Kevin Stapp’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jan 20th, 2012 @ 9:04am

    Dead in the current form

    There is little doubt these ideas will resurrect in future legislation but Congress is now forced to hear from all stakeholders - especially consumers. Sham one sided hearings won't pass muster the next time around.

    I believe the future debate must shift from 'internet regulation' to true IP reform. Congress needs to understand that copyright designed in the analog world doesn't translate to the digital world. You can't create artificial scarcity in a world that creates supply exactly equal to demand.
  • Dec 23rd, 2011 @ 6:09am


    Anyone else troubled by the idea of trademark of a common word? Is it even necessy to create a trademark on something as transient as a movie?
  • Jul 26th, 2010 @ 3:31pm


    "People value experiences over possessions"

    Or as my father always told me: 'as you go through life you find the things you value most are never things'.
  • Jun 3rd, 2010 @ 10:25am

    Streisand Anyone?

    Good Lord, do they not realize they have set themselves up to receive even more complaining emails? May as well change his email address because that inbox is toast.
  • Jun 2nd, 2010 @ 3:49pm

    $15 screwing

    The $15 for 200mb is a royal screwing. I use my iPhone primarily for email and some web browsing (very little video or streaming music) yet I have sucked up 202mb in this billing cycle which ends on 6/22. If a light user such as myself is gobbling up that much data in that short of a period then I can see a lot people getting hammered on their bills.
  • Jun 1st, 2010 @ 3:56pm

    Advertising budget: $0

    I don't see this as give it away and pray but more as world-spanning free advertising campaign. He seems to be betting that obscurity is more risky than free downloads. I'm hoping he placed information in the free version on where to get more of his work. It would be interesting to see what the affect would be if he coupled the free book with an offer to send an autographed copy to those wanting to pay.
  • Mar 19th, 2010 @ 9:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    I wonder if this ruling won't run afoul of the Supreme Courts decision in Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission? If a corporation has the same First Amendment right to free speech as an individual then wouldn't this injunction be a violation of corporate free speech?
  • Sep 16th, 2009 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Re:

    If that is truly the rationale then I agree with your assessment. Trying to wall off content based on the delivery hardware is doomed to fail. They simply can't erect walls as fast as people figure out ways to go around, under or through them.

    It reminds of a essay I read about the two most common things mankind has built throughout recorded history: Walls and Roads. Walls are built to restrict us and roads are built to free us. As we march through history the walls are eventually torn down but the roads always remain.
  • Sep 16th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    (untitled comment)

    I can't help but wonder why they think the output device for internet access even matters? They obviously don't mind consumers viewing Hulu on a desktop and I assume laptops are ok as well. How about netbooks? Or is the issue with how the internet connection is achieved - wired vs wireless? Would they object to my laptop viewing content on Hulu using my wireless access? Is it the size of the device itself? Do they really care if I squint at my phone screen if I choose to view Hulu that way? It is so silly I am literally stumped on what their reasoning could possibly be.
  • Sep 15th, 2009 @ 9:21am


    Google/Yahoo/Bing provide their indexing services for free to each an every site the wishes to opt in. Yet these sites want to get paid for benefit they receive from a free service. Its like going into a restaurant to get a glass of water then demanding the restaurant pay you to drink it. What the newspaper industry is 'forgetting' is they have total control over what the major search engines index. A simple update to ROBOTS.txt on their web servers will exclude the site from indexing. If they REALLY think Google/Yahoo/Bing is 'breaking into our homes' they could easily lock the doors.
  • Sep 9th, 2009 @ 2:12am

    (untitled comment)

    Not to mention most filtering and monitoring programs are fairly easily circumvented by a tech savvy child. The only effective content filter I found is OpenDNS. You can create broad classes of excluded content, specify sites to block or allow, and best of all it is free.
  • Aug 25th, 2009 @ 1:52pm

    (untitled comment)

    An image search on Google shows about 85k images related to Rorschach. Not exactly the world's best kept secret. Wikipedia has a nice write-up along with samples of the ink blots. Much ado over nothing.
  • Aug 21st, 2009 @ 2:52pm


    Yep, world-spanning whack-a-mole. Good luck stamping out the 10,000 sites the will take TPB's place.
  • Aug 21st, 2009 @ 1:31pm

    (untitled comment)

    Just one time I would like to hear a company say, "Hey, thanks for the heads up on our site vulnerability. We are working to correct it right now. If you have suggestions on how to address this issue we would really like to hear from you. We can talk about compensation if we find it mutually beneficial."

    Engaging a community will get you further than attacking it. Honey vs Vinegar.
  • Aug 21st, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    77,000,000 hits

    Type "Music Lyrics" into Google. You get about 77 million hits. Way to go music industry. Only 76,999,999 to go!
  • Aug 21st, 2009 @ 11:02am

    (untitled comment)

    What is odd is Gar-ner reports are quoted in business press and corporate presentations every day, yet they don't seem to mind that.
  • Aug 21st, 2009 @ 8:17am

    Re: all digital prices will fall to that of a convenience fee, lets say for example, 99¢.

    My thoughts exactly. There's a price point that allows anyone to take a taste without feeling they are wasting money. I wonder if anyone has tried the $.99 price point on older publications of popular authors? Speaking for myself, there are lot of older works by Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett I would buy for $1 even though I already read the books.
  • Aug 20th, 2009 @ 9:19am

    IP in the physical world

    This blog often discusses the folly of applying physical property attributes to intellectual property (infringement isn't the same as theft, etc.) This is example of just the opposite: Intellectual property attributes applied to the physical world.

    There seems to be a groundswell of thinking among some corporations that their IP rights allow them to exercise some control over the use of the physical goods they produce.

    No one questions the idea that purchasing a good transfers the ownership to you and, after purchase, it is yours to use as you see fit. What is getting muddied is when that purchased good appears on a video or picture then somehow the company's IP rights come back into play. The company's position seems to be that once on film, IP entitles the company to exercise control over the use of the product.

    The whole thing is silly. The only time IP should come into question is if your filming of a product somehow confuses consumers.

    For example, I buy a Ford truck. I can video my use of the vehicle in any way it suits me. What I cannot do is produce a video that appears to be commercial by the Ford Motor Company (confuses the consumer), claims that I make Ford Trucks (infringes on trademark), or claims my uses of the truck are endorsed by Ford Motor Company (confuses the consumer).

    I might choose the film myself ramming my Ford truck into a tree but as long as a moron in a hurry wouldn't be misled into thinking Ford Motor Company endorsed slamming its products into a tree then there is no issue.
  • Aug 19th, 2009 @ 1:01pm


    "Well, I don't know. I seem to still have my identity, whereas you seem to have lost several thousands of pounds. In light of that, I'm not sure why you think it was my identity that was stolen instead of your money."

    I never thought of it this way either but having been a victim of ID theft I can attest the attitude of banks and credit card companies regarding 'your' problem.

    In my case someone used my ID to apply for credit cards then subsequently a large loan ($15k). Once I got copies of the applications so I could prove I didn't actually take out a loan here's what I found on the application:

    1. My middle name was misspelled
    2. My employment history was completely wrong. It listed current and former employers I never worked for
    3. Telephone number was invalid
    4. Street address physically did not exist
    5. Personal references and contact information were fictitious
    6. Drivers license presented as ID had a different DOB, no picture and was issued from a state that differed from the bogus address on the application

    I pointed out to the 'fraud' investigator that even the most rudimentary attempt at verification of the information on the application should have raised red flags. He stated it wasn't their job to verify every bit of information on an application. He also stated that even though the application had fraudulent information that didn't prove that I wasn't the one who submitted the bogus application. The conversation degenerated from there.

    In the end I was able to clear up my credit but it was an eye opener to realize that companies handing out money regard you as the primary victim of a crime and that you are guilty until you prove yourself innocent.
  • Aug 19th, 2009 @ 12:30pm

    Re: Im a subscriber

    The 'Music Royalty Fee' on satellite radio sounds eerily similar to the 'fees' cellular companies tack on their rate plans. There have been numerous consumer complaints over the practice of advertising low rates plans then tacking on official sounding 'fees' to disguise the real cost of the services.

    The 'Music Royalty Fee' is simply a business expense Sirius incurs as a part of its business. Adding this as some separate 'fee' rather than including it a part of the overall rate plan is misleading consumers. It is the same thing adding an 'Audit Fee' to cover the business cost of an outside audit of a business' financial statements. It is a business expense like any other and the cost should be included in the base plan rate (or eaten by Sirus).

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