Funniest/Most Insightful Comments Of The Week At Techdirt

from the words-and-letters dept

This week, our first place winner on the insightful side is Stephen T. Stone, neatly taking down the "don't rush to judgement" angle on the black college student who was thrown to the ground and got a gun pointed at his head for taking a selfie:

We have three law enforcement agencies refusing to explain what prompted the need to tackle, assault, and ultimately arrest the only young Black man on a bus full of students coming from a swim meet. We have the perspectives of the victim and, I assume, several of the witnesses to the event. Only a fool takes these facts into account and thinks “maybe we need to hear both sides before we make a judgment”.

In second place, it's rangda with a cutting quip about the same incident:

As one of my facebook friends says "99% of cops are giving the rest a bad name". Sadly sometimes I think his estimate is too low.

For editor's choice on the insightful side, we start out with Scary Devil Monastery expanding on the claim that "we have only one perspective" on what happened in that incident:

That's wrong.

We have multiple police officers using force and oppression against a civilian. and not a single one of them has justification for it. They haven't even tried to give a reason for their actions.

When a person raises his hand against any other person the default legal situation is that either there is a good reason which can be clearly shown - or it's a felony assault. This is true whether the person raising the hand is a law enforcer or not. In this case assault is already proven. Justification which would make it a legal action, has not.

So if the police can't bring a reason to the table then it's already an open-and-shut case of police brutality. No further questions need to be asked. The facts of their guilt and physical action is already demonstrably proven.

If the police HAVE a reason for the assault then the situation becomes a different one. Until they do that, however, the only evidence we have is that they assaulted a civilian for no reason.

The only fool here is the one trying to invent facts out of whole cloth and wishful thinking.

Next, we pivot to the story about the copyright dispute with Disney over a unicorn van design, with Peter highlighting what we can learn about Disney's real attitude:

Thank, you, Disney, ...

... for making absolutely clear that, contrary to what your PR department says, you do not see copyright law as a means to ensure fair compensation of creatives or, as the founding fathers put it, "to promote the arts and sciences".

Over on the funny side, our first place winner is an anonymous commenter talking about the driver who was left stranded when a "smart" rental car lost cellular service, and the coming solutions for the issue:

So what your saying is that they will soon have 5G power super smart cars. that can only be used in visual range of a major sports stadium. and only if a game isn't currently happening.

In second place, it's another anonymous commenter with a joke about Hot Water, one of the winning games from our public domain game jam:

That's how instant games work. They come dessicated, so adding hot water is the optimal rehydration method, giving also a preferred serving temperature.

For editor's choice on the funny side, we start out with Beefcake, who linked the failing rental car to a potential industry resurgence:

Meanwhile, somewhere a buggy-whip factory is planning to reopen.

And finally, we've got kog999 responding to the game developer who took an amusing jab a pirate group by selling posters featuring their information file:

but what incentive will codex have to crack games if people dont respect their NFO file's copyright.

That''s all for this week, folks!


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  1. icon
    Scary Devil Monastery (profile), 24 Feb 2020 @ 5:23am

    Re: Misunderstanding

    "What I do object to is presumption of guilt without legal proceedings."

    Well, it has been established that the cops assaulted Mr. Butler and threatened him with hot weapons.

    We are already in the legal situation where one of two scenarios must be established;

    1) The officers have provided a perfectly valid justification for their rather violent and hazardous apprehension of Mr. Butler. In fact, they would have been perfectly clear about that justification before they performed the coordinated apprehension.

    2) The officers did not have a clear-cut reason for their actions in which case they are - as you noted - "guilty as hell".

    The point is that the "legal proceedings" we need to look at here, have already been performed. There is no doubt that the police assaulted Mr. Butler. There is also no doubt that the officers have failed to instantly provide good reason for this assault.
    And this is pretty important. The failure to provide due reason means that what took place was simple assault. There are no further questions to ask from the officers when this is the case.

    What is more interesting is that for these officers to see a courtroom to establish which penalty will be applied a number of hurdles have to be passed through the legal system - one which is inextricably linked to the officers in question and where the stakeholders have every motive not to see policemen convicted.

    so although the principle of law would have these officers behind bars for being unable to produce a valid reason to use their violence monopoly, the practice means it's highly unlikely even one of these officers will ever see the inside of a courtroom as part of the penal case this should result in.

    Instead Butler has to bring his grievance through the civil system. I find that already a clear indication that the laws are "laid flat" to a very alarming degree.


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