Shane Roach’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Nov 27th, 2012 @ 8:54am

    "increasing the value of scarcities"

    More and more I come down on the side of copyright law being a violation of free speech. "Increasing the value of scarcities" is just a fancy way of saying "marketing". What is really at issue is business models where one is in the business of selling information. Any limitation on spreading information is, on its face, a violation of free speech. I am not even sure I am willing to give our "Founding Fathers" a pass on not fully understanding this. They were not at all kind to the veterans of the Revolutionary War. They were as well schooled as anyone in the art of ripping off their perceived inferiors.
  • Oct 5th, 2012 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Low Budget requests

    I don't know for sure, but if you are doing something like this on a shoestring, Kickstarter seems to be a nice place to test the waters to see if there is even any reason to put money into it to start with.

    Most living beings are somewhat risk averse. It keeps you alive.
  • May 20th, 2012 @ 3:57pm

    (untitled comment)

    I'm beginning to believe that the popularity of social networking is that it allows for socializing in a world where increasing pressures towards "productivity", where productivity is defined as keeping your nose to the grindstone no matter how ineffectual the grindstone has been designed to be in terms of getting anything real done, has destroyed our options for personal interaction and left us deeply alone even when surrounded by people. We cannot afford to go out, and we are not allowed to socialize except briefly at work, but the internet provides a cost effective means of socializing.
  • May 20th, 2012 @ 12:24pm


    People need to understand that the difficulty of funding large scale projects stems from the way our monetary system works. Money must be lent out to exist in our current economy, and it is much, much more difficult to collect money that is, in the end, already owed back to some bank than it is for a large corporate entity to borrow newly created cash to fund a project that is anticipated to do well.

    There are three important pillars that support the current economic system. They are I.P., limited liability, and the banking system. These three working together limit the ability of individuals to form their own groups and direct their own lives. They, by their very design, tend towards the collection of resources in the hands of a very few, leaving these few in charge of our lives.

    I love TechDirt for its coverage of one of these three pillars, but I do believe it is time for folks to start connecting the dots between the interlocking pieces of this puzzle.
  • Apr 21st, 2012 @ 8:21am

    Morally Wrong

    The problem is pretty straight forward. From the get go, "artists" have been told by people with a vested interest in controlling what people see, hear, and talk about that they are incredibly important, and that their work should be protected.

    Who protected their work? The government. Why? To control information.

    The fact is that "art" is nothing more than a way to get attention, and if you want to get PAID for people to pay attention to you, you had better be damn, DAMN good at it, because pretty much everyone else on the face of the planet with even the mildest interest in being heard or seen is competing with you. As such, according to supply and demand, entertainment has been and continues to be very cheap.

    Times past, when mass communication was more specialized than it is today, huge corporations could easily control this, and the government was served. Now, information technology is such that we are a "global village". Anyone can get on their soap box on any topic with potentially the whole world as their audience.

    Artists who sell out to the very people who seek to control the flow of information and ideas, threaten the rest of us, and find some strange moral superiority in threatening people with fines and jail time for singing their songs and dancing their dances and watching them without their sainted permission while TROUNCING on the rest of us when WE have something we feel is important to say have NO grounds on which to speak of trust or good faith. Ask yourselves why it is carpenter's don't get paid a residual on every building they've ever worked on.

    You betrayed your fellow man the minute you accepted the speech about how much more special you are than everyone else.
  • Feb 1st, 2012 @ 11:40am

    Beer Riots

    Maybe instead of having laws against beer, Brazil should enforce existing laws against rioting in the street. I don't intend to prove it right this minute, but my instinct tells me that is the origin of that ridiculous law.

    My opinion on this has little to do with IP law, but if you intend to host a huge sporting event, and people all over most of the world like to have a beer when they watch, then you might consider not being self righteous about the morality surrounding drinking a few beers while watching soccer while inviting said people to play in your country.
  • Feb 1st, 2012 @ 8:24am

    How about the delete button?

    This is the first thing I have seen on Tech Dirt that I deeply and emphatically disagree with the staff about. I am sick and tired of online "services" inventing fun ways to make content added by users belong to them in some sense.

    Simply code a delete button into the site and allow people to delete their own comments at any time.

    The End

    p.s. If someone posts anonymously and can't delete, well, then their privacy or "right to be forgotten" is not being infringed then, is it?

    p.p.s. If someone quoted them before they erased their post, well, too bad. Their words are no longer just their own. You got caught saying something you believed. Deal with it.
  • Jul 21st, 2011 @ 9:53am

    The court IS the government

    I get tired of the pretense that our courts are somehow the last bastion of nobility in our governmental institutions. I am addressing specifically this phrase -- "In fact, as part of that hand-waving to distract the court...."

    The court does not need distracting. The court has been presented time after time with every opportunity to do right by the people of this nation. I remember the issue back in the 80's with satellites. In order for that business model of spraying the globe with tv signals to be workable, there had to be laws passed against people collecting the signals that they were being bombarded with from space. No one believed the satellite companies' claims were legit, but it did not matter what the reality was. Fortunes are spent every year now for the enforcement of the ridiculous idea that people have a right to use open communication methods and expect no one to bother listening in. Think about that the next time you experience a petty crime and don't even bother contacting the police because you know they will not even try to help you.

    I.P. laws necessary? Give me a break. I helped build a Wal Mart back in 1989. Where are my residuals? Do we worry that no one will ever do any work if they are not allowed to appropriately profit by it for the rest of their lives? What's good for the thinker ought to be good for the doer as well, or have we finally come to the point where we openly claim as a society that labor is a shameful way to make a living?

    I.P. law is, at its heart, a violation of the very concept of freedom of speech and is nothing but a tool to re-institute slavery. All of human history is just one long, sick, and sad example after another of people attempting to use others for their benefit, and those others at first lazily accepting more and more outrageous treatment, then finally violently over-reacting instead of systematically attacking the problem at its source -- sick ideologies and the implementation of laws to support them. "Intellectual Property" is not a valuable concept. It is an oxymoron. These laws need to be done away with.

    Our government, from top to bottom and side to side, is owned by powerful elites who use I.P. law to strangle the individuals most fundamental right -- to build their own lives and look after their own welfare. They protect those who need no protection by causing the rest of us to crawl in constant fear of breaking one of a million inscrutable regulations put in place to protect the greedy from the needy.

    Death to all supporters of I.P. laws. They are all merely vile thieves.
  • Jul 20th, 2011 @ 9:13am

    Guilty, but Overkill

    Trying to pretend he did not break the law seems a little bootless to me. Saying he never intended to break the law seems disingenuous at best. I understand and agree with the accusation that the government misuses the terms related to theft here, but the bottom line is that the government does not have to have the permission of a victim to prosecute, so what JSTOR decides to do about this is moot.

    The real story here is that copyright laws are allowed to run as strictly as they do at all, and that so much time and effort is wasted trying to overcome progress through criminalization. The man, as far as I am concerned, can break the law and still be a hero. After all, Sampson slaughtered hundreds of his enemies single handedly, which in Biblical terms seems to look like murder, and behaved flippantly towards the authority of God Himself on occasion, yet still in the end is considered a great Bible hero because his faith endured and in the end he was able to bring his enemies, and God's, to their knees.

    I tell you the truth, those who lie and pretend that copying things is theft, or that copyright is anything other than a end run around freedom of speech, seem to me to be the bigger liars, and true enemies of God, if the phrase, "God is Truth", has any literal meaning at all.
  • May 25th, 2011 @ 5:13pm


    Whether or not something is legal in the criminal sense has absolutely nothing to do with whether or not there is a legitimate civil tort. Yes, doing business with someone while being fully aware these people are going to purposefully use your work to harm others, thus causing them financial loss, is perfectly reasonable grounds for a lawsuit.

    Helping the Chinese torture people OUGHT to be illegal, but that's a different subject.
  • May 19th, 2011 @ 3:49pm


    I dislike the way this article attempts to use a discussion about potential satire to treat a scurrilous as if it were worthy of discussion.

    This is the exact same sort of thing that used to be used to support having to be a land owner to vote, or only men. This has to be one of the five or six stupidest things I have ever heard as a suggestion on how to make things somehow better or more equitable.

    I have an idea. You only get to vote if you serve or have served in the military. Such service proves that you actually have to stones to do something about it if someone tells you your vote is about to count for less.

    Take that little "improvement" and choke on it for a while. (I first read that idea in a Heinlein book, by the way, just to be fair about proper attributions.)
  • May 19th, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Good Story

    This kind of thing is why I love Techdirt. You just flat do not get these issues covered properly in the newspapers, radio, or tv.

    I don't know that I necessarily want these officers to lose their jobs, but someone certainly should. It is unacceptable to have a law in place about something as potentially dangerous as gun ownership and possession and have that many officers utterly ignorant of the current status of the law.
  • May 19th, 2011 @ 9:34am

    It's the Economy

    The internet is host to a lot of very important commerce. One cannot simply take that offline. A flagrant enough attack on important commercial activities could indeed warrant a physical response.

    Techdirt is usually pretty good about admitting potential legitimate concerns. I hope that continues. I am not interested in subscribing to it if it is to become just another online clearing house for anti-government sentiments.
  • Jul 28th, 2010 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Craigslist and spammers

    The problem is not 100% with the spammers. Any time you offer something "free", you need to expect people to take advantage of that. The problem is CL's technology is dinsaurific concatenation board style advertising. Basically, the newest is on top, and on top is the best place to be in advertising -- first place you look.

    CL needs to get past this model. Backpage is doing interesting things with this. A person's posts go all into their most recent posting. So all your old posts are deleted and rolled into the most recent, and then the new one is on top. That still is not quite ideal though. There's still an identifiable TOP there. Logic needs to be developed as to how people view CL adds other than just latest first.

    At this point, CL is deleting legitimate adds of people just trying to overcome the spam by posting more often. They need to break down and admit their model is not working any longer. Time to do at least a little more work.

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