David’s Techdirt Profile


About David

David’s Comments comment rss

  • Sep 9th, 2009 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: Geez Louise

    Nope, sorry.

    "It was once confiscated from a hacker" is all the article says. That's it. Not "taken" or "stolen".

    Now, it could mean that the police handed it over with out apparent due process, etc. Or, it could mean that the hacker was arrested, his computer confiscated, then, after the trial, sold at auction. Or something else. WE DON'T KNOW.

    That's the point, not whatever bullshit you are trying to peddle.
  • Sep 9th, 2009 @ 1:26pm

    Geez Louise

    This is another tempest in a teapot. The article says absolutely nothing about how BREIN got the laptop. ALL it says is he is using one that was "confiscated from a hacker". As DH above pointed out it could have illegally been given to BREIN by the police, or BREIN could have bought it at a police auction. WE JUST DON'T FUCKING KNOW.

    Mike needs to have a delay added to his "submit" button.
  • Sep 9th, 2009 @ 1:15pm

    Re: Re: Even a story?

    Nope sorry. The actual story would be "look how crappy this news story is". That would be pretty lame though. So Mike decides to make it a "Patents Bad! Fire Good!" post instead, only we don't really even know if the patent is real or not.

    So Mike is saying "Hey, if this is real, lets get our knickers in a twist about it." Yeah, that's value added right there.
  • Sep 9th, 2009 @ 9:21am

    Even a story?

    I can see how you'd want to be first to comment about stuff. And this is right up your alley, about abusive, stupid patents and such. But it's not really even a story. It's a short article that is short on details from a reporter that apparently doesn't even understand what they're talking about.

    You did do due diligence and try to find the patent, but when you couldn't, maybe you should have realized this was just crap reporting and not really about a bad patent. There's less here than there is about Glenn Beck raping and murdering a young girl in 1990.

    Maybe you can wait next time until something becomes actual news before jumping in with both feet.
  • Sep 8th, 2009 @ 11:26am

    Gammar Nazi alert

    Is it "working over time" or "working overtime"?
  • Sep 5th, 2009 @ 8:41am

    Not plagiarism

    I would like to point out, contrary to some comments above, that this was not plagiarism. This newspaper liked the story, and did its own version. So, it took the blogger’s story to point out that something could be reported about, but they didn’t copy word for word. It might have been nice for them to say “It was pointed out last week in the blog by so-and-so, and we did our own reporting and this is what we found.”

    Of course, they also don’t credit it when it appears in another newspaper first, or someone gets a story idea sitting on the can, or because the editor forces them to write about it, or because, you know, it’s actually news.
  • Sep 5th, 2009 @ 7:46am

    Re: Make up your mind, Mike!

    Well, this is kind of typical of Mike. He likes to take a stand and throw the topic out, I guess to generate comments and traffic, regardless of whether it's consistent with other things he's said.

    For instance, in this very posting, he says "FreeConference is actually a big regulatory arbitrage scam". Why does he use a service that he thinks/knows is a scam?
  • Sep 3rd, 2009 @ 11:28am

    Re: I wonder...

    There is a nocebo effect, which is a bad side effect to an otherwise inert dummy drug. Wikipedia: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Nocebo
  • Sep 3rd, 2009 @ 11:24am

    Re: Frak sugar pills

    I've found that they don't work as well as real sugar pills, though.
  • Sep 3rd, 2009 @ 7:20am

    Fact checking

    Good on you to follow up and do some fact-checking. However, I notice that you only did most of it after you posted the original story, even when you had a few suspicions. You are concerned about bloggers being perceived as "just as good as reporters", I guess this proves that.
  • Sep 3rd, 2009 @ 7:04am

    Another problem

    This assumes that the web page displays the same in everyone's browser. If you have a Greasemonkey script or CSS changes or are using some "non-standard" browser that doesn't display links as originally intended, then you may not see the link as conspicuous. Would that be a legal excuse?
  • Sep 2nd, 2009 @ 11:52am

    Problems with their approach

    I see problems in NPR's approach, in fact in anyone's approach that relies on giving stuff away for free. Not saying that a paywall is the way to go, just that not having a paywall is probably not going to be much better. So here are some quotes to start off with.

    "In the United States, the top 50 Web sites accounted for more than 90 percent of the revenue from online ads in the first half of 2007. The top 10 sites accounted for 70 percent of the revenue."

    From that, I get that you kind of have to be a "top site" to really get much money from online ads.

    Here are some quotes from an article in Techcrunch: http://www.techcrunch.com/2009/03/22/why-advertising-is-failing-on-the-internet/

    "Online advertising cannot deliver all that is asked of it. It is going to be smaller, not larger, than it is today. It cannot support all the applications and all the content we want on the internet.
    * People don’t trust ads. ...
    * People don’t want ads. ...
    * People don’t need ads. ...
    * There is no shortage of places to put ads. Competition among them will be brutal. Prices will be driven lower and lower, for everyone but Google."

    There's a bunch more in the article, the upshot being that just having ads doesn't do much. One point (made on Techdirt often) is that you have to have some content, not just ads.

    So what caught my attention on this from the NPR quote: "traffic that can be monetized with sponsorship". That is basically saying they are going to put ads online. They may call them "sponsership", but face it, they're ads. And ads probably aren't going to do it.

    I don't think selling mugs with "The News Hour" printed on them is going to make up the difference. In fact, I don't think much of anything can really make up the difference. Is NPR going to raffle off a lunch with Big Bird?

    I don't think there is a business model that is going to do much for NPR or anyone else. You have to get there first (like that guy with a million pixels at $1 per), and there aren't many "firsts" left. NPR, and anyone else is going to have problems. The Superbowl is having trouble selling spots. Nobody really watches most ads on TV, and it's easy to use Tivo to fast forward over them. I rarely see ads in my browser any more.

    Basically, there just aren't that many ways for people with "content" to make money any more. So there is going to start being less content. Sure, there are a bunch of people that don't mind giving stuff away free expecting nothing in return. But that's going to farther and fewer between. "Information wants to be free" has two meanings. Nobody wants to pay, and rarely will if giving a free alternative.
  • Sep 1st, 2009 @ 11:21pm

    Re: Re: Why did you bother with this?

    Of course you're allowed to post any fool thing you want. You often do. In this case, however, you don't seem to really care much one way or the other.

    The post is basically saying "I don't really care, but I do in fact care enough to piss on what Copycense is saying."

    I just found the whole thing to be rambling, at best.
  • Sep 1st, 2009 @ 2:02pm

    Why did you bother with this?

    You start out saying things like "I don't use any of their licenses [CC], because I don't necessarily see the point." You temper that a bit with "admire the folks behind it" and not going "as far as Copycense in condemning Creative Commons". Then you list a whole bunch of things Copycense has a problem with. Then you end up praising CC and it's effort to get people to think about copyright, saying "that doesn't mean that Creative Commons is necessarily bad for copyright policy issues."

    This is just a bunch of wishy-washy pablum. You aren't taking a stand about CC really, and mostly are damning with faint praise.

    Do you like the CC or not? No, you "don't use any of their licenses". Yes, CC isn't bad for copyright policy issues. Copycense said all this stuff, only I guess maybe I kind of don't agree with it much.

    Why did you bother posting this at all?
  • Sep 1st, 2009 @ 11:27am

    A good system

    There was a good system in the local paper a few years back. It had, I think, 4 catagories - Sex, Violence, Language, Drug Use. It then had descriptions of how much of each of those was in the movie, not just a number, but actual words. Like "non-sexual nudity", or "Marijuana use, frowned upon". Things like that. There was no "ratings" otherwise. You could then decide whether showing your kids tits would scar them for life, but watching decapitations with blood spurting out was fine. Guy smoking a doobie but shown as a loser? Bad. Parents accidentally eating pot brownies and acting weird? Okay.

    The 'problem' with it was that there isn't a single number. You had to actually read a bit to see what was what.

    I recently saw "Midnight Cowboy". There is not a whole lot of sex shown (a bit of male butt and a few tits), and none of the actual "action", just before and after. Some drug use. Implications of homosexuality. Maybe a little language. Today, it wouldn't take editing more than a few seconds here and there to give it a PG-13 rating, but back then it was X.

    You can't show people having sex, but it's okay for the characters to say "My ankles were up to my ears" (from "Will and Grace").

    Sorry, but a single letter or number isn't really doing anyone any good. Think of how you'd rate your local museum - nudity, violence - at least an 'R', right? How about the recent arrest of a model posing nude at the Met, a museum full of nudes paintings? How about the uproar over Janet Jackson's breast at the Superbowl? One freaking breast. And yet "Saw" was recently shown on the Syfy channel. How fucked up is that?
  • Aug 28th, 2009 @ 12:23pm

    Not even new!

    This is not new. This has been done on TV shows since TV began. How is this not covered by prior art? Remember all the cigarette and soap adds in the 50s? Most were done by the host of the show. "And now here's Jack Benny for the smooth taste of Pall Mall."
  • Aug 28th, 2009 @ 12:19pm

    Hyperbole much?

    "Noz says that he's not sure if the one particular song was actually sent by someone from WMG"

    So sure, the situation is a bit ridiculous, but this sentence set me off. This is kind of typical of Mike, who often builds huge mountains out of mole hills.

    Noz should keep track of where he gets the songs he posts. He probably should have known that a C&D is often crap, especially one in all caps, and could have perhaps contacted some of the parties involved before going to all the trouble to remove stuff that he didn't need to.

    It sounds to me like some twit lawyer or paralegal sent a bogus C&D, and some twit at the hosting service shut down the blog due to that, and some twit blogger panicked and subsequently messed up his blog.

    If he panicked like that, maybe he had something to be guilty about?

    This is really a "nothing to see here, move along" situation.
  • Aug 27th, 2009 @ 11:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: LOL @ THIS ENTIRE POST

    I apologize. I read some comments on IMDB that indicated (now that I look back) November, 2008. IMBD itself lists the year as 2008. Some comments indicate "27 February 2009" as the date the movie was available online. It did apparently play before that, but I guess it wasn't "released". So I guess 7 months is in fact "months", although I would have said "several" and not "few".
  • Aug 27th, 2009 @ 6:13am


    Well, the movie has been out a little over a year now, so you both are wrong. The original point was that the licenses for the songs was ridiculous true, but the point now is whether her "great business model" is making her money.

    It isn't, yet.

    Will it? We'll have to wait and see. I wish her all the luck. However, selling a few DVDs here and there and a T-shirt or two is not going to ultimately be a winning strategy. She may someday make all her money back, heck it may even let her afford better cat food now and then, but it's not really going to pay any kind of living wage. And it's not a business model that will work for very many films.

    It might be what gets "her foot in the door". If you want to argue that, that could be true. But then, she has to fall back on the previous model of actually having a distributor pick up the film and do the bulk of the work. It sounded like the distribution deals she has were just a few small ones here and there, and not one that would put it in art houses across the US for weeks at a time.

    I think that Ms. Paley is probably happy she's making money, perhaps even recovered her investment. I don't think her model is widely applicable, nor do I think it will make her as much as a "traditional" model would have. If she's happy with a few buck trickling in, good for her.
  • Aug 26th, 2009 @ 2:04pm

    I hope she does well but

    I don't see it. Not yet. You add up the numbers above, and that's not quite $50k, so let just round up and say it is. How much did it cost her to make the film? Has she recovered that yet? Let's say she has. Everything else is gravy. She's going to get onesies and twosies coming in now, people sending in a few bucks here and there, and that's fine.

    We can't really compare this to a big Hollywood movie, or even a "big" independent movie easily. I also don't have a clue about how much the artist gets after distribution costs are subtracted. I imagine it would be more than a few thousand, although the music copyright holders might have wanted more if it had been released "for real".

    If Ms. Paley is happy, then great, but I just don't see this as that good of a business model. It is something she did out of need and desperation. And as discussed before, it could have likely been avoided if she had asked for the music rights before starting. They likely could have cost much less at that point. Regardless of how stupid the copyright laws might be, surely she knew better.

    And so now she has to do the distribution herself, and rely on donations and T-shirt sales to actually make money off of what is really a good movie. And that's "a good business model"?

    How many people have actually seen it, really? I did, and sent in a donation because I thought it was worth it. I'd have paid to see it in a theater too, if I could have shown up when it was here for one night of a film festival.

    Maybe now that she's paid off the copyright fee (apparently), she can really distribute the movie and gain a wider audience. Because that's probably the only way she really is going to make anything from her movie.

More comments from David >>

This site, like most other sites on the web, uses cookies. For more information, see our privacy policy. Got it