That One Guy’s Techdirt Profile


About That One GuyTechdirt Insider

That One Guy’s Comments comment rss

  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 6:55am

    It's a complicated relationship

    And without that analysis exploring the First Amendment implications, we now have the RIAA, MPAA and their friends trying to make the powers to censor even stronger, which is quite ridiculous coming from two organizations that often highlight their commitment to the First Amendment.

    The RIAA and MPAA are 'committed' to the First Amendment in the same way that a drunk is 'committed' to the beer they're holding. They'll gush about how much they love it and declare it's the best thing ever... right until it no longer does what they want it to, at which point they'll throw it in the trash without a moment's hesitation.

  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 6:39am

    Re: Re: Speaking of false premises...

    As the saying goes,

    “It is difficult to get a man to understand something, when his salary depends on his not understanding it.”

    More stuff is being created than ever before, much of it in spite of copyright law(especially copyright law according to the AA's), but to admit that would be to admit that copyright does not in fact need to be constantly ratcheted up, and could in fact do with some reduction, which would undermine their whole argument of 'More copyright = More creativity'.

  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 6:11am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: The Logician on Feb 19th, 2017 @ 9:54am

    How do you know that the post was from someone else and not the site owner? Perhaps one if the staff?

    Section 230 combined with anonymous posting leaves few legal options. That sites could post and repost the same materual and claim it is from a new user waxh time creates real issyes.

    And now you're moving into conspiracy theory territory based upon wild speculations of 'what could happen'.

    Sure something like that could happen, but 230 wouldn't do squat there because if it did then 230 wouldn't apply, as it only covers content not made by those that run the site.

    You might say that 230 would still apply and shield them because you couldn't prove that the site owner was the one reposting the content, in which case that's still working as intended. Even in that case, where the site owner is the one posting the content unless you can prove it holding them accountable is still punishing a party that as far as the evidence is concerned isn't responsible.

    As for the 'no legal options', no, unless you want to claim that what I posted above about 'take it to court and then take that to the site' is wrong, then it's hardly the case that 230 doesn't leave any legal options, it just narrows them to the responsible party, the one who posted the content. If you can't find them then back to court to try and go after the site directly, and if that's an uphill battle then that's just too bad, the alternative is worse.

    The pin biard wxample is perfect. A store allows free for sale ads and stuff, but doesn't monitir it. Wheb someone likks the ads are all for dryds and hookers. If the store does nothinf about it, do they becone conspirators in these crimes?

    Not as far as I know, and the searches I just did didn't find anything either way, though the law as regards to physical message boards might differ from digital ones so it's possible.

    However, while a physical message board might be similar to a digital one at the level of 'Owner posts the board/site, allows content without vetting', there are some significant differences that would justify a difference in how the law treats the two, with scope being the main one.

    A standard physical message board is likely to contain a few dozen messages at most, and requires people to physically go to it, further decreasing the number of people that have access to it. Contrast this to a site, which can have dozens, hundreds, or even thousands of posts on a regular basis.

    If a site had to worry about being responsible for any that 'slipped through' most of them wouldn't even bother, resulting in a massive chilling of speech, causing vastly more damage than would be prevented.

  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 3:41am

    Re: Shall I or not?

    Yeah, I'd avoid the US if at all possible for the foreseeable future. Look at the sights online if you really want to, but do not try to come here in person, spend that money in some other country that will appreciate it more.

  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 3:38am

    "Left Hand, could you at least send a LETTER to Right Hand every so often?!"

    So you've got one part of the government trying to make handing out passwords a felony, and another part talking about requiring those that wish to enter the country... hand over their passwords.


  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 3:26am

    Re: Re: Re: And the Judge?

    But I think he just secretly wishes he was Batman.

    In which case someone really needs to tell him this.

  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 3:20am

    Re: Some context

    Gotta love that second one. 'They tried to be nice and you still acted like a thug to shut them down. Time to take the gloves off and be a little more blunt about it.'

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 7:50pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Response to: The Logician on Feb 19th, 2017 @ 9:54am

    While the site may not have written it, they are publishing it, and do have control over its publication.

    According to an odd definition of 'publishing' perhaps. Is someone who puts up a physical board that people can tack messages and fliers on without the owner of the board pre-checking those messages for example considered the 'publisher' of whatever is placed? A site that allows user submitted content is essentially doing the same thing, putting up a 'board' where people can leave comments and/or content without the owner of the board vetting each submission beforehand.

    Arguing that sites should be considered liable for what their users post is like saying that the state should be liable for drivers that use their roads. Either can, should they desire, revoke the ability to use 'their stuff', and when the user/driver misbehaves the correct target to go after is the user/driver, not the one who owns the site/road.

    Overbroad section 230 protections mwans that a site can publish defamatory comments with any risk or any legal responsibility to deal with them.

    Host, not publish, and yeah, not holding sites liable for the actions of their users is a feature, not a bug.

    Given the alternative, where holding sites responsible for the actions of others would lead to mass chilling of speech as most sites and services would shut prohibit user submitted content at all to avoid possible legal liability, I'd say that's an acceptable 'risk'. It may suck a bit for those that want to have something removed and they have to jump through a few more hoops to find out who posted it instead of going after the site, but that's just the 'cost' required for a system that allows user submitted content.

    Moreover they also act as a protection for those who make the comments as tgeir id is protected.

    Not really.

    (I'm not a lawyer so some of the details of the following might be off, but as far as I'm aware it should be roughly accurate. If I botch something and anyone who does know the applicable law reads this feel free to step in and offer corrections though.)

    Go to court, convince a judge that the comment is defamatory and that they have good odds to win in court on those grounds.

    Take the ruling to the site and ask for the identification details of the poster in order name them in the lawsuit.

    If the site has that information and you have what they believe to be a valid court order, odds are they'll provide the information.

    If the sites refuses or says 'We don't have that info' go back to court, get default judgement on defamation claim ordering removal of the content in question and take that back to the site.

    Just because you may not be able to go after the original poster, it does not follow that the site should be liable.

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 5:25pm

    That's just rude!

    Another possibility is that he was aware of it but figured that as part of the club his communications wouldn't be under surveillance.

    Remember for example Feinstein, who saw absolutely nothing wrong with the public being under the microscope but threw a fit when it turned out that someone was watching her.

    Indiscriminate spying on the public is one thing, but doing that to members of the government, why that's just uncalled for!

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 5:21pm

    Par for the course

    'Re-purposes' a drug meant for one thing for another. Fails spectacularly.

    'Re-purposes' a law meant for one thing for another. Fails spectacularly.

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 5:09pm

    Re: This is not the first place I've seen this suggested.

    Nonsense, the peons don't need to think, so long as they can obey the orders from their betters that's more than enough. Why, if they start thinking, they might start having dangerous thoughts, and we can't have that now can we? No no, much better to leave the thinking to those better suited to it, it's better for everyone that way.


    Anyone arguing that 'logic and critical thinking' are threats to their position(s) is essentially admitting that those positions are beyond weak and without justification and support.

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 5:08pm


    Germany, Belgium and Spain so far, with the last going above and beyond in their idiocy-that-might-have-been-intentional, and effectively forcing Google to pull out of the country.

    (Regarding the Spain debacle, as several comments pointed out at the time while all sites took a huge hit in traffic, the larger sites were much more able to weather the loss, whereas the smaller competing sites might not have been able to. And of course the group that pushed the legislation was representing... the larger publishers.)

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    If they know that what they are saying isn't true, but claim it is anyway, yes.

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 7:55am

    Re: Re:

    If silent, staring obedience is what teachers want, they may find that the lack of enquiry (for fear of getting into trouble for speaking out of turn) results in dozy drones who only know what they're told, and that's it.

    Unfortunately, I can't help but suspect that more than a few of those involved would see this as a feature, not a bug. 'Students should be seen, not heard', that sort of thing.

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 7:39am

    Won't someone think of the sliced fingers?!

    I think it’s a fair concern that Right-to-Drive laws could lead to an explosion of car and truck dealerships. Consumers will wander on foot on on a bike, and drive out with a multi-ton machine of wheeled-death, thinking they can control it. And they will fail, miserably.

    Plus, what if a consumer's injured during a failed attempt to drive somewhere? They slam a finger in a door, or drive incorrectly, so the vehicle runs into something (and maybe even explodes). It’s the consumer’s fault, obviously, but they could also try to sue Ford or Chrysler.

    Tl:dr version: Just because you and your friend don't think you can be trusted to do your own repairs doesn't mean the poor public needs to be protected from being able to do so. They're big boys and girls, they can deal with the results from a botched repair job if they're willing to take that risk.

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 7:20am

    Re: Re: Who would sign an arrest warrant under these circumstances?

    If not, then it should not be just on him, it should be on the judge as well.

    Small change. Just because the judge is incompetent doesn't mean the cop should get a pass, there's plenty of blame to go around.

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 7:15am

    Speaking of false premises...

    In honor of Fair Use Week, let’s begin by unmasking the false premise underlying much of the celebration of fair use — that is, that the basic objective of the copyright system is to achieve a balance between the “public interest” on the one hand, and the interest of private copyright owners on the other.

    Indeed, now wherever could people get the downright absurd idea that copyright is about serving the public, via temporary government granted monopolies? Perhaps from some moldy old document?

    'To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries.'

    Nah, that couldn't be it, I mean everyone knows that copyright is rightful eternal(even if we still have to pretend that 'effectively eternal' isn't the same as 'eternal'), and it's only by the gracious permission that the public is allowed to enjoy any copyrighted works at all(only after paying of course).

    When was the last time that someone was inspired by fair use? Fair use doesn’t enthrall us…it doesn’t capture our imaginations and transport us to places far away or tucked away deep in our memories.

    This isn't just wrong, it's fractally wrong. I have run across near countless examples of creativity that exists in spite of copyright, works that were built upon what came before, some of which I'd say were as good if not better than the originals, and none of which would likely exist were the MPAA and their ilk able to dictate what forms of creativity were allowed or counted as real creativity.

    So how about this — why don’t we all recognize that celebration of fair use is actually a celebration of the benefits of fueling original creative expression, for if we fail to produce cultural artifacts worth accessing, fair use becomes irrelevant.

    And this of course is just downright hilarious, considering who it's coming from. The movie industry is packed with derivative works, whether they be sequels, reboots, 'film-adaptations' of other works or what have you. To have someone on Hollywood's side deride fair use as not resulting in 'new creations' is like having a serial plagiarist chiding others for not coming up with their own stuff.

    If we can succeed in allowing creators to earn a living from their craft, we will have greatly advanced the public interest, and produced a wealth of accessible cultural materials that enrich present and future generations.

    Assuming the copyright isn't lost in deaths, mergers, purchases and various other shenanigans, such that no-one dares use those 'cultural materials' for fear of being sued into the ground, due to the AA's of the world buying laws to ensure that nothing ever makes it into the public domain, where the public can make with it what they want without fear of legal action for doing so.

    A 'wealth of ... cultural materials' doesn't do 'present and future generations' squat if it's all locked up forever, especially if fair use is undermined such that the only way to access it is to pay the parasitic gatekeepers.

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 7:08am


    Yeah... no. I'm not willing to buy that they don't realize that what they're pushing is bogus. They know that what they're saying is rubbish, they just don't care, because while truth can pay the bills lies are so very much more profitable.

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 5:59am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: There is a trivial solution.

    Did you bother to read past the first sentence in my comment? Or did you somehow miss the whole 'just because they can serve a purpose doesn't give them the right to demand others step up to keep them profitable' bit?

    Once more with emphasis:

    They're welcome to try different methods to keep the money rolling in, what they aren't welcome to do is try and screw over everyone else in the process.

  • Feb 22nd, 2017 @ 5:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Article is very inaccurate in substantial matters

    Yeah, it's just so stupid. Planning a crime should not be considered a more serious offense that actually committing it, as that strikes me as practically thought-crime territory, and worse making the idea a more extreme crime than the execution of the idea.

    It could very well be the case that the judge ruled correctly here, that 'conspiracy to defraud' raises a civil charge to criminal, but that doesn't make the logic and the law any less boneheaded and nonsensical.

More comments from That One Guy >>