Peter's Techdirt Profile


About Peter

Peter's Comments comment rss

  • Feb 12, 2022 @ 08:11am


    indeed. If the statue was inspired by the book, then all copyrights proceeds should go to the book, if one follows the logic of the heirs. The principle is actually very well illustrated in a paper by Malcom Gladwell in the New Yorker:
    Gladwell found some great examples of artists building on other artists work, with some surprising twists. On a separate note, one wonders why pretty much all the great works of art have been created before modern copyright and rightsholders entered the stage ...

  • Feb 12, 2022 @ 01:28am

    The victory of the horsecart over the car

    Thanks god the copyright industry wasn't around until recently, or we'd still have to chisel our thoughts on stones.

    One of the biggest advantages of printed books over digital ones is that the copyright lobby has not yet found a way of selling them without giving away ownership.

  • Feb 05, 2022 @ 01:19am

    Just the tip of an iceberg? That college seems like a bad place!

    The gag order aside, one wonders if the college and specififically Student Conduct officer [Thomas] Ragland are up for the job.

    If the student does have a medical condition, the college should - and perhaps even has to - make sure that she can find adequate seating. Since none of this is mentioned in the article, one wonders if the college even investigated if there was a medical condition (the case would probably collapse if there wasn't). One wonders, too, why a qualified teacher is not able to sort this out herself, by simply asking someone to free up a seat.

    As for the email asking to voice concerns, there are two options: The student might be wrong, students might feel comfortable raising concerns and grievances, and the college might have adequate procedures to deal with them. In which case they can simply ignore the email, it would not change a thing.

    Or the student might have a point. In which case the college, notably the Student Conduct officer [Thomas] Ragland and his fellow administrators, have failed miserably.

    In which case the college has a much bigger problem than the dispute between a student and a teacher.

  • Jan 24, 2022 @ 05:23am

    Re: Encrypted drives and Compliant Passive Citizens

    1. Engagement ring before you propose
    2. Birthday and Xmas-presents before the event
    3. Your opinion on your partners butt size
    4. Your budget when haggling over a prize
    5. Your opinion on pretty much anything that might offend the other side
    6. The name of party & candidate you voted for
    As for more serious information citizens may be entitled not to disclose to any government official who might ask, the justification we use to invade other countries are very inspirational. You know, when we topple evil dictators because they force their citizens to [followed by list of things our government thinks citizens of evil dictator's country should not have to disclose. ]

  • Jan 10, 2022 @ 01:29am

    Bad providers, assisted by bad OS-Support

    While there are certainly plenty of bad providers, better OS-Support would go a long way in improving security.

    Unless VPN-support is properly implemented in the operating systems, providers have a great excuse to force the use of "VPN-clients" that seem to be specifically designed to open security holes on computers and phones.

  • Dec 30, 2021 @ 02:02pm

    Youtube is a great example to illustrate how ...

    ... the system will be abused practically from the first second it is there.

    In Europe, pretty much any video that is not on the government line with regards to Corona or Russia will be deleted pretty much immediately.

    While some people think that is great for keeping "fake news" off the internet, Corona is a great example to illustrate that a, knowledge evolves rapidly. Some of yesterday's fake news is today's government line, and vice versa.

    And while some of news spread by Russian sources may be propaganda, so is some of the news originating from our side: Freedom of expression means that anybody who chooses do so should be entitled to listen to both sides before making up their own opinion, rather than being forced to have the government do that for them.

    By the way, just after passing the copyright directive, the European commission brought legislation on the way to keep "terrorist propaganda" and "hate speech" off the internet. Using, you guessed it, the very upload filter technology the EU claimed was not required to comply with the copyright directive.

  • Dec 01, 2021 @ 01:42am

    No surprise

    We all know what happens when we leave a bad apple in the basket instead of removing it ...

  • Nov 19, 2021 @ 12:44pm

    Is Protecting Copyright More Important Than Saving Lives

    Never mind C19 and science.

    What do you think the $150,000 statutory DMCA damages (per file!) do to the average persons life?

    You get caught stealing a DVD in a store and pay 50 Dollars to get off the hook, you get accused of torrenting a single song from said DVD and have to live the rest of your live with an account balance of -150000 Dollars dragging you down.

    And that is a not a hypothetical, "that researcher might have found a cure for Corona had he had access to the journalys", the DMCA fines have been intentionally set so high with the idea that "killing" a few people might deter a lot of others.

    And if it doesn't: Congress doesn't seem to care, and certainly not the Media industry or the justice system that do the "killing". Sorry: that make sure to do what's necessary to "advance the arts and the sciences."

  • Nov 02, 2021 @ 01:30am

    Isn't it remarkable ...

    ... how we spare no effort to prevent companies from building and exploiting monopolies on the grounds that monopolies lead to overpriced, inferior products and services.

    While at the same time, we specifically create such monopolies for rightsholders on the grounds that only strong copyright (monopolies) will lead to cheap, diverse content? All this, remember, without any safeguards for publishers to exploit their position?

  • Jul 17, 2021 @ 10:36am

    Who decides what is "deadly misinformation" and what is free speech - or even life-saving information?
    Science progresses by exploring in all directions and eventually settling - at least for a while - on what is considered the right way. We have seen that repeatedly with information about the virus in the last year or so, and we continue seeing it.
    On top of that, some of the deadliest misinformation was actually spread by the US government (the suggestion to inj**t dis*****tant to name but one).
    Is Joe Biden suggesting that Internet companies should censor Government information? Or only information circulated by Republican governments?

  • May 27, 2021 @ 02:18am

    Phrased differently

    If you have enough money to afford expensive lawyers, and enough time to wait for the outcome of the court procedures, the new German copyright leaves you some limited use of copyrighted materials.

  • May 10, 2021 @ 12:49pm

    not sure what is more worrying here

    The government spying on journalists. Or the government giving access to classified documents to people it considers stupid enough to leak them to the media using their own phones and email accounts.

  • Mar 15, 2021 @ 01:45pm

    Encryption Is Just For Criminals

    'Criminals' is not a nice word to use to describe the US Army and other government agencies who use encryption to protect classified information.

  • Mar 08, 2021 @ 11:10am

    And while police are busy chasing junkies ...

    ... and the FBI sits around brainstorming ideas to nudge legislators into requiring encryption backdoors, mobs of domestic terrorists are free to storm into the very heart of our democracy.

    Large uninhibited by law enforcement, who are busy elsewhere.

  • Jan 31, 2021 @ 01:11am

    What do we need to innovate?

    Lewis Latimer is a great example. But it would help to dig deeper. What kind of person was he, what motivated him, what were his goals?
    Sure, he improved Edison's invention to a point that it became commercially successful.

    But would he had done that without being employed by Edison? Without a monthly pay cheque, without colleagues to collaborate with, and without Edison funding his research, and commercializing the results?

    Hard to say.

    Another angle is to look at environments (Building 32 at MIT), people (Steve Jobs), Institutions (DARPA) oder programs (let's put a man on the moon) that stimulate innovation.

    Patents are a piece of the puzzle. But there are many others.

    As for innovators being white and male, there are great examples of women leading the way. And not always being credited for it. (It is not clear who really should be credited for the discovery, Rosalind Franklin's story just illustrates how innovation might work, and how difficult it can be to attribute credit).

  • Jan 27, 2021 @ 06:52am

    Best not to mix two issues

    If Gamestop wants to have a future, they will indeed need to come up with new ideas for making money with selling DVDs getting out of fashion. Fair point.

    The question whether shortsellers should make that decision for the company is a different one, though.

    As is the question if shortsellers add value to the economy, and what that value might be. The stock market crash 2008 should have alerted us to the dangers of financial finickery on a large scale, and Gamestop suggests that it hasn't.

    Maybe we should let Gamestop and its customers figure out if there is a future for Gamestop, and start weeding out financial constructions that provide benefits only for their masters and huge annoyances, if not risks, for everybody else.

  • Jan 22, 2021 @ 12:41am

    Leaving Parler aside ...

    ... this case puts a big question mark behind the strategy to work with cloud services in general.

    Even if Amazon's lawyers have written provisions into their small print that gives Amazon the right to immediately, without warning and with giving time for arguments or remedy, pull the plug on an entire platform because they believe that some users of a service may have posted inappropriate content?
    Not courts involved, nothing illegal done by Amazon's customer (Parler, in this case), just an allegation that "Parler could have done more" to police their customer's content?

    Amazon may have written itself a legal basis for acting the way they did.

    But they have also put a big question mark behind every customer's decision to work with them.

  • Jan 15, 2021 @ 01:45am

    Isn't everybody missing the point here?

    With Section 230 still in place - what is the legal basis for a hoster shutting down a service purely because of public sentiment?

    Sure, after being kicked of Twitter and some other platforms, Trump and his followers need a new home, and Parler was a good candidate.

    But "people might use the platform to do things that other people might not like" is not a basis for shutting down the platform. Neither is a request from more censorship than a platform might be willing to provide.

    And isn't it a perversion of justice when a court decides that people have to PAY to enjoys the basic rights provided by the constitution?

    Rumors are that following the shutdown of Parler (by a private company, not a government or a court!), Telegram has started to delete messages that some people might not like.

    What a great new world!

    PS: if internet platforms played as big a role as alleged - how come NSA, CIA, FBI and all the other agencies that sift through every byte passing through the internet 24/7 with armies of bots and even more armies of trained analysts failed to spot what was going to happen? Their very job is to protect America, especially Washington, for exactly what happened on January 6th? And they failed to warn congress, they failed to alert the police in time?
    Could it be that the attacks on internet platforms are just window dressing to protect the real culprits?

  • Jan 14, 2021 @ 08:46am

    Is there any valid reason why cops can access the videos first?

    The grand jury-argument used by the police in the example is an interesting one: Would justice be served better if videos were secured in a safe escrow, and released only to the grand jury or other investigators after all parties have submitted statements?
    If the goal were "the trust, and nothing but the truth", such video evidence would go a long way in encouraging cops to explain what really happened.

  • Jan 07, 2021 @ 11:02am

    Starving musians? Really?

    How much of those 1600 pounds ends up with musicians?

    If PRS works like all the other collection agencies, they'll take a good share for themselves. Another good share for "unknown musicians" that happen to live abroad (and can't be traced, mainly because PRS can be bothered to try finding them. They'll have to keep the money, in that case.) Then rightsholders need to be paid, fees deducted.

    And then there is a distribution scheme that favours some (established) musicians heavily over some other (not so established) musicians. Mainly because the former have been around long enough to tweak the system in their favour. And the pubs pay a flat fee and don't submit playing lists that would allow paying the musicians who actually provided the music that was played.

    So - how much money does a musician get from those 1600 pounds?

More comments from Peter >>