Beech's Techdirt Profile


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  • Aug 07, 2012 @ 05:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Well, by "prejudicial" my meaning was that it may make the jury feel sympathetic to Dotcom while having nothing to do with the case against him. It would be straight up appeal to emotion. Kim giving unauthorized 1's and 0's away has nothing to do with how he was arrested for allegedly doing such. If I get caught jaywalking by a CCTV, then the cops borrow some tanks from the army to surround my house and air drop in from black helicopters and beat me viciously, it doesn't really change the fact that I jaywalked. It's totally abominable, unjustifiable, repugnant, and would probably earn me some serious change in a civil suit, but has noting to do with the original charge.

    The only real reason I could think of to show the footage is to show that there was interference from a foreign (US) presence. An MPAA stooge being there would go a long way to showing a prejudice by the cops. An MPAA stooge touching a computer could be proof of tampering with the evidence. Same points go for US law enforcement types as well.

    However, if Dotcom wanted to file suit against the police, I could see the footage being highly relevant.

  • Aug 05, 2012 @ 07:39pm


    And while everyone seems to be trying to argue over what the US Constitution does/does not say, I'd just like to point out, so what? Maybe copyright is working as the founding fathers intended. Then maybe they were dead wrong. Maybe not? The constitution has lots of wrong/bad stuff sprinkled in. Giving slavers the OK to keep on slavin' comes to mind. Then that amendment that added prohibition, and the one right after that repealed matter how you look at it, one of those had to be wrong.

    Point is, it's kind of funny how lots of people will point out that just because something is "illegal" doesn't mean it's morally wrong. But when we start to talk about the Constitution you really never see those arguments. It's like everyone decided that, "Yeah, there can be bad laws, sure. But the Constitution is infallible."

  • Aug 05, 2012 @ 07:30pm

    Here's the plan.

    Ok. Let's set up an independent nation in the Pacific or somewhere. Decree that there copyright shall last for 1 second after creation. Therefore, any movie that gets cammed and put on the internet is automatically in the public domain in our little Utopia. Now, what if someone in this place decided to sell DVDs he made himself of public domain works? Should be no legal problem right? What if he makes a few digital copies and sends those to people in other countries that request them? The way I see it, the creator's "right" to be the only one to "copy" that work in another country isn't being violated. The copyright has already expired in a country, and all the copies are made there. Giving the copies to other should violate no laws. i mean, come on, it's "copy"right not "sole distributor" right, right?

  • Aug 05, 2012 @ 03:02pm

    "The purpose of copyright is to incentivize the creation of *new* works, ones that don't infringe other people's rights." Everything is a Remix. There is nothing brand spanking new that has in no way borrowed ideas or characters or themes or plot devices from anywhere else.

  • Aug 02, 2012 @ 05:31pm

    I would like a well moderated debate between Mike and the "why wont you debate me?" troll, moderated by whoever is behind . Both contestants are strapped into an electric chair (lower voltage version optional) and are given a shock whenever they commit a logical fallacy, shout over one another, or otherwise stoop to less than scholarly debating tactics.

  • Aug 02, 2012 @ 01:50pm

    Ideal Capitalism

    The problem is that the book market is quickly headed to an "Ideal Capitalist" state. At least, i believe thats the term. been awhile since i took econ.

    Anyway, back when the internet was not yet even a dream, people realized that capitalism didn't work exactly according to theory. The problem was that in real life there are a few variables not accounted for. One of which is barrier to market entry. If i were selling hotdogs outside a sporting event, and i was the only one there, i could hypothetically charge whatever price i wanted. Someone else could see that i was making great margins from my dogs, but to join the market he would need to invest in his own hot dog cart, inventory, probably some sort of licensing, etc. In the "ideal capitalist" market there would be no barrier to entry. Maybe everyone already has a hotdog cart in their garage and hotdogs rain from the sky? It didnt make any sense, but it described the way capitalism would ideally operate. But anyway, the idea is that the easier the market is to enter the lower prices are driven until margins are in danger of vanishing, at which point no one can make a profit so people exit the market and go do something else. Selling philly cheesesteaks maybe.

    anyway, just look at where the book industry is going! They may be the closest a market has ever been to being "ideal." Computers are cheap and lots of people have them anyway. You can write a book with just about only a time investment. If you distinguish yourself in the market and make a profit, bully for you! If you can't, you can keep working your day job and lose out on just about nothing.

    Clearly the market operating as it WAS ALWAYS MEANT TO (but never could due to technological limitations) should not be shunned, or fought against, or legislated against. The problem is that some people made a killing in the distorted market, and the playing field becoming leveled means they will only be able to make money based on their merit. Horror!

    Anyway, long story short, capitalism is at work in the book market and I say good. The only ones who will be able to survive are the extremely talented or extremely savvy, or those who are willing to write at cost to themselves with no real hope of making money solely for the love of creation. Fat cats will either join the idealized market or find another job.

  • Aug 02, 2012 @ 02:35am

    Another problem with the $100m deal is that you haven't spent enough time researching similar options from competing entities. I doubt the "Shutdown a site based on flimsy-to-no evidence" package from DHS:ICE costs 1% of what yours does. Why would I pay you a hundred mil when I could pay a few civil servants a couple grand apiece, maybe a new car or two, and a promise of a job in a few years?

  • Aug 02, 2012 @ 02:23am


    Maybe the problem with the $100m deal is the description is vague. Would I get a full 12 techdirtless months? Or just the rest of 2012 which is mostly over already?

  • Aug 01, 2012 @ 07:06pm

    That is un-fucking called for! How dare you compare the BSA to the Count? In my formative years I was an avid watcher of Sesame Street and and a huge fan of The Count. Never once did the guy EVER mess up his counting. His numbers were always rock solid. And never once did they come from his "behind."

    Just goes to show that you pirate apologist techdirtbags don't care who you throw under the bus to make your point. But hey, who cares? He's only a foreigner, right?


    But in all (read: no) seriousness, a much better burn would have been something along the lines of "The BSA's numbers are about as funny as one of Fozzie Bear's jokes." Or, "With the amount of skill shown by the BSA in cooking their books, one might wonder if they hired the Sweedish Chef."

    You see? There you're comparing the BSA being bad at the numbers to children's characters who are similarly bad at their jobs. For reals, leave The Count alone, he does good work.

  • Jul 30, 2012 @ 07:32pm

    What would be really funny is while this Aussie is trying to fight through the system to get permission to do the song, someone else says "fuck it," takes his idea, and releases their own version of "If i had stew" before the guy with the original idea even gets 10% of the way through the red tape.

    By funny i mean sad

  • Jul 30, 2012 @ 03:48pm

    Re: Re:

    Maybe if the gov't was more open, human, and awesome (as opposed to being secretive, faceless, and dystopian) people wouldn't mind giving them money as much...

  • Jul 30, 2012 @ 03:31pm

    So, if the apparent VAST majority is on the blue side, why are there so many laws being passed to favor the white side at the expense of the blue side? What happened to majority rule?

  • Jul 29, 2012 @ 04:36pm

    "A songwriter creates a product like anyone else. If people want that product, they should have to pay. It's that simple, and I don't know why anyone would be against that. It baffles me."

    Ok sure. But pay how much? As has been mentioned repeatedly, economics suggests that .mp3's should cost about $0 on the free market due to how insanely cheap the marginal cost is. Now, as is also frequently mentioned on this site, free songs do a LOT to advertise a band which allows them to make up the "loss" of recording the music in ticket and merchandise sales. In the case of someone who writes music for others to preform, I see no reason why they shouldn't be compensated for their work upfront. See my architect example from not too long ago.

    "Why does it bother *anyone* that a songwriter should be paid for their products if people want their products?"

    People getting paid a fair amount doesn't bother anyone. But getting the price jacked up a huge percent because someone has a stone aged business model does cause some chafing.

    "As far as the term goes, it does cut off, so I don't see why that's an issue."

    Is there a cutoff? Most of the stuff I like will be under copyright until I die. So for all intents and purposes for me, its like there isnt a cutoff. And lets not forget the moving goalposts, there's a set cutoff date until Mickey Mouse gets close to it, and then that date magically moves back another few decades. It would be like the "cutoff" age for your local peewee football team being 130. Parents would complain that their 12 year olds are getting pounded by 35 year old men, and you would be there to assure them that, "Well, there IS a cutoff, so I don't see why that's an issue." The problem isn't a lack of cutoff, it's that the cutoff is all the way out in la la land.

    And what about what I said about Pachelbel? How just about every song written today rips him off? Why shouldn't his heirs be getting paid too?

    Also, there's one other point that needs mentioning. Piracy is here. Sure, it's wrong. It's bad. Only the Bad People do it. But it's here and it will not be stopped. All the evil little cretins will "steal" all your music and not pay anything. They don't care if it hurts artists, labels, or anyone else. The want music, they have the pirate bay bookmarked, they will get music. So the whole debate of "But artists deserve to be paid" is moot. All that remains is finding a way to make money in a world where anything that can be converted into 1's and 0's will be obtained by lots of people for free at will. Kickstarter does that. Live concerts do that. Merchandizing does that. Selling plastic discs won't be doing that for much longer.

  • Jul 29, 2012 @ 03:32pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Love how you pick and choose points to respond to.

    "Just like any business, known entities often write good songs. Professional song writers are worth gold. It's like getting Timbaland or someone like that to do your beats. It's costly because they are a proven deal."

    What's a good song? Remember Backstreet Boys? Britney Spears? Where are they now? They were "proven" talent that turned out to be a flash in the pan. But did britney earn enough off of "hit me baby" to pay what it cost to make it, + a reasonable salary for her? I bet she did. So why is she (and/or her label) still allowed to own it for the rest of her life +70 years? If your point is that we need the system in place now to make it so artists can pay the bills, then once they pay the bills shouldn't the song go back to public domain?

    "Even when not proven, your "potential" is right. It's still MORE than anyone would pay for a single song at retail. the old 99 cents from Itunes don't go far."

    Remember that kickstarter thing i mentioned a few times? Enough people paying 99 cents goes PLENTY far, and you can get it before you do ANY work at all so you even know how much to budget! It's like the old timey patronage model, but distributed.

    "Blah, blah, blah. You still fail to understand the basics."

    Right back at 'cha. Economics dictates a product is worth the marginal cost to make it, plus maybe a tiny bit for profit. The market cares not how much money you dumped in to making the original. Thats how it works in every single instance outside of IP. So why should IP be any different?

    Song Writers aren't always performers. Many of the most popular songs are not written by the actual performers."

    Again, any other industry you "write" something, you sell it, done deal. Why is music different? If i hire an architect to design me a house he doesnt get a cut of what it costs to build it. He doesnt get a cut every time the house enters market. He doesnt get a cut every time someone else looks at the house and designs one a little bit similar to it. I mean, your same argument works here. "Many of the most popular houses aren't designed by the actual construction company" so why can't an arcitect get paid for decades after his death after drawing one blueprint?

    "You actually have to think - and understand a bit - to get it."

    Again, right back at 'cha.

  • Jul 29, 2012 @ 09:45am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Here's the deal, I will try to use small words to keep you guys following along."

    Ok, but "following" is kind of a long word so i think you've failed your objective already.

    "The song writers write a song that will sell 1 million copies."

    How do they know that? Gypsy fortune teller? Maybe a better way to phrase it would be "write a song that has the potential to sell a million copies."

    "Therefore, their song writing clearly has value (because it's a product people will buy)."

    Kind of, sort of, no. I hear The Emperor bought some New Clothes that may or may not have ever existed. Does that mean the new "clothes" had value? Or just the illusion of value? (Like bottled water, or a bunch of 1's and 0's on a hard drive).

    "So they won't do it for minimum wage, will they? A good song could actually be worth millions. "

    They may. A burger flipper at McDonalds can make like 100 burgers an hour, valued at at least $1 apiece. Does that mean he should be paid more than minimum wage? Also, evidence thrown around here all the time says that a lot of bands make this "valuable" music end up OWING money to their labels, so they do it for even LESS than minimum!

    "Now, since nobody here is going to pay a million dollars for a song, some other system had to come along to handle it. So we have a form of fractional sale, where you pay a very small price (pennies, really) when you buy the single or album. You don't pay millions, you pay pennies.

    Oh, you mean like kickstarter?

    "So, the problem is this: After selling 1 copy, they haven't made their full pay. They have to keep selling, and selling, selling... all to make it up to what it's really worth."

    Oh, wait. wait. You weren't talking about kickstarter? Because with kickstarter you've made your money before you even record the album. Man, would i hate to do things the way you're suggesting!

    "They may have finished writing the song, but the bill hasn't been paid. In many cases, because the song might not sell enough, they won't get paid as much. So when they get "overpaid" for a truly successful song, it often just balances what doesn't sell as much."

    Unless they used kickstarter! Or, maybe they could realize that it would be better to give their song away for free to create buzz that would drive people to PAY for their concert, and maybe BUY copies of their CDs and/or Tshirts, buttons, magnets, etc. I mean, if you're business model revolves around selling things that economics dictate should be darn near free due to near 0 marginal price, you fail.

    "I know, it's tough to understand when you look at things simplistically, but you have to actually THINK to get it."

    Practice what you preach!

  • Jul 29, 2012 @ 05:49am

    "First, regarding the strawman, the guy above said he doesn't think songwriters (whoever wrote the Peter and Gordon song, for example) "deserve anything". "

    Johan Pachelbel lived in the 1600s. He died in 1706. At some point during his life he wrote "Canon in D," which was promptly forgot until it was rediscovered and published around 1920. It became immensely popular and is played at just about every wedding ever.

    Here is a youtube clip of a comedian pointing out how many songs have the exact same chord progression as Pachelbel's Canon in D. Artists cited include Green Day, Aerosmith, U2, Blues Traveler, and more. That means that some of the biggest musical acts of all time have straight up copied and ripped off poor Johan! Shouldn't Pachelbel be paid for his work arranging 8 notes in a specific way? And if not Pachelbel himself, shouldn't we find an heir to give money to for something a guy who died 300 years ago did?

    The point is at some point in time a cultural work becomes a part of culture and is no longer owned by whoever originally made it. The law in the US says if i sequence 8 notes in a unique fashion i am the only one allowed to reproduce those notes in that way (unless I give my permission) for the rest of my life and then 70 years after that. If that doesn't sound "voices-in-my-head-telling-me-to-bake-pastries" crazy to you, you are that crazy.

    I won't deny that someone who writes a song has every right to make money off their work. But how long they have and exclusive right to be the only one to make money off that work is subject to debate. 50 years seems like more than enough time. So I'd agree with other posters that "Peter and Gordon" don't really deserve anything at this point. There has to be a cutoff point, otherwise anyone who played any music would be paying royalties to the heir of the caveman who first beat a rock with a stick.

  • Jul 28, 2012 @ 08:16pm

    But if i design and sell a million toasters, I don't get paid everytime someone makes a piece of toast out of said toasters for the rest of my life, and then 70 years thereafter.

    And as for Peter and Gordon, i have no idea who they are, but i would have to say i would have a problem saying they deserve something because they played a song (that they possibly wrote) 70 years ago. If 70 years from now someone looks at one of the toasters i made from my previous example and makes their own toaster based off it, should i get a cut of all their sales? For something that I for all intents and purposes basically copied off of someone else (since i didn't invent the toaster). Also, should i be paying a cut of my toaster profits to whoever invented the toaster?

    TL;DR, Try to compare the way money flows through the music industry to any other industry and things start to get ridiculous.

  • Jul 28, 2012 @ 04:23am

    The problem

    So there's only a handfull of olympic sports i care about. Judo, Taekwondo, Shooting, maybe one or two others. I just spent 45 minutes bouncing around the official olympic website trying to find when any of them aired. eventually found a nice little tool that lets you put in your zip code and TV provider and it gives you a list of what events are airing on what channels when. Awesome. Until half the stuff is on NBCSports which i don't get, the other half is on MSNBC which has "Olympics" as a 4 hour block of programming and my DVR won't let me start the recording 2 hours late (I don't need 2 hours of coverage of sports i dont care about).

    So after all that work I have not a whole lot to show for it. Time to see if there are other less legitimate options to what the event i want when i want with a minimum of fuss.....

  • Jul 27, 2012 @ 02:17am


    Are they made out of real rubies? If so, give them to me and I'll move you to Kansas myself!

  • Jul 26, 2012 @ 02:16am

    Re: Re: Diablo 3 Online

    Again, if the game allowed the data cache cheaters would find a way to abuse it. Of course, they're probably already found a way to abuse the way it is now. Wouldn't know. Kind of got bored and stopped playing.

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