Ralph J. 's Techdirt Comments

Latest Comments (31) comment rss

  • Is Just Talking About Infringing Content Infringing?

    Ralph J. ( profile ), 30 Apr, 2010 @ 01:04am

    They're helping people find infringing content

    If their sole purpose is helping people find infringing files to download, I can see how that could be construed into a point under current US law. They're not just "talking" about, or reporting on infringement (like Techdirt), but providing direct download links to infringing files. It may not be part of the act of infringing itself, but they are, on some level, a willful accomplice to spreading the infringing files.

  • McDonald's Laughs Off Criticism Embedded In April Fool's Joke

    Ralph J. ( profile ), 21 Apr, 2010 @ 01:09am

    It wouldn't affect their sales

    Society has accepted McDonalds for what it is; a fast food restaurant with not-so-healthy food products. They have tried adding salads, fruits etc. to their menus, but healthy choices are not popular choices.

    I agree with Zenith that stronger forms of denial (than te current urban legend page) would probably lead to the Streisand Effect.

  • Should We Allow Consumers To Sell Their Souls?

    Ralph J. ( profile ), 19 Apr, 2010 @ 08:06am

    Try proving the existence of a soul first...

    Maybe those 88% simply didn't care enough about this made-up soul concept, or the even more ridiculous concept that it can be sold?

    How would you prevent someone from selling their soul multiple times? How would you prove that you still possess your soul, before you sell it?

  • Copying Is Not Theft

    Ralph J. ( profile ), 15 Apr, 2010 @ 01:05pm

    Stealing from their revenues?

    The argument could be made that copying amounts to stealing from their revenues/profits, but I personally don't think that is any more legitimate. Plus, there are more accurate terms to describe missed profits.

  • Hot News Is Back: Court Blocks Website From Reporting The News

    Ralph J. ( profile ), 20 Mar, 2010 @ 04:01am

    Link Building Advantage

    Although I don't agree with the idea of the Hot News doctrine, there is an indirect competitive advantage to whoever reports news first. While reporting by others might be illegal for a set period of time (and probably only in the US!), this will likely not prohibit anyone from linking to the article, be it with a short line, a quote etc. Consequently, their article tends to get most inbound links from Facebook, Twitter, blogs, other websites etc., and inevitable rank higher in search engine results, both for this article, and generally. In the end, this means more traffic and more income from advertising.

  • Truncated RSS Is A Bad Business Decision

    Ralph J. ( profile ), 13 Mar, 2010 @ 03:00pm

    How to circumvent RSS restrictions

    In addition to it being a bad business decision, site owners can't really stop anyone from displaying untruncated RSS feeds in their feed readers. These handy services turn truncated RSS feeds into full-text feeds again:


  • Microsoft Uses DMCA To Force Cryptome Offline

    Ralph J. ( profile ), 25 Feb, 2010 @ 11:49am

    Microsoft not at fault regarding takedown

    Microsoft filed the DMCA notice only to have the allegedly infringing content taken down, not the entire site. It's not their fault that Network Solutions leave it to the site owner to take down the document at the threat of disabling the site.

    Microsoft's only fault might have been the use of a DMCA notice in the first place. Although, I haven't yet heard a legal argument for why the public should be entitled to this "important information". Yes, it could be a bad business decision not to publish the document, but how does this override their copyright claim to it?

  • Court Says It's No Free Speech Violation To Kick People Out Of Presidential Speech Due To Their Bumper Stickers

    Ralph J. ( profile ), 02 Feb, 2010 @ 06:42am

    Breach of promise/informal contract?

    Could an invitation to an official presidential speech not be seen as legally binding?

    In the case where you turned up naked for a concert, it could be argued that you actually violated a law or a contract clause, and non-admittance would have been valid. Yet not honoring an invitation for something like unfavorable free speech (that happened outside of the event) seems arbitrary and disproportionate, if it was even mentioned in the rules for admittance (hidden clause, anyone?)

  • Copyright Sillyness: Can't Take Photos Of Artwork That Was Built On The Works Of Others

    Ralph J. ( profile ), 07 Jan, 2010 @ 01:05am

    Copyright probably has nothing to do with it

    Is taking a picture in itself a copyrightable action? The adherence to copyrights can only be evaluated once (already-taken) pictures are somehow being re-used. At the time of the pictures being taken, you can't really know, what they are going to be used for. E.g. they could be used for private enjoyment at home, which (in the case of photography) isn't covered by copyright restrictions. Once you want to publish or re-use them, a number of copyright rules could come into effect, e.g. use in news reporting, fair use, commercial use etc. And only in the case of commercial use, the artist has a say in limiting the usage, charging money etc.

  • EU's Cookie Law Should Crumble

    Ralph J. ( profile ), 14 Nov, 2009 @ 01:15am

    Automatic Cookie Acceptance Mode

    What if browser makers decided to add automatic cookie acceptance as the default in the newer versions of their browsers? Since the new law only applies to third parties actually carrying out the "storing of information on the equipment of a user" (in other words the websites that want to track their users), it doesn't seem to apply to the makers of user software.

  • Would Google Be Liable Under The Pirate Bay Ruling?

    Ralph J. ( profile ), 13 Nov, 2009 @ 10:23am

    Main purpose of a service

    It probably comes down to what is considered the main purpose of a product or service. If its main purpose is to provide links to material that is considered illegal, then they're liable. If the illegal use is a by-product of the main search engine functionality, then it's bad luck for the rights holders. The trick is to bend the interpretation of existing laws to fit this broken thinking. If Google started offering a specialized File search channel alongside Images/News and other search channels, you can bet they'd be sued very quickly. Strangely enough, "filetype:torrent" seems to be working as an advanced search operator in Google queries, unlike say "filetype:mp3" and "filetype:avi".