It's a civil lawsuit, not a criminal action. Chapter 11 effectively protects them from having to pony up the required amount for the escrow while they await appeal. Considering Gawker's actions in court, some of the things they said in deposition and on the stand seriously had a big impact on how the judge and the jury viewed them. They presented themselves as extremely unlikable and I'm sure to some at least amoral.
That may not matter from a freedom of the press standpoint, but once they got in front of a judge and a jury, a little humility would have gone a long long way.
First, there are innumerable other sources of entertainment available for everyone other than sports these days. 20 years ago, most people were restricted to home video (VHS), television, movies, and (in a much smaller percentage than today) video games. With the internet and gaming being so much more accessible and widely appealing, you're competing a lot more for people's attention than you ever had to, and you are bloody well losing...badly.
Second, I don't think as many people like sports as you think. I'm a big NFL fan, but that is 4 months of sports I watch, and that's it. I suspect quite a high percentage of sports fans are 1, maybe 2 team fans. That does not necessitate a 24-7 sporting news (I use news loosely here) cycle.
Third, people are getting really sick and tired of subsidizing shit they don't use in entertainment across the board. Notice the decline of the album in music sales now that a la carte track choices are for the most part ubiquitous. TV has a long way to go, and it's going to be painful.
So, the company originally at the heart of all this was not Chevron, it was Texaco. In looking at the Texaco wikipedia article (I know, I know), it looks as if the originating incidents happened in/around 1993, with Chevron merging with Texaco in 2002. Nearly a decade after the sh*t hit the proverbial fan.
This article doesn't specify when that previous administration agreed to the closure of the issue with Texaco/Chevron, but that may be pretty critical to understanding actual moral responsibility (not necessarily legal).
To be honest, I'm pretty damn skeptical of Ecuadorian governments in general, corruption has been a constant feature of every administration there for the past 5 decades. The money doesn't seem intended for the 30k residents contaminated or their homes destroyed to be rebuilt/cleaned up. It seems to be a way of propping up an administration on the backs of someone else.
I dunno Mike. I did some digging around yesterday and from what I could see the consensus seemed to be that the Fine Bros were basically looking to crowdsource the creation of content and monetize it, taking a 20-40% cut of the potential revenue (depending on which side it came from).
They wouldn't really add anything to it, except maybe the brand name. Their FAQ stated that basically they would offer no legal support (e.g. Fair Use defense kind of stuff), the format is open and anyone can use it, so no value from providing guidance on the format. Pretty much saying copy our videos in other languages for us for free to start with, and we'll keep 20-40% of the rev gen.
Sounds to me like they were offering very very little support to hopefully get enough hundreds of/thousands of content creators signing up for them that they could monetize at little to no cost for them (Fine Bros that is). That comes across to me as exploitative at best.
MCNs do *NOT* have a good reputation on YouTube, for good reason, and they weren't even going to provide support like those. I think you are misinterpreting what they were actually planning to 'offer'. I didn't see them as offering much of anything.
While your fan-fic kind of side note about how that would be cool is a nice concept, it's not what they were doing. They don't have characters or a universe or set pieces or design staff to use or get help from. They basically having nothing from a creative standpoint to offer other creators, except a logo, maybe an intro sequence, and the opportunity to funnel them 20-40% of view revenue.
I don't see fan fic and this being equivalent though. Fan fic by definition is built on the foundation of someone else's characters/world. That's not what Fine Bros are engaging in here.
I look at it more as the local CBS affiliate trademarking "Eyewitness News" and doing local news, sports news, weather in that order, and trying to use that to stifle competition from the local ABC affiliate "Eyewitness News" in another city.
I don't think people are reacting negatively to the proposed concept of...licensing I guess, the format and supporting independent content creation. I think people are reacting negatively to the trademarks Mike.
It seems to me you're seeing one half, the proposal, as a good thing, and attributing reactions to that (the licensing/format scheme), while ignoring the other half, the IP half, which is what it seems most people are reacting negatively to.
I don't think techdirt needs to address anything regarding whether they have been compromised financially or w/e regarding Fine Bros. I've been reading techdirt for nearly 10 years, and I've never, ever, seen anything to make me doubt the sincerity of the writers here.
It may be, but does it necessitate gaining a legal monopoly over broad and general sounding terms already in very common use across Youtube and other sites?
To me, those trademarks are not necessary for them to accomplish the goal they set out to do. It could also be done under a Fine Bros Entertainment brand and trademark, not necessarily the generic "Kids React", "Teens React", etc.
The only benefit I can see from them owning trademarks on those, my opinion, very broad terms, is to shut down or claim ad revenue from others.
I've reached a similar point. Using uMatrix you see every single request that's being made to every URL. The sheer volume of third-party scripts and embeds MANY sites use these days is utterly appalling. So many places running so much crap in your browser, pretty much without your knowledge. uMatrix was a big eye-opener for me.
"But, in the end, this isn't a free speech issue, it's a harassment issue, and the thought that a conviction “will have a chilling effect on people’s ability to communicate" is what's ludicrous."
No, what's ludicrous here is the fact that this has to happen at all. For one, twitter is a service in which you can actively control who you can and cannot engage in a conversation with. If they no longer wanted to see what he was saying, they could block him. Or mute him. Or log the f-k out. Only, and I mean *ONLY* after such action is take if he attempts to circumvent it am I anywhere CLOSE to considering it actual harassment. If you can walk away and don't, then you are CHOOSING to stay engaged in the conversation.
From a pure irony stand-point, are we now where the Senate needs to complete an investigation and produce a report on unauthorized illegal CIA spying on Senate investigation and report into illegal CIA torturing? Coming up with a suitable acronym for that one might well give someone an aneurism.