The Wanderer’s Techdirt Profile


About The Wanderer

The Wanderer’s Comments comment rss

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 7:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm still catching up from months and months behind, but I want to say: I think this may be the most useful and insightful comment I've seen here yet. (And considering some of the competition, that's saying a fair bit.)

  • Feb 4th, 2016 @ 5:38am


    If we had a lot of individual courts, but all on the same level, then if one court (or group thereof) came to a different set of decisions from the others, there would be no way to resolve that split. You would wind up with "justice" and the law being defined differently depending on where you live. (We have that anyway, due to circuit splits and various other factors, but it would be much worse.)

    If we had only one court, then there would be essentially no way for most people to get a hearing; there are far too many court cases for one court to have the time to hear them all.

    On a structural level (leaving aside state vs. federal sovereignty concerns, among others), the existence of multiple levels of court can be seen as a matter of delegation. The top-level court has final authority as to what the court system judges the law to be, but it delegates authority to lower courts so as to have more people available to hear cases, and those courts in turn delegate authority to courts below them for the same reason.

    That's not the way it's written in the law, but as far as I can see, it's more or less the practical reason for doing it that way.

  • Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 7:30am

    Re: Re: Re: gov't regulated arbitration

    The "corrupting influence of the profit motive" in this case manifests in the arbitration industry. The arbitrator might have the following line of reasoning:

    * In the case before me, there are two parties: the company and the customer.

    * The company will be involved in many arbitration cases in the future.

    * If I decide in favor of the company, the company will be more likely to hire me again for those future arbitration cases.

    * If I decide against the company, the company will be less likely to hire me again for those future arbitration cases.

    * The customer will very likely never be involved in another arbitration case, no matter how I decide this case. Therefore, the customer is unlikely to hire me again, no matter how I decide this case.

    * Therefore, if I decide against the company, I am likely to make less money in the future.

    * Therefore, in order to make the most profit, I should decide in favor of the company - regardless of what the actual merits of the case may be.

    This is an example of what is known as a "perverse incentive", where what is in the best interest of one of the parties to a transaction is in conflict with the design goals of the system which the transaction is a part.

  • Jan 23rd, 2016 @ 6:00am

    Re: Re: This sucks!

    How does having a phone "set to vibrate and ultra dim" in an entertainment venue "annoy others and disrupt [that ]entertainment venue[]"?

  • Jan 17th, 2016 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Re: Ownership

    At a glance, what you label as "claim rights" vs. "liberty rights" sounds like the same distinction as what Ken White (of Popehat) refers to with the terms "positive rights" (the right to have someone else do something) and "negative rights" (the right to have someone else not do something).

  • Jan 15th, 2016 @ 3:35pm

    Why no "direct copy"?

    Imprimis, which is publicly traded, is not allowed to make a direct copy of Daraprim.

    Why not?

    Given that (per the article) it's 62 years old, it must be long since out of patent. What is there which would forbid anyone who wants to do so from making a direct copy of it, using the information filed in the patent?

    I was under the impression that the reason there isn't / hasn't been off-brand competition for Daraprim is that getting FDA approval for a generic alternative would require expensive studies, even if the generic is chemically identical to the brand-name drug. That's ridiculous enough as it is, but if Imprimis is making a non-identical alternative, that should certainly have to go through at least as many studies to get approval - so how could the hoops to jump through for producing the identical generic be any more prohibitive?

  • Jan 8th, 2016 @ 11:06am

    Re: Re: Re: People are obviously becoming a lot more stupid this century. Who's poisoning the water supply?!?

    (Second post attempt; the first one led to a blank page for some reason. Sometimes that means "it posted, but we didn't load the confirmation page properly", but this time reloading doesn't show the comment.)

    My favorite name in this vein is "Richard Bissell"; if you don't get it, you probably don't remember the Bissell brand of vacuum cleaners. (For context, he wrote some of the best - and most good-literature - erotica the Internet has ever seen.)

  • Dec 30th, 2015 @ 6:08am


    "Bauer Decl., Ex. D." is a citation to a source which purportedly confirms the previously stated information.

    "Bauer Decl." is almost certainly short for "the Bauer declaration", which is presumably referenced / defined elsewhere in the document.

    I don't parse "Ex. D." clearly just offhand, but it's going to either further describe the Bauer declaration (e.g. explaining where it comes from, maybe), or help explain where in that Declaration to find the cited information.

    "Id." is legal shorthand for "the same", or suchlike, as someone else already explained. In this sort of context, it means "the same source as the previous citation" - in other words, in this case it means "the thing I just said is also confirmed by statements in (the same part of) the Bauer Declaration". It's used purely as an abbreviation, to avoid having to retype citations, which can be lengthy and easily gotten wrong.

  • Dec 29th, 2015 @ 10:05am

    Re: Elsevier supports content mining, contra your salacious headline

    As I mentioned in the comment thread to the original blog post, the reason that we require miners to use our API is so that we can meet their needs AND ALSO the needs of our human users.

    Could you explain in what way the access described in this scenario (data transfer amounting to 35 KB / second, sustained over a week and a half) in any way serves to prevent you from meeting the needs of the human users?

  • Dec 27th, 2015 @ 4:51pm

    Re: Re: Did he hurt anyone?

    > This isn't free speech, this is hate speech and should be addressed as such.

    This is probably late enough that no one will ever read it, but I want to counter this unfortunately common misreading.

    "Hate speech", as conceived of, is a type of speech: speech with hateful intent, or speech conceived out of hate of the things spoken about, or any of several other possible definitions (people seem to use different ones depending on the occasion).

    "Free speech" is not a type of speech. "Free speech" - put at its simplest, and ignoring all the nuance and detail which go into the law surrounding it - is the freedom to speak.

    Put concisely: "hate speech" is something which you say, but "free speech" is something which you have.

    Saying "it's not free speech, it's hate speech" is comparing apples to oranges.

  • Dec 25th, 2015 @ 9:02pm

    Re: Re: The hydra has already awakened

    If you'll recall, Napster (or the company and some product by that name, at least) was eventually transformed - by court order and at the behest of the music industry - into a legitimate service, with payment required rather than being the freewheeling sharing market it had originally been.

    That service is still technically around today, as a streaming service under the umbrella of Rhapsody (having changed hands at least twice), but it has not exactly been a resounding success. (As witness the fact that until I went to look it up, I honestly thought it had flopped in the market and sunk without a trace.)

    I strongly suspect that the RIAA, et al., remember this experience - and that the relative failure of working-with-them payment-required Napster is why they don't bother trying to partner with newer services and transform them into cooperative, fully-legal ventures; from their perspective, it probably looks like they already tried that, and it didn't work at all.

  • Dec 13th, 2015 @ 2:38pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Depends what "drone" is

    Note for those with computer-hardware backgrounds who may be confused reading this, as I briefly was: "nm" here appears to be short for "nautical miles", not "nanometers".

  • Oct 22nd, 2015 @ 7:14am

    Re: Went looking for past stories about PRS, found a story from 2010 with 615 comments

    The really weird thing is that there's a comment near the end of that page (in threaded mode) which at least appears to be by out_of_the_blue, but which - as far as I could see at a glance - says something entirely reasonable about copyright.

  • Oct 18th, 2015 @ 2:34pm

    (untitled comment)

    To be fair, there is some modicum of merit to the "likelihood of confusion" claims in this and similar cases.

    The logic runs roughly as follows:

    Bands and other famous entities often enter into endorsement deals for the promotion of unrelated products, which turn on associating the band or entity's name with the thing being endorsed.

    Some such endorsement deals go so far as to name (or rename) the unrelated product being endorsed after the band or other famous entity.

    The public is aware of this pattern, and knows that when they see the name of a famous entity on an unrelated product, it tends to mean that that entity has endorsed that product.

    Therefore, for an unrelated product to take the same name as that of a famous entity introduces the likelihood of the public being confused into thinking that such an endorsement deal has taken place, and that the famous entity is endorsing the unrelated product, even when the entity in question is not in the same line of business as the unrelated product.

    Of course, to allow this line of reasoning to prevail would completely eliminate the principle that a trademark only applies within a given field of business - or, even worse, would eliminate it only for famous trademarks, while those of less-successful brands would still have the lesser reach...

  • Oct 18th, 2015 @ 9:08am


    I don't think this assessment is quite right.

    I think the first paragraph you quoted is saying not that "all future copyright-trolling cases in Australia must go before this judge" (or similar), but that "if DBC does make its promises and post its bond and go forward with sending these threats, any follow-up suits which it then files against the recipients of those threats must go before this judge".

    Other than that, an insightful and informative post; thank you for posting it.

  • Sep 26th, 2015 @ 4:58pm

    Re: Re: annoyed

    The logic of a "do what I tell you, not what you think I mean" search engine would indicate that they're supposed to return no search results, because they don't have any results that match what you actually searched for.

    That might not be the most useful thing to do in real-world practice, but it's the most internally consistent from the perspective of the "principle of least surprise", at least.

  • Sep 25th, 2015 @ 12:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Bad sentence

    I'll agree on that point.

  • Sep 25th, 2015 @ 9:12am

    Re: Bad sentence

    No, the sentence is valid; it's just using some slightly unintuitive grouping.

    Combined with the previous sentence, it's saying:

    "From their bulk surveillance programs, and from their use of intercepts that gather everything before searching the data haul for incriminating material or useful intel, it's clearly evident that these agencies are wholly unconcerned about collateral damage."

  • Jul 9th, 2015 @ 9:22am

    Re: Open Source?

    The use of the term "TPM" in some of the quotes in the article would seem to carry the implication that these systems will only run software which they consider "trusted", i.e., which is signed by a key which they recognize. Unless a way to add your own keys to the TPM is provided, this would seem to mean that any way of getting your software to run on that hardware would constitute circumvention of access protections, and thus a DMCA violation.

  • Jun 26th, 2015 @ 6:44am

    Re: Reading Techdirt right now on a Linux box?

    I'm Linux-only (except as required by work), and have been since... maybe 2002? Hard to recall the exact dates1998, I think. Switched over cold-turkey from Win98SE, having rejected XP, and have never regretted it.

More comments from The Wanderer >>