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  • May 23rd, 2016 @ 10:46am

    (untitled comment)

    It is also a shame that op-ed pieces like this get to keep conflating the poor starving artist with the actual copyright owners who get paid. The multi-billion dollar publishing industry that requires that artists turn over the copyright before they can get their content circulated and sold are huge industries making lots of money. The artists who actually create the content are forced to sign over the copyrights to their work and due to "creative" accounting are rarely paid unless they become a super-mega-star.

    And then, there are many lawsuits by the only-stars that are being cheated out of their royalties. Why is that?

  • May 18th, 2016 @ 2:10pm

    (untitled comment)

    One point not so far laid out is how IBM plans to make money from this since they don't build printers/copiers. The first thought that comes to my mind is that IBM will actually create a service that all printer makers will need to reference to see if a work has a registered copyright (with a pay for access arrangement). AND that copyright owners (I was careful not to say authors), can "register" their works (for a fee). So IBM will collect fees for letting owners register works that they want protected, and printer manufacturers can build into their printers for a fee and then printer users can pay a fee to use the service. IBM gets lots of fees and they don't even have to manufacture printers.

  • May 6th, 2016 @ 10:58am


    Actually, it's even worse than planned obsolescence. With no notice, the day after the purchase, the "service as a product" could be turned off. Planned obsolescence at least was a pre-determination that after a period of time the product would wear out and need to be replaced. Like after a hammer is used 6000 times, it would fall apart and a new hammer would be needed. This way, the hammer company would stay in business selling replacement hammers. In this case, the whole company got purchased and suddenly all of the existing products just stopped working. Well before the 6000 nails got hit.

    At least when a mobile phone is purchased, the consumer knows that they depend on the phone company. Except for a few die-hard techies who would even think that the fancy new thermostat would require a "thermostat company" to stay in business to regulate the temperature in your house. This one was especially tricky because there was no monthly fee for the service, so whomever bought the thermostat company did not feel obligated to maintain that expense with no subsequent monthly fees to offset the cost. And who wants to pay a monthly fee for the thermostat in their house. Especially since the old one worked fine. The new thermostat is supposed to save money, not cost $20/month more.

  • Apr 18th, 2016 @ 9:50am

    FUD is wonderful - the truth not so much.....

    But it is so much easier to deal with the sensationalism around the FUD than to actually research the facts and shine some light on the truth (small parts or otherwise). An "anonymous" DMCA notice about a small body part is so much more titillating than the truth that there is no such thing as an anonymous DMCA notice.
    Techdirt is just going to learn more about how to publish stories with half-truths in the blog in order to cause more sensations.

  • Apr 7th, 2016 @ 4:14pm

    (untitled comment)

    One of the reasons that Apple didn't want to build the backdoor that the FBI wanted was that it would have to submit the exploit to 3rd party validation before the evidence could be used in court. Is the FBI subject to the same rules or can they just say "well of course we got it off of his phone, you can trust us".

  • Mar 1st, 2016 @ 9:53am

    (untitled comment)

    Oh COME ON. Their criminals. Just cut them open and grant the tracker to a bone with a long term battery and let them start broadcasting their location. Just think, as a side benefit all of the electro-sensitives will have to leave town because of all the criminals walking around broadcasting their locations. IT'S A HUGE WIN-WIN.........

  • Feb 25th, 2016 @ 9:48am

    (untitled comment)

    The only surprise here is that they still bother to actually ask the questions! I stopped answering phone polls once I realized that A) the poll was being done so that someone else can make money off of me and B) my answers really didn't matter, they questions were asked in such a way to elicit the answers they wanted and get the their desired results.
    Just like these two polls.

  • Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 9:25am

    (untitled comment)

    The truly sad part is that now that the FBI has decided that this is possible, lots of the "bad guys" are going to be doing a lot of serious studying to figure out how to do it. Apple is going to have to make sure the next version is impregnable even to themselves.

  • Feb 16th, 2016 @ 9:03am

    (untitled comment)

    SO, what he is saying is that the US should pass a law that the WHOLE WORLD must not use encryption of any sort (including words with special meanings) so that he can stop terrorist attacks all over the world.

    Oh, wait, he doesn't have jurisdiction over the whole world. Let's just make US citizens less safe by creating a backdoor in ALL US encryption so that terrorists can steal all our money because they can see everything that is going on across the Internet, phones, and corporate networks (because of course no encrypted corporate VPNs allowed).

  • Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re:

    It will be up to the courts to decide, but it would seem that the tattoo becomes an identifying mark of the person much as hair color and birth marks. In the game, it is an identifying mark of the person, not a reproduction of the tattoo as in a separately salable item. It "should" end up being, if nothing else, a fair use transformation of an identifier of the person it is on into the game character. It does not affect the original work, and is not a replacement for the original work. It simply becomes an identifying mark of the person who presumably paid to have it affixed to their body. If the tattoo were not faithfully reproduced into the game characterization, that "famous person" could possibly no longer be recognizable without their identifiable marks.

    Next, barbers are going to want to "own" the cut of my hair (or what's left of it anyway) because they cut it. Then, I'll have to get a signed release from my barber to have the family portrait taken for our family Christmas cards.

    What is the world coming to?

  • Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 2:33pm

    (untitled comment)

    ...and it unlocks some interesting design options: not only can a pair of shoes be customized, each shoe can be designed separately. Will people want to experiment with asymmetrical footwear?

    There is no experiment here. My feet are only slightly different, however; there is a whole exchange program for amputees with only one real foot! Now they could could order just the shoe they need without trying to find someone else on the exchange program that needs the other foot and likes the same styles.

  • Jan 22nd, 2016 @ 2:20pm

    Not So Sure About CNN Caving

    Another way to look at this from CNN's point of view is that by "caving" they don't have to pay their lawyers $500/hr. to argue that the Circle-R Ranch symbol is not needed. Just include it for a few more weeks and then "forget" to put it in again until the Oscars idiots come complaining again. Let them keep paying the lawyers to show up and say "Hey You Forgot the stupid Circle-R again". CNN doesn't need a lawyer to do anything except send the "Ooops, forgot" letter again. In a little while the $#% @#$! show will be over and done with for another year and by then they will have to start the Circle-R all over again.

    If CNN were really smart, they would pull a Google and just stop talking about the #@$# %^% show until they come begging with cash in hand for CNN to talk about it.

  • Jan 20th, 2016 @ 12:02pm

    (untitled comment)

    Generally speaking, Disney has been smart about following the money. With ESPN, the money WILL be down soon.

    We should see Disney spinning off ESPN soon as it's own company (and probably overvalued and burdened with debt) or selling it outright for whatever it can get. Wall street is still somewhat blind to cord cutting so they could get away with it and they still do have some long term cable contracts. But, with cord cutters and cord nevers growing, ESPN's demise in its current form is going to be a short story.

  • Jan 20th, 2016 @ 11:52am

    (untitled comment)

    Netflix is learning from the ISP's, this is a "VPN Blocker to the Press Release" announcement.

    Move along folks, nothing to see here.......

  • Jan 8th, 2016 @ 8:02am

    (untitled comment)

    WOW, how can I get on that gravy train? What city wants to pay me millions of dollars to "maybe" develop something useful 10 to 20 years down the line. I feel that I should ask how stupid do the politicians have to be to pay AT&T to develop something for them but I realize that in reality they are smart enough to get "contributions" to their political aspirations and post-political career jobs lined up for signing significant contracts. Hooray for legislative capture and revolving public-private doors. At least I won't be footing the bill in Chicago. Yeah for me!!!

  • Jan 6th, 2016 @ 5:08am


    They are hiding with the dragons and unicorns waiting until they "feel" like you did something they don't like, then they dig through all the arcane parts of copyright law and look for some way to make an accusation of infringement so that they can get some free money.

  • Jan 5th, 2016 @ 9:16am

    Automatic Copyright Extensions

    All these copyright extensions seem to do is to promote the filing of lawsuits. No matter what the result of the case, poor old dead Edith will never get a penny of the royalties and will never write another poem. Her daughters on the other hand might get a big settlement for DOING NOTHING.

    Way to go copyright for providing an incentive for ..., wait, nothing is going to be created out of this except a payment. What did the constitution say about creating a payment for doing nothing? I can't seem to find that clause anywhere in there. Could somebody find that clause for me?

    Somebody get that corpse out of the ground and give her a drink, would ya? After all, she inspired the writing of another set of legal briefs and some money for lawyers.

  • Dec 14th, 2015 @ 11:23am

    Cue the lawsuit

    I know that the actual purpose of class action lawsuits is to make lawyers rich, but in this case they will probably get a lot of money from Phillips on the "bait and switch" argument.

    Hey people who have money that we want to have, here is this great system that will control all of the lightbulbs in your house so you don't have to use those pesky wall switches anymore. OOOOPPPS, now that you gave us all that money, now you can only buy our "Special" lightbulbs because those other lightbulbs from the competitors will no longer work with our system. Thanks for all the money

  • Dec 14th, 2015 @ 10:07am


    However; Law Enforcement Officials are reminding everyone that they are not allowed to point their personal body cams at Law Enforcement Officers while they are being paid by tax dollars just in case they were to get caught on video doing something they are not supposed to be doing, that would be bad.

    Otherwise, please feel free to film everybody else and send the video of them doing something bad with complete identifying information so that we can go pick them up without having to work very hard. That would be great.

  • Dec 9th, 2015 @ 8:56am

    (untitled comment)

    What would be interesting to follow but we will probably never hear about is how long it will take residents to learn to create virtual machine images that can spin up without the "mandated" encryption bypass. Then they can spin up an image, do there private business that can be kept private, then delete that session as though nothing happened.

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