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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is Anonymous Anonymous Coward with a response to the phrase that got our t-shirt taken down from Teespring — copying is not theft:

Not only not theft, but perfectly legal.

Recording broadcast programs is perfectly legal. That is in fact making a copy. It isn’t theft and the Supreme Court of the United States of America ruled in Sony Corp. of America v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417 (1984) that that was the law of the land. Now if one records a program and then tries to sell that copy, that would be wrong, and is definitely against the law. But this slogan ‘Copying is not theft’ says nothing about copying and then selling copies.

Conjecture, therefore leads me, for one, to believe that Teespring is bowing to pressure from some copyright maximalists who may or may not be threatening to remove their business from Teespring (or are pressuring them in some other way), and Teespring appears to value their volume of business (or fear whatever other threat was made) more than the volume of business from Techdirt. That tells us a lot about the integrity of the folks at Teespring.

I hope the new venue stands up better than the last one did.

In second place, we’ve got an anonymous comment responding to law enforcement officers and their apologists who demand “respect”:

My rule involving respect

Those who demand respect, don’t deserve it.
Those who deserve respect, get it and have no need to demand it.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’ll go in parallel to the subjects of the two comments above. First, it’s a comment from Stephen T. Stone expanding on the reasons that copying is not theft:

If I copy a file I created from my laptop’s hard drive to an external hard drive, what have I stolen?

If I copy a file that I legally purchased in the same way, what have I stolen?

If I copy handwritten notes into a digital text file, what have I stolen?

The act of copying, in and of itself, is not theft. At worst, it can be copyright infringement, which even the Supreme Court says isn’t theft. And whether it’s infringement depends largely on the context of the act, not the act itself.

Ergo, copying is not theft, and arguing otherwise is a fool’s errand.

Next, it’s a comment from Gorshkov with another angle on why demands for respect don’t work:

This is NOT respect

The police are not demanding “respect” as we know the word. They are demanding submission.

They don’t even know the proper definition of the word. They use it in the same way inmates in jail use it. Read into that what you will.

Over on the funny side, the parallelism continues! Our first place winner is an anonymous response to someone in the comments who took issue with the phrase copying is not theft:

Since you seem to be claiming ‘copying is theft’, here’s something interesting:

Human babies (and some birds) learn to speak by copying the speech capable humans around them. So are you claiming to have made your argument with stolen words?

In second place, it’s another comment from the post about cops demanding respect, this time from a pseudonymous commenter with the curious name choice of Gen. Francisco Franco (ret):

Gimme a minute

“Would you rather have no cops at all?”
“I’m thinking, I’m thinking.”

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we ditch the parallels for another nod to Stephen T. Stone, who had a quip about the Chrome extension from the CEO of Lemonade that removes magenta from websites in response to T-Mobile’s trademark trolling, which we called making lemonade:

I hope it isn’t pink lemonade.

And finally, we end where we began with one more comment from our post about Teespring taking down our shirt, this time from Bobvious in response to someone who said our exchange with the company’s IP department reminded them of the famous Monty Python “Argument Clinic” sketch:

No it doesn’t!

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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