Tech at Night: No, I don't believe people care about privacy. Also, copyright roundup.

Tech at Night

Sorry for the lack of Tech on Friday. I was sick and doing my best to sleep it off. I’m at about 95% now, so let’s catch up.

How do I know privacy regulation and legislation are bad ideas? Nobody actually cares. Sure, they talk like they care, but until people start taking proactive steps and act like they’re taking it seriously, I know it’s just talk. Just like how everyone says they hate Congress, but love their own representation.


So yeah, if you’re moaning about Google on your Blogger site, and emailing to your friends about it from your Gmail account, and using Google Maps to get directions to your privacy rally… I don’t take you seriously.

So, copyright. The Antigua vs US saga goes on. Antigua insists on its rights under the WTO to respond to the US violating the treaty by banning online gambling, by getting permission to attack US firms via copyright infringement. Turnabout’s fair play, guys. Maybe the well-paid lobbyists should lobby for the US to obey WTO and eliminate the need for Antigua to get compensation, eh?

Here’s a much more fruitful venture: go after the sponsors of copyright infringers. Public shaming goes a long way with big corporations.

I’m not even sure what to think of the Glee-Jon Coulton-Baby Got Back saga. So much of what’s going on here could hinge on the specific terms of the license Coulton got from Sir Mix-a-Lot for the song cover, in determining whether the Glee people are in the wrong here. Some would say that basic decency obliges Glee at least to credit Coulton, but that’s not a copyright matter.

Likewise, I’m not too terribly bothered that carrier unlocks are no longer getting a DMCA exception from the Library of Congress. I agree that they are outside the scope of what the DMCA exceptions are supposed to be. Guys: quit trying to ruin carrier subsidies for everyone else.


Fugitive from justice Kim Dotcom continues to weave conspiracy theories as he lives in exile in New Zealand and pushes his new venture. But be warned: Dotcom will probably develop diabetes before he’ll actually protect your privacy. That’s right: Mega’s vaunted encryption is all about protecting his new enterprise, not you.

Quick hits:

The UK isn’t serious on cybersecurity as long as they play blame-the-victim on the Sony hacks.

FCC needs to get out of the way on the IP Revolution, let AT&T lead the way, and listen to what Commissioner Ajit Pai has written at RedState and other sites on this topic.

We’re nearing a majority, says Rasmussen, for replacing the income tax with a sales tax. This is why the Marketplace Fairness Act is a good idea, and why we’ve seen so many Republican and conservative governors come out in favor of it: People would rather collect existing sales taxes, than impose or raise income taxes to replace the revenue.


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