Zane’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Aug 20th, 2021 @ 1:23am

    How many unreasonable people are there in the USA?

    The problem is there are a lot of Americans that come under the "unreasonable person" category, and they are able to vote. Otherwise how did Trump get voted in. Unless anyone proposes that the unreasonable people should be denied a vote (and I'm not suggesting that), then it matters if you lie to them.

  • Aug 18th, 2021 @ 3:12am

    Right to be Forgotten parallels

    Some obvious parallels with the Right to be Forgotten (RTBF). Interesting that some of the people complaining about the police misusing and leaking expunged records are the same who rant on about how RTBF should not be considered.

    This is exactly what RTBF was designed for, to balance the rights of public interest against the rights of an individuals privacy. The simple right for a person to make the case why a search result should not appear under an individuals name.

    There's no point in laws being passed for expunging records, if records are illegally leaked and then the victim has no way to make that leaked information hard to find. And sure, there will be the rare case when a journalist can successfully argue that there is a public interest.

  • Aug 6th, 2021 @ 2:18am

    Re: Not antisemitism

    "I feel that Israel is often criticized more than other countries that employ comparable policies."
    I think it's the opposite personally. If any other western democracy was occupying people, I don't think we would be explaining away its actions like we do Israel.

    1. We never hear politicians in the West defend human rights abuses from other regimes, it just never happens. They sometimes remain silent, which is bad. But they don't actively try to justify the actions of say Saudi Arabia. No politician ever claims that children are human shields in other conflicts, and blame the oppressed as opposed to the regime doing the killing.
    2. We fund and provide arms to the likes of Israel, whereas we don't for other regimes. As such we are complicit in the crimes (as well as point 1 regarding offering political support)
    3. Israel describes itself as a Western Style democracy, as such it should be compared to other western style democracies. But is seeks to compare itself to the worst human rights abusers in the world. A race to the bottom. The likes of Saudi Arabia doesn't seem bothered about being known as a brutal regime.

    Israel describes itself as a Western style democracy. The likes of Saudi Arabia, China or any other serial human rights abusers do not make such claims.

  • Aug 6th, 2021 @ 1:46am

    (untitled comment)

    If Israel doesn't want companies to boycott the settlements or Israel itself, all it has to do is stop illegal settlements, respect basic human rights and respect international law. It's absurd for Israel to look at anti-BDS laws to prevent legitimate protests, whilst it simultaneously disregards much more important rights given to all in international law. Hopefully other companies will realize that allowing their products to be sold in occupied land or indeed Israel itself is a political statement and is supporting apartheid polices as well as ethnic cleansing.
    Israel can complain about the oppressed shooting off rockets, but the alternative to violent protesting is non-violent protests like boycotting.

  • Jul 7th, 2021 @ 2:13am

    (untitled comment)

    I can see there are good reasons for courts not to allow recordings, there's always a balance of being open and privacy, and we need to consider the impact this can have on witnesses willing to testify in court. It sounds like the recording was illegal. It starts a precedent if the courts ignore illegal recordings being circulated, and it's not a very good example for a court to set if it did nothing to prevent this. Is copyright the correct way to handle it (assuming this is accurate), I don't know. But if you object to copyright being used, it's likely this would signal more draconian powers being used in the future. So pragmatically, I would let it pass as an issue. Reporters are free to report in an open court with certain restrictions. Spears is free to send her speech to the media if she so wishes.

  • Jun 18th, 2021 @ 11:24am

    Chicken and egg

    I get the logic, I''m not necessarily against the likes of Google paying for content. Google make vast amounts of profits, and it seems wrong that some of that advertising revenue isn't given to those who create the actual content in the first place. Google would be nothing if it didn't have access to so much journalism. It's a chicken and egg situation. A mere indexer of info shouldn't really be making more profit than all the individuals creating the content.

    How open is the internet is debatable, when in reality it is dominated by so few (Google, Facebook).

    I can see the argument that some profits from the media giants are diverted to quality content. Although I wouldn't list News Corp as quality, more like propaganda to sway elections and referendums for the odd billionaire. And that's the issue, ensuring it somehow gets filtered to the little guy making truly unique journalistic content.

    I guess I think there is an issue, and the status quo isn't really any better than what other countries are proposing

  • May 9th, 2021 @ 1:46am

    Wider issues

    There's a wider issue with the British Criminal Justice System. The focus is on funding prosecution, not defending citizens accused of a crime. Investigators have a bias, as they are looking for evidence that proves guilt as opposed to look for anything that shows innocence. Many cannot afford an adequate defense, computer forensics would have been needed, but the defence should have had the same access and resources as the prosecution. The right of appeal is sadly not available to many, particularly if someone has offered a guilty plea to reduce a sentence.

  • May 9th, 2021 @ 12:59am

    Re: Moral rights in copyright

    You're exactly right, although I'd argue that moral rights are there as a default in US copyright law. The US might not explicitly mention "moral rights". But it's a given, as the artist has control of their work to ensure they can profit from it, create more, and just as important not have someone use their work in a way which negatively affects their career and ability to create and profit from future work. That's why many are careful about whether they sell the rights for political campaigns to use their works in adverts.

  • May 9th, 2021 @ 12:51am

    Political campaig advert - don't complicate things

    He lost because it was used in an advert for political campaigning, there isn't really much more to it. Even in the US, political adverts need copyright permission. Satire and parody as a defence could work for someone not closely connected to a political campiagn. It's different situation whenyou come to political advertising. Satire and parody are not for the billioinaires making adverts who are trying to sway voters to vote for the billionaires own interests.

  • Dec 7th, 2020 @ 5:02am

    Re: 512(f) [was Re: Compromise]

    It's the basic concept that a knowingly false DMCA takedown request is perjury. The lack of litigation is probably because there are few malicious takedowns or platforms simply don't care.

  • Dec 7th, 2020 @ 4:57am

    Re: Encouragement of learning [was Re: ]

    Sure, but it's widely accepted that by paying creators allows creators to make a living, thus giving them time to create more works, thus creating more knowledge.

  • Dec 7th, 2020 @ 4:55am

    Re: 'You get everything, I get nothing' is not 'compromise'

    They don't have to take it down, what they have to do is take a look at the content and decide if it breaks copyright, or if they believe it meets fair usage etc etc. It's not treating them as "guilty", it's putting the onus on them to investigate and justify why they are keeping the content live. That's a step newspaper editors have had to to for centuries, DMCA just lets them avoid that responsibility. I think peoples dislike for the concept of copyright has seriously affected their ability at looking at the issue rationally. The compromise is crystal clear, the compromise is that sites aren't sued daily and put out of business for not constantly locating, removing, or preventing hosting copyright materials. That is the real alternative in the real world.

  • Dec 6th, 2020 @ 11:57am

    (untitled comment)

    And then there is the presumption that copyright holders and creators are one and the same, and thus economic harm to the former means that there's economic harm to the latter

    Sure, creators can and do sell their copyright on. They would argue that it was still in the interest to think about those who buy the copyright. If there rights are not considered and protected then why would anyone buy copyight? And who does that hurt, yes that's right the creator, as they're ability to sell on their copyright is reduced. This is all totally inline with what copyright is for, allowing the holder to profit from the work and control how the work is used

  • Dec 6th, 2020 @ 11:47am


    But the even bigger problem is that the protection is conditioned on platforms acting against speakers and speech based only on allegations of infringement, even though those allegations may be unfounded

    That's the heart of the issue.The compromise was always that platforms weren't held responsible for copyright infringement IF they agreed to comply with take down notices. This was how they avoided being sued like a newspaper would be sued for publishing content they had no right to publish. Of course platforms are free to sue for malicious takedown notices. Is it a perfect system, no. But expecting platforms to only takedown material once it has gone through court after months/years AND not be liable for ignoring a simple takedown notice is just not going to happen. It would make copyright to costly to enforce and meaningless.

  • Nov 18th, 2020 @ 10:14pm

    Never heard that quote

    Never heard that quote. But yeah I would never say that it was fine for someone to shout "fire" in a crowded theatre, if the person they believed there was not a fire. I wouldn't say that was a freedom of speech argument, and we should all have the right to cause panic and piss people off in the name of "freedom of speech. Should the person shouting that be charged with something if they knowingly knew there was no fire, caused a panic and some guy got crushed and died in the panic? I don't know. For me it's the same level of stupidity as someone driving drunk a short distance on a quiet road, and happens to kill someone who runs across the road.

  • Nov 17th, 2020 @ 12:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, not really

    I'm not saying the artist would have been happy and given permission. I felt covered this point. An artist is concerned with their brand. If an advert uses their music and if it is used for an advert that is in opposition to their fanbase, then they likely lose their audience, thus money and maybe even their career. Meaning they are less likely to create more material, as they will probably have to get a regular 9 to 5 job, giving no time to be creative. Particulary if the advert is big. Then others won't want to pay to use their music, increasing the issue. That's exactly you don't see adverts for diarrhea using a mainstream band. And yes many people despise Trump and his politics. So that is totally in line with the "progress of science and useful arts". A negative use of material can decrease the "progress of science of uesful arts".

    Secondly he could have paid a willing artist or also commissioned a new piece of music from a right wing artist.

    This is just a textbook case of why copyright is needed, you may not specifically have "moral rights" in US copyright stated. But it's a given, as the artist has control of their work to ensure they can profit from it, create more, and just as important not have someone use their work in a way which negatively affects their career and ability to create and profit from future work.

  • Nov 16th, 2020 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, not really

    Well yes if you pay for the copyright to use material then you are helping progress "science and useful arts". I guess the idea is you are helping the artist earn a living. Obviously the artist may not want to give you permission as he may believe that your use of the material may damage his brand - maybe even put you out of business if his market dislikes the association. What the Trump campaign should have done is asked permission from an artist willing to give it, or simply paid a musician to create a unique piece of music for his campaign. So yes this case is exactly aligned to your "progress of science and useful arts" quote. As noted this is a textbook example of why copyright is needed.

  • Nov 16th, 2020 @ 2:17am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, not really

    The fact is they are suing for copyright enfringement, whether that is Eddy Grant or whether the label is doing it I wouldn't know. Only the copyright holder can do this, so I can only assume the copyright holder is not happy. It doesn't seem to be a case where the label has granted permission, and the singer disagrees. As I've already noted ASCAP is not relevant. The link you cite shows this, it states:

    This kind of use may involve rights such as synchronization of music with video and the possible use of the master sound recording. The campaign will need to contact the song’s publisher and possibly the artist’s record label to negotiate the appropriate licenses with them. And remember, campaign videos containing music that are posted on the internet also require these licenses. Once the commercial has been produced, the TV and radio stations, and any websites that transmit the commercial, must have a public performance license"

    I think you are confusing public events with advertisements. They are different beasts. If ASCAP was used as widely as that, copyright would be meaningless. They could possibly make that claim if they were playing the song at a campaign rally, but they can't if they make a video advert. They would need to get permission.

    But yes you are right, there are these annoying stories that crop up when a singer complains about their song they signed away rights for. In reality these are usually (although not always) communication difficulties between the label and the singer. Labels will often do what the singer wants, and it is often in their interest to protect their brand, and as noted if the politics do not fit the brand, then the label will say no. That's why you don't see adverts on TV for laxatives using Madonnas music. Most artists and their labels have a similar idea about what is in their interest.

    Basically there is no basis for ASCAP in this case, they needed to get permission and they didn't. The copyright holder is taking action. So if that is not Grant himself, then there doesn't seem to be disagreement.

  • Nov 16th, 2020 @ 12:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: No, not really

    Sure it's a given you are allowed to sign away your copyright or make it open you personally lose your rights to decline permission. That's not really the issue at hand. It's up to you to decide if you want to sign away your rights, and even if you do you can negotiate terms. I saw nothing in the article to suggest that was the case though.

    As for ASCAP - as far as I'm aware that wouldn't be relevant in this case. ASCAP is for the likes of public performances, think supermarkets, conference centres, radio stations playing music etc. It is not for adverts, where you would need specific permission. This makes sense as labels or artists want to control their brand. They'll likely lose revenue if their artist is associated with politics or say a brand of toilet roll that may be unappealing to their target audience. Indeed even with live events, copyright holders can exclude themselves from certain politics. But again this wasn't a live political rally, it was an advert - different rules.

    I was merely noting that although many people (including myself) may not like the concept of copyright. This article shows exactly why it is a necessary evil. I wouldn't want my voice used to promote politics I was against both morally and because of the negative damage it may do to my brand. Political campaigns can licence music or even commission it, which is actually a major reason for copyright in the first place.

  • Nov 15th, 2020 @ 10:19pm

    Re: Re: Re: No, not really

    Unless he's made his work open, or detailed how his work can be used. The copyright holder has the right to refuse permission to anyone, he does not need to give a reason why. Whether or not "moral rights" are explicitly stated, isn't really relevant. It is universally accepted that the point of copyright is for the owner to have control of how it is used.

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