James Burkhardt’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jun 25th, 2018 @ 9:07am

    Re: Re: Not that hard

    I have a small business. I had a goal of making something like $500/month by the end of the year creating props for cosplay and theater. I sell goods online.

    I don't need a CPA. I learned the laws of my state, and since my volume is low, I can easily fill out the paperwork to file and remit Sales taxes. It really only works because I can remit all my taxes to one authority here in CA.

    In my day job I file Sales tax reports for a medium business. The CPA doesn't handle that job. I do. A CPA is overkill for such a day to day accounting task.

    SMall businesses existed before the internet. In general they were only subject to 1 tax jurisdictions. Only subject to sales tax in the location of their place of business. Mail order businesses were big businesses, not small.

    If I had to deal with 50 tax authorities representing 10,000 tax jurisdictions, it would be impossible in either job. Just keeping CA tax tables updated is next to impossible.

  • Jun 25th, 2018 @ 8:40am

    Spotify has a commerical tier

    Doesn't look like this has been mentioned, but I am aware that Spotify at least used to have some sort of commercial tier, which licensed ancillary use and song requests in commercial environments and live streams.

  • Jun 21st, 2018 @ 1:41pm

    Re: Re: Re: Outrage

    You explicitly stated you think the outrage is fake and politically motivated. While you mention that the actions are inhumane suggesting we can be genuinely outraged at these events, you end on the point that no, we cant be, because we weren't outraged in the last administration, and so the out rage is fake and politically motivated. In doing so, you undermine any criticism of the Trump policy of zero tolerance incarceration which caused an already inhumane system to snowball out of control. You imply that the new policies are equivalent to the old policies, which is simply not true.

    In civil discourse, statements have purpose, to express an idea. And the 'final words' of the paragraphs and the statement as a whole are generally considered the conclusion(s). When faced with an inhumane policy made worse by the current administration, if the response is to admit the inhumanity but then questioning the motives of those upset about the inhumane policy, and end by stating that their outrage over the policy is fake, you conclude that despite having a valid reason to be upset, they are not genuinely upset, and since you leave it there, without providing a way out of the insincere outrage trap, you make it impossible to question the decisions of this administration without a verifiable history of questioning the policies of a previous administration. And so when questioning your motives, we assess the result of your statement, which is to invalidate the criticism of the policy you admit is inhumane and wrong, and conclude your intent must be to blunt the criticisms of the administration currently in play. And since you yourself have admitted the policy is a bad one, the only motive I can divine is to score partisan political games. In other words, deflect criticism of

    Because as much as you 'acknowledge' the inhumanity, your statement seems focused on saying that those who claim the inhumanity bothers them are all liars seeking political gain, which can accomplish nothing but continue the cycle of inhumane treatment, because there can be no critics of the inhumane treatment, no matter any distinctions of scope or scale, nor evidence of prior outrage.

  • Jun 21st, 2018 @ 11:38am

    Re: Outrage (as )

    Your political jabs betray the intent of your comments. While I am anti-trump, I do not believe that Obama's failures in immigration policy were good. This issue also didn't hit the national news in the fashion it has now, partly because of the shifts in scale (caused by policy changes in this administration) and poor responses from the government to the outrage. Had I known about this issue at the time of Obama's admin I would have been against it, as I am now.

    While a desire to see the best in Obama's administration and a desire to see the worst in Trump's administration might help explain the disparity in coverage, That doesn't make this less horrible. Claiming that the outrage is fueled by political opportunism is classic whataboutism, because it inherently acts to downplay the inhumanity of what is happening, and downplay the shifts in scale and the administration's efforts to wash their hands of their own policy decisions in the minds of those who support the administration.

  • Jun 20th, 2018 @ 3:56pm

    Re: End Results (as )

    For butterbeer, Id start with the flavor styled after butterscotch candies as a base. Otherwise, a caramalised sweet cream butter could be worked into any number of root based beers for a good flavor.

  • Jun 20th, 2018 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Even worse (as )

    To be fair, thanks to the way our economic systems favors them, fulfilling cable and internet contracts provides a strong long term benefit, in the form of economic advantages both employment and credit related.

  • Jun 18th, 2018 @ 8:40am

    Re: Re: Re: dumb politicians

    Local control of taxpayer funded infrastructure (I.e. all broadband deployment) following models seen in the rest of the world to limit the negative impacts of infrastructure monopolies, created largely by high costs of infrastructure, by enforcing the separation of infrastructure and Service layers.

    So, whats your solution to overcome issues with high costs of deployment of the infrastructure?

  • Jun 18th, 2018 @ 8:27am

    Re: Due process (as )

    As JoeCool noted, the last bit is the part that makes this confusing. If it is a preliminary injunction, then legal costs are inappropriate, because no finding of tortuous wrongdoing has been made. Moreover, the injunction can't be that limited. Limiting the injunction in the way this summary does guarantees Rettpraksis.no wont do a thing, because removing the documents proves tortuous actions. Its a worthless injunction.

    Requiring the removal of contested documents from public access pending a hearing regarding accusations of tortuous action to prevent further tortuous action is an injunction.

    Requiring that documents that may or may not have been obtained through tortuous means be removed if they were tortuously obtained, and pay legal fees whether or not they were, is not an injunction. Its a demand to admit your guilt and pay up.

  • Jun 13th, 2018 @ 11:45am

    From the making-your-opponents-point-dept.

    The general problem people have with patents is highlighted in Google's commentary. Under current software patent rules the 'theoretical idea' (aka the core math that explains ANS) has been considered patent worthy. And in fact that concept is true in Patents in general. Explain the process behind windshield wipers and you own that process. Any application of that process. A specific application of the windshield wipers is still covered by the windshield wiper patent. But Google, in the application, due to obfuscating language and the difficulty of avoiding the Alice decision, is effectively claiming the use of ANS in video compression. That's like claiming that the specific case of the wiper process on the Back window is a specific patent.

    Without specific code, or an explanation of what this does technically that is radically new (something they are legally supposed to explain anyway for patent protection), it appears a generic application for ANS. And the fact that Google is unwilling to show news outlets the distinctions that they need to publicly demonstrate for patent protections kinda proves that it is nothing more than what Duda claims.

  • Jun 12th, 2018 @ 2:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Except, lying to the FBI is actually called obstruction of justice, and the lie would need to be during the course of an investigation, which is less likely to be true.

  • Jun 12th, 2018 @ 9:05am

    Re: Re: Re:


  • Jun 6th, 2018 @ 8:10am

    Assumption of Laziness

    I am skeptical that failing to complete quotas was a sign of laziness. Quotas are a long noted issue in jobs like law enforcement - it assumes not just a level of crime, but that the officer will encounter and positively identify signs of the crime in passing. At best, it leads to manipulation of the numbers. At worst, it leads to over enforcement and pretextual harassment. In the case of drunk driving, the signs are already pretty nebulous. We have seen a number of stops thrown out because the signs seen were insufficient. If the quota manipulation was widespread, as suggested, it might suggest unrealistic quotas, combined with a practical force unwilling to make pretextual stops to fulfill quotas rather than actually policing. Something Techdirt is normally against, and I am quite confused as to the assumption of laziness presented in this article.

  • Jun 5th, 2018 @ 2:46pm

    Re: Having a hard time getting worked up about this

    In the end, in international sales, the Point of Sale is not the proximate event that triggers tax due, but rather the import into Australia. That makes it far less reasonable to require the seller to collect and remit the consumption tax.

    But beyond that:

    Its that problem of internet scale that lots of people fail to think about. See, here in the states we've been having this debate. A lot of people like to claim if you buy out of state you are tax exempt. Except, you are only exempt from the seller's state sales taxes. You should be paying use tax. Why? Well society at some point agreed that the retailer should collect the consumption tax at the time of sale, because it is the most proximate nexus to the sale to collect the tax and buyers often wont self report those taxes (use tax is rarely paid). But because it is incredibly hard to adhere to the 10,000+ tax jurisdictions in the US, you generally only collect taxes in your own state, to limit the burden. Some states are anathema to wide distribution, with use or even sales taxes being paid to individual jurisdictions, State, County, Local, and Special tax districts, all with different rules as to what is taxed and how much. No central repository of information about this data even on a state level is available.

    Why do I mention all of this? Because one we start adding other countries to the equation it gets worse. You have no issue with amazon, because yes, if they wanted to, they could. But this tax, which has an Australian controlled proximate event crossing the border, affects more than Amazon. It effects everyone. And there are small niche suppliers for whom this process would be crippling, as shown by the few products available for sale on Austrailia's Amazon website. Scale.

    Its the same issue facing sales tax everywhere initiatives in the US. Its a cost prohibitive process in one state, its markedly worse one over all 50.

  • May 30th, 2018 @ 8:03am

    Re: Re: Someone didn't read #45 on the Evil Overlord list... (as )

    The WWE feels like it has. Its making massive TV deals for RAW and Smackdown, but they are preparing for the day when the TV money isn't there. They abandoned the pricey monthly PPV business model for a solid lower cost month to month streaming service that no longer has any commitments, with plenty of historic content, exclusive current wrestling content("PPVs", NXT, 205 Live, Mae Young Classic), documentaries, original and behind the curtain programming to create an excellent value proposition, and runs at a profit. They are ahead of the game, and have positioned themselves to manage the transition if and when TV revenue slows, or ceases entirely.

  • May 29th, 2018 @ 9:47am

    Re: Re: (as )

    What is so special about the guy being arrested for violating standard court rules around filming court proceedings? Apparently after being given leniency and told to knock if off several times over several months. Sounds like a local issue I might have read on the guardian, but I don't see why its so big a US outlet would care. Its a pretty low-traction story outside of the locality it occurred.

  • May 22nd, 2018 @ 8:19am

    Re: Re: copyright yet again taking a dump on us all (as )

    specifically, the owner of a building intended for demolition in the near future authorized one wall to be graffitied until the demolition, and the artists attempted to use the Visual Rights Act to prevent the planned demolition of the building from occurring.

    The court ruled that an injunction (a court order to preserve the building) was unnecessary to protect the interests of the artists, and then later ruled that he should have preserved the building to preserve the artists' interests. Kinda strange and contradictory.

  • May 17th, 2018 @ 11:44am

    Re: "installation fee might be charged" -- KEY word there is "might" (as )

    Actually, the fee is charged, and it might be credited back to you. When you sign up, you have to outlay the costs before they sign you up. A refund after the fact is not the same as not being charged.

  • May 4th, 2018 @ 12:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    A Modest Proposal is satire from ~1730. It was a response to rhetoric about the burden children are to the poor (specifically, the Irish). It was a horrific essay, describing the sale of burdensome children to the rich as food.

    It was and is horrific. That is the point, to go so far as to make people react, and hopefully start to rethink things.

    This modest proposal is in the same vien. The core conciet of Anti-Vax (ignoring any debates into the merits of their claims) is that the low risk of harm from Vaccines, like Autism, is somehow worse then the risk of death from the diseases we vaccinate for primarily because of their horrific death tolls.

    So Barron von Robber chose to list a modest proposal, to hit home what it used to be like before vaccines and herd immunity limited infection rates, so to perhaps shock the reader into looking at what Anti-Vaxcers open their child up to. If you ever hear the words "A modest Proposal", assume that the content following it will be shocking, and over the top.

    Its not a joke gaining value from its shocking nature. Its commentary, and the shock is the point.

  • May 4th, 2018 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: (as )

    Not sure I agree with that premise. He has said that he wont pay for ALL the streaming services, not that he wont pay for ANY of the services, but I am willing to accept that I could be wrong, and address the conclusion.

    Despite not paying for any services himself, he may have friends who do so, and legally watch content with those friends (I am talking that they are in the same physical area, watching the same physical device.

    Then of course there are shows like Last Week Tonight that put up portions of their content for free viewing on YouTube or The Tonight Show, which puts up all of their content on Youtube.

    I used to not have cable, and was unable to watch WWE programming. between WWE Youtube videos of segments, WWE Twitter Gifs, and several wrestling podcasts, I remained familiar with the content on offer, without priating content.

    There are legal means to view content outside of personally purchasing access.

  • May 3rd, 2018 @ 3:09pm

    Re: (as )

    The right to repair laws actually are why we resolved many of these issues with automobiles. Electronics right to repair laws include requirements that the companies provide documentation (probably for a fee, much as car companies are required to license OBD II codes and information about how the car is put together), and some include requirements that the devices are actually/reasonably repairable.

    That said, we may have the reason the FTC woke up - the Right to Repair law debate filtered through and they went digging and realized we had a law/the law already prohibits the behavior.

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