takitus’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Sep 17th, 2018 @ 5:48pm

    Re: region licenses

    Does Apple state that “purchases” made through iTunes are in fact rentals, and that access to content depends on you paying a new license fee each time you move?

    No? In that case, they must claw the license fee out of their own funds.

    If they’re unhappy with a copyright system that creatues these situations, it behooves them to throw their massive weight behind reform, rather than passing the pain on to their customers.

  • Aug 28th, 2018 @ 9:52am

    Re: Re:

    If the John Cage Estate starts enforcing their copyrights, we’re all totally screwed.

  • Aug 24th, 2018 @ 4:21pm

    Re: Too bad it was so little...

    I believe this non-argument has been used against virtually every whistleblower in recent memory—Manning, Snowden, Drake, Ellsberg, etc. You might consider the slightly less popular “vengeful loner” and “sexual deviant” smears to mix it up a bit.

    Or you could attempt to contribute something worth reading.

  • Aug 24th, 2018 @ 3:46pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Why would you not draw the crucial distinction between (a) in the interest of catalyzing change, making information on government wrongdoing available to the citizens who elect that government, and (b) secretly handing information to hostile groups--and only to hostile groups--in the interest of harming a country?

    If you don't recognize a difference between these two actions, how is 'whistleblowing' possible?

  • Aug 24th, 2018 @ 11:34am


    ... with the express intent of exfiltrating classified information because she hates her country.

    Your use of 'exfiltrating' without an object is revealing. Do you differentiate between releasing information to a journalistic outlet and providing it to a hostile government?

    You also imply that Winner released what she did to The Intercept because she couldn’t find something that was not “relatively innocuous”. Do you have a source for this claim?

    Furthermore: regardless of your opinion of Winner's motives, her feelings about the US do not make her actions more or less espionage. The crucial point—though obscured by the really awful Espionage Act—is that Winner released documents relating to an issue of public importance (and which did not put any member of the US government in danger) to a news organization. This clearly seems to be the act of someone working in what she considered to be the public interest. Are you arguing that her opinions about the US government make this a criminal act, or is the release itself "despicable"?

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Invaluable to the rest of us

    Correction: It was Symantec’s pcAnywhere source code that was posted, not voting machine software. But of course the point is the same.

  • Jul 18th, 2018 @ 2:28pm

    Invaluable to the rest of us

    Quoth Zetter:

    Source code is invaluable to hackers because it allows them to examine the code to find security flaws they can exploit.

    It’s unqualified claims like this that allow voting machine designers to avoid open-sourcing their products. I’d like to think he’s using “hacker” in the old sense of the word, but probably not. Either way, this statement is both too specific and misleading. Source code is also invaluable to those who want to understand/audit this crucial software, and making source code publicly available is, of course, good for security.

    The idea that, for the public’s safety, voting source code should only be available to some NDA-bound developer priesthood needs to be killed dead.

  • Jul 11th, 2018 @ 11:44am

    Good article!

    Thanks very much for this exceptionally informative (re)post. It’s interesting that Facebook’s lack of easy access to social data (for users, at least) is a major factor in locking-in its users. Few articles (and, one might guess, legislators) understand this particular subtlety.

    Activity Streams is a fascinating idea. As Kevin notes, the challenge of mapping “activity” between arbitrary platforms is a big one, but this is a concrete attempt to solve it.

  • Jun 25th, 2018 @ 9:43pm

    Contribute by freeing data

    Maher’s article makes an excellent case. As she’s a bit short on the details of how Amazon, Facebook, etc. should contribute, her argument does come across as a veiled “hey, send us some donations!”. But there are many other ways in which these companies could contribute—in server space and analytics, for example. Most crucially, if major internet services benefit from the free data produced by these projects, they might respond in kind—by freeing, rather than siloing, the data that they create.

    Google Books was, in this sense, an example of a step in the right direction. By creating a very large body of (basically) free/open data, this project has probably fueled hundreds of Wikipedia articles—which, in nice symbiotic style, are used by Siri and Alexa devices to provide quick summaries.

    Although I’m sure money and infrastructure would be the most welcome short-term contributions that Google, et al could make to Wikimedia, free data is the lifeblood of commons projects. But far more valuable, in the long term, would be a pledge to reverse the siloization trend (something they’re primarily responsible for, after all) and to open-source their own projects.

  • Jun 25th, 2018 @ 10:05am

    Cutting off one’s nose

    This isn't one market destroying another. It could be two complementary markets (ContentID but for product placement of inadvertently featured artists) but IFPI has chosen to treat Twitch as just another Pirate Bay.

    This is exactly right. YouTube, for example, is full of comments from interested users inquiring about the background music used in specific videos and asking where to get a copy. Since no-one is actually using livestreams as a free jukebox for copyrighted music, it seems like the net effect of all this could be totally positive for music creators.

  • May 18th, 2018 @ 6:01am

    Morality theater

    The 16-digit cards will allow browsers to avoid giving personal details online when asked to prove their age.

    16 digits? Is this the return of the software CD key which did such a wonderful job of preventing people from copying things 20 years ago?

    In all probability this system has already been cracked.

  • Apr 27th, 2018 @ 9:32am

    Hurray for 'functional equivalence'

    If these discs have been ruled to be equivalent in value and function to licensed copies of Microsoft software, does that mean unlicensed MS software is defective? If all of the value here is contained in the software (which is what this verdict seems to be claiming), how is it reasonable for Microsoft to sell “broken” copies which can be “fixed” for a license fee?

    Value, according to this court, seems to be some immanent essence that exists not only in software, nor in licenses, but in all things—or, at least, in whatever thing is most convenient for maximizing Microsoft’s copyright claims.

  • Apr 26th, 2018 @ 9:09am


    As reasonable as it seems, it’s clearly an attempt to present the usual MPAA line in terms of the current panic. The second sentence (“The problem is endemic…”) is key—it’s basically a familiar attempt to portray the Internet as a Wild West that needs to be brought into line. Minus the “personal information” wrinkle, this is the same talking point that Hollywood was using 10 years ago to attack file-sharing services.

    This kind of co-opting unfortunately muddies the waters. There’s no way in hell that the copyright-enforcement lobby is a friend of Internet privacy, but, with statements like these, they’re cynically trying to cast themselves in that light.

  • Apr 19th, 2018 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Cutting the onions

    AFAIK, it is literally impossible to block access to an onion domain, unless you bring down the entire Tor network.

    Exactly. Apparently lawyers attempting to get domains seized can’t be troubled to learn anything about DNS.

  • Apr 12th, 2018 @ 12:19pm


    Flagged as irrelevant trollbait.

  • Mar 13th, 2018 @ 11:38am

    Re: Trump's usefulness

    Dark Helmet,

    I can’t see how your comment contributes much beyond an attempt to spark yet another Trump v. Clinton flamefest of the type usually started by blue and his cohorts. The point of Mike’s article, it seems, was not to debate the relative moral worth of politicians, but to point out the obvious threat posed by a politician who attempts to silence someone who might publicly embarass them.

    Given that you regularly contribute to this site, I’m disappointed by what seem to be a troll-baiting comment.

  • Mar 8th, 2018 @ 10:18pm

    We have the solution!


    Censor drug-related Web searches → no more opioid crisis!

    Censor porn on the Web → no more sex trafficking!

    Censor searches involving the keywords “army”, “missile”, “rifle”, etc. → world peace at last!

    It turns out the physical world never actually had any problems. It was just the Web giving people the idea to screw it up.


  • Mar 5th, 2018 @ 6:07pm

    Re: Re: stupidity

    The irony of the above comment is that this advice (“The WORST thing you can do…”) is probably pretty familiar to most of us—it’s the best way to act when faced with a violent criminal.

  • Feb 28th, 2018 @ 12:03pm

    The flexibility of "hateful"

    The Chinese Government’sAHEM People’s Daily also makes this interesting comment:

    “It is not only an offense, but even more so, it’s a challenge to the Chinese people. Needless to say, it’s hateful.”

    This is an obvious lesson in how flexible the definition of “hate speech” is in the hands of clever propagandists. Even an uncited quote encouraging broad-mindedness can be spun as hateful, given enough Orwellian oomph.

  • Feb 28th, 2018 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Apparently China’s dystopian future is just Disney’s Toontown.

    It’s funny how often “save the children” is subject to mission creep.

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