If anyone is defending red light cameras, let me point this out (from experience, since my wife got one): there is no room for debating the ticket, period.
If you run a red light in front of a police officer, you can can explain what happened: maybe the guy behind you was tailgating and you couldn't stop safely, maybe it's an emergency, or whatever. In ALL cases, the police office can use his or her judgment to decide whether to give you ticket. Maybe you'll get a warning, maybe you'll get a reduced ticket, or maybe the full ticket. If you do get a ticket, there's information on the back about how you have the right to a court date, and if you don't pay the fine, you will be sent a summons from the local courthouse.
With a red light camera, there is no judgment call: the camera has a picture of your license plate, your car, and maybe your face, and it doesn't care why you did it. On the ticket itself is text explaining that you MUST pay the fine. (On a side note, the instructions say to send the payment to the company, NOT the local law enforcement.) There is NO information about how to fight or appeal the ticket.
And if you're good about paying on time, then you don't get any points on your license and the ticket is not reported to your insurance company.
If you do NOT pay the fine by the due date, you can have your legally-entitled day in court. However, you run the risk of getting a judge who sides with the ticketing company. (Put more bluntly: a judge who has been told by the state that the red light camera company is giving money to the state, so the judge should throw the book at anyone who argues against a ticket.) Now, sure, maybe you'll get a judge that agrees with you about the evils of red light cameras, but are you willing to take the risk?
Like other posters have said, the fine doubles (or more) if you go to court. And if you lose, you have to pay the full fine AND court fees AND get points on your license, which could lead to higher insurance rates... not to mention any income you might lose by taking time off work to go to court.
Yet politicians like these cameras because of the quick infux of income. But how many accidents do these cause and how long will it be until the expenses of sending police and rescue services to the accidents overtakes the income?
"It's just, "Hey, thanks for being a fan, now shut it all down because the lawyers flipped out and somehow think you're harming us." "
Where did they say "thanks for being a fan"?
Also, can we please, please stop with the "overzealous lawyers" and "third-party affiliates" nonsense. The company HIRED these lawyers to issue takedown notices, and I'm guessing without the oversight of the company. In turn, the lawyers make money by billing the company for all the hours they spend finding sites and taking down notices- it's not their job to decide which sites are good or bad.
The company should he held MORE responsible when something like this happens.
I'm getting so sick of companies claiming it was a "third party vendor" or "affiliate" or whatever else it takes to pass the blame. Yes, the company may have hired an outside vendor to design their website, but did NONE of their lawyers or copyright agents look it over?
I think it's past time we held companies like this responsible for negligence for not checking their vendors' work.
The main problem with a la carte pricing is that you never know what you'll watch. For example, suppose I decide to buy the History Channel, but I never watch CNN. Then a big story comes out and I want to see what's going on. Yes, I have an iPad, an internet connection, etc that I can watch it on, but suppose I want to watch it on my 60" TV. But since I don't pay for CNN, I now have to call my cable company and sign up, which is inconvenient and may not be immediate. And do I really want to pay an entire month for a channel for one news story? Or do I pay for the news channels just in case I might want to watch them?
The other problem is that some niche channels may be cut by your cable provider if not enough people pay for it. What happens if I'm in an area where not enough people watch the History Channel? If the customers aren't paying for the channel, then there's no reason to keep it, so too bad for anyone who watches it.
And if the cable company isn't paying the History Channel, would we lose the other channels like History2 or History International?
I don't know how much we should be complaining about this since it's obviously just a quick statement. I don't think anyone has even thought about the logistics:
- What will be taxed? Like the article says, who will say what is violent? The "Saw" movies definitely are, but what about James Bond movies? And does the tax apply to old movies which were violent in their time, but are considered tame by today's standards? Will a Humphrey Bogart movie from the 1940's be taxed because he shoots a soldier?
- Where will the tax money go? I have the feeling it won't go to the "victims"... and are there really victims of violent movies?
- And if the money will go to victims of violent crime, how can people get on this list? Sure, this might be a response to the Sandy Hook shooting, but what about the cashier at 7-11 who was robbed at gun-point? That's a violent crime.
But, as usual, a politician makes a grand statement without filling in any of the details.
Cases like the Olympic Pizza/ IOC don't have much to do with customers confusing one company with another, but with the customer assuming there's an endorsement. Obviously Olympic Pizza has nothing to do with the IOC, but the IOC doesn't want people to think the pizza place is an official sponsor when they haven't paid the licensing fees.
This is the same reason why no one can say "Super Bowl" any more because they fear the NFL will sue them for using those words without paying the licensing fees.
Taking a step back: what's the real reason people buy Stradivarius violins? Because the company has built a reputation of creating quality products. They don't need to patent their violin-making process because their name is already established.
Did you know the formula for Coca-Cola is available on the Internet? Then why not make some yourself? Sure, you can't sell it as Coke because of copyrights and trademarks, but will your friends drink it? Or will they prefer Coke just because of the name?
So why can't Pharma companies use the same approach? They could say, "Sure, you could get a generic drug, but buy ours because of the brand name and reputation of quality that we've built up". Oh, right, they don't have to worry about competing on quality when they have a government enforced monopoly.
Why can't reporters just say "We contacted [the company] for their response, but we got no comment"? That way, the story is reported and the company looks bad for not replying to criticism.
But I think the larger problem may be that these companies buy big ads in the magazines and gaming sites. Would EA or Blizzard pull their advertising (and money) if some bad stories were written about it? Or do some journalists use this as an excuse to let the story go? How many journalists have the integrity to stand up to a big advertiser (and possibly their editor or boss) and run a negative story? How many of them think it's easier to move onto the latest gaming news instead?
How did this get into the court system in the first place? Why didn't the lawyer tell his client that Google was merely displaying results of other people's searches? Why didn't a court refuse to hear it on the grounds that:
1) Google is only programmed to return results from other websites and
2) Like the article said, Google doesn't have data centers in Japan, so the Japanese court has no jurisdiction.
But, as usual, it's easier to blame and sue the delivery system instead of the content creator. Plus, it's far easier (though completely wrong) to sue a company with big pockets like Google than to find the guy who posted the original slanderous documents and tell him to remove them.
This case sounds like the myriad of cases where people try to sue their local TV station over content in a network TV show they don't like. Again, it's easier to sue the local TV station than the producers and directors of the TV show.
I've received many of these calls and every time I talk to them I ask them who they are and tell them that I'm worried they're a phishing company. They say they're not, but the reps never give out the real company name or address.
Anyway, I second the idea that banks should give out "phishing catching" credit card numbers: these would be fake numbers that pass security checks but aren't connected to a bank account and will flag the bank when the card is used.
Everyone is so concerned about blocking the calls, but real the solution should be to follow the money. Yes, these companies are spoofing phone numbers, but they're obviously using the credit card information they receive. Why aren't people complaining about fraudulent charges? Even if their name on the statement is something obscure, why can't the banks or FBI trace the charges back to the merchant?
Correct if me I'm wrong, but I think the guarantee of a lawyer only applies in criminal cases. And if you represent yourself, the judge will laugh you out of court- remember that judges and lawyers have a mutual respect going and they don't really appreciate it when an average person tries to claim they know just as much about the law.
Plus, don't forget about all the legal fees just for filing paperwork and responses.
This is why even a small corporation can easily outspend an average author or artist.
1) Everyone should know that people like this will eventually find a sympathetic lawyer (or rather, one who will charge her tons of money to take her case) who will then file the lawsuit on her behalf (again, to make more money), even though he knows it's a waste of his time and the court's time.
2) Like any bullying, this is all bluster. If you have a lawsuit to file, especially with so much "evidence", you file the lawsuit- you don't go around talking about how someday you're really going to do it.
I can understand smart TV's including things like NetFlix or Hulu or other streaming services, but do any customers really NEED Facebook, Twitter, or a *camera* on their TV? Who thought putting a camera on a TV was a good idea?
Sorry to go a little off-topic, but I've seen a number of my Facebook friends post that "copyright" notice, even though it should be fairly obvious that they agreed to the exact opposite by joining Facebook and agreeing to the Terms of Service.
I'm also friends with a number of professionals in the comic book business and it always seems like the lower the professionalism of the artist, writer, whatever, the higher the chance that they'll post something like this. In other words, artists who post comic book pages they've worked on (which would be ripe to steal) don't post these "copyright" notices. Yet people who are barely above the level of hobbyists take great pains to make sure their copyrights are enforced... and like the post above says, these kinds of people rarely have anything worth sharing/ stealing in the first place!
I would imagine most of these takedown notices are done by overzealous companies who want to look good for their clients (CBS, Viacom, etc). But when will they be held responsible for false claims? If I was CBS and the takedown company said my own site was infringing, I'd fire, sue, and blackball the company. If they're that bad at telling good sites from bad, then how can anyone trust the rest of the their list?
And what kind of punishment will these companies get? I say "name and shame" any company who sends takedown notices to any legit site, such as Wikipedia, a review site, or the actual site.
The problem with this suggestion is that Hollywood studios have used "creative accounting" for years, usually to hide the profits from people (stars, investors, etc) who get a percentage of the revenue. How will a studio pay back its loans if the movie didn't make a profit?
This goes back to the issue of how can this happen in the first place- how can a movie be #1 at the box office, take in millions of dollars and the studio claims it lost money? If all these movies actually lost money, how is the studio still in business?
How about looking at this from the other side: put your ***ing phones down for 10 minutes to vote! You don't need to Tweet or Facebook or Tumblr or whatever else. Geez, what's next, tweeting photos of yourself using the bathroom?
I was just about to say this.
Yet when has any hosting company challenged a notice like this? It would be nice if ServerBeach actually stood up and said they're not going to turn off 1.5 million blogs for the sake of a publication made in the 1970's.
But, again, it's "safer" to nuke the customer than risk the safe harbor laws and getting sued themselves.
Why is it that people accept this idea when it comes from a "civilized" country (including the Dutch government and the US), yet if this request came from Iran, Afghanistan, or any "radical" country, this idea would be shot down as a barbaric, government over-reach?
But let's let the Dutch set the precedent so Iran can do the same thing.
As it's been said many times, who says what is porn? After all, you need a definition of porn to build a filter to block it. And how long will it take before every little county and city wants its say about what goes into the filter?
And then who's going to be responsible for the false positives when people can't go to medical sites because those sites have banned words? What happens when people can't go to the White House site because the words "first couple" triggered a filter (yes, this is a true story)?