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Comments

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Modbomb Shows Difficulty of Controling Online Opinion.

jb.hl.com Hahahahahaaaaaa. (8 comments)

The successful modbombing of this account shows both the strength and futility of astroturfing. The troll community has dedicated dozens of accounts and several people's worth of full time effort to harass, smear and downmod me.

The troll community. Yes. Right. Whatever you say, twitter.

It's amazing how one person can so easily tie up the resources of one of the world's wealthiest and most powerful companies.

OK, twitter, let's play this one for laughs: what evidence do you have that any negative reaction to your posts is orchestrated by Microsoft, and is not simply a response to you talking unfounded bullshit about things you have absolutely no usable knowledge of? Do you have any evidence of that? You don't, do you? Because you're pulling it out of your ass, isn't that right?

Bruce Perens is one of the leading lights in not only the Debian developer community, but the F/OSS community as a whole. He posts on Slashdot about free software, a field he is closely associated with, and somehow manages to escape what you so charmingly call "M$ astroturfing". Why is this so? Maybe it's because he can present opinions rationally without resorting to namecalling, and in such a way that they are at least a worthwhile contribution to debates whether you agree with them or not.

You do none of these things. You bluster in, regardless of the debate, start with "M$ sucks" and work backwards from there to make the rest of your comment. Put simply, you talk utter bollocks half the time, about things you have no idea about. And then, the icing on the paranoia cake, you not only believe but regularly claim that anyone who disagrees with this bizarre method of posting is somehow being bribed by Microsoft to harass you.

Distilled down: if someone who has made numerous material contributions to free software and is one of its most valuable figures isn't the target of an "M$" "campaign", why on earth would someone who has little to no influence on anything be the subject of their attentions? Can you give a coherent reason for that? I think not.

Do what you're doing now. Quit while you're ahead. You've preached to the choir, and the choir told you to fuck off. Do so.

Even if they could discover all of my accounts by asking my ISP, I could always create new ones and continue saying what I think.

Um... yeah. Asking your ISP. Right.

It's obvious someone does not like the things I think and the way I express myself, but they are powerless to do anything about it. People who offer to "clean" the web are selling snake oil.

There's very little wrong with what you think, really, however it's the way you express yourself that people don't like. Calm down, quit with the "M$ Windoze" shit and people might take you a little more seriously.

The real answer is to quit doing things that are wrong, that make people angry and need to be covered up with massive lie campaigns

Yeah, you should give that a go.

more than 7 years ago

Submissions

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jb.hl.com jb.hl.com writes  |  more than 7 years ago

jb.hl.com writes "The BBC reports that the Institute for Public Policy Research, a UK think tank closely linked with the governing Labour party, has called for a "private right to copy" to be enshrined in law. The move would decriminalise millions of Britons who break the law each year by copying their CDs onto music players, although it would not decriminalise file sharing. The IPPR argues that CD ripping would have little impact on rights holders, and also claims that the record industry has steered discussions on copyright for too long, stating that the copyright period in the UK should stay at the current 50 years. The think tank also touches on the issue of DRM, saying that the British Library should be given a DRM-free copy of any new digital work."
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jb.hl.com jb.hl.com writes  |  about 8 years ago

jb.hl.com writes "Tesco, the UK's biggest supermarket chain, has announced it will start selling budget own-brand software, including office software, security systems and a photo editing tool, in a move that will pitch the grocery giant against the likes of Microsoft and Symantec. Tesco says that each package will cost under £20, challenging what it described as the current "high" price of software. The supermarket group said it had developed the range of titles with software firm Formjet. Tesco already has its own broadband, telephone and VOIP services, and sells computer systems in some of its stores."

Journals

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P2P: A Dissection Of Common Arguments For Downloading Music

jb.hl.com jb.hl.com writes  |  more than 8 years ago

All the time on Slashdot in various discussions it is said that P2P is the best thing for artists and consumers alike. In reality, it's only good for consumers in terms of price, and not good for artists at all. I believe that if you download copyrighted work from P2P, you're hurting artists and legitimate fans but not hurting the recording industry one little bit. Most peoples' justifications for it are specious and based more around justifying people getting stuff for free than any kind of moral argument, and I intend to dissect some of the more common arguments for P2P in this post.

The "P2P is civil disobedience" argument
Trying to claim that P2P is a form of civil disobedience tarnishes the idea of civil disobedience as a form of political protest, and instead attempts to shift its focus to an act of selfishness (that is, getting free music). You're not hurting the record industry with your "protest"; the record industry, rather than scaling back lawsuits, will simply see the rise in P2P usage as a cause for alarm. Instead you're hurting the artists, who quite reasonably expect a return on their investment of time and money for entertaining you and all the other fans of their work.

The "Artists don't make anything from me buying CDs" argument
It is true that artists make a comparitively small (around 20 percent) amount of money for making a record. However, it is wrong to say that "middlemen" needlessly take the other 80 percent. Quite simply, there are more people involved in the making of a record that sounds good than just the artist and a record company.

For a start, we have studio engineers, who make sure all of the recording equipment is in good shape, who make sure it's all set up correctly and overall just make sure things work. Then we have the producers, who turn what may at the start be a rough-edged collection of songs into a saleable record. Imagine, for instance, what the Beatles would sound like without George Martin. The songs would sound far different to the versions many of us know and love.

Moving on from producers, we have the people employed by the studio in auxiliary tasks (for instance, tea ladies, secretaries, cleaners), cover designers (I imagine people such as Storm Thorgerson, who has created album covers for Dream Theater, Pink Floyd and Muse among others, don't come cheap), marketers and of course the record company and its shareholders. Yes, I include them as a deserving recipient of money from the sale of a CD; the label and its shareholders not only organise all of the above people for the band, but also bankroll them and invest money in them. Is it not unreasonable for them to expect a few cents a copy in return?

My point in all this is that by downloading instead of buying, you're not sticking it to the man. You're sticking it to lots of men and women who set out to make a good record, and making it very clear that you don't value the time and effort they've put in to helping make something they hope people enjoy.

As a sidenote, even if artists do only get 20% of the cost of a CD, I would imagine they prefer that to the nothing they get from P2P.

The "I download from P2P to get away from DRM" argument
DRM is nowhere near mandatory when buying music. If you buy and rip CDs, you not only get a choice of formats (you could rip to MP3, Ogg Vorbis, AAC, WMA, FLAC, Musepack, Monkey's Audio, or whatever format you have an encoder for) but you also (so long as you're not using Windows Media Player with its DRM setting switched on on to rip) don't get DRM on your music files. None whatsoever; no DRM, at all. You're free to do what you like with your CD, and you're able to exercise your fair use rights as you see fit.

If you don't like DRM, you need to realise that the music industry does not listen to posts on Slashdot. They only really have one concern, which is the bottom line. Simply don't buy music from DRMed places (or AllOfMP3, they're just as bad), maybe send them an email saying exactly why you don't want to buy DRMed music (again not stating P2P as your chosen alternative) and you'll get your point across. (By the way, the Sony rootkit is not an effective argument against buying CDs. Maybe it is against buying Sony CDs, but the rootkit is no longer present on Sony's CDs and wasn't ever present on EMI/Universal/independent CDs).

The "information wants to be free" argument
This type of argument usually states that P2P should be used because culture should be free, and sometimes because copyright laws are immoral. Quite simply, this argument is usually based more around a desire for free (as in beer) music than any overriding moral concern, and is an argument driven by selfishness more than anything.

This argument shows a complete disregard for an artist's choices when they release music; it is up to them, not you or anyone else, to decide how they do or do not want their music distributed and under what terms. By P2Ping music under the pretence that "information wants to be free", you're giving the finger to the artist, essentially saying "I enjoy your work, but I don't want you to have copyright over it so I can get it for free". Basically, you're thinking you're entitled to something when you clearly aren't.

If you don't like the idea of copyrighted music, there's plenty of artists who release their work under Creative Commons and similar licenses. You just shouldn't feel that you're entitled to major label or other copyrighted music under the same terms.

The "P2P helps spread new unsigned bands" argument
This argument completely ignores the motivation of most people who use P2P. They do not want to discover new music or help distribute unsigned bands; they want the same music that's in record shops for nothing. The people who do use P2P to discover new bands will have a very hard time. Most P2P software is built around simple keyword searches, not genre searches, and pirated music is overwhelmingly the most available form of music on the major networks. If you want to discover new and unsigned bands, you'd be better served having a browse through MySpace Music than P2P.

The "Try before you buy" argument
Again, overwhelmingly most people use P2P instead of buying music, instead of using it as a precursor to buying music. How many times have you heard people brag about how many songs or albums they've downloaded off BitTorrent or LimeWire? The people who do use P2P to sample music before they buy are almost certainly in the minority; if not on Slashdot, then in the world at large. Even so, there's no need to listen to a whole album all the way through to decide whether or not to buy it. Listen to the radio; buy singles; listen to previews on iTunes or Amazon.com. All of the above are perfectly legal and give you a good way to sample an album before buying it.

The "CDs are too expensive" argument
There's nothing stopping you buying used CDs off eBay or from Amazon. And the prices for CDs are reasonable, at least in my opinion. Consider the amount of work that went into making a record; well worth the money, especially considering you're getting a lossless copy of a work of art, complete with album art, unDRMed and most importantly sellable. If you don't like an album any more, you can sell your CD and make some money back. Also, many CDs are now available on mid-price, meaning they can be had for around £7 (about $14); this applies to albums by bands like Joy Division, The Smiths, Rage Against The Machine, Gorillaz, Radiohead, Muse, David Bowie, AC/DC...the list goes on and on.

Conclusion
I firmly believe that by downloading from P2P instead of buying music, all that happens is that artists and others involved in the production of works of art that people love are hurt financially. P2Ping devalues the time, effort and money invested in making music, and rather than acting as an effective protest against RIAA lawsuits and DRM simply strengthens the music industry's case for both In a more simplistic sense it is, of course, illegal. You may disagree with the idea of copyright and DRM, but you can't really disagree with the idea of respecting the wishes and choices of recording artists. If you don't like the recording industry, you don't have to illegally listen to major label music; there's plenty of independent music which you can listen to legally and for free, no P2P required.

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