Roca Labs Exec Claims Marc Randazza Bribed Nevada Politician To Get Anti-SLAPP Law Passed

from the say-what-now? dept

The Roca Labs story just keeps getting weirder and weirder. You can click that link to go back through the earlier stories, since I won't rehash them all here, but the latest is that Don Juravin, the "vice president" of Roca Labs who filed an earlier affidavit in the case (which caused some problems with actor Alfonso Ribiero's lawyers), has apparently decided to go directly after Marc Randazza, the lawyer representing Consumer Opinion Corp. (better known as PissedConsumer.com) in the lawsuit that Roca filed against that company.

Juravin has put out a press release accusing Randazza of bribing a Nevada politician in order to get Nevada to pass an anti-SLAPP law (thanks to Adam Steinbaugh for the pointer). You kind of have to read the whole thing to get a feel for it. The press release is clearly designed to attack Randazza's (somewhat well known) reputation for defending the First Amendment rights of folks who work in the adult entertainment industry.
It is said that politics make strange bedfellows; so what could be stranger than Democratic State Senator Justin Jones, a Mormon with family values, and Marc Randazza, a porn attorney and a speech advocate for pedophiles whose client list includes Phillip Greaves author of "The Pedophile's Guide”, Kink.com, Bang Bus and Milf Hunter. So what brings these two opposite personalities together: money and politics.
So what's the specific details of the supposed "bribery"? Randazza recently wrote a blog post -- since taken down -- talking about how he had met Justin Jones and promised to support his campaign if he'd support an anti-SLAPP law:
"Two years ago, my partner, Ron Green, introduced me to a guy. That guy’s name was Justin Jones. Justin was running for State Senate in Nevada. … I shook his hand and said “if you will sponsor an Anti-SLAPP bill, I’ll vote for you, and I’ll contribute to your campaign.” He promised me that he would do so. Within days of taking office, he made good on his promise. Today, Nevada has the strongest Anti-SLAPP law in the country"
Now, this is perhaps not a particularly wise thing to say either in private or in public concerning a politician. It's possible that the statement on the blog is exaggerated as well. But to Juravin -- who amusingly describes himself as a "concerned public citizen" who "believes in the integrity of our electoral system and that no one person should wield undue influence over government officials" -- it's apparently a sign of our failing republic. Uh huh.

Juravin -- whose company it should be noted has threatened us with what I would argue would be a SLAPP lawsuit -- also claims that the reason Randazza likes anti-SLAPP laws is because he can make money with them, and not because, you know, free speech is a good thing and thuggishly trying to shut people up is a bad thing.
Mr. Randazza is a proponent of an Anti-SLAPP law (pornography lawyers generally want to be able to say and show anything), and he has brought numerous SLAPP lawsuits and generated tens of thousands of dollars in revenue for himself and his law firm. A stronger Nevada Anti-SLAPP law means more money for Randazza.
Either way, it will be interesting to see whether the "integrity complaint" Juravin filed with the Nevada Attorney General actually goes anywhere. It does seem worth noting, of course, that many states have been passing anti-SLAPP laws (because they're a good thing, and we really should have a federal anti-SLAPP law) and that the Nevada one passed unanimously without a single negative vote (there was one "excused" -- and everyone else voted in favor). That certainly makes Juravin's statement that he "speculate[s]" that "the law would not have passed" if the Nevada legislature were aware of Randazza's promise to contribute to Jones' campaign.

Again, making any sort of statement of "if you support this bill then I'll give you money" is not a good idea (even as it's often done implicitly). So, it's reasonable to at least question Randazza's statements on the matter, but considering it "bribery" seems like a pretty big stretch -- and Juravin is far from an unbiased party. At the very least, at the end, Juravin does admit that Roca Labs is in litigation with a company represented by Randazza, but either way, it seems like playing dirty. It appears to be similar to Roca Labs' behavior throughout this entire effort, basically attack or threaten almost everyone calling the company out.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2014 @ 6:43pm

    Not a lawyer, but from Nevada law:

    NRS 218A.960  Person prohibited from bribing or using other corrupt means to influence Legislator.

    1.  A person shall not give, offer or promise, directly or indirectly, any compensation, gratuity or reward to a Legislator, or attempt, directly or indirectly, by menace, deceit, suppression of truth or other corrupt means, to influence the Legislator to give or withhold the Legislator’s vote or to be absent from the House of which the Legislator is a member or from any committee of the Legislature.

    There's nothing that I could find that addresses campaign contributions except a statement from Nevada's lobbying law:

    NRS 218H.060  “Gift” defined.
    2.  “Gift” does not include:
    (a) A political contribution of money or services related to a political campaign;

    It seems to me that if a campaign contribution doesn't count as a "gift" from a lobbyist, it shouldn't count as "compensation, gratuity or reward to a Legislator" from an individual.

    And then of course, does any of this even apply since it happened before Jones was elected?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2014 @ 7:46pm

    While the press release is apoplectic and is in bad faith (Roca Labs people are vile, no doubt), why Randazza's post(s) AND Randazza's tweet(s) AND Jones's tweet endorsing Randazza -- all disappeared? If everything is kosher, why this hasty track sweeping?

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    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 17 Oct 2014 @ 8:23pm

      Re:

      Yeah, legal or not, dodgy or not, deleting the posts/tweets, when he had to know that people would have taken screenshots, or would be able to find them via other means, was a serious screw-up, as that just makes it look even worse.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2014 @ 9:56am

      Re:

      I stand corrected: Jones's tweet linking to Randazza's article was not deleted, it was a last year tweet, not 2014 Oct.

      Yet Randazza hastily white-outed his tweets and posts. It would be funny if Marc commented on removed posts as follows:

      "We will not dispute that they were there but please don't think that we react to anyone as Randazza Legal Group is a serious company that acts according to its plans."

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  • identicon
    Mr. Pissed, 17 Oct 2014 @ 7:51pm

    Under Nevada Law (Nevada Revised Statutes (NRS) Chapter 197), bribing a public official is a crime. NRS 197.010 and 197.020 defines bribery as: A person who gives, offers or promises, directly or indirectly, any compensation, gratuity or reward to any executive, administrative or public officer of the State, with the intent to influence the officer with respect to any act, decision, vote, opinion or other proceeding. Receiving a bribe is also a crime. According to NRS 197.1030 and 1040 an executive, administrative or public officer or person elected or appointed to an executive or administrative office who asks or receives, directly or indirectly, any compensation, gratuity or reward, or any promise thereof, upon an agreement or understanding that his or her vote, opinion or action upon any matter then pending, or which may by law be brought before him or her in an official capacity, will be influenced.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2014 @ 9:19am

      Re:

      A candidate running for office has little control over people who implicitly offer money for legislature. If you're a candidate and you plan to pass a bill regardless and people offer you money because of a bill that you already plan to pass (they want you to win the election and pass this bill) are you supposed to not accept the money? I think that makes little sense because the reason people are offering you the money is because you already plan to pass this bill. It would be illegal if you change your mind on what bills you wish to pass or not pass based on money that they offer you.

      So it sorta depends. Was the money offered in exchange for the candidate's willingness to pass it or was it offered because s/he was going to attempt to pass it regardless? and if the candidate was already planning to pass this bill if elected and someone tells him that they will only contribute if they plan on passing it what is the candidate supposed to do? Change her mind and not pass the bill? Refuse the money? Or simply state that he plans to pass the bill regardless of the contribution and not because of it.

      I guess the question boils down to is the contributor asking the candidate to pass a bill in exchange for money or is the contributor inquiring into whether or not the candidate already plans on passing the bill to determine whether or not she wants to contribute (or find someone else to contribute to). Should the candidate simply respond with the disclaimer that he plans on passing the bill regardless, and not because of the contribution, or should the candidate simply interpret the question as money offered in exchange for legislature and refuse the money even if it's a bill she plans to pass anyways.

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      • icon
        antidirt (profile), 18 Oct 2014 @ 5:26pm

        Re: Re:

        Not my area of expertise, but I did find this:
        This same distinction between bribes, gratuities and lawful campaign contributions has recently been applied to some of the Federal prosecutive theories that are currently used to address bribery and corruption by state and local public officials. For example, in McCormick v. United States, 500 U.S. 257 (1991) the Supreme Court held that the Hobbs Act (18 U.S.C. § 1951) did not apply to a series of campaign contributions that were made with a general intent to curry favor with a state senator and to thank him for his support. Noting that campaign contributions are a necessary part of the American political process, the Court held that when an allegedly corrupt payment represents a bona fide campaign contribution, the prosecution must prove the existence of a quid pro quo. This principle was thereafter affirmed shortly thereafter in Evans v. United States, 504 U.S. 255 (1992).
        Source: http://www.justice.gov/usao/eousa/foia_reading_room/usam/title9/crm02046.htm

        So it looks like the difference between a contribution and a bribe is that there has to be a quid pro quo. The quote from Randazza's blog makes it sound like there could have been one:
        I shook his hand and said “if you will sponsor an Anti-SLAPP bill, I’ll vote for you, and I’ll contribute to your campaign.” He promised me that he would do so. Within days of taking office, he made good on his promise.
        I have no idea if there really was such an agreement, and I doubt there was, but it was a dumb thing to post, IMO.

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        • icon
          That One Guy (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 6:25am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I think a big part of it is the double-standards. If something like this can be said, on live tv no less...

          "Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,"

          ... with no repercussions or charges, the idea of 'Hey, if you promise to vote for and/or sponsor a law that I agree with, I'll vote for you and help you get elected' being this massive breach of ethics, worthy of charges, is just a titch insane and hypocritical.

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          • icon
            antidirt (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 9:08am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I think a big part of it is the double-standards. If something like this can be said, on live tv no less...

            "Those who count on quote 'Hollywood' for support need to understand that this industry is watching very carefully who's going to stand up for them when their job is at stake. Don't ask me to write a check for you when you think your job is at risk and then don't pay any attention to me when my job is at stake,"

            ... with no repercussions or charges, the idea of 'Hey, if you promise to vote for and/or sponsor a law that I agree with, I'll vote for you and help you get elected' being this massive breach of ethics, worthy of charges, is just a titch insane and hypocritical.


            I don't read that quote as indicating that there was a mutual agreement for a quid pro quo. There's no promise that certain action will be taken if they write a check.

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            • icon
              That One Guy (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 2:34pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Perhaps not specifically, but to me at least that seems to be a pretty clear statement of 'We gave you money in the past with the understanding that you'd be doing what we wanted you to, if you're not going to do that, then they flow of money is going to be cut off'.

              Or, put more simply, 'Do the job we're paying you for or you're not getting paid.'

              If threatening to stop giving money to a politician if they don't do what you want is acceptable, then giving money to one if they indicate that they will sponsor/propose certain legislation should be treated the same. And if the latter is seen as bad, then so should the former. Consistency is what I'm looking for here.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 3:06am

          Re: Re: Re:

          "Not my area of expertise"

          Wait, you have an area of expertise?
          Please indicate for the record what area this is in?

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2014 @ 8:28pm

    Wait, what? Isn't every political fundraiser a candidate saying "Give me your money and I'll do things you want once I'm elected?" How the hell is me saying what I want him to do as a condition of getting my support a criminal offense?

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2014 @ 9:33am

      Re:

      I guess it's not how political fundraisers are ostensibly supposed to work but that's how they functionally and logically do work. It's not like each candidate has a predetermined set of bills they plan to pass and oppose and stick to regardless of funding. Doing that will ensure that the guy that does adapt his stance to the will of voters and contributors will naturally receive the most contributions and votes.

      So every candidate (or at least every candidate that has a chance of winning) will naturally adjust their stance, at least to some extent, based on what they think will get them the most votes and contributions.

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  • icon
    G Thompson (profile), 17 Oct 2014 @ 8:35pm

    So this individual has issued an individual press release supposedly distancing himself from his employer (Roca) so that there is no conflict (yeah right!) has made statements backed up by alleged factoids that to all intents and purposes create the idea that Randazza has done something corrupt and/or unethical and/or illegal.

    This therefore goes beyond the realms of opinion (since this idiot has placed specific and exact citations and 'evidence' in the release).

    For any lawyer to be accused of unethical behaviour and/or illegal activities during the course of their practice is highly damaging no matter whom they are. For someone to do this whilst they are already in litigation no matter if they try to act innocent and moral by stating "Im doing this as a concerned individual" is dubious to say the least. Doing it to someone like Mr Randazzaz is well to quote a well known memem.

    You never go the full retard!

    *munches popcorn hears the dogs of war being released*

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  • icon
    Ehud Gavron (profile), 17 Oct 2014 @ 8:47pm

    Typo

    That certainly makes Juravin's statement that he "speculate[s]" that "the law would not have passed" if the Nevada legislature were aware of Randazza's promise to contribute to Jones' campaign.

    Makes it what?

    E

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  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2014 @ 9:01pm

    The matter involving ROCA is so far afield from the subject matter this site professes to deal with that it seems almost as if the spate of articles concerning this matter reflect a form of "shilling" on behalf of the attorney being spoken about.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2014 @ 9:48pm

      Re:

      Not really. The issue is the claim that Roca uses improper defamation claims/threats to website owners and/or hosting providers in order to get negative reviews of their product removed.

      I'd say that falls within the realm of material that TD is concerned with. That you don't see that it applies almost makes it seem that you're "shilling" for Roca.

      And, since I'm sure Roca *is* watching, the above is a statement of opinion, not fact, and is therefore not defamatory.

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    • icon
      G Thompson (profile), 17 Oct 2014 @ 11:31pm

      Re:

      You're new here aren't you?

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

    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 18 Oct 2014 @ 5:56am

      Re:

      The matter involving ROCA is so far afield from the subject matter this site professes to deal with that it seems almost as if the spate of articles concerning this matter reflect a form of "shilling" on behalf of the attorney being spoken about.

      I find it most odd how you continue to come here and insist you know better than I do what is appropriate content matter for my own site.

      Either way, this is, of course, quite along the lines of what we normally write here. It's a case involving issues of free speech, attempts to suppress speech, SLAPP suits, gag orders, questionable lawyering and the like. We regularly cover all of those things on this site, as you well know.

      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20131113/06112425228/online-retailer-slaps-unhappy-customers- with-3500-fee-violating-non-disparagement-clause.shtml
      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100802/025 15910448.shtml
      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110523/00162514389/dentist-has-to-pay-legal-fees-s uing-yelp-reviewer-over-bad-review.shtml
      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110308/01275613394/sf-pl astic-surgeon-files-defamation-claim-against-negative-reviewers-across-country-to-avoid-slapp.shtml

      I could go on and on and on. We cover a ton of these types of stories, which you well know.

      As for the ridiculous suggestion that we are "shilling" for Randazza, I have no problem calling Randazza out on issues when I think he's wrong.

      https://www.techdirt.com/blog/wireless/articles/20110801/04233815344/no-having-open-wifi-does- not-make-you-negligent-liable-10000.shtml

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      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2014 @ 6:07am

        Re: Re:

        Prone to strawmen? I made no statement about what you should be talking about. I merely noted this series of articles started as what appears to be an outlier subject since breach of purchase order contracts is not a topic ordinarily presented here. Perhaps you have developed a business/personal relationship with the attorney that is fostered by providing some form of a public forum for what he is working on.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2014 @ 6:28am

          Re: Re: Re:

          IOW, the series of articles are susceptible to being questioned using an objectivity argument. For example, while the contracts did have a "you will not diss us" clause, it is my understanding that the clause only relates to purchasers who wish to avail themselves of a substantial discount from the retail purchase price. I do not recall seeing this mentioned in any of the many articles presented here. Instead, I had to peruse that company's website to find a copy of its purchase order contract and review it to see if it really did, as the lead off article in the series implies, require all purchasers to sign up to that clause. My review did not reveal a clause applicable to all sales, but a clause applicable only to discounted sales.

          I am not saying that ROCA is a good or bad company, or anything about its product. I am saying that the presentation here has not been forthright from the get go, and appears to me to reflect a possible business/personal relationship that colors how it is being reported.

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          • icon
            Mike Masnick (profile), 18 Oct 2014 @ 7:05am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            I do not recall seeing this mentioned in any of the many articles presented here.

            Then you should read the articles again. Not only do we discuss the "discount" rules, we directly linked to the terms on Roca's site.

            Do you ever get sick of lying about us?

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            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2014 @ 9:03am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              My oversight that a link was provided in one of the many articles, though to be fair it does not appear to ever have been mentioned again despite all the other references that could be read to suggest that the "no diss" clause applied to all purchasers.

              What part of "I do not recall..." is so unclear to you that you associate it with deliberate falsehoods?

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              • identicon
                Lurker Keith, 18 Oct 2014 @ 9:07am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Had you bothered to read the comments (not sure which story, not going to hunt it down for you), a commenter went through the ordering process & found there was no way to make an order w/o agreeing to the "no diss" clause. Hence, it is a requirement for doing business w/ Roca & therefore Techdirt's coverage has been accurate, that it was required for all orders.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2014 @ 9:19am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  This is a singularly unhelpful comment if what you say is accurate. Much like saying "The car keys are in there.", and then pointing in the general direction of a ten acre field of corn.

                  I would ordinarily expect that if what you refer to is what actually transpires as a matter or course it would be splayed all over the legal filings. Has the attorney spoken about in the article here made this point in public? He does not strike me as one who would be aware of this and not try to make it an issue in litigation.

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              • icon
                techflaws (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 6:57am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                What part of "I do not recall..." is so unclear to you that you associate it with deliberate falsehoods?

                Possibly your continued asshattery?

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

            • icon
              antidirt (profile), 18 Oct 2014 @ 5:30pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Do you ever get sick of lying about us?

              You're so hostile. This poster seems to have made a mistake, as he readily admitted. There's no need to assume that anyone disagreeing with you is being dishonest. You certainly set a terrible example for others, IMO. No wonder reasoned debate is hard to come by here. They're just following your lead.

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

              • icon
                Mike Masnick (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 5:08am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                This poster seems to have made a mistake, as he readily admitted.

                That particular commenter makes similar "mistakes" nearly every day on this site. This was not a mistake or a one off.

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

                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2014 @ 5:52am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Oversight made and admitted, something that the principal here seems unable or unwilling to do in matters where his understanding of subject matter or objectivity is called into question. Sad that a young mind can be so closed to learning opportunities.

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

                  • identicon
                    Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2014 @ 8:15am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    Wait, so a non-anonymous person's understanding and objectivity of a subject matter is arbitrarily called into question by an anonymous person who has done nothing to demonstrate to us his own understanding and objectivity on the subject (you're anonymous so we know little about you to make these evaluations), someone who has already showed a lack of understanding on the subject and has already been shown to be wrong, and yet we're supposed to take you seriously over someone (Mike) who has a (non-anonymous) record of investing a lot of time into investigating these issues? Are you serious or just delusional?

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

                    • identicon
                      Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2014 @ 8:17am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      IOW, who are you to call into question Mike's understanding and objectivity on the subject? Just some random anonymous commenter. So why should we take you seriously over Mike?

                      Exactly, we should not.

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                      • icon
                        antidirt (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 9:10am

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        So why should we take you seriously over Mike?

                        By your own logic, absolutely nothing you say should be taken seriously. I don't agree with that. I judge comments on the merits, even if I don't know who wrote them. This applies even to your comments.

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

                        • identicon
                          Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2014 @ 1:40pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                          If he has a valid point and can state it then we can evaluate his point on the merits of its reasoning and any citations he has to refer to. But he has not raised any valid points instead choosing to arbitrarily call Mike's understanding and objectivity into question without reference to anything giving us a valid reason to do so. On what basis is calling Mike's objectivity and understanding into question? On the basis of his own personal knowledge and experience? What knowledge? Who is he?

                          and the fact that this poster anonymously admitted to a mistake that they had no choice but to admit to (or else face looking like a fool) means little. If Mike makes or admits to a mistake he is not anonymous. Who is this anonymous poster to arbitrarily say that Mike is unwilling to admit to a mistake. Perhaps because Mike doesn't believe he made a mistake. If you or anyone disagrees then please feel free to reference the mistake and correct him and I am sure, if you can make a compelling enough case, Mike will change his position appropriately.

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

                          • identicon
                            Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2014 @ 5:29pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                            There are many examples where an opinion is shown to be erroneous, but nothing is ever forthcoming acknowledging the error. A good example because it is easy to understand is from an article a couple of weeks ago concerning a design patent for toothpicks. There were facts recited in the article that were later shown to be in error, and yet the author made no attempt to address the errors. Again, this is but one example, and is selected specifically because the errors in the article are easy to identify.

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

                            • icon
                              antidirt (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 7:42am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              There are many examples where an opinion is shown to be erroneous, but nothing is ever forthcoming acknowledging the error. A good example because it is easy to understand is from an article a couple of weeks ago concerning a design patent for toothpicks. There were facts recited in the article that were later shown to be in error, and yet the author made no attempt to address the errors. Again, this is but one example, and is selected specifically because the errors in the article are easy to identify.

                              A couple of years ago I had a list of all the times I'd seen where Mike had been shown to be wrong in the comments and he either said nothing or attempted to defend his position but then ran away when he realized he couldn't. If I have time, I'll try and find it. It's hilarious. That design patent post is a good example. It's funny how he pretends like you're lying when it's so easy to show times when Mike was wrong but wouldn't admit. And then, of course, he just repeats the same things that were shown to be wrong in later posts. I guess if he doesn't admit he's wrong, he can pretend like he isn't. I think you and I both know that Mike doesn't care about the truth nearly as much as he should. And he hates to corrected. Heck, the reason he banned me last year (which he won't discuss honestly and with any sense of transparency) is because I corrected him about whether aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement is really a crime. Mike, hilariously, just parrots Dotcom's argument that it's not, and it's so easy to prove him wrong. But Mike doesn't want to confront the truth. He wants to keep pretending like 18 USC 2 doesn't really exist and doesn't apply to criminal infringement. Mike can't win on the merits, so he turns to the only thing he has left--personal attacks. It's sad. And funny. But mostly sad. Really, really sad.

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                              • identicon
                                Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 8:06am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                "A couple of years ago I had a list of all the times I'd seen where Mike had been shown to be wrong in the comments and he either said nothing or attempted to defend his position but then ran away when he realized he couldn't."

                                There is a difference between 'being wrong' and disagreeing with you. and not responding to every last comment that disagrees with him is different than being unable to defend one's position. People have other things to do and they don't have time to respond to comments all day, especially repetitive comments that have already been addressed multiple times (which is what I see from the shills around here).

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                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 8:41am

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                                  You are correct. People do have others things to do besides responding to everything. However, if you later want to cite an article here as your source on an issue, it seems to me it behooves you to make sure that all you provide in the article is accurate. When points have been clearly traversed by one or more comments, then clarification is in order.

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                                    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 5:29pm

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                                    "However, if you later want to cite an article here as your source on an issue, it seems to me it behooves you to make sure that all you provide in the article is accurate."

                                    Which does seem to be the case.

                                    "When points have been clearly traversed by one or more comments, then clarification is in order."

                                    Mike does often provide clarification to his posts and responds to questions and critics. Just because he may not respond to each and every last comment raising an alleged criticism doesn't mean he shouldn't post and it doesn't diminish the validity of his post. I didn't see anything wrong with his post. Many others didn't either. Sure, there are some people that wish to troll and find something wrong everywhere even when there is nothing wrong but, for the sake of saving time, Mike can't continuously accommodate everyone. At some point he needs to move on.

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                                  antidirt (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 9:32am

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                                  There is a difference between 'being wrong' and disagreeing with you. and not responding to every last comment that disagrees with him is different than being unable to defend one's position. People have other things to do and they don't have time to respond to comments all day, especially repetitive comments that have already been addressed multiple times (which is what I see from the shills around here).

                                  Of course there's a difference between being wrong and simply disagreeing with someone. I'm talking about times he's been shown to be wrong. For example, the thing with Dotcom. Mike keeps saying that there's no such thing as aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement. But that's not true. The statute, 18 USC 2, has been pointed out to him many times. Yet, he won't acknowledge it. In fact, in his last article defending Dotcom, he quotes a paragraph from Dotcom's brief but conveniently cuts out the sentence mentioning 18 USC 2. I doubt that was accidental.

                                  But there's tons of other things. For example, with Aereo, Mike seems to think that it's only a performance if the retransmission is contemporaneous with the original broadcast. I've tried to explain to him that he's misunderstanding the contemporaneity thing. What makes something a performance is the fact that it's perceivable contemporaneously as it's received. This is why YouTube is performing, even though it's not retransmitting anything contemporaneously with a source broadcast. But Mike just keeps repeated his wrong view that there's no performance unless it's contemporaneous with a source transmission. There's tons and tons of stuff just like this, and no matter how much they are pointed out, Mike doesn't listen and he keeps repeating his wrong understanding.

                                  This is not a guy who's much interested in the truth. That much seems clear. And he's certainly not a guy who admits that he's wrong and thanks you for pointing it out. Instead, he gets really angry, and he usually only comes into the comments when he thinks he can score a point. So I think it's hilarious that he's question the integrity of this AC when his own integrity is so dubious.

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                                    Gwiz (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 10:01am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    For example, the thing with Dotcom. Mike keeps saying that there's no such thing as aiding and abetting criminal copyright infringement. But that's not true. The statute, 18 USC 2, has been pointed out to him many times.


                                    Mike has laid out his argument why he believes aiding and abetting doesn't apply in file-sharer/host scenarios. I happen to think has as a valid point - the prosecution can't just keep conflating each different party's involvements in order to come up with an aiding and abetting charge.

                                    https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110720/00560515172/justice-department-practicing-mix-and- match-sleight-of-hand-law-seizure-case.shtml

                                    This prime example of you disagreeing with Mike's opinion, but instead of simply just disagreeing with it, you have to go to whine that Mike is lying or being purposely misleading or a "Dotcom shill" or whatever your latest ad hominem happens to be.

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                                      antidirt (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 10:31am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:


                                      Mike has laid out his argument why he believes aiding and abetting doesn't apply in file-sharer/host scenarios. I happen to think has as a valid point - the prosecution can't just keep conflating each different party's involvements in order to come up with an aiding and abetting charge.

                                      https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110720/00560515172/justice-department-practicing-mix-and- match-sleight-of-hand-law-seizure-case.shtml

                                      This prime example of you disagreeing with Mike's opinion, but instead of simply just disagreeing with it, you have to go to whine that Mike is lying or being purposely misleading or a "Dotcom shill" or whatever your latest ad hominem happens to be.


                                      Thanks for the link. I'll have to read through that post. I'm talking about this post from last week:
                                      Then it gets deep into that attempt by the "boundless imagination" of the US government to create secondary criminal liability where it does not exist.
                                      The Supreme Court has recognized that, in the civil context, secondary copyright infringement liability may obtain based on uncodified “common law” doctrines. See MGM Studios, Inc. v. Grokster, Ltd., 545 U.S. 913, 930, 937 (2005). Federal crimes, in contrast, are “solely creatures of statute.” Liparota v. United States, 471 U.S. 419, 424 (1985)....

                                      In fact, there is no such crime. Strikingly, the criminal copyright infringement statute, 17 U.S.C. § 506(a), says nothing whatsoever about secondary liability. See, e.g., Sony Corp. v. Universal City Studios, Inc., 464 U.S. 417, 434 (1984) (“The Copyright Act does not expressly render anyone liable for infringement committed by another.”). The statute does not state that criminal liability can be predicated upon theories of secondary liability, nor does it contemplate that the reach of criminal liability is to be coextensive with civil liability. Because the Government’s proposed theory of secondary criminal copyright infringement is not codified, it is unknown to federal law—and it is no basis for this Court to assert jurisdiction.

                                      Indeed, a theory of secondary criminal copyright infringement or any species thereof, including aiding and abetting through cloud storage case, would be unconstitutional under the void-for-vagueness doctrine. “A penal statute must define the criminal offense with sufficient definiteness that ordinary people can understand what conduct is prohibited and in a manner that does not encourage arbitrary and discriminatory enforcement.” Connally v. General Construction Co., 269 U.S. 385, 391 (1926). If the Government’s theory takes hold, then ordinary people and legal scholars alike will be left guessing where civil secondary copyright infringement ends and criminality begins, particularly in an era when automated file transactions and “foot faults” faced by high-volume providers of online services are routine.
                                      Source: https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141011/07242628799/megaupload-say-us-govt-is-trying-to-steal-ass ets-based-crimes-that-are-figments-govts-boundless-imagination.shtml

                                      There, Mike approvingly cites Dotcom's argument that "there is no such crime" and it "is not codified." I'm not talking about the argument that the government can't prove aiding and abetting here. I'm talking about the argument that there's no such crime. There is. And it's codified at 18 USC 2. Mike cut out the mention of 18 USC 2 when he quoted Dotcom's brief. I doubt that's an accident. And, of course, none of this explains why Mike can't even acknowledge that there's also charges for direct infringement, such as with the film "Taken" and the scraping of YouTube's servers. Those claims are not about aiding and abetting. They're about direct criminal infringement. Yet Mike never acknowledges that they exist. His coverage of Dotcom is so lopsided and ludicrous that I can only assume it's because he wants to protect Dotcom.

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                                        Gwiz (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 11:06am

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                                        There is. And it's codified at 18 USC 2. Mike cut out the mention of 18 USC 2 when he quoted Dotcom's brief. I doubt that's an accident.

                                        Do you mean the part in Dotcom's brief where it's argued that 18 USC § 2 doesn't apply in copyright cases because Congress specifically eliminated that in the Copyright Act of 1976:

                                        From the brief:
                                        Seeking another back door through which to prosecute the Megaupload defendants for alleged crimes they did not directly commit, the Government tries to combine the criminal copyright statute, 17 U.S.C. § 506, with the general aiding and abetting statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2. See Sup. Ind. Counts Four, Five, Six, Seven, and Eight. But that is no conceivable basis for criminal prosecution, much less resulting forfeiture. Congress specifically removed from the Copyright Act language about aiding and abetting criminal infringement. See Irina D. Manta, The Puzzle of Criminal Sanctions for Intellectual Property Infringement, 24 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 469, 481 (2011) (“Several years later, countering what had been a trend of expansion in the area pf criminal sanctions, the Copyright Act of 1976 eliminated the provisions for aiding and abetting...”) Judicial reinsertion of the deleted language, particularly in the criminal context, would chill innovation, creating the prospect of criminal sanctions despite, for instance, compliance with express DMCA safe harbors.

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                                          antidirt (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 11:18am

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                          Do you mean the part in Dotcom's brief where it's argued that 18 USC § 2 doesn't apply in copyright cases because Congress specifically eliminated that in the Copyright Act of 1976:

                                          Yes. Here's the paragraph as Mike quoted it:
                                          But that is no conceivable basis for criminal prosecution, much less resulting forfeiture. Congress specifically removed from the Copyright Act language about aiding and abetting criminal infringement. See Irina D. Manta, The Puzzle of Criminal Sanctions for Intellectual Property Infringement, 24 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 469, 481 (2011) (“Several years later, countering what had been a trend of expansion in the area of criminal sanctions, the Copyright Act of 1976 eliminated the provisions for aiding and abetting . . .”) Judicial reinsertion of the deleted language, particularly in the criminal context, would chill innovation, creating the prospect of criminal sanctions despite, for instance, compliance with express DMCA safe harbors. Even assuming arguendo that such a criminal prosecution might ever be permitted, neither 18 U.S.C. § 2323 nor 18 U.S.C. § 981 authorizes civil asset forfeiture for proceeds traceable to aiding and abetting criminal conduct. There is, accordingly, no jurisdiction for entertaining a request for civil forfeiture as pleaded here.
                                          And then here's the full paragraph from the brief:
                                          Seeking another back door through which to prosecute the Megaupload defendants for alleged crimes they did not directly commit, the Government tries to combine the criminal copyright statute, 17 U.S.C. § 506, with the general aiding and abetting statute, 18 U.S.C. § 2. See Sup. Ind. Counts Four, Five, Six, Seven, and Eight. But that is no conceivable basis for criminal prosecution, much less resulting forfeiture . Congress specifically removed from the Copyright Act language about aiding and abetting criminal infringement . See Irina D. Manta, The Puzzle of Criminal Sanctions for Intellectual Property Infringement , 24 Harv. J.L. & Tech. 469, 481 (2011) (“Several years later, countering what had been a trend of expansion in the area of criminal sanctions, the Copyright Act of 1976 eliminated the pro visions for aiding and abetting . . .”) Judicial reinsertion of the deleted language, particularly in the criminal context, would chill innovation, cr eating the prospect of criminal sanctions despite, for instance, compliance with express DMCA safe harbors. E ven assuming arguendo that such a criminal prosecution might ever be permitted , neither 18 U.S.C. § 2323 nor 18 U.S.C. § 981 authorizes civil ass et forfeiture for proceeds traceable to aiding and abetting criminal conduct. There is, accordingly, no jurisdiction for entertaining a request for civil forfeiture as pleaded here.
                                          Mike cut out the first sentence (I bolded it) which mentions 18 USC 2. This is the statute he won't acknowledge, and it's the one that has been pointed out to him many times. I doubt the omission was unintentional.

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                                            Gwiz (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 11:32am

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                            This is the statute he won't acknowledge, and it's the one that has been pointed out to him many times. I doubt the omission was unintentional.


                                            I have no clue if it was intentional or not, but it is kind of irrelevant.

                                            Do you have any cites where 18 U.S.C. § 2 was used successfully in a copyright case? In Rojadirecta the USG handed the domain names back and dropped the case, basically because their whole case was weak to begin with.

                                            If 18 U.S.C. § 2 hasn't been successfully tied to criminal copyright infringement then Mike is correct in saying that aiding and abetting doesn't apply to criminal copyright infringement, especially with the fact that Congress deliberately removed it from the copyright statutes in 1976.

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                                              antidirt (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 11:46am

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                              If 18 U.S.C. § 2 hasn't been successfully tied to criminal copyright infringement then Mike is correct in saying that aiding and abetting doesn't apply to criminal copyright infringement, especially with the fact that Congress deliberately removed it from the copyright statutes in 1976.

                                              I don't have time at the moment to look up the cites, but the mention of aiding and abetting in the Copyright Act was removed because it was redundant with 18 USC 2. Section 2 says that anyone who aids and abets another who commits a federal crime is guilty as if he had committed the crime himself. This applies across the board, including to criminal copyright infringement. Congress didn't remove it because they wanted to suddenly make it legal to aid and abet a criminal infringer. They removed it because 18 USC 2 already makes it a crime.

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                                              antidirt (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 1:04pm

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                              Do you have any cites where 18 U.S.C. § 2 was used successfully in a copyright case? In Rojadirecta the USG handed the domain names back and dropped the case, basically because their whole case was weak to begin with.

                                              If 18 U.S.C. § 2 hasn't been successfully tied to criminal copyright infringement then Mike is correct in saying that aiding and abetting doesn't apply to criminal copyright infringement, especially with the fact that Congress deliberately removed it from the copyright statutes in 1976.


                                              I responded to you earlier, but the spam filter caught it. The short answer is, and I don't have time to find the cites right now, is that the aiding and abetting provision was removed from the Copyright Act because it was redundant with 18 USC 2. Section 2 applies across the board, and it makes it a crime to aid and abet anyone who violates a federal criminal law. Congress didn't remove the mention from the Copyright Act because it suddenly decided to make aiding and abetting criminal infringement legal. It removed it because it's already made illegal under 18 USC 2. There's no reason why Section 2 doesn't apply to criminal infringement. Moreover, this is just sleight of hand. Even if the aiding and abetting charges didn't support the forfeiture, the direct infringement and conspiracy to commit direct infringement charges do. The argument that the assets aren't forfeitable because Section 2 doesn't apply is silly. They're forfeitable even if Section 2 doesn't apply.

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                              Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 8:03am

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                              You mean this one?
                              https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141003/06500028716/design-patent-granted-toothpick.shtml

                              In reading through the article and comments, and the alleged criticisms, I don't see anywhere where Mike is wrong. Are you trying to claim that these toothpics should be patent worthy? Really? If that's the case then I only have to leave it up to the reader to decide who's right. I suspect most readers will decide that you're insane.

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                                Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 8:36am

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                                You have to read the comments in some detail, and especially those that explain what it is precisely that the patent actually describes and claims. For example, the claimed design did not have grooves. It had painted stripes, which was clear from the drawings because what was assumed were grooves were instead colored stripes. One individual took the time to review the file of the application and noted this and several other things associated with the device that were not accurately described in the original article. Another commenter noted that the claim of the patent as issued embraced the combination of all design elements contained in the drawing, and that such elements were much more numerous than just the stripes. Was it "patent worthy"? Based upon all information in hand, including the very important fact that it was a patent for a design as opposed to a utility patent, the answer is almost surely so. If someone reads this and like you thinks I am insane, then perhaps they should do some serious reading about just what a design patent represents and encompasses. Part of the problem that this site fosters is that the authors of its articles wax poetic on legal matters with only a partial understanding of the actual law and the processes associated with the law. What it leads to are articles such as the one concerning the toothpick design patent where relevant and necessary information is overlooked, misunderstood, misstated, etc., as a consequence of which the site's readership is erroneously informed about the subject matter being presented.

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                                antidirt (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 9:23am

                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                You mean this one?
                                https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141003/06500028716/design-patent-granted-toothpick.shtml

                                In reading through the article and comments, and the alleged criticisms, I don't see anywhere where Mike is wrong. Are you trying to claim that these toothpics should be patent worthy? Really? If that's the case then I only have to leave it up to the reader to decide who's right. I suspect most readers will decide that you're insane.


                                Mike's point in that article is that the USPTO is stupid because they granted that design patent. The point I tried to make is that Mike didn't actually show that the patent was invalid. He mentioned substantial similarity, but he didn't explain how the ordinary observer test operates and why, in his opinion, the other toothpicks he pictured invalidated the patent. As many people noted, his picture was of toothpicks with three colorless grooves, while the patented toothpicks had two colored stripes. Mike didn't even mention the differences (three grooves vs. two stripes, colorless grooves vs. colored stripes) much less apply the test to arrive at his conclusion that the patent is invalid. It seems clear that he hastily threw the post together, doing little research, for the purpose of shaming the USPTO. This is part of his ongoing effort to do the same. He often tries to point out "bad" patents, with no mention of all the "good" patents, in order to discredit the entire system. There certainly are some "bad" patents, as is to be expected with a system such as the U.S. patent system (with its thousands of examiners, who are humans who make errors). But as far as showing that this patent shouldn't have been granted, and as far as showing that the USPTO is stupid, he didn't come close. And, of course, he said nothing in the comments except: "Either way, it's not new." But he didn't show it's not new.

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                                  Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 9:43am

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                                  "while the patented toothpicks had two colored stripes. ... (... two stripes, ... colored stripes) much less apply the test to arrive at his conclusion that the patent is invalid."

                                  So your argument is that adding colored stripes to a toothpick makes it patentable. I'm sorry, I couldn't help but laugh.

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                                    antidirt (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 10:13am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    So your argument is that adding colored stripes to a toothpick makes it patentable. I'm sorry, I couldn't help but laugh.

                                    You do understand that this is a DESIGN patent, not a UTILITY patent, right? Can you explain why this design wouldn't be patentable? The USPTO issued the design patent, by the way.

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                                      Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 10:26am

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                                      Yes I do understand that it's a design patent but that doesn't make it any more patent worthy.

                                      As far as why it shouldn't be patentable the burden lies on you to explain why it should be patentable not the other way around. In order for something to be patentable you should demonstrate that there is enough social good that comes from granting such patents to justify granting them and to justify the social cost of granting them. Both the social cost of enforcing these patents and the social costs in terms of the restrictions they impose on others. Patents abridge my natural right to do what I want with my property and sell it. It's my natural right to either copy these toothpicks or independently come up with similar ones and to sell them. Patents abridge that right. It's a government abrogation of that right. So why is granting such a patent worthy of abridging my natural right to do what I want with my property? I value my freedoms more than I value any alleged benefit I, as a member of the public, supposedly get from these patents. Patents should be about the public good. How does this patent benefit me as a member of the public? It doesn't. It adds more laws the government must enforce which adds more government expenses and wastes tax dollars on limiting my behavior and the behavior of others who may wish to sell toothpicks.

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                                        antidirt (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 10:33am

                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                        As far as why it shouldn't be patentable the burden lies on you to explain why it should be patentable not the other way around.

                                        Mike said it's not patentable. I said he didn't actually show that it's not patentable. Why is the burden on me to show that it is or isn't? My point is that Mike didn't back up his claim. My only claim is that Mike didn't demonstrate that the patent is invalid. I don't see the point in discussing your views of the entire patent system. That's not relevant to my point, which, again, is that Mike didn't actually show that the patent is invalid.

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                                          Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 10:39am

                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                          "Mike said it's not patentable."

                                          I don't see where Mike said it's not patentable. It appears Mike is arguing that something like this should not be patentable. and I agree. It should not be patentable even if it is technically patentable under the law.

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                                            Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 10:40am

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                            and I still don't see where Mike made any misstatements of fact. Not noting the differences between the linked toothpicks and the patented toothpick(s) is not a misstatement of fact. He never said they were identical.

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                                              Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 11:13am

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                              Sigh...Never mind. It is clear neither you nor the author have any interest in learning the details of what a design patent actually claims and how this is done under agency rules. FYI, the figure is the key part of a design patent, and it is important to understand what is represented by solid, dashed, and cross-hatch lines.

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                                                Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 3:30pm

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                "It is clear neither you nor the author have any interest in learning the details of what a design patent actually claims"

                                                The discussion is not (simply) over the definition of a design patent. The discussion is over whether or not the patent in question should even exist or even if design patents (or patents in general) should exist. The burden is on patent proponents to justify their existence. Simply defining a design patent and claiming that something fits the definition of such a patent is not justification for the patent in question (or for design patents or for patents).

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                                            antidirt (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 11:10am

                                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                            I don't see where Mike said it's not patentable.

                                            He's arguing that it's not novel: "But still. It appears the unique 'design' element is that this toothpick has those lines up top. But I've had toothpicks like that many times in the past. It's hardly a new design." Then he shows a picture of other toothpicks that he thinks anticipate the toothpick that received a design patent. The point of saying it's not new and showing the other toothpicks is to argue that the patent is invalid.

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                                              Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 3:27pm

                                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                              So you think that going from a toothpick with indented stripes to one with protruded stripes and adding colors makes it patent worthy. I (and apparently Mike and perhaps many others) disagree.

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                                                Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 3:43pm

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                and I'm still waiting for you to point out a single misstatement of fact.

                                                Technically speaking I can get a piece of paper and scribble some random lines on it. If someone else gets another piece of paper and independently scribbles some random lines on it chances are, if you look closely enough, the lines scribbled on each piece of paper won't be identical. That there are variations between different pieces of paper with scribbles on them and that there are people and children who have scribbled random and unique lines on paper that no one else has ever scribbled (since there is a very large combination of symbols and scribbles that one can put on a piece of paper) hardly makes scribbling on paper 'novel'.

                                                Yes, there are probably millions of ways one can design a toothpick. Anyone can sit around all day and think of ways to redesign their toothpick. Hardly makes any of them 'novel' enough to be considered patent worthy. For something to be patent worthy it shouldn't just be evolutionary or have slight variations from other designs. It should be revolutionary and groundbreaking. The idea that a toothpick has stripes is not something I consider to be all that big a deal even if you went from indented stripes to protruded stripes. Not novel enough to be considered patent worthy, certainly not in a world with a sane patent system.

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                                                Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 4:12pm

                                                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                Where did you ever get the idea that the stripes are indented? Surely not from the patent drawing because it shows no such thing. Like I said, you have to examine the drawing with an understanding of how drawings are required to be prepared by the agency's rules. If you understood these points you and the site would not be raising points that have zero support within the four corners of the document, I.e., the patent.

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                                                  Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 5:18pm

                                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                  "Where did you ever get the idea that the stripes are indented?"

                                                  OK, I assumed that the patent was on protruded colored stripes in opposed to simply colored stripes because protruded colored stripes might be only slightly more patent worthy. My mistake. This is even less patent worthy. To argue that adding colored stripes to toothpicks makes for a patent worthy design is silly.

                                                  antidirt writes
                                                  "I suppose one could argue that the two are substantially similar under the ordinary observer test, but my quick perusal of the case law leads me to believe they're not. Of course, he's not cited any case law to back up his argument."

                                                  https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20141003/06500028716/design-patent-granted-toothpick.sht ml#c1015

                                                  Which still misses the point. Even if there is prior case law suggesting that there is precedent to validate these patents that doesn't mean that the patents should be valid. These are bad patents regardless of what the judicial system thinks and regardless of whether or not judiciary precedent suggesting that these patents should be legally valid exists. This is an example of the patent system (the patent system encompassing patent law, the patent office and what patents it grants, and the judiciary system and what patents it upholds and refuses to uphold) needing to be fixed. That's the point.

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

                                                  • identicon
                                                    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 5:25pm

                                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                    Oh, and I'm still waiting for you to reference where Mike made any factual mistakes.

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

                                                  • identicon
                                                    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 5:37pm

                                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                    You still misunderstand what the claimed design comprises. FWIW, the toothpick's design comprises the combination of an elongated cylindrical body, a conical distal end, a transverse"flat head" on the other distal end, a pair of transverse, spaced apart, encircling stripes proximate the said other distal end, and the specific colors that are recited in the file wrapper of the application as filed. In other words, stripes are just one feature of the actual design. You would have realized this at the outset had you known that solid lines in a drawing illustrate the claimed design and cross-hatching signifies color. The drawing is enclosed within a solid line, indicating that the claimed design pertains to the article's entire appearance, and not just a subset (i.e., stripes) as you and the author appear to have assumed.

                                                    Where the author of the article went amiss was failing to properly interpret the drawing by choosing to focus on just one of the several design elements. It's is the combination of all the elements that comprise the claimed design.

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

                                                    • identicon
                                                      Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 5:46pm

                                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                      "an elongated cylindrical body, a conical distal end, a transverse"flat head" on the other distal end, a pair of transverse, spaced apart, encircling stripes proximate the said other distal end, and the specific colors that are recited in the file wrapper of the application as filed."

                                                      Which basically defines a toothpick with colored stripes on it only in 'fancier' terms. Big deal.

                                                      There are probably other dimensional specifications that could have been included. One could include the exact length in meters to five significant figures. Another person can then change the least significant figure by one digit and create a new patent.

                                                      I can specify an exact chair with stripes and specify the exact colors and dimensions of the chair. I can scribble random stuff on a piece of paper and then describe the exact dimensions of the paper and specify the exact characteristics of what I scribbled. Hardly makes for a patent worthy design.

                                                      What still remains a mystery is where Mike made a factual mistake. You have still failed to specify that.

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

                                                      • identicon
                                                        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 5:48pm

                                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                        Lets all just clutter up the patent system with random design patents because we can all make random and unique designs. I think that's part of the point of the original article, this is a waste of government resources and doesn't serve a beneficial social function (and, if anything, serves a detrimental one because it not only wastes government resources it also turns the patent system into a minefield in that someone might accidentally stumble upon your patent and get sued).

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

                                                        • identicon
                                                          Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 5:55pm

                                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                          I see I have made less than optimal use of my time by trying to explain where the article erred. Apparently the interest here is in railing against patents in general, and not in trying to understand why the patent was granted.

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

                                                      • identicon
                                                        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 5:52pm

                                                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                        Actually, no, it does not. A toothpick including all of characteristics is certainly far from the norm.

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

                                                        • identicon
                                                          Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 6:02pm

                                                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                                          "Actually, no, it does not. A toothpick including all of characteristics is certainly far from the norm."

                                                          Being (your definition of) 'far' from the norm hardly makes something patent worthy. I can create a pen 'far' from the norm by adding some random stripes and designs to it. Kids make creative and random arts and crafts projects all the time. They use toothpicks, I'm sure they've added glitter and colors to their toothpicks, they use Popsicle sticks, I'm sure many of their designs have stripes and ... even colored stripes!!!! and encompass all sorts of weird and bizarre dimensions. Big deal. Lets all just create random items, mess with the dimensions a bit, add random colors and designs to them, declare them 'far from the norm' and receive patents. That way we can clutter up the patent system with patents of random designs. We can turn this into a kindergarten arts and crafts project and see which arts and craft items the USPTO will grant a patent on next.

                                                          The basic design behind it, that of a toothpick, is still fundamentally similar to that of other toothpicks. Sure there are slight variances and anyone can create a different toothpick with slightly different variances (and declare it 'far from the norm') but it hardly makes for something that should be considered patent worthy.

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

                                • identicon
                                  Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 9:53am

                                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                  "He mentioned substantial similarity, but he didn't explain how the ordinary observer test operates and why, in his opinion, the other toothpicks he pictured invalidated the patent."

                                  If you believe something is patent worthy, if you want a patent system to begin with, the burden is not on others to show that something is non-patent worthy. The burden is on you to show that the patent is a good one.

                                  "He often tries to point out "bad" patents, with no mention of all the "good" patents, in order to discredit the entire system."

                                  If you believe there are so many good patents out there why not mention them yourself. Or start your own blog? I, for one, do not believe there are many good patents out there. Sure some of the shills around here have mentioned some potentially good ones but, for the most part, the overwhelming majority of the patents seem to be bad and even the alleged good ones are suspect. The burden lies with patent proponents to prove that patents are a good thing and that these alleged good patents provide us with a social good (and also not to confuse a good invention with a good patent). So far I have seen very little evidence that patents are good. That I disagree with you doesn't make me wrong. You are the patent proponent, you are the one claiming that patents are good, so why are you putting it on Mike to defend your position?

                                  and this is exactly the nonsense that we get from you and the shills around here. You disagree with Mike, you absolutely insist, without evidence, that patents are good, yet you expect others that criticize the patent system to defend your position for you because you are too incompetent to do so. You figure patents are good and since critics are obviously so much smarter than you they should use their intelligence to defend the system instead of criticizing because it's not fair that you are too stupid to defend it and that they aren't using their intelligence to defend a perfectly good system. Or, maybe, it's that the system really does suck and that's why those that are obviously much smarter than you criticize it. Did you ever think of that?

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

                                  • identicon
                                    Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 10:00am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    Is there a reason you have changed the subject from misstatements of fact in articles presented here?

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

                                    • identicon
                                      Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 10:11am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      I asked for examples of misstatements of fact. Some shill attempted to point to toothpick patents. So I linked to it, went through it, and attempted to find misstatements of fact. Not being able to find any I pointed out that there appears to be no evidence of misstatements of fact. antidirt attempted to mumble on about how he disagrees with Mike without mentioning a single misstatement of fact. I pointed out that there still appears to be no misstatements of fact on Mike's part.

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

                                  • icon
                                    antidirt (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 10:20am

                                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                    If you believe something is patent worthy, if you want a patent system to begin with, the burden is not on others to show that something is non-patent worthy. The burden is on you to show that the patent is a good one.

                                    I never said the patent should have been granted. I explicitly said I hadn't done the research of the claims, the prior art, and the case law to know whether the patent is invalid. And my point is that neither did Mike.

                                    If you believe there are so many good patents out there why not mention them yourself. Or start your own blog? I, for one, do not believe there are many good patents out there. Sure some of the shills around here have mentioned some potentially good ones but, for the most part, the overwhelming majority of the patents seem to be bad and even the alleged good ones are suspect. The burden lies with patent proponents to prove that patents are a good thing and that these alleged good patents provide us with a social good (and also not to confuse a good invention with a good patent). So far I have seen very little evidence that patents are good. That I disagree with you doesn't make me wrong. You are the patent proponent, you are the one claiming that patents are good, so why are you putting it on Mike to defend your position?

                                    I meant "good" in that it meets all the standards for patentability, such as under Sections 101, 102, 103, and 111. Mike is arguing that this design patent is anticipated under 102. He didn't actually show that the patent is "bad," i.e., unpatentable. That's my point. As far as whether patents are "good" in the sense you're talking about, I'm not the guy to answer that as I don't have enough information to discuss it intelligently. My opinion is that there's pros and cons. How those should be weighed, I truly don't know. Not my specialty. I think both sides make good arguments.

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

                                    • identicon
                                      Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 10:34am

                                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                                      "He didn't actually show that the patent is "bad," i.e., unpatentable."

                                      You maybe using a different definition of the word 'bad'. I think Mike was attempting to argue that this is a bad patent not necessarily that it was unpatentable under the law. He may have been arguing the latter as well but I think his primary point was the former, this patent should not have been granted because it's not patent worthy and if it is patent worthy under the law it's another example of how either the law needs to be changed or the USPTO needs to change what types of patents it grants. At least that's how I read it as being his primary point.

                                      The patent shouldn't have been granted. One could argue that it's unclear why it was granted. Is the law broken? Does the law need to be changed? Is the patent office granting bad patents that they shouldn't be granting? Or are they granting bad patents because the court system has been encouraging them to? Does the problem need to be fixed with the court system? The law? The patent office? Either way there is a problem that needs to be addressed.

                                      One could even argue that this patent does not promote the progress of the sciences and useful arts and, under those terms, it should not be granted.

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

                • icon
                  antidirt (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 9:21am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  That particular commenter makes similar "mistakes" nearly every day on this site. This was not a mistake or a one off.

                  This particular poster is calm and reasoned and attempts to add insight to the discussion. You respond with incredible hostility. That sucks. And you yourself make "mistakes" everyday--lots of them. I point these out regularly, yet you don't respond or acknowledge them (unless they're super-obvious, like when you accidentally said "would not" instead of "would" the other day). Why don't you ever back up what you say, Mike? Is it because you're not honest?

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

              • icon
                techflaws (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 6:59am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                You're so hostile

                Says the asshat with the Antidirt nick and Avatar! You cannot make this up. Congrats.

                *report*

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

                • icon
                  antidirt (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 9:14am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Says the asshat with the Antidirt nick and Avatar! You cannot make this up. Congrats.

                  *report*


                  I chose my name to protest the fact that Mike tried to ban me, desperately so, yet he can't admit what went down. I chose my name because Mike is still preventing me from posting freely from my home IP address--and this is true even though I am a financial contributor to the site. I chose the name because I think Mike publishes lots of ridiculous things that he won't stand behind or explain when challenged. So what? As far as hostility goes, you're one of the most hostile people here. I have yet to see you add anything of value to a discussion. Seriously. Congrats.

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

                  • icon
                    techflaws (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 10:37am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                    I chose my name to protest the fact that Mike tried to ban me, desperately so, yet he can't admit what went down

                    Desperately? Is that so? So enlighten us, what's stopping him from actually banning you and your cute Antidirt Avatar right now deleting your easily recognizable bullshit even under fake nicks?

                    Also, why would he try to ban you while allowing all other kinds of asshats on a regular basis? The only thing that sets you apart from the usual troll or moron is your persistence and the outright stupidity of your "arguments" and lies. So no, there's nothing for you to protest.

                    As far as hostility goes, you're one of the most hostile people here.

                    Towards asshats like you and rightfully so. Thanks.

                    I have yet to see you add anything of value to a discussion.

                    Apart from the fact that a lot of people definitely value obvious trolls being put in their place every time they rear their ugly head, your statement only proves that when spewing your usual bullshit, you're not being wilfully obtuse to derail the conversations but you actually ARE too dumb to get the points being raised in discussions.

                    Of course we've been suspecting that all along but thanks for clearing that up.

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

                    • icon
                      antidirt (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 10:48am

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                      Yet again, you're not adding anything of value to the discussion. You should try it sometime. This place would be better off if you did so.

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

                      • icon
                        techflaws (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 10:07pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                        It will be once you stop spewing your mindless bullshit and outright lies. Until then you'll rightfully get mocked and reported. You're welcome.

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

              • identicon
                Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2014 @ 7:49am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                Just like how you assume anyone disagreeing with you is a pirate.

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

                • icon
                  antidirt (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 9:15am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Just like how you assume anyone disagreeing with you is a pirate.

                  Wow. That's quite the broad generalization. Can you actually back it up with some examples? I don't think so, because it's not true.

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

        • icon
          Mike Masnick (profile), 18 Oct 2014 @ 7:02am

          Re: Re: Re:

          I merely noted this series of articles started as what appears to be an outlier subject since breach of purchase order contracts is not a topic ordinarily presented here.

          Again, you are wrong, as demonstrated in the links above. The original story was NOT even remotely about a "breach of purchase order contract" but about gag orders and lawsuits to silence criticism -- two topics we *regularly* cover here.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        icon
        antidirt (profile), 18 Oct 2014 @ 6:14am

        Re: Re:

        As for the ridiculous suggestion that we are "shilling" for Randazza, I have no problem calling Randazza out on issues when I think he's wrong.

        You're giving him the kid-glove treatment here, I think, but I appreciate the post. I've always thought he had a big mouth. I mean, who posts on their blog that they promised money to a senator if he would take certain action. That's just dumb.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2014 @ 6:03am

      Re:

      Even so, it doesn't change the fact that ROCA LABS is an unethical, sleaze-bag company.

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 19 Oct 2014 @ 6:14am

        Re: Re:

        Do you not mean "In my opinion..."? I would be reluctant to call something a "fact" based upon reading just one side of a story, not to mention that statements of opinion are less problematic in the eyes of the law than statements of purported facts.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 17 Oct 2014 @ 9:45pm

    Au Contraire

    The ROCA labs lawsuit story is a free speech issue, a topic often covered by this site.

    The ROCA labs defamation takedown request was a high powered beam of pure Streisand Radiation. This site could no more look away from the train wreck that is ROCA labs now than your dog can look away from your steak dinner.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2014 @ 4:55am

    ...Marc Randazza, a porn attorney and a speech advocate for pedophiles whose client list includes Phillip Greaves author of "The Pedophile's Guide”...
    I wonder if Don Juravin asked "Dr. Ross F." if it was OK for him to bring up the subject of pedophilia in his press release?

    Then again, Juravin is talking about Randazza advocating for pedophiles.
    I guess that's totally different than having one's product advocated by pedophiles.

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

  • identicon
    beech, 18 Oct 2014 @ 6:22am

    I don't see why it's such a problem. Lots of people say the same thing to politicians about their vote, "Mr Candidate, subject X is very important to me, if you feel the same as I you have my vote sir"

    The biggest problem is having money in politics at all.

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

  • icon
    steell (profile), 18 Oct 2014 @ 8:34am

    For those with reading difficulties

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

    • icon
      steell (profile), 18 Oct 2014 @ 8:46am

      Re: For those with reading difficulties

      And second try, since I have posting difficulties.

      From Wikipedia:
      "Justin C. Jones is a Democratic member of the Nevada Senate, elected in 2012."

      That means he was not a member of the Nevada Legislature at the time Randaza promised to vote for him and support his campaign.
      I have sent e-mails to various candidates promising to vote for them, and support their campaign, if they promised to support the Second Amendment, and I'm pretty sure such actions are normal.

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

  • icon
    shane (profile), 18 Oct 2014 @ 10:27am

    Get real

    How is a Mormon Democrat anything resembling a family values conservative? The ties between porn and the Democratic party are well understood.

    Also, I think it is a sad statement about the shrinking freedom of speech and of association in this country that someone would think that offering to fund someone's CAMPAIGN if they promise to vote on a specific issue in a specific way is "bribery". The entire purpose of electing officials is to cast a vote for someone to vote they way you want, and helping to pay for a campaign is classic freedom of association.

    And then there's the fact that the vote was nigh unanimous anyhow? With one abstention?

    What does it take to put a bow on something and call it a wrap these days?

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

    • icon
      LVDave (profile), 19 Oct 2014 @ 7:44am

      Re: Get real

      > How is a Mormon Democrat anything resembling a family >values conservative? The ties between porn and the >Democratic party are well understood.


      I'd wonder that myself.. Being a Mormon myself, I can't, in my wildest nightmares, ever concieve of either myself or ANY Mormon, who actually believes in what the Church teaches, being a democrat.. Which brings us to Harry Reid, who claims to be a Mormon....

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

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 20 Oct 2014 @ 11:40am

        Re: Re: Get real

        It's not as inconceivable as you might think. Yes, Democrats' position on various issues related to sexual immorality is horrendous, but on the other hand, look at Alma 30, where we see the root of an ideology that ended up wiping out their whole civilization, and just try and tell me that that's not a philosophy straight out of an Ayn Rand tract. When the Republican Party begins acting as a wholly-owned subsidiary of Gadianton, Inc., who else is there to vote for?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 18 Oct 2014 @ 12:15pm

    Crime, once exposed, has no refuge but in audacity.
    Tacitus, The Annals of Imperial Rome, ca. 117 CE

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

  • identicon
    KRA, 18 Oct 2014 @ 12:49pm

    I will vote for and contribute to the campaign of any legislator in my state who sponsors anti-SLAPP legislation.

    Whew. That was my first bribe. I'm going to go have a drink now or a cigarette or something.

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

  • identicon
    _Arthur, 18 Oct 2014 @ 2:45pm

    I sincerely hope Randazza gets indicted and convicted

    ...And then, use the precedent to send the Koch Brothers, Exxon, AT&T and a thousand other corporations and lobbyists in jail where they belong (unlike Marc).

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 18 Oct 2014 @ 6:12pm

      Re: I sincerely hope Randazza gets indicted and convicted

      Was thinking along those same lines.

      If what he did was grounds to be charged with a crime, I expect to see a lot of very big names behind the defendants bench shortly after this trial, unless it's that pesky double-standards popping up again, where the big names get away with it, and you only get crushed by the legal system if you're small fry.

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

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 20 Oct 2014 @ 11:28am

    So, it's reasonable to at least question Randazza's statements on the matter, but considering it "bribery" seems like a pretty big stretch

    Does it? Sounds to me like exactly what it was, and just because it was done to support something good (and I agree that an Anti-SLAPP law is good) doesn't mean it wasn't bribery or that it wasn't despicable. And the way Randazza is scrambling to hide it just underscores that point: he knows what he did was wrong.

    This seems like the sort of thing where Techdirt would be taking him to task, but here we appear to be seeing a "the ends justify the means" mentality taking hold. It was in support of a good cause, therefore it wasn't really anything bad.

    Well, no. Come on, call a spade a spade here.

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

    • icon
      That One Guy (profile), 21 Oct 2014 @ 12:19am

      Re:

      It's a dicey problem.

      'I'll give you money if you do X' = Yeah, most people would agree that something like that could constitute bribery.

      'I'll give you money if you indicate that you plan to do X' = Not quite so clear. Is it bribery, or providing support for a law that you'd like to see introduced? If a politician made it clear that he/she planned on introducing/sponsoring a law that I would like to see passed, and I tell them that due to that they will have my support and money for their campaign, is that bribery?

      The line may lie in the timing of the monetary offer. If you offer them money to do something, then it's bribery. If they make clear their intention to do something and in response to that you offer them money, then it's not. It's a tricky matter.

      Of course, like you noted, as as I noted as well above, the matter is a murky one, and his apparent attempts to delete his posts make his actions, whether they really are innocent or corrupt, look corrupt, so he really screwed up there.

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


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