from the me-and-my-aereo dept
This week, we were dismayed when the supreme court ruled against Aereo. It didn't take long for the fallout to start, with Fox trying to use the ruling against Dish, and silverscarcat took first place for insightful with a simple sentence to sum up how many people feel about this:
And this is why...
Copyright loses more and more respect by innovators, writers and consumers on a daily basis.
Meanwhile, when we discussed problems with another fairly recent legal development — Europe's right-to-be-forgotten — one commenter accused us of having a double standard about privacy. Mason Wheeler took second place for insightful by explaining the nuance:
Techdirt is for privacy, but only for things that are actually private. Techdirt has always--as far as I've seen, at least--been against the abuse of the term "privacy" to try to hide public affairs that someone finds embarrassing.
It's not just a disaster for tech companies, startups, and consumers.
It's also a disaster for the media companies that won the suit. As with every other victory they have in the courtroom, it's nothing more than a Pyrrhic one. They've been handed another excuse to not innovate or even to offer services based on now mature technology, and instead to let their lawyers run wild.
Until there's an online video offer equivalent or better than cable at a reasonable price, millions will continue to pirate. Netflix isn't there yet, and not just entirely because cable is trying to kill them.
Lawsuit won, at cost of millions. Revenue gained, nil. Company that could've helped broadcast video reach more people and make more money, destroyed. Other companies that could've helped video adapt, never going to be born. Widescale piracy extended. Everyone loses.
Next, we've got Almost Anonymous pointing out that no matter how you slice it, Keith Alexander shouldn't be doing private security work:
There are huge problems with Alexander doing security consulting, but it seems to me that he must be breaking the law whether he discloses classified info or not.
1. If he knows of "backdoors" and other vulnerabilities and does not disclose the info to his clients, he is essentially defrauding those clients by deliberately allowing them to remain insecure.
2. If he gives those clients the classified info that would allow them to remove those vulnerabilities, then he is obviously breaking the law, as Rep Grayson noted.
This is not even getting into the unethical nature of a person in Alexander's position doing any sort of security consulting in the first place.
Over on the funny side, we start out on the story about a Raspberry Pi microwave-modder whose awesome work can't be commercialized because of the patent thicket. Naturally someone — in this case Michael — had to make the irresistible joke:
I put a raspberry pie in my microwave and it didn't turn out very awesome.
In second place, we start out on the post about the FAA's strict rules against commercial drone use, which suggested (among other things) that using drones for commercial farming is not okay, but for hobby gardening it is. This prompted one commenter to wonder what kind of hobby gardener has so many crops that they need a monitor drone, to which saulgoode offered a possible answer:
For editor's choice on the funny side, we'll return one more time to the Aereo ruling, where one commenter wondered (as many have) why the tech industry doesn't just start buying out the entertainment industry entirely. It's not that crazy of an idea, and you can see why it appeals to some, but it's ultimately not really what tech companies want to do, and Dave Xanatos offered a fantastic explanation of why that is:
Don't fight the dinosaur. *Buy* the dinosaur. Sounds great until you realize that now you have a dinosaur to care for and feed. Do you know how much Brontosaurus Chow goes for these days?
Finally, after all this time spent on a bad ruling, let's head over to a good one: KlearGear being forced to pay up for its attempts to shake down customers who wrote bad reviews. The company's vague, nebulous and often ridiculous nature prompted one anonymous commenter to draw a distinct parallel:
If this were a movie and Techdirt articles were the inspiration for the script, KlearGear would be revealed in the end to be owned by Prenda Law.
What a twist!
That's all for this week, folks.