Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the U2-to-you-too dept

The biggest story this week was, of course, the big push to get the public's voice heard on the issue of net neutrality — so it's fitting that our number one comment on the insightful side comes in response to big broadband's ongoing misrepresentation of its service (and its pleas to the FCC not to expose its lies). The observation, from Whoever, is simple: why so much focus on speed alone?

What about total monthly allowance?

The speed is largely irrelevant if you have a small data cap, as is imposed by wireless carriers. The FCC should require a data cap to be at least 100GB for a service to qualify as broadband.

For the second place comment, we've got another simple observation, this time from an anonymous commenter who rightly thought something sounds odd about a dietary supplement company that sells everything at a discount:

They give ALL of their customers a "discount"?

That's not called a discount. That's called a price.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start with one more thought on net neutrality, the FCC, and broadband speeds. Breech tidily dismantled the claim that people don't actually want better broadband:

I always love how isps try to use the argument "but we have higher speeds and no one is buying them" argument. Maybe because you charge way too much for that crap? If I am the sole provider of food to the country, and I give away bread and water for free, but meat costs $1000/pound, do I get to claim that people don't really want meat?

Next, we've got the first of several comments this week responding to U2's innovative but slightly confusing "make our album appear on your phone for free" promotion. One commenter on that post claimed that we insist artists offer their work for free, but jupiterkansas showed up to set the record straight:

Techdirt doesn't insist that an artist offer their music for free. It's always up to the artist (although more likely the publisher which owns the copyright) to choose how they offer their work.

What Techdirt says is that the music will be available for free whether the artist likes it or not, either through file sharing, public libraries, or trading with friends, and the artist must consider how they deal with that. The response initially was to just make it more and more illegal and futilely trying to make it go away, jeopardizing the open nature of the internet in the process. That's what Techdirt is against.

U2 has decided to find someone besides the fans to foot the bill, which is exactly the kind of business model exploration that Techdirt encourages. They've turned to a corporate benefactor the way classical composers once turned to royalty.

Now it's a question of whether Apple spent their money wisely and can this work for other artists in the future.

We also had a true marketing disaster this week, with Microsoft paying the NFL to use Surface tablets, only to hear them referred to as "iPad-like tools". This inspired Roger Strong to deliver our funniest comment of the week:

Or as those outside of North America would call it, "an iPad-like tool for a football-like sport."

Second place for funny comes in response to our old friend Shiva Ayyadurai — or rather, in response to the mainstream media outlets swallowing his story whole. Michael deployed the internet's new nuclear option:

Can someone from the EU please send the internet a notice to forget this guy?

For editor's choice on the funny side, we've got two more comments on the U2 situation. First up is Chris ODonnell with a simple question, or perhaps a zen koan:

If taking music without paying is piracy, and receiving music without asking is spam, does that mean the the opposite of piracy is spam?

Next, we've got nasch, replying to another commenter who wondered if the album in question was any good:

It can't be, it's free. /Bono logic

That's all for this week, folks!

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  • icon
    Richard (profile), 14 Sep 2014 @ 1:12pm

    Football?

    Or as those outside of North America would call it, "an iPad-like tool for a football-like sport."

    Actually it's a Rugby-like sport - played by motorcyclists.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Rikuo (profile), 14 Sep 2014 @ 2:56pm

    Re: do you want to be a member of the illuminati

    Mike or anyone else at Techdirt...don't delete this please? This is feckin' hilarious, I got a good chuckle out of it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    tracyanne (profile), 14 Sep 2014 @ 3:00pm

    Re: do you want to be a member of the illuminati

    This bloke is so poor he has no money yet he has a Mobile phone account.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 15 Sep 2014 @ 7:06pm

      Re: Re: do you want to be a member of the illuminati

      Barefoot peasants (literally) in 3rd world countries have mobile phone accounts -- it's nothing unusual. Somehow it's us smart, savvy, too-rich-for-our-own-good 1st world types that have trouble finding affordable cellphone service.

      Maybe we ought to think about that a little...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    interestedparty (profile), 14 Sep 2014 @ 5:16pm

    What is tech dirt's license?

    I admit that I stumbled upon techdirt only today, so I don't know all the backstory. The articles I have read so far are all really interesting and the contributors have a gift for writing. But I find this paragraph particularly fascinating:

    "What Techdirt says is that the music will be available for free whether the artist likes it or not, either through file sharing, public libraries, or trading with friends, and the artist must consider how they deal with that. The response initially was to just make it more and more illegal and futilely trying to make it go away, jeopardizing the open nature of the internet in the process. That's what Techdirt is against."

    Although this merely states what techdirt is "against," it appears that the general message of this site is that we should all be against intellectual property laws and we should all be allowed to take whatever appears "out there" for our own, because that's what is going to happen anyway. Who wouldn't like that?! As much stuff as we all want for free!

    So please forgive my naive question: What is tech dirt's stance on the content that it posts on this site. Can I just take it and email it to my friends, post it on my own website with or without my own comments and edits, seek advertisers to support my website based on the copies and comments I post there? Unfortunately I don't see a license agreement here. It would be nice if you prominently posted an agreement signed by you that gives all of us readers a royalty-free license to display, reproduce, prepare derivative works, and distribute copies of what appears here, forever and for whatever reason.

    Since I am a newbie here, maybe I'm just missing it. Please advise me publicly so all newbies like me will understand where to find it. Thanks in advance!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 14 Sep 2014 @ 5:57pm

      Re: What is tech dirt's license?

      My understanding is everything published by Techdirt (not sure about contributed posts) is public domain.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gothenem (profile), 14 Sep 2014 @ 6:52pm

      Re: What is tech dirt's license?

      Can't find the link now, but yes, everything here is available to re-post. I don't remember how exactly Techdirt got around the whole "you can't actually put something in the public domain". It may be under a Creative Commons licence or something.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 14 Sep 2014 @ 7:05pm

      Re: What is tech dirt's license?

      Although this merely states what techdirt is "against," it appears that the general message of this site is that we should all be against intellectual property laws and we should all be allowed to take whatever appears "out there" for our own, because that's what is going to happen anyway. Who wouldn't like that?! As much stuff as we all want for free!

      Not exactly. The general stance of TD(if such a thing could be said to exist) on 'IP law' is more that it should first and foremost be evidence based, that it be a reasonable compromise between the creator and the public, and that it needs to fulfil the stated purpose behind it, that of 'Promoting... science and the arts'. If it doesn't do the above, it needs to be changed in such a way that it does.

      (At least that's how I read it)

      As far as infringement goes, 'just take everything/everything needs to be free' is also a mischaracterization.

      Instead, the message TD tries to get across is more 'Infringement is going to happen, period, because it's human nature to share what we see and interact with. Any method that would eliminate infringement entirely would also cause far more damage than the infringement every could have. Now, you could fight against this like mad, doing massive damage in the process and not actually getting anywhere, or you could ignore infringement, or even take advantage of it, and move on.'

      What is tech dirt's stance on the content that it posts on this site.

      As far as I know, if it's written by one of the people at TD, and not a cross-posted article from elsewhere, you can do whatever you want with the articles posted here. The reason for no 'license' details is that Mike and the others disagree with the idea that you should have to include something like that, as it just furthers the 'permission culture' idea, where permission is required for anything and everything.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Roger Strong (profile), 14 Sep 2014 @ 8:07pm

        Re: Re: What is tech dirt's license?

        Agreed.

        One of my posts has been deemed "funniest comment of the week." I posted it with the understanding that it may be freely posted elsewhere. Hopefully but not necessarily with attributions for myself and Techdirt.

        I understand that having my comment reposted is in my best interests. And not just because "funniest comment of the week" can lead to the sort of fame and fortune that can be leveraged into world domination. The ability to cross-post funny comments elsewhere also means that funny comments from parts unknown may be cross-posted to where I can have a laugh at them.

        The impression I get is that Techdirt has more of an activism role than CNN, CBS, CSPAN or CNET. That is, where news services often believe "It isn't the media's responsibility to print the truth - it's the media's responsibility to quote liars accurately", Mike and the others at Techdirt are far more enthusiastic about identifying and debunking the lies, and getting the truth out.

        Whether it's latest bad behavior by the CAFC or CIA, having Techdirt stories repeated elsewhere - hopefully with a link back to the original full story - means that the word gets out to more people.

        An article snippet or summary posted elsewhere means that people may follow it back to the source. That's how I arrived here. More viewers means that organizations written about on Techdirt - and those who pass laws regarding those organizations - take more notice of what the site has to say.

        But that's just my impression.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Beech, 15 Sep 2014 @ 1:19am

      Re: What is tech dirt's license?

      TL;DR Public Domain.

      Basically due to copyright being strange as hell it's not totally clear if there IS actually a way to make something public domain, but the writers here have promised to treat their stuff as though it was public domain. You could copy/paste plagiarize every article to your own site and they won't come after you. Sure, they might prefer attribution and linkbacks etc. but you're free to be as scummy as you want to be with the content here.

      And if you want to get super technical there was a post a while back where people were arguing about whether or not the block quotes in the article could be declared public domain. That seems like a real interesting loophole in the copyright mess. Can you freely distribute a "public domain" article containing quotes that have been "fair use'd in" from somewhere else? Craziness.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Gwiz (profile), 15 Sep 2014 @ 8:34am

      Re: What is tech dirt's license?

      So please forgive my naive question: What is tech dirt's stance on the content that it posts on this site. Can I just take it and email it to my friends, post it on my own website with or without my own comments and edits, seek advertisers to support my website based on the copies and comments I post there? Unfortunately I don't see a license agreement here. It would be nice if you prominently posted an agreement signed by you that gives all of us readers a royalty-free license to display, reproduce, prepare derivative works, and distribute copies of what appears here, forever and for whatever reason.



      Will this article where Mike lays out his views on other people copying Techdirt do for you?

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110828/22065915716/you-can-copy-our-articles-all-you-want-pl ease-dont-claim-copyright-belongs-to-you.shtml

      Basically, you are free to do all of the above things. The only exception I see is trying to copyright Mike's work as your own, which would be a fraudulent copyright anyways.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 15 Sep 2014 @ 10:09am

      Re: What is tech dirt's license?

      What is tech dirt's stance on the content that it posts on this site.

      TL:DR: it's public domain. Do what you want with it.

      More detailed explanation here:
      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20090116/0348223430.shtml

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 15 Sep 2014 @ 1:05am

    NZ “Moment Of Truth”

    Currently watching the livestream from the Auckland Town Hall, organized by Kim Dotcom, with appearances by Glenn Greenwald, Edward Snowden and Julian Assange.

    Guess which one is not the most animated speaker...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Lawrence D’Oliveiro, 15 Sep 2014 @ 1:35am

      Re: NZ “Moment Of Truth”

      Guess who the most eloquent speaker has been: the lawyer, Robert Amsterdam, who is defending Kim Dotcom.

      Never heard the term “moral entrepreneurship” before. Similar to “felony interference with a business model”, as reported so often here on Techdirt...

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    terracle, 29 Nov 2014 @ 5:54am

    i want to be a illuminati

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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