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  • Jan 13th, 2015 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Speech or Commerce?

    By definition, if the government upholds a companies trademark they restrict everyone BUT that companies free speech. They limit everyone ELSES freedom of expression. Loosing the trademark doesn't prevent the company from using it on their gear, it just removes the restriction on everyone elses ability to use it for their own purposes.

    Removing a restriction on everyone BUT the company involved is not restricting the companies freedom of speech. So if you want to argue that the government shouldn't be restricting peoples speech using trademarks then you should have them remove trademarks all together.

    So I don't believe that the Redskins Trademark issue is a freedom of speech issue, it is a commerce issue and should be pursued as such. Loosing the mark doesn't prevent the redskins speech or expression.. it allows other people to use it without paying royalties to the Redskins and the NFL.

  • Jan 13th, 2015 @ 11:43am

    Re: Re: Speech or Commerce?

    A trademark and a copyright are both forms of limited monopolies. A trademark is a limited monopoly designed to avoid confusion in the marketplace. They have already lost that legal battle. Now they are attempting to misuse freedom of speech laws to regain the commercial benefits of owning the trademark.

    Trademark and freedom of speech are two different things, not the same thing. No one is limiting their speech, they are limiting their ability to profit from their speech. Again, two very different things. If they want to keep the name Redskins without owning the trademark they can do that. If they want to change their name to something that they can own the trademark on they can do that. I don't think that they can re-fight the battle with the Trademark Office, but I could be wrong on that.

    But to say that taking away their trademark prevents their speech? That I don't agree. It has nothing to do with speech and everything to do with commerce.

  • Jan 13th, 2015 @ 10:51am

    Speech or Commerce?

    As far as I know, the football team can keep calling themselves the Redskins, they just can't trademark it. That means they can't have a monopoly on the name/logo and have the exclusive right to make money off of it. That is very different than saying they can't call themselves the Redskins.

    I think this is an attempt to use free speech laws as an end run around limited monopoly laws. They just don't like the commercial ramifications of loosing the trademark.

  • Sep 17th, 2014 @ 11:52am

    (untitled comment)

    I wonder if they gave back the grenades as well as the launchers.

  • Aug 4th, 2014 @ 1:28pm

    (untitled comment)

    Is it sort of wrong for me to hope that he also calls and threatens TechDirt for this article? Because I know Techdirt won't back down and it would be fun to see how far the cartoonist tries to take it.

  • Jul 30th, 2014 @ 4:48pm

    Re: Re: What about HIPPA laws?

    Ah, ha! Your right. I just did some more digging and according to the AHJC:

    Additionally, the following are NOT protected health information: police and fire incident reports, and court records. Also, birth records and autopsy records are not protected health information to the extent they are maintained by state agencies. In addition, if a state FOIA law designates death records and/or autopsy reports as public information that must be disclosed, covered entities may disclose that protected health information without an authorization.

  • Jul 30th, 2014 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Re: Re: Privacy isn't copyright

    Hipaa has been around since 1996 and, according to the documents I linked to, does apply to autopsy's

  • Jul 29th, 2014 @ 4:59pm

    Re: Privacy isn't copyright

    No where in the source story did I see the word copyright, I DID see the word privacy. My understanding of HIPAA is that doctors, which includes coroners, are not supposed to give out medical records to people not directly related to the case.

    And by the way, if a doctor is taking pictures of his deceased patient that AREN'T medical records then that is a whole new level of creepy..

  • Jul 29th, 2014 @ 4:48pm

    What about HIPPA laws?

    I am not sure that there isn't a HIPPA violation here. If the photograph was taken as part of an autopsy then by my understanding it is a medical record. There is an exemption in HIPPA that allows a coroner to show photographs taken to other medical professionals for specific reasons.. which would imply that other reasons are covered by HIPPA.

    2003 HIPPA Carification
    45 CFR 164.512 (g)...
    Standard: Uses and Disclosures About Decedents
    1. Coroners and Medical Examiners. A covered entity may disclose protected health information to a coroner or medical examiner for the purpose of identifying a deceased person, determining a cause of death, or other duties as authorized by law. A covered entity that also performs the duties of a coroner or medical examiner may use protected health information for the purposes described in this paragraph.

    According to Dr. Stöppler autopsy records are covered by the same protections as those of a living patient. Reference

  • Feb 25th, 2014 @ 3:40pm

    Re: Re:

    Only the copyright holder has the right to make an adaptation, is my understanding of copyright work. So no, that he transformed it into a kind of graphic novel doesn't count.

  • Feb 25th, 2014 @ 2:22pm

    (untitled comment)

    I'm not so sure that this counts as fair use. If I printed out a single image of the Top Gun movie and began handing it out on the street for free then I don't feel it is transformative. I'm putting out exactly what was was in the movie, if a small part of it.

    I don't think that handing out individual frames via twitter is that different than passing them out as a printed out picture.

    Also, I think the courts have upheld Disney's stance that a single Mickey Mouse stuck on the side of a building runs afoul of both copyright and trademark.

    Now if he had commented on the frames or otherwise included some information he might have a case for it being a scholarly work...

  • Dec 18th, 2013 @ 1:50pm

    Google isn't punishing anyone

    Google really isn't punishing anyone, they are just improving their product. Their product is to link people with the content they are most interested in. In general, the spam sites are NOT the spots people are most interested in. So the changes to their algorithm moves them downwards in the responses.

    It's no more punishment than it is to not return Automobile web pages when the searcher was looking for the history of the NSA.

    Now they don't like it, certainly! But it's not being done to punish them, it's being done to make Google a better search engine for the people doing the searches.


  • Oct 21st, 2013 @ 9:40am

    (untitled comment)

    The only way I could see the person speaking as having the copyright on what was written was if he had a contract with the journalist saying so. I HAVE seen that in the past, where a person talks with a writer with the agreement that it is for a specific article or publication and that the speaker get's the copyright. But that is only the case when a specific contract that both party agreed to says it.

  • Jan 22nd, 2013 @ 10:33am

    (untitled comment)

    Ehhhh... Ok. We need to apply the same critical thinking to this story (as much as we like it) as we do to the other stories that appear in techdirt and look beneath the surface.

    Yes, EMI knew in certain circumstances that releasing free music can increase sales. That does not mean that releasing free music increases sales in all cases. That would require further study which doesn't seem to be referenced in this article.

    Today we see studies that show at least a correlation between piracy, free releases, and increased sales, so we are looking at these emails from that perspective.

    So honestly, I don't see this as an example of a smoking gun.

  • Jan 11th, 2013 @ 3:39pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: I can see copyright infringement

    I think the fair use claim is fairly strong, but whether it's technically infringement isn't the important point. What losses or harm have the game's creators suffered from someone else effectively giving them free promotion? I'd argue absolutely none. Contrast that to the harm from portraying themselves to potential customers as copyright bullies attacking others in the gaming community who aren't even direct competitors. Sound pretty damn stupid to me.

    Really? Which fair use claim do you feel applies? I was unable to think of one.
    But that it was copyright infringement was the point of my statement, in answer to the person who thought there wasn't any. Honestly, I agree they seem to have handled it poorly. I would think they would have granted the company a limited copyright and used the good will to suggest that the company actually license or sell their game as part of the product. That way both groups make money.

    However, just because I think that's better doesn't mean the copyright owner thinks it was. They could have gotten badly burned on other deals they made. They might not like the people who have the kickstarter. Their religion may prevent them from profiting from their product. They might be contracturaly obligated to the original artist to prevent others from using the art. I don't know. The truth is that we don't have laws to prevent people from being assholes. We can choose not to do business with them, to encourage others not to do business with them, to make fun of them, and all sorts of other options. But the truth is that they do seem to have the copyright that they are claiming, as opposed to all the news reports on groups who don't have a valid copyright but still file a DMCA takedown request.
    In this case, I'm glad to see the problem was quickly resolved. I would have wished that the company had contacted the android joystick maker first, rather than open a DMCA takedown.. but at least this time they seem to have the right to request a takedown. Now all we need to do is get the DMCA repealed.

  • Jan 11th, 2013 @ 12:50pm

    Re: Re: I can see copyright infringement

    Brand Confusion has to do with Trademark, not Copyright. Copyright has to do with who has the right to make copy's of a particular work. We have exceptions for fair use, but I'm not sure that applies to this case. I also don't feel that the use here was transformative. Indeed, I feel they were using peoples enjoyment of the games displayed on their console to better their chances of getting money.
    Also, I don't agree you can use a screenshot of mario to sell game controllers without permission from the copyright holder. Until the copyright laws are changed, I believe that is the case. What you CAN do is screenshot (or copy the cover or many other things) mario if your selling the Mario game you bought before, because you have a right to provide an example of a work as part of selling it.

  • Jan 11th, 2013 @ 12:22pm

    I can see copyright infringement

    I suspect that if I were to take screenshots of a video game and then used them to advertise my own product that has nothing to do with that video game then there would be a copyright violation for the artwork that appears inside the video game (leaving aside trademark for a moment, which would be a different matter).

    Remember, the graphics inside of a game are also copyrighted. While you could draw your own plumber, if you screenshot Mario and put him on a poster to sell tampons you have performed a copyright violation.

  • Nov 28th, 2012 @ 5:37pm

    (untitled comment)

    That's right, the government makes the laws that do or do not protect people from revealing their corruption.. and the citizens elect the politicians who make these laws and keep sending them back to washington. Remember, while the citizens respect for congress in general is poor, they are normally quite for their own congressmen.. It's the REST of those guys who are the problem. :D


  • Nov 28th, 2012 @ 5:01pm

    Re: Re: Ex-post-facto....maybe not, but something I need to say...

    He had no choice to do what he did through the channels he chose. The reason behind this is simply that nobody in the Government would listen to him or believe him. In an agency where ethics are supposed to be upheld at the highest level, he saw numerous ethics violations beimg committed. He quite possibly used up all his resources before using the last ditch effort to get the message out that is the internet.

    None of which is protected under the whistle blower law, which is what this article was about. The whistleblower law, and in this case the more important military whistleblower law, clearly delineate what they protect and neither the civilian nor the military laws protect someone giving information to a foreign national.

    As the details of the case come out we may well see arguments as to what other options he had available. It won't stop the destruction of his military career... because he definitely violated the USMJ no matter how well intentioned he was or how few choices he felt he had.

    And, of course, this raises another issue. It states that Bradly Manning clearly thought he was informing on illegal actions of the government. But what about the rest of the thousands of documents that didn't contain information on illegal actions of the government?

    Let us say the chief of police in a city commits murder and covers it up.. and the documents are inside a computer at the police station. I can still get in trouble if I grab ALL the information in the police computer (including private information about officers and citizens) and give it to someone else instead of just what is needed to reveal what happened. Of the documents that Bradley leaked, many were embarrassing without showing illegal activity.

    He had choices on how he released the information.. some of them might have seen less of a chance that the information gets out (such as reporting it to the inspector general or a congressman he trusted) but even if he did he chose to give ALL the documents to a foreign national. That's sort of the definition of espionage even if we feel that he was justified about telling someone about specific actions.

    And Mesonoxian, please point to the part of the USMJ that says it's unlawful to order someone not to release classified documents to the public? You will find it allows you to reveal unlawful activities to Congress, your chain of command, and to the inspector general. I think you'll find that the people charging him DO know the USMJ... you just don't like what the USMJ says.


  • Nov 28th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

    Re: Re: Court Martial is not the same as Federal Court

    If Manning believed that information he passed contained constitutional violations by the government, wouldn't it follow that the orders to keep the information secret would be unlawful? And if that was the case, wouldn't Manning be obliged to disobey that order, since following an unlawful order is also a court martial offense?

    It depends on the order. If the order is not to tell the inspector general, congress, or someone in his chain of command then it would be an unlawful order. If the order is to not give the secret to a foreign government or foreign national, then it would be a lawful order. You can't just stop at ordered to keep it secret. You have to include keep it secret from whom.

    Under the uniform code of military justice, an order is lawful unless there is an exception written into the UCMJ. My understanding is that there is no exception allowing military personnel to leak classified documents of our governments constitutional violations to a foreign national or government.


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