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  • Apr 17th, 2015 @ 8:13pm

    1201 time?

    I gather by the posting of multiple articles attacking 1201 in different ways this week that this is the new Techdirt Agenda play. How transparent.

    The bill in question SOUNDS wonderful, but it opens up a can of worms. In particular,you hit the question of "non-infringing purposes". As an example, ripping a game or DVD or whatever that has DRM, and putting it on your own hard drive would appear to be okay. What if you upload it to a "backup" service? What if that "Backup" service allows others to access you files? At what point did it becoming infringing?

    What happens if your "non-infringing" backup gets put on your network share drive, and your roommates or family members take a copy and share it with their friends. At what point was it for a non-infringing purpose?

    Further, it would be clear that this change would make "ripper" tools entirely legal (ie, they would not be against 1201 because there would be "non-infringing uses"). Yet clearly, people would use these tools to rip stuff and put it on torrents or otherwise "infringe". What a change to 1201 would do would be to tip the balance that currently exists.

    Wyden as always is really good at hopping on the bandwagon with things like this, introducing ANOTHER bill that clogs up the congress with unpassable legislation. There is little indication of wide bypartisan support for such a bill, if anything the US generally wants to protect IP and not make it many times easier for casual infringement to become the norm.

  • Apr 15th, 2015 @ 3:49am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Federal Law...

    The point is that the money is the product of the alleged crime. When someone robs a bank, they criminal can't keep the money to pay for a lawyer. Why should it be different if the money was obtained by selling drugs, or selling illegal weapons?

    Remember, by your logic, the bank robbery is only alleged until he is found guilty in a court of law. By that standard, he should be allowed to keep the gun he used, the money he obtained, and the car he stole to make the get away, as all of it hasn't been proven in a court of law. He should be allowed to drive that car to court, carry the weapon, and use the money to pay for his defense.

  • Apr 15th, 2015 @ 2:34am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Federal Law...

    "It's an expansion of the Federal RICO Act, which was sold as the "only way to fight organized crime". Strip a mob boss of all his assets and he can't afford a lawyer to fight the charges was the idea. Which never made sense to me."

    You have to think for a second. It is incredible unfair for someone to amass a huge fortune by illegal means, and then to be able to use those ill gotten gains to fight legal action. The idea isn't to make it impossible for them to fight the legal system, it makes it only that they have to fight the legal system without a bucket load of money they made by stealing or skimming from others.

    Kim Dotcom is learning this lesson in a most massive way. He may even have to skip a couple of $1000 dinners to afford legal fees.

  • Mar 29th, 2015 @ 4:04am


    Hi everyone... my 2nd comment of the year.

    I agree. Why was the computer connected to the internet at all? Why was it not updated already? Had it not been used for a while? What would they have done if the laptop had not booted at all? Cancel the game?

    Not sure why they needed to be net connected. Not sure why they haven't already done the updates. Not sure why auto updates would not be set to "manual" or "ask before installing".

    Needless technopanic. These people sound technically not real competent, and in the end they are exactly the types that need auto updates to keep them from running software that is easily breached.

  • Feb 27th, 2015 @ 7:37pm

    Wow, talk about a joke

    Mike, are you serious? The discussion has little or nothing to do with fair use, because the people who put the image out there WANTED it to be shared, wanted it to be viral, so they could sell more clothing.

    Fair use isn't required nor is it part of the plan, the image was released with full intention of it being copied, modified and shared, more like a creative commons license. Permission was granted up front so nobody had to use the affirmative defense of fair use.

    I know you are trying hard to push fair use, but try to use better examples. This one isn't very good and shows you to be desperate for examples and lacking in actual content to prove your case.

    (oh yeah, fair use is an affirmative defense, because it only kicks in when you say "yes, I know it was copyright but..." that but is the start of an affirmative defense. No matter how many times you try to frame it the other way, you will always be wrong).

    Carry on, see you all in a couple of months.

  • Feb 19th, 2015 @ 6:26pm

    my first comment of the year.

    Posts like this are why it's hard to Techdirt seriously.

    Verizon isn't saying that "spectrum crunch" never existed, they are saying that in those marketplaces, they have already obtained spectrum which may or may not be developed. The AWS-1 frequency group was not generally the group initially used in the US for 4th gen services, and was actually mostly used by T-Mobile and a few others. Many of the devices sold until recently in the US could not operate in this band.

    That they have purchased spectrum rights in AWS-1 does not in any manner change the lack of space many carriers are seeing in the traditional bands used for wireless communication in the US.

    Karl, I know you really, really, really hate all big wireless (and wired internet) providers. The disdain in each and every one of your posts is clear. If you are going to try to write hit pieces, at least try to be more honest.

    (I'll be back again in a few months to laugh at something else. Generally I read Techdirt these days between the Daily Show's site and The Onion. It helps me better frame the posts here!)

  • Jan 4th, 2015 @ 11:45pm


    I guess I get a year ender in too... I wonder how long before the "community" decides I have violated standards.

    Mr Masnick is a very smart guy. It takes a certain skill and self confidence to be able to restate the world in your own terms and have other people believe you, even in the face of overwhelming proof to the contrary. Techdirt is very much about telling the truth, but it is also about telling it slant.

    The real future?

    We face the fact that governments worldwide are starting to come to terms with the internet, and are starting to demand that their sovereignty and laws are respected when dealing with their people. From European privacy laws, right to be forgotten rules, and even Kim Dotcom, it's becoming more and more clear that the wild west internet killing all business models is facing tough headwinds.

    We are also starting to see the corner turned on piracy. from The Pirate Bay to changes in laws in Spain and attitude in Sweden, it's harder than ever to run a pirate site. Changes in laws in places like Canada in relation to VPNs and such show the way of the future, where the hidey holes aren't as secure. Caselaw will continue to mount to define corporate and personal responsibility online, and it's very likely that the truly anonymous internet may in fact be mostly a thing of the past. The universe of hackers, script kiddies, and government supported "cyberwar" operations make it even more pressing to get rid of as many of the ways of hiding as possible.

    The funny part to me is that many people blame "da gubbermint", Obummer, or whatever other local nasty they can come up with. The true enemy of your privacy and your anonymity online is the very people who use those things to break the law, to hack, to steal, and to attack others. The overwhelming success of these groups means that your freedoms online will very likely be curtailed, limited, or tracked, to protect others.

    From what was probably a zenith about 3 or 4 years ago, a careful eye can spot the trends, and see where things are going. There are fewer places to hide, and all the onion routing and dark webbing won't help you out. Reality is changing, and the net will be forced to change with it. The lawyers and the law makers and the lobbyists are here, the party is all but over for this existence. :)

    Have a wonderful, safe, and prosperous new year. Support artists, support those who create, and make sure they can continue to create in the future.

    (you can click report now... I don't care!).

  • Dec 25th, 2014 @ 11:12pm

    Re: Re:

    I have made 2 posts in about 5 months here (this is the third). You can ask Mike, he says everything is anonymous but it never is... )

  • Dec 25th, 2014 @ 5:48am

    (untitled comment)

    I was waiting for this one to come up, because I knew what the spin would be.

    The settlement is simple: 80 million is the big number, which would apply if another agreement was not reached. Now, in that reduced 4 million agreement, there may be other stipulations that must be met (such as not starting a similar service, or providing future user information and cooperating in court if called for related business, etc). If those were not met, it's very likely that the deal would revert back to the 80 million.

    It also needs repeating that the MPAA and RIAA have said over and over again that they aren't suing people for the money, they are suing them for the deterrent factor against others. Part of that is keeping those very large judgements / agreements there to be used as a reminder of what may happen.

    My personal guess: 4 million was about all Hotfile could manage, leaving the owners enough to live well and not have to restart their piracy based business.

  • Dec 15th, 2014 @ 3:26am

    (untitled comment)

    I rarely comment here anymore (freedom of speech, just watch what you say). But this one is classic Techdirt bullshit that is hard to avoid.

    You show increases in online sales. Yet, you don't show really what the effects are on the overall business. You point at vague "brand value", which is hard to measure at the best of times.

    You point at online research. Well, news for you, I research plenty of high end cars, but generally don't buy them. Sometimes I am just looking at what my neighbor drivers, or perhaps the specs on that McLaren I saw the other day.

    It's voodoo numbers, like the idiots who pointed at the high right of abandoned online shopping carts as if there was some magic reason people didn't buy - rather than it just being people looking for information and not to make a purchase. Pointing at vague brand values and searches made doesn't mean much.

    Tiffany and co? their net sales grew 7% in the latest report... http://investor.tiffany.com/releasedetail.cfm?ReleaseID=867889 Not 28%, not 1025%... sales shifted a bit, but they didn't increase all that much.

    So if this is the sky rising, well... nothing to pop champagne about, is it?

  • Oct 6th, 2014 @ 12:31am

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

    I replied to the last one on the list, that's all.

    It's pretty simple. If people an more easily see your comment than mine, because some people have decided that they do not like my comment, then it's censored. Think of the report button a form of prior restraint, making it harder for me to express my views and easier for others. Anything that limits someone's speech is censorship.

    Nobody is trying to educate me, they are trying to JUDGE me. They don't like my comments, so they insult me, they bait me, they call me names, and most of all THEY CENSOR me.

    Oh, and Techdirt doesn't even have the decency to show me when the posts are censored, I can find it out by using another browser that isn't logged in. Isn't that classy.

  • Oct 5th, 2014 @ 10:09pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Tough shit? So censorship is just "tough shit?"

    Points out the hypocracy of the local crazies, I guess.

  • Oct 5th, 2014 @ 8:24pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, but freedom of speech also means that YOU shouldn't get to choose if other people can read my posts or not. That is censorship, plain and simple.

    The only lesson I learn from people down voting my stuff is that they don't want to hear anything except the sounds of their own voices. What a sad world it is when you don't want to think.

  • Oct 5th, 2014 @ 6:20pm

    (untitled comment)

    Funny, that. As soon as you are barring people from speaking -- no matter how unpleasant you find the speech -- you are a threat to "the functioning of democracy" yourself. The functioning of democracy requires the ability for people to speak freely, especially unpopular speech.

    An incredibly thoughtful comment, sadly lost on a site where people use the "report" button as a way to down vote unpopular opinions to shut them off.

    Physician heal thyself!

  • Oct 5th, 2014 @ 7:26am

    Re: Re: Those are lines, not grooves...

    Oh oops, say it's not so. An entirely argumentative post against design patents that is totally wrong?

    That NEVER happens on Techdirt.

  • Oct 4th, 2014 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Re:

    Not sure where you are going with it. Hosting the Olympics isn't related to piracy, at least not directly. It seems however it does take country with no real requirement to balance the books to do it.

  • Oct 4th, 2014 @ 6:12pm

    Re: the higher end hotels

    Roderick, again, you need to understand that this story isn't about in room wifi, it's about convention center / meeting space wi-fi. Personal room wi-fi was not and is not an issue here..

  • Oct 3rd, 2014 @ 9:47pm

    (untitled comment)

    I have to wonder: Are the Tims happy about anything, ever? You guys both tend to sound really pissed off, like a really loud drunk at a party who just got turned down by the last girl in the room.

    In one case, it billed The Associated Press $135 an hour — for nearly a day's work — merely to retrieve a handful of email accounts since the shooting. That fee compares with an entry-level, hourly salary of $13.90 in the city clerk's office, and it didn't include costs to review the emails or release them.

    Sort of an unfair comparison. I don't suspect that they would leave answering such FOIA requests to the lowest paid employee in the place. They also wouldn't let the resulting dataset out without review. The price is high, but it's not particularly out of line when you consider what a short term computer "consultant" would charge to do the same work.

    For what it's worth, they can't just run a keyword search against a bunch of emails and turn it over. That would likely result in relevant emails being missed, and irrelevant or even messages that might get covered as evidence in the investigation getting put out to public. Quite simply, it's not a two minute job that the lowest paid clerk in the building can do.

    I believe you call that a strawman.

  • Oct 3rd, 2014 @ 9:27pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    We all want our rights protected more, but we are unwilling to allow others the same space. We push everyone else's rights to the minimum. It's a more for me, less for you mentality.

  • Oct 3rd, 2014 @ 6:49pm


    It's the issue I mentioned the other day, where everything in the US is pushed to the nth degree. It's either just barely legal or "appears okay", and that is enough for everyone. Everyone from pirates sites and Aereo to NSA and TSA all play from the same book in the end, it's legal until a court of law says otherwise.

    So if we are going to say that they police should get a warrant even if they don't TECHNICALLY need one to respect existing law otherwise, then perhaps pirate sites who are "just search engines" could perhaps stop listing stuff that is likely pirated?

    Nah.... we push it to the very limits, well beyond the edge of reasonable logic, because, well... the law just barely.

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