Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, both our top comments on the insightful side come from our post about the MPAA’s latest attack on free speech under the guise of saving it. In first place, it’s a simple anonymous point made in response to a critic:

I’d just like to point out that Section 230 doesn’t prevent anyone from defending themselves from defamation. It just keeps the focus on the actual speakers, instead of the platforms they use.

In second place, it’s Stephen T. Stone boiling down the real lesson about struggling Hollywood companies:

To twist an old axiom: If a business model can be destroyed by the Internet, it deserves to be destroyed by the Internet.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we’ve got two more comments on that topic in response to other posts this week about the evidence that innovation and legal alternatives are the best way to reduce piracy. Firstly, though this really shouldn’t still be necessary, it’s an anonymous commenter responding to the ol’ comparison to shoplifting and theft:

The supermarket analogy is only barely applicable, because you can’t simply instantly and with minimal cost replicate a head of cabbage.

It also fails on the comparison of shop-lifting to piracy, in terms of the logistics of it and realities of it.

Shop-lifting, as a physical action, also denies the ability of a different consumer from purchasing the item that was shop-lifted. The downloading of a copied song does not have this effect.

Shop-lifting, as a physical action, can be caught and stopped by enforcement with a very, very, very low degree of false positive, and for those cases with a false positive, there is an immediate and costless method of redress for the accused (show the receipt, be let go). Preventing shop-lifting has a cost footprint in and of itself … and even with enforcement, the big players actually account for projected loss of revenue to theft in their annual planning. Even with enforcement, the physical action of shop-lifting is accepted as something that cannot be 100% stamped out, and the amount of enforcement and the focus on enforcement gets balanced against the cost-effectiveness of it, and whether or not it will drive people away.

From the perspective of person hoping to profit off their creative work, there would be no reason not to view piracy through a similar lens – what is the most cost-effective method to reduce it? If enforcement is proven to not be cost-effective, and to potentially actually hurt your bottom line, why would you want to continue with it?

Why not instead pursue tactics that will bring in money rather than drive it away?

Next, it’s an anonymous caveat to the idea that pirating a work always means you value it:

That’s not necessarily true. At most I’d say it could be an admission that your work might have value, but I wouldn’t know that until I’ve seen/read it. I might be willing to pay a modest fee to trial the work if what I knew of it was sufficiently interesting, but then if it was utter crap I would be less upset at the loss of money and possibly willing to view a future work from you. However, if I paid full price for crap, good luck ever getting any money from me ever again.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is a response from Capt ICE Enforcer to our post about Alex Jones, platforms, and free speech — which, admittedly, did have a lot of preamble:

Gosh. Even the TLDR was TL.

In second place, we’ve got a response to our post about the cops who lost their qualified immunity over their handling of a Trump rally:

Just an “isolated incident” involving a “few bad apples”

Nothing to see here, people, move along, move along.

And no one had better mention feeling less safe at the sight of a cop, either. That is the /real/ crime, not trusting the police to keep you safe.

Not a mob of 250 cops sending innocent people into another violent mob, to meet whatever fate had in store for them there. That’s ok, because #Bluelivesmatter (more than yours), and #Backtheblue, as well, because if you don’t, fine, upstanding police might not be protected enough by all the special protections they have.

Playgrounds and suburbs are already a war zone, the police remind us, although where the craters and mangled corpses in jumbled wreckage are, I have no idea.

Back the Blue; it’s good for them, and okay for you.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we’ve got a groaner and a cheap shot. Let’s start with the former — Pixelation summing up our post on the problems with West Virginia’s cellphone voting initiative:

So what you’re saying is…

they’re making a bad call?

And now, the cheap shot — from Thad in response to the suggestion that, in order to understand the difference between profit and artistic quality, one should “just look at Batman v. Superman:

I most certainly will not.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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