from the connivers'-comeuppance-(or-lack-thereof) dept
Looks like the community was in a comedic mood this week: the funny tallies shot past the insightful tallies to the point that the top four funniest comments all got more votes than even the first place comment on the other side! But that's not to say there was a dearth of insight either—so let's get started with our most insightful comment of the week.
Unsurprisingly, that comment was an expression of outrage at the news that Worcester, MA police had let a cop off the hook after being caught in a pedophile sting. Our community strongly agreed with Rikuo:
They really fucked up here. Letting the cop retire without being charged only lets the public know that they don't care about the children only themselves. Whereas, if they'd gone through with the investigation, they would have been able to shout from the rooftops that they truly are hard on crime, that not even cops are above the law: if they'd done that, everyone would have won.
For second place, we head over to New Zealand, where the copyright tribunal is making some disturbing claims about infringement. This sparked PaulT to make an observation about the name-calling that is so prevalent in political debates:
If I've learned one thing about American politics by reading forums, it's that "socialism/communism/fascism/etc." are usually used interchangeably to mean "something I don't like" or "something I don't understand". If you dig deeper and ask people what makes the description apt, they have no idea what the words actually mean.
For editor's choice, we open with a comment on our post about OXO's fantastic response to bogus accusations of ripping off ideas. While it seemed like Quirky, the accuser, was being blind and stubborn for the sake of a marketing opportunity, Jason Kerr dug through their forums and found some extremely damning evidence of just how willful that blindness was:
Bill Ward and other Quirky people knew it was public domain and STILL trashed OXO
Check out the conversations from 2 years ago between the "inventor" and Quirky members/staff:
Bill Ward: "Hey everyone, This morning Matthew pointed out that he saw a product similar to my 'Broom Groomer' idea (link) Thought it only fair to advise the community so you don't waste a vote on an idea that has an IP issue. Bummer!"
Brian Shy: "Bill: There is not really an IP issue here because the idea was originally patented in 1917 (sic), see here: (link) Since patents are only good for around 20 years ANYONE (emphasis mine) can use this idea now, including us, we just can't patent it ourselves."
I think that is ridiculous. She shouldn't be fired. She should have a group of people go through her life and find any crimes they can possibly charge her with and offer her a "deal" if she only wants to spend a year in prison.
With any luck, she has an unlocked smartphone.
On the funny side, both top comments came from posts about the ongoing Prenda Law/Alan Cooper saga. First, when Prenda's lawyer tried to dodge questions about Cooper by dismissing his case, one anonymous commenter eloquently explained why that strategy won't work:
You can't just dump a body in my courtroom and say "No further questions".
The second place comment actually arrived two days earlier, when Alan Cooper sued John Steele & Prenda himself to figure out what the hell they have been using his name for. Another anonymous commenter noted, with tactful phrasing, what just happened:
Well, the colorectal excretions have adhered to the bladed circulambatory air-propelling machine now.
Indubitably. For editor's choice on the funny side, we start with our post about the data showing that there are just as many musicians who say file sharing helps them as those who say it hurts them. Michael (clearly well-trained in the ways of the Dept. of Commerce & USPTO) saw the glaring flaw in the data:
These numbers are completely distorted. As soon as you add in the grocery store employees and their reliance on intellectual property you will see that it is critical to the world economy.
"The US Attorney who was in charge of the ridiculous Aaron Swartz prosecution..."
Man, TechDirt needs to get a spellchecker. You keep misspelling "persecution" in every single one of these Aaron Swartz articles.
Which reminds me: we also need to teach all the spellcheckers in the world that "Techdirt" has a lowercase "d"...
That's all for now—get ready for another week, which will hopefully be better than Carmen Ortiz's.