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  • Apr 24th, 2015 @ 10:46am

    14th Amendment

    I would love to hear this and other similar "prosecutorial discretion" decisions defended in light of the text of the 14th Amendment:

    "No State shall [...] deprive any person of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor deny to any person within its jurisdiction the equal protection of the laws."

    We live in an era of mandatory minimums for many other crimes, but when one class of citizen is threatened with treason charges and another is given probation for similar actions, something's wrong.

  • Apr 22nd, 2015 @ 12:12pm

    Excuse me if this gets political

    Perhaps Hollywood just doesn't live in the same world as the rest of us. And I don't mean just the studios, but the actors, directors, producers, and all the other behind-the-scenes folks who make the industry hum along.

    See, for the rest of us (or so we are told by the Hollywood elites), labor unions are virtually required to have an adversarial relationship with the people cutting the checks. But SAG-AFTRA, DGA, and all the other unions that represent those workers seem to think Big Studio has their backs.

    It's like they have a massive blind spot to just how much Hollywood Accounting is screwing them over, and has been for decades. All they see is a giant © ... and then ignore the knife in their back.

  • Apr 21st, 2015 @ 9:29am

    Re: Verizon will lose this one.

    Am I missing something?

    All Disney/ESPN seems to be upset about is putting ESPN into a "sports tier." But there's no indication here that ESPN isn't included in the base package.

    Besides, if Verizon really wanted to bust the ESPN racket, they could just wait until the current contract is up, then simply *not offer* ESPN, cut prices by $7-8/month (or whatever they pay Disney for ESPN, maybe even keep an extra dollar or two to increase profits), and then perhaps partner with Sling TV to keep those customers connected ("better upgrade your internet package to get the best Sling TV experience!).

  • Apr 17th, 2015 @ 12:49pm

    I sort of wonder if it should be copyrighted at all

    Fair use completely aside here...

    According to the letter of the law, it is almost certainly covered, but let's take a step back here.

    Copyright does not cover ideas or facts, only the artistic contributions of the author/photographer/etc for the express purpose of encouraging more art.

    But one has to ask, in this scenario, what artistic choices did Santana contribute? This was a spontaneous event. He didn't set up the camera angles, the lighting, or direct the participants. He was just in the right place at the wrong time.

    Why does any spontaneous recording of a factual event, with no contribution from the recorder (other than the ability to push 'start') qualify for a purely economic right?

    [Hell, if you want to get really anal about it, NC is a one-party consent state. If he didn't have consent to record people in public, maybe the recording itself is in a gray area. I think we could all agree that it shouldn't be, but if he wants to go legal with this, that opens up more potential liabilities than just for news stations.]

    I don't see this as the same as a photographer getting just the right angle, or waiting for just the right framing or lighting conditions for their subject. If he had even done more narrating of the events than "Oh shit, oh shit" I'd be more sympathetic to his contributions.

    Everything you see on that video is a practical necessity of making any recording of that factual event.

  • Apr 15th, 2015 @ 9:08am

    Re: Re: How about an impenetrable cable tie?

    Overnight shipping is probably even cheaper than a checked bag with many airlines these days.

  • Apr 14th, 2015 @ 4:50pm

    Re: Federal Law...

    Fifth:
    "No person shall be held to answer for a capital, or otherwise infamous crime, unless on a presentment or indictment of a Grand Jury, except in cases arising in the land or naval forces, or in the Militia, when in actual service in time of War or public danger; nor shall any person be subject for the same offence to be twice put in jeopardy of life or limb; nor shall be compelled in any criminal case to be a witness against himself, nor be deprived of life, liberty, or property, without due process of law; nor shall private property be taken for public use, without just compensation."

  • Apr 13th, 2015 @ 1:42pm

    Re: Security vs Privacy

    The biggest problem with that "tradeoff" is that it implies that one will be increased with the decrease of the other. When it comes to encryption, Privacy == Security, and any harm to one necessarily harms the other.

  • Apr 13th, 2015 @ 11:20am

    Four pieces

    One each in the hands of the CIA, NSA, FBI, DEA.

    What could go wrong?!

  • Apr 9th, 2015 @ 1:06pm

    You can't legislate bigotry away.

    But you can at least shine a light on it. Making it "illegal" only drive it underground where it becomes more entrenched and harder to educate.

    I've long been in favor of letting any business serve any people they want, but with one important regulation: Any restrictions they want to implement have to be posted prominently on the front door. After all, if this is about business owners' beliefs, and they are proud enough of them to turn people away, they should be proud enough of them to show them to the world.

    It may not change many minds, but forcing them to do something they don't believe in won't either. At least this way people can make informed decisions.

  • Mar 30th, 2015 @ 9:56am

    Re: Re: What's missing

    I've got an analog TV, and with a cheap converter box, I get some 30+ channels OTA. Most are not the type I'd watch on a daily (or even monthly) basis, but I'd say the same thing about cable.

    Even on top of that, most broadcast networks have their current shows available online the day after they air (for a few weeks, at least), and all the options above include internet.

    The whole analysis seems like a setup to make the marginal cost for cable seem smaller than it really is. With OTA + internet + Netflix, I pay about $50/month. No ESPN or HBO, which they seem to think is important, but if I really wanted them, I could add SlingTV and HBO Now for another $35 and get basically everything mentioned above for the lowest price.

  • Mar 20th, 2015 @ 2:04pm

    Uber sounds fine and all....

    But if a restaurant were to charge me a line item "fresh water" fee, I'd be a little worried. What about people who don't opt for the fee? Are they getting toilet water?

    Does this imply Uber's standard service level is not safe?

    I don't know that this rises to false advertising, but a little transparency about this fee would go a LONG way.

  • Mar 18th, 2015 @ 11:31am

    (untitled comment)

    Liberty: You are free to agree with us. You are agreeing with us, right?!
    Equality: Everybody's rights will be trampled.
    Fraternity: Publicly shouting racist chants since before SAE was even founded.

  • Feb 17th, 2015 @ 9:24am

    Re: ...

    IANAL, but I've heard it compared to the more western idea of Tortious Interference.

  • Jan 9th, 2015 @ 1:51pm

    Re: Re: Thank you

    Those other crimes certainly can cause fear as a result of the action, but the intent is usually personal gain.

    Terrorism, as indicated by the word itself, is about the feelings of others (terror) more than the perp.

    As an aside, there's not a reputable sports show on Earth who will intentionally show streakers or other trespassers in the field of play during a sporting event. They rightfully recognize that this would only encourage more of the same.

    Murder is certainly more newsworthy, but isn't it about time the media starts asking itself if granting too much attention to those seeking attention is simply encouraging more of the same?

  • Jan 9th, 2015 @ 1:03pm

    Thank you

    This sums up the thoughts I've been having lately, but couldn't put into words.

    The proper response to "they hate our freedoms" is NOT to simply give up those same freedoms. They won.

    Somebody was shot in Chicago every three hours last year. How many of those became international news for a week? The WHOLE POINT of terrorism is to spread fear, but it would be impossible without a willing media to help them at every step. Not only did they win, they used the western media and politics as their two most potent weapons.

  • Dec 19th, 2014 @ 9:02am

    What did Google do?

    Has the MPAA started a war with the Yellow Pages for publishing the addresses of pawn shops that might sell counterfeit movies?

    It's no wonder the entertainment industry is decades behind in terms of innovation. They're still viewing the web through the paradigm of the 80's and 90's when CompuServe or AOL was the gateway, directory, ISP and one-stop shop of connected computing for the majority of people online. Only now, they've put Google in that role.

    Cuba, stuck in the past, may actually be more up-to-date than Hollywood, AND have a better chance now of building on that lead.

  • Dec 17th, 2014 @ 11:37am

    To be fair...

    The police understanding the law (1st Amendment) is pretty pathetic, so this is likely more projection than malice.

  • Nov 18th, 2014 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: Re: It's an interesting question

    OK, so the bar for trademark is even lower than copyright.
    It doesn't have to be unique or copyrightable. Just uniquely used in commerce to differentiate the brand.
    I'm generally very against the expansion of IP, but I'm not seeing how this particular image shouldn't be eligible.

  • Nov 18th, 2014 @ 8:48am

    Re: It's an interesting question

    And yes, there's the issue of trademark vs copyright, but a copyrighted image used in commerce is the basis of trademark, so in some cases, they can be closely related. If this image is eligible for copyright, then it probably should be eligible for trademark.

  • Nov 18th, 2014 @ 8:43am

    It's an interesting question

    For the famous Obama 'Change' poster, many here agreed that it was a transformative work (the original photographer didn't even recognize it at first). So heavy photoshopping can over-ride the original copyright as fair use.

    Does that mean the photoshopper gets the copyright on the new, heavily edited, work? Does it go into the public domain? Does the original artist retain some rights over it, if the uses of the edited version fail the fair use standards?

    And in this case, does the original work being in the public domain change any of those answers? The source material for most of Disney's older works are in the public domain, but their specific expressions are protected. Would that not apply here as well? If the changes were deemed to be transformative, then this specific expression could be re-copyrighted, no?

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