Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

With only three days of posts, and plenty of readers no doubt busy with their holiday plans, it’s no surprise that the voting was a little slow this week. But, while there are no record-breakers in terms of numbers, there are still lots of fantastic comments for our last weekly roundup of the year—so let’s dive right in.

First up on the Insightful side, we’ve got an anonymous comment on our post about copyfraudulent notices appearing on CDs, pointing out one of the fundamental clashes between copyright and culture:

Sometimes it feels like if you want to be an artist you have to know the law, but if you want to be a lawyer you don’t have to know how art works, how culture works, nope, that would be silly.

Up next we’ve got another anonymous comment, this time replying to one of our nuttiest trolls on our post about Mark Zuckerberg’s sister misunderstanding the Facebook privacy settings. In response to the confusing assertion that “IF Facebook were in any degree an opt-in system, it’d collapse”, this anonymous commenter pointed out the obvious:

Here’s your “opt-in system”, boy…
Don’t register on FaceBook.
Problem solved.

The first Editor’s Choice is a comment that’s interesting, but I’m unsure if it’s true or exactly what the specifics are (some cursory Googling finds other mentions of a similar idea, but no concrete source) so I’m hoping someone can shed some light on it. We talk a lot about the history of crazy Boston Strangler VCR regulations in the US, but PaulT brought up an interesting example from the UK:

When VCRs were first introduced in the UK, a number of conditions were legally applied to try and alleviate the studios’ concerns. One of these was that anything recorded from a broadcast source should only be kept for a maximum length of time (around 6 months, IIRC) before being erased. Anything kept beyond this time was breaking the law. I’m sure you can guess how many of the general public stuck to that, and the law effectively became ignored once authorities realised how utterly unenforceable it was in any realistic sense.

I’d expect any requirement to get permission from the government before viewing the content you’ve legally purchased to be met with the same level of compliance.

If Paul or anyone else knows more, please share! For the second Editor’s Choice, we head to yesterday’s year-end post about innovation, optimism and opportunity. While a lot of great things happened this year, Aaron Wolf was absolutely right to start thinking about how to take the initiative and stop playing defence:

Too bad the best is just stopping attacks
Defeating SOPA, PIPA, and ACTA are marvellous and noteworthy. But this just leaves us where we were. What we did was work hard to stop things from getting much worse. Will 2013 possibly be a year where we actually improve things?

To that question, I offer an wholehearted and optimistic yes!

On the Funny side of things, first place goes to a scathing troll-response on our post about Amazon pulling down a memoir for mentioning Star Wars on the cover. An aforementioned nutty troll was well and truly in the holiday spirit that day, expressing his distaste for just about everything, and there’s no denying that the reactively-named out_of_my_mind‘s reply was satisfying in its ontological brutality:

Having never participated in popular culture, nor engaged with ‘friends’ (whatever they are) in make-believe play, nor loved, nor even hated, my consciousness is informed only by the shadowy archetypes that bubble up through the sub-conscious, where there is no light or mercy, only aching hungers and red appetites. I exist, because I have never made a misstep. Because I exist, I am perfect. Because I am perfect, I am Troll.

Or, as it says on the gates of Troll University, Non Cogito, Ergo Fuck You.

For second place, we return to our post about incorrect copyright warnings on CDs. One commenter was confused by the British terminology at play, specifically “hiring” a CD. While I replied the boring way by explaining that it means “renting” a CD, an anonymous commenter offered a more creative definition for the term:

Having the white album mow your lawn for pay

For Editor’s Choice, we’ll start with a comment on our post about a White House petition asking for the arrest of journalist David Gregory. That post also mentioned another petition calling for the deportation of Piers Morgan, which caused Planespotter to quite rightfully panic a bit:

Dear America,

Please, Please, Please, Please, Please DO NOT deport Piers Morgan back to the UK.


The Population of the United Kingdom.

(As a Canadian, that’s a tough choice. When he’s American we share the world’s longest border, but when he’s a Brit we share a Head of State. Both are too close for comfort.)

And, finally, we’ve got a comment on our post about the ridiculous class-action lawsuit against Instagram for its TOS changes. Michael hatched a brilliant plan, but got tangled in his own web (I swear that’s not a mixed metaphor—spiders lay eggs):

I’m trying to build up a class action lawsuit against TechDirt for libel against lawyers that file class action lawsuits for calling their actions a ‘shakedown’.

My only problem so far is that the greedy bastards that make up the class do not seem to want me to be taking 70% of any winnings.

It’s like they just don’t understand that I am trying to help them.

Well, that’s it for today—but not quite it for 2012! Tomorrow we’ll be back with our funniest and most insightful comments of the year (and members with the Crystal Ball Plus can get an early peek right now). After that, we’ll be off for New Year’s Day, then everything goes back to normal on Wednesday.

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