JackHerer’s Techdirt Profile


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  • May 26th, 2016 @ 4:07am

    Competition competition competition

    Just another example of why the is broadband market needs effective competition. Where I live in the UK there is a highly competitive broadband market, I can choose from at least 20 . I have added broadband unlimited downloads at 16 maps down and 1 maps up and it costs £10 ($15) a month. That's pretty much the most basic service, if I wanted the top package I can get 200mbps unlimited for £32 ($48) a month.
  • Oct 7th, 2013 @ 8:55am

    Re: "somewhat amazing it lasted as long as it did" = CIA op.

    Whatever your view on the article I find 2 things that irk me with this comment.

    First of all it talks of morality as if it is some set of hard and indisputable rules rather than a personal opinion. You might consider selling drugs "immoral" per se, i don't.

    Second is the age old for us or against us tone. There are not 2 positions on recreational/non medical drug use. You advocate it or you condemn it. I would never advocate this kind of drug use by anyone, but that doesn't I condemn it.

    Drug use is a complex social problem that should be debated based on facts and what is the most effective way prevent harm to society and its individual members, not based on standing on high horse and spouting moral "hyperbole".
  • Sep 5th, 2013 @ 8:38am

    Re: Re:

    I think arkiel is refering to what is copyrightable. Copyright is granted when a work is created in the US and the UK. However there are differences between what can be considered copyrightable between the UK and the US and in the UK we also have "database rights". I believe the post office claims some sort of intellectual property right over postal codes.
  • Jul 16th, 2013 @ 12:20pm

    Re: Re:

  • Jul 16th, 2013 @ 12:19pm


    Unfortunately we have this law in the UK called the Regulatory Investigatory Powers act. This makes it illegal (punishable by jail time) in and of itself to refuse to reveal encryption keys and password to the authorities
  • Jul 16th, 2013 @ 12:14pm


    Sadly the fact that they can do this is no longer shocking or disturbing. However what I find bizarre is that feel the need to have this power. What use is it? Who are they going to catch, doing what? Do they think criminals/terrorists/whoever are moving incriminating electronic data over borders using electronic devices? There is this thing called the Internet, with it it is trivial to anonymously transfer encrypted data from anywhere to anywhere else. It is a law that violates our rights which can only catch the most moronic of criminals. What is the point?
  • Jun 27th, 2012 @ 6:18am

    Different interests

    I think what the Copyright Alliance is getting confused between Google providing the user with results the user is looking for and Google providing the user with the results that a bunch of third parties would prefer. Google is in the business of serving up relevant results to users and that is exactly what it does. Providing results on keywords as determined by third parties is called advertising and if that is what the Copyright Alliance and it's members want then they can just buy Google adwords like everyone else.
  • Jun 19th, 2012 @ 2:02am


    I know that it is just an example to make your point but it is a bad example.

    The now 110 year light bulb (http://www.centennialbulb.org/) has not lasted so long because it is of higher quality, if anything it has lasted so long because it is a bit crap. The filaments are extremely thick so have not burned out and it still works, the downside of this is it is extremely dull and probably uses a great deal electricity to supply it's meagre dull glow. I also suspect that the cost of the thing at the time it was made compares pretty poorly with the cost of 100 years worth of modern lightbulbs at today's prices.

    Also technology moves on at an ever increasing pace, whilst perhaps todays televisions do not last as long as those made 40 years ago, but then today they do not need to. These days with TVs and most technological devices they are replaced with an new, better, more advanced equivalent after en increasingly shorter timer that products simply do not need to last as long. Very few people these days would pay what it cost to build a TV that lasted for 15-20 years because they they expect to have replaced it with a bigger/better/higher definition model long before that 15-20 years is up.
  • Jan 6th, 2012 @ 7:42am

    Is he super serial?

    And has he defeated ManBearPig yet?
  • Jan 5th, 2012 @ 5:14pm

    I am so into this idea

    I have a massive amount of respect for the people working in developing countries trying to provide basic human needs like clean water, food and sanitary toilet/waste systems. However I think the "lets get them bread and clean water and we'll worry about computers and mobile phones later" misses the point somewhat. Everything created by human beings was created by communication and collaboration. Connectivity and technology are the best and most efficient ways to collaborate and communicate and if we work towards a world where collaboration and communication infrastructure is in place globally and collaboration communication and organisation become trivial then it provides the bedrock to solve the difficult problems like food, water, sanitation, education and inequality. Lets get the world connected and then it will be so much easier to work out how to solve the hard problems.
  • Dec 17th, 2011 @ 12:08pm

    The headline is confusing

    It implies that he failed to predict that the bubble burst in the same way he failed to predict that home taping did in fact kill music. Surely it should read ".... And Failed In Predicting Home Taping Wouldn't Kill Music", in that he predicted that it would?
  • Dec 9th, 2011 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Well the related article says "the government decided that it would not file a forfeiture complaint -- because there was no probable cause". So are you try to say that this is incorrect. The government did not file a forfeiture complaint this is undisputed fact. So was this for some other reason other than lack of probable cause, for example there was probable cause, but they just didn't feel filing a complaint or had better things to do with their time or simply couldn't be bothered. Please explain?
  • Dec 8th, 2011 @ 3:47pm

    Re: Re:

    The 2300 number is beside the point fabricated or not. The government found that there was no probable cause. That means there was so little evidence (i.e. none at all) that the blog had committed criminal copyright infringement and that there was no justification for forfeiting the domain. That's like seizing a persons bank account because you are accusing them of being a drug dealer and then giving them back the money because there is no evidence that the person is in fact a drug dealer. The amount of money in the bank account is not really relevant to the argument of whether it should have been seized or not.

    Secondly the RIAA don't even claim that any of the music uploaded was unauthorised, they claim that the site operators "uploaded music to unauthorised file sharing services". That is a massively disingenuous statement, the RIAA knows full well there is no such thing as an "unauthorised file sharing service". Setting up and running a file sharing service does not require any authorisation from anyone. It is the sharing and duplication of the files that requires authorisation and if is that is what happened they could have said "the operators of the site uploaded music to file sharing sites without authorisation of the copyright holder", however they make no such claim.
  • Dec 8th, 2011 @ 7:27am

    Erm what about ticket stubs?

    every ticked event i have ever been to, they tear of a perforated ticket stub with a serial number on it and keep it then give you the remaining portion back. So rather than counting people in video footage can't they just count the ticket stubs and match the serial numbers to the serial numbers stored in the ticketmaster database.
  • Dec 1st, 2011 @ 6:59am

    My Proposal (very rough outline)

    The below is only for digital mass consumer media, i.e. video, audio, books, magazines and such. It is also a very rough proposal to convey the general idea and be built upon. It is not some kind of comprehensive plan that can be implemented directly.

    1. Reduce the copyright term to something more inline with its original intensions e.g. 30 years. Tell whining musicians that copyright does not exist to provide them with a retirement income, they need to invest like the rest of the population.

    2. Give consumers the right to copy digital media (as defined above) that they have legally obtained for their own personal use. Essentially outlaw DRM.

    3. Change copyright law to remove the ability of the copyright holder to control reproduction and distribution. Retain only the right to be compensated for distribution (i.e. where a copy changes hands). Anyone can copy and distribute anything but they are legally obliged to tell the copyright holder and compensate them for it. If the copyright holder does not want something to be distributed do not release it, once it is "in the wild" then they only retain the right to be compensated for it.

    4. Create a central database of ALL copyrighted digital mass consumer media as defined above (i.e. every audio recording, movies, tv program, book magazine etc every produced that is currently under copyright). Each "media item" would have a unique identifier and if possible a high quality reference copy of the media.

    5. Offer a series of subscription based licences for consumers at different prices for the media in the database. For this to compete with piracy it is imperative that at least some of these licenses be "all you can eat".

    6. Create a standards based publicly documented API for the media database. This allows anyone who wants to distribute the media to comply with point three by recording that a copy has been distributed and to record that the person in receipt of the copy has the appropriate licence for that media.

    7. An independent organisation should be set up manage and maintain the database, process payments for licenses and administer the distribution of funds to copyright holders. Their role should be very well defined so as to avoid the "scope creep" common to collection societies. Their role should be entirely technical and administrative and should not involve any kind of enforcement.

    8. Licenses should be voluntary and not some kind of legal imposed "media tax" forced on ISPs or similar nonsense proposed in the past.

    9. There should be a basic free of charge license, this would give all consumers access to any content that creators wish whilst giving those creators an idea of how popular their content is.

    The way this would work is as follows. A user (john) signs up for a subscription (Music only, all you can eat) and decides to pay monthly ($10 a month). He signs up through a website distributing audio media, the payment goes directly to the central db administrator and not to the website distributor. He receives a username and password. This password can be used by any distributor website and is authenticated with the central database via a secure protocol such as oAuth. The distribute may provide the content in any format and by any means they wish (stream, download, CD, wax cylinder, stone tablet etching whatever) all they are obliged to do is log with the central database that the logged in user has accessed the media.

    This separates out responsibilities nicely, e.g. record companies, film and tv studio can concentrate on what they are good at, producing and promoting content and they base their business model around that and not on the increasingly quixotic desikre to control distribution. Technology companies can concentrate on what they are good at, coming up with innovative ways to provide content to consumers in a format they find convenient and valuable. The distribution companies do not receive any money for the content, it is up to them to work out how to monetise their distribution mechanism, and we all know they will. It also creates true competition between distributors because users will use the service that they find the most compelling.

    The pot of money should be distributed on a pro rata basis, weighted by the number of UNIQUE users that access that media e.g, a user using a music streaming service who listens to the same track 50 times counts once, just as a user who downloads the track once and listens to it 50 times.

    There are many flaws in the above description that would need to be ironed out to turn it from an outline, back of envelope idea to a real implementable plan. But i strongly believe that it is a sensible foundation for a maintainable system. All it would take is for the media companies to realise that they can no longer base their business model on controlling distribution and as such they should stop trying to control it.
  • Nov 15th, 2011 @ 11:54am

    Re: Making a lot over "rent" / "buy", when neither apply.

    The fact that they are unauthorised/illegal is irrelevant to the argument. The point being made is that the entertainment industry has such contempt for its customers that it isn't even prepared to offer a product/service that is as good as or better than the "pirate" services. Their attitude of "we don't care what you want you will take what you are given" is exactly the reason pirate services are popular. The sooner they realise that and offer compelling legal alternatives the better if they are going to survive.
  • Nov 9th, 2011 @ 9:14am


    "(a) accept user generated content without considering what the content is, (b) accepting user content without knowing who the user is."

    So you are saying that you think that people who run websites or online service that allow people to publish their own content SHOULD screen all content and verify the identity of the user before allowing them to publish. Having to do that is EXACTLY what is meant by an "onerous level of liability". Those 2 things are extremely difficult and complicated to do and are and should be the responsibility of the publisher not of the provider of the service. Do you expect every ISP that offers web hosting services to vet every single piece of content uploaded and verify the identity of every account holder and determine whether the content violates somebodies IP. If it worked like that then there would be no web.
  • Nov 8th, 2011 @ 1:02pm

    Isn't this just old fashioned racism

    All Chinese people are counterfeiters just like all Mexicans are lazy, all Indians smell of curry and all [insert nationality, ethnic grouping, or race] are [insert stupid prejudice].
  • Nov 8th, 2011 @ 11:36am


    Whilst it is technically true that the internet is the "the world's greatest copy machine" the main problem that the content industry still can't wrap their head round is the fact that the internet is a communication medium and not a broadcast or distribution medium. It was designed to exchange data and communicate between peers and not for "consumers" to be spoon fed content by "broadcasters" and "distributors".
  • Nov 8th, 2011 @ 6:41am

    Units and charts

    Yes but you have to also remember the other out dated obsessions that record labels have, unit sales and unit based charts. Everything they do is measured in "units" and charts based on those "units", they don't want people outside of their promotional push in a particular territory because the number of unit sales and chart position during those periods of promotion is used to measure the success of the promotion. They don't want you buying 100,000 downloads over 12 months, they want you to buy them during the 4 weeks they are doing their promotion and marketing.

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