Tim Griffiths's Techdirt Profile

Tim Griffiths

About Tim Griffiths

Tim Griffiths's Comments comment rss

  • Feb 06, 2015 @ 01:03am

    Re: Re: Double, triple, and quadruple dipping at it's finest

    What the artist have to pay back to the label from their share to cover advance is a separate accounting issue to what the artist are getting paid. It's deliberately done that way so that in most cases the labels get nearly all of the money from sales even long after the album is profitable while talking about how good they are for taking risks on artist pointing to the high percentage that "they lost money on" i.e. didn't pay back the advance not who wasn't profitable.

    In other words it's safe to bet your hind teeth that these are the numbers for what technically gets paid out, not what, if anything, artists are actually getting paid from the labels.

  • Feb 03, 2015 @ 02:30am

    More proof that the recording industry has changed the nature of songs.

    The simple issue here is that people with a modern understanding of what a song is are retroactively applying it to a time in which that understanding was diffrent.

    It used to be that the song was something viewed as independent of how it was performed because with out a way to save and replay a performance those performances were ephemeral. You'd never truly hear the same thing in the same way twice so it was the bones of that performance, the main composition that was the solid fixed point to which the idea of a song could be hooked. This is exactly why copyright on the published sheet music made sense and why it wouldn't include all the possible embellishments of a recorded performance.

    Through out the early days and even well into the golden age this way of thinking remained more or less intact in the minds of people writing the songs even as the cultural conception regarding them was changing. With perfect, on demand, repeatable performances becoming the norm it made the way that most people first contacted and understood songs was through that first recorded performance of them. That given performance of the song started to become the song rather than simply one performance of a given composition. Which is a truly radical shift when you think about it and which is why copyright law ended up following suit and allowing copyright on the sound recordings.

    These days most people think of the song as the total composition of the recorded "performance" (I'm using the term very loosely at this point) and there is where you find the issues Gaye's estate is having with this case. They started it because they simply presumed that this modern convention applied and are now screaming about how it's 'unfair' based on the pretext that makes no sense to the way copyright was thought to apply to the song at the time it was registered.

  • Jan 23, 2015 @ 06:54am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    No, it's not mythical and it does exist, even today. Just look to any black market that's out there. The markets for drugs, weapons, human trafficking, etc. are all examples of free market economies. They exist outside of regulations and without property rights.

    And if you think you can just pitch up and just out compete your competition on price you are going to end up with broken legs or dead.

    I think Fendersons point here is that of course you can say these are free markets if you're using a strict definition of "any market without state involvement" but in real terms those markets are largely not 'free' in any meaningful way. When violent enforcement is used to retain market share then it's not the market that matters no matter how 'free' it otherwise is.

  • Jan 23, 2015 @ 05:35am

    Re: Re:

    It's almost as if people will pay for convenience!

  • Jan 20, 2015 @ 02:37am

    Re: One Dollar

    The response to that statement should have been "would you have let them?" because the answer would no doubt be something along the lines of "Of course not it's worth more than a dollar, I'm not just going to give it away!" rendering the whole point moot.

  • Jan 16, 2015 @ 02:30am

    Re: Re: We Get It France

    What's frustrating me at the moment is that there's a huge argument going on in the EU about showing or not of the images. It's becoming almost mandatory to republish or else be seen as "giving in to the terrorists" regardless of if you would normally want to publish those things or not.

    I end up having to ask the question "Is there anything those cartoons could have been off that would have made it right to kill the people who drew them?" because the answer should be "no" which should (but often does not) make clear that the point isn't about what was published but their right to have regardless.

    I feel like I'm taking crazy pills that people banging on about free speech are losing their collective shit about others exorcising theirs.

  • Jan 16, 2015 @ 02:18am

    Re: "It's not a code per se. More what you'd call guidelines."

    In a sense that true but in that the closest thing we tend to have to a First Amendment is the European Convention of Human rights but the free expression article is full of exemptions.

    The upshot is that we can pretty sure we have a right to be offensive for the most part but there is criminalisation of any speech that crosses what is a very fine and undefined line between "offensive" and "incitement". In that sense it should be ok for me to mock to people killed last week but it wouldn't be ok for me to say I think it's a good thing they were killed or that it should happen again.

    Which is to say it's not so cut and dry as either having our own First Amendment and not having anything like it at all. In the UK for example you have to understand that our "constitution" for lack of a better word is not a formal set of documents but built up from a web of legal history and tradition that has built up over our history.

    Personally I, and many other feel, that there needs to be stronger and more explicit protection of free speech in the UK simply because there is too much room for interpretation of what is allowed by authority. It is however unlike we will ever see something so blanket as US law and I'm still on the fence about if that is a good or bad thing.

  • Nov 27, 2014 @ 02:44am

    Re: PRS

    He should actually claim money back from them just to spite 'em, they are after all responsible for collecting the music license his venue should be paying to him for the licence to play his music live in his venue in order to redistribute it to him. Funny old world...

  • Nov 17, 2014 @ 02:11am


    Why not? It's for the same reasons that people think that teaching kids abstinence instead of giving them an actual sexual education is a good idea - An attempt to enforce morality through ignorance.

    It's completely insane of course including the very nature of it's philosophy but what matters is how it has been shown, time and time again, to do nothing to promote the intended morals while actively harming the children.

    At this point it's just sickening, it honestly seems more designed to create adults who can be "saved" by the church that damned them but that's getting a bit ranty.

  • Oct 03, 2014 @ 08:08am

    Re: Re: Re:

    I thought so I just wanted to bring up the point since I think it's one that's sadly still worth making at the moment.

    And I do agree with you that suing Google is rediclous reaction and that's why I honestly think that this is one lawyer looking to make a name for themselves by either overreaching on behalf of maybe one or two actual clients or actively looking to take advantage of a few or a lot of the people involved.

  • Oct 03, 2014 @ 03:09am


    I do agree with you but we need to be careful in how we approach this discussion because while not being prudent in this regard can be a mistake it does not put you at fault for someone else's crime.

    Making people aware about automated cloud backups and the risks of storing any private or privileged information there (or anywhere for that matter) and how best to protect it is of course a good thing. But we need to be careful to avoid legitimizing the victim blaming that people are using to justify their own interests in these kind of leaks.

    It's always a tricky line to walk because it's all too often ends up that talk of a personal responsibility gets conflated with the idea of a public culpability.

  • Sep 25, 2014 @ 06:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Considering that Moot...

    Ars was just the one I could remember reading that had all the links to all the relevant information for anyone who wanted to find out about what for themselves.

    Not all of GG is toxic and that's what was so damn malicious about it, a group of very vicious people saw a way to manipulate a community into playing along in their attacks by co-opping otherwise legitimate concerns that was sparked from a purely malicious attack on an ex girlfriend.

    It was genius in a evil way how they pivoted what was basically an assholes of an boyfriend attempt to get revenge on his ex (including straight trying to humiliate her with "revenge porn") in to a movement that they could use to attack and discredit both the victim and anyone supporting her or so called "Social justice" in the industry.

    Hell they even went so far as to start "not your shield" as a cynical ploy to discredit anyone who wanted to call out exactly what was going on as a "interfering SJW" and it was brought by so many people hook line and sinker. They got exactly what they wanted by some how turning one of the most disgusting examples of how women are being treated in the industry into something that you'd come here and say, with a straight face, "SJW are trying to pin gamersgate on 4chan".

    And that is the saddest thing of all... It's largely worked, it's infused a movement about legitimate issues in gaming journalism with the whole anti "SJW" mindset and it started with the fact a girl had the audacity to make a game fuck someone who never wrote about it.

  • Sep 25, 2014 @ 01:06am

    Re: Re: Re: Considering that Moot...

    So the self styled assholes from places like 4chan would never maliciously get involved in something like gamersgate but those dastardly SJW are engaged in a widespread propaganda movement?

  • Sep 25, 2014 @ 01:01am

    Re: Re: Considering that Moot...


    While Quinns conclusions are understandably biased what we have is a large number of now publicly available chat logs that show an malicious and organised attempt to direct gamersgate by a group of people from 4chan and elsewhere purely to act as as a cover for their direct and ongoing attacks on Quinn and other people they disliked.

    There was a large and obvious astroturfing of the movement and but it's no longer in any doubt that there was an attempt by people who you could large associate with 4chan to drive that campaign.You can argue about how effective they were but you can't argue with the fact that we know that a number of people from places like 4chan where trying to influence it.

  • Aug 07, 2014 @ 07:47am

    Re: Re:

    I think the point is that if you can copy something you already own for private use why does it matter what the source is? If I rip a cd I own or download a copy of it of the end result is the same so why should it matter?

    I mean of course in terms of torrents you also upload which is unquestionably illegal but the question is an increasingly important one and really shows up the issues of using laws centuries old to deal with totally new concepts.

  • Jul 23, 2014 @ 02:08am


    I get why this seems strange, we've spent the last decade working on converging devices to the point that we have replaced many of them with one tool, a smart phone, so why would we want to blow that back out?

    Well think of it this way, a watch on your wrist is still a better tool for telling the time than pulling out your phone however most of us tell the time using our phones. Why is that? The phone isn't the best way to tell the time but because the watch doesn't offer enough of an advantage to justify the redundancy a lot of us don't feel the need to wear one.

    Thing is that we can now network smart watches and have them act as companion devices to our phones. This means having a smart watch is not only a quicker and easier way to access the time but now also lots of other headline information we all rely on, phone notifications. It also allows for control of the device among other things. There's now a number of very good reasons to start wearing a watch but as an extension of your phone.

    We've been focused on convergent devices but the next step is, for lack of a better term, convergent networking. You can see this in things like the raise of "the cloud", the device is no longer as important as the service and so converging on one device is no longer key. Devices are becoming just a way of accessing our "back end" services and as such we can start looking at the most convenient ways to do that rather than the best way to fit all those services into something we can carry with us.

    Wearable tech is going to be the next stage of this and at some point the idea of carrying a single smartphone is going to seem as silly as you think the idea of wearing a watch is now.

  • Jun 12, 2014 @ 04:23am


    There are two sets of copyright here, the one on the original article and the one on the original text in the Techdirt article. Techdirt can use the quoted text because it's very likely that the fair use test would mean that the copyright on the original article does not apply to it's use in this way.

    That means that to replicate the Techdirt article in full you only need Techdirts permission because the quotes remain a fair use of the original article. Or to put it another way Tehcdirt isn't allowing you to use the quotes of the original article freely, fair use laws are. You can not, for example, copy and past the quoted text out of the Techdirt article and then publish them without comment as at that point you are no longer fairly using those quotes and the owner of the original articles copyright has standing to sue you for infringement.

    It's not where you get the quotes from original article that matter, it's how they are used... and if you use them in exactly the same way as Techdirt you'll have a very good fair use defence.

  • Apr 22, 2014 @ 08:00am

    Re: Rental Investment

    I'm confused, you example is a perfect one for agreeing with the point of the article yet you seem to act like it's some how counter to it?

    Going with your example the musicians would be the architect's (who design the house/writes the song) and/or builders (the people who construct the design/play on the given recording) who built the homes the record industry is investing in.

    Once they've been paid for their work neither architect nor builders tend, or demand by some kind of basic right, to be paid every time someone buys a house or rents in room in something they've built.

    So what exactly is your point? That investors who invest in a business are upset if they can't make a return on that profit?

  • Dec 04, 2013 @ 04:07am

    Re: Re:

    There you Americans go again, taking credit for everything. Just remember there wouldn't be an modern "Iraq" if the British hasn't been granted control of a nicely carved up chunk of the Ottoman Empire. All those nice straight state like lines that make up that part of the world are the results of good old fashioned actual empire, not like this modern hands off rubbish of yours!

    The whole political mess that you Johnny Come Latelies are so proud of is almost all grounded in actions of Imperial Europe and our tendency to screw over the natives and each other at the drop of a hat. You may well have buddied up to Saddam and his ilk but only after they had sized power through rallying support against the laughable transparent puppet Monarchies that had been set up under our rule.

    Joking aside the west has been almost literally fucking the region over since the Ottomans got caught up in the massive imperial dick waving contest that was World War 1. That makes it's nearly a century of almost continued western interference, America is the just the latest and currently most visible in a long line of people putting the boot in.

  • Dec 04, 2013 @ 03:27am

    Re: Hate to be a critic but...

    I thought it wasn't in question that playing games can cause short term changes in behaviour including being aggressive? In fact it would be strange if they didn't, everything we do has an effect on us and in terms of violent games which are inherently based around engaging and most importantly competitive play it's going to produce natural responses that increase aggression. The issue isn't if games do this or not it's if over a long period games cause base level changes... or more over video games as sports which provide exactly the same short term responses and often include inflicting real physical violence on other real people seem to get off scot free.

    Trying to argue that games can't effect behaviour is ridiculous and irresponsible. It also totally dismisses the idea that game could provide positive impacts. What needs to be argued is "does play violent games make a person more violent in the long term" and directly if that is the result of the game being simulated graphic violence or the result of competitive play.

More comments from Tim Griffiths >>