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  • May 26th, 2016 @ 2:00am

    You keep using those words...

    responsible behaviour... fairer allocation of value... self-regulatory efforts... voluntary efforts...

    They certainly seem to be trying to make it sound like all of this is simply due to companies deciding entirely on their own the best way to go about things, but I don't think anyone is missing the giant club they're hefting as they 'suggest' their changes.

    "Do it our way, voluntarily of course, or we'll make you do it."

    The companies and services involved are probably not going to be the ones deciding what counts as 'reasonable', they're not likely to be the ones deciding what is a 'fair' share, and the 'voluntary' self-regulation is at the end of a legal cannon, little more than the government's way of disclaiming responsibility even as they force changes.

    They can lie as much as they want about how this isn't about adding regulations to hamstring companies, forcing one industry to support another, or adding in rules to force companies to act as government tools but I rather doubt anyone capable of reading between the lines(or even just reading the actual lines rather than the sound-bite version ) will buy such blatant falsehoods.

    Unfortunately the politicians voting on such measures aren't likely to care unless the public speaks up and makes them care, so hopefully this will lead to a large enough public backlash to quash their power grab in time.

  • May 26th, 2016 @ 1:00am

    Re: The average age of first exposure to hard-core killing...

    But of course, I mean a kid seeing a character gunned down and/or lying in a pool of their own blood and guts is nothing, but that same kid seeing an exposed breast?! That kid is going to be scarred for life from a sight like that! /poe

  • May 26th, 2016 @ 12:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Radicalized

    Math would be bad enough, their real crime is practicing non-government approved math!

    If the government says that 2+2 equals 5 then that's the new mathematical reality, yet those commie terrorist pirates continue to insist that it equals 4, in clear contempt of their betters, and despite assurances from the governments(which is always right of course) that if they'd just try harder they'd be able to change the old, non-government approved math to meet the new, government approved version!

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 8:13pm

    Re: Re: Read and spin, then do it again, and not a thing will change

    Even with all of the above, I respect each individuals right to worship in any manner they wish. I am continually amused at the Abrahamic religions wrangling with each other when they worship the same god.

    I draw the line when others try to foist religion of any kind upon me...though I don't mind a bit of discussion...sometimes. The more adamant they are, the less I listen. When I break off conversation, I do it with a statement of respect for their beliefs, if only they would keep it to themselves.


    For the most part that's how I try to do it, 'I don't care what your religion is, believe whatever you want and as long as you keep it to yourself I don't really care.'

    If someone wants to try to convert others to believe the same then I see that as opening up their claims to discussion and examination, and now they need to present evidence backing up their claims if they want to be taken seriously, and if they go even further and try to force others to convert or otherwise follow their religious dictates and rules then the gloves really come off and they'd better expect some hefty pushback, as I see freedom from religion as just as if not more important than the freedom of religion. If you expect others to respect your right to believe as you wish you'd better be willing to extend that right to others in turn.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 7:54pm

    Re: Re: As a little reminder...

    Pointing out statistics is not an ad-hom as far as I'm aware, so no. If my comment had a point it would probably be 'Someone in a state with high porn use should probably focus on why so many of their fellows are interested in porn before they start going on about how bad it is, especially if they're proposing laws on the subject, as apparently a good number would disagree with them.'

    As for the 'underlying reasons' I mentioned, that's basic biology/psychology. Take a bunch of hormonal teenagers just finding out about sexuality and what it involves. Then tell them that doing anything about those new urges of theirs with someone else is 'sinful' and to be avoided.

    The hormones and the urges from them are still there, but they are told not to do anything about them with anyone else outside of marriage. Put those two together and a high rate of porn usages isn't exactly surprising; it acts as a release valve for said urges, can be done privately, and doesn't involve anyone else.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Read and spin, then do it again, and not a thing will change

    Two...

    Can I get a three?

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 7:39pm

    Re: Re: Read and spin, then do it again, and not a thing will change

    One...

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 5:14pm

    Read and spin, then do it again, and not a thing will change

    Totally different. You see when they try to impose their religious beliefs and restrictions on those around them it's unwarranted and repressive, because the source of the morals they're trying to impose on everyone else is just some random book, and it's not like that has any real authority backing it up, it's just a bunch of paper after all.

    When we do it though we're doing it according to the Holy Scriptures of our All-Knowing, All-Powerful, and most important to this discussion All-Moral God, and as such we're absolutely in the right telling those reprobates to stop being so immoral and get their act together, and if that takes passing laws to make it illegal to do otherwise then that's just the price of upholding righteousness and combating sin wherever it may be found.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 2:55pm

    Meanwhile in Bizzaro world...

    A government official was quoted calling those in the tech industry who continued to call for weaker encryption a 'radicalized minority', who 'put the security of everyone at risk with their absurd insistence that weaker encryption was needed to stop crime.'

    "The government's position on this is the same today as it was yesterday, and will not change. Weakening encryption is a foolhardy idea that puts everyone at risk, and is something that only criminals and those that wish to aid them would ever push for, as criminals stand the most to gain from it. The tech sector's demand that all encryption be deliberately flawed is completely absurd, and I honestly have no idea what could have led to such an insane idea.

    Numerous individuals in law enforcement have urged us to push back strongly against this dangerous idea, making it very clear that weaker encryption, far from decreasing crime as various tech companies claim will instead lead to an explosion of crime, as countless devices and services become easy targets for malicious individuals.

    Weakened encryption is a dangerous idea, and any crimes that it would allow to be stopped would be vastly overshadowed by the countless crimes it would enable. I can only hope the tech sector realizes this before it's too late."

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 1:18pm

    Re: Re: Chicken

    The response to harassment like that seems simple enough, and potentially funny too.

    "You have until I make it to the control box for the sprinkler system before you get soaked. There will be no warning if you do this again."

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 1:04pm

    As a little reminder...

    Assuming the stats haven't changed in the six years since the infographic was thrown together(and given the underlying reasons behind them I highly doubt they have), take a wild guess as to which state has the highest porn subscription rate per thousand home broadband users:

    Utah.

    As for '...the type of sex ed we want our kids to have.'

    From Wikipedia

    -25 states require abstinence to be stressed.

    Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Louisiana, Maine, Michigan, Mississippi, Missouri, New Jersey, North Carolina, Ohio, Oklahoma, Oregon, Rhode Island, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, Washington, Wisconsin


    In his shoes I'd spend more time worrying about the actual sex-ed the kids in his state were getting rather than the theoretical 'education' some hypothetical 11-year old might be getting.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 6:31pm

    Rattling the saber in one hand, holding the 'donations' box with the other

    The tax arrangements of international companies have come under close scrutiny recently.

    Several have been accused of using legal methods to minimise their tax bills.

    In Google's case, its tax structure allows it to pay tax in the Republic of Ireland, even when sales appear to relate to the UK.


    If the governments actually cared about companies pulling stunts like that they could simply close the loopholes in the tax code that allow large companies(Google or otherwise) to shift taxes to wherever it's cheapest, but given that would step on the toes of those that buy the politicians I don't imagine much will come of it except some of the large companies having to pay a little extra as 'compensation'. Can't upset the bosses after all.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 6:13pm

    Re: The "Good Faith" exception should go away

    Yeah, the 'Good Faith' idea is so utterly wrong it really needs to be tossed immediately. The idea that 'It doesn't matter if they broke the law, so long as they had a badge and thought they were in the right at the time' is beyond absurd, as it both guts any rules or limits and actually encourages ignorance of the law among the very people who should know it the most, those tasked with upholding it.

    Not to mention as you say it doesn't seem to apply to anyone without a badge, only to those with, and double-standards under the law should never be acceptable.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Re: Re: Color me surprised

    Dishonest enough to lie to a judge, or incompetent enough not to know what malware is... yeah, they don't come out looking good no matter which is true.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 3:58pm

    Re: Chicken

    Depends on whether or not they have the money to fight back. It's hard to fault a small company for caving if fighting back will bankrupt them, even if by giving in once they make it more likely that they'll get the same treatment later on. If a large company does it though... yeah, they deserve to be called out on their stupidity and the fact that doing so just emboldens those sending out the threat/shakedown letters.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 3:36pm

    Small, repeated payout vs Large, short term payouts

    Of course, if we required Spotify and other services to pay adequate royalties to compensate artist and composers in a manner comparable to amounts paid in the old system, these services would fail financially. Sure they pay billions but it is not even a fraction of what they should be paying if artists are to be compensated fairly.

    The core of the problem seems to be that line there, it's hard to 'fairly compensate artists' if the amount you're asking for would bankrupt the service in question in short order, at which point the artists get nothing. A $100 a month subscription cost might be 'enough', but I can guarantee that if Spotify or any other service tried charging that much they'd be out of business within the year at most, as the number of people who are willing to pay $1,200 when before they were paying $120 could likely be counted on a single hand.

    In addition comparing what was offered by the 'old system' isn't really helping, as different services will pay different amounts, and just because X amount was paid to a handful before doesn't mean that they are always owed X, or that everyone who enters the field is owed that much. Having the number of musicians explode in number while expecting them all to be paid just as much as when there was only a handful is an unreasonable expectation, more competition and choices means the money is going to be spread out more, that's just how it works.

    I think we can agree that the purpose of copyright law is to provide incentives for talented artists and writers to devote their careers to their work.

    Not really, no. As I see it the purpose of copyright is (or was anyway, before it was twisted around by the companies buying the laws) to benefit the public by providing incentive to creators of all types to create more stuff, it has nothing to do with them being able to make a living off of doing so.

    The number of people who can make a living wage from writing or making music is vastly dwarfed by those to whom it's a hobby or something they do on the side, good for a little extra income but not enough to live on. As far as I know that's how it's always been, and likely how it always will be, so while it's certainly nice if someone is successful enough to be able to turn their hobby into their full time job it should neither be expected nor believed to be 'owed'.

    Simply put, people who listen to music should pay a fair price for doing so, whether for downloads, subscription fees or through advertising.

    Define 'fair price'. If I listen to a song once, how much would you say would be a 'fair price' for me to do so? If I buy a song to listen to it as many times as I want, what is the 'fair price' that it should cost me?

    One of the problems I have with the idea that services like YT or Spotify aren't 'paying enough' is that in the case of streaming services at least they're already paying the vast majority of their income to the labels(who may or may not actually pay the artists their share). If a service only makes 5 cents from a given transaction then you can't reasonably expect them to pay out 10, and the idea that they should just charge more so they can pay out more only works if you assume that increasing the price won't result in people dropping the service, leaving you right back where you were if not worse off.

    The only solution is a revision to copyright laws that requires that these services generate sufficient funds through subscriptions and otherwise to fairly compensate artists.

    That's not something you can legislate, as that depends on the market and what it's willing to bear, not the laws involved. You could theoretically write a law that forced streaming services to charge X per person per month, but if the customers aren't willing to pay that much then all you've done is driven the service out of business, and that does no good for either service or musician.

    This is not something that can be 'fixed' via legislation, if you want people to pay more for music than they currently are then convince them that what you're offering is worth more, don't try to force them to pay extra through laws as that's just not going to work.

    That means that consumers will have to start paying for their music again.

    People are paying, that they might not be paying 'enough' isn't their problem, and it's not something you can change just by writing a new law or two. The 'golden era' of the superstar musicians is drawing to a close, these days it's more about a lot of people making decent amounts rather than a tiny minority scooping up the lot and leaving everyone else in the dust. The market has changed, those within it either adapt and survive, or insist that it remains how it always has and fail.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 1:49pm

    Re: Re: TL;DR

    It's Facebook, that's pretty much implied in anything dealing with them.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 1:45pm

    Re:

    No, not really. Fair use doesn't have a set limit, 30 seconds or otherwise, it's possible to use an entire work and still qualify for fair use, and conversely it's been found at least once that even a very short excerpt out of a much larger work can fail to be fair use.

    How many seconds the clips were matter a lot less than how they were being used, and given this case involved non-profit use for educational purposes there's a pretty strong fair use argument to be made.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 1:37pm

    Re:

    No need for violence, you just need to make the punishment personal.

    It's easy to shrug off a 'fine' that you don't have to pay(see: Every single fine against police officers), but when it's coming out of your own pockets then it's a lot more difficult to do so, because the guilty party is directly being punished, someone else isn't being punished in their stead.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 1:30pm

    "I'm less offended that you lied as I am that you think I'm stupid enough to believe you."

    BuildTeam denies having anything to do with Ashraf, Bush, the bogus website, or its bogus DMCA takedown notice -- a statement that deserves no more credibility than "Douglas Bush" himself.

    Yes, of course, clearly some random guy in Pakistan just one day decided to fraudulently copy a comment that BuildTeam had been harassing the poster to take down for the sole purpose of fraudulently claiming that he had written it and demanding it's removal. Makes perfect sense.

    They may have plausible deniability in that it's likely impossible to prove a connection between them and the fraud, but they most certainly don't have believable deniability, as to imagine that the events that occurred were just 'coincidental' in achieving exactly what they wanted but had been unable to gain beforehand stretches probability well beyond the breaking point.

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