I was waiting for this one to come up, because I knew what the spin would be.
The settlement is simple: 80 million is the big number, which would apply if another agreement was not reached. Now, in that reduced 4 million agreement, there may be other stipulations that must be met (such as not starting a similar service, or providing future user information and cooperating in court if called for related business, etc). If those were not met, it's very likely that the deal would revert back to the 80 million.
It also needs repeating that the MPAA and RIAA have said over and over again that they aren't suing people for the money, they are suing them for the deterrent factor against others. Part of that is keeping those very large judgements / agreements there to be used as a reminder of what may happen.
My personal guess: 4 million was about all Hotfile could manage, leaving the owners enough to live well and not have to restart their piracy based business.
I rarely comment here anymore (freedom of speech, just watch what you say). But this one is classic Techdirt bullshit that is hard to avoid.
You show increases in online sales. Yet, you don't show really what the effects are on the overall business. You point at vague "brand value", which is hard to measure at the best of times.
You point at online research. Well, news for you, I research plenty of high end cars, but generally don't buy them. Sometimes I am just looking at what my neighbor drivers, or perhaps the specs on that McLaren I saw the other day.
It's voodoo numbers, like the idiots who pointed at the high right of abandoned online shopping carts as if there was some magic reason people didn't buy - rather than it just being people looking for information and not to make a purchase. Pointing at vague brand values and searches made doesn't mean much.
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I replied to the last one on the list, that's all.
It's pretty simple. If people an more easily see your comment than mine, because some people have decided that they do not like my comment, then it's censored. Think of the report button a form of prior restraint, making it harder for me to express my views and easier for others. Anything that limits someone's speech is censorship.
Nobody is trying to educate me, they are trying to JUDGE me. They don't like my comments, so they insult me, they bait me, they call me names, and most of all THEY CENSOR me.
Oh, and Techdirt doesn't even have the decency to show me when the posts are censored, I can find it out by using another browser that isn't logged in. Isn't that classy.
Funny, that. As soon as you are barring people from speaking -- no matter how unpleasant you find the speech -- you are a threat to "the functioning of democracy" yourself. The functioning of democracy requires the ability for people to speak freely, especially unpopular speech.
An incredibly thoughtful comment, sadly lost on a site where people use the "report" button as a way to down vote unpopular opinions to shut them off.
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I have to wonder: Are the Tims happy about anything, ever? You guys both tend to sound really pissed off, like a really loud drunk at a party who just got turned down by the last girl in the room.
In one case, it billed The Associated Press $135 an hour — for nearly a day's work — merely to retrieve a handful of email accounts since the shooting. That fee compares with an entry-level, hourly salary of $13.90 in the city clerk's office, and it didn't include costs to review the emails or release them.
Sort of an unfair comparison. I don't suspect that they would leave answering such FOIA requests to the lowest paid employee in the place. They also wouldn't let the resulting dataset out without review. The price is high, but it's not particularly out of line when you consider what a short term computer "consultant" would charge to do the same work.
For what it's worth, they can't just run a keyword search against a bunch of emails and turn it over. That would likely result in relevant emails being missed, and irrelevant or even messages that might get covered as evidence in the investigation getting put out to public. Quite simply, it's not a two minute job that the lowest paid clerk in the building can do.
It's the issue I mentioned the other day, where everything in the US is pushed to the nth degree. It's either just barely legal or "appears okay", and that is enough for everyone. Everyone from pirates sites and Aereo to NSA and TSA all play from the same book in the end, it's legal until a court of law says otherwise.
So if we are going to say that they police should get a warrant even if they don't TECHNICALLY need one to respect existing law otherwise, then perhaps pirate sites who are "just search engines" could perhaps stop listing stuff that is likely pirated?
Nah.... we push it to the very limits, well beyond the edge of reasonable logic, because, well... the law just barely.
Here's the thing though... up to the point of jamming, they are within the industry norms, and the ONLY reason the FCC is involved is as a result of that. Merely blocking mifi devices from hosting multiple devices on their network wouldn't even be the issue.
A couple of things. The price was "up to $1000" and not an absolutely $1000 for every use. Generally, that would be an 'old style' convention / booth space rate, similar to charging $400-$1000 to hook up power and a couple of thousand more for a 10 by 10 space. I can remember setting up convention spaces in various cities in the US and finding that their internet charges were insane. In at least one case, they would force you to deal with their prefered supplier, who would set up a T1 line (speedy as it was at the time), and you would be required to pay setup, removal, and a full month's service, even if you needed it only for a day.
In very general terms, $250 a day for wi-fi seems high, but in convention space terms, it seems pretty much par for the course. Most hotels with WiFi intentionally make sure that the service is NOT available in their convention spaces, and charge for connectivity - installing a wireless modem in your conference room, as an example.
Marriott certainly went over the top here, I guess just pure profiteering wasn't enough for them.
Google literally stands between the online public and the sites. Put a site into a top 5 position for a major keyword, and they can become one of the most popular sites online. Rank them at the back (or worse, stick them in the sandbox / naughty pile) and the chance anyone every finds your site is zero - unless of course you are willing to pay big money for exposure.
Google has incredible power over what is and what is not "hot" online. Almost every webmaster, site designer, and programmer is painfully aware of trying to make sites that "please Google", because there is no real alternative.
The real problem of the Olympics isn't the over promise of the IOC, rather it's the over reach of the host cities.
The Olympics lasts a few weeks. In order to get the games, they need a certain number of facilities. Generally, countries see the games as an excuse to go on a massive spending spree to improve their sports facilities and transportation networks. Sadly, they are often building stadiums nobody wants, housing ill equipped for the local population, and transportation networks to and from places nobody normally wants to go outside of the games.
It doesn't help the IOC at this point that the last few Olympics have been financial fiascoes on an extreme scale: Russia reportedly overspent by nearly 50 billion for the winter games, Beijing more than 40 billion over budget for the summer games. These massive overspenders have set the bar high, and nobody seems able to hit it.
We won't even talk about the disaster that is Greece.
The real ongoing issue is that Olympics seemingly cannot happen in existing facilities. It seems to require all new, all modern, all perfect things built for the ages and used for the weeks. In these tougher financial times, only communist (and near communist) nations appear to have the money and desire to get into these things. Even the oil rich countries of the middle East are smart enough not to get dragged into the mess.