Kevin Stapp 's Techdirt Comments

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  • PATRIOT Act Author Says James Clapper Should Be Fired And Prosecuted; Plans Law To Stop NSA Overreach

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 11 Oct, 2013 @ 10:01am

    Too little to do any real good

    This legislation, like many of this kind, is like putting a bandaid on a severed limb. The issue isn't limited to the collection of phone data - the NSA is clearly siphoning up much more than even Snowden's leaks have exposed. What America needs is a comprehensive business records privacy bill that prevents the government from peering into to our private business transactions as well as our personal communications without probable cause. Such legislation should include criminal penalties for companies sharing business record information that isn't normally provided to comply with laws and regulations.

    In addition, should the government obtain business record information via a warrant that is later determined to not be germain to the matter under investigation then the government should be required to report the extent of the records obtained to the affected parties and to destroy all those records.

  • The Internet Wins: PIPA & SOPA Delayed

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 20 Jan, 2012 @ 09:04am

    Dead in the current form

    There is little doubt these ideas will resurrect in future legislation but Congress is now forced to hear from all stakeholders - especially consumers. Sham one sided hearings won't pass muster the next time around.

    I believe the future debate must shift from 'internet regulation' to true IP reform. Congress needs to understand that copyright designed in the analog world doesn't translate to the digital world. You can't create artificial scarcity in a world that creates supply exactly equal to demand.

  • Pixar Trademark Lawyers Being Kept Busy: Fighting Pixar Petroleum, While Being Fought By The Atlanta Braves Over 'Brave'

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 23 Dec, 2011 @ 06:09am


    Anyone else troubled by the idea of trademark of a common word? Is it even necessy to create a trademark on something as transient as a movie?

  • Why The NY Times Paywall Business Model Is Doomed to Fail (Numbers)

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 22 Mar, 2011 @ 05:30am

    Times to change paper subscription pricing

    The Times announced updates to the subscription price of its print copy. ?Readers who wish to turn the pages of the Times with their right hand will pay $1 per copy whereas left handed use will cost $1.25. ?Readers can use either hand for $1.50 a copy. ?If you carry your copy of the Times folded under your arm with the front page facing outward you will be charged an additional $.25 a copy in case a passerby reads the headline. ?There is no carrying charge if you carry your copy hidden from prying eyes in your briefcase or backpack. For an additional $2 a month you will receive a 'clipping' license which allows you to cut out up to 10 articles per month to share with friends and relatives. ?Print subscribers can share an unlimited number of clippings with other Times print subscribers. ?Finally, for an addition $1 per month subscribers can purchase a 'pet rider' which allows you to line litter boxes and birdcages with used (at least 5 days old) copies of the Times.

  • If Your Music Business Model Is To Make Money On Live Shows, Make Those Live Shows Experiences To Remember

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 26 Jul, 2010 @ 03:31pm


    "People value experiences over possessions"

    Or as my father always told me: 'as you go through life you find the things you value most are never things'.

  • Did AT&T Really Threaten A Customer With Legal Action For Emailing Feedback To CEO? [Updated]

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 03 Jun, 2010 @ 10:25am

    Streisand Anyone?

    Good Lord, do they not realize they have set themselves up to receive even more complaining emails? May as well change his email address because that inbox is toast.

  • AT&T No Longer Offering Unlimited Data Plan To New Customers

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 02 Jun, 2010 @ 03:49pm

    $15 screwing

    The $15 for 200mb is a royal screwing. I use my iPhone primarily for email and some web browsing (very little video or streaming music) yet I have sucked up 202mb in this billing cycle which ends on 6/22. If a light user such as myself is gobbling up that much data in that short of a period then I can see a lot people getting hammered on their bills.

  • Author Joe Konrath Experiments With 'Piracy' To See How It Impacts Sales

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 01 Jun, 2010 @ 03:56pm

    Advertising budget: $0

    I don't see this as give it away and pray but more as world-spanning free advertising campaign. He seems to be betting that obscurity is more risky than free downloads. I'm hoping he placed information in the free version on where to get more of his work. It would be interesting to see what the affect would be if he coupled the free book with an offer to send an autographed copy to those wanting to pay.

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

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 19 Mar, 2010 @ 09:37pm

    I wonder if this ruling won't run afoul of the Supreme Courts decision in Citizens United vs Federal Election Commission? If a corporation has the same First Amendment right to free speech as an individual then wouldn't this injunction be a violation of corporate free speech?

  • Content Owners Force Hulu To Block Mobile Browsers As Well

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 16 Sep, 2009 @ 02:51pm

    Re: Re:

    If that is truly the rationale then I agree with your assessment. Trying to wall off content based on the delivery hardware is doomed to fail. They simply can't erect walls as fast as people figure out ways to go around, under or through them.

    It reminds of a essay I read about the two most common things mankind has built throughout recorded history: Walls and Roads. Walls are built to restrict us and roads are built to free us. As we march through history the walls are eventually torn down but the roads always remain.

  • Content Owners Force Hulu To Block Mobile Browsers As Well

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 16 Sep, 2009 @ 11:55am

    I can't help but wonder why they think the output device for internet access even matters? They obviously don't mind consumers viewing Hulu on a desktop and I assume laptops are ok as well. How about netbooks? Or is the issue with how the internet connection is achieved - wired vs wireless? Would they object to my laptop viewing content on Hulu using my wireless access? Is it the size of the device itself? Do they really care if I squint at my phone screen if I choose to view Hulu that way? It is so silly I am literally stumped on what their reasoning could possibly be.

  • Newspaper Publisher: Search Engines Break Into Our Homes

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 15 Sep, 2009 @ 09:21am


    Google/Yahoo/Bing provide their indexing services for free to each an every site the wishes to opt in. Yet these sites want to get paid for benefit they receive from a free service. Its like going into a restaurant to get a glass of water then demanding the restaurant pay you to drink it. What the newspaper industry is 'forgetting' is they have total control over what the major search engines index. A simple update to ROBOTS.txt on their web servers will exclude the site from indexing. If they REALLY think Google/Yahoo/Bing is 'breaking into our homes' they could easily lock the doors.

  • Kiddie Monitoring Software Spying On IM Chats, Selling Info To Marketers

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 09 Sep, 2009 @ 02:12am

    Not to mention most filtering and monitoring programs are fairly easily circumvented by a tech savvy child. The only effective content filter I found is OpenDNS. You can create broad classes of excluded content, specify sites to block or allow, and best of all it is free.

  • Doctor Who Uploaded Rorschach Images Now Being Investigated

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 25 Aug, 2009 @ 01:52pm

    An image search on Google shows about 85k images related to Rorschach. Not exactly the world's best kept secret. Wikipedia has a nice write-up along with samples of the ink blots. Much ado over nothing.

  • No Surprise Here: Pirate Bay Acquisition Falling Apart

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 21 Aug, 2009 @ 02:52pm


    Yep, world-spanning whack-a-mole. Good luck stamping out the 10,000 sites the will take TPB's place.

  • Reddit, Sears, Grills That Cook Babies… And The Streisand Effect

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 21 Aug, 2009 @ 01:31pm

    Just one time I would like to hear a company say, "Hey, thanks for the heads up on our site vulnerability. We are working to correct it right now. If you have suggestions on how to address this issue we would really like to hear from you. We can talk about compensation if we find it mutually beneficial."

    Engaging a community will get you further than attacking it. Honey vs Vinegar.

  • Music Publishers Force Lyrics API Offline; How Dare Anyone Make Lyrics Useful

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 21 Aug, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    77,000,000 hits

    Type "Music Lyrics" into Google. You get about 77 million hits. Way to go music industry. Only 76,999,999 to go!

  • Gartner Tells Reporter: You're Not Allowed To Mention Gartner Research Without Our Permission

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 21 Aug, 2009 @ 11:02am

    What is odd is Gar-ner reports are quoted in business press and corporate presentations every day, yet they don't seem to mind that.

  • Why Do Ebooks Cost So Much?

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 21 Aug, 2009 @ 08:17am

    Re: all digital prices will fall to that of a convenience fee, lets say for example, 99?.

    My thoughts exactly. There's a price point that allows anyone to take a taste without feeling they are wasting money. I wonder if anyone has tried the $.99 price point on older publications of popular authors? Speaking for myself, there are lot of older works by Neil Gaiman or Terry Pratchett I would buy for $1 even though I already read the books.

  • Why Does Lego Get To Stop Spinal Tap From Using Lego Video?

    Kevin Stapp ( profile ), 20 Aug, 2009 @ 09:19am

    IP in the physical world

    This blog often discusses the folly of applying physical property attributes to intellectual property (infringement isn't the same as theft, etc.) This is example of just the opposite: Intellectual property attributes applied to the physical world.

    There seems to be a groundswell of thinking among some corporations that their IP rights allow them to exercise some control over the use of the physical goods they produce.

    No one questions the idea that purchasing a good transfers the ownership to you and, after purchase, it is yours to use as you see fit. What is getting muddied is when that purchased good appears on a video or picture then somehow the company's IP rights come back into play. The company's position seems to be that once on film, IP entitles the company to exercise control over the use of the product.

    The whole thing is silly. The only time IP should come into question is if your filming of a product somehow confuses consumers.

    For example, I buy a Ford truck. I can video my use of the vehicle in any way it suits me. What I cannot do is produce a video that appears to be commercial by the Ford Motor Company (confuses the consumer), claims that I make Ford Trucks (infringes on trademark), or claims my uses of the truck are endorsed by Ford Motor Company (confuses the consumer).

    I might choose the film myself ramming my Ford truck into a tree but as long as a moron in a hurry wouldn't be misled into thinking Ford Motor Company endorsed slamming its products into a tree then there is no issue.

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