I was in law school back in the late 90s and the proposed DMCA and the bill that eventually passed was a huge topic of discussion. No one discussed the idea that Pre-1972 music was not covered by the DMCA. In fact, it would have been ludicrous not to include such music because the entire purpose of the DMCA was to give immunity to various internet companies.
Now about 15 years later, without any legislative support and in complete contradiction of the purpose of the DMCA, the RIAA is arguing that the DMCA does not apply to pre-1972 music. And a court bought it!?
I realize judges don't like making law and if there's an ambiguity in a statute, the legislative body can correct it. However, in the real world we've relied on the fact that the pre-1972 recordings were included in the DMCA. To pull those out now, is simply asinine.
I don't know if you can tell, but I'm kinda pissed about this.
I just left court this morning where the judge was criticizing an attorney because his client wanted a trial. In open court, on the record, and in front of his client, she criticized the defense attorney for not having "sufficient client control" in his failing to talk his client into a plea deal. The defense attorney responded that his client believes himself to be innocent and wants his trial.
And that's the real problem with the plea process. It turns the criminal justice system into an assembly line process. But when someone wants to get off the line and actually protect his rights, e.g., demand full discovery, interview witnesses, have a trial, the whole process goes of whack and it really pisses off judges and prosecutors who are used to doing it the easy way.
To such judges and prosecutors, exercising your rights is a waste of everyone's time.
"Breaking Bad would have had a much smaller audience, and likely a much shorter run."
That's sort of speculative. However, we can say with certainty that piracy expands the potential audience.
With a bad show, such expansion will not help. However, for a quality show, it will increase the number of viewers/fans. It's up to the producers to monetize that growth. It appears that in the case of Breaking Bad, they did a pretty good job in that respect.
Ok, one more but no one will probably ever believe it. But here I go.
This guy was injured while at work and got a pretty good settlement. Since he was home all the time he volunteered to watch the neighborhood kids. Eventually tapes were found of him taking off the girls' clothing, very young girls, like 3 to 5, having oral sex on them, and then redressing them.
Here's the part you won't believe. The tapes were found when some local criminals decided to break into his house and steal his safe.
After finally getting it back home and open and finding the videos, these criminals were so disgusted they turned them over to the police and admitted their crimes of breaking and entering and safe cracking. They served time for what they did, but it must have been better than living with what they knew.
The first was a guy who pled guilty for possessing child porn. During the plea he tried to blame it on pop-ups and malware. The judge asked, "If it was all downloaded accidentally, why was so much of it found printed out?
The defendant said with a straight face, "Your honor, I only printed it out so I could throw it away."
The second was a guy who was accused of taking hidden-camera videos of his underage step daughter having sex with her boyfriend. Of course he only did it to make sure she was actually having sex with her boyfriend so he could talk to her about it later. He was also accused of giving her enemas when she was much younger, because according to him, she had undiagnosed bowel problems.
The last is a 50+ year old guy who was babysitting his neighbors' 9 year old daughter. He was caught in bed with her by her parents when they got home. His excuse? He got tired so he stripped completely naked and got into the parents' bed. Then when the 9 year old crawled into bed and started having sex with him in the dark, he assumed it was his 50+ year old, nearly 200 pound wife. He was convicted of first degree criminal sexual conduct and is currently service a life time in prison.
This all started when the Right started complaining that criminals were getting off on "technicalities." Think about that. Such complaints reduced the Constitution to being nothing more than a a mere technically. Not something real, but a collection minor and esoteric points of law that should be fixed.
The government violating the Constitution should never be seen as a trivial matter.
Snowden clearly did have other avenues. Great criminals always have a backup plan, and this is the fed's backup plan. "Whistleblowers don't need to go to the press, if something is wrong, just tell us." Who's not going to buy that?!
However, the other avenue is clearly illusory and and was designed to find out who the whisteblowers are, to keep information from going public, and to use against whistleblowers who go straight to the press. There is simply no way the plan could work as designed.
Obama currently has no credibility. It's clear he'll say anything, no matter how ludicrous, to keep us in the dark. Snowden's leak won't destroy his presidency, but it has destroyed his legacy.