from the give-me-five-bees-for-a-quarter,-you'd-say dept
I must admit I was a little worried that this week's top comments would be dominated by brutal rebukes of Teri Buhl which, though not necessarily undeserved, and admittedly often irresistible, don't serve any purpose at this point either. The internet (and that includes us here at Techdirt) still needs to crack the formula for turning these ridiculous confrontations into successful teaching moments—though the intransigence of potential pupils doesn't make that easy. In any case, I was surprised to find only one winning comment about Buhl, rooted more in bemusement than anything else.
But first, our most insightful comment of the week, courtesy of an anonymous commenter on our post about HBO paying DtecNet/MarkMonitor to send DMCA takedowns on its behalf, while MarkMonitor recklessly takes down legitimate HBO content. That story turns from funny to scary when you realize that those same filtering companies are the ones who will be fulfilling the new six strikes program for ISPs, but this AC noted that at least we can hope for some poetic justice out of the deal:
Dear hbo.com: You have been accused of infringing copyright 6 times (items 17-22 on the above list.) Per our Six Strikes program, your Internet will now be cut off. Have a nice day.
Okay, sure, fat chance of that happening... But it's an amusing idea, which is probably why it also snagged the second place slot on the funny side.
Up next we've got the aforementioned Buhl comment, in which Nimas zeroed in on Buhl's assertion that as tech bloggers, we should be sensitive to her copyright concerns:
...BWHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHAHA. I'm sorry, did she do any research as to the nature of this site? A site which frequently and vocally opposes what it sees as the excess use of copyright in stifling expression in today's culture (both technologically and culturally). How the hell did she think this was going to go?
Of course, in this instance, our stance on copyright overreach and problematic statutes is irrelevant—the law surrounding fair use and quoting is clear, and already on our side.
For editor's choice on the insightful side, we'll start with a comment on our post about the publisher of Harper's Magazine and his latest anti-internet (specifically Google, this time) rant. One anonymous commenter dropped in with some interesting facts from the history of Harper's:
"Like many publishers of the 1800s, Harper Bros. took advantage of the lack of international copyright enforcement. The firm printed pirated copies of works by such British authors as Charles Dickens, William Make-peace Thackeray, and Anne, Charlotte, and Emily Brontë. Harper Bros.' best-selling pirated work by a British author was Thomas Babington Macaulay's History of England from the Accession of James II. The book sold approximately 400,000 copies, a figure that would classify it as a nonfiction bestseller at the turn of the twentieth century. Because international copyright laws were not enforced, U.S. publishers did not pay royalties to either the British authors or their publishers. The American market had grown to be so significant that, in 1842, Dickens traveled to the United States in an effort to secure royalties from the sale of his works. He was unsuccessful at recouping this money, but the trip did give Dickens the material for his book American Notes for General Circulation, which Harper Bros. promptly pirated."
(excerpt from http://www.answers.com/topic/publishing-industry)
Up next, we go to our post about France's Hadopi agency trying to fix DRM problems with more DRM, by suggesting the national library protect all its content with standardized digital locks. Baldaur Regis responded with a twist on an old bit of wisdom:
Those who cannot access the past are doomed to repeat it.
On the funny side of things, we start back on our response to Teri Buhl, where one random commenter dropped by to criticize us after admitting he had only read a few paragraphs, complete with the internet's sign of someone not worth engaging, TL;DR. An anonymous commenter scored lots of votes by summing up his complaint:
Hey everybody, I didn't read the article but here's a stinging critique anyway!
We've already had our second funniest comment above, so now on to the editor's choice. This week, we've got a pair of comments that rely on well-placed references to make their point, and which I've enhanced below with visuals. Up first is an anonymous comment, responding to the Japanese Government's plan to seed P2P networks with fake files containing copyright propaganda:
...worked so well.
And finally, we return to our post about Harper's publisher John R. MacArthur, where another anonymous commenter had some more editorial notes on his ridiculously out-of-touch screed:
Should have titled it...
That's all for this week—see you tomorrow!