> The Court ruled: "...Congress intended to > adopt the common law definition of conspiracy, > which does not make the doing of any act other > than the act of conspiring a condition of > liability..."
That is asinine and flies in the face of reality. The federal conspiracy statute (18 USC 371) reads:
If two or more persons conspire either to commit any offense against the United States, or to defraud the United States, or any agency thereof in any manner or for any purpose, and one or more of such persons do any act to effect the object of the conspiracy, each shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both.
Since the statute ACTUALLY SAYS that an overt act is required, it beggars the imagination how the Court can claim that Congress didn't intend to include that in the law.
This is just another example of the Court making shit up based on its own agenda and claiming words don't mean what they say, or mean the opposite of what they say, or whatever it takes to justify the result the Court wants, rather than what the law requires.
> but it would now mean that they can claim that anyone who talked about doing something ("conspires to commit") that violates the CFAA shall now be punished the same as if they had "completed" the offense
That's a bit misleading. Merely talking about something isn't the same as conspiring to do it. First of all, a conspiracy requires two or more people, so someone merely writing a blog post about computer hacking, for example, wouldn't qualify. Second, conspiracy requires an "overt act in furtherance of the conspiracy" in order for it to be complete and prosecutable, so not only do you have to plan to commit the crime with other people, you also have to take an affirmative step toward implementing that plan. It's not merely "talking about it" as the article states.
Not sure I get why these companies and government think that putting a requirement for data storage outside the US is any kind of solution.
The only restriction on collection that the NSA has even acknowledged to exist-- in theory, if not in practice-- is that collection/spying on purely domestic data exchanges is not allowed. If it's on foreign soil or in transit outside the borders of the US, it's open season as far as the NSA is concerned.
Requiring data to be stored where the NSA feels it has no restrictions whatsoever as opposed to the one place it at least claims it's not allowed to spy seems kinda backward to me.
> The notes "Do Re Mi Fa So La Ti and Do" > and any combination of said notes thereof > are all copyrighted
I know you were just joking, but those notes don't actually exist. They're markers for the various notes that make up a major scale. The *actual* notes of the scale differ depending on the key. It's like 'x' in algebra. It has a different value depending on the equation in which it's used.
> Hells Angels have a store in Toronto Ontario > Canada if you wish to purchase some apparel > or gear.
Which is why I said "most", not "all".
But even so, the stated purpose of the government seeking the trademarks was to "stop anyone and take away their clothes if they saw them wearing Mongols gear". The actual cuts and rockers that the members wear while riding around aren't for sale in this merchandise stores. Those are produced by members for members. Since owning the trademark on the Mongols logo only allows the government to stop the use of it in commerce, that won't do jack to keep members from creating their own apparel. And it certainly doesn't give the government or the cops or whoever the right to stop people on the street and confiscate merchandise that may have been created, owned, and purchased before the government became the owners of the trademark.
> Since her arrest last week, she said they > have posted signs banning photography and > videography in the station. As if a makeshift > sign would trump the Constitution.
The sign isn't in violation of the Constitution. While the police have no right to stop people from video recording them in public, they have every right to control who films what inside their police stations.
The fact that a building is a public building doesn't mean the public has an automatic right to film or record whatever goes on there. The White House is a public building but you can't record whatever you like there; the Pentagon is a public building but you can't even bring cell phones or any device which can record or transmit into whole sections of that building; the Supreme Court itself meets in and hears its cases in a public building but it has banned video, audio, and television recording of the proceedings.
The police have a legitimate right to limit who can record what goes on inside a police station. Hell, the L.A. County Sheriff's Department bans everyone-- even other cops and federal agents-- from even bringing cellphones and recording devices into the main jail complex downtown. It's certainly not unconstitutional to do so.
Having said that, everything else that the Crowley PD did in the above case is rubbish and they deserve criticism for it.
> in a case against the Mongols, the US government > asked the court to hand over the gang's > trademarks, so that they could stop anyone and > take away their clothes if they saw them wearing > Mongols jackets or shirts
I don't understand how this is supposed to works Just because you have a trademark on something doesn't give you the right to go around seizing the property of anyone who's displaying that trademark if you don't like them.
If I bought the trademark to the Oakland Raiders logo today, I can't just start going around seizing all the t-shirts, hats, etc. that people are wearing with that logo on it. It was legitimately their property before I owned the trademark. All the trademark allows me to do is prevent people from selling merchandise with the logo on it that I don't authorize from this point forward.
The same would be true of the Mongols. All their shirts, hats, and cuts have been their physical property for years. The government owning the trademark wouldn't give them the legal right to stop them and seize their apparel. All it would do is give the government the right to decide who gets to sell Mongol-themed merchandise from the date of the trademark transfer forward. (And most of these MC clubs don't sell their stuff anyway. They make it themselves, for themselves, so there'd be no stream of commerce for the government to interrupt with its trademark claims.)
> And for that they and the police should be > sued and massively.
Why? If it's a criminal offense in that state, then the police are legitimately responding to a crime in progress.
I don't agree with such laws and think it's ridiculous for states to criminalize this sort of thing, but if the law is legitimately passed by the legislature, then there's no legal basis for suing the police for enforcing it.
> What they should be doing is make talking on > the phone illegal. I'm tired of nearly getting > into fights when I have to clearly tell these > people to Get. Off. The. Phone.
Yeah, my local theater chain in L.A. (Arclight) doesn't bother with any of this heavy-handed MPAA propaganda. Their only concern when it comes to electronic devices in the theater is that they remain off so that the rest of us aren't disturbed by the rude assholes who feel the need to text their way through a 2-hour film.
They have a pretty strict zero tolerance policy for it (one of the few instances where a zero tolerance policy makes sense) and I've seen them kick entire groups of people out of the movie mid-film because they wouldn't stop lighting up those little screens in the faces of everyone behind them.
They also prohibit infants in any film of any rating and they have special 21+ screenings every night for the more popular films where the minimum age is 21, regardless of the rating of the film, for those of us who prefer not to share a theater with hordes of giggling teenage girls and small children.
I bet Obama really wishes he could do this same thing with the dozens of speeches were he said:
"This is a guarantee we're going to make to the American public. If you like your insurance plan, you can keep it. No one will take that away from you. Period. If you like your doctor, you can keep your doctor. Period."
(He needed to put that 'period' in there for that little extra bit of dishonesty.)
The whole thing is beyond stupid anyway, because all someone has to do to avoid the fine is have a friend or relative post the negative review for them. Example:
"My best friend (or sister or wife or whatever) recently ordered merchandise from Kleargear.com and this is what happened to her..."
> I know what the purpose of trademark law is, > but there are parts of trademark law that deal > specifically with this issue, as there should be.
I don't agree that there should be-- the government shouldn't be in the business of protecting people from being offended-- but if we're going to have such requirements, then they should at least be applied fairly and objectively.
When the Patent & Trademark Office applies the same 'no offensive names' standards to other organizations whose names contain racially offensive or divisive terms in the same way that you would have them apply it to the Redskins, then at least everyone will have equal treatment under the law.
In other words, when groups like the NAACP and the United Negro College Fund lose their trademarks for containing offensive racial terms, then maybe you can make a case for taking away the Redksin's trademark, also.
> Trademark law does allow trademarks to be > denied because they are offensive. If this > one is offensive (I am of no opinion on this > point), then denying it is entirely within > the intention of the law
IP law allows a lot of things that this site regularly disagrees with. Never before has TechDirt taken the position that "Well, it's in the law, so that must make it okay."
The fact that some politician managed to squeeze in a clause in the trademark statute that allows censorship of unpopular ideas hardly means its appropriate to wield IP law like club to censor things that some people don't like. That's not why we have trademarks in the first place. It's using trademark as an end-run around protected free speech, to accomplish through economic extortion that which opponents couldn't accomplish through normal legal means.
> You mean Techdirt advocating for trademark law > to be correctly and appropriately applied to > prevent use of a demonstrably racist term that > a large number of people find offensive.
The purpose of trademark law is to prevent consumer confusion regarding the origin of branded items. It's purpose is not now, nor was it ever, to prevent the use of racist terms in business or save people from being offended.
> Removing a trademark does not restrict anyone's > speech or force anyone to change the name of > any team.
It's a clear attempt at economic extortion.
"You can change the name because we don't like it, or we'll (try and) torpedo your business by letting everyone else copy and sell your merchandise.
Trademark law was never designed for that purpose, so using it to accomplish that goal is misuing IP to punish speech that some people don't like-- which is exactly what this web site constantly criticizes.