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  • Aug 17th, 2016 @ 2:19pm

    Pink Contracts

    Remember them?

    AT&T again.

  • Aug 17th, 2016 @ 2:15pm

    Re: "North Carolina and Tennessee quickly sued..."

    The golden rule applies: "He who has the gold writes the rules"

    Investigations into the financials of PUC officials and politicians (and their families) would go a long way towards keeping them honest.

  • Aug 17th, 2016 @ 2:13pm

    quarterly reporting?

    This isn't the 1950s.

    These should be reported WHEN THEY HAPPEN.

  • Aug 17th, 2016 @ 2:11pm

    federal involvement

    It's about time the feds stepped in.

    In cases where the video is disappeared (or malfunctioned) the cops involved should be held on suspicion of murder under colour of authority - WITHOUT BAIL, whilst federal investigators step in.

    Making it a federal crime for any law enforcement official to have a malfunctioning camera whilst on duty would go a long way towards ensuring that they're working when issued and _stay_ working.

  • Aug 7th, 2016 @ 3:00pm

    promotional value

    30 years ago (yea really), the record labels decided that they wanted money for TV channels playing music video shows.

    They decided to start this process in New Zealand. The TV stations there responded by pulling all music video shows and promotions from their schedules.

    Music sales plummetted - more like crashed and burned actually. Consumers blamed the labels for forcing the material off air and most of the smaller independent labels which weren't part of the dispute were badly burned as airtime means sales.

    This kind of result made TV and radio stations aware that they were providing quite valuable free advertising for the music industry.

    The standoff lasted about 4 months. The sign that the industry was crying "uncle" was that they paid full advertising card rates (and _noone_ pays full card rates even for a single advert, they're there to negotiate down from) to air Michael Jackson's "Thriller" video, in its entireity on breaks on the main channel 6pm news, not once, but two nights running.

    A few weeks later, music video shows quietly resumed. The music industry never _ever_ again even breathed about wanting royalties for TV airtime.

    It might seem that Internet boycotts wouldn't work nearly as effectively because of the decentralised nature of the beast, but consider this:

    Newpaper publishers in Spain and Germany claimed that Google's headline aggregation service was costing them advertising and managed to get royalty laws passed.

    Google responded by simply shutting down services in both countries - at which point publishers discovered just how much it was going to cost them as sales plummetted. In Germany, individual publishers were able to negotiate for Google to carry them again - but this time they had to pay dearly for the privilege - and did so in order to regain sales. Spain wrote their laws so this was impossible and as a result many spanish publishers are in serious financial doo-doo.

    The message is simple: Be very careful you're not killing the Goose which is laying your Golden Eggs.

    YouTube could respond to the RIAA by simply dropping ALL music videos - and that's quite apart from the threat that the music industry is actually quite small in absolute value - small enough that if google is annoyed enough it could simply mount a hostile takeover of a few labels and then do what it liked with the material.

    Ditto for the MPAA threat. The reality is that these organisations have a public impact well in excess of their financial numbers and any telco/cable company in the USA could mount a hostile takeover.

    One of the more pragmatic approaches to music sharing was thought up by APRA (the australasian performing rights association - equivalent to RIAA), who came up with a proposal of a universal license of $1 per ISP customer per year which would allow them to copy as much music as they liked. Larger ISPs wouldn't buy into it, smaller ones thought it was a good idea. It failed.

  • Aug 7th, 2016 @ 11:41am


    This whole "passive royalties to avoid taxes, etc" model is being looked at _very_ closely in wake of the taxation and panama scandals.

    It will be interesting to see where things go but laws are already being passed to ensure that tax liabilities aren't spirited out of countries with excessive royalty/licensing payments.

    20 years ago when I looked at the books of the local multiplex it was clear they were only making about 20 cents per seat on ticket sales for new releases. The rest was entirely made on franchise sales (popcorn, drinks). It was clearly at the point then where the distributors were killing the golden goose (and multiplexes popped up because larger theatres weren't economic anymore - for the same reason) and I see it now in terms of the quality of the newer multiplexes and the (dire) quality of the audio (it's been so bad at times I've walked out and demanded a refund. I don't go to a theatre to hear bass bins driving square waves - distorted audio totally ruins the experience)

  • Aug 7th, 2016 @ 11:36am


    "The simplest solution is to outlaw % gross as a payment method. "

    The reason artists and directors moved to this was precisely BECAUSE of the hollywood accounting system.

    Ask Sigourney Weaver or the Star Wars cast how much they made from Alien or the original Ep4 (answer: nothing, except Alec Guiness who insisted on a fixed fee because he knew how the game worked)

    Hollywood has always been about crooked accounting systems, in the same way that the RIAA has always been about shafting artists.

    The irony is that these two entities are small beans in the overall scheme of money. Google could purchase all the Hollywood studios and record labels with money found down the back of the sofa (It's rumoured that Sony bought into the media makers simply to cut down on hassles it was encountering because of VCRs), as could most of the telcos or cable companies.

    Sooner or later one of them might just do this. Youtube alone is worth far more than any Hollywood studio and the easiest way to shut down the nuisance litigation is a hostile takeover of the litigants, followed by tossing the more troublesome staff under a bus.

  • Aug 7th, 2016 @ 11:20am


    I was at at my local gym (it's at least 100 metres from any houses) at 2am today with nobody around and the bots are still active.

    Whatever they're doing to nobble the API for the trackers isn't affecting bots - and that does suck if you're trying to play the "right" way.

  • Feb 17th, 2016 @ 4:33pm

    Why do adblockers exist?

    Simple: For the exact same reason antispam DNSBLs exist: Marketing is full of sociopaths who believe their rights trump everyone else's and that they're fully entitled to operate cost-shifted models (ie, you're paying for the computer CPU and bandwidth needed to download and display the ads, plus run any payloads they may contain)

    Spammers tried suing over block/boycott lists. It didn't work out so well for them and it won't work out so well if advertisers try going down the same route.

    There's a world of difference between website operators running adverts to offset costs and blindly selling space for adverts which consume excess resources on the client computer.

  • Aug 26th, 2015 @ 5:14am

    Re: Re: Option 2: Shame

    > He already quit.

    And in all liklihood has been rehired somewhere else.

    Quitting allows bad cops to change location with no further penalties.

    Tracking him may well become difficult and should his new employers (the city, not the cops there) become aware of his history after he's hired, it may well prove nearly impossible to get rid of him until he pulls another inexcusable stunt in front of cameras.

  • Aug 16th, 2015 @ 11:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: CDA § 230

    "That simply allows anyone to censor literally anything they want by claiming it is defamatory."

    Firstly: Defamation claims are the one area of law where _everything_ goes topsy-turvy.

    A: You either have to prove what was uttered was true and in the public interest (in some countries even that isn't enough. Defamation is frequently upheld in many countries despite statements being provably true, on the basis that they injured public opinion of the plaintiff)


    B: prove that you didn't utter it at all. (proving a negative...)

    It's like bring in the court of the red queen.

    Secondly: Republishing defamatory material is also defamation and makes the republisher liable.

    Thirdly: The defamed is free to pick and choose who he goes after. (yes really)

    Fourthly: In most countries (including Canada), republication restarts the limitations timer and several countries have ruled that each successive web visit is a new publication.

    Fifthly: Even publishing the accusations made by the plaintiff's lawyers may count against you in court.

    Defamation actions are almost entirely about who has deeper pockets - and of course in the USA there's no concept of "loser pays", even for vexatious actions.

  • Aug 16th, 2015 @ 11:12am

    Re: Re: Yet again, problem is simply lawyers, the cockroaches of civilization. They'll do anything for hire.

    "The problem is SOME lawyers and SOME clients."

    It is a pity that lawyers such as yourself (I assume you're a lawyer, apologies if not) don't file more complaints with the local bar association over ambulance chasers.

    The profession is supposed to be self-policing, yet there appears to be precious little of that going on.

  • Aug 16th, 2015 @ 11:08am

    In the USA

    You're free to sue anyone over anything.

    Actually doing so may or many not be a good idea, but you're free to do so.

    You're also free to be put on a pedestal and paraded around as an asshat. Court filings are public unless sealed and once republished most judges won't bother.

  • Aug 16th, 2015 @ 11:05am

    Thanks to the Internet

    The School principal and the police officers will _never_ manager to have their names disassociated from this mess.

    Welcome to the 21st century.

    You can't go around screaming "repect my authorita" when you have none - and when you're exposed as a bully in a senior position that stigma will _never_ be undone.

  • Aug 16th, 2015 @ 8:08am


    "It seems that the standard method for eradicating from the internet all types of surreptitiously recorded content is by firing off DMCA claims aimed at all the hosting providers such as YouTube."

    Making such claims is running very close to the perjury provisions in the DMCA. I know that "big media" do an end run around that by not actually claiming copyright over the item in question but small fry won't usually be smart enough to do that.

    I'd love to see a DMCA perjury case actually hit the courts. It'd definitely be popcorn time.

  • Aug 16th, 2015 @ 8:01am


    "Remember that one of the talking heads from Rightscorp said they don't agree with the law so they will keep doing what they want until SCOTUS rules in their favor."

    It's more likely the SCOTUS would issue a permanent restraining order preventing Rightscorp, its sucessors or agents continuing the behaviour or inciting others to do so.

    One can hope anyway.

  • Aug 15th, 2015 @ 4:17pm

    Re: Re: "Unringing the bell..."

    "But if you exclude truth and justice from the court room, what's the point of having a court in the first place?"

    Sorry, you are confused.

    It's not a justice system. It never was a justice system.

    It's a LEGAL system. Justice only peripherally enters the frame. This is pretty much the first thing taught in Introductory Law 101

    WRT the "slanderous" statements - as far as I can tell those would be the previous judgements quoted on those sites and as such they're legally protected reports of events in a courtroom (You are immune from defamation proceedings for anything uttered in court or in parliament/congress - yes, really)

  • Aug 15th, 2015 @ 4:11am


    "I'm sure the Nazis considered themselves the 'Good Guys'."

    The Nazis had belt buckles inscribed with the words "God is with us"

    Hitler believed he was on a christian Mission from God - he even wrote it in the last page of Mein Kampf

    The Lord's Army is running round beheading people and kidnapping schoolgirls for forced marriages.

    The KKK believe that they're followers of "God"

    I'm sure you won't mind if I take issue with anyone who believes they can justify or excuse discriminatory or violent action on the basis of doing "god's work", no matter which "god" that may be.

  • Aug 15th, 2015 @ 4:06am

    Re: Re:

    "oddly enough, the ONLY union NOT to be (generally) excoriated"

    There are plenty of others. They tend to be called "Associations" though - and they're also allowed to be self-policing when their members get up to illegal stuff.

    One rule for the rich, etc.

  • Aug 15th, 2015 @ 4:03am

    Re: Re: Re: If the NYPD wants to eliminate crime...

    I am surprised that the original filing didn't try to go for the backups that are legally required to be taken and retained.

    It's much harder to delete those without getting federal interest in what's going on.

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