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Posted on Techdirt - 18 March 2018 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the the-word-on-the-blog dept

This week, following our coverage of the disturbing actions of a cop that led to a high-speed crash killing an infant, one commenter for some reason felt it was time to turn the blame around on the mother, suggesting the death must have been caused by her negligence. A reply from Alexander won first place for insightful:

As an Automotive Engineer who has engineered seats in cars I can tell you for certain that none of them in ordinary vehicles are designed to deal with a 94mph collision. Cars disintegrate at that speed.

Those videos you see for car safety, the super slow motion ones, they occur at ~20mph. Yes, that is how much the seats move at 20mph. At 94mph they disintegrate.

Fastening the straps correctly or not would likely not have changed the outcome at those speeds. The officer is clearly grossly negligent and the mother did not contribute in any significant way to the death of her infant. I say that with confidence of someone who's signature is still on the approvals for seats still carrying children in cars today.

That cop should have his drivers license cancelled for reckless driving for a decade. If he loses his job, then stiff shit. Then talk about trying him for negligent homicide.

In second place on the insightful side, we've got Dingledore the Previously Impervious using Microsoft's anger about a computer recycler offering Windows recovery disks to highlight the hypocrisy of "copying is theft":

Microsoft - Eats cake, yet still has cake.

Microsoft have spent years explaining that they sell licences, not DVDs of software.

Now, they're apparently selling the DVDs again. If it's a lost sale, where can we buy them?

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with an anonymous commenter who offered a framing that resolves the apparent hypocrisy of the government's tech demands and failings:

This is actually self-consistent. The government believes that secure encryption with a Law Enforcement Agency Key ("LEAK") is possible if the technology companies would just "nerd harder," even as the government offers neither reference implementation nor convincing proof that this can be done. Likewise, the government now seemingly believes that the companies could identify, in real time, trolls that the government's own intelligence/surveillance agencies failed to spot. In both cases, the government:

  • Expects the private sector to solve the problem, and is actively demonizing anyone who fails to drop everything to work on the problem
  • Provides no useful assistance in solving the problem
  • Provides no reasonable explanation for why, with its vast resources and supposed subject matter expertise, the government cannot offer useful assistance solving the problem

Next, we've got a simple response from PaulT to a commenter who, when we criticized Trump, told us it's "hard to take anything serious from someone throwing a tantrum":

Which is why Trump is making a laughing stock of your country. He does little else.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is an anonymous response to an even more absurd criticism from one of our less coherent detractors, who questioned the sincerity of Mike's opposition to torture and demanded a resume of proof:

Masnick is obviously not against torture.

After all, he allows visitors to this site to be exposed to your drivel every day.

In second place, we've got crade with another response to Microsoft's aggressive actions:

Re: Bring back the commercials!

PC: We are having trouble with our people getting around our planned obsolescence.

Mac: Amateur.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start with a response from That One Guy who complained that our coverage of the recklessly driving cop was irrelevant to Techdirt:

The magic code strikes again.

Truly, the greatest sign that TD is not filled to the rafters with pure evil is that they have chosen to only apply the code that forces people to read articles they didn't want to on one site, rather than weaponizing it and taking over the world.

Finally, following our positivity regarding California's push for its own net neutrality rules, one critic accused us yet again of being inconsistent in our stance on government intervention, leading an anonymous commenter to get understandably snarky about this sort of blunt idiocy:

Man, it's almost like some regulation is good and some regulation is bad.

This is shocking!

That's all for this week, folks!

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Posted on Techdirt - 17 March 2018 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: March 11th - 17th

from the on-and-on dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, the Prenda situation positively exploded. As we awaited Monday's hearing, we learned more about Allan Mooney and saw Verizon get involved. Then, of course, the Prenda team itself didn't show up in court, meaning they escaped (at great cost) an absolutely crazy hearing with a very unhappy judge (written up for us by Ken White of Popehat fame). The judge ordered a second hearing and made it clear Prenda was expected to actually show up, while transcripts of John Steele's intimidating phone calls to Alan Cooper hit the docket, and Paul Duffy was scrambling to do some too-little-too-late damage control.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, following the death of HD-DVD, the next question was whether Blu-Ray would actually catch on in a big way. We now know it did, though early price hikes didn't help. But it certainly had nothing to fear from an ill-advised late entrant into the format wars. Meanwhile, having expressed displeasure with the agency's approach, EMI decided it wouldn't quit the IFPI, but would stop paying so much for its lawsuits against fans, while the IFPI was turning its sites on ISPs instead (and unsurprisingly triggering the Streisand effect when trying to block websites).

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2003, we watched the steady emergence of video game development courses at colleges, had an early discussion about Americans using the internet to find alternative news sources, and perhaps didn't realize just quite how revolutionary Amazon's focus on web services would be. There were still five big record labels but they were looking to merge (while betting a tad too heavily on enhanced CDs), McDonald's became the second huge chain to start offering free wi-fi, and we looked at the debunking of a hoax story about a cyberwar virus targeting Iraq (though that idea wouldn't seem so crazy seven years later when we all learned about Stuxnet in Iran). Also, Techdirt got chosen by Forbes as one of the five best tech blogs.

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Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 13 March 2018 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 158: How MoviePass Makes Money

from the plus,-privacy... dept

The apparent success of MoviePass raises a whole bunch of interesting business model questions — and privacy concerns about the data-harvesting portion of that business model add another layer of complexity. So this week, we're going back to a good old-fashioned formula for the podcast, and dedicating an episode to examining the company in detail and trying to figure out where it might be headed.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 11 March 2018 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the say-some-more dept

This week, both our winning comments on the insightful side take a similar approach, responding piece-by-piece to the FBI director's insistence that it's possible to create compromised-but-secure encryption. The first place winner is That One Guy:

Wrong from start to finish

We have a whole bunch of folks at FBI Headquarters devoted to explaining this challenge and working with stakeholders to find a way forward.

Great, then have them come up with what you insist is absolutely possible, 'secure' broken encryption, and let everyone else stress test it before you force it on the public. In fact, if you're so sure that it can be done, start with your own agency, mandating that you use whatever 'encryption' system you want everyone else to be required to use, for no less than one year. Every system must use it, no exceptions, as anything else would be an admission that you don't believe that what you're pushing is truly secure.

But we need and want the private sector’s help.

No, you 'need and want' their subservience, their unquestioning obedience. That is distinctly different than wanting their help.

We need them to respond to lawfully issued court orders, in a way that is consistent with both the rule of law and strong cybersecurity.

Those are mutually exclusive options, taking one will necessarily require sacrificing the other. Strong cybersecurity means that good and bad people can make use of security that prevents both those with a badge and those without from accessing, easily or at all, certain data.

We need to have both, and can have both.

No, you want both, but you cannot have both. At 'best' you can have one, but it will require that the other be given up.

I recognize this entails varying degrees of innovation by the industry to ensure lawful access is available.

In that it would require 'varying degrees of innovation' for the automotive industry to create cars that can ignore gravity with a flick of a switch, sure. Or in the sense that it would require 'varying degrees of innovation' for mathematicians to come up with a way for 2+2 to equal 5.

But I just don’t buy the claim that it’s impossible.

Translation: "I want your 'help', but I refuse to believe you when you tell me something isn't possible, as advice clearly isn't a form of help I welcome."

We have the brightest minds doing and creating fantastic things.

'... Minds which we/I will completely ignore when they tell us/me that something isn't possible, and/or make a statement that contradicts one of my stated positions.'

This reminds me of a perfect example someone else brought up to highlight the absurdity of this argument by noting that just because we can land a person on the moon, does not mean we can land a person on the sun(well, not and get them back...). Just because we have smart people creating other stuff, does not mean they can do the impossible in this case.

Again, I’m open to all kinds of ideas.


You're only open to ideas that match your preconceived notions and that support what you want. Anything else is to be rejected out of hand.

But I reject this notion that there could be such a place that no matter what kind of lawful authority you have, it’s utterly beyond reach to protect innocent citizens.

In which case his mind would be absolutely shattered were someone to tell him about another form of communication, talking in private, that no amount of 'lawful authority' that wasn't completely tyrannical and invasive could access.

I also can’t accept that anyone out there reasonably thinks the state of play as it exists now – much less the direction it’s going – is acceptable.

Only because you refuse to look or even acknowledge their existence. There are plenty of people who have looked at the existence of encryption, realized that it does allow bad people to do bad things at times, and yet still come to the conclusion that the gains vastly outweigh the costs.

(Gotta love the attempt at poisoning the well there by framing anyone who disagrees with him as not being 'reasonable'.)

Broken encryption/'Responsible' encryption/Unicorn gates were a stupid and dangerous idea when they first came up, and they remain a stupid and dangerous idea now. That the gorram FBI Director is pushing for an idea that he knows will cause vast amounts of damage(the only alternative to this is that he is impossibly stupid) is a disgrace to the position, and should be grounds for removal of office, or at the very least everyone firmly and strongly telling him to shut the hell up when it comes to topics that he is clearly unfit to comment on.

The country is not well served by an FBI director trying to make things easier for criminals and terrorists to harm the public, and he, or anyone else, really shouldn't need to be told this.

And the second place winner is PaulT:

"What we’re asking for is the ability to access the device once we’ve obtained a warrant from an independent judge, who has said we have probable cause."

a.k.a. a back door. It doesn't matter what kind of lock you install, who guards the keys for it and who you get permission to use them from. It's still a door, and even a locked door is more vulnerable than simply not making a hole in the wall to install it in the first place.

What he and his kind are missing is simple - no matter how strong the door, no matter how restricted the access, no matter where it is installed - it still has keys, those keys can be used by the "bad guys" and once they have the keys it makes everyone less safe.

"Being unable to access nearly 78-hundred devices is a major public safety issue."

The actual evidence for this is lacking. Perhaps instead of trying to mislead people about what they're asking for, they'd be better served by explaining what it is that not being able to easily access these phones is preventing them from doing. Bearing in mind that authorities have never had instant access to the kind of data they're trying to get here, but they still managed to do their jobs anyway in the past. If they want new powers, they need to both explain why they need them and why the public need for them is greater than the public need for effective encryption.

"I also can’t accept that anyone out there reasonably thinks the state of play as it exists now – much less the direction it’s going – is acceptable."

He's right here. The problem is that he's part of the group that wants to push things further in the unacceptable direction.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from Michael about Rhode Island's attempt to mandate porn filters:

I am a parent. I worry about what my children will find on the internet. I worry about what my children will find in my back yard.

I have not asked anyone to provide me with internet filters or back yard filters. I AM THE FILTER.

Parenting is hard work. If you think the government should be filtering out porn on the internet to make your job easier as a parent, I would suggest you should not become a parent.

Next, we've got an anonymous comment responding to one racist jerk's attempt to sue Twitter for violating his civil rights:

So which of these options makes Racist a protected class? "sex, race, color, religion, ancestry, national origin, disability, medical condition, genetic information, marital status, or sexual orientation."

Is he claiming it is a mental disability or a religion?

Over on the funny side, both winners are again on the same post, but this time from two different anonymous commenters responding to the group of five senators who feel search engines should censor drug information. The first place winner wondered how that would play out:

*Guy in trench coat and sunglasses* Hey kid, want to try some cocaine?

*Teenager, pulling out his phone to Google it* Well, nothing bad shows up in the search results. Sure, why not!

The second place winner, meanwhile, was having none of it:

*Five People Standing Around a Computer Monitor Agree: Five Senators Are Idiots

For editor's choice on the funny side, we've got a pair of responses to Trump's ridiculous violent video game summit. First, it's an anonymous commenter replying to the idea that, despite the evidence showing no link between games and violence, it still must be true because it "intuitively seems" that way:

I've been trying to tell my bank that it just intuitively seems that I should have far more money in my account than my statement shows. I don't know why they won't just take my word for it.

Next, after one commenter wondered just how Trump is choosing which games to get upset about, Thad noted at least one pattern emerging:

He does seem particularly incensed about games where you kill nazis.

That's all for this week, folks!

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Posted on Techdirt - 10 March 2018 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: March 4th - 10th

from the the-more-things-change dept

Five Years Ago

The saga of Prenda Law really jumped into high gear this week in 2013, first with Prenda, John Steel and Paul Duffy all filing astonishing defamation lawsuits against critics. Then, as Brett Gibbs was finally forced to answer a few questions, the judge ordered everyone to show up in court the following Monday. We speculated about what would happen, while John Steele dropped his defamation lawsuit, leaving only the other two to continue. A massive 300-page filing teased at new details, Brett Gibbs objected to pretty much everything, then Paul Duffy doubled down in truly insane fashion by demanding the IP addresses of every visitor to certain blogs in the past two years. And, unsurprisingly, the team tried desperately to get out of having to show up in court on Monday.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, the House made the tiny positive move of removing higher copyright fines from the Pro IP bill (without interfering with all the other awful, awful stuff of course), while we asked why we continue to use the term "intellectual property" at all. HBO was still ever-so-gently dipping its toe into online distribution, while Trent Reznor was diving in head-first and swimming strongly. Meanwhile, as audio DRM continued to die at the hands of most major online retailers, a lot of journalists got really confused and thought it meant the death of copyright (if only!)

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2003, there were rumours about that Apple would launch an online music store — and they'd come true just under two months later. Australia was admitting the failure of its recommended online content filters while China was apparently slowing down access across the country with its surveillance efforts. And in case you forgot just how different the web was in 2003: an investigation discovered the bizarre fact that the RIAA's website was hosted by one man out of his house, reports of which led them to move it to a server run by a small accounting firm. Go figure.

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Posted on Techdirt - 6 March 2018 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 157: The Worst Of Both Worlds - SESTA & FOSTA Together

from the sum-of-its-parts dept

It wasn't very long ago that we last discussed SESTA on the podcast, but now that the House has voted to approve its version of the bill with SESTA tacked on, it's unfortunately time to dig into the issues again. So this week we're joined by returning guest Emma Llansó from the Center for Democracy and Technology and, for the first time, law professor Eric Goldman to talk about why the combination of SESTA and FOSTA has resulted in the worst of both worlds.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 4 March 2018 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the you-said-it dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is Qwertygiy responding piece-by-piece to a commenter who was rabidly defending the CBP's constitution-free zones:

Alright, let's go step by step.

Controlling borders is a big part of national defense.

Absolutely correct. If you don't exert any amount of control over who comes in and out of your country, you don't really have a country. You can't determine where your citizens are, or even who your citizens are.

There's also the Coast Guard always on patrol, besides Navy at times.

Not quite the same as the CBP. The Coast Guard and the Navy operate outside the actual coastline borders of the United States. It is much, much, much more difficult for them to intercept a US citizen who is proceeding directly from one point in the country to another the way that the mentioned CBP officers do. They are much more akin to airport security than the CBP, because the only place that there is a lane that they can block, is at the ports.

The border has been determined to be a necessary transition zone

As stated above, it certainly is important to exercise control over what crosses your border...

as EVERY country practices

...but not every country does, no. The Schengen Area in Europe has practically no border control as far as people go. Once you're inside the European Union, you're inside the European Union. You don't need an extra check to get from Germany to France.

and while extended powers the 100 mile range inside it seems extreme

Whoa, whoa, whoa. It's absolutely extreme. Now we're not talking about the border anymore. The border is the edge of the nation, with no physical width. Not 100 miles inland. If we were talking about state borders instead of the nation's border, that would mean that the entire states of Alabama, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Hawaii, Indiana, Kentucky, Louisiana, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, Mississippi, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Vermont, Virginia, and West Virginia consist of nothing but their border! South Carolina would have about 20 square miles in the city of Columbia that are not part of the border! Georgia would have a similarly sized pocket east of Macon, and Arkansas would only have a 10-by-10 spot north of Conway! A little patch of forest would be the only free space in Idaho! That's how huge of a constitutionally-ignoring zone we're talking about here.

it's clearly necessary too.

I very, very highly doubt this.

How is the border patrol more effective -- necessary amounts of more effective -- when it is spread out over 100 miles instead of stationed within a more reasonable amount, like 2 miles of the border? Even 5? How many more people have they caught improperly entering the US after they've already gotten 50 miles inland? And how many of those that they did, might have been stopped earlier if the border patrol had increased their density by moving closer to the border they're patrolling?

No. Do you locks on your house and car, snowflake? Same principle.

I think you misunderstood his question. If every law in the US is given the force of law via the constitution... and the CBP is given power by the laws of the US... then the CBP's power comes from the constitution. And if the constitution has no power 100 miles from the border... the CBP has no power 100 miles from the border, either.

As far as locking my house, I don't know about you, but I put a lock and doorbell on the outside doors, not 10 feet inside the house. I don't need to lock the kitchen door or put a doorbell on my bathroom door.

TL:DR; Control of the border is important. 100 miles inland is not the border.

In second place, we've got a response from Fat Man & Ribbon to the insane prosecution of Justin Carter for terroristic threats:

Interesting how they nab the joker while ignoring the mass murderer.

Almost every time there is a mass shooting, authorities claim they were aware of the individual .... but did nothing. Why is this acceptable behavior?

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start with a response from PaulT to the idea that pre-digital publishing proves Section 230 is unnecessary:

"How did society using PRINT work?"

By having a very limited amount of content and significant costs associated with printing and distributing everything they prints, on a one-off, daily, weekly, monthly, whatever schedule. The staff working for the publication are responsible for creating all content, except for a small amount of curated user content. This allows for humans to effectively edit and check all content, and realistically have a single human editor in place who is responsible for all content.

None of this is possible, or even desirable, in an online system where thousands of pages of content can be generated by people who are not employed or edited in any way by the publisher before publication. It's a fundamentally different paradigm, and must therefore be treated differently. Section 230 offers one very simple rule, but one that is vital for online publications to operate with user generated content - the people who wrote the content are responsible for what's in it, not the website they wrote it on. This isn't that much different from the print days, in fairness, it's just that the publication don't employ the people who generate the content like they did in the old days, so they must be protected.

As usual, you'd be much less of an obnoxious angry fool if you bothered to learn the fundamental nature of what you complain about.

Next, we've got a short and sweet anonymous response to the senator who proposed fining social media companies for not removing bots fast enough:

I wonder if the senator would feel the same way if political robocalls were defined as bots.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is David with a response to our assertion that violent video games don't make people violent, but they do make politicians stupid:

Can we please stop blaming video games for preexisting conditions? Pretty please?

Thank you.

In second place, we've got an anonymous comment about the NRA's praise of Ajit Pai for killing net neutrality:

Dan Schneider actually made a lot more comments about how heroic Ajit Pai is, but if you want to read or watch them you need to upgrade to the Xfinity FREEDOM Package for another $5.99 a month.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with a response to that second place winner, in which another anonymous commenter made a correction:

Don't be absurd. $5.99 was last month's price. Now it's $29.99 a month.

And finally, we've got one more comment about the CBP, this time from Michael who proposed an important addition to the generous border zones:

If you live more than 25 miles from an airport and more than 100 miles from a border, you are clearly intentionally trying to avoid the constitution-free zone and therefore suspicious enough for the US government to get a warrant to search you and your property.

That's all for this week, folks!

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Posted on Techdirt - 3 March 2018 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: February 25th - March 3rd

from the stuff-that-happened dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, we saw plenty of copyright fails, like NASCAR trying to get rid of videos of a crash at Daytona, and a company trying to hide a recording of its exec cursing an analyst, and sheet metal and air conditioning contractors trying to prevent the publication of federal standards, and even one of the companies in charge of administering the new six-strikes program misidentifying content. Speaking of the six strikes program, it was starting to look weird and ugly — although anyone looking at other countries saw that coming.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, while one court was dismissing racketeering charges against the RIAA, another was rejecting the RIAA's own claims about "making available" being infringement, and some musicians were wondering if they should take the RIAA to court to find out where all that settlement money was going. Meanwhile, a Canadian politician pushing for a Canadian DMCA was caught violating copyright himself, and Pakistan joined the list of countries to attempt to censor YouTube with disastrous results leading it to quickly reverse course.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2003, while Roxio was trying to resurrect Napster by hiring Shawn Fanning, it was becoming more common to see predictions of the death of the CD. People were starting to notice the feds seizing domain names, while congress decided it was time to target P2P sharing on college campuses. Netflix signed up its millionth customer, and lots of people were starting to see the profit potential of eBay — from businesses realizing it could be their sole distribution channel to a California airport using it to sell confiscated goods.

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Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 27 February 2018 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 156: Disrupting Google

from the startup-strategies dept

When a tech company is huge and dominant, it can feel like competing with them is impossible. Worse still, it can sometimes feel like innovating is impossible, since they might just step in and take over as soon as someone executes on a good idea. Once upon a time this was how startups felt about Microsoft, while today it's more likely to be Google or Facebook. But no company, no matter how mighty, is immune to being disrupted — and figuring out how is the subject of this week's episode.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 25 February 2018 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the games-behaving-badly dept

This week, we've got a double winner on the insightful side, with PaulT taking both of the top spots. In first place, it's his response to the idea that school shootings can be blamed on video games:

It's been said, but bears repeating - the vast majority of the Western world plays the same games as these American kids do. They play the same Call Of Duty series, the same PUBG, the same GTA, the same Rainbow Six series, etc. In most cases there is no difference in the code running, except perhaps for translation to other languages. Yet, those other countries don't have the same problem with school shootings. Some countries can count the distance between them in decades, yet the US can barely manage weeks if they're lucky.

There is a major difference between the US and the rest of the world that's causing school violence. Videogames should be one of the first things you can eliminate from the equation due to the above. Yet, there's always some grandstander intent on catering to the ignorant.

I actually think there is a difference that's explained by something more than the mere presence of guns (though, of course, the guns make it easier for people to die needlessly). What a shame some people are so intent on demonising something that it demonstrably cannot be, rather than searching for what it really is.

In second place, it's his response to the game company that infected its customers with malware in the hopes of fighting piracy:

I was wondering if this would be covered here after seeing it elsewhere a few days back. A few thoughts raised in discussions there:

- First, this is clearly illegal. No matter the motivation, they installed malware that has the express purpose of taking someone else's credentials. Furthermore, there's claims that they actually have used the logins obtained and posted screenshots as evidence in their forums. That's another law broken.

- Second, the installer exists on every copy that was installed. While the devs claim it was never triggered, every copy contained malware that was distributed to users' machines.

- Thirdly, while the devs claim it would never have been triggered on an innocent user's machine, they have acted so dishonestly that we cannot simply take their word. How do we know their information about "pirate serial numbers" was accurate? How do we know there wasn't the wrong number in the wrong database or wrongly flagged details? How do we know it couldn't be triggered by a reinstall, legitimate install on another machine, etc.? Even if they think their detection code was perfect (and no code is), there's room for error. That's one major reason I'm opposed to DRM - it inevitably affects innocent people.

- Finally, even if they are correct that *they* never used the malware on innocent people, what about others? From what I understand, they actually told people to disable their anti virus products when installing this because they were (correctly) identifying the installer as malware. As well as the chance their own malware could be misused, they subjected their customers to a non-zero chance of being infected with others.

Honestly, I hope they're prosecuted to the limits of the law. Which shouldn't be hard, since as I understand it they're headquartered in the EU, and we tend to have strict data protection laws. They have committed crimes and need to be punished. Whatever your opinion on piracy, committing further crimes and endangering your customer base is not the way to fight it.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we've got a comment from Thad highlighting a confusion that happens all the time when it comes to companies banning users, moderating speech, and generally controlling their platforms:

Why do so many commenters here seem to have trouble understanding the difference between "company is legally allowed to control how its service is used" and "this particular instance of the company enforcing its rights was a bad decision"?

Next, we've got an itemized anonymous response to questions about why the FCC is tracking broadband (though it had more of a "why does the government do anything at all?" flavor to it):

> Why should the government be tracking any commercial services availability and pricing?

Certain services are classified as "utilities" are are legally required to be provided to everyone within a certain area. Postal service and telephone service fall in this category. Plumbing is generally regulated by the state or local authorities. Water, gas, and electricity service are regulated and tracked by multiple levels. In many places, it is illegal to have the water or heat shut off without very specific conditions being met.

> What about household plumbing services,

Are you talking about plumbers' work, which needs to meet code and potentially be inspected by appropriate authorities? Or are you talking about water service to a residence, which is often legally required for a building to be "habitable"?

> piano teachers, and shoe sellers? Should not the government track those closely too?

If there is a valid reason for it, maybe. The government could easily have an interest in monitoring the prevalence of grocery stores, given how they are required for food-assistance programs and the impact that food quality and availability can have on health of the population.

> What's the ideological imperative in play here?

Sometimes public infrastructure benefits the public sufficiently that the government has an interest in ensure it is done to a minimum standard.

> Are you satisfied with the very high priced services sold to you by American government?

Not entirely relevant, but are you American?

What services do you think are too expensive?

Everyone I've ever met with municipal broadband has been extremely happy with the price/value ratio, as well as the customer service. Public transportation is a net gain to the economic activity of a city, despite the costs of running it. Government management of healthcare worldwide generally provides better outcomes and lower costs than what we currently have in the US.

> Who tracks the prices/availability/quality of FCC and other government services?

The Government Accountability Office, if you are interested in federal agencies.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is a mirror of the insightful side, with an anonymous commenter offering a quippier take on games-causing-violence:

Minecraft is pretty popular yet I haven't notice an uptick in preteens applying for construction jobs.

Second place continues to mirror the other side, though rather than the game company that infected everyone with malware, it's A. Cross Tick (hint hint) responding to the game company that ordered all its employees to buy its game and give it great reviews:

Not an employee of Insel

Many people play video games and hope they will be good. You can't always get what you want,

But if you try sometimes, Ooh, you get what you need. So perhaps this will give you Some satisfaction.

Most other video games lack something, And this video game is certainly unlike other games. Did you know that the title doesn't use any repeated letters, Especially the letter e?

Maybe you've been looking for something that Everyone else wants to play as well.

Wild Buster is the bestest game evah!!! 111 !!! Right down to the efficient use of pixels, It reduces photonic bleed at The Edges of

The screen and that keeps the environmental people Happy In So many ways.

Really, this game is so good that Even the programmers who wrote it have bought copies. Very few people would do that, so I think that says Everything about why you should buy this most bestest game evah !!! 111 !!! Wild Buster gets my completely legit 5 Thumbs Up

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with one more response to that game company — Stephen T. Stone delivered the ultimate insult:

Damn, even EA isn’t this stupid.

And finally, we've got wereisjessicahyde with an even more radical, crazy, never-been-tried proposal than that wacky idea for game rating systems:

"there's nothing to prevent the child from playing them"

I propose we create a new concept to solve this problem. My idea is that after the child is born someone looks after the child in a role I have coined "parenting" (patent pending).

How it will work is a 'parent' will say to the child "I'm sorry Tarquin, but although I understand that playing 'Call of Doom Medal Shooty Face Death GTA11' will not turn you into a mass murderer, I'm not complete idiot. But I don't think it's suitable for a 9 year old. You're not playing it, go and take the garbage out"

It's so simple it's genius.

That's all for this week, folks!

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Posted on Techdirt - 24 February 2018 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: February 18th - 24th

from the past-tense dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, the Harlem Shake was still taking the world by storm, and serving as a great example of selective copyright enforcement. WIPO negotiations over access to copyrighted works for the disabled were, as usual, shrouded in secrecy, while an anti-piracy group was threatening the Pirate Party with criminal charges, the RIAA was moaning about Google's lack of an anti-piracy magic wand, and ISPs were gearing up to enact the Six Strikes program. On the other hand, the European Copyright Society was arguing against the idea that linking and framing are forms of infringement, a court tossed out an attempt to block CNET from offering BitTorrent downloads, and the CCIA was making the interesting argument that Germany should be on the Special 301 naughty list... for its attacks on fair use.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, torrent users were fighting back against Comcast's traffic shaping program by amping up their encryption efforts, while Comcast was weakly defending the practice by rolling out non-experts. Australia joined the list of countries considering the idea of kicking file sharers off the internet (even as, the same week, they declared their previous $89-million internet filtering plan a failure). Meanwhile, nobody could actually explain why stopping file sharing is an ISP's responsibility — indeed, as the US freaked out about P2P, the EU was investing in it; and as ISPs were starting to insist they can't offer unlimited access, mobile operators were pivoting to do exactly that.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2003, the Lexmark printer ink case was waking some people up to the DMCA's potential for abuse. The Turner Broadcasting chairman who called all TiVo users thieves was stepping down, while Hollywood was trying to recruit piracy informants, and Congress was trying to hash out a weak "compromise" on copyright. Meanwhile, the news arrived that Overture would be buying Alta Vista, in what appeared to be another nail in the erstwhile search giant's coffin — right around the same time that people were starting to seriously talk about the idea of a Google IPO (which would arrive the following year).

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Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 20 February 2018 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 155: Lies, Damned Lies & Audience Metrics

from the traffic-is-fake dept

In 2016, mostly out of frustration, I wrote a post about how traffic is fake, audience numbers are garbage, and nobody knows how many people see anything. My feelings haven't changed much, and neither has the digital advertising ecosystem. And since regular podcast co-host Dennis Yang runs a digital metrics company, it only made sense for us to hash it out on an episode all about audience measurement and how it shapes online advertising.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 18 February 2018 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the yakkety-yak dept

This week, our first place comment on the insightful side is a response to the old claim that copyright is the only way to make money as a creator:

Actually, as many Youtubers have realized when you can connect with your audience, they will support you in making the next work, and this means that copyright is not really needed.

It like most bands do not make their money from copyrighted recordings, but rather from live performances, where their is a live performance tax collected by the performing rights organizations. Copyright is actually costing them money.

In second place, we've got a not-unrelated comment from That One Guy underlining the lie that the copyright lobby represents creators:

Exactly, they don't represent creators, they represent gatekeepers. An open internet helps the first, but it's a serious threat to the second, hence the repeated lies and attacks against it.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we've got another anonymous reply — this time to the absurd idea that a settlement proves a lawsuit had merit:

A much better question is how many are settled because it is cheaper than hiring a lawyer and proving innocence in court.

Occasionally, a commenter decides to nominate a quote from one of our posts to be a top comment. This week, one such nomination from an anonymous commenter hit third place on the insightful side, so let's go ahead and include it here as our second editor's choice:

my vote for Most Awesomely Good Comment

> and if you're going to be one of those people who pop up in our comments to say something ignorant about how if someone is here illegally they have no rights and should be booted as quickly as possible, go somewhere else to spout your nonsense. Also, seriously: take stock of your own priorities and look deeply at why you are so focused on destroying the lives of people who are almost certainly less well off and less privileged than you are, and who are seeking a better way of life.

- Mike Masnick

Those of you who saw it in the comments probably won't be surprised to learn what our number one winner on the funny side is this week. It's one anonymous commenter's anti-troll version of a rather well-known poem:

Once upon a midnight dreary, while I pondered, weak and weary
O'er many a quaint and curious volume of forgotten lore--
While I, to the subject clinging, facts and judgment all forth-bringing,
Suddenly there came a ringing, ringing at my website door.
"'Tis some dung-laden troll, I muttered, flinging at my website door.
Only this, and nothing more.

Ah, distinctly, he is present, rampant raging and incessant,
Anthropoidish adolescent, pissing in the comment pool.
And each separate post he disses, every fact and reason misses,
Every form of law dismisses, like a madman or a fool.
Every post with rude demeaning, "all the world but he a fool."
Darkness there, both mean and cruel.

And the blighter still is bleating, all our patience still depleting,
New supplies of dung excreting, flinging at my website door.
Never "natural human" writing would so heedless be inciting
Such a meaningless infighting, and in language all abhore,
If his heart were not pure evil, to its stygian inner core:
And his talk--he's just a bore.

In second place, we've got a comment from hij about the silly anti-piracy video in which an cartoon "piece of malware" warns about the dangers of viruses and hackers:

This is why you should not trust malware. Animated or otherwise.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with That One Guy hitting peak sarcasm over the question of what harm is caused by letting works enter the public domain:

What harm? Are you daft? If the filthy public is allowed to get their greasy mitts on Michael Jackson's works what possible reason could he have to create new works? Why would he ever create so much as a tv jingle if he isn't allowed to continue to profit from his works for eternity?

Sure some individuals(who are clearly mentally deranged) might suggest that the fact that he's dead means that no amount of money will incentivize him to create anything ever again, but as this is such an obvious red herring it deserves no attention or rebuttal.

Really now, without copyright why would anyone create anything? As history shows unless people have a guaranteed profit from their works(which of course is the sole purpose of copyright, despite what those filthy socialist commies who claim that the public is the intended beneficiary might say) nothing is or ever will be created.

And finally, we've got an anonymous comment that is in fact rather intriguing — once you realize it's a clever little paradox:

Is Betteridge's Law of Headlines still true? The answer will shock you!

That's all for this week, folks!

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Posted on Techdirt - 17 February 2018 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: February 11th - 17th

from the as-always dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, Register of Copyrights Maria Pallante was praising the pervasiveness of copyright restrictions, while two former holders of the office were complaining about fair use in universities; music publishers were calling for stronger copyright by attacking the Consumer Electronics Association, the BPI was (as usual) cherry-picking stats to fearmonger about piracy, and some folks at the World Economic Forum were talking for "balance" while calling for the opposite. France's Hadopi three-strikes program was reducing piracy, but failing to prop up flagging sales, while some industry folks were seeing if they could just turn three strikes into a moneymaking system.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, we discovered there was one kind of copyright limitation Congress would actually consider... an exemption for churches that want to show the Super Bowl, apparently. Then again, that same week, they resurrected the idea of introducing fashion copyrights. And the EU was looking to extend copyright terms and blank media levies, the UK was considering kicking casual file sharers off the internet, and the Bush Administration was bragging about all the anti-piracy work its DOJ was doing. In Canada, people were beginning to speak out against proposals for an equivalent to the DMCA, while in Denmark the Pirate Bay's traffic amusingly grew following a court order to block it.

Fifteen Years Ago

Things were a little quieter on the copyright front this week in 2003, though there were still rumblings like the IFPI trying to scare a bunch of companies into policing employee piracy and the IIPA releasing all sorts of bogus and misleading stats. Meanwhile, broadband caps were still a silly new idea and customers were realizing how much they suck; precious few people were able to retain perspective on the issue of "driving while yakking"; and it was the early days of the LED lighting revolution.

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Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 13 February 2018 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 154: Truth, Trust, Transparency And Tribalism

from the panel-discussion dept

A couple of weeks ago, Mike was in Washington, DC for the State Of The Net conference, where he participated in a panel called Internet Speech: Truth, Trust, Transparency & Tribalism. For this week's podcast, we've got the audio from that conversation with all sorts of interesting ideas about how people are dealing with fake news, trolls, propaganda and more.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 11 February 2018 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the you-said-it dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side comes in response to the FCC's refusal to release certain records to a FOIA request. David noted that their reason — "to prevent harm to the agency" — was a big problem:

It's not the job of the agency to prevent harm to the agency. It is the job of the agency to prevent harm to consumers. The ones paying its salaries. The FOIA act ensures that the employers of public officials have the means to make sure that the officials are doing the job they are being paid for by the people.

If that would be detrimental to the good of the agency, the good of the agency is not aligned with the good of the people and salaries are obtained under fraudulous pretenses.

Basically the answer is "Accountability? I beg your pardon, we are criminals!"

In second place on the insightful side, we've got That One Guy with a response to the perennial and patently silly accusation that we are partisan hacks:

If you didn't notice those sorts of articles cropping up as often when Obama was in office, perhaps it's because he wasn't engaging in such actions nearly as much as the current administration.

He was criticized plenty when he did something wrong, if Trump and team get criticized more it's probably because they're doing more worthy of being criticized.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with a comment from Roger Strong, who took the common light comparison between internet platforms and telephone companies and expanded on it, and its connection to one of the biggest myths about CDA 230:

And there were court battles over exactly that, a century or so ago. The upshot was that the phone companies weren't liable.

Online services had battles over this before the Communications Decency Act:

In 1991 Cubby v. CompuServe ruled that CompuServe was merely a distributor, rather than a publisher. It was only liable for defamation if it knew, or had reason to know, of the defamatory nature of content in its forums. Since it wasn't moderating them, it didn't know.

In 1995 Stratton Oakmont v. Prodigy went the other way. Prodigy moderated its forums, wanting a family-friendly environment. And so the court ruled that it was liable for what was posted.

All of which could only mean one thing: Online services that chose to remain ignorant of their content were immune from liability. Those that moderated content, even in good faith, assumed full publisher liability.

1996's CDA 230 changed this. It's now safe to make good faith efforts to prevent criminal activity. Remove 230's protections, and we may go back to "ignorance is safety."

Which would be a gift to the criminals, though those who want to kill CDA 230 will deny it.

Next, though by now there is plenty of analysis of the Nunes memo from every angle, our second editor's choice is a nod to the anonymous commenter who provided one of the meatiest comments in the Techdirt discussion on the topic:

Two key points from the Nunes memo

In a stunning case of "own goal", the very end of the memo points out that the FBI had an investigation going long before the Steele memo (which isn't a memo at all, but a series of reports) came along. There are two reasons that the FBI paid attention to the Steele memo: (1) Steele has a reputation, a very good one, along with lots of experience and a sizable network of contacts (2) the contents of Steele documents matched things THEY ALREADY KNEW TO BE TRUE.

The second point bears some explanation, because most of you don't have jobs that require the assessment of raw intelligence that comes from multiple people who may be omitting things or fabricating things or deliberately embedding some truth in a web of lies. The Steele memo is just that kind of raw intelligence, which is why -- if you take the time to read it -- you'll notice that Steele himself points out the possible presence of these issues.

But when you get your hands on raw intelligence, and it gives you -- let's say -- 100 facts that you can check, and you find that 82 of them are true, 16 are unverifiable, and 2 are false -- then you have good reason to think that at least some of those 16 are worth further investigation because they may well turn out to be true. That's why you get a warrant: first, to re-re-re-verify the 82 and second, to find out about those 16. That's your JOB.

Then of course you have to make some progress. Because if you don't, then you're not going to get multiple judges to renew your warrant multiple times. You might still not be able to check all 16 of those outstanding items, but if you can check 4 and make progress on 7, then you're getting there and it's reasonable for a judge to grant more time. If you can't check any of them, then maybe you're barking up the wrong tree and the warrant you seek isn't going to help anyway.

One more thing. This isn't an edge case. Anyone who goes out of their way to pal around with intelligence agents from another country, even a friendly one, should expect that they're going to get surveilled: by us, by them, and by third parties who are of course interested in such things for reasons of their own. And anyone who openly brags about it should REALLY expect scrutiny. I have no great love for the FBI, but in this case, they did exactly what any sensible organization should do: start watching people who are heavily interacting with known agents of a hostile foreign power.

Over on the funny side, instead of a first and second place winner, we have a rare perfect tie for the top spot, both from anonymous commenters! So in no particular order, we've got a response to apologists for the aggressive use of copyright on Martin Luther King Jr.'s works:

Yes, without copyright protection there would have been no incentive for Dr. King to make speeches!

Next we've got a reply to some rant or another by one of our loopier critics:

The Techdirt logo doesn't have a gold border. Under the Banana Republic Second Circuit Court of Captain Kangaroo, I hereby place you on time out from your silly postings.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we've got a one-two punch on our story about the FCC patting itself on the back for its incredibly stupid first year. An anonymous commenter chimed in early:

Figuratively speaking. To be specific, they mandated that the FTC do the actual back-patting for them.

Then XcOM987 added a further thought:

If all goes to plan though the FTC won't have the authority to pat the FCC on the back

That's all for this week, folks!

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Posted on Techdirt - 10 February 2018 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: February 4th - 10th

from the and-so-it-was dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, the EU was taking a worryingly restrictive approach to trying to fix copyright licensing, France's Hadopi was trying to get the national library to use more DRM, and Japan was planning to seed P2P networks with fake files containing copyright warnings. The UK, on the other hand, rejected plans to create a new IP Czar, though a new copyright research center seeking to restore some balance to the overall debate was facing heavy opposition right out the gate. This was also the week that we wrote about the curious privacy claims about tweets from an investigative journalist named Teri Buhl, which quickly prompted a largely confused response and, soon afterwards, threats of a lawsuit.

Ten Years Ago

This week in 2008, the recording industry was continuing its attempts to sue Baidu and floating fun ideas like building copyright filters into antivirus software, while we were taking a look at the morass of legacy royalty agreements holding back the industry's attempts at innovation. A Danish court told an ISP it had to block the Pirate Bay, leading the ISP to ask for clarification while it considered fighting back. And Microsoft was doing some scaremongering in Canada in pursuit of stronger copyright laws.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2003, Germany's patent office was seeking a copyright levy on all PCs, while the EU was mercifully pushing back on attempts to treat more infringement as criminal. One record label executive was telling the industry it had to embrace file sharing or die, but the company line was still the language of moral panic. Speaking of which, in an interview in the Harvard Political Review, Jack Valenti was asked about his infamous "Boston strangler" warning about VCRs — and proceeded to tell a bunch of lies to claim his warning was in fact apt.

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Posted on Techdirt Podcast - 6 February 2018 @ 1:30pm

Techdirt Podcast Episode 153: An Interview With Rep. Zoe Lofgren

from the voice-of-reason dept

When it comes to many of the legislative issues of interest to us here at Techdirt, we've always been able to count on at least one voice of reason amidst the congressional chaos: Representative Zoe Lofgren from California. In addition to playing a critical role in the fight against SOPA, she continues to be a voice of reason against bad copyright policy, expansive government surveillance, and the broken CFAA, among many other things. This week, she joins Mike on the podcast for a wide-ranging discussion about these topics and more.

Follow the Techdirt Podcast on Soundcloud, subscribe via iTunes or Google Play, or grab the RSS feed. You can also keep up with all the latest episodes right here on Techdirt.

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Posted on Techdirt - 4 February 2018 @ 12:00pm

Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the comments-on-comments dept

This week, we've been running a series of posts dealing with discussion moderation, which garnered our top comments on both sides. For insightful, the first place winner is an anonymous commenter taking the opportunity to give Techdirt a tip of the hat:

credit where due

This seams a good opportunity to congratulate TechDirt, on what is objectively the best comment system on the net.

No scripts, no captcha's, anon allowed, and your even good about vpn users- I don't know how you guys do it, and I suspect it's allot of work, which makes it all the more impressive.

cheers fellows!

(Much appreciated, despite the typos!)

In second place, we've got another anonymous comment, this time in response to our post about the Dutch approach to asset forfeiture:

Holland is a much more socialist country; I believe the police are nationalized, or at least at the state level. So on the one hand, this means that the local beat cop has less incentive to confiscate stuff, as he won't get to see the proceeds. However...

Police Chief said the young men targeted often have no income and are already in debt from fines for previous convictions but wearing expensive clothing.

Where I'm from, that describes a lot of the rich kids with foreign millionaire/billionaire parents. It also describes a bunch of poor folks who buy knockoffs from China.

So how are the police supposed to tell if something's stolen, bought with ill-gotten gains, bought with Daddy's money, bought BY Daddy, or a cheap fake?

From their perspective, it appears they want this so they can take the stuff from punks they already know, who are racketeering etc. and displaying their gains with bling. But there's not much of a step between going after these guys and going after someone who just rubs you the wrong way, and NO controls in place to separate these two groups.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we return to the conversation of content moderation, where one anonymous commenter addressed the complaints (which frequently come from a few choice parties, in stark contrast to our winning comment this week) that Techdirt is guilty of censorship:

While you have the right to speak on this forum, you do not have a corresponding right to be heard, so quit trying to claim the latter right. Anybody who wants to can read the hidden contents, and will do so; while those who trust the communities judgment will ignore them.

Next, we've got a comment from Rich Kulawiec regarding Apple and Verizon's opposition to the right-to-repair, pointing out another vital angle to the issue:

This is also a security/privacy issue

A population that's been well-trained never to open up its devices is a population that's easily wiretapped and surveilled via unpleasant surprises hiding inside sealed cases.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Pixelation, who took a lighter approach to the platform censorship topic:

I will discuss this, but only in moderation.

In second place, we've got yet another anonymous commenter, with an idea for hitting back at anti-repair, pro-DRM companies:

I'm going to start putting DRM on my money, so when I give it to companies like this in exchange for goods and services, I get to decide how they use it.

Spoiler: They won't be allowed to spend it, invest it, put it in the bank, put it under their mattresses or buy lemonade from a stand on a really hot day. The only thing they will be allowed to do with it is return it to me, for which I will charge them a fee to do.

Of course, given what day it is, there's another important thing that must be mentioned — and so we'll turn over our editor's choice for funny to comments on the topic of [REDACTED]. First, it's the last of many anonymous commenters this week with some thoughts on trademark-sensitive nomenclature for today's big event:

"Ultimate Sportsball Contest"

"That Thing with the Commercials"

"The Concert Bookended by Burly Men"


"The Great Concussion-off"

"Synchronized Flushing"

All good, but ultimately bested by Flakbait, who has truly refined the art:

I can't wait for the November Foxtrot Lima's Immense Match between the Region East of New York Partisans and the Delaware River Accipitridae! Especially since it's being played at the Amalgamated Territories Financial Institution Sporting and Entertainment Venue in the City of Water!

That's all for this week, folks!

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Posted on Techdirt - 3 February 2018 @ 12:00pm

This Week In Techdirt History: January 28th - February 3rd

from the old-and-new dept

Five Years Ago

This week in 2013, something that's now the norm was fresh and surprising: Netflix released the entire season of its new show House of Cards at once. Something less pleasant was born the same week, with the W3C's first official mention of adding DRM to HTML5. We also saw Alan Cooper sue John Steele and Prenda Law, leading to a bit of a scramble by everyone's favorite law firm. Meanwhile, this was the week that the DMCA exemption for phone unlocking was eliminated, and the legal battle over Barbie and Bratz (the subject of a recent episode of our podcast) finally came to an end.

Ten Years Ago

There was lots of copyright back-and-forth this week in 2008, with U2's manager jumping on the "make the internet pay us!" bandwagon, a fresh flare-up over the copyright status of jokes, an EU court telling ISPs they don't have to hand over downloader names, Swiss officials pushing back against the aggressive tactics of anti-piracy groups, and a judge telling the RIAA (which had recently struggled to explain exactly why copyright damages need to be higher) that it should be fined for bundling downloading lawsuits. Meanwhile, as had been expected, Swedish prosecutors caved to US pressure and took action against The Pirate Bay.

Fifteen Years Ago

This week in 2003, Kazaa pre-empted the heated race to kill it in the music industry by filing a lawsuit against record labels for misusing their copyrights. Declan McCullough was musing about the scary possibility of the DOJ going after file sharers as felons, Business Week was pushing the ol' "don't litigate, educate" line on piracy (which is half right), and record stores were trying to save their future by teaming up with digital distributors. Telemarketers were suing the FTC in an attempt to block its proposed do-not-call list, an internet cafe in the UK was found guilty of piracy, and the format war for the future of disc-bound music was raging despite nobody caring.

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