Indiana County Decides Not To Charge Redbox After Public Outcry

from the lawsuit-by-public-opinion-poll dept

Last week we wrote about how prosecutors in Indiana were threatening to file criminal charges against Redbox execs unless the company agreed to remove R-rated movies from its kiosks. The whole thing was instigated by brick-and-mortar video stores who didn't like competing with Redbox's $1 video rentals. However, as news spread about this threat, it seems that the residents of that county raised their voices and let the prosecutor know they wanted to keep their Redbox and its R-rated movies. The prosecutor noted that the standard for whether this was a problem was "community standards," and the community made it loud and clear to him that they wanted the Redbox kiosks to stay:
"It's not an exact barometer -- I didn't take a poll -- but it just seemed pretty clear to me that the community would not be behind the prosecution of this," Stan Levco said during Friday's news conference.
While it's good that he's backed down, I'm still not sure which is more troubling, that he initiated the threats at the behest of competitors, or that public outcry alone was enough to get him to back down.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    NAMELESS.ONE, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 11:10pm

    Pron rights activists 1 Store owner 0

    this is good.

     

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  2.  
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    Daniel, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 11:30pm

    I think it's great that public outcry caused him to back down.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Grrxyn, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 11:31pm

    Wow... The people, speaking up, and they listened!!! O.o
    Are you sure this article is taking place in the US?

     

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  4.  
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    Chargone (profile), Mar 8th, 2010 @ 11:47pm

    Re:

    Forget the US, how about our reality?

    So far as i can tell, politicians usually only seem to listen to genuine public outcry (rather than lobbyists and their analogs) when said outcry is hopelessly misguided.

    That or at the point of armed uprising with the army refusing to do anything about it

    (this is discounting those times that said outcry is against their opponents and/or happens to line up with what they wanted to push Anyway, of course)

     

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  5.  
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    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 11:58pm

    I'm normally behind you but.....

    Mike, I'm normally behind you 100% but I don't get your stance on this, I understand the negatives of starting the lawsuit based off of a corporate request, but it seems to me the prosecutor did exactly the right thing in backing down when people complained about it. Since this was an indecency case and the public defines what is decent, I have to say I think he did exactly the right thing in backing down.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 11:58pm

    I'm normally behind you but.....

    Mike, I'm normally behind you 100% but I don't get your stance on this, I understand the negatives of starting the lawsuit based off of a corporate request, but it seems to me the prosecutor did exactly the right thing in backing down when people complained about it. Since this was an indecency case and the public defines what is decent, I have to say I think he did exactly the right thing in backing down.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 8th, 2010 @ 11:58pm

    I'm normally behind you but.....

    Mike, I'm normally behind you 100% but I don't get your stance on this, I understand the negatives of starting the lawsuit based off of a corporate request, but it seems to me the prosecutor did exactly the right thing in backing down when people complained about it. Since this was an indecency case and the public defines what is decent, I have to say I think he did exactly the right thing in backing down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 12:00am

    I'm normally behind you but.....

    Mike, I'm normally behind you 100% but I don't get your stance on this, I understand the negatives of starting the lawsuit based off of a corporate request, but it seems to me the prosecutor did exactly the right thing in backing down when people complained about it. Since this was an indecency case and the public defines what is decent, I have to say I think he did exactly the right thing in backing down.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 12:14am

    oops

    I'm really sorry about the quadruple post, it was a browser hiccup and I thought it didn't go through (never saw the confirmation page). Please feel free to delete the extra posts.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  10.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 9th, 2010 @ 12:19am

    Re: I'm normally behind you but.....

    Mike, I'm normally behind you 100% but I don't get your stance on this, I understand the negatives of starting the lawsuit based off of a corporate request, but it seems to me the prosecutor did exactly the right thing in backing down when people complained about it.

    I'm just worried about a prosecutor who totally responds to public whims. In this case it was good, but it can also lead to lynchmob mentality in the other direction too... Remember what happened with the Lori Drew case? I want prosecutors who study the issue based on the facts, not on public perception...

     

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  11.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 1:27am

    Re: Re: I'm normally behind you but.....

    Oh, a slippery slope style thing? I guess that makes sense then. Clearly there should be a balance, so things like this can happen, while preventing Lori Drew-esque(capades) from happening.

    The public at large should decide what laws are needed and when certain laws should not be pursued. Should the a man who kills someone in defense of his life or that of another be sent to jail? I think most would say no. Yet neither should someone be arrested for breaking a law that doesn't exist. The Lori Drew incident is a case where, if the public really did not like what happened, they should have chalked it up to a lesson learned and started trying to put a new law on the books (mind you, I'm not saying I'd support said law).

    In theory a jury is supposed to do exactly what happened here, but in practice most jurors don't even understand their own rights and responsibilities. Failing that as a reliable method, I think listening to the people in this case is a decent substitute, though I do agree that taken too far it could go really bad as well.

    I think my main reason for supporting caving to the will of the people in this case is that it was pursued as a indecency or or other "community standards" style thing, and the community speaking up to decry the case was a perfectly valid defense. Though, I just plain didn't like the first amendment implications of the case and I think any reason to get rid of it might have made me happy.

    P.S. Kudos for posting after Midnight ^_^

     

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  12.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), Mar 9th, 2010 @ 2:11am

    Re: Re: Re: I'm normally behind you but.....

    I think my main reason for supporting caving to the will of the people in this case is that it was pursued as a indecency or or other "community standards" style thing, and the community speaking up to decry the case was a perfectly valid defense. Though, I just plain didn't like the first amendment implications of the case and I think any reason to get rid of it might have made me happy.

    Fair enough...

    P.S. Kudos for posting after Midnight ^_^


    Sleep is for the weak. ;P

     

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  13.  
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    zenith (profile), Mar 9th, 2010 @ 3:25am

    Sleeping's cheating!

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 4:52am

    Re: Pron rights activists 1 Store owner 0

    You think porn == anything not rated G ?

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    abc gum, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re:

    And this is hopelessly misguided ?
    How is that exactly ?

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 4:59am

    More evidence of the inevitable nature of social progress. The future does not look good for control freaks.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
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    Bob Vila, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 6:22am

    Give the jerk a little credit. He changed his mind when people actually got around to saying something.

     

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  18.  
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    Bad Parent, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 6:28am

    17?

    Am I the only one as a parent that thinks this is bad? Are all of you 20something single, never breed with a woman geeks? R rated movies should not be available to any kid that can stick money in an un-attended machine. Yes there are plenty of places to access this kind of stuff, but why add another on every corner of the city? Lets put liquor, tobacco & porn in them at the same time and just get it all done at once! Maybe add some drugs, a couple of guns, make it one stop shopping... Nice!

     

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  19.  
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    Anna, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 7:17am

    Dear Bad Parent.... Perhaps you should be watching your "child" more closely to avoid this "problem". Also Kiosks here only take credit or debit cards and if you child has one of those you have bigger problems than those being addressed in this blog.

     

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  20.  
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    ChrisB (profile), Mar 9th, 2010 @ 7:28am

    Re: 17?

    Redboxes (at least in Canada, where they are called DVDPlay) require a credit card and do not take cash. That, in itself, insures that the user is >17. If you got your kid a credit card, you probably think your kid is mature enough anyway.

    Oh, by the way, do you have internet access? Then your kid has already seen hard-core porn. Guaranteed. But look on the bright side: he probably hasn't done meth yet.

     

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  21.  
    identicon
    B.P., Mar 9th, 2010 @ 7:31am

    Re: $

    Bigger problem? Any kid can have a debit card for their bank account, get real. Cash has not been the standard for many years, get a clue you kid-less idiot. This is not the problem we're discussing.

     

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  22.  
    icon
    Chris Rhodes (profile), Mar 9th, 2010 @ 8:19am

    Re: 17?

    If your child is old enough to (A) have his own credit card and (B) trundle down to the local store by himself to rent movies, he's old enough to watch an R-rated movie.

    (And if not, and your young child is stealing your credit card and making a habit of walking to stores by himself to rent movies, perhaps you should question just what the hell kind of parent you are in the first place.)

     

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  23.  
    identicon
    Ron, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 8:35am

    Anna, exactly!! You said it. I have 2 kids, 16 and 14. I actually do my job and watch what they are doing. Stop putting things on everyone else, they are YOUR kids and YOUR responsiblity, deal with it.

     

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  24.  
    identicon
    RD, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 8:51am

    BP the POS

    "Bigger problem? Any kid can have a debit card for their bank account, get real. Cash has not been the standard for many years, get a clue you kid-less idiot. This is not the problem we're discussing."

    Nice. You start an argument based on "but what about the CHILDREN??!?" and then when you are called out for not being a responsible parent and trying to foist off your inadequacy onto lawmakers and everyone else, you cut and run and throw out the classic bail-out, "but thats not the issue here."

    This IS the problem we are discussing now. YOU started it. You made your bed, now lie in it.

    You might want to take more of an interest in what your children are up to, take some responsibility for it, and stop trying to get everyone else in the world to change their lives to work around your shortcomings.

     

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  25.  
    identicon
    Ron, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 8:57am

    Re: BP the POS

    ZZZZZZZZZing, you said it better than I did!!

     

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  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 3:36pm

    Re: Re: $

    Any kid can have a debit card for their bank account, get real.

    Banks around here will only open accounts for minors with an adult cosigner. Perhaps you should "get real" and quit cosigning accounts for your kids if they're using them to rent movies they shouldn't.

     

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  27.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 9th, 2010 @ 6:23pm

    Re:

    "Wow... The people, speaking up, and they listened!!!"

    Questions ... Is he an elected official? What happens if people hire someone to pull his phone records and bank records?

    I think it is more fear of getting caught with his hand in the cookie jar than actually doing something right.

     

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  28.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 9th, 2010 @ 6:34pm

    Re: 17?

    "Lets put liquor, tobacco & porn in them at the same time and just get it all done at once!"

    Welcome to europe, japan, etc where you can buy beer, tobacco, and porn from machines on street corners ... the rest of the world isnt a nanny state.

    "Am I the only one as a parent that thinks this is bad?"

    In a word "yes" learn to watch you kids and not rely on the government to do it for you. Learn to teach you kids what they can and cant do. dont rely on a nanny state to take care of or protect them. That is your job as a parent. Take some responsibility.

     

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  29.  
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    Hephaestus (profile), Mar 9th, 2010 @ 6:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: $

    "Am I the only one as a parent that thinks this is bad?"

    You can walk into any grocery and get a cash card...

     

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  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 9th, 2010 @ 9:55pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: $

    "You can walk into any grocery and get a cash card..."

    And then use it with a fake ID at the local video rental store.

     

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  31.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 10th, 2010 @ 5:28am

    Re: 17?

    Unfortunately I do not just accept the preconcieved, supposed (ie. pretend) social view on pornography. First of all, the hypocrisy over this subject is massive. Secondly, I have never completely understood the extreme villification of this subject. Thirdly, when watching killings and people 'dieing' (movies) is deemed more socially acceptable than sex then something is seriously skewed in society. Finally, what people do in their own privacy (within the obvious boundaries) is no concern or problem to me.

    I bet the people who most strongly object to this are panty-sniffing, foot-worshipping, rubbered-up complete and total gimps.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    identicon
    Doug Gordon, Mar 10th, 2010 @ 11:30am

    The real problem is people didn't want to lose the $1 rental. I mean, it's ok, to pay $10 per person per film at the Theater. But Redbox has distorted reality SO MUCH, people now think more than $1 is too much for a DVD rental.

    Sad....big changes coming..

    GO INDIES!

     

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  33.  
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    erlangga (profile), Mar 10th, 2010 @ 5:08pm

    R-Rated movie

    i choose not to sell R-Rated movie in my store,..because there are too many young kids customer for me,..

     

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  34.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 13th, 2010 @ 10:43pm

    And nobody has yet raised the issue of why this prosecution could even have been contemplated, in the face of the First Amendment?

     

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  35.  
    identicon
    Allstar, Apr 19th, 2010 @ 2:57pm

    Trying new attempt

    I am in Idaho. In Idaho there are a couple state statutes 18-1513, 18-1514 and 18-1515. They specifically state NUDITY is harmful for children under 18. I have asked the state attourney general to look into this matter and I am waiting his decision. Where the difference between Indiana and Idaho is that Idaho law specifically states NUDITY, whereas Indiana law does not.

    Yes I own a small brick and mortar video store, so who cares. I am also a parent of two kids. I refuse R rated movies to kids on a daily basis. Yes they both have debit cards on the bank accounts they work to add to with theirt own hard earned money. A kid can also go to just about any Walmart, Target or? and purchase a debit card to use.

    Will be interested to see how it goes.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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