Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

This week, we followed the latest developments in the story of Mississippi Attorney General Jim Hood and his interactions with the MPAA.That One Guy won most insightful comment of the week by catching some apparent contradictions in his statements:

Slip of the tongue?

While Hood’s office says there are “nearly 900 emails

Hood’s office first said that it would refuse to share the emails between Hood and the MPAA’s lawyers as they “constitute attorney-client communications” or “attorney work product”

Compare the above to this, from an earlier article:

Hood said the MPAA “has no major influence on my decision-making,” although he noted that content creators occasionally provide reports and advice to him. “They’re just reporting wrongdoing. There’s nothing unusual about that,” he said. Hood said he has never asked MPAA a legal question, isn’t sure which lawyers they employ, and doesn’t think he’s ever met the organization’s general counsel.

So they’ve had ‘no major influence on [his] decision making’, and yet there are estimated to be at least 900 emails sent between the two.

In addition, despite claiming that they were ‘just reporting wrongdoing’, and Hood never asked them a legal question, somehow the communications between the two qualify as “constitute attorney-client communications” or “attorney work product”.

One of these claims is clearly not true. Either the hundreds of emails sent back and forth had nothing to do with legal matters, in which case they would not be protected as attorney-client communications, or they were indeed legal discussions, in which case they would be.

Honestly, if he’s going to lie, he could at least put some effort into it.

But that wasn’t That One Guy’s only win this week: he also took home second place for insightful with his thoughts about movie theatres boycotting Netflix’s new movie to protect release windows:

Run that by me again?

So Netflix is planning on showing the films at the same time as they’re shown in theaters.

The theaters claim that home viewing hurts their profits.

So in response, theater owners refuse to show the films at all, making it so anyone who wants to watch them will have to watch them at home, via Netflix.

Brilliant.

For editor’s choice on the insightful side, first we’ll round things out by giving one more nod to That One Guy. This time, it’s a comment on something that drives us crazy here at Techdirt — the fact that net neutrality is becoming a partisan issue for many:

That’s some mighty fine paranoia you’ve got there

“We will not stand by idly as the White House, using the FCC, attempts to advance rules that imperil the future of the Internet.

I love how they still insist that Obama’s behind this whole thing, as though he’s just got to be the cause.

As a scapegoat, he seems rather lacking, but I suppose the alternative, admitting that the main driving forces behind the shift were the actions of the ISP’s showing how needed the change was, and the massive support on both sides for said change, wouldn’t fit the spin they’ve decided on.

Next, we’ve got a comment from Rich Kulawiec, who was blown away by the revelations that Hillary Clinton conducted all her work as Secretary of State through a personal email account:

Let me see if I have this straight

The Secretary of State of the United States of America used a personal email account for official government business for four years and during all that time, everyone in possession of that fact (which would necessarily include everyone she corresponded with) refrained from raising hell?

Didn’t any of them grasp that this necessarily meant that their messages were also traversing whichever service was hosting her account? And that they were thereby trusting that service’s system and network admins? (Even if the messages were encrypted, which I doubt, the mail system logs would yield useful data for traffic analysis.)

From an opsec standpoint (forget the records retention issue for a moment) this is insane.

Over on the funny side, we start out on the not-so-funny story about Suburban Express changing its terms of service to block college students from their university-provided legal aid. One anonymous commenter took first place by elegantly expressing his reaction to this and many other stories of similar shenanigans from Tim Cushing:

I can usually tell how many Tim C. posts there have been during the week by counting the number of drywall-repair patch kits I have to buy at the hardware store on Saturday.

In second place, we’ve got another response to the Netflix boycott by theaters. This time it’s DB with a healthy dose of sarcasm:

The theaters have quite a bit of history to back them up.

Look at how football was destroyed once it was shown on TV. Ticket prices went to zero (approximately, the average for a ‘cheap seat’ is only $84), and the parking lots could only charge $1 (approximate, actual cost is $75 in Dallas).

The same with other sports. The miniscule broadcast revenue left the team owners destitute. Pretty much only the parents of the players show up at games.

For editor’s choice, we start out on our post about Canada’s border patrol charging travellers for not coughing up their smartphone passwords. One commenter went just a little far in dubbing this a return of Naziism and a “history repeating”, spurring Roger Strong to craft this response:

It’s true. The War of 1812 started when the British Navy boarded American merchant vessels and demanded crew members’ smartphone passwords.

Finally, after a Connecticut town took down a painting over some confused and silly ideas about intellectual property, Michael pined for an easy way to prevent such madness:

If only there were a place in which someone could walk in and borrow some books about copyright so they could learn a little about the subject before pulling a painting off of the wall.

That’s all for this week, folks!

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