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Posted on Techdirt - 22 October 2011 @ 12:00pm

Jeffrey Nonken's Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

from the my-neurosis-and-I dept

When Mike asked me to do the Favorites Posts my first reaction (after feeling flattered) was to put it off for another time, with all kinds of excuses why I was too busy. After sleeping on it I realized that was just my neuroses talking and immediately accepted. Of course it turned out I'd taken too long to reply so I got to put it off for a week anyway.

I'm going to consider anything after last Friday's submission deadline free game. Without further ado my neuroses and I present to you:

My Favorite Techdirt Posts Of The Week

What's in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.
Apparently trademark infringement is in a name, or part of a name, or a single word. The good news? We gamers aren't idiots and can tell the difference between products. Go us!

The Biter Bit.
It's been a great week for IP trolls with Evan Stone grasping at straws and Righthaven tap-dancing on a landmine while being soundly beaten with a clue-by-four. Oops, what was that ominous click? Meanwhile James White can't get his mojo on, if his victims insist on playing fair.

Hail, hail Freedonia, land of the brave and free!
France is in the lead for the Wacky IP Races in Europe this week. First we're seeing scammers finding a way to take advantage of HADOPI, and the government censoring evidence of police misconduct. I bet they won't be so fast to protect their citizens as they were to protect their own asses. Any takers? ...Didn't think so. The UK comes in a close second: London is signing away the public's rights in order to suck up to big advertisers; Parliament assumes that everybody is a clean-cut, upright, honest citizen if they're using their own name, but that anonymity instantly turns them into hardened criminals, and then figures they'll be stopped cold by blaming innocent bystanders. (Our own state of Louisiana has legislated against using cash for much the same reason.) Spain comes in third by making hyperlinks illegal. Yeah, our government hasn't gotten beyond the "plug it in and stuff happens" understanding of the Internet, either.

It's not just the governments who are failing by the numbers. Scientists are failing to learn from history, and one British historian is failing scientific method. He insists that porn turns people into slavering monsters and only a totalitarian government can stop it. Yeah. Well, we USians are well on our way; our government also can't stand its citizens knowing laws or rulings that apply to them, or having any knowledge or say in their making. And we now have a VIPR in our midst: Tennessee has come up with their own clever way to fight against freedom. The partnership with the TSA should ensure rape and pillaging to protect the public. I feel safer already.

Meantime we're working on making copyright violation a felony. And if falsely accused of a crime by the US government it's damned near impossible to prove your innocence without spending the GNP of a small country on legal fees. (All so some schmuck could cheat on his wife.) I bet this is exactly what the founding fathers were thinking when they wrote the Constitution.

And while China is trying to convince the world that black is white, up is down and censorship is freedom, the Jamaican government has confused corporate profits with the public weal and is getting ready to keep its cultural heritage out of the public domain.

Everybody's crazy but me and thee, and sometimes I wonder about thee.
Heading in the other direction are ABC in Australia, who ran an article pointing out how copyright holders may be shooting their own feet, and the Canadian Supreme Court, who decided that hyperlinks shouldn't be illegal after all. And went out of their way to explain why in loving detail. Maybe Spain could take notes. The EU Parliament's legal service is frowning mightily at ACTA, saying that it may or may not be legal -- depending on how you interpret it.

Back in the US, Ron Wyden is doing his usual good job speaking out against PROTECT IP AGAINST PUBLIC INTEREST (oh sorry, a bit of editorializing there). But in a surprise move Michele Bachmann has been expressing doubts as well. With so many sides arrayed against it, maybe the darned thing will be stillborn.

You've got a nice army base 'ere, Colonel. We wouldn't want anything to 'appen to it.
Not content with beating up kids for their lunch money and beating up grannies for their welfare checks (we're not sure what they were beating up printers for -- their toner?), the MAFIAA and their ilk are now beating up indie artists for royalty checks and beating up pubs for beer money. (Yeah, I had to stretch a bit for that one.) BMI has learned to multiply, but forgotten how to subtract. Not to be left out, over here at Marvin Gardens, Microsoft is also collecting rent on other peoples' properties. Wow. Must be nice work if you can get it.

That's all, folks!
There was more, but I was scared it would just turn into a summary of the entire week. So I tried to stick to the stuff that fit into the theme and that I could think of smartass remarks for. :) Enjoy the weekend!

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