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  • Jul 21st, 2016 @ 7:41am


    I was thinking the same thing. I get it, the TechDirt crowd likes comments sections and other blogs/media outlets are less enthusiastic about them. But does the topic really deserve this many stories written about it?

  • Jun 22nd, 2016 @ 11:39am


    That first paragraph was supposed to be a quote. Sigh. My HTML game is weak today.

  • Jun 22nd, 2016 @ 11:39am

    (untitled comment)

    It seems noteworthy, of course, that at least in the US you're supposed to file for a patent within a year of any public use or description of the invention. If he's trying to patent stuff "from the beginning," he might be a bit late.

    And in much of the rest of the world, there is no grace period at all. I'm not aware of any countries that offer more than a one year grace period (but I'm happy to be corrected there).

    That seems like kind of a huge problem for technology that has been extensively analyzed and discussed for several years now.

  • Jun 10th, 2016 @ 7:24am

    (untitled comment)

    I really don't understand the outrage here. If the authors believe their use is fair use, then they should have gone ahead and used the quotes without payment. If it's fair use, why are they even trying to get "formal permission"?

    That seems to be the stance the NYT has taken: if you're asking us for permission, then we're assuming you've decided your use is not fair and here's our licensing rate. You can argue that rate is too high, but that has nothing to do with fair use.

    To suggest otherwise seems to suggest that the NYT should have some role in determining what is and is not fair use, which is bonkers.

  • Apr 1st, 2016 @ 3:12pm

    (untitled comment)

    The court's judgment doesn't seem to be available on CanLII at the moment, but it's been posted here:

    I've only skimmed it but it looks like it's a good read for those who are interested in the analysis that goes on when issuing these kinds of orders (in the Canadian context, of course).

  • Mar 4th, 2016 @ 7:28am

    (untitled comment)

    The Simon Singh book is fantastic. I read it years ago and it contributed to me eventually getting a math degree.

  • Feb 23rd, 2016 @ 3:47pm

    (untitled comment)

    I've worked in a library. Library staff are far more concerned about what people are doing publicly on library computers than what they're doing secretly.

    (Porn guys. I'm talking about watching porn).

  • Feb 5th, 2016 @ 11:17am

    (untitled comment)

    Peripherally related, but mostly just an excuse for me to complain:

    It appears that the Life Aquatic Studio Sessions, a collection of David Bowie covers by a Brazillian musician, is no longer available on Google's music streaming service, at least not in Canada. This is almost certainly a licensing issue. It has been available previously - I'm not sure when it was removed (ie. whether it was removed recently to capitalize on renewed interest due to his death).

    So THAT'S a kick in the junk.

  • Jan 27th, 2016 @ 12:10pm

    (untitled comment)

    ...which very likely means that not only will he also lose this case in California, but he's likely going to have to pay Gawker's lawyers for the privilege.

    Of course, in Canada (and other jurisdictions) this is pretty much standard in every lawsuit. It really adds a new dimension to the risk-benefit analysis of filing a lawsuit.

    Of course, in Chuck's case, one doubts whether such an analysis ever took place.

  • Jan 22nd, 2016 @ 9:43am

    (untitled comment)

    This bill requires officers to have "reasonable suspicion" that a person was using their phone while driving.

    If a cop sees someone using their phone while driving, they can already issue a ticket . In that situation, the only thing this would do would provide the police with additional evidence to use in case the ticket were challenged. Is this really a pressing problem? Are huge numbers of distracted driving tickets successfully being challenged on the basis of a lack of evidence?

    If not, the only thing this bill will cover is that narrow range of circumstances when the cop has "reasonable suspicion" a person was using their phone but isn't confident enough to write a ticket based on what they saw. That seems a pretty small gain from a pretty big privacy loss.

  • Jan 12th, 2016 @ 4:19pm

    (untitled comment)

    In unrelated news, I would like to announce the chain of cell phone stores I will be opening in New Jersey.

  • Jan 7th, 2016 @ 8:00am

    (untitled comment)

    And by "predict," Pelletier (whose organization is stocked with North American cable companies) means that's exactly what cable companies will do. In other words, your TV bill will be lower, but your broadband bill will be higher. And nothing really gets fixed if regulators don't address the lack of competition in the broadband space that lets usage caps (a glorified price hike) thrive in the first place.

    Canadian regulators are making at least a passing effort to increase competition in the broadband space. The CRTC recently made an order that will require telcos and cablecos to license their infrastructure to smaller, independent operators. (They were already required to provide some access to coaxial and copper infrastructure, to a limited extent, but this recent order will also require them to provide access to more modern fiber infrastructure). Bell, of course, is fighting this, by asking the CRTC to reconsider parts of its decision while at the same time asking government officials to overturn it entirely.

    Another comment mentioned the choice Canadian consumers have with respect to who provides their Internet service. It's true that in some communities, Canadians might have one or two independent operators providing internet access in addition to the telco and cableco, but the telcos and cablecos still control about 95% of the broadband market. In the hearing leading up to the CRTC order, representatives from independent operators testified about how, even when they have the infrastructure to provide service, it's hard to make a serious dent in the market share of the telcos and cablecos. The combination of brand recognition, the ability to bundle services and consumer inertia is incredibly hard to overcome. Of course, those are "features" of the market that are a lot more difficult to regulate away, which means it's unlikely that the telcos and cablecos will feel any serious competitive pressure anytime soon, even with the CRTC's intervention.

  • Oct 28th, 2015 @ 1:19pm

    Re: Not that worried

    The judgment only SHOULD be reversed if it didn't apply Australian law correctly. This judgment is 184 pages long. They extensively review defamation judgments from all over the common law world, including 20 pages worth of review of judgments JUST in the Internet context. I think saying this is just some crazy backwoods judge is a little dismissive.

    I know everyone here loves to hate on judges and lawyers, but this might be an entirely correct application of Australian defamation law.

  • Oct 28th, 2015 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re: Legally speaking, this is not actually nuts.

    When you do a Google search, you don't just get a link to the page. You get a snippet from the page, which is stored on Google's servers. So yes, Google is repeating the allegedly defamatory language.

  • Oct 19th, 2015 @ 12:42pm

    (untitled comment)

    I'm 34 which I think just BARELY qualifies me as a millennial, under the broadest definition of the term. I don't have kids but I'd say 90% of my social circle does and none of them have cable.

    As a cord-cutter-with-kids friend put it "My son really doesn't care that this episode of Arthur came out 5 years before he was born".

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 11:09am

    (untitled comment)

    Meanwhile, here in Canada, we have an election in two weeks. The Conservative Party (the party that is currently in power and which negotiated the TPP on Canada's behalf) is by no means guaranteed to be returning to power. The other two major parties haven't seen the final text, so who knows what position they'll take when they do.

    There's a decent chance that our government will change in two weeks and the new government won't support the agreement and will refuse to sign on.

    So that's fun.

  • Oct 5th, 2015 @ 10:56am

    Re: Re: Re: Not really overkill

    Well, this lawyer probably bills out at least $500/hour. $5,000 is like a day's worth of work.

    I'm not defending the Pokémon Company's actions here. If I was them, I'd be eating this cost just to avoid the bad publicity they're going to get now (or, you know, just not filing the lawsuit in the first place).

    I'm just saying, it doesn't have to be very time consuming to add up to $5,000.

  • Sep 25th, 2015 @ 10:32am

    (untitled comment)

    They are concerned about the contents of this notebook for all the wrong reasons. Bloon Tower Defense 5 (and 4 before it) absolutely devastated my productivity for over a month. Frankly I'm amazed I was never fired. This kid's entire academic career is in jeopardy.

    Sure, getting that Super Monkey feels food. But at what cost?

  • Sep 3rd, 2015 @ 4:53pm


    Noting. It's worth NOTING.

    One little extra "h" can really change a sentence.

  • Sep 3rd, 2015 @ 4:44pm

    (untitled comment)

    It's worth nothing that this isn't a result on the merits. It's a result on an application to have claims dismissed before trial, something judges are reluctant to do. An I actually agree with the majority on this one (I know, what a dick).

    The dissent states that courts have consistently rejected the contention that defendants "develop" content by maintaining neutral policies prohibiting or limiting certain content.

    But that's not what the plaintiff is alleging. And unlike the craigslist case referenced, they're not alleging that Backpage ignores people who violate their policy. They're alleging that Backpage's policies aren't neutral but were written specifically with the intent of encouraging sex trafficking. And the court is obligated to accept this as true in an application like this, where a defendant is trying to get claims thrown out before a trial and before any evidence has been submitted.

    I don't think Backpage's policies ARE written with that intent, and I have every confidence Backpage will win on the merits, but I don't think the court was wrong to find as they did in this application.

    With that said, I also don't understand what point Wiggins was trying to make with his bit about the use of the word "immunity".

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