"Today, there is the latest hearing in his case, in which the US government is asking the court to issue a gag order barring both Brown and his lawyer from "making any statement to members of any television, radio, newspaper, magazine, Internet (including, but not limited to, bloggers), or other media organization about this case, other than matters of public record.""
This is a very interesting statement. When the government want to decide if a person is a journalist, they include internet (including but not limited to bloggers) as media when it suits them, but say "you are only a journalist if you get a paycheck" other times.
If the government keeps speaking out of both sides of their mouth, it's going to choke.
Re: "Any such case will take years and millions of dollars."
Not sure why this was flagged as spam, aside from the fact that it posted by someone named "out_of_the_blue". That said, it doesn't have his usual "take a loopy tour of techdirt" signature.
The argument he posts here does have debatable merit. I would challenge the TechDirt community to not flag a comment that has debatable merit just because it comes from a regular troll.
My biggest issue with blue, from what I have seen, is that his comments seem to stem from a black-and-white view of the world. He sees things as either wholly right or wholly wrong, with no grey area. Corporations = bad, Copyright = good, etc.
While I disagree with that sort of view, there are many who share similar views. His statement here does have a certain validity, and his final line is very appropriate in today's legal system.
So the government is immune to copyright infringement? I can see torrent downloaders by the score sitting in front of the White House, gobbling up Wi-Fi to download movies, and be free of prosecution, because the Whitehouse IP address is immune to copyright infringement.
Remember, reasonable doubt. If he can prove the phones weren't there, it does cast SOME doubt that he was not there. And since guilty requires "beyond all reasonable doubt" it should be enough to set him free.
Umm, this is sort of funny. If he goes to court claiming infringement, and the courts find that the use of the image is not infringing, it will put a huge hole in the current copyright regime and set the MAFIAA against the government.
On the other hand, if the image IS found to be infringing, then specific organization that uses the image can be on the hook for a nice chunk of change (not that they couldn't afford the 150,000 dollar statuatory fee). Of course, he could go for ACTUAL damages, and get a percentage of all money made under the PRISM program, which would require discovery on the program, to find out how much money was made on it.
Honestly, I wish these multinational corporations would do this. Apple, Google, et. all could literally drive France back 30 years by saying "We are not going to pay your extortion fee, and so we are pulling out of your country until you eliminate it."
Faced with an angry public that can no longer enjoy what other countries have, the french government would have no choice but to concede. Sure, some companies may try to fill in the vacuum, but the public wants what the public wants, and if the French government is driving these businesses away, the people will let them know what they think. I hope those politicians have ALOT of money come election time, because they will literally have to pay people directly to vote for them.
My response to the politicians: There are still shoplifters, there are still people to break traffic laws (speeding, running red lights, rolling stop signs, et. all). I think that the politicians need to be more proactive in stopping these threats.
Perhaps a system where we just throw everyone in jail because they could potentially do something wrong.
Don't get me wrong, what happened here was horrible, but the fault is not Google's. It isn't even the police's or the politicians. All of us are responsible for the safety and well-being of ourselves and others. Part of this is making sure our children are safe, and reporting to police if we believe a crime is being committed.