Jeroen Hellingman’s Techdirt Profile


About Jeroen Hellingman

Jeroen Hellingman’s Comments comment rss

  • Mar 22nd, 2021 @ 1:11am

    (untitled comment)

    Reality is always more amazing, more weird, and therefore more interesting but also more scary than fantasy, because it is not constrained by the limits of our imagination.

  • Mar 9th, 2021 @ 5:24am

    (untitled comment)

    I want to copyright the word copyright, and then forbid everyone from using it.

  • Feb 24th, 2021 @ 7:09am


    For most of us it is probably not that hard but pretty meaningless to put John Deere on your "never buy" status -- most of us are not in need of large tractors.

    I did the same with Amazon 10 years ago, and at times it was frustrating, but never enough to break my rule. Sony is on my never buy list as well, but they have plenty of alternatives.

  • Feb 23rd, 2021 @ 8:00am


    On the other hand, with their faithless behavior, they have demonstrated that self-regulation doesn't work, and right-to-repair laws are urgently necessary to force companies to behave properly -- and probably also lost some goodwill that could have helped to weaken future regulations.

  • Feb 17th, 2021 @ 7:15am

    Re: AT&T wrecking sports as well

    If their greed kills this business, and kids in poor families go out to play the games instead of watching them, that would actually be a big win.

  • Feb 10th, 2021 @ 11:24pm

    (untitled comment)

    Playing music in public is also copyright infringement, so they should turn this against them and sue those people. Evidence is clearly available.

  • Feb 9th, 2021 @ 11:38pm

    (untitled comment)

    I don't think we need to prevent mergers and acquisitions as such, we need to prevent abusive monopolies and cartels. I call it the paradox of the free market, that you have to regulate it (make it less free) to keep it free, that is, to continue to allow market mechanisms to function correctly and competition to drive innovation and effectiveness, and also to have a wide field of contenders to grow diversity and allow creative cross-pollination..

    I think especially with the regard to the latter aspect, current anti-trust legislation is not up to it's task. Theoretically, you can have two suppliers and maintain perfect competition, but this is falling short on the second aspect: especially with regard to media that is showing: it is unconvincing to have outlets with opposite political leanings to be owned by the same owner.

    Solving this is will be tricky. My own thinking is that we should make it less attractive to be a monopolist: a kind of progressive tax on profits proportional to your market share, kicking in modestly when you reach 25%, and going to 100% when you reach 100% -- but defining markets is hard, and we do not want to destroy economies of scale.

    I also think having a few brick walls between certain markets will be a good thing -- you cannot be active in one if you are active in the other: e.g. I would prohibit being both an insurer and a bank, a distribution channel and a publisher, or a sales platform and a shop, because such combinations have shown to be very liable to abuse.

  • Feb 5th, 2021 @ 5:37am

    Re: Re:

    Defeats the purpose of wanting to share things, right?

  • Feb 4th, 2021 @ 1:51am

    Re: Re:

    Sounds like you're referring to some Christian fundamentalists' talking points:

    "My right to be a bigot against gay people trumps your right not to be discriminated against and fire you for acts that harm nobody and take place outside office hours in the privacy of your own home."

    "My right to be an idiot gives me the right to force doctors to provide false information on reproductive health to women in a medical emergency situation."

  • Feb 4th, 2021 @ 1:43am

    (untitled comment)

    I host master files for many ebooks I produced for Project Gutenberg on GitHub (copyright expired, so that is no issue). Some of these use words that are pretty offensive to some people today. Filtering them out would be a falsification of history, so would force me to take those ebooks away from GitHub. Not seen a notice yet. Lets see where this ends.

    I wonder, would they be able to host the code that checks for those words on GitHub, or would that be banned as well.

    To prevent comment spam, I have a list of bad words on my personal website as well, but that is mostly filled with the names of luxury brands and certain medicines.

  • Jan 13th, 2021 @ 7:21am


    With a generous serving of scorpion sauce...

  • Jan 3rd, 2021 @ 11:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    Not a game, but we at Project Gutenberg Distributed Proofreaders are certainly getting our hands dirty on the works newly elevated to the Public Domain. Some of the obvious classics (such as The Great Gatsby) were already available outside the US, with our Australian friends, but plenty of works are now PD anywhere in the world for the first time. Help is always welcome!

  • Dec 17th, 2020 @ 11:49pm

    Re: Re:

    I am aware of this, all I want to say is that in the face of totalitarian repression, which the US school system appears to be regressing into, a fall-back to the old ways of subterfuge is an option.

    I wonder what these schools are thinking they teach. Teenagers are supposed to be somewhat rebellious: they need to break free from childhood and find their own place in society. They need to fuel the continuous renewal of new ideas and initiatives that keeps a society alive. If you try to block this, you're on a road to self-destruction.

    The US shows all symptoms of a society living in deep fear, which is on itself evidence of it being a tyranny, far removed from being that hallmark of freedom it claims to be.

  • Dec 17th, 2020 @ 6:14am

    (untitled comment)

    I never brought a phone to school. Maybe return to those days. I used a handwritten pocket diary, and memorized all phone numbers to use at home. Teachers could inspect that diary, but it would take more than a current technology is capable of to decode my handwriting. Foreign alphabets has been a crazy hobby of me, and it would confuse the hell out of them when writing Dutch in Devanagari... (नेदरलंद्स इस मक्कलक त लेज़न). I used this for a lot of private notes until an Indian co-worker forced me to change to some other script.

  • Dec 17th, 2020 @ 4:58am


    Musicians should try to get clauses in their contracts that forbid interfering with other licensee's works, including a stiff penalty, and an explicit note that sending a DMCA claim is understood to be such interfering.

    People who license stuff from musicians should get a clause in their contract that indemnifies them from such DMCA claims related to their work, and makes them responsible for all related damages.

    Both clauses together should protect both the musician and their customer against this type of fraud.

  • Dec 17th, 2020 @ 4:52am

    Re: Re:

    Well, unlike in the 18-somethings, we now have massive networks, digital storage facilities, and can create wonderful API's, so many of those 20th century objects can be resolved with a little bit of tech. Just a accessible registry for everyone -- maybe even finally even a sensible way of using block-chain if you want to decentralize it -- where people can register their works and related transactions.

    Submit a proof of your work with an officially notarized stamp on it (of course digitally done), and all following related transactions, and you have the equivalent of a title-deed to a piece of copyrighted stuff. Of course people can steal work, and submit it as their own, but that should come out easily when things go to court and carry heavy repercussions.

  • Dec 17th, 2020 @ 4:41am

    (untitled comment)

    My take is that minors are incapable of giving consent for such a search without prior permission from parents / guardians, in which case the search would be illegal to start with.

  • Dec 14th, 2020 @ 12:18am

    (untitled comment)

    Can't we by-pass this nonsense. Many of the people who watch the stream will have the game, or may have the music. Find a way to tell the game which music is required to watch the stream (unique identifier plus time-stamp), and play it from a local resource if available. If by accident that unique identifier matches a content hash in a certain format (aka torrent magnet link), well, some people will understand the hint. Some programming required, but not that much it cannot be done over a weekend.

  • Dec 11th, 2020 @ 4:15am

    (untitled comment)

    If this type of criminalizing actions which are more properly handled through civil courts is seen as a form of government subsidy, this will also be in violation of various trade agreements that forbid government subsidies, and thus open up the US to sanctions from other countries. I can imagine the French saying, hey the US entertainment industry is getting this subsidy, so we will impose another levy -- not that they care about subsidies or are great with copyright themselves (they aren't), but because it is yet another stick to hit the US with.

  • Dec 10th, 2020 @ 5:05am

    (untitled comment)

    Under EU law that sounds very much like a modification required for interoperability, which is explicitly excluded from copyright restrictions and anti-reverse engineering rules. That is, Nintendo appears to be claiming rights they simply do not have.

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