amoshias’s Techdirt Profile

amoshias

About amoshias




amoshias’s Comments comment rss

  • Jul 16th, 2019 @ 6:23am

    I'm not sure I see the difference...

    between including humvees in a racing game and Ferraris in a racing game. Or including specific players in a sports game.

    If I had my druthers, none of this stuff would be protectable. But that's not the world we live in - we live in a world where game publishers DO need to pay licensing fees to use player likenesses or famous cars or whatever. I'm not sure I see a cognizable legal difference between the use of a specific car in Forza and a specific piece of military hardware in Call of Duty.

    Again, don't get me wrong - I'll be thrilled if Activision wins, because then I think the ruling will apply equally to many other forms of licensing within video games. (probably not humans though.) I just don't think it will, based on the law as it currently stands.

  • Apr 6th, 2019 @ 4:51am

    Is it really choice?

    I think part of the problem here is that the language we use to talk about economics is really primitive. (Mostly because economists are voodoo shamans, not scientists, I presume.) But this article repeatedly uses the word "choice" to describe the difference between different content platforms.

    This is the same word we use to describe, let's say, healthy competition in the realm of countertop blenders - where consumers have a lot of choice. The thing is, the choice we're being offered with the blenders and with the streaming platforms are not the same at all. Blenders are all close to functionally equivalent products. I can choose based on price, features, color, or whatever - but I'm still getting something that does 90% of what I want to do. My blender isn't going to stop working because I throw the wrong company's bananas into it.

    Streaming services don't offer me choice in the same way. My goal, when I go to netflix, isn't "to look at something through the Netflix client." It's to watch 'my favorite shows and movies' . But Netflix doesn't offer me that, and therefore it doesn't provide me choice. If I want to watch Good Place or Parks and Rec, Netflix works. If I want to watch the new Star Trek, I need CBS. Game of Thrones is on HBO. Adventure time? Hulu only. And I think I'm currently screwed if I want to rewatch 30 rock or Avatar: The Last Airbender.

    So I'm only being offered "choice" if you think my goal when I want to turn on the TV is "silently gaze at whatever is being offered on the screen." But it's not, and as a result, what the 900 streaming services offer me isn't choice. Each of them have a fragment of a highly-differentiated market. It's like if blenders made exclusive deals with different fruits. (Seriously though, I never use my blender and barely know what it's for.) My "banana and strawberry" blender wouldn't be a "choice" compared to a blueberry and papaya blender, because depending on what my use case was I simply couldn't use my blender at all.

    I don't have better terminology to propose. But "choice" isn't right.

  • Mar 15th, 2019 @ 2:14pm

    Re:

    What a weird place to come to spread this type of nonsense. Of - what, hundreds of millions? - of websites on the internet, you decided to come to one of the few pages with a community that actually cares enough to understand what section 230 does and how important it is.

    And to this community, you decided to come and try to convince people of ridiculous things about section 230. Why?

  • Aug 1st, 2018 @ 11:07am

    Bad cases make bad laws...

    And in this case, Cody Wilson is his mission's own worst enemy. He comes across as a completely juvenile bomb-thrower whose goal is to explicitly cause all the problems people are considering when they hear the phrase "3-d printed guns."

    And by the way, if you hear that phrase and DON'T think "Well, that seems really problematic" you need to think again, harder, and more seriously. 3d printed guns are a legitimately frightening idea. Are they as frightening as a world in which the 1st amendment can be abrogated because of a scary idea? No. It's not difficult to figure which way this case should come out. It's dealing with the predictable consequences of that outcome which is the issue.

  • Jun 26th, 2018 @ 5:08pm

    (untitled comment)

    Yes, I would definitely love to play... And I think my group of dc-based, political gamer geeks would love an experience like this.

  • Feb 15th, 2018 @ 4:35pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    You really, truly don't see the difference between someone creating a platform which people can use to say mean or even illegal things, and someone creating a platform where people can reach into my computer without my consent and use it to make money?

  • Feb 2nd, 2018 @ 6:59am

    (untitled comment)

    Remember that Nestle wasn't just thinking 'how can I get out of this for the least money,' but 'how can I get out of this for the least money while still preserving my ability to do the exact same thing Atari is doing in the future without looking hypocritical."

  • Nov 18th, 2017 @ 4:41pm

    Re: A third meaning of the title

    I'm not saying that the name doesn't have any meaning in the show - or that there isn't some semblance of connection. But it's ridiculous to say "only Empire." Even with New York as the setting.

  • Nov 18th, 2017 @ 5:39am

    So I'm not a trademark lawyer, but...

    I *am* a lawyer, who has in the past focused on IP issues. My thought process - on reading the paragraph with the history of the show and the label - is that the label would be foolish not to sue. I'm not so sure the court gets the Rogers test right here. Sure, the title has artistic relevance to the work - the record company in the show is Empire - but that's an arbitrary determination made by the show's writers. They could choose any of a hundred thousand other arbitrary words.

    Not only that, but they named their show - about a hip-hop label - the same name as a storied hip-hop label. Never having heard anything about the show itself, when I read the second sentence of your third paragraph - describing it - I literally thought "Oh, is this a fictionalization of the story of the record label or something?"

    I dunno... I'm not as familiar with the caselaw as I'd like - but my quick read suggests that Rogers could (could!) be narrowly read to refer only to celebrity's names. And considering that I did experience actual confusion, I don't feel like this case is the slam-dunk you describe it as.

  • Oct 4th, 2017 @ 5:58am

    Re: Re: Re: Obvious explanation

    Seriously, WHAT ARE YOU TALKING ABOUT?

    Of course I considered those other things. The DEFAULT ASSUMPTION is that you're just some anonymous troll sitting in his mother's basement in the US. But we live in times where it's been shown that Russia has a great amount of resources dedicated to doing precisely this - sowing doubt and disinformation in comments forums on American websites. Thus far, I have seen no evidence Egypt - that great international superpower - has equivalent capability or interest.

    The russians are behind everything? Seriously? What is up with you people?

  • Oct 2nd, 2017 @ 12:07pm

    Re: Obvious explanation

    So... wait. Are you legitimately asking why the heads of a particular government would trust the intelligence apparatus of that government? Because you know the standards by which most of us judge the NSA aren't the standards by which the upper echelons do...

    You know what's weird about living in 2017? I look at that comment - as well as the Anonymous Conspiracy Theorist two comments down - and I think "Wow, I wonder if these comments are being written from a Moscow suburb." That seems entirely plausible.

  • Sep 26th, 2017 @ 5:54pm

    God save us from Lawrence Lessig.

    Don't get me wrong - I think he's one of the brightest legal scholars of the modern age, and his work has fundamentally changed and improved both thinking about copyright, and copyright itself.

    But from what he's written above, it seems clear that he never learned the lesson that the rest of us, unfortunately, have had to live with since Eldred v. Ashcroft - that what makes someone a brilliant legal scholar doesn't necessarily make them a brilliant advocate. This is a man who took an eminently winnable case, and rather than give the justices an argument they could connect with, that could sway them - the way his opponent, the beyond-brilliant Ted Olsen did - he talked down to the nine justices of the supreme court and gave them a cold, boring lecture. And he lost. And so did all of us.

    That's a clever bit of logic related to Bush v. Gore up there. And you know what? Not a single damn person cares. I'm on his side, and *I* don't care. It is a boring, dull, legalistic argument that will lose in any court it's brought before.

    Go and think big thoughts, Larry. Then hand them over to an actual advocate.

  • Sep 20th, 2017 @ 7:05am

    (untitled comment)

    I definitely do not get the title of this piece. When I opened it up, I thought that the idea that they might be interested in file-sharing wasn't particularly weird at all... And then you went on to lay out all of the excellent arguments in favor, one at a time. What is weird about their interest?

  • May 9th, 2017 @ 6:45pm

    Re:

    Would completely disbanding the FBI be that bad a thing?

  • Apr 27th, 2017 @ 9:44am

    I understand why you gave this the headline you did.

    I think a more accurate one would be "Shady shit done by company that has been constantly in trouble for doing really shady shit is not quite as shady as previously reported" but that's just not nearly as catchy.

    I mean... do you see why people (myself included) wonder whether your reporting about Uber is fully neutral? There are probably a half-dozen news stories a day that get a major tech item wrong. And most of them involve something more significant than a downgrade from "shady" to "less shady." But you chose this one. And at its absolute best interpretation, this story still shows Uber doing the thing that is most problematic about Uber - Uber breaking rules/regulations and doing whatever it wants. I'm not saying the correction isn't real - it clearly is - but... so what?

  • Mar 20th, 2017 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    No, like the AC above you, you're thinking of the early-80s NRA - the NRA I was a member of growing up, the NRA from when they were actually a group promoting responsible gun ownership, the NRA from before they let their lobbyist take over the organization. Today's NRA is a corrupt shadow of that organization that exists for no other reason than to perpetuate its own power.

    Which is a shame, because this is a time we NEED the NRA of the 60s and 70s.

  • Mar 20th, 2017 @ 5:49pm

    Re: Re:

    Right, because the ONLY CHOICES in this country are to stand at one extreme or the other. Jesus christ, with you people...

    And actually, no. I can honestly say that - as someone interested in the issue, I could not name one major voice on the gun control side of the issue. Who would you consider the "loudest voices"? And what have they said as insane as Lapierre's paranoid rants in *2016* that, trust him, Obama was just waiting for the right minute to finally come and take away your guns?

  • Mar 20th, 2017 @ 5:44pm

    Re: Re:

    What in god's name are you talking about?

    Believing in freedom of speech does not require me to agree with him. And if you look at this and think, "Oh, distributing computer code to 3-d print an illegal firearm? That's a cut and dried first amendment case, there's nothing complex or nuanced about it" then I honestly don't think we're sharing enough basic facts to have a conversation.

    But I'm sure it's easier to attack my belief in free speech than to make an actual argument.

  • Mar 20th, 2017 @ 1:05pm

    (untitled comment)

    Gun laws are mostly a total mess because the gun manufacturer lobbyists, led by the NRA, have convinced gun owners that it is the lowest form of treason to even THINK the word "regulation." As a result, when gun laws get passed, guess who isn't at the table? People who are passionate about guns. The people who are at the table - AT BEST - are people like me, who shot a little at summer camp as a kid but who frankly knows nothing. the NRA - which was a good organization, when I was a kid, but which is the definition of Washington corruption now - has made it so that the people who taught me what little I know, as a kid, now just want to sit back and make fun of people who don't know the difference between a clip and a magazine, rather than sitting down and talking about it.

    It really makes me sad. I think in a vacuum, I'd be much more on the side of gun rights than regulation. But when the loudest pro gun voices are Wayne Lapierre and Cody Wilson, well, I know if I'm going to take a stand, it's not going to be with them.

  • Mar 20th, 2017 @ 12:31pm

    (untitled comment)

    Part of the problem is that Cody Wilson is his own worst advocate. I'm pretty on the fence about whether what he's doing should be okay - but every time I listen to him spouting off his juvenile, in-your-face need to stick it to the man, regardless of the consequences, I get more and more firmly into the "shut him down" camp.

More comments from amoshias >>