Stephen T. Stone’s Techdirt Profile


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  • May 25th, 2017 @ 1:44am

    Oh, and one more thing

    replace the current DMCA notice system with central registration that requires all web sites to take down any content so named

    I can assume that your plan would require pre-emptive action for any uploads or whatever. That leaves more than a few questions worth answering:

    • How would a website admin determine whether a partial posting of a copyrighted work is an illegal infringement of someone's copyright?
    • What would be the procedures for contesting a takedown in the event that the uploader believes their usage of copyrighted content is protected by the principles of Fair Use?
    • What remedies would be made available to creators who fall victim to takedown abuse by overzealous copyright holders (or trolls who do not even hold the copyright)?
    • What provisions would be written into the new system to prevent takedown abuse in the first place?

    Somehow, I don’t think you thought your cunning plan all the way through.

  • May 25th, 2017 @ 1:32am

    Re: "the bill serves no purpose, and Congress shouldn't waste its time on it" -- Pffft! Best we can hope for is waste their time!

    State 3 ways you'd "modernize" that don't reduce the right of creators recognized in the Constitution and body of law.

    1. Digitize and freely make available to the public all of the Copyright Office's copyright records.
    2. Shorten the length of a copyright term to something far more reasonable than “life plus another seventy years” so we can re-grow the public domain and stop copyright-holding leeches (e.g., the estates of long-dead artists) from exploiting the copyright system for monetary gain.
    3. Re-write the DMCA, starting with the “notice and takedown” provision, to strike a far better balance between the rights of the public to use copyrighted content in non-infringing ways and the rights of creators to take down legitimate infringements of their copyrights.

  • May 25th, 2017 @ 1:21am

    Re: Re: Re: You see disaster. I see retribution.

    Each of the actions you list would be anti competitive especially with a monopoly or a duopoly.

    Yes, and? The major ISPs could argue that, since they all compete with each other on a national level, none of their actions would technically be illegal—even though lots of places in the United States are served only by a single ISP. Those corporations also have shitloads of lawyers on hand to make arguments such as those in front of judges and juries and (most importantly) politicians.

  • May 24th, 2017 @ 1:54pm

    Re: You see disaster. I see retribution.

    most Americans don't care about net neutrality, but Techdirt makes a huge deal of it because it means the pirate sites they love so much could be easily blocked

    The possibility does exist that “pirate sites”—however you define that nebulous term—could be blocked by ISPs if Net Neutrality were to be dismantled. But that is not the only possible consequence.

    If Net Neutrality is dismantled, ISPs could…

    • …throttle or outright block traffic to any given site, thus determining what sites that customers can access.
    • …install explicit data caps, then tell customers that going to “zero-rated” sites (i.e., sites that the ISPs approve of or own) will not count against the caps and thus keep customers from incurring a “you used the Internet in a way we don’t like” tax (i.e., overage charges).
    • …use the points above to help shape the Internet into a cable TV-style service where accessing certain sites at normal speeds (or at all) will cost customers an extra fee for that site’s specific “tier”.
    • …use all of that power listed above to all but blacklist any website that does not “play nice” with ISPs and skew the Internet's surfing habits toward specific sites chosen as “winners” by the ISPs instead of Internet users.

    In other words: Comcast could block you from ever seeing Techdirt on the basis that it disagrees with everything Techdirt has ever written about the company, which means all your trolling would be stopped unless you paid extra to access the “unfiltered” Internet—if Comcast even offered that as an option, that is.

    …huh. Maybe we should rethink that whole Net Neutrality thing…

  • May 19th, 2017 @ 5:18pm

    Re: Re: Re: So... Blame Facebook is OKAY if it doesn't meet YOUR standard of supporting users? It should spend big for lawyers, automatically taking the user's side?

    Hey now, that is totally unfair.

    You left out the furries.

  • May 18th, 2017 @ 10:30am

    (untitled comment)

    Better start saving money for the inevitable Tiered Internet.

    Do you think the telcos will go with Hulu or Netflix as the “preferred” Internet video provider?

  • May 18th, 2017 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re:

    I can only imagine that the line of presidential succession will be at play in such a situation. There is no precedent for a special presidential election, and I cannot believe that the federal government is prepared for such a thing.

  • May 18th, 2017 @ 8:49am

    Re: Re:

    It Trump would just shut his fucking pie hole a lot of snowflakes would begin to forget the turd.

    The appointments, policies, and legislation pushed by the Trump administration will not “disappear” if Ol’ 45 stops speaking. They are real, tangible, and likely to damage this country for decades.

    They are also not the domain of Trump alone. He did not drop the American Health Care Act on the GOP; the GOP came up with that and asked Trump to stamp it with his approval. Every policy position held by Trump has either been approved or endorsed by the GOP at large—everything from “the wall” to “less taxes for the rich” is part and parcel of that political party.

    When laws and policies affect a wide swath of people whom politicians are supposed to serve, people do not “forget” about it. They look at those who enacted those laws and pushed those policies to either praise or berate them. As it so happens, a lot of policies and potential laws being pushed by the Trump administration will affect more people than I think even they could imagine—and not in a positive way. People should give him and the GOP hell for that. People should be telling their leaders, regardless of party, that a certain law or policy could have grave consequences for the average American citizen.

    Trump is a symptom, yes; the larger disease is the political party that enabled him. The GOP does not want to look inward, as it will find nothing but spite for the broader American populace that Republicans are supposed to govern. How else can you explain a political party that grinds the processes of government to a halt just so they can say “the government doesn’t work”? And why should the American public “forget” that sort of thing?

  • May 18th, 2017 @ 6:55am


    Eh, they could argue that they were appointed in “good faith”—that is, they believed Trump was not compromised at the time of their appointments—and likely keep their positions.

  • May 18th, 2017 @ 6:46am

    (untitled comment)

    Other than the money, I really have to wonder why the FCC would be so adamant about gutting privacy protections, Net Neutrality principles, and basic consumer-friendly oversight. If there is a good reason for doing those things that does not involve large sums of money, I sure as shit cannot figure it out.

  • May 16th, 2017 @ 10:01pm

    Re: I'm going with Plaintiff: if all that's been done is add voice-over or insults to the whole (or near) of content, then it's infringement.

    Doesn't matter how lousy the content is, nor how you judge it.

    IT’S ALL ABOUT THE GAME, AND HOW YOU PLA—wait will anybody here even get that reference?

    Defendants clearly have nothing without Plaintiff's content, therefore it's not parody or transformative, but some degree of theft.

    Technically, it would be “copyright infringement”, and copying—even illicit copying—is not theft.

    They didn't assemble their own work (apparently it's not a melange skewing several persons), just added insults.

    Late night talk show hosts do this all the time; nobody sues them for copyright infringement over it.

    This is literally adding insult to injury, then.

    Technically, it would be adding insult to copyright infringement—the plaintiff still has to prove any actual injury that comes from the infringement, after all.

    By the way, egregious insults is exactly why Masnick has problems now.

    Nah, he has problems because some half-assed half-ass thinks he can use the legal system to shake down yet another journalistic outlet that called him out on his whole-assed lies.

    This is clearly a trend: I call it Gawkering.

    Better outlets than Gawker have been pissing off dumb rich motherfuckers for decades before that site was ever even an idea. This is not some new idea, no matter how much you think you came up with it before anyone else and think you deserve all the credit for it.

    You should all take note that your notions about "free speech" law clearly aren't holding up, either.

    Several courts have ruled that the usage of an entire work within another work can, under certain circumstances, be considered Fair Use. The law is generally unclear on this (as a good chunk of Fair Use law often is), but do not act as if there is no precedent for the idea.

    Many "pundits" on the internet make nothing of their own, but it's easy to insult.

    Note to self: Coming up with unique insults for individual situations is not creative, stick to the old “public domain” standbys such as “imbecile”, “half-wit”, and “the orange-skinned toupeé-wearing hobgoblin that hides underneath a child’s bed”.

    Adds nothing to society that needs the protections due copyrighted content.

    I am pretty sure that those late night talk show hosts I mentioned would disagree with you.

    It riles targets immensely.

    Yes, and? A person’s emotional response to something does not determine whether something deserves the protection of copyright. One of those awful Trump children wrote a book full of quotes and mishmashed axioms about generic “you go girl” nonsense aimed at rich white women, and she still gets the benefit of copyright.

    It's likely that Plaintiff here only tried to entertain other people, poured out what he/she has of soul, which may not be much, and that makes it sting all the more.

    Hal P. Warren poured his soul into “Manos: The Hands of Fate”, and look how that film turned out.

    Don't insult people, kids. NO GOOD CAN COME OF IT.

    “Unless you are really fuckin’ good at it, in which case you can probably become a somewhat successful stand-up comedian or some shit. But you gotta be really, really fuckin’ good at that shit, or else you’re gonna end up face-first in a toilet at a dive bar wondering what the hell happened to your life, your bank account, and your two front teeth that you vomited up ten minutes ago.”

    If that's all you've got, follow old advice and say nothing.

    Second note to self: Never say anything if it could possibly hurt the feelings of anyone else in the world.

    …shit, too late.

    There's no percentage in insults for you, and potential big down-side.

    Well, Techdirt took the piss out of the Prenda jackasses for years, and that does not seem to have brought the site down. So, uh…maybe rethink that notion.

    Oh, and I just repurposed your entire comment for the purposes of foul-mouthed commentary with a few insults thrown in for good measure, so I expect to be sued by you for copyright infringement any day now. I cannot wait to hear from your highly ethical and fair-minded atto—I mean, whatever dumbass lawyer you can dredge up to file the lawsuit.

  • May 16th, 2017 @ 4:42pm


    This is an American court we are talking about.

    Whatever made you think judges would be held accountable for anything short of a top-level felony?

  • May 16th, 2017 @ 11:04am

    (untitled comment)

    Maybe France should be made to wait three years for any and all new Netflix content, see how they like that.

  • May 15th, 2017 @ 1:47pm

    (untitled comment)

    Jackson's refusal to address fraud on his own court will ensure his court will be the venue of choice for like-minded fraudsters.

    Do I even need to say the name, or should I just wait for him to show up in the replies?

  • May 15th, 2017 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Should take note from Happy Birthday "owner"

    Someone would have eventually noticed and taken him to court over it.

  • May 15th, 2017 @ 1:43pm

    Re: What monopolies?

    What does Net Neutrality have to do with the cable monopolies?

    In a large swath of this country, one of the few major cable companies in the United States is the only provider of Internet access. That gives the company a much broader amount of leverage over just who it can serve (and how much it can charge for service) when compared to an area with multiple available ISPs competing against one another.

    Moreover, the cable companies know that their biggest moneymaker—cable television service—is facing eventual extinction at the hands of Internet video. By controlling Internet access, preferably without oversight in regards to Net Neutrality, those companies have the ability to “push” consumers toward Internet video options owned by or friendly towards those companies. If I could access Hulu in a flash but would need to wait several minutes for Netflix or YouTube access, why would I use anything but Hulu?

    What makes this worse: If the market is captive and no competition exists, the companies will see no reason to expand or develop new infrastructure. Why would they need to spend any extra money capturing what they already have with improved service and faster speeds?

    Cable companies know that they have the power in this situation. Any breakage of their monopolies in the places where they exist would result in a loss of that power. The companies can and will do anything to keep it—even if it means making their opponents look like unhinged racist fuckheads when those people are nothing of the sort.

  • May 15th, 2017 @ 1:23pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Surely there is a better name for us than that.

    Hmm…how about “The Techdirt Shovellers”? …wait, no, that could be used a whole different way. Phrasing!

    How about “The Masnick-ifcents”? …nah, too clumsy.

    Could “Mike and the Mechanics” work? …wait, shit, I’m being told that I need to leave that reference back in the 1980s.

    Damn. Naming a commenter community is much harder than I thought it would be.

  • May 15th, 2017 @ 1:09pm

    (untitled comment)

    Damn shame this is nowhere near as entertaining as the Prendapocalypse. Now those guys knew how to make themselves look like complete jackasses in a court of law.

  • May 15th, 2017 @ 1:06pm

    (untitled comment)

    It will take more than the expiration of a mere patent license to kill the most ubiquitous and widely-used digital audio format in the world.

    Corollary: Does the Trump administration have anyone looking into this?

  • May 12th, 2017 @ 11:13am

    (untitled comment)

    “If you can’t out-argue them, just leverage the judiciary by way of legal threats—that oughta shut ’em up right good!” — C-NET’s lawyers, probably

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