This week’s favorites post comes from Nick Dynice, a long-term, insightful member of the Techdirt community.
This week Mike and fellow contributors have been on a rampage, taking NYT to task with 7 posts, as of Friday afternoon, about the ridiculousness of the pay-wall.
But, my favorite post of the week was on Paul Vixie’s explanation of why COICA is a dumb idea. Whenever the not-so-tech savvy entertainment industry and government get together to come up with a way to beat the emergent nature of the internet (which was designed as a worldwide copy machine that can survive a nuclear war), they just can’t win. In this case, Vixie suggested that if the US government mandates DNS blocking with COICA, there will be the unintended consequence of incentivising someone to create an alternate DNS, which will break the universal naming premise that made the internet a success, and will not stop infringement. When Vixie is developing his own tech solutions, he actually thinks through all of these scenarios since he has to live with results — unlike our Congress critters, who are out of office in a matter of years. Whenever I read about cases like this, I know there is some 80’s movie narrative that explains the point pretty well and shows how things can spiral out of control. There is always some sort of pompous villain who creates obstacles for our heros. One such narrative is in the film Ghostbsters. In the scene where the character Walter Peck from the EPA shuts down the Laser Containment Unit because it is “in violation.”
My other favorite post was about how The Newspaper Guild has a problem with Huffington Post using a different compensation model than legacy news organizations. Ironically (or not) plenty of anonymous critics came by to contribute their counter arguments to Techdirt for free in the comments.
The second most popular post was about the “infringement vs. inspiration” debate. If being inspired by or borrowing something is piracy, then let’s all be pirates. The flood of troll commenters missed the point, as they always do, by insisting that the same examples Mike used were indeed determined to be infringement by law. But laws are man-made construct that can be changed and, in fact, were more permissive in the past. Isn’t it time they change to reflect current realities?
The post with the most comments by far this week (a couple hundred so far) was regarding the tortured legal interpretations that many lawyer critics are using to defend the accidental seizure of a domain that took down 84,000 sites, with Mike debating many ACs with lots of “lols” and “insightfuls” being awarded. A truly religious debate.