Dixon Steele's Techdirt Profile

Dixon Steele

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  • Dec 22, 2012 @ 11:11am

    So, if you can only sample something "if the sample cannot be reproduced with existing technology," and everything recorded in the past can obviously be reproduced with existing technology... you can only sample songs from the future?

  • Nov 29, 2012 @ 01:27pm

    It was supposed to be a secret

    How did they know our theme this year was going to be "Radical Prom Jihad?" Did someone say something?
    I'm looking at you, Becky.
    Gawd, I'm so p-o'd right now.

  • Oct 07, 2012 @ 05:57pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Seen that somewhere...

    I don't have to imagine it. I've been to places where that's how it works, and they seem to survive.
    But negotiation doesn't necessarily have anything to do with it. In most industries, companies are allowed to offer products and services that are differentiated along a number of dimensions, and price them how they see fit. Why should this one be different?

  • Oct 06, 2012 @ 12:35pm

    Re: Re: Seen that somewhere...

    Why is ::this:: the area where everyone has to offer the same service for the same price? Is it discriminatory that some restaurants make their prices too high for some people to eat their "special" food? Or that some concerts are priced too high for people to listen to their "special" music? Or that clothing, smartphones and, heck, even other transportation services offer varying products at varying prices, some of which are unaffordable to some people? Maybe we should outlaw eBay, because the person who's willing to spend the most money there gets preferential treatment.
    Is it because everyone should have equal access to transportation? Airlines can have a plane that is sold out of economy class tickets, and yet someone willing to pay for an executive class seat could still get on that plane, and will receive more comfortable seats and better service. And some of them even have private planes that will fly them around, whenever they want!
    Discrimination? Or the fundamental basis of capitalism?

  • Oct 03, 2012 @ 02:13pm

    Re: File this under "Well, duh"

    I was going to say the same thing. Seems likely that with about 5 minutes on the internet, I could have more info on the average American than the Stasi had on East Germans.

  • Sep 07, 2012 @ 10:43am

    But just referring to news reports would still be legal, right? Since you can't have a copyright on the true events being reported, just the story as written? So the obvious solution for aggregator sites would be to reference the stories without providing links, keeping all the traffic for themselves and giving none to the original sources.
    Keep fighting the good fight, publishers.

  • Jul 26, 2012 @ 11:45am


    No, "at best," people will be paying to support both the charities and the music involved. The campaign will get increasingly widespread support, shocking both the owners and the public at large. Child's Play will earn enough money to flood hospitals around the world with the most pleasing toys imaginable, immeasurably adding to the quality of life for ailing children everywhere. Meanwhile, the EFF will use its share to successfully lobby all world governments into establishing and enshrining free internet speech--and providing access to all citizens. The increased transparency and accountability that results will usher in a new golden era for democracy, as citizens demand an end to all war and agree to live together in brotherly and sisterly love.

    Paying for the packaging is maybe third best, tops.

  • Jul 05, 2012 @ 10:55pm

    Re: Re: Have to agree...

    If you're looking for the consistent theme, maybe it's the benefit to the public at large? Resale of games and books typically means that the seller regains a portion (but not all) of what they spent on it in the first place, while someone else who's willing to wait gets a discounted product. Yes, there are rare items that actually appreciate in value, but that's not how it works as a rule.
    With scalping, there's no benefit to the public. It's forcing further scarcity on top of an already scarce product, increasing costs to the public without a proportionate increase in benefits to the artists. Limiting scalping, then, benefits the public while hurting only the middle-men who have uselessly inserted themselves into the process.
    Seems consistent to me.

  • Jun 19, 2012 @ 03:33pm


    So blindly accepting everything that has previously been negotiated, with no real power to change anything in the agreement, is now referred to as "joining the negotiations"? I guess maybe in the same sense that getting mugged is a negotiation...

  • May 16, 2012 @ 04:13pm

    Re: Any thoughts on how to make it work?

    Price it at what you believe is the revenue maximizing price, don't waste effort trying to combat the piracy that will inevitably result since it doesn't actually represent lost sales, and recognize that the wide user base that results from piracy can be a huge benefit as it locks in your products and encourages others to buy them when they're actually able.

    Take the time and money that would have gone into anti-piracy efforts, use it to improve your product and your relationships with users.

  • May 03, 2012 @ 09:41am

    A fake break!

    Of course. She wasn't really taking a break from blogging. She was actually just temporarily not blogging in order to do something else for a while, and then presumably resume blogging at a later time. The cheat!

  • Apr 30, 2012 @ 10:15am

    To serve and protect

    The job is to "serve and protect." Yes, doing it well is incredibly difficult and good police officers are deserving of respect, but somewhere along the lines, too many cops have forgotten that they're the servants, not the kings. Bullying a 14-year-old for the pretty-much-involuntary tick of saying "dude" is not part of the job description.

  • Apr 24, 2012 @ 05:02pm

    Re: Re: Gauntlet thrown....still lying on the ground

    Better be careful. The lawsuit claims one of the infringed ideas is "A recurring theme [of a] battle between good and evil" (par. 35). You don't want to get added to the suit.

  • Apr 17, 2012 @ 03:21pm

    I'd be curious to see how similar the trick actually is. The trick is almost more like a piece of performance art that happens to have a magical component. Being a huge fan of P&T, I'd like to think that if the guy had figured out how Teller does it and used that to build a new routine around the same illusion, it wouldn't be so much of an issue. But without seeing the imitation, it's hard to say...

  • Apr 11, 2012 @ 12:22am


    Dixon Steele here. And I have great news about the wonderful patent system. As can be seen on Wikipedia and IMDB, the number of movies about boy wizard Harry Potter has steadily risen over the last decade. The amount of patents is also on the rise. What this means is that patents enhance movies in which a boy wizard battles an unnameable villain. OR Maybe movies about a wizard with a lightning-shaped scar enhance patents.

  • Mar 19, 2012 @ 01:02pm

    A note from Summit Entertainment

    It is now also expressly forbidden to take photos within an hour of either sunrise or sunset, or within the first two days of a lunar month.
    Also forbidden: photos or drawings of people who may be thinking about the Twilight films, or any elements thereof, including (but not limited to) vampires, werewolves, the concept of sparkling, unrequited love, destiny, improvised caesareans, requited love, uncomfortable subtext, and melodrama.
    We feel this is an entirely reasonable interpretation of our rights.

  • Feb 01, 2012 @ 11:50pm

    Tangled web

    Just to emphasize, because the article reads slightly ambiguously on this point: Jay-Z (well, Kanye West, really) only sampled a vocal from the KRS-One track. That means Lomax is credited on a song that contains a vocal (but no music) from a song that contains a sample of a fully original guitar solo from a cover of a cover of a song that Lomax heard some people sing one time.
    I agree with the other commenters that it's hard to say what Lomax's intentions were, but... there's something wrong with a system that leads to that sort of result.

  • Dec 06, 2011 @ 02:12pm

    "only registered non-profits are supposed to use the donate button"

    Except, that's not their policy. As their blog post says of their donation policies, "For example, we require certain documentation to prevent misuse of the donated funds and, if the recipient claims charitable status, to determine whether they are properly registered." So, non-non-profits can use the donation buttons as long as they provide certain documentation. Which makes you wonder why the CSR that regretsy dealt with was so opposed to finding any way to resolve the situation other than refunding all the money. Aside from PayPal's profits, naturally.

  • Dec 01, 2011 @ 10:55am

    Re: Re:

    "If you don't like the "little plastic disks" don't make that purchase. If enough people don't want the disks the industry will change, but if someone instead chooses to take matters into their own hands and pirates the movie it just gives the industry just cause in pursuing more stringent anti-piracy laws."

    Here's the thing: People aren't pirating the "little plastic disks", by and large, they are pirating the content found on those discs. That's a very important distinction. For years, they were telling the industry "We don't want to buy your discs, with their region coding, staggered release dates and copyright protection systems that prevent us from watching them where, when and how we want. We love your content, but will not support your current delivery mechanism." And the industry took that clear message and did what with it, exactly? Ignored it, while systematically opposing any other startup that attempted to address the issue? Seems like a viable solution...