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  • Feb 23rd, 2017 @ 7:43am

    States are the battleground

    Most of the reasons the US has lousy broadband (and in many places no Internet at all - not even 3G) are to be found in state legislatures.

    This isn't new - all the focus on the FCC and net neutrality has distracted a lot of people from this fact for a long time.

    Maybe a silver lining in Ajit Pai's chairmanship of the FCC is that the focus will return to the states, which is where the real problem was in the first place.

  • Feb 21st, 2017 @ 1:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Strategy?

    Thank you for a very informative answer. I learned a lot from it, and will make somewhat less misinformed comments on the subject in the future.

    I didn't realize that this was still in the pretrial stage where the truth of the allegations are not yet in play. (Shows I didn't do my homework; I hope that's forgivable in a blog comment.)

    Perhaps I'm biased from my own brush with the court system*, but despite my very recent schooling, my impression remains that in "slam-dunk" cases courts make an effort to return a just verdict.

    That is, the necessity of a vigorous defense is proportional to the weakness of one's case.

    Each party to any lawsuit will naturally take different viewpoints re how strong each side's case is, but cases are nonetheless objectively weak or strong.

    It shouldn't - and I still think doesn't - take much to defend against a weak case.

    Such as Ayyadurai v. Floor64, Inc. et al.

    * I pled nolo contendere pro se, which I think granted the judge both latitude and an obligation to look after the hapless pro se defendant.

  • Feb 21st, 2017 @ 8:00am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Strategy?

    I have not.

    Once many decades ago I defended myself pro se on a felony charge (driving a motorcycle without insurance - yes, that was a felony, at least then).

    The whole thing was settled in an hour (I paid a $50 fine, and not a penny in legal fees).

    I'm not snarking here - I'd truly appreciate it if you could explain what exactly is wrong with my understanding here.

  • Feb 20th, 2017 @ 8:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Strategy?

    "That's... not how it works at all" doesn't strike me as an answer at all (let alone one worthy of a response).

    Care to elaborate for those of us without your understanding of the American legal system, the concept of "procedural posture", or how appeals work?

    Surely I can't be the only one.

  • Feb 19th, 2017 @ 4:37pm

    Re: Re: Strategy?

    What makes you think the "aspirin" won't work?

    Do you think courts care nothing for justice or the law?

  • Feb 18th, 2017 @ 8:45am


    Mike, I'm sorry to hear this has been so distracting to you and the other TD staffers.

    I wonder if you're handling it right.

    I know it's easy to be cool and relaxed when it's not my own business and investment at stake, but I think it's a mistake, on multiple levels, to respond with lots of time, attention, and legal expense.

    The point is that Ayyadurai has no case. He clearly didn't invent email; that's trivial to prove in court. He's clearly attacking you solely for pointing out that the emperor is naked.

    There are other legal arguments, but given these facts I think they're irrelevant.

    I hear lots of TD commenters claiming that people have no choice but to fold in the face of baseless legal intimidation, because of the cost of defense.

    By making a huge deal out of this, raising lots of money (I bought 2 shirts and a mug), and admitting to your own distraction, you are reinforcing that meme.

    Which I think is plain wrong. Our court system isn't that bad. It does care for simple justice and the plain letter of the law.

    Instead of responding with all-hands-on-deck, red alert, and a 30 page filing, how about having your lawyer spend 4 hours drafting a 2 page reply:

    • Ayyadurai didn't invent email. See these references.
    • This is a baseless attack meant to silence his critics
    • We want legal fees and damages for this baseless case

    Then shut up. Let the courts do their work.

    Even if you lose (unlikely), you can always appeal.

    You are now 2 cents richer. Good luck. :-)

  • Feb 17th, 2017 @ 8:01pm

    Gifts are not allowed, owning property (even IP), is

    If the trademark is a gift of the Chinese government, then he can't accept it.

    If the trademark is his (intellectual) property by right under Chinese law (in this case because he was first-to-file), then it's allowed.

    Which of the two cases apply may be difficult to say, which is one of the (many) reasons why Presidents have mostly divested themselves of personal business while in office.

    Given Mr. Trump's very personal feelings about his business (after all, most of it seems to involve pasting giant letters T R U M P on every possible surface), this was always going to be a problem. But we knew that going in.

  • Feb 17th, 2017 @ 8:19am

    Re: enforcement ?

    Vito, we have to start somewhere. If your attitude is "nobody follows the rules" then rules don't matter and we have chaos where the strong crush the weak.

    This is a good start - reasonable rules. They should be praised and encouraged.

    Now they have to be enforced. That's the next step.

    The only way to make progress is to work at it.

  • Feb 11th, 2017 @ 2:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Guess the highest bidder hasn't stepped forth yet.

    I suppose you think only Trump supporters use sloppy hyperbole in conversation.

  • Feb 10th, 2017 @ 1:48pm

    I can't stand people who claim credit for the work of others

    Just ordered 2 shirts and the coffee mug.

    There is a special place in hell for people like Shiva Ayyadurai who claim credit for the work of others.

    I personally used email before he claims to have invented it. (Yeah, I'm not "old" mugwump for nothing.)

  • Feb 9th, 2017 @ 3:02pm

    Re: Re: Re: So...stop doing that

    Thank you, Wendy, for once again showing that civil discourse is possible between people of differing viewpoints.

    Actually I agree with everything you say here - Mike's post is entirely reasonable, and what is going on with the USPTO (and many other things) is indeed worrying.

    My original comment was directed at the AC who snarked that the answer is "Guess the highest bidder hasn't stepped forth yet." (Certainly not at Mike, for whom I have great respect.)

    My position is pretty clear from my other comments in this thread. I'm no fan or supporter of Mr. Trump.

    It pains me greatly to find myself in the position of defending him against unreasonable accusations. There are plenty of reasonable accusations to attack him with - not least his positions on IP law, civil forfeiture, trade, immigration, civil rights, and authoritarianism in general.

    Allowing our "collective heads to explode" is not a strategy. And we need strategy.

  • Feb 8th, 2017 @ 8:10am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...stop doing that

    Actually, Roger, my "civil war" comment was in reply to the AC who enjoys watching "leftist heads exploding" (that post is now flagged, rightly so).

    So if I was accusing anybody of trying to start a civil war, I was accusing Trump's defenders.

    Please read the thread with a bit more care before making accusations.

    Of course, it takes two to tango, so in that sense my comment does apply to both sides.

    And, yes, I've got other things going on in my life beside politics and don't watch every news video. I spend way too much time posting here as it is.

    Just in this thread you've talked about my "head exploding", accused me of demanding "unspoiled unconditional love for Trump", of equating "criticizing Trump with trying to start a civil war", and of spouting "imbecilic Trump wingnuttery".

    Yet, also in this thread, I made clear I oppose Trump, oppose civil forfeiture, and fear "discrediting all opposition to Trump".

    Elsewhere on TD (and you and I have both been here for a while) I've said I oppose Trump on immigration, trade, IP policy, and more, and that I prefered Hillary Clinton (who I despise) to Trump.

    And I haven't called you any names, or insulted you.

    So it seems to me that it's you who are demanding unspoiled unconditional hate for Trump, and smearing and insulting those who take an even slightly less extreme position. [See, I do know how to use markdown.]

    We are all going to have to live together in this country under President Trump (ugh; pains me to say that title) for the next four, and maybe eight, years. Half the electorate voted for him (not including me).

    If everyone who expresses anything other than unspoiled unconditional hate for the POTUS is an "imbecilic wingnut" then so are fully half of your fellow citizens.

    I think it would be better for all of us if passions cooled a bit and we stopped calling each other names. Your opponents may indeed be wrong, but that does not make them monsters.

    With that, I'll move on to other threads and topics. Have a good day, Roger.

  • Feb 8th, 2017 @ 7:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Guess the highest bidder hasn't stepped forth yet.

    I'll take your word for it, Mike.

    If it wasn't someone at TD, then it was someone not at TD, and you should probably look into changing admin passwords (or some such).

    Because it wasn't me. I know about markdown (and I didn't click the box that time), and I didn't put *stars* around it either.

    Somebody, somewhere, is playing sneaky games.

  • Feb 7th, 2017 @ 10:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Guess the highest bidder hasn't stepped forth yet.

    That's interesting. The italics on the word "everybody" were not in my original post. Somebody (presumably with admin privileges at Techdirt) changed it.

    (I don't make those kind of generalizations.)

  • Feb 7th, 2017 @ 9:08pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: So...stop doing that

    Roger, you seem unhappy with me even when I agree with you.

    I haven't seen the video. These days I trust nothing in the media unless I see it myself.

    This has become an unfriendly place for moderates. That is sad.

    ...Loons to the left of me, monsters to the right. Stuck in the middle with you...

  • Feb 7th, 2017 @ 3:35pm

    Re: Re: So...stop doing that

    Please go back and read the thread more carefully.

    I was replying to the other AC who said "it's fantastic non-stop entertainment to watch leftist heads exploding at everything Trump says or does !"

    Yes, there is entertainment value in watching people wildly overreact.

    I am not, and never have been, a Trump supporter. I voted for somebody else.

  • Feb 7th, 2017 @ 3:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: So...stop doing that

    That, if an accurate report, is indeed something worth fighting over.

    I'm all for fighting Mr. Trump when he proposes or advocate bad policies - as in this case.

    But it is the policy that must be fought, not the man.

    Not until it's time for another election.

  • Feb 7th, 2017 @ 12:58pm

    Re: So...stop doing that

    I know - it's entertaining.

    There are more important things at stake than entertainment.

    These are our fellow citizens - on both left and right.

    We all live in the same country and have to get along together. The alternative is civil war. If this tribalist partisanship keeps on it's present course, that's where we are going to end up.

    Civil war wasn't fun in 1861, and it's not fun in Syria in 2017.

    I don't want to go there.

    So - please. Stop giggling at your opponent's "heads exploding" metaphorically, lest real heads belonging to real mothers and fathers, sisters and brothers, boys and girls - start exploding.

    Because that will happen if we don't all knock it off.

  • Feb 7th, 2017 @ 11:36am

    Re: Guess the highest bidder hasn't stepped forth yet.

    As someone very unhappy with much of the Trump agenda, I wish people like you would stop doing this.

    There are many, many legitimate complaints that can be made about Trump's administration.

    Make those complaints.

    Don't make up stupid complaints completely unsupported by evidence. Everybody on the left has been doing this, and they are making themselves look ridiculous.

    Worse, by going ballistic over trivial or imaginary things, they are discrediting all opposition to Trump.

    More than ever, we need now a cool-headed, rational, reasonable opposition that makes valid points against Trump's follies.

    So...stop doing that.

  • Jan 27th, 2017 @ 9:57am

    Re: Re: Re: But the Chinese!

    Trump loves Russia and hates China.

    I don't know why - my own inclinations are more or less the opposite.

    But let's push Trump's buttons.

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