Vic B’s Techdirt Profile

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  • Mar 28th, 2019 @ 4:01pm

    (untitled comment)

    Suggesting that because it's an online business it ought not be subject to regulation is stretching the definition of freedom of expression. Airbnb is not a social/discussion platform, it's a promotion and transaction business. As such, it has the burden to abide by the legislation of the various communities it transacts in. If anything, Airbnb should be working with top lawyers to craft a regulatory framework that State and/or local government might be willing to approve with minimal changes if any.
    It's no different from Amazon that fought for years against having to levy State taxes from transactions on its website on the account it was too burdensome, among other reasons. And for that matter it's no different from Uber/Lyft bypassing local taxi regulations on account they're only an app. It may work here and there, but not everywhere. Let's not forget that these companies have been successful in part because they bypassed archaic legislation. Government being what it is, it's taken then over 10 years to catch up to now behemoths of the internet, but government is back!

  • Mar 28th, 2019 @ 3:42pm

    (untitled comment)

    Suggesting that because it's an online business it ought not be subject to regulation is stretching the definition of freedom of expression. Airbnb is not a social/discussion platform, it's a promotion and transaction business. As such, it has the burden to abide by the legislation of the various communities it transacts in. If anything, Airbnb should be working with top lawyers to craft a regulatory framework that State and/or local government might be willing to approve with minimal changes if any.
    It's no different from Amazon that fought for years against having to levy State taxes from transactions on its website on the account it was too burdensome, among other reasons. And for that matter it's no different from Uber/Lyft bypassing local taxi regulations on account they're only an app. It may work here and there, but not everywhere. Let's not forget that these companies have been successful in part because they bypassed archaic legislation. Government being what it is, it's taken then over 10 years to catch up to now behemoths of the internet, but government is back!

  • Feb 13th, 2019 @ 11:27am

    (untitled comment)

    Since the beginning of this anti Huawei and ZTE frenzy about 6 months ago I wondered a couple things: what specifically did they do to threaten US national security? and if they did something, are US manufacturers (Cisco in particular) not doing the same? I've been very surprised that no major news media (this article being the first) is asking those basic questions.

  • Feb 13th, 2019 @ 11:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Expected Response

    LOL, he says major country and you compare the US with North Korea, Russia and China? Have you got to find the bottom of the barrel to validate your argument? Is America great because we're better than North Korea, Russia and China?

  • Jan 16th, 2019 @ 1:12pm

    Re: Re:

    "They *may* have lost the opportunity to sell to the individual who infringed, but that is far from guaranteed." That's a quick dismissal! Spotify charges $x to listen to music with no ads or free with ads. That's the model! It's not, oh but I want to keep a copy of what I listen to and I don't want to pay for it. And to own the music, you must pay the additional price for it.
    Again, I get that a teen or outgrown teen with no money or a scammer who has figured out how to make money off free music stream would argue against The Man and build a logical argument that piracy is ok. I also agree that the music business is a money machine wrapping itself in art.

  • Jan 15th, 2019 @ 1:43pm

    (untitled comment)

    To me the analogy is more like this: A fuel truck takes gas from production to station. On the way, some people jump on the truck and drill tiny holes in the tank to siphon off gas for their cars because they don't want to pay for it at the station.
    The arguments I hear are that the high cost of gas made me do it, or the truck driver beat me up or the latest/coolest technique to siphon off the gas, even how some guys siphon off so much they make a living off it... I get it, I did too. But don't give me moral rectitude for ripping someone else and then be offended when they bite back.

  • Jan 14th, 2019 @ 4:03pm

    (untitled comment)

    At the risk of sounding contrarian, I work in another industry, also subject to "green" groups that have made a living of finding ways to punish large employers who are committing abuses (at least in their eyes). These groups scrutinize our industry's often complex operations and when/if they find something that can be litigated, they send letters advising of their intention to litigate unless the company pays the group money (called administrative charges) and takes steps to fix the issue (which they frankly hope the company won't do so the can be fleeced again later). While I understand the responsibility that large and small employers have towards their employees, the environment, the safety of their product, their customers, and on and on... I'd argue some of these groups are like modern time robin hoods, taking from the rich to justify their existence wrapped in dubious moral/ethical blankets.

  • Jan 7th, 2019 @ 3:41pm

    Re: Planned Obsolescence

    Apple taught the world that 2-3 years is all that is expected of a smartphone. That model made them ultra wealthy and everyone followed suit, accomplices in crime. I'm not sure however that phone makers will take the risk of building and selling a 10 year phone. Apple 3GS anyone?

  • Jan 7th, 2019 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Re:

    If you wouldn't be saying it to someone's face, don't say it online. Time to grow up.

  • Jan 7th, 2019 @ 11:05am

    (untitled comment)

    Some are fighters looking for opportunities in challenging times while some are whiners despairing at the injustices they suffer even in best of times.

  • Jan 4th, 2019 @ 9:53am

    (untitled comment)

    I find the UK system's logic quite relevant and instead question the US's archaic free speech protection which is tearing our country apart because any sniffling idiot with a grudge can insult anyone for any reason with impunity. The threshold of online free speech should be the same as in your face free speech: your freedom to insult me is linked to the distance of my fist to your face.

  • Dec 31st, 2018 @ 9:40am

    (untitled comment)

    "What really annoys me is when the cops moan that citizens have them "out-gunned". They're SUPPOSED to be out-gunned by the citizenry - they're cops, NOT soldiers."

    American folklore. If the citizenry wasn't armed, the cops wouldn't have to play soldiers. Ultimately weapons are nothing more than tools for little boys' assertive needs while weapons manufacturers and their PR glorify the man they struggle to be.

  • Dec 27th, 2018 @ 9:31am

    Free speech?

    I think it's high time Americans Left (which I am) took a shot at the meaning of free speech and its use on the internet. In light of the sophisticated manipulation of media content by foreign powers and inside agitators in the US, it makes sense that governments around the world want to have greater oversight of what happens on the web that can affect their country, for better or for worst. There is no such thing as Free Speech when it spews hate or violence. Whoever speaks must own their words and be held accountable.

  • Dec 14th, 2018 @ 10:05am

    Re: Broken Inputs

    If I correctly recall my history book from long , long ago, the Brits first set out to fence off their properties to establish ownership. Property rights are the fundamentals of capitalism which, I think you equate to "control". Anyone or group wishing to better their condition figures out a way to protect their "acquis" (hard to translate French word meaning earned/owned). The lord fences his land, the corporation copyrights its products, labor force creates unions, bubble wine from a region prevents everyone else from calling itself champagne. One of the consequences of this control, is wealth generation (value add) and once you have it, it's really difficult to give it up.

  • Dec 3rd, 2018 @ 12:28pm

    Re: I always laugh

    If our prez can do it, why not our biz?

  • Nov 30th, 2018 @ 9:33am

    (untitled comment)

    Having lived in a few countries in Europe and Asia where high quality and low cost shame our little #1 land's services, I can correct that the issue isn't one of monopoly or duopoly but one of government directive. In shithole lands, governments define norms and services and require businesses wishing to partake in the fun to conform to their directives. It's efficient, really. But in our again great motherland, the philosophy (I use that word to muddle the pond) is to let business compete in a Darwinian kind of way (with God on their side) for ultimate efficiency. But, like in real life, evolution is slow. So, instead of efficiency, we have competitive anarchy and a government paid by the growing beasts to tell us it's the best way!

  • Nov 29th, 2018 @ 9:11am

    time and value

    There is another issue facing all these bundled channels forced on consumers for outrageous fees. With Neflix's $10 and HBO Go's $12 and whoever else's $10-$15 fee, eventually consumers are going to be more discriminating or else they will end up paying more for less than the bundles. The price to reach the Jones' living room will continue to increase for the ESPNs of the bundled world now that the paradigm has shifted power from content providers to content consumers. It will affect all providers, including today's leaders. Who says but them that a channel is worth $10, $12 or even $15? Supply and demand is ruthless...

  • Oct 29th, 2018 @ 9:32am

    Re: Re:

    Yeah, that

  • Oct 23rd, 2018 @ 8:23am

    (untitled comment)

    It's freakin' Wales...who gives a s***?!? Hate it when Americans model the rest of the world to theirs.

  • Oct 9th, 2018 @ 10:10am

    (untitled comment)

    US democracy works like this: the Supreme Arbiters are politically appointed; the Supreme Politician is Electoral College appointed; The Electoral College is partly appointed by politicians, partly appointed by a complex formula justifying taking votes away from individuals. Then we tell the world about the great glory in having one person, one vote.

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