by Mike Masnick
Wed, Dec 14th 2011 10:43pm
from the often-surprisingly-lucid-for-a-bunch-of-drunks dept
Via Above the Law's daily Non Sequiturs roundup comes a post at What About Paris? (a client-focused legal blog) reiterating site owner JD Hull's arguments against allowing anonymous commenters, namely that most commenters haven't earned the protection that anonymity affords them, using a photo of some French Resistance members to illustrate his point:
The revered French Resistance in action 70 years ago. Today, certainly, these heroes might need to comment and blog anonymously. However, lawyers, shoe store managers, Tulane grad students, accountants, and other country club Charlies haven't earned that privilege.Hull goes further, equating anonymous commenting with less-than-desirable human traits including (as Techdirt's default anoymous option nods at) cowardice:
Absent compelling reasons, nameless blogosphere participants, in our view, are rarely worth anyone's time, thought, or respect--even when they think and say brilliant things... They are second-class citizens. They say third-rate things. Certainly, they have no incentive to exceed below-average...While the wording is harsh, some basic truths underlie Hull's arguments. Anonymity means never being able to take credit for brilliance or be assigned guilt for any written atrocities. As you can clearly see in the weekly funny/insightful comment wrapups, AC's gather a ton of votes in both categories, demonstrating that not every anonymous commenter is using anonymity as a cloaking device for misanthropic behavior. As much as we would love to know who's behind these comments, stripping away the "anonymous coward" option would most likely result in a severe dropoff of overall comment quality.
It doesn't take much thought or courage to lob one in there when you don't sign your name. Our new digital culture permits a certain accepted wimpiness to masquerade as needed "privacy" and personal "style". But it's a ruse. Most of us can do better than that. Don't buy into nameless blogging and commenting (or participation through pseudonyms) unless it's deserved.
On the other hand, anonymity is very often used as a layer of protection for those whose comments are the very reason that so many websites have turned to less anonymous options, like Facebook comments or required registration. Without the cover of anonymity, would anyone log in to post something like this recent irredeemable piece of malevolence?
Using the AC option to make statements like this is exactly what Hull is referring to when he uses the word "cowardice." The anonymity afforded to commenters by Masnick's refusal to censor the comment threads in any way (by requiring registration or using a third-party comment system) allows them to operate without fear of reprisal. Making crass statements or baseless personal attacks doesn't require courage or even forethought. All it requires is a keyboard and the will to sink to the lowest level possible.
Back to Hull:
As Walter Lippmann once reminded us, "cowardice" is a strong word, and you don't throw it around. We dislike using it. It implies a certain moral superiority of the user (which the writers of this blog would never claim, and do not wish to achieve). It generally furthers no discussions, and justifiably puts people on the defensive. But that word, unfortunately, may fit here.Hull references Above the Law, which is now looking to rid itself of anonymous commenters:
Check out the anonymous haters, nameless "experts" and scores of prissy pundits and lemmings who won't sign their real name to their rants and indictments. (We don't know how much David Lat is paying editor Elie Mystal these days, but it's not enough. Mystal is a mensch, soldier, hero and lightning rod who is often himself targeted for abuse.)When people speak out against anonymous commenting, it's because of instances like these. And it's never a few outliers that cause the problem. It's wave after wave of anonymous commenters, all playing internet heckler, usually with nothing more interesting to contribute than random insults and f-bombs in the general direction of the writer and other readers.
It hurts the chances of other anonymous commenters to be taken seriously, especially when these non-trolling commenters offer up dissenting opinions. The tragedy is that the ACs who traffic in ad hominem attacks and drive-by insults could care less if they damage the collective reputation of anonymous commenters.
The good news is that Techdirt's comment threads are routinely full of awesome commenters, many of whom have taken it upon themselves to preemptively "troll" many of the posts, taking the words right out the mouths of would-be attackers. Hilariously, these ACs are taking offense at being "pre-trolled," going so far as to suggest that Mike himself is deploying an army of commenters to discredit the "real" ACs by (presumably) stating their own "arguments" before they've had a chance to.
(Pro tip: don't want to be confused for a "fake" AC? Pick a name and stick with it. Value your anonymity? Well, either everyone gets an equal chance to be anonymous or no one does. Which do you prefer?)
While I can certainly appreciate the frustration of Hull and Mystal, trying to do away with anonymous commenting usually results in losing a lot of the good along with the bad, and the determined trolls will always be able to find a way to use your new comment system against you.
Anonymity on the web is still very much a good thing, especially considering how many entities, from Facebook to Google to various governments, are looking to take it away. I'd still rather wade through a ton of personal attacks than require registration for something as universal as expressing an opinion.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Oct 20th 2011 11:33am
from the legal-conundrums dept
Now, some in our comments questioned whether Erwin even had the right to grant such an exclusive license to Warner Bros., noting both that the community helped develop part of the story and that Reddit's terms might forbid it. Eriq Gardner, at THREsq, decided to dig into the legal question, and suggests that it's entirely possible that Warner Bros. could not have exclusively licensed the story, and in theory anyone else could try to get the same rights from Reddit itself.
Part of it is the boilerplate language in Reddit's terms:
"you agree that by posting messages, uploading files, inputting data, or engaging in any other form of communication with or through the Website, you grant us a royalty-free, perpetual, non-exclusive, unrestricted, worldwide license to use, reproduce, modify, adapt, translate, enhance, transmit, distribute, publicly perform, display, or sublicense any such communication in any medium (now in existence or hereinafter developed) and for any purpose, including commercial purposes, and to authorize others to do so."This really is boilerplate. Look at almost any modern user-generated content platform and you'll see similar terms. But, at the very least here, it suggests that while Erwin could offer up some rights to WB, he cannot grant them exclusively. In fact, Reddit itself could make the same movie based on this... or it could separately license the story to a competing studio. It seems unlikely that they would do that, but it certainly seems possible.
Additionally, there are still some questions about whether or not Erwin could have licensed parts of the story that were developed by others:
although Erwin undoubtedly did much of the hard work in crafting the story himself, during the genesis of "Rome, Sweet Rome," some of Reddit's other users made suggestions to his work that may ultimately shape the final story.Those concepts, if they are copyrightable, might not be Erwin's to exclusively license.
Either way, while I doubt it will happen, it certainly would be interesting and amusing to see what would happen if Reddit tried to license the same rights to a competing studio.
by Mike Masnick
Mon, Oct 17th 2011 11:02am
Warner Bros. Buys Story That Was Written In The Reddit Comments; Then Tells Author To Stop Redditing
from the wb,-you're-doing-it-wrong dept
I know we've got many Redditors here, but for those who don't spend time there, they might find this story interesting. We keep hearing stories these days about how the big movie studios are afraid to try anything particularly original when it comes to greenlighting movies -- preferring these days to do remakes, adaptations or sequels, knowing that they all bring in a guaranteed audience of some kind. So it's interesting to see (as sent in by Aaron DeOliveira) that Warner Bros. "aggressively" went after and bought the rights to a story that was written in the comments of Reddit. It started when a Reddit user asked if a modern US Marine infantry battalion could wipe out the entire Roman Empire given the modern technology they would have.
Reddit user Prufrock451, who is more commonly known as James Erwin (and is apparently an author and a "two-time Jeopardy winner") jumped at the opportunity to dash off a bit of fiction describing "day 1" of such a modern military unit being transported to the Roman Empire. And the Redditors liked it. Big time. They encouraged, nay demanded, that he write more. So he wrote some more, and an entire Subreddit was created, called Rome Sweet Rome, with plenty of people contributing additional ideas, including graphics and a hypothetical movie poster.
And late last week, the news came out that Warner Bros. had purchased the movie rights. Of course, there's a long way from buying the rights to actually having a movie made. I know folks who have sold movie rights only to see them languish for ages with nothing ever happening. Still, whole thing from comment to movie deal? A little over a month. When I read all that, I thought about how cool a move this was, and how it was nice to see Warner Bros. apparently being progressive on such a deal and realizing the value not just of the story but the wider Reddit community.
But then I read a little more. In an interview with Erwin on ScreenRant, Erwin admits that now that a deal has been signed he has to stop participating in the subreddit because everyone's "lawyered-up" and worried about "locked-down IP rights."
Unfortunately, I have not been able to spend time on Reddit. This is not because I think I’m too big for my britches now. The Internet is a chaotic, give-and-take place – and that creates nightmares for a lawyered-up industry based on locked-down IP rights. In a perfect world, I would be in that subreddit every day – but that’s not what’s best for the project. I want this to succeed, and that unfortunately meant going dark for a while. I hope the folks in the RomeSweetRome subreddit see this little mash note. I miss em.Ah, what a shame. What could have been a fun, collaborative process that really involved and built on the community -- who would have loved it -- instead becomes a lame "lawyered-up" situation with "locked-down IP rights." Sorry, WB, but you missed the whole point.
by Mike Masnick
Wed, Sep 21st 2011 10:10am
from the is-this-the-best-use-of-their-time? dept
Given the controversy and the nature of the open forum we provide, some folks took to the comments to criticize Judge Howell -- and some took it to ridiculous lengths, by making suggestions about Judge Howell that were way beyond inappropriate. This happens sometimes in comments sections on the internet. People often make extreme and ridiculous comments out of frustration. We see it all the time, and whether we agree with the comment or not (and usually, we don't), most people chalk it up to what it is: someone venting frustration by making an extreme comment. No one takes such comments seriously.
Well, there are always some exceptions, of course. And in this case, someone did apparently take one of those ridiculous comments seriously. The one that said:
Is it time to start murdering the corrupt yet?This is, undoubtedly, a stupid comment. Because the answer is obvious to pretty much anyone: NO. It is not appropriate to murder the corrupt, no matter how corrupt they might be. There are all sorts of ways to attack corruption, but murder is not a way that should ever be on the list, let alone anywhere near the list of possibilities. Of course, as is the nature of online communities, even people who disagree with Judge Howell seemed to think this comment was a bit over the top -- even though it doesn't advocate anything specifically (it just asks a question) and doesn't name anyone in particular.
Again, most people would see such a comment, recognize that it was someone venting frustration, just as others have vented frustration in the past in inappropriate and extreme ways, that never lead to any action.
However, a few days later, the US Marshals Service contacted us, saying they were investigating this particular comment, and asked us to remove it. I actually thought this was odd, because the method for removing such a comment would be to delete it, which would delete with it any information associated with that comment -- and nowhere in the request was there any mention of us being told to retain the data. However, our general viewpoint is that we don't remove comments, even offensive ones, other than comments that we deem to be spam. We certainly deem this comment to be offensive, stupid and counterproductive, but we saw no reason to remove it. Indeed, it spurred a long thread of discussion.
It's likely that someone else in the comment thread (and it's not difficult to guess who from the thread itself) reported the comment to the Marshals Service, believing that it's a fun thing to do to cause trouble for us. The truth is, this individual is almost certainly wasting the valuable and important time of the Marshals Service, who have significant and important work to do, but instead are "investigating" a stupid comment written in frustration on a blog.
We are not removing the comment, and we've explained this to the US Marshals Service, who noted they understood our reasons. The Marshals Service indicated that its first course of action in such situations is to seek the removal of such content -- which strikes us as a little odd. In this case in particular, the comment did not advocate anything. It certainly didn't mention or name a judge. It did not even suggest doing anything. It asked a question. A stupid question -- we agree -- but still, it was just asking a question. The US Marshals Service has every right to investigate threats and to do what it needs to do. Certainly judges have been targeted by crazy people at times, and I appreciate the work that the Marshals Service does in protecting judges. But I am still troubled that the US Marshals Service would contact sites in such a manner, certainly implying that the US government and the Justice Department might somehow take action if you did not remove the comments. In this case, the Marshals Service has assured us that no action will be taken against us for leaving the comment up, and they even recognized (and apparently expected) that we would write about this whole thing.
But, for everyone in our comments: let's try to keep a little perspective. One idiot making a stupid comment does not amount to a credible threat. We keep our comments open so we can enjoy the benefits of a wide range of opinions, insights and experiences. And while sometimes the comments descend into petty name calling, much of the time, they're awesome. Making idiotic comments about murder is completely counterproductive, as is reporting such obviously non-specific comments to the US government. Let's keep a little perspective here and focus on debating the issues.
by Mike Masnick
Thu, Jun 30th 2011 1:03am
from the this-isn't-helping-your-cause dept
"In modern society, there needs to be some give and take, some ability for parties to air their differences.... Today, those disagreements may take place on various Internet sources. Because the medium has changed, however, does not make statements of this sort any more or less defamatory."Now, a smart doctor might take that lesson and move forward, and perhaps look into ways to respond reasonably to complaints. Or, there's Dr. David McKee, who has announced that he has "no choice" but to appeal the ruling. That's actually wrong. He has plenty of choices. For example, he could not appeal the ruling.
Amusingly, part of the reason that Dr. McKee is apparently filing the appeal is because he claims that the same guy started writing a bunch more critical messages about him online after the ruling came out. However, the guy, Dennis Laurion, insists that he hasn't posted anything since the lawsuit began, and suggests that perhaps all of those anti-McKee posts came about because of the negative publicity associated with the lawsuit. Specifically, he notes that "there was an influx of Internet chatter about McKee after a link to a story about McKee appeared on the high-traffic website reddit.com." So what next? Will Dr. McKee try to sue a bunch of Reddit posters too? I'm sure that will go over well...
by Mike Masnick
Tue, Mar 8th 2011 10:17pm
from the free-speech-isn't-free dept
"I am overwhelmed, I don't want to say Mr. or PM what happened in Egypt is sending shockwaves to dictators around the world. No weapon but unity of purpose worth emulating, hey."The guy was actually arrested before the police realized what he had written. An anonymous tipster claimed that the guy had sent a "security threat" via his phone, so he was arrested. Police then searched his phone and found that message. He's now been charged with "advocating or attempting to take-over government by unconstitutional means," and prosecutors have asked for him to be denied bail. Seems like an extreme response to a simple Facebook comment.
from the keep-'em-coming dept
It's quite easy to spin what you say in the other direction. Techdirt has indeed seen where the future goes, and it is not towards greater protection and stronger IP laws. Those things are essentially impossible: there is no such thing as effective DRM and no such thing as unpirateable content, and there never will be. Given the nature of what is happening in the world since it became so gloriously interconnected, it is inevitable that information's tendency to be free will overpower its tendency to be expensive.The comment that came in second (juuuuust below Marcus'), from someone named Mike42 (I'm assuming he's not a clone of me), responded to someone on the post about how "piracy" sometimes looks remarkably like "freedom," in noting how freedom of speech and copyright law relate to each other:
Given that, when you see companies and creators attacking their fans, throwing temper-tantrums or reducing the value of their product with DRM and removed features, one thing is abundantly clear: they are digging their own graves. Much more frightening is when the government is complicit in this, because it erodes respect for the rule of law and teaches entire generations that those in power are clueless about the realities of technology.
And so a blog like Techdirt highlights these things, because it is the right of every consumer to criticize commercial entities, and because it is the duty of any informed citizen to criticize the government when it violates people's guaranteed rights.
The problem is this: copyright is not an inalienable right. Free speech is. Where the two conflict, free speech must win out.In the "editor's choice" category, I'll highlight two other comments I thought were insightful. SageScape discussed music publishers complaining about a free archive of public domain scores and saying they used the sales from such scores to fund new artists, by noting that this made little sense:
If you're not an American, your confusion is understandable. If you are, then your confusion is unforgivable.
As I noted yesterday over on my blog Legally Sociable, this makes no sense. It is the profit from selling/renting sheet music composed by long-dead composers like Beethoven at above-market prices that allows the G. Schirmer company "to bring out more composers’ work"? Insofar as this even makes sense, they can only mean one of two things:And then a nice short one on the post about cheap video games being more profitable for video game makers, fogbugzd responded to the question posed by the article I linked to that wondered if this was "coincidence or magic" by paraphrasing Arthur C. Clarke:
1. Traditional music publishers can only continue to publish public domain scores if they can continue to sell it at monopoly prices (e.g., $30-50 for "[a] set of parts for a mainstream string quartet", according to the NYTimes article).
Analysis: Good riddance. IMSLP will publish it for free. Deadweight loss triange: gone.
2. Traditional music publishers can only afford to take a bath on contemporary composers if it can subsidize them with profits from public domain scores of dead composers.
Analysis: Whatever this is, it's not a business argument. There are plenty of reasons to support new composers (and musicians generally) that have nothing to do with business, of course. One may think that the arts are intrinsically valuable, or may want to give back/pay it forward, or may simply want the prestige of having one's name connected rising talent as a "patron". All fair enough. But there's no business reason for a traditional music publisher to subsidize new talent with monopoly money. Why should it do that? It would make much more money if it simply sold the old public domain stuff and told new composers to take a hike. (Unless, of course, it does make money off the new composers....)
Just because a music publisher may have used some of its profits to support the arts doesn't mean that they should be able to assert legal rights they don't have to public domain musical scores just because the Internet is threatening their traditional business model. The arts can be supported much more directly and efficiently. There's no need to expand copyright law to allow a revenue stream to continue flowing into the publisher's pockets that a trickle may eventually find its way into the tip jar of the up-and-coming composer.
To the uninformed, basic economics in action can appear indistinguishable from magic.Ok. On to the funny. The winner here, by a wide margin was a commenter by the name of hmm, who went biblical:
In the beginning, people (apparently) created stuff without copyright, and the corporate firmament was dark and without form.Coming in second was an Anonymous Coward's parody of some of my critics:
And then came a lawyer who said "LET THERE BE COPYRIGHT". and there was copyright. And he saw it wasn't good (but it could make a large amount of cash).
And he said "let there be a division between the heavens (where all the men in suits could live) and the earth (where all the criminals...sorry customers..could stay) and the peaceful universe was torn in two....
Now the question that the filthy dirty 'criminals' (for thusly had they been labelled by those on high) asked was "well if it takes incentive to copyright stuff, how was anyone incentivized to sit there and create a copyright law in the first place?". And the Lawyers were exceedingly angry saying "question not your master, for he is always right, and yeah verily are compulsory licenses great, woe unto he that uses p2p". and the lawyer did smite the questioner with lawsuits of fire and brimstone forever and ever, amen
MikeOn that note, I'll leave everyone to gear up to comment on another week of posts...
I shall give the appearance of having neither read nor understood anything you have ever written despite feeling the need to comment on almost everything you have ever written.
To do so, I will first need to say you have taken a stance you have never taken.
Why are you in favour of child molestation
Why do you support piracy
Why do you insist every business follow exactly the same business model
I will now castigate you for taking these positions that you have never taken.
When you cite evidence I will dismiss the citing of evidence as being pointless.
When you describe the general thrust of an argument I will complain that you are not citing specific evidence.
I am eternal
I am ever present
I am troll.
I do not possess the capacity to feel shame.
Freetards are destroying us all
by Mike Masnick
Sun, Feb 6th 2011 12:00pm
from the and-the-winner-is... dept
Ah, I see. Dan Snyder objects to the to squigly lines drawing devil horns and a goatee (by cracky) on his image because they're anti-Semetic. Dan Snyder, you see, is against images and depictions of racist and culturally insensitive nature.I almost feel like we shouldn't even bother looking at other comments after that one, but just to satisfy everyone's curiosity, the next two on the most insightful list were both short and sweet, so I'll include them both. The first was a comment on Egypt's decision to shut down the internet, where an anonymous commenter made a simple point:
Hey, fuckhead. You own an NFL football team based in the nation's capital called the REDSKINS! Are you kidding me? It's an insensitive term with a stereotypical logo of an American Indian, the gall of which is only supplanted by the fact that the team is located in the home city of the governing body that raped and pillaged their people? Who the hell are you crappin'?
How about some Irish immigrant owning a football team called the New York Porchmonkeys (I'm just bringing it back)? Or that Saratoga Slants? Maybe the Talahassee Towelheads? Portland Pollocks? Ooooh, the Memphis Micks (that one is close to my heart)?
Way to be a hypocritical polesmoker there, D-bag....
If your government shuts down the internet, shut down your government.And, in discussing the study financed by NBC Universal that showed that the amount of "piracy" online was driven, in large part, by their own failure to provide legitimate alternatives, Marcus Carab pointed out a key point that is so frustrating to so many of us. In responding to another interesting comment about the amount of data in the Library of Congress, Marcus stated the unfortunate truth:
That quote highlights another thing worth noting here: we now live in and age where it's technologically trivial to have the entire library of congress in your room, and yet thanks to copyright, none of us do.Over on the "funny" side was a rather wry comment from anonymous user, poking a bit of fun at the people who believe that kicking people off the internet will lead to increased music sales. So, when Egypt shut off its internet access, that commenter asked:
I wonder how much music sales went up during this period.And in third place, thublihnk responded to Feargal Sharkey's complaint that thinking about increasing fair use in the UK was nothing more than "intellectual masturbation" by putting it into the appropriate context:
I know sometimes when I'm alone in my apartment I like to turn the lights down low, maybe light some incense and just think about the proper way to treat intellectual property in relation to content creation and distribution in the interconnected age of today.Thanks for another week of fantastic commentary.
by Mike Masnick
Sun, Jan 23rd 2011 12:00pm
from the and-the-winner-is dept
Billions of children are born with ears every year. What are doctors doing to make sure these ears are not being used to listen to illegal music?Coming in second on the insightful scale was (interestingly) also a commenter taking a letter written by industry folks, and "rewriting" it. In this case, it was commenter stellarwaif, who wrote a rebuttal letter to the letter written by a bunch of companies in favor of censoring the internet, via domain name seizures and anti-due process laws like COICA:
RIAA would love to work the medical professionals to stop music piracy at its source, the human ear. We strongly urge you to take these concerns seriously... we prefer a practical solution to these issues, and hope to avoid the need to escalate the issue further.
Here's my rebuttal letter. I encourage all innovative companies to read and if they agree, to sign this letter!I won't post the actual comments, but a whole bunch of comments on the response to Jim D'Addario were voted highly, so you can read Ima Fish on the government's role in protecting business models, the official Anonymous Coward on how shooting first and asking questions later can backfire, Karl reminding us that the conflation of counterfeiting with copyright is a big part of the problem here, and last but not least, Chosen Reject highlighting a Samuel Adam's quote concerning those who "love wealth greater than liberty."
We run companies large and small that represent diverse aspects of America’s intellectual property community. While our employees live in different regions of the country, and work to produce a variety of goods and services, they have several important things in common – they work hard, they are committed to quality and innovation and they welcome competition. However, allowing a small group of companies to prevent fair competition in the marketplace cannot be tolerated. Supporting draconian intellectual property laws and punishing consumers for freedom of choice diminishes the market’s ability to freely innovate and build upon past successes and failures, and cannot be tolerated. In order to protect our free enterprise system, and the standard of living it has contributed to our nation, it is critical that we multiply our efforts to encourage development of new marketplaces, identify and break down the barriers created from unsustainable business models, and provide even greater freedom to consumers for what we create and produce.
Thus, we are appalled by the effort and energy behind Operation in Our Sites. The actions dictated on November 29, 2010 once again demonstrated that, just as in the physical world, defendants and courts are presented with indefensible arguments and poor evidence to distinguish between legitimate innovative businesses and archaic and failed enterprises that abuse the law and profit from denying the ingenuity of others. We believe that the online marketplace is the rightful domain of consumers and our task as creators is to respect their voice – and urge you to stop acts against the kinds of domains that you have targeted without due process nor respect for property rights and the rule of law. Fortunately, there are many options available for sites to continue to provide creative business ideas, and we believe that your efforts will drive consumers further away from failed online ventures and services that have worked hard to remain in business -- without fostering customer support.
We encourage you to work with your colleagues in the Administration and the Congress toward defeat of the principles central to S. 3804 – the Combating Online Infringement and Counterfeits Act. The legislation crafted by Senators Leahy and Hatch was unanimously approved by the uninformed Senate Judiciary Committee and roundly condemned by numerous organizations and media outlets, and will undoubtedly be reintroduced this congress. The proposal continues to pervert law enforcement techniques at the heart of “Operation In Our Sites” and attempts to ensure that private corporations can force the government to stifle competition and fair use without judicial oversight and without fairness under the law. The legislation will ensure that targeted sites will evade U.S. jurisdiction by creating a new class of registrar and domain name system unimpeded by governmental interference, regardless of source. In addition, the Leahy-Hatch proposal provides yet another level of protection for entrenched U.S. rights holders by establishing the legal framework necessary to protect failed business models of domestic sites and starving legitimate and creative businesses of the right to compete and thrive in a fair and level marketplace that all consumers can access. The dangerously imbalanced measure would allow American law enforcement officials and U.S. courts to create an island of stifled innovation and propel thriving businesses away from the Internet within the U.S. market while further smothering consumer choice and innovation so as to allow select businesses to reap diminishing financial gain for themselves.
We hope that you will cease dedicating any resources to Operation in Our Sites and reconsider support for the rule of law and for due process, and work toward legislation for a free, balanced and open marketplace, by the consumer, and for the consumer.
On the funny side, not only did Johnjac take the top position, but he took the second place spot as well, in response to our post about the Reagan library indoctrinating children to hate freedom of the press, because accurate reporting might harm people, John warned us as well asking:
Why is Techdirt irresponsibly reporting on this?Close behind that was a comment from Mr. LemurBoy, choosing some rather groan-inducing gags concerning the Australian politician, who seemed to think it was a good thing that the Catholic church silenced Galileo for a century and assumed that governments could do that to Julian Assange:
What if some harm comes to the library or worse its staff due this report?
For Shame. For Shame.
Oh, it's not a joke. Just think of the gravity of the situation.Separately, the story of the 82-year-old woman, who had trouble going through airport security in Canada with her prosthetic (gel-filled) breast (due to breast cancer) and a physical inability to lift her left arm as required by the naked scanner, led to many funny comments. Kevin pointed out the details of what she should have done, including getting a background check on the "technicians, assemblers, testers, nurses, doctors, and anyone else who may have handled the prosthetic." And then both pixelpusher220 and Dark Helmet had a nice run with attempts to Monty Python the situation.
Maybe the politician thinks he's the center of the universe?