Several companies have tried the 'hide funny stuff in the TOS' trick before, though I think the most telling one was when one company included a line where people could get something like one thousand dollars just for contacting them in the TOS, and it took something like three months for someone to claim it.
No one reads TOS's, in part because no one has the time to do so, and given many of them are chock full of legalese, unless you keep a lawyer on speed-dial, reading won't do you much good in any case.
Not to mention, more often than not, those 'blessed' with zero rating are either connected to the ISP in some way(they own them directly, or indirectly), or have paid, dearly, for the status. 'Zero rating' is a blatant money grab, a 'fix' to an artificial problem, pure and simple.
If a piece of software is required for something to run, whether it's a car, or tractor, or whatever, then the idea that the software and hardware should be treated as separate items is ridiculous.
No one buys a vehicle and believes that they are making two purchases(or a purchase and a license in this case), one for the car, and one for the software required for it to run. That would be like buying the car, but licensing the wheels. One does nothing without the other, so the idea that they should be treated as separate items is absurd. The customer may not have bought the software itself, but they most certainly should be recognized as having bought a copy of it, and be free to do with it as they will, even if that involves cracking or bypassing any DRM infections.
If people sign deals for "percentage of net" without knowing what is involved in going from gross income to net profits, then they had pretty bad legal advice up front.
Or they were given the ultimatum of 'Sign on our terms, or get out'. Or they didn't expect to be screwed to the point that the method doing it has it's own name it's so infamous at this point. Whatever the reason, it doesn't change the fact that the method they're being screwed with is pure slime at best.
Studio rakes in the profits, which can be extensive, but funny thing, when it comes to paying the actors, or even the director, why, would you look at that, suddenly there's not a cent to be found, as the movie goes from highly profitable to still not even close to recouping the 'costs'.
One thing is licensing (characters, screen play, and the like) which is an upfront and ongoing cost.
You seem to be a bit confused as to how licensing works. If a studio makes a movie, and another company wants to license the characters or the movie universe for game/toys/whatever, that company pays the studio for that, not the other way around.
As for screenplay costs, well, let's talk about how that's worked out before.
The movie 'Forest Gump' was based upon a book written by Winston Groom, who was paid $350,000 for the screenplay rights to his book, along with a contract for 3% of the net profits. The film itself cost $55M to make, and brought in 'total of $677,387,716 worldwide.' Subtract production costs from theater profits, and so far we're looking at $622M in profits.
Now according to Paramount(the studio that released it), 'costs' clocked in at $62M(though if you believe that number I've got some lovely lunar property I'm sure you'd be interested in purchasing). However, assume for the moment that every last bit of that was legitimate costs, which brings the profits down to $560M.
Now, here's the $560M dollar question: How much do you think the writer who was promised 3% of the net profits was paid? Even taking the cost to produce, and the other 'costs' that the studio tacked on, the film still made over half a billion dollars, so take a guess how much his 3% of the net was?
There may have been one 'upfront cost', but the only 'ongoing' one was trying not to laugh in the author's face when he asked when he'd be seeing his cut, and if they did it once, I have no doubt they've done it time and time again since.
What you call "hollywood accounting" is just "big business accounting", nothing more and nothing less. Producers, actors, and others sign contracts for percentage of net without having an idea what the gross to net calculations will be.
Yeah, I mean, what idiots right, not realizing ahead of time the myriad ways massive profits can be spun as horribly losses when it comes to paying them. /s
Once again: You are defending intentional actions who's sole purpose is screwing people out of money they are owed. Coming from someone who is constantly saying how terrible piracy is, how it's taking money out of the creator's pockets... well, the double-standard is rather striking.
It's okay for a large company to screw people out of money("It's their fault, they should have bargained harder with the clout they didn't have and expected us to cook the books!"), and that's not something to get upset about, but if a regular person does it, now suddenly it's a terrible, immoral crime?
Tax dodges by companies may be an issue worth discussing, and they may be all sorts of dodgy, but that isn't the topic of the article, hollywood accounting, and how it leads to people being screwed over, is.
Even if tax dodges do involve much more money, it does not change the fact that running two sets of books, one for when it comes time to pay the studio, and one for when it comes time to pay the actors, directors, and others involved in a film, is an incredibly sleazy way to avoid paying out, and coming from the same groups that are always crying out about how concerned they are about protecting creators, and how not paying people for their work is just so terrible, and needs the direst of punishments... well, that kind of hypocrisy needs to be pointed out.
As the Bilcon case makes clear, corporate sovereignty clauses don't put companies on equal footing with governments, but above them.
The ISDS tribunal basically just over-ruled the government in that case, and told them that they weren't allowed to refuse the company's proposal to set up shop in the area if it meant deviating outside the 'authorized' avenues in the agreement in doing so. What that means basically is that the law is locked in, and is not allowed to change, if doing so would 'violate' any terms in the 'trade' agreement, despite the usual claims that such agreements have no effect on a country's ability to write and change laws.
Who cares about hollywood accounting? It's small potatoes in the real world.
Well let's see, given the go-to excuse for why stuff like copyright infringement is so bad is that it hurts creators by keeping them from making any money, and hollywood accounting hurts creators by keeping them from making any money, that should be you, what few honest studios there are(assuming there are any), and everyone else.
If you think copyright infringement is bad because it potentially deprives artists of a sale they would have otherwise made(sometimes it does, sometimes it doesn't, sometimes it does both), how about intentionally screwing people over via accounting tricks, such that residual payments that people would have gotten, were the profits gained by movies honestly recorded, are instead no-where to be found, and the movie is instead, on one set of books at least, treated as though it's never profitable, and therefor no payments are required.
For someone theoretically on the side of 'protecting' artists and creators, you sure seem to be dismissive of dirty accounting specifically designed to screw them over.
If your going to lie and throw out personal attacks, at least put some Effort into it
You... do know that the site has a search function right? As in it takes all of 10 seconds to find the articles covering Google on TD, good and bad? Mike and the others that write for TD may praise Google, or any other company when they do something that they agree with, but they are also more than willing to criticize them when they screw up, and have done so repeatedly.
As for the Copia Institute being 'evidence' that Google is paying him off? You may not have noticed, since you seem to have an obsession with Mike and Google, but Google is only one of those listed as sponsors/members, alongside MacArthur Foundation, Yelp(which TD has also been critical of in the past), USV, Automattic, and several others.
Really, can't you lot ever come up with new material? If you're going to be pests and toss out personal attacks, and ad-homs, you could at least be creative doing so, not just toss out the same old rubbish all the time.
The usual excuse they bring out to justify seizing the phones of onlookers is that any videos on them are 'evidence' of a crime(their's to be specific, though they conveniently leave that out). Of course the fact that said 'evidence' always seems to be 'accidentally lost' while in police custody is just pure coincidence I'm sure, and has nothing to do with destruction of evidence in an attempt to hide their actions.
If someone was willing to risk being on the receiving end of 'resisting arrest' or 'obstruction of justice' charges(trial and sentencing to be carried on the spot by the nearest officer), you could provide contact details and offer to send them a copy of the video, though in any case, your best bet is likely to have an automatic off-site uploader running, so they can't delete the video no matter what they do.
Just... don't mention that little detail, as it would likely lead to the aforementioned 'resisting arrest' charges and 'punishment'.
Re: Re: It'd probably result in my own death by excessive force...
I can, and it's the fact that both bystanders and cops know full well they could add another charge of 'resisting arrest' if you decline, which is apparently deserving of summary execution these days, and face no real repercussions for it.
Knowing that they just killed someone, and are now trying to destroy the evidence is bad, but knowing that there's pretty much nothing at all stopping them from doing it again if you say 'No', that strikes me as much more intimidating.
Nah, that wasn't a slip, that's just a cheap emotional plea, 'Please, won't you think of the poor employees?'
Of course other than simple curiosity, most people, and certainly most people reporting on the data, aren't likely to really care about the data regarding the low-level employees, as why should they when there's much more juicy details in the pile?
While it's nice he covered the topic in his usual 'funny, but seriously, this is a problem' method, and nice that he mentioned how much copyright trolls seem to love filing in east texas, I'm disappointed that they missed out on the funniest part of that, where patent trolls will rent 'office space' in the area, sometimes sharing the exact same address with many other trolls, in order to give themselves standing to file the case in Texas.
Seriously, dozens of patent trolls crammed into a room the size of a closet furiously waving extortion letters? That joke practically writes itself, pity they missed it.
If someone asked me to do something that my past actions made clear was both against my stated position, and against my best interests, my response would probably not be that polite either. As such, 'Go pound sand' is seems to be remarkably restrained on TD's part.
Idiocy, addiction, lack of conviction, take your pick. When it comes down to it, people like that are nothing more than walking wallets, eager to take the abuse companies throw at them, as long as they still get to watch/read/listen to the crap that the companies throw out.
Words are nice, but it's actions that matter, and the actions of fools like that make those of us who actually care how companies treat their customers, and are actually willing to back up that care with real boycotts, instead of just empty whining, look bad.
Even Switzerland, that old standby, has its surveillance programs, and the risk is that it, too, will bring in measures like those of its neighbors.
Other countries might introduce similar measures in the future, but the French government is introducing them now.
Entire companies pulling out will serve dual purposes, both as a means of very visible protest, and a large boost to the reputations of those companies, quite possibly making up for the costs of pulling out of France in the long term.
You should consider selling tickets, I haven't seen this much dancing and contortionism outside of a circus act. You could make it a two-for-one show too, as you seem to be pretty good at creating strawmen.
Also, your little example is just a little off from reality, a more accurate one would be something along these lines:
Public/TD: Fair Use is a good thing. MPAA: We agree. Public/TD+MPAA: Let's support fair use.
Trade rep in charge of US negotiations for 'trade' agreements: Let's consider including Fair use in the 'trade' agreements*. MPAA: Woah now, let's not get carried away, that's a very controversial and divisive decision there.
Public/TD: Clearly the MPAA does not in fact support Fair Use, given they consider it's inclusion 'controversial and divisive', despite their claims to the contrary previously.
*Ignoring for the moment the only reason he wants to include fair use is to limit it, as the few leaked parts of the 'trade' agreements make clear.
Chorus of ignorant Techdirt posters: F*ck the MPAA! Anyone who disagrees with our position, based on a stolen document of unknown origin and unverified accuracy that we declare the immutable truth...
Ah, and now it's on to trying to discredit the documents themselves by bringing their validity under question. Sorry to say though(well, not really), but Sony's actions during this who debacle makes it pretty clear that they at least believe the documents are genuine, as rather than making a simple statement refuting the legitimacy of the documents and files, they are instead trying to stop them from spreading, and keep people from discussing the contents.
In addition, several bits of information from them(paying off AG's in multiple states, the MPAA's involvement in such) have been found to match up with other information and evidence elsewhere, something that would be just a bit difficult to manage if the documents were false.
needs to answer an arbitrary set of illogical questions and give us their name and photo ID or else!
'Arbitrary and illogical' now are they? Really, watching you do everything you can to avoid answering those three simple questions is almost funny.
Also, speaking of 'arbitrary and illogical', you were the one who offered to provide your name, in exchange for Mike answering a question he had no possible way of knowing the answer to. Rather than being honest and admitting that you had no intention of giving your name, you instead threw out an impossible challenge, and when he called you out on it, you suddenly got defensive and acted all offended. Really now, just be honest from the start next time.