Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

Our first place winner on the insightful side this week is Stephen T. Stone with a response to one commenter’s silly conspiracy theory about commenters’ accounts:

You have issues. But let’s start with the whole “I hate Techdirt so much that I’m going to constantly surf the site and obsessively collect data on all its users to show Techdirt how much I hate it” thing and work our way out from there.

In second place, it’s an anonymous response to another very stupid idea — the comparison of copyright infringement to rape:

…except that procreation isn’t given to US citizens as a limited right; it pre-exists.

If you’re making a comparison, copyright abuse (taking copyright that belongs to others for a fee) is way closer to prostitution than copyright piracy is to rape culture.

If we were just dealing with individual people, you might have a point. But asking permission of a company to use information they bought… usually doesn’t go well, especially if you’re not making a significant amount of money off of the proposal from which you can pay them residuals that offset the cost of tracking the license.

Trust me, I did an experiment at one point where I was doing a copyright-exemption-supported presentation of the state of copyright, but as part of the exercise, I went and asked a bunch of major and minor players for permission to use their works (since it’s always good to ask, even if you legally don’t have to). The likes of Sony never even responded, the small artists were delighted and gave their blessing, and some of the others like Warner sent me pages of legal documents where I had to outline exactly how much I would be charging, how large the audiences would be etc. (when I had already given them all the pertinent info). Once they realized this was journalistic reporting and I wasn’t going to make ANY money off it, they didn’t just say “oh, well then, you don’t need our permission.” Instead they demanded I cease and desist.

So. The symptom here might be Silicon Valley, but the problem is entrenched copyright behemoth corporations.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with a response from Thad to those who would dismiss Werner Herzog’s comments about piracy because they dislike his work:

Herzog? Whether you personally like him or not isn’t really relevant; he’s a highly respected auteur in his field.

Which, frankly, is irrelevant. It doesn’t matter if it’s Werner Herzog or Tommy Wiseau. The quality of an artist’s work is orthogonal to his opinions on copyright infringement.

Next, it’s an anonymous response to Scribd’s attempt to vaguely claim that its hands were tied when it took down the public domain Mueller report:

I hate writing like this. It’s not unfortunate. They’re choosing to disable the content prior to contacting the alleged copyright owner. There’s no law in the US (yet) that requires anything like ContentID or BookID. You only have to respond to DMCA requests, which it’s clear none of these were.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is bob with another comment about the Scribd situation:

the real issue here is

[This comment was held for possibly infringing on someone else’s copyrighted work. Please check back later after a human has reviewed the other thousand comments in the queue before this comment.]

In second place, it’s our response to Universal’s bogus takedown of the “Your Life Work” video series:

I love that series, my favorite was the one intended to guide workers into a career as an executive in the entertainment industry, titled “The Unrepentant Asshole”.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with an anonymous proposal for fixing Scribd’s BookID system:

Clearly, the BookID system failed, as public domain material was allowed to be submitted. Luckily, the simple existence of BookID suggests a solution: a public domain filter. Before a work can be registered with BookID, it should be run against a filter of the entire body of public domain works, to eliminate errors. Luckily, as unlike the ever-growing body of copywritten works, the public domain is fixed and unchanging, that filter should be much easier to create. Of course, I would be remiss if I ignored the possibility of copywritten works being added to the filter’s filter, so the public domain filter would need its own filter as well. Then I suppose that filter would again require a public domain filter, and so on down the line. I remain confident, however, that we will reach the asymptote of filtering filters prior to exhausting all computational capacity on the planet.

Finally, we’ve got Coogan unpacking the logic behind a federal agent’s claim that overnighting a taped package via FedEx is suspicious:

“Lots of boxes with ‘Amazon’ on them, captain.”

Amazon -> South America -> Columbia -> Cocaine

“Looks like we’re working late tonight, boys!”

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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