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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, both winning comments on the insightful side came in response to our post about more legislators jumping on the “blue lives matter” bandwagon. Since the top comment was actually further down the same thread as the runner up, this week we’ll present the winners in reverse order, starting with the second place winner from Anonymous Anonymous Coward who swooped in with the first comment on the post:

Another good take on this subject…

From Scott Greenfield at Simple Justice: Only The Pure Shall Prevail

They are paid to take risks, that’s the job description. Why more protections? It is simply a political ploy to ‘enhance’ ones ‘anti crime’ credentials leading up to the next election. This has nothing to do with the criminals (who might in fact not be criminals) and everything to do with politics.

That comment garnered one nonsensical, trollish response to which Rusty Eulberg offered a retort that won first place for insightful:

garbage collectors have more risk, with much less pay and respect:

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we head to our post about Disney hitting a record $7-billion in box office returns last year (despite the MPAA crowing about piracy). Jeffrey Nonken examined anti-piracy efforts through a more traditional retail lens:

Used to be that retail stores had clerks that would fetch your items for you, ring up the total and send you on your way.

That changed. ing Now this revolutionary new idea is pretty much universal: you fetch your own items, bring them to the clerk, who then rings you up and send you on your way.

Are there problems with this model? Yep. It makes it easier for customers to shoplift; there’s a certain amount of loss as a result. But retail stores have discovered that the benefits of the new model FAR outweigh the drawbacks, and they were making more profit at a lower cost while making the customers happier.

How many gas stations offer full service these days?

And it’s not stopped there. Now — due in part to ubiquitous, inter-connected electronic forms of payment — stores are starting to have you check YOURSELF out, with one clerk supervising a handful of registers. I don’t know if shrinkage increases as a result, but obviously it’s worth it to them. (AND the extra cost of the new equipment, conversion of several checkout lanes, plus extra training for the clerks.) Gas stations have been doing this for a while; I never need to go inside or talk to a clerk unless the receipt printer is broken, or I need a snack. Swipe card, fill tank, drive off.

Obviously steps are taken to keep shrinkage to a minimum, but it’s otherwise treated as an inevitable cost of doing business. The most I ever see is a few particularly high-risk items being made a special case of.

Hollywood has gone the opposite direction: instead of treating a minor amount of shrinkage as inevitable, but worth the cost due to economies of scale, they’re pouring tremendous amounts of effort into reducing shrinkage at comparatively high costs. One of which is making their customers unhappy. Same with game companies, who toss tons of money at DRM that only inconveniences the people who actually buy their games.

It’s probably a form of Loss Aversion. They’re so afraid of losing a little that they don’t see how much it’s costing to prevent the loss. And they’re losing anyway, which is why they keep doubling down.

“Fanaticism consists of redoubling your efforts when you have forgotten your aim.” – George Santayana

Learn from Piggly Wiggly, guys. It’s not too late.

Of course, there’s one critical point missing there, which orbitalinsertion provided in a reply reminding us that copying is not theft:

It isn’t much shrinkage either, when there is no actual loss. Not even distribution costs. Just someone potentially not making more money. Mostly it is just people who would never see something otherwise, so we are not even talking lost sales except for a small fraction of infringement. Which isn’t as all pervasive as they claim anyway. It would be like Piggly Wiggly claiming their shelves are constantly empty from theft while making 10,000% profits somehow.

Over on the funny side, we remain on that post for our first place winner — an anonymous comment suggesting Disney’s record might not invalidate piracy fears after all:

You do have to realize that without piracy, Disney would’ve made $7.1 billion in the global box office.

In second place, we’ve got a comment from Hugo S Cunningham in response to the critical Supreme Court ruling that shut down patent jurisdiction shopping and its associated havens:

Marshall TX can file for Federal Disaster relief…

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with one more comment on that post, this time from K’Tetch on the next steps forward:

I guess I should sue now, because the SCOTUS has violated my patent for ‘reducing jurisdiction shopping for patent infringement suits” – I’ll see them in East Texas.

And finally, we’ve got a sarcastic response from Chris ODonnell to the Boston Globe’s bizarre decision to block readers who are using their browser’s privacy mode:

Lucky for The Globe 100% of their news is proprietary and can’t be found on any other site.

That’s all for this week, folks! We’re off tomorrow for Memorial Day then back to our regular schedule on Tuesday.

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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