Kal Zekdor’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 7:18pm

    Re: Re: Pretty much.

    Because those that paid for, produced, and received an explicit declaration from the artist that transfers ownership of the content rights actually end up with control of the content, copyright is fucked up? That's only an example of copyright being fucked up if you already believe copyright is fucked up. Tautologies are inherently meaningless statements.

    There may be examples of the concept of Copyright itself being fucked up, but this isn't one of them. I don't know of any myself, though I agree with Copyright in principal, so if I did that would be some major cognitive dissonance. I just think that the current implementation of Copyright is seriously fucked up.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 12:03pm

    Pretty much.

    Yes. It is entirely possible, perhaps even likely, that Jeffries has a deal with Netflix that grants Netflix the exclusive rights to this clip. And I'm sure that some of you feel that this is perfectly reasonable, because Jeffries entered into an agreement with Netflix and this is the tradeoff.

    Yeah, that pretty much sums it up. This is a non-issue. If Netflix received the Copyright of the work via an agreement with Jeffries, then they have every right to request that YouTube take it down. It's a stupid thing for them to do, of course, but they have the right to be stupid.

    This is not an example of a broken copyright system. Which is unfortunate because there are plenty of valid examples of the broken copyright system out there, but holding this instance up as one of them just serves to give trolls and Copyright Maximalists more ammunition.

  • Oct 2nd, 2015 @ 11:47am

    Re: Re: Cash is king

    He was making a wry comment that if POS devices start taking photos when doing Card Transactions, he'll stop using Credit/Debit Cards at POS devices and only at ATMs to withdrawal cash. As such, the only images would be him withdrawing his cash, not him spending it.

  • Oct 1st, 2015 @ 8:19pm

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, it's always easier when you get paid to not do your job.

  • Oct 1st, 2015 @ 7:18am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Not as basic concept as you would think

    Meh, was signed out for some reason. Above comment was mine.

  • Sep 29th, 2015 @ 1:54pm

    Re: recommendations

    Not to use Java. If you're interested in a high-level, strongly-typed OOP language, go with C#.

    Personally, I love Python. It's a great language for beginners, and well suited for everything from simple scripting to heavy data processing. Only drawback is mediocre GUI tooling. For GUI applications I use C# for frontend coding and have all the logic in Python.

  • Sep 22nd, 2015 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re:

    Compared to some of the other insanity PETA has pulled... yeah. On an absolute scale, though, it's certainly not acceptable. Whether it's actionable is up to the judge who has to take time away from overseeing real cases to preside over this mess.

  • Sep 22nd, 2015 @ 5:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Where did he say it needed to be addressed by the judiciary system? I read his post to indicate something that needs to be addressed by society at large, whatever form that reasonably takes.

  • Sep 22nd, 2015 @ 11:32am


    Is anyone else amused/concerned about the ruling referring to TLDs as extensions? Is there something lost in translation here (maybe they meant branch?), or are they confusing file extensions and TLDs since they both look like ".foo"?

  • Sep 17th, 2015 @ 3:21pm

    Re: Re: damn

    Ehhhh..... sort of. Here's the definition of a "Hoax Bomb" from the statute:

    Sec. 46.01. DEFINITIONS. (13) "Hoax bomb" means a device that:
    (A) reasonably appears to be an explosive or incendiary device; or
    (B) by its design causes alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency or a volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies.

    And, for immediate, reference, the section quoted in the article regarding Hoax Bomb offenses (Class A misdemeanors):
    Sec. 46.08. HOAX BOMBS. (a) A person commits an offense if the person knowingly manufactures, sells, purchases, transports, or possesses a hoax bomb with intent to use the hoax bomb to:
    (1) make another believe that the hoax bomb is an explosive or incendiary device; or
    (2) cause alarm or reaction of any type by an official of a public safety agency or volunteer agency organized to deal with emergencies.

    So, you can run afoul of this statute in the following ways:

    1. Have an item that "reasonably appears to be an explosive or incendiary device" and intend to "make another believe [it] is an explosive". (What the statute was designed to prevent, I believe.)

    2. Have an item that by design causes a "reaction of any type" from a public safety official, and intend to "make another believe [it] is an explosive". (Arguably worse than above.)

    3. Have an item that, again, by design causes a "reaction of any type" from a public safety official, and intend to elicit a "reaction of any type" from a public safety official. (Now we start getting into grey areas. Wouldn't, say, a road flare qualify? It's an incendiary that is designed to cause a reaction, and if you use it to flag down a police car...)

    4. Have an item that "reasonably appears to be an explosive or incendiary device" and intend to elicit a "reaction of any type" from a public safety official. (This one is so vague as to be meaningless. Who governs the definition of "reasonable"? I would argue that no reasonable person would mistake that clock for a bomb, but that didn't stop some idiots from pretending anyway. The kid certainly didn't want any type of reaction from public safety officials, that was the teacher. As far as cell phones... if someone can mistake a cell phone for a gun, they can surely mistake a cell phone for a bomb. So, if a cell phone "reasonably" resembles a bomb, and you intend to use it to get the attention of a public safety official... Welcome to Texas, I guess.)

  • Sep 17th, 2015 @ 2:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: You don't have to act smart if your customers are idiots

    Not binary, I just don't imagine sufficient people will be willing to stop buying from the company for them to actually care.

    That number is one. Every lost customer hurts their bottom line, and no business can afford to be cavalier with customer satisfaction. If nothing else, it reduces their marketing ROI.

  • Sep 16th, 2015 @ 1:06am

    Re: You don't have to act smart if your customers are idiots

    You're acting like it's a binary situation, either everyone boycotts Nintendo and they go out of business, or everyone lines up like zombies to fork over money. Reality is always much more nuanced.

    PR debacles can quickly become disastrous, even a relatively small drop in customers over a short period (say, 10% drop this quarter) can easily trigger restructuring (read: layoffs) if projections aren't met. Particularly with regard to hardware sales, if you're not moving units as quickly as you expected, not only are you failing to keep up revenue for production costs, but now you need to pay for storage as well!

    If the company is operating on a current deficit (might happen right due to large R&D/production expenditures, i.e., next console generation), their credit rating might take a hit. Shareholders would storm the gates if that happened, demanding the CEOs head on a spike. In this instance, though, I believe Nintendo has quite a lot of liquid capital, (unusual for a company that size), so probably won't happen.

    No company can afford to actively piss off their customers repeatedly. (Well, unless they're an effective monopoly. Looking at you, Comcast.) All it takes is a few angry, vocal customers with social reach (like, say, popular YouTube uploaders), and there'll be an anchor dragging the company down. They're not going to cost them all their customers, but each person they reach is now going to be just that much more difficult to convert to a paying customer, pulling the company down brick by brick.

  • Sep 2nd, 2015 @ 6:59am


    *GASP* *SHOCK*
    Windows no longer has built-in solitaire? THE HORROR! The world as we know it will surely come grinding to a halt without this critical OS feature.

  • Aug 19th, 2015 @ 11:35am

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

    The registries/registrars would not be enjoined, but they would be bound by the injunction against Movietube (assuming they have actual notice and are aiding Movietube). The court can order Movietube or those bound by the injunction to take action concerning Movietube's property, such as its domain names. But just because these third parties can be bound by the injunction, that doesn't mean they were enjoined.

    If that's the case, why did the MPAA back off from the injunction?

  • Aug 19th, 2015 @ 11:31am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "killing off the service"

    That is very much a valid concern. Especially if injunctions are used punitively (which is not what their purpose is), or abused. I just don't think it's as black and white as preliminary injunctions being inherently wrong.

    Using a court to destroy a company you don't like without a finding of guilt is undoubtedly something that needs to be prevented, but, as usual, things are never that simple.

  • Aug 18th, 2015 @ 4:20pm

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

    That the Registries and/or Registrars be required to transfer the domain names associated with Defendants’ MovieTube Websites, or any subset of these domain names specified by Plaintiffs, to a registrar to be appointed by Plaintiffs to re-register the domain names in respective Plaintiffs’ names and under Plaintiffs’ respective ownership.

    How is that an injunction against MovieTube? That is neither ordering MovieTube to transfer the registration (which would be fine), nor is it a notice to a third-party to cease assistance to an enjoined act. It is very clearly an (attempted) injunction against a third party.

    Don't the DMCA safe harbor provisions declare that providing said services to an entity who uses them for illegal purposes is not considered criminal facilitation? If they would be allowed to continue to provide service if named as defendants, why is the bar suddenly lowered when they are third parties?

  • Aug 18th, 2015 @ 2:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: @ "killing off the service"

    Thanks to Karl for pointing out that, even if the MPAA were so inclined to name Google et al as defendants in the suit, they would be protected by DMCA safe harbor provisions. That slipped by me, (IANAL, remember?).

    My above post still stands, though. There's nothing wrong with a judge declaring a preliminary injunction against MovieTube itself.

  • Aug 18th, 2015 @ 9:16am

    Re: Re: Re: @ "killing off the service"

    I'm not sure that I agree with this. In cases of clear or egregious wrongdoing, a judge is perfectly within their rights, (though, IANAL), to grant preliminary injunctive relief while the case proceeds. A few caveats, though:

    First, a preliminary injunction is not an assumption of guilt, and should not be treated as such. It merely means that, if granted, in the court's opinion, ongoing operations by the defendant will result in significant further damages to the plaintiff. Whether defendant is liable for said damages, or was criminal in causing them, is neither implied nor contraindicated.

    Second, such preliminary injunctions must not be rubber stamped. They must be assessed on a case-by-case basis, and, if granted, only after significant deliberation.

    Further, should the court rule for the defendant, they are entitled to remuneration for any lost profits stemming from the injunction. (Though, again, IANAL. They may need to counter-sue. If so, the law should be changed.)

    Finally, under NO circumstances should an injunctive action be levied against any entity which is not a named defendant, as the MPAA tried here. Not only are such things prima facie foolishness, but the deeper concerns at play are very unsettling. If you seek preliminary injunctive relief against an entity, then name them as a defendant in your suit. Importantly, this provides said entity opportunity to present arguments against the injunction beforehand, rather than the court taking unilateral action.

    Of course, the MPAA did not name Google et al as defendants, because accusing them of wrongdoing in this matter is an indefensible position. If they had the slightest case against "Goliath", can anyone honestly tell themselves that they wouldn't have pursued it with abandon?

    They do, however, have a case against MovieTube. They have a reasonable argument for a judge to grant a preliminary injunction against MovieTube, ordering cessation of operations pending the result of the case. They do not have anything approaching a reasonable argument for seeking injunctive action against entities who are not accused of wrongdoing.

  • Aug 15th, 2015 @ 10:37pm

    Why is the CEO of a major corporation throwing a tantrum?

    If he really wanted people to take him and his company seriously, maybe he shouldn't be acting like a spoiled 5-year old after losing a game. Google and Facebook, regardless of what you may personally think of their products and policies, are hugely successful companies. So, seeing these new upstarts muscling on on big media's historic territory, what does Thomson do? Does he attempt to figure out how to make a better service to out-compete? No, he whines and rants and curses, then wonders why people stop listening to him, and more and more of his customers turn to other options. He is a joke.

    Side note: What's with his obsession with LinkedIn? Is he cyber-stalking more successful CEOs or something, wallowing in envy?

  • Aug 3rd, 2015 @ 5:29pm

    I still have that data...

    The lawsuit Netflix settled featured one key difference: in that case, rental information -- in the form of "anonymized data" -- was released to third parties working on better suggestion algorithms in hopes of winning $1 million.

    Huh. I actually participated in that contest. Did fairly well, I had ~82% accuracy on the test set. Not bad for a college kid at the time, though of course the winner was some big lab. My biggest problem was a lack of compute power. Had to rewrite my algorithm to use aggressive disk caching, 'cause the 6gb of RAM on my server wasn't nearly enough. Slowed the whole thing to a crawl, so that even the smaller training set took like 12 hours to process. This was, of course, before SSDs were economically feasible.

    I'm pretty sure that I still have a copy of that data lying around.

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