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  • Feb 8th, 2016 @ 9:37am

    (untitled comment)

    Unlike many places, the Indian government has no problem denying any and all benefits to the lower caste of people in the country. It's pretty shameful to block what may have been a reasonable choice for people who have no service at all.

    India is perhaps one of the most backward counties when it comes to human rights and equality. It's really a good idea to follow their models and choices, right Karl?

  • Feb 8th, 2016 @ 8:57am

    Wash, rinse, repeat

    It's the story of Karl. :) It's incredible that you can write almost the same story every day.

    Seriously thought... it's hard to see that the various companies feel that they can offer "over the top" services which do not count against bandwidth. If they didn't think they had a legal leg to start on, they might not be going here, at least without so much enthusiasm.

    My take is that the amount of bandwidth available is a contractual issue and not a neutrality issue. If you can reach all sites without impairment, the meaning and core of net neutrality has been met. That your service contract my only let you stream a half a dozen movies a month in that amount of bandwidth is not a neutrality issue.

    Over the top zero rating services (especially those with an additional price tag on them) are not against neutrality, not any more than selling extra bandwidth or even having a more expensive unlimited plan. It's a consumers choice at that point.

    There is a point where it's just a business and consumer choice to offer services beyond just a pipe.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 10:28am

    (untitled comment)

    David Bowie's legacy so far appears to be (a) a whole lot of posting trying to re-interpret the things he said and did to meet up to people's agendas, and (b) semi-talented musicians trying to suck up by producing various tribute albums and using his music to promote their own brands.

    It's pretty sad to see the jackals picking at the corpse before it's even cold.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 10:26am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"


    "oh terribly sorry, but we got those images from another sources, and they have been attributed. thanks for playing".

    You see, we don't know what he was really asking for on the phone. Perhaps he was being unreasonable. Perhaps he was talking to the wrong people. Perhaps he wanted his name in lights. We don't know any of that.

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 10:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "The mention of fair use isn't central to the story, because fair use doesn't really have any bearing on the story."

    It has a huge bearing on the story. There is no real need to attribute an image under fair use. It's something done out of courtesy, not legal requirement as far as I can tell. NBC made a mistake on the attribution, and that's not good - but it's also not fatal.

    "And I have a feeling that you'd be here telling us that there's no problem, that the guy will be able to defend his fair use claims in court, and if his use was really fair then no foul, right?"

    NO, NO NO! God, how many times do I have to repeat this? Fair use is a valid response to a DMCA claim. It's the type of response that means your ISP, hosting company, or whatever don't have to take any action because ou have responded to the DMCA with a potentially valid legal claim. There would only be a court case if, after informed of the fair use claim, the copyright holder still feels the need to move forward and sue (ie, doesn't feel fair use applies). Most copyright holders with a decent lawyer would think twice before taking someone to court who has what appears to be a reasonable fair use claim.

    Claiming fair use doesn't immediately lead to court. Of course, in this case, because the guy went nuclear and sent the lawyer in, it's very likely that it would go to court if he wants to even try to get what he feels is his legal rights. It's why the lawyers should never be the first step, he's pretty much boxed himself in now.

    "So the guy tries to contact the company directly to talk about the use of his photos"

    The problem here is that he apparently didn't do a very good job. The DMCA notice would have been the perfect tool for the job here, because it has a very short fuse and would need to be attended to directly. Selecting the nuclear option (lawsuit) is a very big weapon to fix what is a very small problem - and potentially not even a problem.

  • Feb 4th, 2016 @ 8:04pm

    Re: Re:

    The mention of fair use is in passing, and certainly not central to the story - which is would be if the guy was suing content from NBC.

    Really, the story should be "photographer doesn't understand Fair Use, unwisely sics lawyers on big media". Instead, it's pretty much a lame attempt to slam NBC (and support torrentfreak's biased coverage).

    "NBC and friends repeatedly claim that not only is piracy bad, but apparently piracy is easy to identify and easy to avoid by just doing the right thing... except oops."

    NBC cannot stop someone from filing a lawsuit that may turn out to be frivolous. Fair use is the fine stripe of grey between the black and white of copyright, and journalism (especially big media journalism) is one of the clearer examples. It's an equally funny thing then that the lawyer claims to be well versed in copyright. You would think that he would have advised his client that he might not have a leg to stand on.

    My feeling is with the tabled turned the other way, the story would read about the horrible copyright bully trying to stop some guy from tweeting images.

    I stick with my point too, the guy would likely have gotten way more action with a DMCA notice to Twitter...

  • Feb 4th, 2016 @ 5:53pm

    Re: Re: Putting the "Object" Back in "Objectivity"

    Yes, but in the end, wouldn't his better move be to get the Today show to do ANOTHER segment and invite him on to talk about it a bit more, and to expand on what he has captured? See, suing for cash is nice and all, but in the end, getting a national audience to know your name and your work may be a better long term move.

    NBC clearly is in the wrong here, but there are many remedies that could give this guy way more satisfaction than feeding most of a settlement to the lawyers.

  • Feb 4th, 2016 @ 5:50pm

    Re: Re:

    "and it's amazing how you cry about how the law doesn't offer copy protection holders enough protections but as soon as someone tries to assert protections they are given under the law against big media you imply they are being unreasonable."

    I don't asset it's unreasonable, I am suggesting that he didn't touch all the bases and certainly didn't take steps that could have stopped the infringement more quickly.

    "It's only fair, if the big players can file bogus takedown requests and lawsuits so could the little guys."

    if he had files a takedown request, you may be correct. But He went from zero to "here's my lawyer" without using any of the other remedies available to stop the infringement as quickly as possible.

    Remember too, I do think NBC is in the wrong and should pay out the ass for it (it's only fitting). I just think that this photographer is working a little too hard to turn it into a meal ticket - the same sort of stuff you guys shame other content owners for all the time. Why is this guy special?

  • Feb 4th, 2016 @ 5:47pm

    (untitled comment)

    I guess this is what they have been doing instead of discussing TTIP. At this pace, they should get to TTIP in about 2025 or so.

  • Feb 4th, 2016 @ 3:29pm

    (untitled comment)

    " But, almost without fail, we find examples of copyright maximalists being accused of infringement themselves."

    Of course you do, because they are actually out there producing tons of new content every day and sometimes mistakes happen or misunderstandings occur. What is objectionable here isn't that someone clearly didn't understand what they were doing, but the lack of response by NBC on the subject.

    Now that said, I have to say I have a bit of the problem with the article as it's pretty much not a series of facts, but rather a series of assertions by the defendant. It seems to skip over the concept of fair use in Journalism (you know, the fair use you guys trot out all the time for everyone else, but apparently NBC doesn't get any!).

    I also notice that both your article and the Torrentfreak article (great unbiased sources!) fail to mention if the guy filed a DMCA notice with Twitter (and for that matter, to NBC itself). If not, why did he fail a basic step to asset his rights? The quick jump to a lawsuit makes me think he is in it way more for a payday than to assert his rights.

    NBC certainly appears to be in the wrong here (and yes, they should pay for it if they are), but the photographer seems to be quick with the lawyers and seems to have missed a couple of steps along the way that could have resolved the issues at hand within the framework of the DMCA for all of the online material.

  • Feb 4th, 2016 @ 3:06pm

    Re: Re:

    In other words, he did nothing.

    Can you show any motions to bring the discussions and debate onto senate floor? Any move to reconvene the senate for an emergency debate?

    You likely won't find anything (I couldn't find anything substantive). In fact, the congress as a whole has been remarkably silent during the 90 days, as if perhaps there was an agreement in place not to talk about it.

  • Feb 4th, 2016 @ 9:54am

    (untitled comment)

    Where has the sainted Mr Wyden been during all of this? Silent as the proverbial lamb, it seems. In fact, you can trash the Obama administration all you like, but the house and congress are full of ladies and gentleman from the other party who have done absolutely nothing to "debate" any of this.

    So why no ask Ron (I am assuming you are on a first name basis, after all) why he's so silent on something that is apparently so important. Perhaps there are no grandstanding points available on this level.

  • Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 4:15pm

    (untitled comment)

    Twitter sort of blew it here, but then again, the EFF laywer dude also pretty much failed at his attempted trolling. You would think a lawyer would know better than to do that.

  • Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 4:12pm

    (untitled comment)

    "Except these gains don't debunk cord cutting."

    No, of course it doesn't - but there is perhaps some indication that cord cutting isn't all about content or programming, and more about the economic situation of the subscriber base.

    The US has gone through a deep and protracted period of economic morass, where people have lost their jobs, their homes, and had to make decisions on a personal level at to what and what was not important to them. The cable bill clearly isn't the most important thing, and new online services (and yes, piracy in it's various forms) has certainly lead to cord cutting.

    Not surprising to see, however, that with the economy improving that people are choosing to subscribe again. Perhaps they are getting cable only to get a better internet rate, or are finding it worth taking cable as part of a bundle for their internet service.

    Of course, no mention of them adding 1.3 million broadband users... but hey, it doesn't play well with the story line.

    Oh, are you going to write a piece about how Google is losing their ass on Fiber? It would make an interesting story...

  • Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 3:11pm

    Re: Re:

    First off, probably not the best example. However, let's work with it.

    If I didn't make more than the minimum number of calls each month (which is pretty high number) then I wouldn't give a crap one way or another. If I did meet the minimum and one or more of the numbers I called was in the "zero rated calls" package, I might choose to buy it. Otherwise, I might pay for my over calls if I was making that many calls each month - or pay for a bigger package of calls.

    Hint: Many VoIP services (including Vonage) have soft or hard caps.

    So, if zero rated calls are (a) optional, and (b) my existing service doesn't change without them then I have no problem with it.

    As for monopoly positions, lack of competition is a good indication that it's not cheap to offer services. Google Fiber is a perfect example, cherry picking it's installations it's still a giant black hole for Google's cash, and still listed with it's moonshot investments in no small part because of it's low returns.

  • Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 10:37am

    (untitled comment)

    I think part of the problem here is that there is a weird belief that net neutrality (a) applies to the internal network and products offered locally, and (b) takes away any potential for additional services to be sold.

    Net Neutrality is a question of peering and perferential / paid peering arrangements that would allow one company or another to have better access to consumers. There is nothing in any of these 3rd party services that indicates they are paying cable companies more for faster peering or exclusive network peering connectivity to offer their services.

    I think Zero Rated services (for an additional price) are similar to paying extra for more bandwidth or a cap-free connection. Those are choices consumers make.

    I do have a problem if other services are having their connection speed (not volume) reduced unfairly. That is one of the places where I think the FCC could and should step in.

  • Feb 3rd, 2016 @ 10:24am

    No winners here

    This is one of those battles where neither side is worth cheering for.

    The FBI is playing tight, tight, tight with the rules and trying everything under the sun to keep documents from seeing the light of day in any form that means anything. Shapiro is playing loose, loose, loose with the FOIA concept and perhaps making a bigger mess than he can imagine.

    What scares me about Shapiro is that his use of the FOIA borders on the ABUSE of the act, so much so that its the type of case where the law may have to change to keep him from overwhelming the government and it's agencies with what amount to nonsense requests and fishing expeditions. He's bordering on harassment, IMHO, and could potentially make it harder to get information in the future. He's basically making the FBI's case for them.

    The FBI certainly are being dicks here. There is no doubt that there is plenty of material they don't want in the public eye, either it's too revealing about their methods, or perhaps will expose some dirty secrets or less than savory ways they have investigated people. Their constant attempts to hide things seems pretty much an admission of guilt.

    So on one side, an agency with a guilty conscious. On the other side, a professional process abuser. No matter who wins, the potential is that we will all lose.

  • Feb 2nd, 2016 @ 7:01pm

    (untitled comment)

    I stayed out of the first part of this discussion, but I wanted to add some comment here, because the failure of this project really has little to do with WHO was running, rather about what it was and at what cost.

    For me, this whole idea fails because the math was too easy to figure out, and it was too easy to see that someone was going to make a whole lot of something for doing a whole lot of nothing. People can easily figure out what Fine Bros (or whoever) were going to make a quite 20-40% for nothing more than curating and perhaps trading a few viewers around. Simply, the amount is greedy as f-ck. If they were doing it for 10%, or 5%... they likely would get more people on board. They aren't adding enough to the situation to merit being a 1/3 partner on everything out there.

    The idea isn't terrible - the execution and the appearance of pure greed hurts it tremendously. Combine that with their less than sterling reputation, and you have everything you need to drive people away.

  • Feb 2nd, 2016 @ 6:25pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think Font Bros are about to find out that their business model is built on copyrighting something that generally can't be made copyright.

    I could picture Hasbro not only winning, but perhaps even running these guys out of business.

  • Feb 2nd, 2016 @ 9:56am

    (untitled comment)

    Karl, you need to learn that the SnarkMaker App you are using allows you to adjust the settings so your attempts at being snarky aren't quite so obvious and overdone. Try setting it to "mildly snarky" instead of "Krusty The Clown talking to idiot underlings snarky" and your posts might read a little better.

    You might also way to consider that part of the issue of set top boxes is security and control of accept to programming. Cable boxes are often the gateway / security / usage control device that keeps end users from being able to see certain types of programming.

    The point is not about money, it's about control - which leads to money.

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