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Comment Re:When I meet a copyright owner (Score 1) 67

Alright, I get that. (By the way, I'm taking your invitation in your sig to post any disagreement, I agree that "-1 I disagree" is absolutely not a valid mod.)

I just got done setting up a new OS on this machine tonight. And of course, I installed Steam. It asked for a couple of verifications, but after that, it validated and set itself up. And I can start downloading the games I want. Downloading.. I can play them offline for up to 30 days after downloading them. That's relatively sufficient.

I have no problem paying for things. I've bought hundreds of dollars worth of games on Steam and a couple hundred more worth from GOG, both legitimate, authorized services. Because they don't try to restrict me, Steam much, GOG at all. (GOG is totally, 100%, DRM free.) But they don't try to restrict me the way you're trying to, to "streaming only" or the like. If they did, I wouldn't buy from them. I want download, I want offline usage. Anything without that is hamstrung.

There's a good reason for that. I also pay for a Spotify subscription. And most of the time, I use its streaming service, since I'm either using it at home or at work on wifi. So that works fine. But it allows for download for offline use. And when I was planning a drive through the Rockies in Wyoming and Montana, and then through north Idaho, I needed that, because cell reception would be spotty at the very best. So I needed to create a downloaded, offline playlist, or else be stuck with AM talk radio. So I downloaded a ton of stuff from Spotify onto my phone for the trip.

Now if they'd been monitoring me, that would have looked nothing, nothing at all, like my normal usage pattern. I don't hardly download anything, because I'm usually somewhere that streaming would work just fine. All of a sudden, I'm downloading tons of stuff. I'm planning something nefarious, right?

Well, no. I'm planning nothing more nefarious than a road trip. I just want music and comedy for it. And I don't know exactly what I'd want to listen to, so I downloaded more than I actually needed or could listen to during the trip.

If your viewers can see something, they can save it and record it locally. Let them, and ideally, help them. Ask them nicely not to abuse the privilege by giving it to others, and most will respect that. Try to place shackles on it, and some will break them just for the pleasure of breaking them.

I try to be reasonable. You seem you're trying it, too. But when someone does something blatantly anti-reality, like "You can't save this locally!" when you in fact easily can, it's maddening. Just instead say "Please don't put this on file sharing sites." Magnatune's been around for over a decade, and they actually can't even legally enforce that request, since they use the Creative Commons license with the noncommercial requirement--file sharing isn't commercial sharing, so I could legally put their whole catalog up on a file sharing site and there wouldn't be a damn thing they could do about it unless I made money from it. But I don't, because they ask me nicely not to, and because I like them and want them to succeed. So I pay for my membership there and don't put their stuff up for download, even though I quite legally could.

So, that's what I ask. You be reasonable, and I will too. You don't demand I not do things that improve my convenience and in reality are dead easy, and in return, I'll follow your reasonable requests not to put it out there for the whole world. Or you be unreasonable, and I'll be equally so in turn.

Comment Re:When I meet a copyright owner (Score 1) 67

Okay, I was with you for a little while (especially on sympathy for the little indie guys, even if you don't have to, throw a couple bucks in their hats if you like their stuff), until you made clear that they're downloading it from you, presumably the authorized distributor.

Especially this piece:

I've seen someone literally sit at their computer for several hours a day for several days in a row, downloading large numbers of files they couldn't possible be using normally, only stopping each time our rate limiter kicked in and blocked further downloads for a while.

So...they downloaded exactly as much as they're allowed to, and then once allowed again, started again? Didn't hack your system, didn't go off to torrent it instead? And they're doing...what wrong again? How do you know how they're using it and if such use is "normally"?

Why on Earth does your system let people do that, if you don't want them to do that? And if they're paying you for some kind of "all you can eat" service, you don't then get to tell them "Well...I meant all you can eat, unless you're REALLY hungry." If they're paying you for that service (presumably they are, I doubt you'd be terribly upset if you were giving the stuff away to start with), just be glad you're being paid. It's cash in the hat. And with how widespread pirate content is, they don't have to throw in a nickel. A similar mistake was made with DRM--you get more grief from the legal option than the illegal one! (Whoever made the statement to you about DRM is a moron, it's not effective anyway and would drive away your users.)

Now, by all means, if you want to go find out who's uploading your stuff somewhere, and go after them, I won't have a bit more sympathy for them than you will, especially if you explicitly told them not to and they turned around and told you to fuck off. But attack that end, not your users. When it comes down to it, you can't know why anyone downloaded such and such thing.

Comment Re:The fact that MDMA use... (Score 1) 145

So, it's news to you that drugs have side effects?

All drugs can be dangerous. All drugs are dangerous if taken to overdose. (Look up the effects of an acetaminophen overdose sometime, and you can buy that without so much as a prescription.) And also consider that it's currently illegal, meaning the stuff out there is of varying quality and cut and produced with god only knows what. A real pharmaceutical with strict manufacturing standards and quality control will, by definition, be at least more safe.

But it will still have side effects and be dangerous if you overdose on it. know...every medicine there is.

Comment Re: Here come the science deniers (Score 1) 553

Actually, even for harmful drugs, most people who use them are doing us a favor. End of life, regardless of when it comes or how, is often expensive, but people who smoke, use drugs, etc., tend to die much younger. So, less (or no) Social Security collected, less Medicare use, the whole thing. They actually cost the public a great deal less than those who live healthy lives to their 90s.

Or in other words, that's a sanctimonious moralistic argument not at all based in facts. If you're really worried about public spending, thank a smoker next time you see one.

Comment Re:Will it stand? (Score 1) 154

The reason contracts have any meaning whatsoever is because the law stands behind them. If someone breaks a contract, you can count on being able to take them to court and get the situation remedied.

There are plenty of things you cannot put in a contract and expect a court to enforce. Some because they're unconscionable or illegal to start with (such as murder for hire), and some that lawmakers have explicitly passed laws against.

Since it's the law that backs a contract, I certainly don't see why the law can't say "If a contract says X, Y, or Z, we will not enforce that portion of it." That puts you on clear notice that such a provision is not enforceable by the normal means.

Submission + - It Will Soon Be Illegal To Punish Customers Who Criticize Businesses Online (

An anonymous reader writes: Congress has passed a law protecting the right of U.S. consumers to post negative online reviews without fear of retaliation from companies. The bipartisan Consumer Review Fairness Act was passed by unanimous consent in the US Senate yesterday, a Senate Commerce Committee announcement said. The bill, introduced in 2014, was already approved by the House of Representatives and now awaits President Obama's signature. The Consumer Review Fairness Act—full text available here—voids any provision in a form contract that prohibits or restricts customers from posting reviews about the goods, services, or conduct of the company providing the product or service. It also voids provisions that impose penalties or fees on customers for posting online reviews as well as those that require customers to give up the intellectual property rights related to such reviews. The legislation empowers the Federal Trade Commission to enforce the new law and impose penalties when necessary. The bill also protects reviews that aren't available via the Internet.

Comment Well, I did read TFA... (Score 4, Insightful) 128

This article is about a waste of time.

Microsoft has developed an encryption method resistant to quantum computers, it claims. Alright? What is that method? How does it differ from current encryption techniques? Why is that well suited to encrypting against quantum computers? How did you come to that conclusion, given that you don't have one to test against? Are we just supposed to believe Microsoft when they say "Trust us, this is secure"?

Comment Re:I lost the password (Score 1) 560

While it’s true that they will open a physical safe themselves if you refuse, you can indeed be held in contempt if you have the ability to open a safe and refuse to do so when presented with a valid warrant. The “physical safe” analogy is one of the things that’s (unfortunately) applied as an existing-law analogy to crypto.

That's actually only true if they already know for certain it's your safe and you have access to it. Otherwise, admitting that you know how to open the safe (by opening it or providing the combination) is admitting that the contents of it are in fact yours. That's self-incrimination and you can't be forced to do it, though of course with a valid warrant they can still try to break into the safe. They just can't make you admit it's yours, and that's what you're doing if you open it.

In this case, however, the idiot went and bragged to the police that yeah, that stuff is all mine! To extend the safe analogy, that's like saying to the police "Yeah, I know the combination, but I'm not giving it to you!" Now you wouldn't be telling them anything they don't know, so opening the safe is no longer self-incriminating. If he'd kept his mouth shut (first rule of being questioned by the police, keep your fucking mouth shut, they mean it when they say anything you say will be used against you), this case would likely have been decided differently.

Comment Filming the police is not bad (Score 5, Interesting) 216

While switching trains, I once saw the police arresting someone at the train stop. They were becoming very aggressive and seemed about to become violent with the man they were arresting, despite the fact that he was not threatening them in any way.

I took out my cell phone and began filming. Very shortly after, one of the officers pointed at me and said something (not audible, he was too far away), but all of a sudden, their behavior became very professional, and the arrest proceeded without incident.

If I were in the same situation, I hope someone would do the same. There is no reason police should not be accountable for their behavior while performing their duties. After all, isn't it they who so often say "If there's nothing to hide, you've nothing to fear"? What would be wrong with a video of police officers doing their job properly? If anything, that would protect them if they were later accused of doing something wrong. The only ones with anything to fear from a video recording are those who intend on doing something wrong, and that's the exact time we need them being taped.

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