John85851’s Techdirt Profile


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  • May 26th, 2016 @ 10:27am

    Stories may become too much of a risk

    It's interesting that the First Amendment protects the media against government interference, but there's no such protection against self-censorship. How long will be until editors are told to kill stories because the legal department considers it too much of a risk- not from government agents or jail time, but because it'll offend a 0.5%-er who will use his resources to bury the newspaper in legal bills?

    Between this and stories about how Republicans (especially Trump) telling people not to believe the media, it'll be lucky if we have any good reporters left in a few years.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 10:16am

    Again, what about the other search sites

    Every time I read a story about someone fighting Google, I have to ask: what about the other search sites? Is France pressuring Bing, Yahoo, and DuckDuckGo the same way? How come no one talks about this? :)

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 10:00am

    How to get outrage

    I think a good way to generate more outrage from customers is to put the usage caps into terms they understand. After all, what's 300G or 1T a month?
    Explain that it's 20 30-minute shows on Netflix or 10 full-length movies. Then explain that people will get charged fees if they happen to binge-watch a TV show all weekend long. Is watching all 13 episodes of "Fuller House" worth a $30 overage fee?
    (Okay, 300G of data may be a lot more than 20 30-minute shows, but you get the idea.)

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 10:48am


    I was just going to say this.
    If the argument is between Fox and the person who uploaded the video, doesn't Nintendo have a say in this since it was their video game system that was recorded and uploaded? Maybe they should file a defamation notice since the game's bug could make the game (and their system) look bad.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 10:26am


    I'm sure most customer service reps go through training to make sure they never say "Sorry about that, we messed up" or to admit guilt in any way. Instead, like you said, they act like they're doing the customer a favor for things like reversing fees that shouldn't have been charged in the first place.
    I wonder if this because the legal department figures that admitting guilt could leave them open to some kind of lawsuit.

  • May 23rd, 2016 @ 10:37am

    Re: Re:

    Axanar was trying to capture the ideas of what Star Trek is about.
    But Paramount was trying to argue that Axanar was trying to do more than just "capture the ideas": they claimed that Axanar was trying to position itself as official, canon Star Trek.

    That's why there was the whole argument over terms like "red shirt", "warp drive", "transporter", Klingon, etc. Sure, Paramount can't own these individual concepts, but when all of them are put together, they form what fans recognize as Star Trek.

    The Axanar people could have taken the "50 Shades of Grey" approach and changed all the names so it would be Star Trek in spirit, but without using any of the specific names.

  • May 23rd, 2016 @ 10:24am

    Can someone write a op-ed piece in response

    While your response is 100% factual, the problem is that the original article was an op-ed piece in the New York Times, which means it carries a certain level of prestige. This means that more people will believe this nonsense simply because it's printed in the New Your Times, and irregardless of whether it's news or an op-ed piece.

    Can you write your own op-ed piece to debunk all these claims? Or would the NYT not run it because it doesn't support their RIAA sponsors?

  • May 23rd, 2016 @ 10:20am


    Why was I paying $16 for a CD where 8/11ths of the tracks were junk?
    Because the news media conveniently ignores the fact that there was price fixing and collusion in the 1990's to keep CD's at a set price. Like people said then, if all electronics fell in price, why were CD's consistently sold at $19.99?

  • May 20th, 2016 @ 2:01pm

    The other problem: the lawyer

    The other problem is the lawyer who took this case: I'm sure he keeps coming back to and court only to say "I went to my client and doesn't agree to the terms [and he wants to keep paying me to fight for him]".
    At what point do we hold lawyers responsible for putting billing hours and income before what's right?

    What does Voltage Picture really have to gain by going after this one guy? Is he the head of a Chinese cartel that's selling millions of bootleg DVD's? Is he part of a North Korean smuggling ring that's trafficking millions of DVD's? If not, then why spend all this time and effort to get a few thousand dollars from the guy?

  • May 20th, 2016 @ 1:48pm

    What about the reverse?

    Can people say, "Please don't talk about John Smith because there's an injunction about talking about him"? That way, people know you're talking about him, but you're actually telling people not to talk about him, so you're following the law.

  • May 20th, 2016 @ 12:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Money or dignity?

    then we are entering cloud-cuckooland, where ANYONE can get 'offended' by ANYTHING when they get a whiff of moneies to be extorted...
    Yes, we do live in that kind of society.
    If I think this comment offends me and I can find a lawyer who's willing to take the case (either because he wants money or attention), then I can sure.
    Whether I win or not is another issue, though it may not even get to the point if I can get a lawyer who can hound the other party into a settlement.

  • May 20th, 2016 @ 12:16pm

    The boiling frog analogy

    I'm sure people have heard this before, but it's the boiling frog analogy: as the water slowly heats, the frog gets used to it, then all of sudden, it boils to death and it wonders what happened.

    So, sure, a loss of 5 million subscribers over a few years isn't too bad. And another 10 million next year still isn't too bad. And another 10 million after that isn't too bad.
    But, wait, that's now 25 million out of 100 million or 25% of the total. Is that still considered not too bad?

  • May 20th, 2016 @ 10:42am

    Real world example

    Here's a real world example:

    Me: I run a shady business and I want to place an ad in the Yellow Pages.
    Yellow Pages: Sorry, we see that you've scammed people and we choose not to run your ad.
    Me: Fine, then I'm suing you for anti-competitive behavior and because my right to run an ad supersedes your right to reject ads in your own book.

    When has this ever happened? Can someone find me a case where someone was able to push a lawsuit against the Yellow Pages for not running their ad?
    Then how is this any different besides the usual "on the computer"?

  • May 19th, 2016 @ 10:58am

    Save the trees

    Now that I think about it, IBM is doing us all a service: by not letting people print things, people won't use as much paper. And by using less paper, think about all the trees we'll be saving.

    Society was supposed to be paper-less years ago, so now IBM is enforcing it. Most documents can be filled out and signed online, so why should anyone be printing anything?

  • May 19th, 2016 @ 10:47am

    Would this happen in the physical world

    For example, would someone be held in solitary confinement because he refused to open a safe that someone said might, maybe, contain something illegal? Then shouldn't a phone be treated the same as a safe, as in: people have the 5th Amendment right not to incriminate themselves.

    But I think a previous poster is correct and the guy (or his lawyer or both) aren't "playing the game", which is causing the judge to get upset and make this kind of ruling.

    I mean, come one, it's just a 4-digit code to the phone. If he has nothing to hide, then he should have no problem unlocking it. So what if that's against the constitution- he's been accused of having child porn, so he must be guilty of something.
    *sarcasm off*

  • May 19th, 2016 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Just to be clear: do you mean Apple Music (the Beatles' record label), Apple Computers, or Apple Music (formerly known as iTunes)?

  • May 19th, 2016 @ 10:24am

    Extremist activity

    If they want to censor all extremist activity, then they need to be fair and across the board about it. We all know their goal is to cut down on ISIS recruitment, but how about radical Christians who want to burn down mosques because brown people are different?

    Will these rules censor people like Kim Davis? Like what was said so often back then, if her beliefs won't let her do the job she's being paid to do, then she should quit.

    Can someone please explain the real difference between how Iran is ruled by the teachings of Islam and how so many "Christians" want the US to be ruled by the Bible? Oh, right, one is a "good" religion and the other is "bad".

  • May 16th, 2016 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I was just about to say this.

    Maybe the hospital or doctors were talked/ bribed/ convinced to get this software from this vendor.
    And if the vendor knows they have a monopoly on the market, will they do their best to make robust software? Or will the developers say "There's no chance a virus scan would interrupt the process, but even so, let's just tell the users not to do it instead of adding code to handle the error".

  • May 16th, 2016 @ 11:16am

    Re: Here's the plan to fix this oversight on our part...

    And what, exactly is your plan to do this?

    The main problem is that the politicians who get elected into office have the money to run for office in the first place.

    Then we have such polarized politics that the public will never agree on which candidate should be elected. Just look at who we have running for president:
    A socialist who will take money from the rich and give to the poor.
    A woman(!) who might be indicted by the FBI. A woman!
    And a reality-show real estate mogul with no political experience.

    Given these choices, who would you vote for? Sorry, but those are the only choices.

  • May 16th, 2016 @ 10:33am

    Re: Fox 25's response

    I think a more accurate statement to explain the actions would be:
    "Well, we would have kept zoomed in, but the police told us over the radio that if we didn't zoom out we wouldn't be invited to any more press conferences and the other local stations would get the news before us. So we need to be polite to the powers-that-be lest we find ourselves shut out of other press junkets."

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