@Mike One thing to consider is that it's not so bad to be liable in Germany as compared to America. Any potential punishment or fine will be a lot more reasonable.
What is more, I would not expect a German court to ever actually punish you if there is content on your website that is libelous, unless you ignore the verdict. And the verdict will always be "now that the other party has provided real proof that this is libelous, you must remove the content within x days or pay a daily fine". So for you, as a website, it is always safe to not act on complaints unless the a judge tells you to. So there is a significant barrier for complainants.
Further, it is easier and less expensive to defend yourself in a German court: courts are more active than in the common-law system, so you probably won't have to do anything if the complainant has no real proof accepted by the court as such: then the judge will acquit you. I imagine in some other countries you may be convicted if you do nothing, even if the complainant can't really prove anything.
That's not entirely the same thing, but I like your way of thinking. Perhaps the government should not be involved in libel at all? People can simply defend themselves by posting their own arguments elsewhere on the Internet, and readers must decide for themselves.
One reason why governments might want to get involved, however, is that it is easier for you to set up a campaign of libel against someone if you are rich and powerful. You can pay people and companies to spread the word, make advertisements. So that might be where a government might want to level the playing field, as it were.
Re: It's not only Lobbyist we'd need to worry about
Exactly! That is what will happen if this mercantilist treaty is ratified: parliaments, courts, and constitutions will have to be ignored, or countries will be sued at one of those three-lawyer tribunals that enforce such treaties, and the countries will be made to pay billions because some foreign corporation doesn't like a certain law/verdict/constitution. It's almost treason by their trade representatives.
The solution is to create a new Origin account for each game. That way, you can safely resell it or give it away to someone else. The alternative is downloading it from somewhere else...is that really what EA wants?
I have happily sent most of my € 2/month Flattr money to Techdirt over the past six months or so. Why not? And once in a long while I come across another site with a Flattr button, but Techdirt still gets most. I know, it's still a puny amount, but it's more than other free websites get from me, precisely because of the reasons Mike laid out. I will pay more once I make more money. For similar reasons, I have spent more on Android applications than on any other platform so far.
I believe this is the case in Chrome, but it is different in Firefox, for example, where Adblock Plus makes it so that your browser never even downloads the ads. I had someone check this for me, and it's true.
Due to the nature of Android, I strongly doubt whether Adblock can reach within all applications and hide ads there: I much rather think it simply blocks the IP addresses of the advertising companies. I use Adaway on Android, which works so well in nearly all applications that I cannot believe it would work in any other way.
Oll Korrect. The only thing is that, in this case, the self-interest of Google goes directly against the interests of its users, so that "Don't Be Evil" is in jeopardy. Then again, this isn't the first time.
This is totally unfair. There are lots of alternative ways to make money off applications. Tons of applications have free Light versions and paid Pro versions (or a full-featured Standard application and a paid Donation version). I think that is a *much* better way: I buy applications all the time. Then there are purchases from inside the application for extra content. Those can be abused by developers, but in plenty of applications they work very well.
Advertisements are a huge waste of everyone's bandwidth, time, attention, and don't forget battery life: it has been proven that ads take up the majority of some application's CPU usage, as with Angry Birds.
Lastly, if you put your application on the Play Store or on the Internet for free, then you have no claim over anybody in any way. If you don't want people to block your ads, then don't put it on the Play Store / Internet.
Most of what you say applies to me too, including Amanda Palmer (except that I do like her music and have actually discovered her through Techdirt).
I don't feel guilty blocking Techdirt's ads because I Flattr the hell out of it. I highly recommend Flattr as a much better alternative to advertising for websites to make some money. I've already thrown more money at Techdirt that way than at any other website (okay, it's still not a huge amount, but probably 100x more than they would have made on me through advertising).
I am losing enjoyment, time, attention, 3G data, you name it, by looking at advertisements.
I am more than willing to pay for applications. Everyone does so in the Play Store. Having a free Lite version and a paid Full version of an application is one of the many other ways developers make many there, and they do so quite successfully. I much prefer that system. If only to encourage the latter and discourage the societal waste that is advertising, one ought to block ads.