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  • May 27th, 2016 @ 1:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Since when is publishing sex tapes without consent legal?

    Interestingly, the sex tape itself may be illegal to run if they don't have proper USC 18 section 2257 proof of age documents. Without them, there is no way to know if the performers are in fact of legal age. Without that proof, the video is essentially worthless.

    This is one of the reasons why all of the "celebrity sex tapes" hype that hinges on the videos being stolen or whatever is horse crap. You can't run the videos in the US without 2257 documentation, plain and simple. It's the law (and has stood up in court).

    Oh, and Mikey, how come my account is blocked and comments held again? Did I say something to offend one of your minions?

  • May 26th, 2016 @ 9:41pm

    The perfect case

    I think this is a great example of trying to stretch section 230 to cover what it really should not cover: Commercial announcements and postings.

    (you can insert comment here that in Techdirt world, section 230 is a one way ratchet of more and more things "protected" along the way).

    Discussions on a public chat board would be one thing. Having a chat here about your latest Airbnb rental in Chicago wouldn't be an issue. But Airbnb listing a property that is not permitted as a short term rental should not fall into the same area at all. Airbnb can, should, and must verify that properties are valid and being rented by the owner in compliance with the law. Anything less is a shameful negligence of their basic duties to consumers - and could constitute a form of fraud on the public.

    It's not useful to try to compare airbnb to a classified ad service, as they are not only a listing site, but also collect the money and charge a fee for doing so (and you apparently must use their payment system in order to participate. They are defacto partners in the rental process, and thus section 230 should not trump standard business laws. Airbnb may not like it, but they are in many ways a reseller / agent / brand for your individual properties.

    For what it's worth, if I book a hotel room through Hotwire and pay them directly, they do in many ways become legally part of the process. If I had a customer service issue, I would take it up with them. They are not just a commissioned agent (like a travel agent in the past) but rather a reseller and wholesale agent.

    Section 230 only applies if you buy into Airbnb being an "innocent host" with no financial interest in the rental process and no liability. It's just not legally proven to be that way.

  • May 26th, 2016 @ 8:26pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Total truth:

    I work for myself, small business owner - totally unrelated to Hollywood or the music industry.

    Sorry to disappoint you. It's really the truth, just sad that nobody seems able to accept that someone might have an opposite opinion on something and not get paid to have it.

  • May 26th, 2016 @ 11:20am

    (untitled comment)

    It's easy to hate gawker. Very, very easy in fact.

    For me the reality is simple: If Gawker wasn't putting up insanely over the line stuff, there wouldn't be any litigants to be propped up by this billionaire.

    If gawker was clean, they wouldn't have as much to worry about. They open the door, so more power to the rich guy for giving them all they deserve.

  • May 26th, 2016 @ 10:37am

    (untitled comment)

    The reality is way more complex, and has as much to do with the FCC grabbing a power that it may not really have - to rule the internet.

    The critters aren't working for the cable companies - they are working for themselves. They don't want the FCC making law, it's their job.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 6:39pm

    (untitled comment)

    Karl, nice of you to wake up to the reality I have been trying to explain to you for more than a year. Cutting the cord doesn't always lead to cutting the costs, rather if you want to maintain what you have you may end up spending more unless you are going to pirate stuff (and you could pirate cable for free too, so it's a moot point).

    Even if you shave down your programming options, it's pretty easy to spend a fair bit of money each month on various streaming services to get what you want to watch.

    The next step almost certainly will be "cable companies" for streaming, who will unite all of the various streaming services into a single interface app / settop box / website so that you can pay a single fee to get a selection of channels, putting everyone right back where they were.

    Perhaps this proves the theory that there is no such thing as a free lunch, not even a FREE! lunch.

  • May 25th, 2016 @ 6:34pm

    Interesting, but...

    Interesting story. However, I think you have written it in a way to avoid the elephant in the room: sampling.

    Here's the thing. It's pretty easy to do a cover version of a song, you pay royalties and such and you are pretty much good to go. It is a guess, but I suspect that the licensing that Toledo got for the Cars song was as a cover. That would be a form of compulsory license, pretty hard to get around - it is a license with the song writer(s).

    Then comes reality, where the finished product (apparently) included samples / vocal samples from the original work. That is a very different situation, and one that the original artist can (and often will) opt out of. There is no compulsory license for sampling, and thus it's entirely at the discretion of the original sound recording artist (not the song writer) as this is a license with the performer(s).

    I think what happened here is that when Ocasek heard the finished product and realized that his (or other bandmates) musical performance had been sampled, he just said no AS IS HIS RIGHT TO DO SO. It's not censorship, Toledo could (and did) do the song without the samples. With a little extra effort, he has created something way more original, which should be the goal all along.

    So rather than get mad at Ocasek, get mad at Toledo. He tried to cut corners and got caught - it's his fault. No censorship here, just stupidity and ignorance of licensing.

  • May 22nd, 2016 @ 4:25pm

    Re: Re: King Knute

    "you saying that trying to make it illegal via a bill for a government agency to hack any computer they want to is not possible? That government agencies aren't beholden to follow government laws?"

    I think that there is a conflict between the state goal of a spy agency and such a law. A big part of spying is obtaining information that someone might not otherwise want to give up, and that information may be obtained using methods that are, well, a little out of bounds. When you remember that much of what is obtained is not used to pursue a court case, you can understand where they can operate in spaces that are perhaps not as comfortable for all of us.

    Outlawing hacking would essentially be crippling the agencies and putting them at a significant disadvantage. It would be like coming 50 years ago and saying wiretaps and hidden microphones shouldn't be used. It would tie the hands of a spy agency and make it very difficult for them to do their jobs.

  • May 20th, 2016 @ 1:34am

    King Knute

    Wyden will soon introduce the Tide Revocation and Sand Help act (TRASH Act), which will force the moon to no longer control the tides touching US shores, instead encouraging an open source app to allow individual coast line property owners to decide when and where the tide should be for their property.

    The newly created Tide Observation and Surveillance Service (TOSS) will take care of applying TRASH for Governement waterfront, the TOSS TRASH project will fulfill Wyden's desire to control the otherwise uncontrollable.

  • May 20th, 2016 @ 1:23am


    Umm, Mike Masnick, is it perhaps time to fix it so people cannot enter an existing user name when they post anonymously? Crappy trolls are crappy.

  • May 19th, 2016 @ 10:36am

    (untitled comment)

    Thankfully, he has changed his company name to Bud The Wiser Brewery, so there is absolute no risk of any more problems.

  • May 14th, 2016 @ 8:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are correct. It doesn't make it any more legal, it just makes it a "look the other way" offense.

    The issue is claiming these are "bogus" parking tickets. By the motor vehicle laws, they are not bogus. The city perhaps doesn't want the police to issue them, but they are not "bogus". That's hyperbole, plain and simple - typical of Techdirt to over react and slant the story to be anti-authority.

  • May 14th, 2016 @ 12:38am

    Re: Re:

    Traffic laws are state level, but locally enforced. It's the same reason why local cops can arrest you for murder, even though it's not a municipal law.

  • May 13th, 2016 @ 8:39pm


    For those who wonder, Article 32, s1202 2e:

    Alongside or obstructing a curb area which has been cut down,
    lowered or constructed so as to provide accessibility to the sidewalk.


    Local law cannot generally override the rules of the road.

  • May 13th, 2016 @ 7:38pm

    (untitled comment)

    Actually, this is a perfect example of a local politicians failing very badly at their jobs. A pedestrian cut out like that, no matter what the local authorities say, is an illegal parking spot by state law, which over rides. So the local politicians may be saying "it's okay, park here" but the police are in fact correctly issuing tickets.

    Local law cannot generally override the state (or federal) law.

  • May 13th, 2016 @ 1:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "Read back through your comments on this article, and your arguments are all just different mixes of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯."

    Why? Because copyright has been around for a couple of hundred years and generally seems to work pretty well. It's not perfect, but it would be a truly faith based more to kick it to the curb. My arguments are only that if you want to replace copyright with something, replace it with something better that has some facts behind it to make it go, and not just "get rid of it and we are all better" - there is no proof that it would be a good solution to anything!

  • May 13th, 2016 @ 1:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    The fact that you are down to trolling tells me everything I need to know - you have no true response. Thanks for playing, troll!

  • May 13th, 2016 @ 1:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "You say that those links to Techdirt don't count, but did you read the research that those links point to... that wasn't conducted by Techdirt?"

    As I have mentioned before, Techdirt stories are often based on other people's opinions or studies written by people who are pretty biased on the subject. As I said, the Australian Commission thing is a perfect example, it's written by two commissioners who have been very publicly against anything and everything copyright - so citing it as some great change in attitude by the government is meaningless.

    "And finally, for what it's worth, I suspect that the creators of the Creative Commons license would consider it a success if people no longer felt the need to use a CC license because copyright terms were no longer ridiculous, and there would be much rejoicing and carousing in the Creative Common."

    Yet that would be forcing everyone into the commons if they want to or not. Abolishing copyright (or limiting it so much that it's neutered) would diminish creator rights and would very likely harm and discourage creative works from being made and distributed widely in their various forms. The beauty of CC licensing is that it works with (and against) copyright in a manner that allows the system to work BOTH ways, not just one way.

  • May 12th, 2016 @ 7:10pm


    You hit the nail on the head here.

    I think that a government organization should ALWAYS err on the side of caution, especially when it comes to systems that may contain sensitive data bout the public. To do otherwise would be shameful.

    Somehow Mike seems to think that they should be more nuanced, magically coming up with exactly the perfect balance that gives all the access possible and still stops the near endless attempts to phish, fake out, and sneak in viruses to the government network.

    You can imagine the Techdirt story calling out the incompetent IT staff if they had just let the thing get through. You can picture the whining about billions of dollars and no security.

    The story is a perfect example of a no-win situation, and how Techdirt can turn any story into an anti-government one. Think about it the next time they are slamming someone for failing to do X or Y to secure a network.

  • May 12th, 2016 @ 4:52pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "What does human nature to create have anything to do with money? Nothing."

    Actually, it has a lot to do with it for many. Money isn't the driver, it's a requirement to be able to live. They have the desire to create, but not the time. They still do, but perhaps it takes much longer or perhaps the create less.

    Also, for people who are creative but perhaps normally can't find the time, financial incentive is pretty powerful.

    The Rock and Roll dreams of many a young musician involve playing front of big audiences, being popular, and living "like a rock star". The truth is that money and sex are two of the biggest motivators for humans in the world. Combine them (get rich and get laid a lot) and for many it's a pwoerful incentive to create.

    "What we say is it has become a roadblock and is a burden to up and coming artists/services/etc. It is abused to stifle free speech."

    Baseball bats are used to stifle life from time to time. It doesn't mean that we ban them. Heck, in the US, we know that guns hurt, maim, and kill thousands each year - certainly limiting their victim's free speech - yet they are legal. Laws are exactly like a baseball bat, most of us use it to play ball, a very few use them for more sinister purposes. We don't ban bats just because of them.

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