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  • Jun 19th, 2018 @ 12:49pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think the out is in the fact that the prohibition is on a party requiring disclosure of source code owned by a different party. In the case of open-source licenses, the party requiring the disclosure is the one who owns the code. In such a case they wouldn't be demanding disclosure of source code owned by a different party and the prohibition wouldn't apply.

  • May 22nd, 2018 @ 11:27am

    Re: Re: Amusing

    The idea isn't to get a ruling about whether it's de minimis fair use. The idea is to get a ruling that the defendant (HBO) can't raise de minimis fair use as a defense either because they've themselves prevailed on the claim that de minimis use is still infringing or (better, because it'd apply to all media companies and not just HBO) that de minimis use doesn't make it fair use. This would hit the media companies hardest because they have the widest variety of possible-fair-use occurrences in their product and are open to claims from the largest number of copyright holders.

  • May 21st, 2018 @ 8:11pm

    (untitled comment)

    I almost wish the plaintiff's attorney had gone and found cases where HBO had made the same sort of "any use is infringement, no matter how minor" argument and won, and used that to shoot down HBO's defense here just to drive home to the media companies the point that their idea of how copyright works is just as dangerous for them as it is for the public.

  • May 16th, 2018 @ 8:41pm

    Re: Re: Better yet…

    That isn't intermediary liability though. The government decided where to place the crosswalk, so they'd be directly liable for their choice. Intermediary liability would be holding the contractor who painted the crosswalk where the government told him to liable for the government's choice.

  • Apr 9th, 2018 @ 3:05pm

    Re: Who appoints the arbiters?

    It's not so much that the firms have a built-in bias in favor of Facebook as that Facebook's the only party that can select arbitration panels and it deliberately selects panels that favor Facebook. Basically case 2 quickly and inevitably becomes equivalent to case 1 unless the selection process is designed to prevent any single party from having sole control of the selection of arbitration panel.

    Knowing how things have gone in the binding-arbitration area, I'm inclined to believe any businessman's proposal of another arbitration system will go the same way until I'm presented with evidence to the contrary.

  • Mar 21st, 2018 @ 8:06pm

    Re: Predicting DOOM beyond all reason. A boy who cries werewolf!

    No, it's that under the new law platforms will do less policing or more likely no policing at all simply because that's the only way to avoid being run out of business by lawsuits and criminal charges. Such an improvement.

  • Mar 15th, 2018 @ 10:29pm

    (untitled comment)

    It sounds like the proposed system is less an email system and more a records-management system where things like whether the recipient is authorized to receive a particular document or type of document (so that eg. documents that should be visible to only one party don't accidentally get sent to opposing counsel) come into play and "email message" is only one of many document types. I can only imagine the mess if they tried to start with an email system and impose those kinds of additional requirements on it.

  • Mar 6th, 2018 @ 6:49pm


    Especially since the bulk of it arrives in this country from overseas. We need to impose high tariffs on it, and jail anyone dealing in or possessing illegally-imported "air". That'll address the mass-shooter problem and help the budget deficit at the same time!

  • Feb 12th, 2018 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Of course

    "Would you like a backdoor that only investigative journalists can access?"

  • Jan 30th, 2018 @ 6:22pm

    Re: Re:

    I'd argue that they did know how to run their services. They chose to build them without moderation, and they knew exactly how to run them that way. You're asking them to run them a different way, so it shouldn't be a surprise that they don't know how to run them in a way they didn't build them for. Whether they should've picked a different way of running things is another matter, but I'm not sure they're under any obligation to make their services useful to us (as opposed to useful to them). The traditional BBS sysop/netop answer to the issue is "If you don't like our rules and how we operate, feel free to go somewhere else. Push it and we'll help you along.".

    I'd also argue that you can't do moderation successfully on Internet scales. Every successful moderation system I know of depended on aspects of the system that services like Twitter and Google don't have any control over.

  • Jan 30th, 2018 @ 1:56pm

    (untitled comment)

    We might want to go back even further, to look at moderation in bulletin-board networks and services like CompuServe and Genie all the way back into the 80s. The insights garnered from those are still applicable today, although unfortunately most of them lead to depressing conclusions about the feasibility of successful moderation at current scales.

  • Jan 16th, 2018 @ 10:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Deliberately choosing to be a sharecropper is a bad move

    Point of order: a party you contract with directly is a second party, not a third party. Just make sure that your contract provides for sufficient penalties for failure to perform (ie. screwing up royally). The single-point-of-failure point is, yes, spot-on, and avoiding SPoF is easier when you contract directly for services.

  • Dec 12th, 2017 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Re: If FCC has no clue...

    Already noted: this administration doesn't want the FCC to be an objective expert, and they don't want the markets to operate properly. They want to cater to their friends/donors, so they put in representatives from their party (who make up a majority of the FCC board, including the chairman's slot) who'll do exactly that. See? That wasn't so hard, was it?

  • Dec 12th, 2017 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: If FCC has no clue...

    Yes, there is a basic flaw. It's name is Ajit Pai. Or more specifically, the flaw is in the GOP appointees' desire to deliver what their financial supporters want over what most benefits the public or even what the public overwhelmingly says they want. The fact that it was only after Ajit Pai got control that things went pear-shaped should be the first clue.

  • Dec 12th, 2017 @ 10:42am

    (untitled comment)

    It sounds like this isn't a blanket warrant requirement, the recipient can still voluntarily turn over the messages resulting in clean evidence (absent an assertion of coercion by the police) since the recipient isn't bound by the same rules as law enforcement is. The warrant requirement hits only when the recipient declines the request and the police want to take the device and go rummaging through it themselves. So your privacy still depends in part on the other party, it just doesn't automatically vanish completely merely because there's another party.

  • Nov 28th, 2017 @ 12:46pm


    One thing municipalities might do is turn to right-of-way leases. The ISPs may own the poles, but the city or county usually owns the majority of the rights-of-way those poles sit on and leases access to it to the various utilities that need poles. They should look at the terms of those leases with an eye towards requirements for shared access that don't depend on local or state laws to enforce. If there aren't any suitable terms, the next time the lease comes up for renewal terms requiring utilities perform all actions needed for shared access within 30 days of the request (with penalties involving either the requesting party being able to perform the work themselves or the utility that failed to get things done losing it's lease) should be added and made non-negotiable. Then the FCC's out of the picture because it's remit doesn't extend to regulating the terms cities and counties must lease access to real estate under.

  • Oct 27th, 2017 @ 6:55pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    To quote from the complaint:

    On March 19, 2017, Google/YouTube publicly admitted that they improperly censored videos using their restricted mode filtering that were posted or produced by members of the LGBTQ community based on the identity and orientation of the speaker rather than the content of the video.

  • Oct 27th, 2017 @ 12:37pm


    And multiple non-conservative voices have been filtered this way as well. The fact-based conclusion is what's stated above: YouTube's filtering sucks. And it won't ever not suck. The laws of physics and statistics are stacked against it.

    I find his complaints amusing solely because it's conservatives (specifically religious conservatives) who've been the primary voices asking for filtering because they don't want their kids exposed to sex, violence, gambling, video games, non-traditional family structures, other religions, science, pretty much anything that doesn't completely agree with the Bible (usually defined as the King James Bible or one of the variants derived from it).

  • Oct 26th, 2017 @ 4:48pm


    Seattle and San Francisco have an advantage here: the presence of lots of companies whose entire business turns on connectivity to termination points (Internet exchanges and routing hubs), plus lots of companies who're in the business of deploying fiber on a national scale (the companies who operate the backbones). Not that it's hard for any city anywhere to get consultants with that same experience. I know a couple people off-hand with decades of experience deploying national networks, whether copper, fiber, wireless or any other tech you can dredge up.

  • Oct 23rd, 2017 @ 8:32pm

    (untitled comment)

    So, as I read it, you have to buy a token to use the protocol. And as the protocol gets more popular, the price of tokens is supposed to increase which should logically encourage people not to adopt the protocol but to use alternatives. Whoever proposed this scheme doesn't understand network protocols at all. Bitcoin, for instance, isn't a protocol. It's an application which uses a protocol to communicate between nodes and to store data, but the monetary value is in the stored data, not in the storage or communications protocols. I say dump this proposal on the scrap-heap along with all the other technical proposals created by technically-illiterate managerial types.

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