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  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 9:39pm

    Re: discretion?

    If by discretion you mean can choose if, and to what extent to follow what's listed, yes. The key words and phrases would be 'shall endeavor to' and 'appropriate balance'. The first means that they are supposed to do something, but aren't outright required to, while the second means that they can ignore anything listed if they don't believe it to provide a 'reasonable balance'.

    Basically those two phrases makes everything listed after them purely optional, and in no way required to be implemented.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 7:16pm

    Run you parasites, run

    Nice to have a bit of good news for once.

    Always nice to see the parasites that are patent trolls running away once they realize that they picked a target willing and able to fight back, and the baseless threats aren't going to work this time.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 6:56pm

    Why were they there again?

    From the sounds of it, the USG got it's way in pretty much every instance where there was a conflict of opinions. Given that, it seems they could have saved everyone a lot of time and effort if they'd just written it up on their own and sent it out to the other countries to sign, sight unseen.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 7:46am

    'Losing' the battle, but winning the war

    All this seems to confirm that this was nothing but a SLAPP suit from the beginning. Note that he doesn't care that he's lost the actual lawsuit and that his claims of defamation were shown to be flat out wrong. He's still pleased, because the judge didn't like Mother Jones' style.

    Yes, I imagine he is pleased, but it has nothing to do with 'vindication'. The lawsuit was about sending a message of what he is willing to do to anyone he doesn't like, by making an example of someone who displeased him.

    Winning was never the goal, it was all about the message, and the $1M fund is simply his way of throwing down the gauntlet and daring any one else to say anything bad about him in the future, knowing that he is willing and able to do the same thing again, and again, and again if need be.

    Chalk this up to yet another example of why the US really needs a strong federal anti-SLAPP law on the books.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 7:35am

    "Safety? Please, our ability to spy on you trumps your right to privacy and security."

    “The administration has decided not to seek a legislative remedy now, but it makes sense to continue the conversations with industry,” FBI Director James B. Comey said at a Senate hearing Thursday of the Homeland Security and Governmental Affairs Committee.

    One more time with feeling:

    The 'conversation' is over, and has been for decades.

    They're asking for the impossible with 'secure' broken encryption. Not 'difficult', not even 'extremely difficult' but flat out impossible. Encryption with a baked in vulnerability is by definition not secure. They know it, the tech companies know it, anyone with even the slightest bit of knowledge regarding any form of security knows it.

    That they continue to push for breaking encryption like this is just another piece of evidence showing that they don't give a damn about the public's safety, all they care about is that they be able to do whatever they want with the least amount of interference. Put the public at risk by intentionally sabotaging the security that protects their private information, from emails to banking? Why should they care, it's not their data at risk, and so long as they can grab as much data as they want, so what if others do the same?

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 6:11am

    Re: This is a great step forward

    That sounds like dirty commie terrorist talk to me. Every true citizen knows that the government and it's representatives know best, the idea that there should be limits on what they can do could clearly only come from the minds of liberal arch-conservative terrorist criminals of the most persevere persuasion.


  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 4:50am


    Well that depends, does California happen to have an abundance of judges that are willing to toss evidence gained through illegal means? If the answer is 'No', then the answer to your question will likely be 'It won't be'.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 4:12am


    Lyrics from a song, or on the spot wordsmithery?

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 4:08am

    Some good, mostly bad

    On the one hand, that the law was passed is certainly a good thing. On the other hand, that it even needed to be passed is a good sign of how screwed up things have become, and how ridiculous EPCA is. You shouldn't need another law to force police or others to get a warrant before rummaging around through private messages, the fourth amendment should be more than enough to get that point across.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 4:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple

    The IRS doesn't care so long as the taxes are paid. None of the congresscritters are going to want to upset the gravy train by going after Hollywood's favorite way to screw actors over. And you can be sure that any time an actor or producer manages to get the funds required to file a lawsuit, and it looks like the judge is interested enough to allow it, the studio in question will be falling over themselves to 'settle' and avoid having to open their books.

  • Oct 9th, 2015 @ 2:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Simple

    I could be wrong, but I believe it goes something like this:

    Company A: Original company, the one that makes all the money.
    Company B: Company set up specifically to 'lose' money.

    When it comes to paying taxes

    Both companies pay, with the important bit being that at this stage they are considered separate, not two branches of the same company. Company A, which makes all the money, pays taxes on what they earned. Company B, which 'lost' a bunch of money, doesn't have any profits to pay taxes on, or at most pays a small amount.

    When it comes to paying producers/actors

    This is where the trick comes into play. Rather than treating both companies as separate entities, the books are combined, treating the two companies as branches of the same company. As a result, what Company B 'lost' is subtracted from what Company A made. Since the entire point of Company B was to lose more than Company A made, and the 'charges' made up out of thin air reflect this, by combining the two Company A goes from profitable to having 'lost' a whole bunch of money, and with no profits, there's nothing to pay out to the actors/producers.

    The numbers are (mostly) legitimate, at least if you don't look too closely, it's how they're treated, whether added together or kept apart that allows for the creative accounting that lets the studios screw over the people that they'd otherwise have to pay.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 8:09pm

    The irony is strong in these ones...

    "Republican Donald Trump and Independent-running-as-Democrat Bernie Sanders have been whipping up protectionist sentiment against the TPP even before they knew what would be in it."

    Gee, you mean like the various people who have shown support for TPP, 'even before they knew what would be in it'?

    The fact that we don't know all of what's in the TPP is a valid reason to be against it, given how large an impact it's likely to have on the public and the complete secrecy around the entire thing.

    However, those showing support for it, despite not knowing what's in it have nothing to base their support on. It could completely screw them over, they have no idea, so showing support for it simply due to how it's been described by the ones involved is insane. An arsonist could claim that he's in the business of 'stimulating the economy by incentivising the building of new houses', but that doesn't mean you should support him.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 7:08pm

    Re: Re: Simple

    Regarding your first point about the 'independent' corporations set up to lose money, you're half right, but you seem to have missed the reasoning behind the trick.

    The purpose behind the separate corporations is to make it look like the movie isn't profitable on one set of books, namely the one used to calculate how much the director/actors get. When it comes to paying the studio, the investors, and yes, taxes(they're not that stupid), they want the movie to be as profitable as possible.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 6:56pm

    Re: Re: "You know what I love?

    Deadpool's main 'quirk' though is that he knows he's a character in a comic/movie, and has no problem addressing the audience, who expect as much from him. It works for a character like him, but for anyone else, it's just yanking the reader/watcher out of their suspension of disbelief and reminding them that what they're seeing isn't real.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 8:30am

    Re: Re: Not the Cops this time.... with some background

    Hey now, people watch tv to escape reality, not be reminded of it...

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 8:12am

    "You know what I love?

    When a character in a fantasy or sci-fi book breaks the forth wall to address me as a reader, completely shattering the suspension of disbelief that allowed me to accept the impossible stuff that was going on before.

    Or how about when a movie makes sure to pause the action to remind you that you're not watching an amazing space battle, or a tension-filled chase or shootout, or an epic battle between two armies, but a handful of people pretending in front of a green-screen?

    Yes indeed, nothing makes me enjoy my entertainment more than the characters within it shattering the temporary illusion cast by the action and story, slapping me in the face with the fact that what I'm reading or watching isn't real, and is nothing more than words on a page or actors on a set."

    Said no one ever

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 7:59am


    As the article notes, there have been countless 'anti-piracy' laws passed, over decades, and yet none of them have had more than a minor, temporary effect on piracy at best. And yet those buying the laws continue to do the same thing, year after year, pushing the same laws, the same ideas, despite their utter failures to date. Given that, the way I see it there's two possibilities:

    1. Almost every last person in the entertainment industry, with very few exceptions, is a complete and utter idiot, lacking even the most basic pattern recognition skills, and incapable of learning even the most obvious lesson from their past actions.


    2. Stopping piracy isn't actually the goal, and is instead merely the excuse, the justifications for their actions.

    #1 is possible, but unlikely in the extreme. You don't reach the point of running multi-billion dollar companies if you are lacking in smarts and business skill, and only an idiot would throw millions away if they weren't getting anything out of it.

    Now, if stopping piracy isn't the actual goal, what might it be? If I had to guess, I'd say the real goal is two-fold:

    Killing off competition before it can grow, and maintaining control.

    Methods of distribution like file-sharing can be used for piracy, yes, but they can also be used for artists not affiliated with the major labels to get their music out there, all without having to go through a middle-man. Books not affiliated with major publishers can be shared and read, and movies put out by indie studios can be shown without ever having to go through the theaters.

    By insisting on onerous burdens on third-parties, in order to 'fight piracy', the various 'anti-piracy' laws make it a hassle to host content created by the public, forcing sites and services to spend time and money that they may not have policing their sites, 'just in case', and making it all the more tempting for them to forgo allowing public content entirely.

    Even when sites/services can spare the time and money, the incredibly one-sided nature of the laws means that they are given all the incentive in the world to take something down on the flimsiest claim, and penalized if they do not, making it a hassle for content creators who might have their stuff removed on a bogus claim, forced to fight if they want it back up, if they can even do so.

    Of course, if a creator doesn't want to deal with the possibility of their stuff being pulled thanks to a bogus claim, or removed as collateral damage thanks to a bot flagging something they created, they could always sign up with the major labels/studios/publishers, who never seem to have to deal with that sort of thing...


    When the only way to be able to create quality music required studio resources, the only way to be heard was to sign with a record label, the only way to be promoted was to sign away all the rights to your music, the labels had all the control.

    However, when anyone can put their music up for people to listen to and/or buy, when what previously required the resources of a studio to create can now be done with a modest investment in some decent hardware and software, when you can promote yourself through social media, all without signing away anything, suddenly the control of the labels starts crumbling, and their contracts a lot less appealing.


    When the only way to take your idea and turn it into a movie was through a major studio, requiring you to sign everything away and maybe get something for it, the only way to show your film was through the theaters, which required a studio to achieve, then they had all the control.

    However, when you can crowdfund your film without signing away the rights to anything, when special effects that previously required massive resources can now be done for relatively cheap, and when there are numerous services willing to host and/or sell the resulting film, the studios suddenly don't have nearly the chokehold that they had enjoyed before.


    When the only way to be published was to submit your would-be-book to one of the major publishers and hope, when you had to sign away the rights just for them to consider publishing your work, and and had to go through them if you ever wanted to see your book in solid form, the publishers had all the control.

    However, when anyone can write up a work and share it with anyone they wish to, when various services make it easy to post and sell your works, whether in physical or digital format, when you can do your own promotion at the cost of little more than your own time, and all without signing over the rights to your books, then suddenly the publishers' previous position of deciding what would and would not be published is a lot less solid.


    Short version: If the goals of all the anti-piracy laws are actually to combat piracy, then they have failed utterly each and every time. Therefore it stands to reason that either the ones buying the laws are incompetent fools, or they aren't actually trying to get rid of piracy with the laws they are buying.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 6:36am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Nah, these days they hate the USG because it terrorizes the public better than they ever could have, and no one likes being made to look like an amateur.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 6:26am


    Not too surprising they might have picked up a few of Hollywood's tricks, given they basically work for them.

  • Oct 8th, 2015 @ 6:24am


    To the overwhelming majority of prosecutors, that's a feature, not a bug. They want stupid jurors, almost as much as they want people who are willing to believe without question anything presented to them.

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