"I am surprised they paid - that seems a little daft to me..."
I'm not surprised and I don't think it's daft, because the other options are drop the quotes or expect a far more expensive lawsuit with no guarantee of success. It's wrong, but that's the absurd reality of the modern copyright world.
"Theil did not go around filing lawsuits to bankrupt the company..."
Actually that's exactly what he did. Have you missed all the stories discussing this? You seem to be terribly ignorant about this whole story here, which is possibly why the entire point of this article has gone right over your head.
"I don't know why so many people, including the Techdirt writers, are missing this point. "
That's not something you should be accusing other of...
"The problem I run into with Snowden (and to a lesser extent that transgender military dudette) is that they were not whistle blowing on any one particular area."
So now we can add transphobia to your list of distinguishing personality traits?
"Rather, the extracted the maximum number of documents with the hope that someone would find something bad in them."
Snowden did not "hope" someone would find something bad, he knew damn well they would find lots of it.
"Snowden could have accomplished the same thing without (a) exposing almost every covert agent and sympathizer in every country, and (b) without harming the relationship between the US and other countries."
(a) Citation please, and (b) it's was the US government's actions that hurt their reputation, not Snowden.
"The reality is way more complex, and has as much to do with the FCC grabbing a power that it may not really have - to rule the internet."
Oh great, yet another who can't tell the difference between an ISP and the Internet! The FCC is attempting to better regulate the behavior of ISP's. They've done nothing that could be described as trying to "rule the Internet", even if such a thing could actually be done.
You don't see the danger of letting billionaires abuse free speech rights and the court system for the purpose of personal vendettas? What if it was a billionaire you didn't like trying to sue a website you like out of existence? Would you be shrugging if off then?
Or maybe never had those principles to begin with.
I've always strongly felt that in order reach such incredible levels of wealth, being really smart or having great ideas is simply not enough. You also have to be an asshole, or at least have some asshole-ish qualities, even if they're not obvious to many. In modern Western capitalist systems you don't get that rich by being the nice guy.
So Mike writes 700 words explaining his views on the topic, which you ridiculously boil down to simply calling everything stupid and ridiculous, and then suggest that it's actually Mike who's stupid and ridiculous, without offering any rebuttal at all. There's irony here alright, but you're looking in the wrong direction.
...even if this means we have all three subscriptions...
Nope, not happening. Just like I have no interest in going to three different stores for my groceries, I have no desire to prop up their decrepit business model by having multiple subscriptions. Exclusive licences are anti-consumer and should only ever be viewed with scorn.
"However, as a practicing attorney in the music business..."
I'm curious to know if you represent record labels or artists. Because these two groups have very different goals and desires when it comes to how music revenue gets distributed.
"But the license and royalties these services provide are simply inadequate to assure that composers and artists can be fairly compensated for their work."
BS. The money these services generate could fairly compensate composers and artists for their work if a massive percentage of it wasn't kept by the record labels.
"Of course, if we required Spotify and other services to pay adequate royalties to compensate artist and composers in a manner comparable to amounts paid in the old system, these services would fail financially."
Again, the problem is not the amount of money the services pay, it's how much the labels keep.
"Sure they pay billions but it is not even a fraction of what they should be paying if artists are to be compensated fairly."
"The only solution is a revision to copyright laws that requires that these services generate sufficient funds through subscriptions and otherwise to fairly compensate artists."
At the risk of repeating myself, how about instead a revision to copyright laws that requires that record labels pay enough to fairly compensate artists.
From all the points you've made, I suspect I know the answer to my first question.
"This is where you twist things and act like the complete tech douche you are."
Sounds more like this is where you can't come up with a compelling argument so you resort to childish insults. Again...
"I'm betting with the next legal action they will."
Betting against a strong losing streak may get you a fluke win in sports, not legal precedents don't quite work that way.
"Everyone knows you and Google's game, Masnick: try to destroy what little protections creators have and then exploit their work for profit."
You've just described the MO of most of the big content industries (not the creators). Trying to gain sympathy by accusing the tech industry of mistreating artists is galling in its abject hypocrisy. Even if there was truth in it, you're certainly not the ones who get you say it out loud.
See, this is why people call you a troll. We do know that the current copyright terms are detrimental, the evidence is overwhelming. We also know the only people claiming otherwise are large corps who are only interested in protecting their cash cow. It's not artists who benefit, its the companies that hold their copyrights. Why else would they argue an artist's work needs protection decades after their death?
"But, you guys keep forgetting that you can't argue fair use while taking a property like Star Trek, making a professional film and making money from it."
Of course you can. That's exactly what they're doing. They are arguing that very fact.
"Axanar Productions using Kickstarter to generate funds and providing a digital copy or a copy for home use is "making money" from the "Star Trek" property without getting permission from the copyright owners."
There is a long established legal history of commercial operations being found to be fair use. Making money off it does not discount fair use, no matter how manner times you say it does.
"What many forget is that "Star Trek: Axanar" is not fair use, no matter how much people claim it is."
Fair use is not something you remember or forget, it's something that's determined in a court of law.
"Star Trek: Axanar is NOT transformative."
So a completely original story, dialogue and characters is not transformative? I think you might not understand what the word means.
"This film is different than the other 'cheaply' made Star Trek fan movies that are available through youtube."
Can you point to the section of copyright law that establishes "different to other fan movies on YouTube" as some sort of demarcation?
All these claims of yours have little legal weight, and instead come off as "I really don't like this so it must be copyright infringement!" You'll need to try a lot harder. You might end up being correct when you say that they'll lose, as fair use cases can be pretty hard to call beforehand, but it's just as well you're not arguing Paramount's case for them...