MrTroy’s Techdirt Profile


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  • May 24th, 2016 @ 6:17pm

    Re: Music Industry

    Many of my artist/composer clients have made hit records that are staples of the dance music scene nationwide, and they make almost nothing---it is really unfair and ridiculous. Unless you are famous (Lady Gaga or Beyonce), you won't make enough money from royalties, license fees, and record sales to continue your music career.

    I'm not sure how to reconcile these two sentences. What's the difference between being a staple of the dance music scene nationwide, and being famous? Is it the number of plays, or the name recognition?

    Surely royalties should be based on the number of plays, and not the name recognition? Unless Lady Gaga and Beyonce have managed to leverage their name recognition to negotiate better royalty schedules, but that has nothing to do with the services playing the music, and everything to do with the labels.

    Of course, if we required Spotify and other services to pay adequate royalties to compensate artist and composers in a manner comparable to amounts paid in the old system, these services would fail financially.

    Yes, if they are forced to pay more, then they will disappear, and the thousands of artists who were making money from these services will no longer be able to make money. The labels will once again become the only way to secure distribution, and society will benefit... how?

    I think we can agree that the purpose of copyright law is to provide incentives for talented artists and writers to devote their careers to their work.

    Nope. The purpose of copyright law is to provide incentives for talented artists and writers to create works. And untalented ones, too. Whether they are able to devote a career to it or not is completely orthogonal to the law, though it does happen to provide a mechanism to do so - but as has been discussed on this site at length, that is just the implementation of the law, not the intent.

    You do raise good points, and I tend to agree with you that just because Spotify and Pandora are paying most of their revenue in licensing doesn't necessarily prove that they're paying enough... but all of the figures that get thrown around seem to indicate that these services actually are paying fair rates, but that money simply isn't making it to the artists, instead getting lost in the collection agencies and labels. It seems like your anger should be at the labels for paying poor royalties, rather than the services for not paying the labels enough.

    I'm curious if you have any visibility over musicians that don't rely on royalties for income - those who work on music for movies, games and tv shows, or playing live music exclusively, and what those artists think of modern music services?

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 5:45pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    In that case, your fundamental error is assuming that artists care what you think.

  • May 24th, 2016 @ 12:24am

    Re: Re: Re:

    till, something that irks me is... why music copies should be paid for? I mean, I'm reading people that say that they buy their music (not sure in what for, some say in CDs or whatnot).

    To be honest, isn't that just stupid? I mean, you're paying for something that is being made artificially scarce by a few, when you know that the marginal value of each copy is close to zero.

    Paying for Spotify is one thing. Its added value isn't only providing the music, but a platform to get it easily, without having to mess your brains, with a standard of quality and all that.

    But paying for a CD or a song on itunes? What a waste of money.

    Your fundamental error here is conflating a thing's cost with its value. The incremental cost of one copy of a digital song file may be (near) zero, but that doesn't stop the same file from having value.

  • May 17th, 2016 @ 7:33pm

    Re: Re: Some people prefer editors. Others prefer IDEs

    That definition might work for you, but it has a lot of holes.

    An "Integrated Development Environment" is a combination of an editor with all of the tools that you need to do your development. You know, integrated. Good IDEs let you customise your toolchain based on what you're trying to do; in my experience only very targeted IDEs (such as Visual Studio) force a toolchain (build system) on you.

    FWIW, add enough plugins to Emacs and it becomes an IDE.

    If you find that IDEs are getting in your way, it may be that you're using the IDE wrong, and that learning how the IDE wants you to alter your workflows may improve your experience. Of course, up to you whether the risk of spending time learning the IDE is likely to be paid back in improved productivity - it doesn't always pay off.

  • May 17th, 2016 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Java "weakness"

    I go through periods of hating Java (often proportional to how much the code is using generics...)

    Usually a week or two in C targeting Intel's offload framework is enough to cure me of Java hate for a while.

  • May 17th, 2016 @ 7:11pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Java "weakness"

    Let's not get started on listing the problems with Java. I'd need far more time and alcohol to get through that list than I currently have available.

    FWIW, Oak looked to have the makings of an excellent language... but perhaps too ambitious for the time, and release pressures ended up watering the result down into what Java 1.0 was.

    A problem nowadays is that there are far too many languages to choose from - many are particularly good at some specific task. Knowing which language is best for the task at hand (and will continue to be for the life of the project) is an NP-hard problem... at best we can determine which languages are appropriate... and hope that the person responsible for the decision actually has the knowledge required to choose.

    And at the end of the day, every single language has drawbacks, at least in my experience.

  • May 16th, 2016 @ 11:59pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Java "weakness"

    Who said Java is used everywhere?

    Looking locally, there are FAR more jobs working with PHP than Java, and C#/SharePoint seems to offer more regular work than Java too.

    Java happens to offer the highest earning potential for me right now. Some years ago it was C++. Next year it may be Scala. YMMV.

    Not sure what relevance any of this has. The comment you responded to was pointing out that strong typing isn't a weakness. Sure, it's not a silver bullet either, but I believe the original point stands, despite your attempt to shift the conversation to a topic of more interest to you.

  • May 16th, 2016 @ 9:14pm

    Re: Re: Java "weakness"

    From my perspective, JAVA, C++ and their ilk are the modern versions of COBOL. You can write every program in one of these but do you really want to?

    As mentioned in a reply just above yours, "working in Java by day pays the bills."

    I want to sit around designing and playing board games, but I also want to eat. There aren't many places hiring Haskell developers, and typically they require stronger or more specific math skills than I possess. My dabbling in Clojure was a lot of fun, but I've never heard of anyone hiring Clojure developers... or any LISP variant, out in my part of the world at least.

  • May 16th, 2016 @ 8:32pm

    There's a practical difference?

    Maybe it's because I'm a multi-language programmer, but I really can't see the practical difference.

    The "verbose" Java syntax suggests that "public static int max(int a, int b)" is coverable by copyright, while "def max(a,b)" isn't coverable by copyright? Is it the types on the arguments or the method return that makes it eligible, or the "public", or the "static"? Each of those elements is purely functional, and shouldn't be eligible for copyright protection on functional grounds anyway.

    If you shorten the words in a book to just abbreviations, or remove definitives, does the book lose eligibility to copyright?

    I think copyright in code is a particularly stupid idea, partially because of the problem mentioned above where programmers sign on to assign all of their copyright to their employer (often including work done outside that employment, though I don't know how often that's enforced)... but also because copyright isn't a very good incentive for software to be written.

    I have never met anyone who has ever written any code with the goal of owning the copyright on the code. Every single time somebody writes code, in my experience, it has been to solve a problem, for some business purpose. Without the copyright, that business purpose would still exist, and the code would still be written. Companies would be far better placed using trade secret law to protect "their" code than copyright law, IMO. Not that I'm a lawyer.

  • May 16th, 2016 @ 8:00pm

    Re: Showstopper

    How do you confirm that the code that you are shown is the same as the instructions on the device you're using?

    Can you also verify that there are no bugs in the compiler that lead to vulnerabilities on the device?

    How many devices that you own are you going to repeat this process for, and what policies should you have for responding to patches? Should everyone audit their own device independently, or should we all rely on (and trust) audits conducted by other people? Does any of that mean that my 80-year-old mother in law can't use these things?

    I mean, I understand. These devices are part of a framework of trust that are intended to allow other services to be offered with a particular level of security; if this device turns out to be insecure, then so is everything that relies on it. It deserves a higher level of scrutiny... then again, "The bug was inherited from the upstream project which ykneo-openpgp is based on, and was NOT detected by any audit of the source code."

    Offering an open source software version of the device as well as the physical device seems like a compromise - if the software primed with the same key always provides the same results as the device, then the device is likely to be as secure as the software can be proven to be. But I suspect even that logic has holes that a small truck full of criminals could drive through...

  • May 12th, 2016 @ 5:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Do you have any research or sources to back up anything that you say? Please just go away and let the adults talk until you're ready to join the conversation properly.

    Read back through your comments on this article, and your arguments are all just different mixes of ¯\_(ツ)_/¯.

  • May 12th, 2016 @ 5:35pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    You are thinking to linear here. One of the reasons people release stuff through CC or other means that is that normal copyright is to long term and they don't want their work cooped up. But if copyright was reduced to a very short period of time (say a couple of years) they might be tempted to just keep the copyright and work from there.

    You demand that we show sources, and then resort to "If this happens, then this other thing might happen". The whole point of this discussion is that pro-copyright stance is faith-based and controlled copyright is backed by research (which you ignore).

    You say that those links to Techdirt don't count, but did you read the research that those links point to... that wasn't conducted by Techdirt?

    And finally, for what it's worth, I suspect that the creators of the Creative Commons license would consider it a success if people no longer felt the need to use a CC license because copyright terms were no longer ridiculous, and there would be much rejoicing and carousing in the Creative Common.

  • May 11th, 2016 @ 7:17pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    I think the current system work well, in no small part because it allows for so many outcomes and scenarios.

    And which of those scenarios are lost if copyright term is reduced to 25 years from registration, or 14 years on registration with an optional 14 year extension?

    And remember, because this seems to get lost in the debate every time... the copyright holder doesn't lose anything at all when the copyright expires. They can continue to do business with the work however they want... they just have to compete with free. But guess what? They already do, even while the copyright is still in place. Something being in the public domain doesn't mean that you can't make money from it, you just can't do it with a monopoly any more.

    As others have pointed out, 14 years today is longer than it has ever been, in terms of scope for monetising work.

    Would it be fair to Matt Broenig to have to fight against people making knock off Simpsons episodes and distributing them on network TV? Would that sort of thing actually count as an advancement for the population, or would we become even more focused on a few winners to the detriment of other development?

    Well, I don't know. Perhaps we can look at some cases where this has actually happened, like "The Night of the Living Dead" being in the public domain due to misfiled paperwork, and yeah, that's failed all the way to $30 million in the box office ( Having public domain material to work off certainly didn't seem to harm the zombie movie genre, either... I would definitely say that the boom in zombie movies following the success of NotLD counts as "advancement for the population" (at least if you like zombie movies).

    And reiterating the first point, NotLD made huge amounts of money (relative to its budget) despite having to compete with free, and despite the increase in competition from derivative zombie movies as well! The public domain could be said to have grown the zombie movie pie considerably - a consideration which is typically missing from all industry predictions.

    "we DO KNOW the current length of time provides no value to society as copyright was intended."

    How do you know? Can you show us actual proof or studies that show actual test cases, or is it all just faith based?

    Well, let's see...

    * rong-hurting-public-needs-to-be-fixed.shtml [2016]
    * creases-prices-limits-dissemination-knowledge.shtml [2013]
    * nderpinning-copyright-law-are-fundamentally-wrong.shtml [2013]
    * [2010]
    * [2009]
    * [2007]

    Now, you don't have to say it, obviously all of these researchers are poisoned on the TechDirt kool-aid. But can you show us actual proof or studies that current copyright terms are better for creators and the public than going back to shorter terms, and/or mandatory registration?

  • May 11th, 2016 @ 6:39pm

    What if...?

    It would actually be kind of fun if Gawker lost this case. I mean, imagine the precedent - it's defamation for other people to point out that you didn't actually do things that you said you did.

    Writing a CV would suddenly become so much easier!

  • May 10th, 2016 @ 7:53pm

    Re: Perfectly logical actually. Absurd and wrong, but logical

    I'm not sure why they would be particularly worried about that. People (in aggregate) have shown themselves willing, any number of times, to forget about just about everything that happened more than a few weeks ago.

  • May 2nd, 2016 @ 8:46pm


    It won't even last that long, unfortunately. The Productivity Commission is simply a place for the government to put people with great ideas that it doesn't agree with so they can keep themselves busy releasing reports and recommendations that the government can subsequently ignore or indefinately put off addressing.

  • Apr 27th, 2016 @ 9:22pm


    ... and yet you completely fail to address this from the article you're responding to:

    He now works for Google -- which causes some people to try to dismiss what he says as biased. But with his background, knowledge and experience, you'd be foolish to do so.

  • Apr 3rd, 2016 @ 11:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There are few burdens on those receiving notices beyond "take it down".

    The entire point of these discussions is that this is a massive burden, overstepping first amendment and restrictions on prior restraint. There can be no useful discussion with you until you're willing to address the burden that DMCA takedowns results in for content creators - as opposed to copyright holders or (large) service providers, who I agree seem to have a generally cruisy time under the DMCA.

  • Apr 3rd, 2016 @ 10:37pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Thread 609

    "So, if the DMCA didn't exist, I doubt we'd see any more lawsuits against users than we do now. We'd only see a lot more lawsuits against service providers."

    Incorrect. Without DMCA, service providers would not accept anonymous postings, and if sued, they would quickly give up the user information and involve them in any lawsuit. "Anonymous User sourced content" would not be a valid business model, and with end users properly identified, it's very likely that infringement would drop dramatically because few would want to take the risks.

    Without DMCA, wouldn't service providers still be covered by section 230?

  • Apr 3rd, 2016 @ 10:13pm

    Re: Re: Re: Thread 609

    Look at the Automatic numbers. 29% have technical errors. 10% are invalid. 61% are valid and are applied. so the fair use cases fit inside the 10% I am assuming as they didn't specifically break it out. When you get rid of the 29% technical error, the numbers for "processed" DMCAs are 85% valid, so the number of fair use cases rejected is relatively small.

    The fact that only 15% of technically correct DMCA notices are obviously invalid (in the words of Automattic "clearly false or mistaken.") doesn't mean that the other 85% are correct and valid. Other sitations that aren't ennumerated that could fit into the other 85%:

    * Parallel construction, or content that shares the same provenance
    * Copyrighted material based on material in the public domain
    * People taking down their own content.

    This is a non-exhaustive list, but feel free to ignore it anyway.

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