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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side (and also racking up a lot of funny votes) is MathFox with a simple take on how to stop piracy:

If you want to do something about piracy you should have the navy patrol more in the areas where pirates operate. Have ground support for cleaning out the pirate’s bases.

Stopping “unauthorized copying” is hard. The Internet works because computers and routers make copies. Determining which copies are authorized is a hard problem. Remember the analog tapes where you could copy the music from your friends’ LPs?

And lastly, can you tell me why corporations should decide which people can have access to “culture” and consequently other people should be denied access?

In second place, we’ve got The FIRE’s Adam Steinbaugh stopping by to ask a simple question about the assertion that Gavin McInnes’s lawsuit against the SPLC seems legit:

So there’s an objectively falsifiable, legally-cognizable definition of “hate group”? What about “hate speech”?

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with a thoughtful comment from bob about the impact of piracy, and how to compete with it:

I believe the damage caused by piracy is real but also not to the levels you believe. No doubt, the trade off between piracy vs paying full price for content is one that many people debate each time they look for things on the internet.

But you have to also remember price is not the only factor when people want to consume or have something. It may be a large portion of the decision but not the only thing.

For example:

  • The convenience of obtaining the item,
  • where can the item be obtained from,
  • how to store the item,
  • where the item can be used,
  • how often the item can be used,
  • how easy to share it with someone either together or loaned out for a short time,
  • how easy to resell the item,
  • trustworthiness of the seller/source, are just some of the many factors consumers take into account when purchasing something.

If your business model is only satisfying some of these issues while piracy satisfies most, maybe you should change your business model.

Studies by Copia and others show that people will pay instead of pirate if it is considered a fair price and if the manner to obtain the item is not burdensome. So companies like Netflix have found a way to adapt to the new market consumers and provide a service at a reasonable price that consumers enjoy. While companies like major record labels didn’t adapt and don’t provide a good enough reason all the time so naturally customers don’t enjoy using their services at the price points they offer.

No matter how high a penalty you place on pirating content someone somewhere will still do it. You may get most of the population to stop pirating but that doesn’t guarantee that those same consumers will, by default, still use a bad service or pay the prices for a digital item just as much as they did in previous years. Most likely they will just not consume your digital goods and the old business model won’t work. So my list should also include a factor for how badly someone desires the item as a consideration.

Your suggestion to make the internet 100% pirate free will never happen. For it to be implemented would require a rewrite of protocols and network controls to such a degree that essentially you will replace the majority of the internet. So yes it would break the internet.

If the world corporations and governments did create that environment I can bet you people would not follow en masse nor willingly.

No one here says piracy is the way to go for obtaining digital goods. But they do recognize that piracy will happen and if you don’t establish a business model that accounts for that variable your company will not be able to compete.

Next, we’ve got an anonymous response to a comment about what “the internet” needs to do to function fairly:

I’m entertained by the humanization of “the internet”.

The diverse protocols & devices that make up “the internet” are working exactly as expected – they are routing around blockages & moving data without issues. The basic computational concepts of moving, copying, & renaming data are fundamental to the logical concepts of most electronic devices & thus copyright maximalists are fighting a losing battle (as are the folks trying to legislate encryption) by attempting to bypass, avoid, & control mathematical, physical, & engineering operations.

Perhaps we should engage in something that the enterprise security community has understood for years – make the options to do things the legal way far easier than the effort required to bypass the system.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is Qwertygiy offering up a very poetic mea culpa after incorrectly lamenting the lack of a “preview” function in our comment section:

Welp. That it is. Right there. The very button I lamented not existing. Next to the button I had to push to send my lament of non-existence.

I’d blame it on the liquor, except I don’t drink.

I’d blame it on the moon, except I’m a non-lycanthropic cis-dude.

I’d blame it on optical deformities, except I’m wearing my glasses.

I’d blame it on Mike for conspiring with Google to hide it from me until I complained about it, except I’m not blue.

So according to music, that leaves to blame it on the boogie, the rain, the stones, the sun, the bossa nova, the summer night, my last affair, or me.

Gonna have to go with Evanascence here. You can blame it on me.

In second place, it’s Comboman making a joke someone had to make after Germany capitulated to France on one of the many terrible aspects of Article 13:

So the one time in modern history the France doesn’t surrender to Germany and THIS is what they choose?

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with Valkor who (intentionally or otherwise) invoked one of the ur-examples of internet-piracy-as-culture in response to a link to a YouTube video about YouTube’s copyright abuse problems, offered with minimal description:

Last time I followed a vaguely described Youtube link like that, I got rickrolled.

Finally, we’ve got Stephen T. Stone with a tagline for the latest appearance of Paul Hansmeier:

Prenda: The gift that keeps on grifting.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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