mcherm’s Techdirt Profile

mcherm

About mcherm




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  • Jan 16th, 2018 @ 10:18am

    Remind me again how to support TechDirt...

    Well, there are ads on the site which you can click on (especially if they offer you something useful). There are deals. You could choose to buy an ad. You can contribute through Patreon if that's your preference.

    You could help them get a good scoop by submitting a story. You can participate in the comments, helping to grow the community. You can share links to TechDirt on Facebook (!!) or other media sources to help get the word out. And best of all, you can just pay them money.

    And before you ask: No, I wasn't asked to submit this comment. I don't even know Mike Masnick and the other folks who run this place. I'm just a pleased user who wants his media to continue delivering good news and realizes that it isn't possible without some source of income.

  • Jan 2nd, 2018 @ 3:05pm

    New opportunities

    Hmm. Given that the court has clearly stated such a decision is utterly unreviewable, I wonder when the Trump Administration will be declaring Black Lives Matter to be a gang posing a threat.

  • Dec 16th, 2017 @ 4:54pm

    Prosecution would work for the correct crime. (as Michael Chermside)

    The local prosecutor is wrong. The statute of limitations may have run out for SOME crimes... which is all the more reason to pursue other crimes. I'm fairly certain that the statute of limitations has not run out on the crime of murder. It is a bit of a stretch, but I am confident that many people who are NOT police officers have been convicted of murder on evidence far more flimsy than this.

  • Sep 12th, 2017 @ 11:54am

    Massive International Discussion (as Michael Chermside)

    > PETA says that this "sparked a massive international discussion about the need to extend fundamental rights to animals...." Except it did nothing of the sort.

    Sure it did!

    After all, Techdirt is published internationally.

  • Aug 9th, 2017 @ 11:59am

    Legal System (as Michael Chermside)

    The legal systems of the world have evolved slowly over literally thousands of years -- with a great deal of cultural inertia but also managing to borrow ideas from each other and improve over time. Nearly all of them (from the Catholic Church's Canon law to the legal system in the US) incorporate a basic approach that works roughly like this:

    (1) both sides present their case

    (2) someone decides

    (3) there is an "appeals" process where one (or more) layers can review the decisions for fairness

    Maybe those companies (Facebook, Twitter, etc) trying to set up a review system should take inspiration from this deep historical source.

  • Feb 10th, 2017 @ 8:26am

    Simple way to change Trump's position on Forfeiture

    All it would take is ONE brave law enforcement officer willing to end his/her career and we could easily flip Trump's position on this issue. If a single officer seized any property belonging to Mr. Trump himself I feel confident that the President would go on the warpath against asset forfeiture.

  • Oct 14th, 2016 @ 8:57am

    Re: Free speech will only apply to Trump speech?

    Anonymous Coward writes:

    > If I were Hillary I'd hammer on this in the next debate, and yes, include Melania.

    Remember Michelle Obama's words: "When they go low, we go high." At least we SHOULD.

    I don't care which party you support, surely everyone can agree that we need to step back from this insult-driven election.

  • Oct 7th, 2016 @ 11:36am

    The FBI isn't this stupid

    I think Mike Masnick is reading too much into the FBI's statement. Last time they tried this they made masterful use of public opinion: picking a terrorism case, one in which large numbers of Americans had been killed and there was a colorable (if not quite plausible) argument that the phone might lead to other terrorists.

    In this case they would be investigating police misconduct (a case guaranteed to put the public more on edge than, say, a terrorism case). The only people who would feel "threatened" by this case are those minorities who worry about getting shot by the police -- not the most supportive group. And there is no colorable argument that the victim's cell phone might lead to knowledge that would protect lives; at best it might help to exonerate the murderer.

    Furthermore, the previous case is still relatively fresh in the minds of citizens and legislators, including the resolution of that case (turned out the FBI was making a mountain out of a molehill, could resolve it without Apple's help, and that the phone didn't reveal any helpful information after all).

    I don't believe the FBI is foolish enough to press this case in court.

  • Sep 23rd, 2016 @ 8:39am

    And I just thought I'd leave this here...

    As long as we're talking about the decline and destruction of news sources due to lack of revenue, or because that revenue source wasn't ACTUALLY tied to producing the news, I thought I'd leave you all with this link: https://rtb.techdirt.com

  • Sep 20th, 2016 @ 12:22pm

    How I will use this law

    I, for one, am looking forward to this law.

    After all, the web page http://www.governo.it/il-governo has for YEARS been mocking me. Many have said that the site has absolutely nothing to do with me, but in fact I am STRONGLY INSULTED by the subtle implications it makes about me (without actually naming me).

    None of my previous attempts to get the site shut down have gone anywhere, but now that we have a law which is driven by *my feelings of personal insult* (rather than some "objective" test like falsity or actually mentioning me by name) I should be able to force them to take the page down.

  • Sep 20th, 2016 @ 8:45am

    Re: Re: WP is treasonus

    > Waving another countries flag around on another countries soil in a protest is a legitimate act of war

    No it isn't. Shooting or bombing citizens as a political protest may be an act of war; waving a flag (any flag) is a form of speech, protected by the first amendment.

  • Sep 16th, 2016 @ 9:40am

    Where is Congress?

    Where is Congress in this? I know most everything is partisan in Washington these days, but regardless of whether you are for or against protecting those who sexually exploit young boys, surely the members of Congress realize that if people are retaliated against for providing information to members of Congress that there will be no one willing to share information with them.

    Congress should exercise it's constitutional duty of oversight and should use that to pressure and embarrass those members of the military leadership who allowed this persecution to take place. It should do so for the sake of its own power, even if they can think of no *other* reason.

  • May 18th, 2016 @ 11:54am

    The actual poem (as Michael Chermside)

    I am disappointed that no one (yet) provided a link to the text (or video) of the actual poem in question. Dear internet: can you come through for me?

  • Mar 22nd, 2016 @ 10:21pm

    Re: Re: Re: Redundant question

    > The act of perjury is itself a crime.

    That much is true.

    > And, given that it's usually a prosecutor talking to the court, then it's the prosecutor who's perjuring [him/her]self, in talking about what the cops did.

    False. The prosecutor is NOT under oath, and cannot commit perjury. The prosecutor must call witnesses who will explain (under oath) to the judge and jury what happened. Police officers spend a not-negligible amount of their time testifying in court.

    > And that constitutes conspiracy after the fact.

    No, it doesn't. For one thing, prosecutors have a thing called "absolute immunity". It means that they can't be prosecuted (or sued) for doing their job (prosecuting cases in court), not even if they lie, cheat, and break every rule. There are a FEW specialized exceptions (but VERY few) and I seriously doubt that "conspiring with the police" would qualify.

    I'm not saying this is a GOOD thing, but it is how the US legal system works today.

  • Mar 18th, 2016 @ 4:04am

    Flip-Flop is Fine

    > You'll recall that AT&T fought tooth and nail against [..X..]. Now AT&T's trying to argue that it's that [..X..] means [..something in its favor..].

    That is a very reasonable and consistent position to take. One may believe that certain rules apply, but if they don't, then at least the other rules apply.

    (The part where they say that the other rules apply retroactively is an interesting and creative approach. I wonder whether they believe that the FTC's lack of jurisdiction in the past is paired with the FCC having jurisdiction over AT&T's past behavior. Somehow I doubt it.)

  • Dec 28th, 2015 @ 8:28am

    Error in title? (as Michael Chermside)

    Should the word "level" in the headline have been "letter" instead? If not, what does it mean?

  • Nov 9th, 2015 @ 11:16am

    Astounding Hypocrisy from School Officials

    Somehow, in your article you failed to point out the other interesting hypocrisy that NY Times article described. They interviewed parents who said they had reported the rampant sexting to the schools and had been told "there is nothing we can do". To go directly from refusing to act to overreacting is rank incompetence.

  • Sep 9th, 2015 @ 4:58am

    Legal Question on Derivative Works (as Michael Chermside)

    Since these works were already in the public domain, I am sure that many derivative works have already been created based on them. I wonder whether anyone with knowledge of the newly passed law can comment on how it affects these already-existing derivative works.

  • Aug 24th, 2015 @ 6:03am

    Economic Analysis is an Excellent Idea (as Michael Chermside)

    Despite my skepticism about Mr. Brandis' policies, I am pleased to hear him endorse such a progressive and forward-looking proposal as this one to include an economic analysis for all proposed changes to intellectual property law.

    Obviously economic impact cannot be the sole determinant as there are many other factors at work such as moral rights and freedom of expression, but economic impact ought to be one component of the consideration.

    Of course any economic analysis must consider ALL of the economic impacts. When considering a law to regulate scrap metal one it would be totally absurd to consider the economic impact on scrap dealers without also considering the impact on those who create metal waste and those who consume recycled scrap metal. Without that, the economic analysis could only suggest changes that would increase the cost of recycled metal, decrease the cost of scrap, and increase the volume of metal recycled -- regardless of the harm it did to other parts of the economy. We would pass laws requiring every citizen possessing even a scrap of metal to deliver it for free to a licensed scrap metal dealer.

    Similarly, when we consider the economic impact, we must include the impact on companies and people who would otherwise utilize fair use exceptions or would make use of public domain materials if copyright laws were not in place. I think any honest evaluation of the economic impact of these factors might prove quite a surprise to Mr. Brandis.

  • May 10th, 2015 @ 7:04pm

    Re: Re: Who's the customer?

    The definition of "customer" can be a bit murky in some cases, but here the inmate (or her family) are the ones who PAY, while the prison are the ones who DECIDE whether or not JPay gets the business. The ones that JPay are most likely to work to keep happy are those who do the deciding -- the prison officials. It is not unlike medical insurance in the US, where (except for those on government programs) the employee is the supposed "customer" but it is the employer who actually DECIDES which insurance to purchase.

    All that being said, however, I don't see any indications that JPay is ignoring the well-being of prisoners and their families in the single-minded pursuit of pleasing prison officials. Even if it WOULD be in their best interest, I see much the opposite. I see JPay reacting with impressive speed after the issue was raised to their attention by the media, and changing their policy immediately. So perhaps the cynicism is unwarranted.

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