Often, after reading a post, there are items in it that I'm unclear about, don't understand or don't agree with. My first step is to read the comments. Most of the time, whatever I was having an issue with is already there; I don't tend to bring it up again. Sometimes I just have a quip of my own to toss in - and sometimes I get things wrong, only to then to be corrected by other commenters - something I appreciate very much; they clarify my confusion in an incidental way. I even look forward to comments from the not-so-friendly troll with a hate-on for Mike - I want to see if he's managed a new level of idiocy (spoiler: usually... yes, todays was a head-scratcher of a let down). Sometimes - no offence to the writers here at TechDirt - the comments are the best part of the post!
I can't say how often I've found the comments to an article to be more entertaining and informitive than the article itself was! Yes, trolls are annoying. They distract and redirect the comment stream into irrelevancy. But .. we don't have to feed trolls.
For those that claim to be Christian, I'd like to point out that God didn't create clothes. (See Genesis 3:7-11). But, God DID create sexuality - and did not give "Adam and Eve" **any** "rules" about it. Somewhere around the beginning of their teen years, children go though puberty. In the ensuing flood of hormones, sexuality becomes an overwhelming priority; trying to prevent this is like "spitting into the wind" - it isn't going to work. You might as well legislate against tides. Legislation didn't work for Prohibition, and drinking isn't biologically driven. The young people will find a way to satisfy their totally natural (chemically induced) curiosity. "Pornography" would seem to be a preferable alternative to them finding out directly from each other. At the very least, it's less dangerous to them. It's still a bad alternative, but the choice would seem to be between "bad" and "worse". And why? Because our modern society has decreed that that this normal, natural drive is "wrong" (until you're 18 years old - then it's ok). (View a consensual picture of a nude adult at the age of 17 years, 364 days, 23 hours and 59 minutes? that's a crime! One minute later, it's not! How does THIS make sense?) I believe that we'd be better served as a society trying to find a better way to allow young people to satisfy their (from a biological perspective) normal, natural curiosity safely, especially since they are going to find a way to do it anyway, no matter what the law says.
The talk of withdrawing from France (as has already happened in Spain) is playing right into the hands of what the EU politicians want. They can't honestly compete and they can't just tell Google to go away without major public backlash; they CAN, however, spin-doctor it to look like a public service and get Google to withdraw. That way, the tech industry in the EU - that has never honestly tried to compete - gets a free hand up and the politicians (think they) look like heros.
"An ebook is easier to copy and digital copies are identical clones of the original work meaning that second-hand goods are largely indistinguishable from the original; they can be reproduced indefinitely without any loss of quality."
So why, then, do they cost so much? Frequently, I can get a physical book - and have it shipped to me - for less than an ebook. Price them reasonably (and actually make them, you know, like .... available) and piracy goes away.
Peter Beckett? Never heard of him. The band "Player"? never heard of them. The song "Baby, Come Back"? vaguely rings a bell ... but since that's all it does, it was obviously not a favorite. Keith Urban? I've heard of hime(although I don't think I've heard any of his work) - he's the lead act in a western music festival near here in a couple weeks. Nicole Kidman? Heard of her - an actress, I think. Can't name a single production she was in though. Marriage between Urban and Kidman? Didn't know - don't care. American Idol judge? Didn't know - don't care - have never watched it. The term "Player"? In relation to music, all that comes to mind is the Player Piano!
Mr. Snowden was in a bad position; he had to choose between his moral code (which, incidentally, supports the Constitution) or “other laws” (which are theoretically based on the Constitution). Further, as I understand it, failing to revealing criminal activity is also a crime. There is no way he could “win” here; as soon as he had knowledge of criminal activity, he was automatically guilty of something. If he returned to the States to face trial, it would be a Star Chamber affair in which he would not even be allowed to make a defence. Stay free and proud, Mr. Snowden – the world needs moral people like you!
Then I'd have to figure out what services are European. As it stands, I really have no idea where the various services originate (and, frankly, don't care). I use services that serve my purposes and don't use services that don't serve my purposes, no matter what "country code" the service has.
I "cut the cord" years ago. If I wanted to create services equivelent to what cable TV "offers", it would be expensive; but why would I do that? The main reason I cut the cord was I didn't want cable TV offered.
While I don't have a problem with the idea of taking the profit out of crime - isn't this exactly what they (LEOs) are doing? profiting from theft? I would stipulate that for there to be an "asset forfiture", two things should happen: (1) there should be a conviction for a crime that directly resulted in the aquisition of the asset, and (2) the original "owner" (victom) can be identified so that the entire "asset" can be returned to the "rightful" owner (no withholding or "fees" by the LEO). If either of these conditions fail, then they should not be able to seize the asset. This type of rule is the only way to prevent the very corruption we are seeing so much of now.