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  • Sep 24th, 2016 @ 1:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "While you are one of the idiots that are often wrong about everything I think the point is that it's easy for me to tell. Your posts come off as arrogant, putting yourself 'above' anyone as if you somehow have a superior understanding of what's right and wrong than everyone else when clearly that's not the case at all. Even when people point out how wrong you are you absolutely refuse to acknowledge it, ever. But people see right through your nonsense."

    Slow clap. You almost had some valid points and then you destroyed it with a massive, hateful personal attack.

    "Techdirt, OTOH, exists in a much more organic environment where competition thrives and it still retains viewership."

    By telling the read what they want to hear, and not worrying about the fuller truth. Your long rant pretty much missed the point entirely, but hey, after the personal attack, I didn't expect any less.

  • Sep 24th, 2016 @ 5:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Nice deflection, too bad it's not exactly true.

    Plenty of people read the site (duh!) but not everyone takes him seriously. It's like learning politics from Rush Limbaugh and Alex Jones. They both are "fairly popular" but only the extremists take them seriously. Everyone else points and laughs.

  • Sep 23rd, 2016 @ 8:30pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Ahh, the elephant in the room, pointing out the blindly obvious, which is that even Techdirt is pretty much forced to shill (the marketplace ads as posts) and the various "limited time" t-shirt things... oh yeah, and the crowdfunded "reporting" thing that turned out to be nothing more than business as usual.

    Techdirt is a fairly popular website. Being one of the top 10,000 sites in the US (according to Alexa) you would figure that it could easily be profitable. But the marked increase in adverposting and t-shirt campaigns says otherwise. That is with a minimal staff, and with costs shared with a number of different companies and of course the think tank.

    The truth is that few mainstream websites on the internet are very profitable. The ones who make big money (say TMZ) do it in no small part by moving to traditional media distribution (the daily TMZ show) to really bring in the income. Online isn't as huge a money maker as all of that.

    The newspapers' arguments are valid. Pre-internet, they ruled the roost. If you wanted aggregated eyeballs, and you wanted to get a message out, advertising in your local newspaper was actually a pretty good way to do it. Ditto for local radio and local TV. Those were effectively your three choices.

    Now the online world is dominated by Google and Facebook. Between the two, they represent 75% or more of the online ad revenues, and have the majority of the eyeballs. Newspapers have lost their dominant spot, and more over, with hungry online companies willing to sell space for pennies instead of dollars, they have also seen their ad revenue models collapse. They still get lots of eyeballs, but you can get many of the same views much more cheaply online.

    Should they have adapted? Well, to what, exactly? Subscription model? Techdirt says no, walled gardens are bad! So where should they do? Sell lots of t-shirts? Put cameras over reporters shoulders and charge people to watch the streaming live video?

    it's nonsense in the end. The newspapers aren't wrong but they also need to understand that the proverbial toothpaste is out of the tube, there is no going back.

    The real problem is news is replaced by opinion, entertainment, and self-reflecting information sources that are often wrong about everything. It's why we have riots about police shooting armed suspects. It's not about understanding why, it's about a feedback loop of misinformation and twisted stats used to make things matter. It's pretty sad.

    As you sow, you shall reap. Read them and weep.

  • Sep 23rd, 2016 @ 8:02pm

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

    "I directly addressed the implicit idea that the parents should be responsible for the actions of their adult children. Most especially the one in the article, who statistically is likely to be in his 30s, not a young driver, although the articles didn't specify his age."

    Had you researched even a small bit, you would know his name (tino) his age (30s) and that he had been arrested for a prior DUI but got out of it because it appears the officer was not available to testify - similar to his mother! My lack of sympathy for a parent doesn't mean that my concern stops at a family relationship, it would apply to even me being foolish enough to loan you a car (or even enough for a bottle of two buck chuck, but I digress)

    "I didn't say they should be given back the car. I said that they should be liable for costs incurred. "

    Glad you don't work for the government on these things, otherwise things would be so fucked. The car is the thing incurring the costs. You don't give back the asset until the costs are paid. End. Adding it to the defendant's tab would be meaningless, considering the defendant doesn't have the same motivations to get it back. In other words, the state would never get paid for the work it did (including towing and storage, legal fees, etc) just to process the car. Your answer is a huge failure to understand the basics of the law.

    "I'd prefer the tactic that prevents crimes from happening, thanks. That involves holding the people responsible liable for the costs of their crimes, not the nearest convenient innocent scapegoat."

    Your failure to understand the law would be appalling if I did't know your history better. Let's just say you don't understand the basic concepts of ownership versus use, or legal process on seized property used in the commission of a crime. Sorry, but without you having a basic understanding, it's a pretty hard discussion to have.

    "No, you really didn't. Deflection, goal post moving and ignoring the salient point in favour of those you can avoid do not count as answering."

    Not at all. I stand where the law stands, you stand out in the middle of nowhere waving your arms and trying to act like the law doesn't exist. Like I said, without you getting a basic understanding of the laws in question, it's really hard to have a discussion, and apparently very hard for you to understand the answers.

  • Sep 23rd, 2016 @ 8:20am

    Re: Re: Does 230 come into play with surrogates?

    " And "blindingly hosting" is amusing. That's precisely what CDA protects"

    Exactly my point. The question is simply does Muckrock ONLY host, or are the active participants in the collection, curation, editing, combining, or whatever of the documents collected?

    The metnion of facebook or youtube is a misdirection. It's not about any of that - it's specifically about what Muckrock does or does not do beyond providing hosting.

    See, as an example, Muckrock appears to combine those "user posted content" documents into stories. Those combined stories wouldn't normally be protected by section 230 in and of themselves. The source documents, perhaps, but not the stories written based on them. They would have a better first amendment claim on their stories.

    The other question is that of FOIA abuse. That is where a group of people coordinate to ask for the same or similar documents (different wording for the same thing) hoping to get responsive documents where any blacked out parts might be exposed on another version of the document (different blocked information). Using such an approach to obtain information may be legal, but it would most certainly both break the spirit of the act and provide more than enough reasons for agencies to start denying requests or to provide full redacted documents to avoid any issues.

    Do I think the lawsuit has merit? Nope. I just don't think that section 230 is the answer, and if it is, then section 230 is broken.

  • Sep 23rd, 2016 @ 4:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    "But... not really. The action of loaning a car does not answer the question posed to you, which was whether you believe that a parent should be held directly responsible for the actions of their grown adult offspring."

    You miss the point - it's not parent / child, it's someone loaning a car to someone who is potentially drunk (and has been stopped for it before). If I know someone has been stopped by the cops before for drunk driving, I am not going to be loaning him my car just for fun. Knowing the facts, it's perhaps not the best choice, right?

    "Another non-answer. What about the people who own cars they can run and maintain... right up until it's impounded and they're asked for an amount that exceeds the value of the car?"

    If the car is that valuable to you, then don't lend it to others who won't take as much care with it. Problem solved.

    "Yes, so why no the person who actually committed the action that caused those costs to be incurred? "

    The owner of the car could very well go to court for civil action to recover the losses (I have done this at a car hire firm I managed to for a while). Legally, the car cannot be given back to the person who committed the offence, as they are not the owner and cannot claim it. Basic law.

    "They're arguing that the innocent party should be held responsible for the rest of that reality. "

    Nope. They are saying "your vehicle was involved in a crime. We had to impound it. We had to tow it. We had to store it. We had to do legal process on it. This is what it costs to get it back". Are their fees high? Yes. Too High? Probably yes. Illegally high? Nope. They are certainly enough to discourage people from casually lending their cars out.

    "Once again, you seem to be avoiding any response to the actual points raised in either the article or the followup posts, just random blather in an attempt to distract."

    I answered all of them. You just don't like the answers because they confuse your small mind. Sorry about that.

  • Sep 23rd, 2016 @ 3:53am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: wow

    Well, first you are playing a game. It's not a comparable situation, nice try. The Post was, well, post crime and not before it. Quite simply, there is nothing the Post could do that would have stopped the crime (where as loaning car to someone who is drunk might not be such a good idea).

    Second, the Post's involvement is different. They don't have the benefit of 20/20 hindsight on this one. At the time, they probably thought they were doing something good to inform the public. They probably didn't reaize at the time that Snowden was using them in the same manner that Assange has used the media to push his agenda. They thought they were doing good journalism, instead Snowden was meat puppeting them.

    They were manipulated, sadly as much by their own greed and desire to "break the big story" as Snowden. But overall, it's just a perfect victim being hit by the perfect conman.

  • Sep 22nd, 2016 @ 11:01pm

    Does 230 come into play with surrogates?

    This situation presents a real problem. While Muckrock in theory does not get the FOIA documents themselves, they do seem to play a significant role beyond blindly hosting them.

    One thing I see is organization and focusing. Does Muchrock (or staff, employees, editors, etc) provide any "aim" or provide a target list? Do they in any way organize people to go and make these requests?

    Another thing I see is curation: Does Muckrock take the posted documents and collate, curate, or otherwise edit them together to "get rid of the blackouts"? In other words, does Muckrock edit and republish the results?

    I ask this because I don't spend time on the site and it's not clear on a cursory glance how they actually work. But it would seem that if any of what I raised is true, then section 230 may not apply (no matter how much EFF wishes it does).

    I also think that this may be the sort of case that leads to changes in the law to stop those who seek to hide bad acts behind section 230. At minimum, Muchrock appears to be encouraging a certain amount of abuse of the FOIA, and that's not good for honest, regular citizens trying to get information. It's like getting stuck at the ATM behind the guy with 11 cars and 120 bills to pay. He ends up hogging all the resources.

  • Sep 22nd, 2016 @ 9:46pm

    Zero Rating Versus Net Neutrality

    I love stories like these, because I think it plays to a popular misconception about net neutrality: It's about what is coming into the network, and not about what is happening inside networks.

    The reasons the FCC won't get involved is very simple: Zero rating an internal service (because it's sourced inside their own network) doesn't violate the rules of net neutrality. It's inside the network, an internal product.

    The FCC isn't being stupid or ignorant. Rather, they realize that they are already massively stretching their mandate to even get a toe onto the net neutratlity base, and they aren't going to risk getting called out on the play by trying to act like they are fully on control. It's very likely any attempt to stop "internal product" zero rating would lead to a massively legal action that would leave the FCC hurting. The courts would very likely ask the FCC to provide the EXACT legal mandate that allows them to decide, and since they won't be able to provide it, they will get shut down pretty quick.

    The companies will respect (marginally) they concept of net neutrality to avoid rocking the boat, which might get congress to act. But for now, they know that the FCC is floating on legal quick sand, and could sink at any time if they make quick moves. So the providers dance around, and the FCC can't react in any way to would make it worse for them.

    Thus, zero rated internal services. Good luck fighting it.

  • Sep 21st, 2016 @ 1:53pm

    Re: Re: wow

    There is no claim that it diminishes their responsibilities here - only that they finally have figured out that they were not doing ground breaking journalism, just that they were used as a conduit for a guy who had a major axe to grind, I guess.

    It is sort of like a little old lady suddenly realizing that the "nice man" helping with her investments was helping her to defraud the bank. It doesn't change the end results!

  • Sep 21st, 2016 @ 3:22am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: wow

    See, you don't realize the problem: Snowden didn't just discuss monitoring Americans, rather he released all about the legal (but unsavory) world of communication spying around the world, and the people involved. That helps the enemy (and hurts the US) by outing sources, making methods well known, and generally giving the enemies of the US an advantage they did not have before.

    They knew the US might be listening - now they know exactly how and to what extent.

  • Sep 21st, 2016 @ 1:39am

    (untitled comment)

    Cool story, until you look at the sources...

    the "another paper on CETA" is written by a pro-labor group. Anything that rocks their boat is NEGATIVE AS HELL. I only read a few pages, but I could already tell they were looking for their desired results, rather than worrying about getting all the facts on both sides.

    The Tuft study was co-authored by Pierre Kohler, well known for his anti-free trade stance. Again, not hard to imagine that he started out looking for this conclusion.

  • Sep 21st, 2016 @ 1:21am

    Re: Re: wow

    Yes, but does exposing the way the US operates around the world truly benefit the citizens, or did it set back security and thus put the citizens in peril?

    Does it really uphold the constitution to aid the enemies of the country?

    I think not.

  • Sep 20th, 2016 @ 1:53pm


    I am sort of amazed by what appears to be pretty black and white thinking on an issue that has evolved and changed over time.

    The WP did what it thought was it's journalistic right and it's best choice when it published the Snowden leaks. However, over time it has become clear that Snowden didn't just want to expose PRISM or whatever, but rather that he has a much deeper motivation which appears to be long term harm to the US and it's relationships around the world.

    Snowden didn't leak documents to prove the existence of PRISM. He data dumped. In that data is good and bad, right and wrong, and all of that dirty laundry is out there. Just like Private Manning, there may have been some sort of initial goal, but such huge data dumps have a life of their own. They have negative consequences far beyond the issues that the leaker was supposedly trying to expose.

    Snowden isn't a hero. He's someone who took an oath to the country and then ignored that oath to try to take down the government. He continues to this day, feeding his friends in Moscow with more information and more angles to work. That's not an American hero...

    The WP has finally realized they got played. It's nothing more than that.

  • Sep 20th, 2016 @ 6:07am

    Re: Re: Re: Piracy

    "No it isn't unless you make efforts to present it as the real thing."

    Actually, being in possession of it is enough. Read the law.

  • Sep 20th, 2016 @ 5:00am

    Re: Re:

    Same way one might be jealous of a Mexican drug cartel, I guess.

  • Sep 20th, 2016 @ 4:08am

    Re: Piracy

    Sorry to say, but your argument is without meaning, because you are looking at the wrong place.

    Is copying money a crime? it's just copying. Oh wait, it is.

    See, it's easy to look at the mechanism and say "the machine itself isn't breaking the law". You can use the machine to turn out copies of your primary school doodles. That would be fine. Start trying to bang out copies of money and you are in trouble - so much so that most good photocopiers won't even do it.

    The copying isn't the issue - it's what is GAINED by copying - the value of a license without recompense to the artist (or those who hold the rights). it is the "something for nothing" thing that is key.

    No, the VCR didn't kill hollywood - but then again, copies of copies of videotapes were useless, and every copy was made pretty much real time. It's another vapid and all too common argument.

  • Sep 20th, 2016 @ 3:50am

    (untitled comment)

    Talk like a pirate? No problem:

    " I want 60 million or more for advertising on my not pirate indexing only doesn't have any content but millions of people visit site".

    See how easy that is?

  • Sep 19th, 2016 @ 1:41pm

    (untitled comment)

    Of course, it's a ruling in a country with the caste system, which the courts there seem to feel are natural and a divine right. When you understand how totally screwed up their view of human rights are, you come to understand that their court rulings are meaningless in any civilized way.

  • Sep 19th, 2016 @ 5:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: I knew you would get the story wrong.

    More important, I think, is that it's not a question of needing more rules or more enforcement. That stick is perhaps a little worn out, and needed in more important places.

    I think the answer is people, and their own self control. There is an insane undercurrent of "all for me and f-ck everyone else" that permeates much the American mindset. Someone flipping over a newspaper box and using it to sit in front of the free internet terminal for hours has issues, plain and simple. It's not just an internet thing, but rather a whole right and wrong, living in society thing.

    There is no real good answer for that stuff. The only real answer is to remove whatever it is that is leading to the behavior. Making the internet terminals less friendly and less useful in certain ways sucks, but it's a perfect example of "why we can't have nice things".

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