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  • Jun 30th, 2016 @ 4:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: when a system determines money = speech...

    Not only that but the system is basically skewed to screen for corruption, as no/little money means your odds of being elected are much lower than those with lots of money from generous 'donations'.

    Someone who's willing to take money but doesn't vote 'properly' isn't likely to receive any money when it comes time for re-election, and the one term they spend in office their efforts are likely to be completely buried by those that are willing to return the favor for all the 'donations' they received to ensure that those 'donations' will still be there when it's their time for re-election.

  • Jun 30th, 2016 @ 3:16pm

    Kudos indeed

    A politician willing to defend the sleaze if that's what it takes to defend the innocent, a rare sight these days and something that's most certainly due some respect.

  • Jun 30th, 2016 @ 3:00pm

    That's almost impressive

    They managed to fit that much projection into a single video, that takes some real skill.

    'We do all of this(or at least we would if we could), so we're sure that other governments do it too. As such you should absolutely protect yourself using methods that would get you treated and/or investigated as a suspicious individual if you did it here, because Only Criminals Have Anything To Hide.'

    Pretty much all the 'advice' given would be much more fitting if told to someone crazy enough to want to visit the US.

    Don't bring your actual phone, it's one whim away from being stolen and searched.

    Don't bring your electronic devices, laptops or whatnot unless you want those stolen and searched as well.

    Be careful about using unsecured connections for anything valuable, there's any number of agencies that like to grab anything and everything they can, just because they can.

  • Jun 30th, 2016 @ 4:56am

    Small silver lining I suppose

    If the whole Brexit mess ends up killing off TTIP I suppose it will have accomplished one good thing at least.

    Given the US was already demanding 'concessions'(in the form of 'Let's do everything my way') when the UK was in a position to give the EU side of the negotiations a bit more clout, with the UK out of the picture I imagine the USG's demands going forward are going to make the previous ones look downright generous in comparison. If they are really determined to screw over the public in the EU they are going to have a real fun time folding again and again, giving the US anything and everything it wants.

    As for the UK and the trade deals they now get to renegotiate with the USG... bring your own lube because the USG isn't going to provide any for you, and you will need it.

  • Jun 29th, 2016 @ 4:25pm

    Because it WORKS

    There was a reason they've been spending out the nose making absurd claims and paying others to parrot it, because it works.

    Like the 'repeat a lie often enough and it becomes hard to distinguish it from the truth' idea, they were willing to roll out a clown show full of lies and half-truths because there was good odds that it would work, and with twenty-one billion from a captive audience on the line you'd better believe they'd be willing to spend heavily to protect that.

    Whether the change of mind is due to the lies and mis-information, the reminder that the cable industry is willing to spend(and therefore 'donate') heavily to protect their profits, or a mix of both, the results are the same.

  • Jun 29th, 2016 @ 4:16pm

    Way to combat piracy MS

    So people spend potentially hundreds on something, only to be told 'Yeah, you didn't actually own anything at any point, and soon you won't have anything to show for your 'purchases' other than the bank records of the transaction'.

    If even paying doesn't protect you from being screwed it's pretty much a given that at least a few people are going to start asking, 'Why pay in the first place?'

    So congrats MS.

    Congrats on showing people once again why 'buying' something is utterly meaningless when the 'purchase' can be taken away at the whim of the seller.

    Congrats on making people ask themselves what exactly they're 'buying' when they don't actually own squat post-purchase.

    Congrats of turning people who previously had no problem paying into people that will start to seriously consider skipping the 'pay' stage entirely, since it doesn't seem to do them any good beyond lightening their bank balance.

  • Jun 29th, 2016 @ 4:05pm

    Re:

    You'd like to think so, but the USG and numerous companies have been IP-junkies for so many years at this point even suffering from increasing 'crashes' isn't likely to wake them up from from their 'drug' of choice.

    Nope, as before the response will undoubtedly be 'If there are problems resulting from the law that can only be because it's not strong enough, so ratchet up the laws some more!'

  • Jun 29th, 2016 @ 3:51pm

    Why would they?

    In this case, ATS skipped most of the legislative process and found a judge willing to bypass local statutes on its behalf. If an industry can't support itself, it needs to stagger off in the direction of the graveyard, not seek assistance in screwing taxpayers in increasingly creative ways.

    'Should' doesn't mean 'will', and in this case they really have nothing to lose. Sure the judge might get a slap on the wrist or two, but will the company suffer any penalties from this? Hah, not a chance. They almost managed to smuggle their 'service' into the area and the profits that resulted from it, and sure they got caught this time but there's always somewhere else.

    They have absolutely no reason not to try stunts like this, and so long as that remains the case you can be sure that they will continue to attempt it.

  • Jun 29th, 2016 @ 5:37am

    Re:

    Lucky, I'm sure there are tons of people that would do the same if the opportunity arose, but until it does Comcast and similar companies will feel free in treating their marks/customers like crap because what are they going to do, go to the competitor that isn't there?

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 7:29pm

    Re:

    Prepare to be disappointed then. Though I'm not entirely sure offhand I'm at least fairly positive that the matter made it all the way up to the US Supreme Court, which found no problem with the idea that someone could be prohibited from exercising their ability to sue a company via a binding arbitration clause.

    The companies involved would of course argue that not a single consumer protection law was violated in their repeated overbilling, it was just 'a few minor mistakes', and they'd be happy to clear up the matter for the customers, and if the customer really feels wronged they are completely welcome to take the matter up with the arbitration court chosen by the company which is of course completely neutral and has no reason whatsoever to consistently rule on a given side.

    As such no need to get any laws or lawsuits involved, nothing to see here, move along.

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 4:06pm

    File first, aim later

    In the Amended Complaint, Malibu Media is not certain that the infringer is Defendant, but rather pleads “discovery will likely show that Defendant is the infringer.”

    Or in other words 'We have no idea if we actually got the right person, but we want to be able to drag them through court anyway, just in case we got lucky and they actually are guilty.'

    Glad that one got shot down, even if the fact that it needed to be is more than a little absurd.

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 3:51pm

    Re: Politics

    How about we compare the candidates in terms of how they will address the topic (war on encryption)...

    Easy enough.

    Trump: Almost certainly doesn't understand the topic in the slightest, but will lie and say whatever he thinks will be most beneficial to him at the time.

    Hilary: Likely does understand the topic, or at least enough to make an informed statement on it, but will lie and say whatever she thinks will be most beneficial to her at the time.

    So between the two you've got one person who doesn't understand the topic and will lie, vs another person who likely does understand the topic and will lie. Not exactly much to go on there to differentiate the two.

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 3:47pm

    Re:

    "Well of course, why else do you think we want to get rid of it so badly?" -Government voyeurs

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 7:27am

    "Look over there, a distraction!"

    Not much more had come of this until a few weeks ago when some musicians in the band Satorii decided to take the claimed copyright holders to court, asking for declaratory judgment that the song is in the public domain -- while also asking that license fees paid in the past get returned. The two defendants? The Richmond Organization and Ludlow Music.

    ... both of whom are I imagine are doing their best to think of a way to get the case dropped without the declaratory judgement being made, which even if the request for refunds of past 'licensing fees' isn't upheld would mean that they won't be able to collect future fees.

    As such I foresee some very lucrative 'settlement' offers being made, and I can only hope that the ones who filed for declaratory judgement stick to their guns and see the case through rather than taking the easy/profitable way out.

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 7:09am

    Remember, the law only goes one way

    Well looking at DMCA bots as an example, it would seem that in that case whoever programmed/ran the bot would say 'My bad' and the matter would be dropped, since clearly holding a bot or the person who programmed/ran it responsible for it's actions would be unreasonable.

    Using the works 'created' by the bot to shake other people down would of course remain completely reasonable.

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 7:02am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: What could possibly go wrong?

    A complete starting over is pretty much what it would take to even begin to bring the law back into the realm of sanity, but that too carries some hefty risks. Copyright law as it stands now is flawed, heavily so in any number of areas(fines, duration and such), but it also has some very limited decent parts to it as well(fair use and... that's pretty much it).

    If a complete re-write was proposed you can be sure that the same groups constantly warping it currently for their own personal benefit would do everything in their power to take the parts that are already problematic and make them far worse, while completely gutting the few good pieces left in the law, with the result that a law that was almost entirely rotten would be replaced by one that was entirely rotten.

    The current course of 'Just keep ratcheting the same rotten laws ever upward' is bad and just going to get worse as time goes on, but the alternative is not without it's risks as well, even if that's what it might ultimately take to bring the law back down to the point where it once more properly fulfills it's stated purpose of serving the public, and making it so that it might actually deserve respect again.

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 6:46am

    Re:

    ...it becomes that much easier for larger portions of the population to hold it in the contempt it richly deserves.

    Or it's more than capable of managing that already, and funnily enough probably the biggest reason more people don't hold it in contempt is because they don't know much if anything about it.

    This of course makes the periodic calls for 'education regarding copyright' from the maximalists all the funnier, because if people actually were properly educated on the subject odds are not many would be agreeing with the maximalist position unless they stood to personally profit from it.

    Potential fines large enough to buy houses with for things most people would do without a second thought? Durations that are for all intents and purposes eternal? The complete reversal of the idea of 'Innocent until proven guilty'? If people respect copyright it's because most of them don't know anything about it other than what they've been told by the same groups that are constantly pushing for it's expansion and ever ratcheting upwards.

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 6:35am

    It's the duty of all obedient americans to be afraid, so start shaking in fear!

    Because terrorists! Communists! Criminals of all sorts! The law gets in the way of finding and holding them accountable for violating the law, therefore the only possible response is to get rid of the law! The only possible reason someone wouldn't want the government to be able to do anything it wants with absolutely no restrictions is because they're a terrorist, communist, or both!

    /poe

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 5:08am

    Telling priorities

    Cable companies overbill their customers on a regular basis: They get called in for one hearing to discuss the matter.

    FCC passes passes net neutrality rules in an attempt to curb some of the more blatant abuses of telecom companies regarding the treatment of their customers: They get called in for multiple hearings to 'investigate' the matter.

  • Jun 28th, 2016 @ 4:53am

    Re:

    Good find, I had thought of that article after reading this one(and in fact the memory was part of what prompted the concerns in my first comment) but wasn't sure I'd be able to find it in the archives.

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