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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side came in response to the absurd trademark battle between the San Diego and Salt Lake comic conventions, where the former played some licensing games with Rose City to try to bolster its argument. Aerie simply wasn’t having it, for good reason:

Seriously? Rose City didn’t affiliate with the word “Comic Con”, it affiliated with the entity of San Diego Comic Con. Someone forgot to tell SDCC that you cannot trademark a generic term. I don’t see any jury finding for SDCC.

I’ve been collecting comic books ever since the 1970’s and everyone I know has referred to comic conventions as “comic cons”. Just what the fuck does SDCC think “comic con” stands for? It stands for “comic convention”. It’s the same reason why you can’t trademark “popcorn” and sue another company for having “popcorn” in the name of its business.

SDCC stands a good chance of not just losing their lawsuit but also losing their trademark on “comic con”.

This would be a different story if the SDCC had simply called their event “Comic Con” and trademarked that, but they didn’t, because they would never have been allowed to. Their event is called “San Diego Comic Con” NOT “Comic Con”. lols

In second place, we’ve got an excellent anonymous response to an absolutist anti-regulation commenter saying “I told you so” over the FCC’s net neutrality repeal:

It never ceases to amaze how little people like you actually know about how the Internet works. Here is a small clue for you:

It has ALWAYS been regulated by the government.

All that’s changed is who’s doing the regulating and what the rules are.

Back in the late 70’s, DARPA set the rules. And thankfully, they crafted them to do the most good for the most people. That’s why it prospered: without rules it would have never gotten anywhere.

In the 80’s, other networks arose and were connected to the ARPAnet and then gradually subsumed by it. There’s a reason it worked out that way and not the other way around: regulation. Effective, useful regulation.

And so on. Regulation hasn’t been perfect (I’ve been sharply critical from time to time) but it has largely succeeded in shepherding the Internet from a rather exclusive club to a national asset, a major driver of commerce, an educational treasure, a boon for culture, and a civic engagement platform.

Pai proposes to light this on fire. And Verizon/Comcast/ are standing by to pour gasoline on the flames. Whether you are left or right doesn’t matter, you should be able to recognize this as an act of wanton vandalism.

Since this staunch anti-regulation attitude is such a common refrain, for editor’s choice on the insightful side we’ve got two more important counterpoints. First, it’s another anonymous commenter making a comparison to Europe:

The EU market is more regulated than the US one, and actually, it’s even more competitive.

It isn’t strange, at least in cities, to have 6-8 ISPs (at least) competing with each other to give you the service.

From what I’ve heard, Comcast will never hunt (or even want to) in AT&Ts or Verizons turf, and vice versa.

That doesn’t happen in the EU, where you see all major ISPs stabbing each other to get their share of the market.

Still, the problem isn’t with the regulation itself, but with the nature of it. You have pro-consumer regulation and anti-consumer regulation.

It’s up to you what you want: while an anti-consumer regulation “might” be better for business, it screws up you in one or other way.

On the other hand, pro-consumer regulation might sound as worse for business, but you forget the fact that there is already an unbalance in consumer-vendor relationships:

The vendor has the advantage, because it’s his job. He knows better the market, the loopholes, the deals and in general, he has more information than the customer in that area.

So in an apparently equal environment, you’re the one who is going to get screwed. This is like the casinos, the house always wins.

Next, it’s Derek Kerton explaining some complications to the idea that regulation is the sole reason for telco monopolies in the first place:

In part. But the real reason we have telecom oligopolies is because this industry is a “natural monopoly”.

It’s not caused by regs. It’s caused by naturally occurring:
High CapEx to start
Smaller Addressable market for new entrants
Higher total costs of redundant infrastructures
Economies of scale.

John Stuart Mill first explored natural monopolies, concluding that these services should either be delivered by the government, or by a tightly regulated private monopoly. We tend to call these businesses “utilities”.

So, the market failure you say regs will cause is a real risk. The the market failure with no regs is a SURE THING. Given the choice of being thrown in a volcano (no regs, certain market failure), or flipping a coin – heads we throw you in the volcano, tails we don’t (regs that may cause market failure)…you should prefer the coin toss.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner comes from Rocky, who did some copy editing on our post about Germany’s calls for backdoors into every internet-connected device:

There is a spelling error in the article, it says ‘written up a draft proposal’ which I suppose should be ‘written up a daft proposal’.

In second place, it’s Roger Strong with some dark irony regarding internet conspiracy nonsense:

If some pig-ignorant inbred conspiritard spends his time listening to Alex Jones and posting birther and islamophobic wingnuttery, then at least it keeps him off the streets. It’s not like he’ll be elected President or appointed National Security Advisor.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we head to our story about the world’s angriest lawyer dropping a lawsuit supposedly after being told to by an unidentified “supervisor” at an unidentified company. Two different commenters mused about who and what this might be, with This Anonymous Coward proposing one possibility

Poor JLVD…

His shift manager are McDonalds made him drop the case…

…and an anonymous commenter putting forth an even simpler hypothesis:

Personally I believe that in this case immediate supervisor is pronounced mom.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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