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  • Aug 9th, 2010 @ 12:04am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: How About "Publicity"?

    previous post is not by anonymous coward, was written by vrob.

  • Aug 7th, 2010 @ 1:23am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ok, fair enough. I almost didn't include "upon wider distribution" in my initial comment.

    Perhaps these days they want to have the right to remake the film as well, but my understanding is that at least initially it started because there was a trend in which independent/low budget movies grossed more money than anyone thought possible after gaining a wider release through festival success and Hollywood wanted a piece of the action.

    We aren't really disagreeing here. I am just thinking back to the late 80's early 90's rather than a recent film like District 9 - which was a great movie and I am glad they didn't remake it.

  • Aug 7th, 2010 @ 12:43am

    Re: Re: Re: How About "Publicity"?

    Big shout out for complexify!

  • Aug 7th, 2010 @ 12:41am

    Re: Re: Re: How About "Publicity"?

    I like publificate and publification. It may not be the best option, but it is less awkward than our other options and it is a great start!

    Maybe I like it because it sounds similar to pontificate, I don't know. I don't really want to question why I like it; I just do.

  • Aug 6th, 2010 @ 10:49pm

    I probably shouldn't say anything but...

    These testimonials, heart-breaking as they may be, just don't seem plausible without a hefty dose of stupid along with a variety of personality malfunctions - and/or a seriously dysfunctional "family" scenario. In any case, the blame is squarely placed on the people involved, not the messenger/conduit.

    I can't see this as anything more than a thinly-veiled ploy to sway Congress into enacting laws that will finally enable greater control/censorship over Internet content for those who have sought such control for so many years. Child porn has long been the big gun in the arsenal of those who seek to censor and limit the Internet - and it really isn't much of a stretch from child porn to "enabling" child prostitution/human trafficking.

    The people who are using these stories, and/or creating these stories, to garner support for upcoming legislation should be ashamed.

  • Aug 6th, 2010 @ 9:59pm

    Re: How About "Publicity"?

    I think it might be the four years I spent studying philosophy talking, but I get why the term "publicness" makes sense. It looks awkward, and it sounds awkward, but this phenomenon is still so new that we have not yet created the appropriate signifier for it. The traditional practice in philosophy is to add the suffix "ness" to a word in order to signify something greater than the connotation typically attributed to that word. For example, in order to talk about the qualities of a "chair" without being held to the qualities specific to one or more or any actual chairs one may use the term "chair-ness."

    I agree with you that "publicness" includes a marketing element, but I also agree with Jarvis that "publicity" is not the right term. People who "Tweet or post photos online" are engaged in self-promotion rather than publicity in my personal lexicon. The term "publicity" is too intertwined with traditional notions of commercial advertising to be appropriate here. I am also of the opinion that "publicacy" is at least as awkward as "publicness" if not more so.

    We should start a campaign here in the Techdirt forum to come up with a better word for this phenomenon than "publicness" or "publicacy."

  • Aug 6th, 2010 @ 9:03pm

    Re: Eh...

    "They wouldn't be GPS tracking someone without a good reason (...hopefully...), so it shouldn't be hard to get a judge to sign off on it, right?"

    That should be true, and it generally is true. In the law, a "good reason" for a warrant is called "probable cause." If probable cause exists it is usually not hard to get a judge to sign off on a warrant.

    There are also circumstances in which a warrant is not required. However, these "exigent circumstances" generally require some immediate threat to personal/public safety, or loss of evidence, etc.

    This reminds me of cases in which new technologies are employed for a "search" and the question raised is whether it is a simple enhancement of the senses (binoculars); or something extra and unusual (infra-red glasses that read heat signatures). My understanding is that a simple enhancement is OK, but new technology that goes beyond our natural senses is more complicated. GPS tracking devices seem to fit into the latter category.

  • Aug 6th, 2010 @ 8:18pm


    Agreed. Additionally, people have been making memorable and successful films for far less than $200 million for many many years. I Don't think it is wrong to say that the primary reason Hollywood has become a huge presence at "independent" film festivals is to buy up any low budget films that appear to have the potential for turning a profit upon wider distribution. Nothing wrong with a first-time, independent and/or low-budget filmmaker gaining some success through Hollywood...but it does beg the question of why Hollywood can't or won't make these movies on their own.

  • Jul 25th, 2010 @ 12:45am

    Not everything is protected under the First Amendment

    "I really wonder if the part of the law making ratings agencies liable would stand up to a First Amendment challenge."

    This does appear to be the sort of clumsy legislation that we have come to expect from the US Congress. However, I am having a hard time seeing where it becomes a First Amendment issue. To begin with, no one is trying to prevent the ratings agencies from voicing their "opinions."

    Given that the Roberts Court recently decided that corporations have First Amendment rights regarding political speech, it is worth noting that the Citizens United decision did not give corporate entities carte blanche to say anything they want without consequence.

    It is also worth noting that not all speech is equal under the First Amendment. Political speech enjoys the highest level of protection. The standard of protection for commercial speech is significantly lower.
    If we are going to classify the "opinions" promulgated by these ratings agencies as speech for purposes of the First Amendment, we can be sure that they are not political speech. If these opinions/ratings can be classified as speech under the First Amendment, they would most likely be considered commercial speech.

    The Supreme Court has previously protected commercial speech under the First Amendment because of the importance of such speech in the making of well-informed and intelligent decisions as to the allocation of resources in a predominantly free enterprise economy. here, the ratings agencies appear to have been complicit in hindering people from making well-informed and intelligent decisions by obfuscating the actual risk involved with these complex financial instruments.

    No one expects S&P and Moody's to be right all the time, but this is not about a mistake here and there. Having a mechanism by which the ratings agencies can be held liable for making unreasonable determinations of the value of financial instruments seems pretty mundane; e.g., "Wait, they weren't already liable?"

  • Jul 20th, 2010 @ 2:03am

    Re: Re: Re: How about some data management...

    Thanks pal. I suppose if I agreed with your point of view, I could have posted a "real reply" instead of just being snarky.

    Next time I will just PM you first to find out how you would reply and then plan my post accordingly. Kind of like when we were in 7th grade and used call each other every night to plan our outfits for the next day so that we would match.

    On the other hand, I was serious about the whole hurray for jobs thing.

  • Jul 19th, 2010 @ 11:04pm


    "They are useful in cases of emergencies, especially if someone needed to call you."

    1. An "emergency" and "someone needed to call you" are not the same thing.

    2. Back before there were cell phones, there were phones with land lines. I am fairly certain that they still exist today and that every school has at least one. This means that when an emergency occurs, a family member can call the school office resulting in a person from the school office walking down the hall to interrupt your class and notify you of the emergency. This system has been tested and has been proven to work.

    3. I have never been in a classroom where it was acceptable for a cell phone to ring during class time, and that applies to everyone; teachers, professors and students alike.

  • Jul 19th, 2010 @ 10:39pm

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

    I agree that litigation against BP will most likely not result in bankrupting this deeply flawed corporation. On the other hand, I am not sure how much this has to do with anti-trust cases; other than being a history lesson in how corporations learned to circumvent the law by dividing and regrouping like a ball of mercury.

    We should all know that corporations have the support of the law to create an almost infinite number of subsidiaries and holding companies. And that each subsequent entity comes equipped with its own limited liability making it increasingly difficult to reach a satisfactory result when a corporate decision causes things to go horribly wrong.

    I am all for anti-trust law, I just wish it was easier to pierce the veil.

  • Jul 19th, 2010 @ 9:22pm

    Re: How about some data management...

    That sounds great. Should we finance the construction of another building, or ten, or more, to house all of the personnel necessary to monitor the Facebook and Twitter activity of people who are supposed to know how to keep things private? "Top Secret" may be among the lowest of clearance levels these days, but it should still carry with it at least a modicum of discretion.

    On the other hand, Jobs!

  • Jul 19th, 2010 @ 9:01pm

    I love Leo Stoller

    This Leo Stoller guy just brightened up my day. I love you Leo Stoller for not letting the man get you down with his crazy laws telling you that can't live your dream to own everything everywhere. Good for you Leo Stoller!

    If only there was a Darwin Award in the category of Trademark Abuse.

  • Jul 19th, 2010 @ 8:53pm


    I think I agree with you. If revealing sources that wish to remain confidential is not an issue, then there does not seem to be a reason for refusing to turn over additional footage from any specific interview for which additional footage is requested. So long as the footage requested is relevant to the lawsuit.

  • Jul 19th, 2010 @ 8:45pm

    Re: But if it was documentary . . .

    It seems that the documentary's story was a bit negative, which is why Chevron wants to see more footage. If the story was positive, along the lines of "Chevron saves the Rainforest," the extra footage would not be an issue. Chevron would most likely be taking the other side and arguing for confidentiality.

    I agree that the footage should be released - but only if it is relevant. As a filmmaker, would you appreciate it if outtakes or you and the rest of the crew goofing around with the equipment were entered into the record of a public trial with national coverage?

  • Jul 19th, 2010 @ 8:34pm

    (untitled comment)

    I think that turning over any relevant footage is reasonable. A request for all of the footage filmed during the process of making the documentary would be invasive and most likely beyond the scope of the lawsuit.

    As long as the request is limited to footage that directly involves the issues presented, such as all of the footage from a specific interview, it seems like a reasonable request (unless the person being interviewed requested anonymity).

  • Jul 19th, 2010 @ 8:20pm

    How to define a copy

    Beyond the DMCA notice/takedown provision, this issue of when a copy is a "copy" as defined by the Copyright Act is often a point of contention in the courts and elsewhere. The legal concepts/defenses of fair use and de minimus infringement have been significantly diminished over the years due to lobbying efforts by the established copyright industries. As a result, the definition of "copy" is fraught with contention within the law.

    I don't think Scribd should be required to expend the resources necessary to support a full-blown lawsuit, but I think it might be beneficial to have a statement from the Judge on why this case is being dismissed on summary judgment as opposed to dismissing it outright without an explanatory statement. Who knows if that will happen here, but hope does spring eternal.

    Lawyers are required to take an oath in which they promise not to file frivolous lawsuits. And although there may be a fine line between "frivolous" and "creative legal theory," when I hear about this sort of persistence in the effort to establish a passable case, I can't help but think of Orly Taitz.

  • Jul 18th, 2010 @ 4:02am

    I see what you did

    What is the reason for all of this worry over the icons or snowflakes or whatever you want to call them? I think its weird that you are freaking out about this.

    Perhaps one of the multitude of anonymous voices would like to explain why you find the identifying icons so outrageous. Personally, I find them helpful because many comments are posted by anonymous authors, and most of those posts are not titled. The result is a bunch of "Re: Re: Re:" replies to posts written by what appears to be one anonymous author.

    Stand by your work.

    Without the icons, you all look the same to me.

  • Jul 17th, 2010 @ 5:17am

    negative spillovers?

    I am not as up to speed on the UK's approach to handling the Internet "problem" as I would like to be. From what I have heard, it seems that they have not approached it with the same (relatively) hands-off approach we have had here in the US.

    This may be one area where our strict adherence to the free market philosophy here in the US has actually benefited the public. Given that the Internet is a (huge)new marketplace. I am guessing that the powers that be here in the US thought that they could control it just as they have controlled so many other markets. Now they have realized that it is out of their control, and all of these lawsuits and calls for new legislation, regulation and taxes sounds a lot like sour grapes and whining to my ear.

    I am not a fan of the term "negative spillovers" as it is applied in this context. Characterizing the advent of a new marketplace as a market failure only makes sense if you already had a good position in the formerly prevailing (traditional) marketplace. Even then, it seems that being open to new possibilities rather than stubbornly clinging to the familiar offers greater opportunities in thee future. From what I understand, the corporate form was constructed with the aim of encouraging greater risk-taking in order to generate greater profits. That a large number of existing established corporations are unwilling to take the risk of venturing into this new marketplace created by the Internet can also be called a "market failure."

    I am not opposed to having the FCC regulate the Internet here in the US. In my opinion, we would be better off having the government install the infrastructure than leaving it to private corporations who really do not care whether or not you have access at all, except that they want to collect your monthly fee.

    The ISPs charge what the market will bear and not a penny less. They are corporations looking to make a profit. Not one of the big ISP players cares what you do through their connections unless it interferes with another of their business interests, which it generally does. AT&T did not like Skype because it cut into the market for person to person communications. Comcast would prefer that their customers not stream videos online because it cuts into their Cable TV revenues.

    One last thought: Can it be true that the British still think the way to solve a problem caused by a new marketplace is to tax it? That strategy has not worked out so well in the past. Might be time for a new solution?

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