Can't they just get a subpoena for the person's information followed by a court order?
Yes, of course they can. However, the courts have been pushing back on the bulk fishing expeditions based on nothing more than "we saw these IPs in a bittorrent cloud" bullshit. Which means that the copyright holders have to both do a something more than minimal investigation and cover initial court and legal fees - which is costly upfront and doesn't come remotely close to covering even in the event of a judgement.
The short answer is that the copyright holders want to enforce their rights by pushing all theirs costs onto other services.
You're conflating a company's policy with the law. Regular TD readers are aware of the hassling that ordinary citizens regularly are subject to for taking pictures.
The details of the situation are thus: 1) guy posted photo take in public, unsecured area of a bunch of obviously marked cars 2) Either the hotel's management lied to their employee about endangering the contract, or somehow the DHS became aware of this random citizen's facebook page. 3)Instead of acting like adults, either the hotel management or DHS completely overreacted and got this guy fired. 4) Because of #3, many many more people now know these details.
How many more people now know that the DHS stayed at that hotel *because he was fired*?
Really, how many people were following this guy's facebook page? Couple dozen or so? And how many of them even saw his update (remember, facebook news feeds don't share every update with all your friends)?
Yet, because the hotel fired the guy, tens of thousands or more know about it via Streisand effect.
There's a lot worse things than being kicked in the groin:
1) Paying my TimeWarner-soon-to-be-Comcast bill 2) Having to call TimeWarner customer service 3) Having my TimeWarner internet service cut out in the middle of a gaming session or Netflix binge 4) Switching my crappy TimeWarner service to even slower and crappier AT&T service
What competitor? >80% of Americans are limited to at best, 2 broadband options, both of which act in nearly identical ways. There. Is. No. Choice.
That unpopular ISP then goes out of business
When the unpopular ISP is a monopoly, and ISP service is a necessity, it won't go out of business.
If ISPs don't want to be regulated, then they need to promote competition in actions (not press releases) and stop doing everything in their power to stop it. No more laws stopping cities from building their own options. No more wink wink nods at non-competing over customers. On the other hand, if ISPs want to be monopolies - just like the utility providers they are - then they damn well are going to be regulated. No having their cake and eating it, too.
Does anyone remember what e-commerce was like in the 1990s? Basically it was little to none. Because no one trusted putting their credit cards into some form on a computer. Do we really want to head back to the bad old days?
(disclosure: I work in information security at a major bank, so it could be bad for me if trust in being able to securely conduct financial dealings online was significantly disrupted)
This article is timed pretty well. Microsoft just 2 days ago issued a critical patch for vulnerabilities in their version of TLS (schannel or secure channel - update now if you haven't yet, this one is important). And within the last year, every major implementation of TLS has had serious vulnerabilities - OpenSSL (Heartbleed), Apple's SecureTransport, and GNUTLS.
You can replace "internet" with hundreds of other words and make the same case that other companies or governments are supporting terrorists.
-Guns - frequently the same that governments (including the US government had made or supplied directly to the same terrorists) -Cash -the international banking system -the same intelligence training and procedures used by every government on the planet -any other kind of technology you can think of
The simple matter is that all of these things are tools. Tools in and of themselves have no morality. They can be used for good beneficial purposes, or they can be used for nefarious reasons.
Re: Automatic protection is excessive as-is, but has some value
For example, free software relies on the interaction of copyright with permissive license grants to remain free.
Either you are being disingenuous, or you haven't thought that through.
What you are saying is that: 1) Free software needs to use those licenses to remain free because copyright law is utterly insane. 2) Because free software is using licenses, we should keep copyright law utterly insane.
Just because a generally good thing has figured out a way to use a broken system against itself doesn't mean we should keep the broken system.
I'm sure you're being sarcastic, but of course they'll do it again. Even after settling these cases, they're ahead.
I haven't seen numbers for Comcast yet, however the damages to Verizon customers was estimated at $156 million. Verizon paid $64 million. By my math, that means Verizon is up about $90 million minus lawyers cost (and since the "winning" side's lawyers got $20 million, Verizon is still definitely ahead).
Until companies have to pay more than what they gained when they break the law, there will never be any incentive for them not to do it in the first place.
100% agree. This is why I keep coming back to TD, and why TD is my first choice for news.
It's also amazing to me that Mike and the other TD writers can fit so much more useful and informative information or commentary in a few short paragraphs than the "in-depth" articles on other sites that are 5 times as long because they've got so much useless filler.
Sad I missed reading this last week, but I have a different take on this. I think Google is playing the long game. I don't think you're giving Google enough credit.
Google is giving the studios enough rope to hang themselves with (as they've been doing with the newspaper publishers). As you mentioned, they are basically asking for a flood of bogus DMCA notices. And when there are so many bogus notices coming in - they have a case on how unreliable they are, how much of a burden it is, and how something needs to be done to fix the law.
Also, Google has repeatedly shown they are experts (in the long run) of preventing people from messing with their rankings. Whenever a SEO figures out some way to manipulate rankings against the good of the end users, the tactic is found and killed off - we have semi-regular stories on Techdirt of just this, don't we?
There probably will be unforeseen consequences and causalities, but I think Google can withstand them better than the studios and knows exactly what they're doing.
"Independent artists" as a term has been corrupted pretty heavily. There's so many independent artists on "independent labels" which really are still owned by the big guys, or have deals and contracts just as onerous as a typical music industry contract designed to screw over artists.
Artists who hold their own copyrights get 100% of the proceeds, while artists who have allowed someone else to hold it get whatever their contract says (if they're lucky).