Chris Meadows’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Dec 17th, 2013 @ 12:44am

    Not sure what the problem is

    I'm not really seeing the problem here. If any restaurant did take her up on this offer, she'd be pretty much required to state up front she was compensated for her plugging it. If she didn't, she'd be in big trouble with the FTC, who recently issued very specific rules that if you got comped in return for a plug on your blog, you have to say so.

    As far as I know, it's a pretty common practice for blogs to approach companies with products they want to review offering a review in return for a complimentary product. This blogger seems a bit audacious, but then her offer is couched in PR-speak, to which average consumers these days tend to have a poor response.

  • Sep 29th, 2011 @ 7:37am

    (untitled comment)

    Perhaps if we're lucky this case will go all the way to SCOTUS and set a nationwide precedent that it's allowed.

    Of course, if we're unlucky it will go all the way to SCOTUS and set the wrong precedent.

  • Aug 12th, 2011 @ 8:29am

    (untitled comment)

    The article I read suggested the DA's decision was a bit more pragmatic than realizing Gizmodo hadn't done anything illegal. The subtext I got, reading between the lines, was that they still thought Gizmodo had acted illegally in receiving stolen property, but Gizmodo was prepared to use a first-amendment freedom-of-the-press defense that could drag on into a lengthy, highly-publicized legal battle that would just end up Streisand-effecting them into greater publicity. Even if the DA's office eventually won, it would have been at too great a cost for any possible benefit.

  • Feb 1st, 2011 @ 4:45pm

    (untitled comment)

    Technically, it's not that they want all content to be sold through in-app purchases. It's just that they want in-app purchases to be available if out-of-app purchases are. And in-app purchases would pay 30% to them.

  • Jan 25th, 2011 @ 7:35pm

    It matters how old you are

    "My friend Jim Griffin always says that anything invented before you’re 20 was there forever; anything invented before you’re 30 is the coolest thing ever; and anything invented after that should be illegal." —Cory Doctorow

  • Dec 9th, 2010 @ 10:59pm

    We may be looking at this all wrong

    Whatever you say about Righthaven, you have to admit that they're not pulling an RIAA, making threats to people they believe will readily cave and pay them more money than it cost to send the copyright notices.

    They're going after one of the most pugnacious bloggers in the whole blogosphere, the guy who stood up to an ex-Clinton aide and won. (What are they thinking? Are they thinking?)

  • Dec 2nd, 2010 @ 11:47am

    It didn't apply to the pedophile book either

    Amazon pulled it only a couple of hours after making the announcement, leading to speculation that the announcement was a knee-jerk boilerplate Amazon sends out in the event of a complaint about any book (such as, say, a Tea Partier complaining about Amazon selling Obama's book, or a fundamentalist complaining about Amazon selling books about Satanism) whereas the decision to pull the pedophilia manual was made by someone high-ranking enough to be able to use his own judgment.

    When you get down to it, Amazon rolled right over on the pedophile book, too.

  • Sep 15th, 2010 @ 11:37am

    (untitled comment)

    Lucas is famously litigious as regards the word "Droid" (a word that they made up themselves, albeit by shortening an existing word, to note).

    And they have been all the way back to the '70s, when FASA came out with "BattleDroids" and Lucas made them change it to BattleTech.

  • Aug 25th, 2010 @ 2:04am

    (untitled comment)

    Remember that high speed flip scanner that University of Tokyo researchers developed was done with the rationale of scanning manga for world-wide dissemination. (Manga publishers weren't too happy about the idea.) And they want to shrink it down and put it in cell phones!

    Remember also that "digital shoplifting" with camera phones (people snapping photos of magazine pages to read on their phones later) has been a problem in Japan since at least as far back as 2003.

    Seems like personal scanning is a big part of Japanese culture already.

  • Aug 19th, 2010 @ 12:27am

    (untitled comment)

    I seem to recall hearing that the porn industry has historically always been one of the earliest adopters of any new media technology. DVDs, for instance—and also, erotica titles are just about the hottest-selling model of e-books (and one of the first big e-book stores (so old that one of their delivery options was snailmailed floppy disk!), Hard Shell Word Factory, was a romance/erotica publisher).

    Perhaps they're among the earliest adopters of new business models, too.

  • Aug 13th, 2010 @ 4:52pm

    (untitled comment)

    Bioshock springs immediately to immediately that I imagine a dozen people have already suggested it by now.

  • Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 3:25am

    (untitled comment)

    Hmm. According to Wikipedia, a "Pillsbury Doughgirl" character, "Poppie", appeared in some commercials and had a toy in the '70s.

    I don't know if legally that gives them a better case ("Doughboy" was a term in common use; "doughgirl" was not) but morally it shouldn't ought to.

  • Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 3:15am

    (untitled comment)

    To the front, day and night
    Where the doughboys dig and fight
    And those caissons go rolling along.
    Our barrage will be there
    Fired on the rocket’s glare
    While those caissons go rolling a-long.

    —"The Caissons Go Rolling Along"

    An Artillery Song, dedicated to the U. S. Field Artillery
    Written by Gen. Edmund L. Gruber (1908)

    Published 1921 by Shapiro, Bernstein & Co., Inc., New York

  • Aug 3rd, 2010 @ 2:53am

    Like Shatner is doing?

    Interestingly enough, William Shatner is doing a series for cable on this very idea, in which he talks with people who were formerly part of huge stories, like Bernard Goetz or the Malvos (his interview with them made the news itself).

  • Jul 22nd, 2010 @ 4:19pm

    (untitled comment)

    Funny to see the review repost on YouTube, given that the Nostalgia Critic started out on YouTube before having to move to his own site due to YouTube taking his reviews down for copyright violations. Wonder how long that will stay up?

    By the way, nobody can decisively say that it is or isn't fair use. Fair use is a legal defense, and as such has to be decided by a judge using a four-factor test. People can say that they think it is or isn't fair use, but there aren't really any bright lines.

    Which is why the current copyright system is heavily tilted in favor of those who own the media, since even if everyone would agree something is a fair use and the copyright owner challenges it, the arguably fair user still has to pay his own defense costs and argue it out in court to get a declaration.

  • Jul 12th, 2010 @ 9:42am

    No such thing as "obvious" fair use

    It's worse than that. I'm not a lawyer, but as I understand it fair use is a defense, not a right, because each putative instance of it has to be considered separately—there's no "this will always be fair use" rule of thumb in legal terms, even if we laypeople like to claim this or that use is "obviously" fair. There's a four-factor test that has to be applied to judge each case. Thus, Woodlief could very well have been sued by Joe Henry's record label if he'd gone ahead, over just those eight words. A court might well have found for him in the end, but in the meantime he (and his publisher) would have have had to pay the legal fees and deal with the stress of the lawsuit—over eight little, easily replaceable words. So the fault in this case is not with overcautious publishers but with the system itself as it now stands.

  • Apr 9th, 2010 @ 1:42pm

    Re: all or none at all

    Right. Remember, even though the Supreme Court held that you have the legal right to rip CDs to MP3s, you should still buy the CD AND the MP3s because purchasing one version doesn't entitle you to other versions of a given product.


  • Mar 4th, 2010 @ 11:29am

    Re: Re: A Premium on Impatience

    Eh. I think that hardcover and paperback are convenient shorthands. People know that hardcovers cost more than paperbacks and come out first; they don't publish both editions at the same time. People getting hung up on "hardcover vs. paperback e-ink" are just looking for a fight to pick.

  • Mar 4th, 2010 @ 11:23am

    Re: (Storysmith's post)

    A successful business model like starting out charging $15 for an e-book, then reducing the price a few months later?

    Gosh, maybe Macmillan should try that!

  • Mar 3rd, 2010 @ 11:51pm

    A Premium on Impatience

    There's more going on here than scarcity vs. abundance, though. There's also the time factor involved.

    I go into more detail about this in a TeleRead post scheduled to go up at 8:15 a.m. Central Time (in which I link this post, too), but bear in mind the difference between the cost of printing a paperback and printing a hardcover is only a buck or two—but hardcovers cost three times paperback price.

    It's a premium on impatience. People who absolutely have to have the book right now will be willing to pay that extra cash. People who aren't, won't.

    It's the same way with Baen's E-ARCs. Nobody seems to feel that they're somehow trying to pull a fast one by selling these less-proofed electronic advance reader copies for $15 three months before the final e-book comes out for $6. If people are impatient enough to want to pay that much for a draft version, they can. If not, nobody's forcing them to.

    I don't see Macmillan's variable pricing plan as being substantially different in principle than that. Just on a longer time scale.

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