It's easy to say "paywalls" (do you have a problem with subscription service as a concept) don't work - but they do.
What doesn't work is trying to sell non-unique content at a unique content price. Since most local and regional papers depends heavily on wire services for content, they are selling a non-unique product, something others are willing to give for "free" (free as in check out all our ads). Those papers have to consider what unique content they really have, and value it accordingly.
Great story, but where is the "sue the into the ground" mentality? This is a perfect case of DMCA abuse, where the claim is clearly fabricated from end to end, yet nobody seems willing to step up to the plate and take a legal shot at these people.
Sorry, but you are wrong here. Think of the cash like any other possession. The police stop you (say for speeding) and they ask you whos car this is. You say "I don't know" and well, see how that works out.
Carrying a bunch of cash, and not being able to say where you got it or what you intend to do with it on this particular trip creates an issue similar to car above. Think about it: You have 50k cash on you, you have no source for that money, you have no reason to have it with you, and you are going on a trip and carrying it with you - at the peril of being robbed or worse. Why?
Police are well within bounds to seize the car if you cannot prove why you have it (or to ask the owner to take control if they are around). Cash is no different.
Moreover, you fall into the realm of cash transaction laws.
Banks are similarly required to report such transactions as despots or transfers over $10,000 to the IRS. Generally people moving cash are trying to avoid reporting - often because they don't have enough declared income to have so much cash.
When you consider that a wire costs about $25 to send bank to bank, it seems pretty silly to carry large amounts of cash to someone, unless you are trying to avoid reporting...
A little bit of math shows that the average haul is just over 40,000 per person (209 million, 5000 or so people targeted). Now, while I understand the whole arm waving thing about "the police are stealing their money" I have to ask: Why are people wandering around with that much cash?
This isn't "took the cash out of the bank to buy something" money, these people are travelling across the country with huge sums of money on them, risking their apparent life savings rather than sending a bank wire, getting a bank draft, or other financial device making the funds "portable" - all in the name, apparently, of avoiding detection.
You gotta ask why... and why people have so much cash to start with.
"One slight problem with that argument, the government is meant to represent and benefit the people, and not the robber barons of industry."
Not correct - it is to represent ALL of the people, including the "robber barons". It's not to tilt things towards benefiting the people at any cost to others. Remember too that jobs in IP benefit the economy and the public in general. All that tax money pays for your benefits... :)
"The ability of the US government to simply take millions of dollars based on accusations and without a guilty verdict in a trial should be tremendously worrying."
All Kim Dotcom has to do is show up in court and faces the charges, and the forfeiture wouldn't be such an issue. An innocent man would be sleeping on the court's doorstep for the chance to prove his innocence and resolve the issue, making the seizure moot (and reversible).
Kim's problem is that he is trying hard to avoid US courts, he has been fighting tooth and nail to not face justice, and without a doubt he would have spent his way through his (alleged) ill gotten gains in doing so. There would be little or no real justice if at the end of the day, Kim can use the money obtained in his crimes (alleged) to live an over the top lifestyle - which he is trying to do anyway.
What would be worrying would be allowing people who rob a bank to use the money they obtained and then transferred to offshore accounts to pay for their criminal defense. Like it or not, that is essentially what Kim tried to do.
Fucking cops, heading to where criminals are and actually doing something about them. Holy crap, next they will give up the donuts!
"If you look at large cities, these circling planes clealy, and beyond any reasonable doubt, deliberately avoid cirling above the neighborhoods of 'the halves' and the maps are like literal targets above the heads of the have nots."
How about "over the areas with high crime and away from the areas with low crime"? See, the narrative plays both ways. If you overlay the Oakland income map with the Oakland crime map, you will notice almost a perfect correlation. It's just one of those things. Police need to work the areas where they are more likely to find crime, criminals, and criminal activity. They aren't going to knock down too much crime if they are patrolling gated communities and such, are they?
As for the main story, license plate readers to fight terrorism is a long stretch, but any funding is funding and local departments will do what they can to get it. Taking the tools and using them for some good (dealing with the massive amounts of unpaid fines, unlicensed cars, and outstanding warrants) is not such a bad thing in the scheme of things.
For me the key here is the smart phone and it's point as the hub of all things. it's your personal input device and what really runs the show.
The future appears to be mostly secured / controlled black boxes that will do your bidding.
The good news is that it means that devices should continue to be relatively cheap, as engineering the control panel and interface is often very time consuming and adds complexity to the build. Giving a device bluetooth, wifi, or a network connection and having a software interface seems way more practical.
I think you are missing the point that IP related industry is a big enough part of the US economy to merit having people stand up for it. It's the copyright office's mandate to do so and to keep congress informed.
It's easy to spin it and say they are a lobby group for industry. Reality is they are a lobby group for the rights of creators and indirectly for the economic activity generated by them. It's easy to confuse the two, especially if you are trying hard to get one answer and not the other.
I think this is a case of legal cannon fodder: A series of lawsuits will be leveled, each one getting slightly more refined and finding perhaps the narrow gaps between things, until finally one of them gets through and Twitter or Facebook are forced to defend themselves beyond pointing at Section 230 and smiling smugly.
This first try was weak in a few areas, but those who follow will have a couple of guide posts that tell them where out of bounds is. Sooner or later, someone will get one in bounds and all bets are off.
One of the problems with any lawsuit like this is that you have to peel away the various layers of a song to get to what is really at question.
The Stairway to Heaven suit was a perfect example. There is a lot on the plate. Knowing that the cord / picking sequence is but a small part of the "original" song, and that the sequence in STH is just one of a number of variations on a similar cording structure makes it harder to show a true "rip off".
Sheehan, well... he has a bigger problem in both cases because the music in question isn't a single riff or a few seconds of a 10 minute song, but rather the whole song. It's not just a question of "feel" but also a question of structure, phrasing, or performance, and such. STH was a question of a single line, Sheehan is a question of a much more substantial replication.
Inspired by should never mean a duplicate of. If you want to cover the song, respect the original artist (something Zeppelin was very bad at too... back in the nasty days before proper copyright laws!).
It would be harder for a court to rule in Sheehan's favor on this one than the Zep case, and no, it's not about money (we wish it was that simple).
The court did it not because it's a good or bad idea, but because it's a huge and almost unimaginable attempt by the FCC to "take over" control and oversight of internet service providers.
My assumption is that Wheeler has realizes that, given a short to medium amount of time, that pretty much everything the FCC current regulates will have gone onto the net. Telephones, TV, radio, "cable tv"... it's all moving to a more singular, IP network driven world. At some point, the FCC will no longer have anywhere near as much control over things as they do now.
Trying to jump in front of the "internet problem" seems to be more about self perpetuation, rather than anything else.
Where do you think Wheeler will end up working when his time expires at the FCC? I'm thinking Comcast.
Uber can be cheaper. It's not always cheaper. At closing time for the bars, you can bet it's not going to be significantly cheaper, as surge / demand pricing would kick in and the shortage of drivers would move that even further along.
For someone drunk enough not to drive, the difference of a few bucks one way or the other isn't going to be a sudden sway issue. If their taxi home is $46 instead of $53, do you think they will suddenly take an Uber instead of driving?
You have to apply a little logical thinking here. There are more significant issues at hand than a 10% or 205% lower taxi fare. There is some other issue or set of issues that keeps the drunks in their cars.
"when you ban these services and immediately see a surge in DUI driving as it happened in Texas then it's kind of hard not to tell that these apps had a major influence in DUI. "
You are using the "reverse" to try to prove the "forward" which isn't always easy. Part of the problem here is that many people are so pro Uber that they would refuse a normal taxi outright just to make a stand. You are also taking a fact and pulling to much out of it:
"DUI (driving under the influence) arrests have gone up by 7.5% compared to the previous year. " (quoted from Techdirt story).
A 7.5% increase sounds huge, until you realize that the numbers for a full month moved from 334 to 359. Put in context, they went from 10 a day (in a 31 day month) to 11.5. They entire increase could have been caused by a single police DUI checkpoint. It's a typical percentage trick, making very small numbers seem so much more significant.
"the fact that it's easier means it must have some impact somewhere, right? "
Nope, sorry. No data to support this. There is no "must" here. Potentially it does, but that assumes that the only thing stopping someone from drunk driving was the availability of a ride. That would make sense where there are no existing taxi services, but is less meaningful where taxis are abundant.
"Your schtick doesn't change, you say meaningless, misleading or irrelevant "facts" as if you're refuting something, yet you have no actual point unless it's a fiction. But, hey, it's a guest author so you can't personally attack them this time at least."
You summed up your post perfectly. "Must"? Really?
Hi Mike, nice of you to expedite the appearance of my post. Your need to slam me apparently outweighs the need for continued censorship punishment.
Where to start?
"You'd have a point if it were a civil case.
But that doesn't apply to a criminal case."
Well, see, in the conspiracy to profit from copyright infringement, this is an important part of the case. A criminal conspiracy requires only that two or more parties agree to participate in an illegal act, usually for the gain of at least one party. In this case, KA is the one gaining (by knowingly selling ad space on pages featuring copyright material), and the other parties provide the material with the goal of distribution. They conspire together to reach their goals, by furthing the common goal (piracy).
Oh, and basic US law says that you do not need to list co-conspirators. They may have unindicted co-conspirators (who may have committed the actual bad act), or you may have persons unknown even to the person charged. There is no legal requirement of knowing the other people involved or meeting in some dark, smoky room to work out the conspiracy. Operating with a common goal (and profiting by whatever means in achieving that goal) seems to meet the legal standard.
"Again, you should learn what the law says before spouting off and showing your ignorance."
Actually, I think you may want to reconsider that. Even Kim Dotcom figured out that parts of his indictment are related to things that they did which showed knowledge of the infringement - even without actually doing the infringement themselves. Pure search engines (such as Google) generally have a way out because they don't embellish searches or fill their pages with "fast download links" for the material. Knowledge is important here!
Finally, you also seem to mock the money laundering charge. Yet, just like with Kim, it's an important part of the process. See, if Kickass was legal and above board, the owner would not have worked so hard to obscure the final destination of payments or accept payments in "untraceable" crypto currency. The actions of the owner is to move the ill gotten gains as far away from the business as possible, so as to minimize financial risk if shut down. Moving the money through crypto services is a form of laundering, turning dirty money in the top to clean money in the owner's pocket. If the money was all legal and above board, he would generally want to keep it in the business and pay lower corporate taxes, rather than taking it as significantly more expensive personal income - of course, assuming that he declared the income at all (another case, possibly in another jurisdiction).
Finally, let me say this: You have spent a fair bit of time over the years proving your legal savvy by supporting things like "copyright violates the first amendment". Let's be honest here, you aren't always right. Perhaps rather than just slamming an opposing view with a "you should learn the law" throw away diss, perhaps you should consider that you have your own failings in the area as well. Yes, you are well read - but the words versus the real world are two very different things!
Oh, and can you turn the censorship off already? You really look petty and mean by censoring my comments.