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Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is an anonymous response to one take on the Covington student defamation lawsuit, insisting the Washington Post was reckless and defamatory for not waiting to have more information before publishing an article about the incident:

If it was “reckless” to publish without having all the relevant information, then we wouldn’t have found out that JFK was assassinated until 54 years after it happened.

In second place, it’s another anonymous commenter, with some thoughts on no-knock warrants following the fatal drug raid in Houston:

This should have been a no brainer after the first time they entered the wrong house and had an officer killed by a legally owned weapon, in defense of their own home. Every no-knock entry is a recipe for disaster. Not bothering to record your no-knock entry in this day and age is negligent, to say the least. Based on all of the lies turned up so far, these cops need to be charged with murder.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, we start out with a response from Thad to folks who dismiss protests about the EU Copyright Directive because Google supports them:

I mean, if your position is that these protests are invalid because Google supports them, what’s your position on the validity of copyright laws written by the movie and record industries?

Next, it’s some longer thoughts on the copyright situation in Europe (and beyond) from anonymous commenter:

Why is this a battle between technology companies and the legacy gatekeepers?

Simple: the middlemen have changed roles.

Legacy middlemen (‘distributors’) had a monopoly on one thing only: distribution channels for artistic creations. Anyone who wanted to publish and distribute anything, anywhere, was forced to deal with them. They were so powerful they could demand the creators to sign over all of their copyrights to them. And they did make that demand. Golden days.

But they were not creators themselves, and they can only make money from the IP they own. So in order to gain more money from that IP they had 2 options: either find ever more creators that were willing to sign away their IP (not easy), or make the IP itself worth more (hmm).

That second option proved the easier: by convincing politicians to increase the copyright terms, the IP they already owned became ever more valuable. And with that added value for the (sometimes very old) IP came the protection of that IP: ever more draconian rules and laws for preventing the unlicensed use and for punishing the infringers.

The Big Looser of this strategy is, of course, the public domain. That same PB that has always been one of the largest sources of inspiration for many an artist. So in effect the strategy of the gatekeepers made it ever more difficult for starting creators to create anything without stepping on some IP here or there. Thus, continually decreasing ‘option one’ of making money for the gatekeepers…

Enter The Internet.

And the arrival of the New Middlemen (‘internet technology companies’). They offer alternatives to the distribution channels of the legacy gatekeepers. These services enable artists to promote and publish their creations and to profit from them themselves, directly. These New Middlemen recognize the artists’ true value as creators: that they will keep creating new stuff if given a stage and an incentive.

The stage is the plethora of platforms available to artists to publish their art and connect with fans/followers. The incentive is the fact that since these artists retain the rights to their creations, they alone reap the rewards.

Of course, since the inflation of IP value by the legacy gatekeepers, these artists are a very attractive target for said gatekeepers of yore. And the only way they can think of to get these creators ‘under contract’, is to re-instate their roles as distributor monopolists. And since they have – after years of practice – perfected the art of lobbying for suitable laws, they aim to accomplish that goal by creating laws like the EU Copyright Directive.

So, you see this is not a law that aims to pay more money to artists. It is a plot to restore the only real leverage of the legacy gatekeepers: distribution channel control.

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is one more take on the EU protests, from an anonymous commenter again, specifically regarding the politicians who had been claiming before the protests that all the opposition is just bots and astroturfers:

Which politicians will be the first to comment that he did not realize that Google employed so many people?

In second place, we’ve got an anonymous response to the latest YouTube filter fail in which references to “Combat Points” in videos about Pokemon tripped the apparently-acronym-sensitive child porn filter:

These gamers need to stop referring to Canadian Pacific and cerebral palsey right now! Let the banhammers fall.

For editor’s choice on the funny side, we start out with an echo of our first place insightful winner about waiting for the whole story, from another anonymous commenter:

I think it is reasonable to wait till 100% of the details are known. I will be creating my own news site to show how it can be done. Currently just waiting on that story that I will have 100% of the details.

And finally, it’s a biting observation from Stephen T. Stone that rightfully racked up lots of insightful votes too, by providing a new conclusion to another commenter’s sentence that began “If Justice Thomas is serious about keeping with the founders’ wishes he would…”

…be a slave.

That’s all for this week, folks.

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Author: Leigh Beadon

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