"Why would the objective be that my creation is only my property for a period of time until I then have to let others monetize it?"
Because as soon as you publish it, or even let anyone see/hear/read it, it's NOT yours anymore. That's just the natural state of world as it has always been. Copyright was introduced very recently in human history as a set of temporary (hah!) restrictions on the public's ability to use works created by others, after which things are supposed to revert to that natural state (i.e. the public domain).
If having sole possession of your creation is so important to you, keep it to yourself. But don't you dare use any one else's work as inspiration for your own!
"EFF's entire spiel here seems to be based on (at best) second hand knowledge."
Which is kinda the whole point, since the first hand knowledge is being jealously guarded. When you mess with people's privacy but won't be up front about exactly what you're doing, expect to be called on it.
Gawker is a lot more than just one story and Gawker Media (who've been forced into bankruptcy) is a lot more than just the website Gawker. It's laughable to say Gawker Media doesn't do journalism.
"What they did with Hogan was right up there with revenge Porn."
Whether or not that's true (and I'm not entirely in disagreement), the $140M verdict is unjustifiable and likely to be overturned, and Thiel's actions set an extremely dangerous precedent. Try to look at the bigger picture beyond the narcissistic has-been celebrity.
Says the person who has absolutely no idea how the creative process works. ALL music is based in some way on what has come before, the 80's and 90's are no exception. It's also entirely possible to make music that sounds a bit like something else without any direct inspiration, simply because it's what sounds good.
"The song did get a bit heavy handed with using "stealing", but I thought it was a bit of deliberate satire..."
While the word 'stealing' has different interpretations depending on which side of the argument you're on, the 'sue', as in bring legal action, does not. It didn't seem satirical to me, it seemed ignorant. I'm a huge fan of Oliver's work, and Last Week Tonight in particular, but this seems like a real clanger to me.
"Many don't know what they're getting into. The record labels prey on artists, yet people keep blaming the victims."
Between Michael Bolton, Cyndi Lauper, John Mellencamp, the Wilson sisters, Sheryl Crow and the others, there are many, many decades of music industry experience involved here. They're not they noobs you speak of, they know exactly what the situation is. I wouldn't call them victims either, they're the very lucky winners of the music industry lottery.
"So, they can't pursue legal action. They can't revoke their license. What can they do? Make an appeal to emotion to a receptive audience, which might make politicians think twice before using a song without the artist's support, or potentially face some negative publicity."
That's exactly what they can do, and if Oliver's story had not used the words 'unauthorized', 'illegal', or 'sue', it would've been perfect. I loved it, it was hilarious even though I knew those aspects were completely wrong.
"Mike, it's not about legal entitlement, it's about respecting the artist and their contributions..."
But this article clearly is about legal entitlement, and when artists falsely claim it. Respecting the artist and their contributions is a completely different story (one Techdirt entirely agrees with you on). Being respected doesn't allow you to make legally false claims. Why is that so hard for many to understand?
"The artist is then required to come out and say the Republican candidate cannot use their song."
The artist is not required to say anything, and the whole point of the article is to point out that in most cases the artists can't truthfully claim the use is unauthorized, illegal or infringement. They're more than welcome to yell from the rooftops that the use is not approved by them, they hate the person using it and the song means the opposite of what the person using it thinks. But that's all.
Having said that, I'm constantly amazing by politicians using songs without first checking to see if the artist is going to publicly shame them as a result. Some clearly don't even read the lyrics beyond the catchy main chorus line.
"In the world I like to live in this kind of mistake is career ending."
There are many, many areas of technology development that would be stopped dead in their tracks if that kind of attitude was prevalent. Cars and planes are obvious examples. Luckily for us the world you like to live in is not the world we all actually live in.