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Mar 26th 2019 at 2:08:57 AM

[up][up][up][up]Epic said they want to stop that exlusivity snaggin' at some point, something about having a "two-way conversation" but as my previous posts might imply I'm pretty sure they're just paranoid Valve will start doing it as well if they go too far.

M84 'Til all are one from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
'Til all are one
Mar 26th 2019 at 2:12:47 AM

"Eventually" can be a very long time, especially in the business world.

Disgusted, but not surprised
Mar 26th 2019 at 3:03:47 AM

Ars Technica article on the EGS spyware accusations and Epic's response

My read on the situation is that it's the unfortunately typical tech company strategy of "grab as much data as we can and backtrack when we get caught". One thing I do trust in the response is this:

"Tencent is a significant, but minority shareholder in Epic," co-founder and CEO Tim Sweeney wrote in response to the conspiracy theory in one Reddit thread. "I'm the controlling shareholder of Epic... The decisions Epic makes are ultimately my decisions, made here in North Carolina based on my beliefs as a game developer about what the game industry needs!"

"Epic is controlled by Tim Sweeney," Epic's VP of Engineering Daniel Vogel added in response to another recent thread. "We have lots of external shareholders, none of whom have access to customer data."

If EGS is spyware, it's spyware on behalf of the Americans running the company and not for the Chinese conglomerate with a minority stake or the Chinese government. Still bad, but not as easily dismissable as conspiracy theory fearmongering!

VeryVileVillian Who did you expect? God? Devil? No, it's just me from Russia Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Who did you expect? God? Devil? No, it's just me
Mar 26th 2019 at 8:49:11 PM

Hypnospace Outlaw - Wild Wild Web (Jimpressions)

Lurking in shadow, haunting every step, bringer of chaos: Nyarlathotep.
VeryVileVillian Who did you expect? God? Devil? No, it's just me from Russia Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Who did you expect? God? Devil? No, it's just me
Mar 27th 2019 at 8:50:35 AM

EU Votes In Favor Of Article 13, Giving Copyright Holders Undue Power Over Internet Platforms

Lurking in shadow, haunting every step, bringer of chaos: Nyarlathotep.
Mar 27th 2019 at 1:17:01 PM

The vast majority of people complaining about Article 13 (now 17) have never read the damn thing. So strap yourselves in, because here's the full final text of the article.

     Article 17, the boogeyman of the internet 

Article 17

Use of protected content by online content-sharing service providers

1. Member States shall provide that an online content-sharing service provider performs an act of communication to the public or an act of making available to the public for the purposes of this Directive when it gives the public access to copyright-protected works or other protected subject matter uploaded by its users. An online content-sharing service provider shall therefore obtain an authorisation from the rightholders referred to in Article 3(1) and (2) of Directive 2001/29/EC, for instance by concluding a licensing agreement, in order to communicate to the public or make available to the public works or other subject matter.

2. Member States shall provide that, where an online content-sharing service provider obtains an authorisation, for instance by concluding a licensing agreement, that authorisation shall also cover acts carried out by users of the services falling within the scope of Article 3 of Directive 2001/29/EC when they are not acting on a commercial basis or where their activity does not generate significant revenues.

3. When an online content-sharing service provider performs an act of communication to the public or an act of making available to the public under the conditions laid down in this Directive, the limitation of liability established in Article 14(1) of Directive 2000/31/EC shall not apply to the situations covered by this Article. The first subparagraph of this paragraph shall not affect the possible application of Article 14(1) of Directive 2000/31/EC to those service providers for purposes falling outside the scope of this Directive.

4. If no authorisation is granted, online content-sharing service providers shall be liable for unauthorised acts of communication to the public, including making available to the public, of copyright-protected works and other subject matter, unless the service providers demonstrate that they have:

(a) made best efforts to obtain an authorisation, and

(b) made, in accordance with high industry standards of professional diligence, best efforts to ensure the unavailability of specific works and other subject matter for which the rightholders have provided the service providers with the relevant and necessary information; and in any event

(c)acted expeditiously, upon receiving a sufficiently substantiated notice from the rightholders, to disable access to, or to remove from, their websites the notified works or other subject matter, and made best efforts to prevent their future uploads in accordance with point (b).

5. In determining whether the service provider has complied with its obligations under paragraph 4, and in light of the principle of proportionality, the following elements, among others, shall be taken into account:

(a) the type, the audience and the size of the service and the type of works or other subject matter uploaded by the users of the service; and

(b)the availability of suitable and effective means and their cost for service providers.

6. Member States shall provide that, in respect of new online content-sharing service providers the services of which have been available to the public in the Union for less than three years and which have an annual turnover below EUR 10 million, calculated in accordance with Commission Recommendation 2003/361/EC 20, the conditions under the liability regime set out in paragraph 4 are limited to compliance with point (a) of paragraph 4 and to acting expeditiously, upon receiving a sufficiently substantiated notice, to disable access to the notified works or other subject matter or to remove those works or other subject matter from their websites. Where the average number of monthly unique visitors of such service providers exceeds 5 million, calculated on the basis of the previous calendar year, they shall also demonstrate that they have made best efforts to prevent further uploads of the notified works and other subject matter for which the rightholders have provided relevant and necessary information.

7. The cooperation between online content-sharing service providers and rightholders shall not result in the prevention of the availability of works or other subject matter uploaded by users, which do not infringe copyright and related rights, including where such works or other subject matter are covered by an exception or limitation. Member States shall ensure that users in each Member State are able to rely on any of the following existing exceptions or limitations when uploading and making available content generated by users on online content-sharing services:

(a) quotation, criticism, review;

(b) use for the purpose of caricature, parody or pastiche.

8. The application of this Article shall not lead to any general monitoring obligation. Member States shall provide that online content-sharing service providers provide rightholders, at their request, with adequate information on the functioning of their practices with regard to the cooperation referred to in paragraph 4 and, where licensing agreements are concluded between service providers and rightholders, information on the use of content covered by the agreements.

9. Member States shall provide that online content-sharing service providers put in place an effective and expeditious complaint and redress mechanism that is available to users of their services in the event of disputes over the disabling of access to, or the removal of, works or other subject matter uploaded by them.

Where rightholders request to have access to their specific works or other subject matter disabled or those works or other subject matter removed, they shall duly justify the reasons for their requests. Complaints submitted under the mechanism provided for in the first subparagraph shall be processed without undue delay, and decisions to disable access to or remove uploaded content shall be subject to human review. Member States shall also ensure that out-of-court redress mechanisms are available for the settlement of disputes. Such mechanisms shall enable disputes to be settled impartially and shall not deprive the user of the legal protection afforded by national law, without prejudice to the rights of users to have recourse to efficient judicial remedies. In particular, Member States shall ensure that users have access to a court or another relevant judicial authority to assert the use of an exception or limitation to copyright and related rights.

This Directive shall in no way affect legitimate uses, such as uses under exceptions or limitations provided for in Union law, and shall not lead to any identification of individual users nor to the processing of personal data, except in accordance with Directive 2002/58/EC and Regulation (EU) 2016/679. Online content-sharing service providers shall inform their users in their terms and conditions that they can use works and other subject matter under exceptions or limitations to copyright and related rights provided for in Union law.

10. As of ...[date of entry into force of this Directive] the Commission, in cooperation with the Member States, shall organise stakeholder dialogues to discuss best practices for cooperation between online content-sharing service providers and rightholders. The Commission shall, in consultation with online content-sharing service providers, rightholders, users' organisations and other relevant stakeholders, and taking into account the results of the stakeholder dialogues, issue guidance on the application of this Article, in particular regarding the cooperation referred to in paragraph 4. When discussing best practices, special account shall be taken, among other things, of the need to balance fundamental rights and of the use of exceptions and limitations. For the purpose of the stakeholder dialogues, users' organisations shall have access to adequate information from online content-sharing service providers on the functioning of their practices with regard to paragraph 4.

VampireBuddha Hungry dinosaur from Ireland Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
Hungry dinosaur
Mar 28th 2019 at 12:18:20 AM

Reads the damn thing.

Yeah, this won't work well for the reasons Jim articulates.

Clauses 4(b) and 4(c) are the problems. As Jim says, YouTube makes no effort to actually validate complaints; anybody can strike a claim on any video, and YouTube will block it until the uploader can prove their video is legitimate. Proving the case takes a long time, and if the uploader depends on revenue from their videos, they have no income during that time. Plus, even if a video is eventually reinstated, it can be sticken again by someone acting in bad faith. This is a thing that has happened on multiple occasions. YouTube's system places an absurd burden of proof on the uploader, and always takes the paintiff at their word.

This part of clause 9 does give hope:

decisions to disable access to or remove uploaded content shall be subject to human review.

but the problem is that companies will interpret that not to mean a human judges every case before removing a video, but that they have someone there to review cases where an uploader disputes a claim after the video has already been blocked.

Mar 28th 2019 at 1:31:11 AM

Honestly this puts actual regulatory scrutiny to what YT is already doing. Paragraph 7 regulates that measures are to take copyright exemptions/limitations that here in America we term "fair use" into account (which bots can't do, but humans involved in the process can make judgments on). Paragraph 9 opens with "Member States shall provide that online content-sharing service providers put in place an effective and expeditious complaint and redress mechanism," and as mentioned in [up] requires human review for takedowns.

Guess one major reason[1] why YouTube, who already have the Content ID system in place, are opposed to Art13/17? The company doesn't want the requirements for human review and an effective appeals process. So they mobilize the creators on their platform to fight a propaganda battle for them.[2]


[1]: Another reason is that the regulatory requirements make Content ID less of a bargaining chip when negotiating with rightsholders because the 4(b) requirements and 5(b) considerations ("the availability of suitable and effective means and their cost for service providers.") in combination with how much money Google has available to throw at copyright monitoring moves it from "above and beyond the industry standards" from rightsholders perspectives to "doing your legal duty as a giant content-sharing firm".

[2]: And before YT mobilized it's creators as propagandists… anti Art13 propaganda was being banged out by alt-righters with an anti-EU agenda. This is the origin of that goddamned absolutely misleading moniker of it as a "meme ban".


ETA: I'm not even totally in favor of Article 17 as it passed, speaking as a leftist who thinks that a lot of intellectual property law needs a hatchet taken to it and new much more limited IP systems put in place that favor the general public instead of corporate interests. I'm just sick of the fearmongering and tech capitalist propaganda around it.

Edited by Sixthhokage1 on Mar 28th 2019 at 3:37:23 AM

VeryVileVillian Who did you expect? God? Devil? No, it's just me from Russia Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Who did you expect? God? Devil? No, it's just me
Mar 28th 2019 at 9:45:08 AM

Scumbag EA Initiates Mass Layoffs, Axing 350 Jobs

Lurking in shadow, haunting every step, bringer of chaos: Nyarlathotep.
fasoman1996 Imma gonna teach you a lesson. from Argentina (A.K.A. Naziland) Relationship Status: Baby don't hurt me!
Imma gonna teach you a lesson.
Mar 28th 2019 at 10:27:41 AM

EA didn't want to be outdone by Activision-Blizzard so they too layed off employees.

Long live capitalism.

Angry rat.
VampireBuddha Hungry dinosaur from Ireland Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
Hungry dinosaur
Mar 28th 2019 at 11:16:41 AM

Fuck, I've been in that situation myself.

Two jobs ago, I worked in a plastic bottle factory. If you've ever bought milk in Ireland, there's a decent chance it was in a bottle made in that factory. The company was not well-run and pay was shit, but the second-worst aspect was the insecurity. (The worst aspect was the technical manager, who cannot properly be described without cursing).

When I started, I was given a six-month contract. Pretty normal. At the end of the six months, I was given a three-month contract. Then a two-month. Then another six-month. I kept asking for a permanent contract, and the fucking technical manager told me I might get one at the next renewal.

This lasted for    three years   . Three Haruhi-damn years of feeling temporary, of not knowing if I'd have a job in a few months, of having to constantly search for vacancies and not being able to start a pension or buy a Wii U in case I needed the money for a period of unemployment. Three years of constant stress.

When I passed three years and my next renewal came up, I was given yet another six-month contract. Under Irish law, this was the last temporary contract the company was allowed to give me; at the end of that contract, they would have to either make me permanent or let me go. Fortunately, at this point I'd finally managed to get a job offer from a call center, so I declined the offer and walked out the door, never to return. The call center work was crap, but at least they treated their employees reasonably OK - they gave me an initial three-month contract and then made me permanent, which was a fantastic feeling.

So from personal experience, fuck job instability and literally fuck with a rusty metal bar those who intentionally impose it.

(And before you say it, the bottle factory only had about 60 employees and no dedicated HR department; the cunt of a technical manager did most of the HR stuff, and he outranked the secretaries who did the rest).

Edited by VampireBuddha on Mar 28th 2019 at 6:17:02 PM

MorningStar1337 Does this look like the face of Mercy? from 🤔
Does this look like the face of Mercy?
Mar 28th 2019 at 5:16:19 PM

[2]: And before YT mobilized it's creators as propagandists… anti Art 13 propaganda was being banged out by alt-righters with an anti-EU agenda. This is the origin of that goddamned absolutely misleading moniker of it as a "meme ban".

Although it is before the Alt-right became prominent, was the backlash towards the Stop Online Piracy Act and the related Protect IP Act started by them as well? I've been wondering about the bills' reception and legacy up to and including 13/17 for the past couple years now (even though I'm still of the opinion that at least most of 13/17's predecessors were better off vetoed as they had).

Edited by MorningStar1337 on Mar 28th 2019 at 6:53:18 AM

"We're TV Tropes. We don't need bots to ruin people's lives.". -nightwyrm_zero
Mar 28th 2019 at 11:57:35 PM

SOPA-PIPA are different beasts entirely to Art13/17, in a different online political landscape in general and in completely different jurisdictions with different approaches to business interests. While the EU Copyright Directive and Article 13/17 in particular does have industry lobbyist support, the EU is overall more measured and generally take the good of the general public into account (see also GDPR, anti-trust cases against tech giants which the US refuse to reign in, and the well-intentioned-but-ultimately-useless browser cookie regulation that was part of a larger privacy directive). Meanwhile here in America, the primary mechanism of SOPA-PIPA was to require payment processors and ad networks to suspend services to any site they get a notice of infringement from about within five days of the notification, unless a satisfactory counter-notice is given (both notice and counter-notice, in SOPA text, must be "written communication" which isn't defined in the text of the bill as to whether or not that is required to actually be physical communication or if electronic communication is covered). In addition it has mechanisms requiring delisting from search engines with 5 days' notice but that's only with a court order so it's not as unreasonable as it does require a judge to make a ruling instead of a no-oversight notice.

And of course as far as alt-right influences… while the movement did exist in 2011/2012 when the SOPA-PIPA controversy was the talk of the internet, they were mostly cordoned off to relatively secluded corners of the internet and thus didn't have the social media propaganda machine they have now, mostly built in the aftermath of summer 2014. I mean, this was back when Pewdiepie was a relatively new face and while popular was also distinctly uncool among much of the internet with a reputation of just screaming at games. It wasn't until he got in hot water for the antisemitic ~prank~ and then used the n-slur on stream that he became an alt-right gamerbro icon and a key figure in the propaganda machine.

Draghinazzo My love, has dressed me like a clown Relationship Status: YOU'RE TEARING ME APART LISA
My love, has dressed me like a clown
Mar 29th 2019 at 9:24:59 AM

Anthem's drop rate is super miserly apparently; people are comparing it to Diablo 3 at launch. It makes the game super unsatisfying to play. Recent updates have made it even worse.

It's the end of the world as we know it, and I feel fine. ...not really though.
M84 'Til all are one from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
'Til all are one
Mar 29th 2019 at 9:28:29 AM

A looter-shooter where trying to get loot is a pain in the ass rather than rewarding.

SMH

Disgusted, but not surprised
VampireBuddha Hungry dinosaur from Ireland Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
Hungry dinosaur
Mar 29th 2019 at 11:02:14 AM

I wouldn't surprise me if EA was planning on introducing non-cosmetic microtransactions in the future.

On the opposite end, I only started playing Splatoon last year. Yes, the first game, on the Wii U. Despite it being an older game with a more popular sequel out, I'm always able to find a game soon after logging on; people stay engaged because it's simply fun to play (and the weapons are super fun).

I do disagree a little with Jim's assertion that engagement without fun is bad. For example, I'm not sure I had any fun playing killer7, but it's definitely engaging in its weirdness; that's the sort of thing Suda 51 is actually able to pull off.

Looking outside of games, Sons of Anarchy is rarely enjoyable - it's brutal and violent in a way that's often uncomfortable, and the characters are either bad people or good people who get corrupted. Despite this, it's engaging as heck, and I kept coming back because I wanted to see what would happen to them, even crying at several of the deaths toward the end.

But yeah, it sounds like Anthem isn't even really engaging so much as addictive.

Edited by VampireBuddha on Mar 29th 2019 at 6:02:24 PM

Ghilz Fight It Out! from The Moon, Or Canada Relationship Status: Above such petty unnecessities
Fight It Out!
Mar 29th 2019 at 11:34:21 AM

I think Jim's point isn't so much Engagement without fun, as engagement for engagement's sake. "Busy work".

Killer 7 might not have been fun, but it was provoking reactions from you. While Anthem just seeks to keep the player playing and does not bother to cause anything inside the player beyond "play more"

VeryVileVillian Who did you expect? God? Devil? No, it's just me from Russia Relationship Status: Yes, I'm alone, but I'm alone and free
Who did you expect? God? Devil? No, it's just me
Mar 30th 2019 at 6:54:19 AM

Sekiro: Shadows Die Twice - I Don't Like Sekiro And That's Okay! (Jimpressions)

Lurking in shadow, haunting every step, bringer of chaos: Nyarlathotep.
NesClassic Meh-meh!? from Flyover Country Relationship Status: watch?v=dQw4w9WgXcQ
Meh-meh!?
Mar 30th 2019 at 7:15:17 AM

It's weird how commonly I've seen the opinion of "it's a good game! It isn't clicking with me" when it comes to Sekiro. Must tie into the playstyle thing Jim mentioned.

All the same it's kinda refreshing to hear that, though. The fact that it isn't clicking with a number of Soulsborne fans is unfortunate, but it also gives the impression off that FromSoftware managed to make a game that broke their mold even if it shares a lot of staple elements with their other games.

Demongodofchaos2 Relationship Status: 700 wives and 300 concubines
Mar 30th 2019 at 7:58:04 AM

As a soulsborne fan myself, I say more power to From Soft to break the mold and make soulborne fans have to adjust their playstyle.

MightyKombat And? And? And? And? AND? from Are explosions science?
And? And? And? And? AND?
Mar 30th 2019 at 8:58:55 AM

So you lot are saying Soulsborne fans have trouble adapting? Ouch.

What DOES it mean for a guy to be "cash money" anyway?
TheLovecraftian Relationship Status: Seeking boyfriend-free girl
Mar 30th 2019 at 9:15:58 AM

As much as I find that darkly amusing, I can't help but point out that, for most people, that's what getting into Dark Souls seems to have been like. Most of the stories I hear about those games are of people who played them, but only started actually enjoying the games around the second or third one, and then went back to play the first ones and liked them more the second time. So I'm inclined to believe that From Software's games just need a bit of time so people can adjust to them.

Absolutely love Jim's thoughts on the game, though. As usual, Jim shows more good sense in ten minutes than the entire industry has shown in the last decade. That's the kind of thing I like him for.

M84 'Til all are one from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
'Til all are one
Mar 30th 2019 at 9:48:51 AM

From Software games definitely take some getting used to. It's been that way ever since their King's Field days.

Disgusted, but not surprised
ShirowShirow More Dread from Land of maple syrup Relationship Status: Complex: I'm real, they are imaginary
M84 'Til all are one from Our little blue planet Relationship Status: Chocolate!
'Til all are one
Mar 30th 2019 at 9:59:39 AM

Nah, he'll be a fan of whatever the Bloodborne equivalent to Sekiro will be.

Disgusted, but not surprised

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