between fields, somebody should say something along the lines of this to him:

"You write articles, right? Well you need to go code a video game now."

Next, it's That One Guy responding to AMC Theaters pouting and threatening not to carry Universal movies over comments about eliminating release windows:

A telling tantrum

If the only way a theater can compete with viewing at home is if people have to go to theaters for the first few months to see a new movie then they have essentially admitted that their product is so utterly crap/overpriced that the only way they can stay in business is if people have no other choice.

Restaurants and fast food places stay in business just fine despite the fact that people can buy food and cook at home because those stores add value, whether that be cooking more complex dishes that people might struggle with or simply removing the hassle of cooking. If theaters aren't offering enough to offset the price then that's kinda on them/the studios for making the deal so poor that it's not worth the cost, and the solution to that is to add value or reduce the costs so that it's actually a good alternative for people, not desperately try to hamstring the alternative and show just how rubbish even the people running theaters think their product is.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is a rare case where it's not entirely clear if the anonymous comment (responding to our post about an increase in bad patent approvals) was meant as a joke, but it certainly racked up the funny votes:

Or maybe patent attorneys are writing more detailed and better claims that are not abstract.

In second place, it's Stephen T. Stone responding to Disney's bizarre attempt to force Twitter users to agree to the Disney terms of service if they tweet about Star Wars:

Only a Sith deals in copyright.

As good as that is, an anonymous quip about the same story is, I think, even better, and thus our first editor's choice for funny:

Just pray they don't alter the deal any further.

And finally, we've got an anonymous response to Mike's 50,000th Techdirt post:

Clearly you’re just a shill for Big Number.

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, 3 May 2020 @ 6:53pm

    When Social Networks Have Too Much Power ...

    ... and cannot be trusted to exercise that power responsibly, then it absolutely must be taken away from them.

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

    • icon
      Thad (profile), 3 May 2020 @ 9:18pm

      Re: When Social Networks Have Too Much Power ...

      Not sure what that's got to do with any of this week's top comments, but let me know when you get that passive voice figured out.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 4 May 2020 @ 8:19am

      Seriously, get help

      You might want to see a psychiatrist for that obsession regarding social media of yours, as it appears to be getting worse.

      As for the article... once again, that does not show what you think it does, as yet again it's pretty clearly a case of the problems with moderation at scale, where someone posted the wrong content(in this case selling masks during a time when that content is banned due to profiteering scum) and got the hammer for it, with the only real issue on Facebook's end being that they aren't getting back to one particular account during a pandemic as fast as the account holder might want.

      However, as you seem so very concerned about the terrible things that social media is doing I once again ask you: What do you think they should change/be forced to change, narrowing the focus just to that case to make the question easier?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2020 @ 10:01am

        Re: Seriously, get help

        Bots don't need mental help and regardless if they are a simple shell script or a flesh and blood person they effectively are a bot repeating the same nonsense to try to brainwash people.

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

        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 4 May 2020 @ 11:55am

          Re: Re: Seriously, get help

          Oh I've basically given up any expectation that they'll ever actually post anything more substantive on the subject than the same 'social media bad!' spam, I just ask out of morbid curiosity and to highlight that what amounts to empty slogans seem to be basically the start and end to their arguments.

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

          • icon
            Toom1275 (profile), 4 May 2020 @ 8:15pm

            Re: Re: Re: Seriously, get help

            The only other kind of post I've seen it make is "Durr, guns bad" so so far your expectation of non-substantiality has held up.

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

  • identicon
    OGquaker, 3 May 2020 @ 10:56pm

    Always worth sharing.

    Early in 1977, I had the ungainly job of hauling a 'flatbed' (film editing machine) from Hollywood into Marcia Lucas' house in San Anselmo.
    I hung out in Gary Kurtz's house in Sausalito till my ride back was arranged, the walk-in safe was open, mostly full of vintage comic books, and the house was littered with classic hardcover like Robin Hood and rocket pulp fiction. The year before, Marcia had tightly put together WWII and later gunsight and dam busting bits from other films, the 35mm B&W shot series that was our 'bible' at ILM, i sold my copy in 1995 to build electric limousines.

    Gary Kurtz and i had both been trained as Combat Medics during the war against Vietnam, he brought me back into the fold of Quaker-izm.

    Lucas pushed Jim Nelson out as Producer of ESB, Jim said "FU and take my name off the credits" went on to produce China Syndrome. Gary Kurtz walked away from George's war porn mid-way through ESB. Marcia won 50% of George's earnings for the next 20 years, so he waited 20 years to direct a film:(

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

    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 4 May 2020 @ 2:03am

      Re: Always worth sharing.

      "the war against Vietnam"

      The rest of your story is interesting but this stuck out at me - is this how you see it? I thought it was meant to be you defending Vietnam from the communists in the north of the country?

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2020 @ 3:57am

        Re: Re: Always worth sharing.

        As many as 2 million civilians on both sides and some 1.1 million North Vietnamese and Viet Cong fighters were killed, about 10% of their 1967 population. The U.S. military has estimated that between 200,000 and 250,000 South Vietnamese soldiers died in the war, American bombing in Cambodia is estimated to have killed between 30,000 and 150,000 civilians and combatants. Henry Kissinger dumped 260,000,000 cluster bombs just on Laos. The US lost 0.3% of our population in WWII.

        Ho had lived in Boston, the OSS gave him a copy of our Declaration Of Independence which he read to a mass gathering in August of 1945. Bill Donovan was Ambassador to S.E. Asia under President Eisenhower: fail, we supported the French. All those helicopters were built in Johnson's Texas (Textron). You Decide®

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

        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 4 May 2020 @ 4:05am

          Re: Re: Re: Always worth sharing.

          That.. doesn't really answer the question. Why do you think that is was a war against Vietnam, rather than a war to defend the part of Vietnam you aligned with? I stress - you called it a war against Vietnam, not North Vietnam.

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

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2020 @ 4:06am

          Re: Re: Re: Always worth sharing.

          The vietnam war is ongoing. The US didn't start it, can't end it, and doesn't participate in it at the moment.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2020 @ 4:04am

    People in the US have lawful titles of nobility. It's just not encouraged by the federal government.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 May 2020 @ 7:40am

    There's an awful lot of crack pipe action in this post's comments section.

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    icon
    friendly44 (profile), 5 May 2020 @ 5:52am

    hire a real hacker

    Hire a pro hacker from these guys that worked for me in about a month ago he helped me hack my bf's phone he sent me a confirmation even before i had to pay, this morning i got $2890 in my paypal saying funds from covid19 relief fund i think it's time for a new usa lol, i really needed this, email him (FIRSTOFALLHACKERS) (att) YAHOOCOM I don't know if the admin lets you post contact email count yourself lucky if you can see this

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


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