John85851’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jul 26th, 2016 @ 10:25am

    Some clarification...

    First, the RNC was held in a stadium, which has all the necessary BMI/ ASCAP blanket rights. Therefore, none of the Republicans needed to ask the artists for permission. However...

    It's very disingenuous and insulting for the Republicans to play a song written by a gay man (Freddie Mercury) when their policies are so anti-gay.
    But this goes back to the idea of politicians using songs that sound good without knowing the meaning of the song. Does anyone remember when Reagan used "Born in the USA" during his campaign without realizing it was a Vietnam-protest song?

    And even though Freddie Mercury may have passed away, the rest of Queen can certainly complain about using their song for political purposes.

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 12:03pm

    Re: Re: What will it take for his campaign to implode?

    It'll be like the Brexit vote and people will wake up the next day saying:
    Sure I voted for him, but I didn't think he'd get enough votes to win.
    Hmm, maybe I better do a Google search to see what might happen if Trump becomes president. Oh, gee, that looks bad. I probably shouldn't have voted that way. Can we get a do-over?

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 10:20am


    Thank you for this breakdown.

    I think the average person can't really understand numbers like 300G or 2T or whatever else. But when you start saying things like "100 hours of Netflix", then people start to understand that this is roughly 100 episodes of a TV show or 50 movies and they start to think about how much they actually watch.

    And don't forget about all the little things like videos on YouTube and Facebook or even auto-playing ads.

    And how much data does a video chat over Facetime or Skype take?

  • Jul 22nd, 2016 @ 10:14am

    I know it sounds racist...

    I know it sounds racist, but here's my travel tip:
    Don't be brown-skinned and don't have a Middle-Eastern sounding name.

    Let's review the facts:
    An American citizen travelling with a valid passport? No problem.
    She was on assignment for one of the most well-known newspapers in the US? No problem.
    She wasn't white? Detain her for questioning.
    She can have the newspaper back up her travel plans and not allow the searching of her phone? Okay, let her go.

  • Jul 21st, 2016 @ 10:07am

    Cognitive dissonance to the rescue!

    Once again, the idea of cognitive dissonance (or the idea of believing 2 opposite viewpoints at the same time) comes to the rescue.
    Copyright infringement is bad and we'll prosecute everyone. Unless we do it, then it's okay.
    Hillary Clinton is a liar and should be put in jail. Donald Trump is a liar, but that's okay.
    A 16 year-old unwed mother is a drain on society's resources. Except for Sarah Palin's daughter, who's being brave for doing it on her own.
    Anyone addicted to drugs should go to jail. Except Rush Limbaugh, since he was addicted to prescription drugs.

  • Jul 21st, 2016 @ 9:51am

    Setting a precedent

    As absurd as this story is, I hope other countries are watching it since it sets a precedent:
    If the US can apply its copyright laws in Poland and arrest a Polish citizen, why can't China apply its censorship laws in the US and arrest a US citizen? Or better yet, why can't Iran apply it's Muslim/ Sharia laws in the US and start arresting US citizens?
    Where does this kind of international law end?

  • Jul 20th, 2016 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: Re:

    This is the (lazy) argument people have been making about Superman for ages.

    Superman is supposed to be the aspirational ideal hero that everyone looks up to. Okay, this might make the character himself had to write for, but maybe the focus should be on someone else
    That's actually the premise for the Supergirl TV series: she's flawed and still learning how to be a hero, but Superman is her example.

    The same argument could be made for the original idea behind Star Trek: The Next Generation. The main characters were supposed to be the ideal crew following the perfect ideals of Starfleet. Wow- that's got to be boring to write. And, sure, most of season 1 was average to poor quality simply because the writers couldn't figure out what to do. But by the third season, TNG had far surpassed the original series.
    The bottom line- a lot more drama comes from "perfect" characters trying to deal with villains and the environment than seeing Superman (or Picard or Data) become dark and depressed because it's easier for writers.

  • Jul 20th, 2016 @ 10:02am

    Re: Re: Why stay with Netflix?

    Isn't that the whole point of releasing the information and treating subscribers like adults?

    All Netflix has to say is "Sorry we're removing your favorite movie, but Universal/ Paramount/ etc think they can get more viewers by only showing it on their own site rather than to the X million of Netflix subscribers." (This makes the studios the enemy.)

    And conversely: "We just spent $5 gazillion in a deal with Disney to bring you all the Marvel, Star Wars, Pixar, and Disney movies. We're a business and we have to re-coop our investment". (This increases the variety of available movies and shows, which makes a subscription a better value.)

  • Jul 20th, 2016 @ 9:43am

    Re: Which Definition of Violence?

    With TV shows and movies, kids can be told that it's not real: look, there's no one really named James Bond and those are actors and stuntmen that he's "shooting" with blanks.
    But the news is real: yes, that gas station that got robbed at gunpoint is the same one that Daddy stops to get coffee.

    Now which is more harmful to kids?

  • Jul 18th, 2016 @ 10:10am

    Why can't the IOC move the time?

    Why can't NBC tell the IOC to move the time to 8:00pm Eastern? I think the "more people will be watching at that time" argument is pretty sound.
    And, better yet, why can't the opening ceremonies pause every 3 minutes for a commercial break, like football games?
    I guess paying billions to the IOC to be the official broadcaster just doesn't buy as much as it used to.

  • Jul 18th, 2016 @ 10:00am

    False positives is a feature, not a bug

    Why do I get the feeling that these screening systems are almost designed to have false positives?
    Combine thid with overzealous prosecutors who have to "do something" about drugs, especially in poor African-American areas.
    They can threaten people with 2 years in a jail based on the false positive, or offer a plea bargain for only 3 months. Many people will take the plea bargain since they may not have the resources to fight.
    Then so what if someone's life is ruined- the prosecutor gets another "win".

    It's interesting how these tests always seem to favor law-enforcement. Would they use this same test if the stats were reversed and the tests returned false negatives 33% of the time, meaning the testing process said the substance was sugar, but it was really cocaine?

  • Jul 15th, 2016 @ 10:50am

    Re: Terrorists

    No, just ban all encryption.

    But don't complain when your credit card information gets stolen because Amazon can't encrypt their site. And don't complain when your bank account is drained because banks aren't allowed to encrypt their sites either.

  • Jul 15th, 2016 @ 10:36am


    You may be joking, but I can easily see the company doing something like this.
    Keep an eye out for commercials that say "Do you fall asleep at 11:00pm? You might have night-time-sleepiness syndrome, a brand-new disease. Take Crestor and you won't fall asleep again."

  • Jul 15th, 2016 @ 10:27am

    Re: Maybe they are trying to set a precedence

    Or, like the article implied, just say everything is copyrighted in the hopes that people will pay the licensing fees without arguing,
    Though that leads to another issue: if they don't hold the copyright, how can they charge for a license? And can people get their money back if they paid for a license to use something in the public domain?

  • Jul 15th, 2016 @ 10:21am

    Perfect example of American politics

    This right here is a beautiful example of American politics.
    Newt has been a law maker for years and year and knows that what he's saying is unconstitutional and impossible to implement. But that's not the point.
    American politics (as proved by Trump) is all about who can make the most outrageous statement that will be picked up by the media talked-about the next day. See, look- this site is even doing it!
    Then next week, Newt might walk back his comment and say things like he didn't mean it or what he meant was something else. This will then get him more press coverage and attention.

  • Jul 14th, 2016 @ 9:51am

    Re: Re:

    And it's this kind of analysis that needs to spread out to everyone so people wake up to what these data caps really mean.
    Most people will say that 700 hours a month is just over 23 hours a day and there's no way they can use that much data... until they factor in all the mobile devices and apps and streams for the entire family. Then, like you said, they're using 5T of data without even noticing.

  • Jul 13th, 2016 @ 10:12am

    Two points

    First, isn't it a little misleading for Google to say that paid *anything* to the artists when they actually send payments to the record labels?

    Second, here's a hint for the movie studios: if I search for "Watch The Force Awakens", the top results better be Netflix, Amazom, Hulu, iTunes, or any number of legal sites. Oh, wait, it's not available on these sites due to exclusive contracts with a website that has a terrible user interface? Then no wonder people are looking for illegal versions.

  • Jul 12th, 2016 @ 10:26am

    Is a site's purpose to deliver an audience to the ad company?

    I'm interested in the logic behind the whole process:
    Why are so many sites concerned more about unique visitors than an engaged community?
    Is it so they can charge more for advertising?
    Why? So they can make more money.
    But then who pays more? The advertising company.
    Why? So they can get their message or product in front of more people.
    Why? To increase sales and make more money
    Ah, yes, but does it?

    At what point does this whole process collapse because people aren't clicking on ads and they aren't buying the advertised product? Oh, well, that's okay- at least people are aware of the product. And how does that help if people aren't buying the product and the company isn't making money?

    And what does this say about the news site? Are they making content to inform and entertain the readers? Or is entertainment a way of delivering more viewers to the advertisers? If this is the case, at what point does the news site become nothing but click-baity celebrity gossip because that's what brings in the most viewers, which is what the advertisers want?

  • Jul 12th, 2016 @ 10:03am

    "Rite of passage"

    I hate to be that guy, but the expression is "rite of passage", not "right of passage". :)

  • Jul 12th, 2016 @ 10:00am

    The case has already gone somewhere

    Of course, that assumes that the lawsuit will actually go anywhere, which seems ridiculously unlikely.
    Yes, but it already has gone somewhere: the people have hired lawyers, the lawyers have filed a case, and the case has made its way into the media.
    Like with similar lawsuits, who are the lawyers that are taking these cases? Don't they know that can't win? Is the 1% chance of winning and getting $1 billion decision (or a higher chance to settle) really worth their time and effort to start a case like this?
    And what happens if the 1% chance of winning comes true and a judge decides that every social media platform is liable for anything that happens on the site? Or do these lawyers not care that the case will set this kind of precedent?

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