John85851’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Dec 12th, 2017 @ 10:22am

    Why hasn't this case been thrown out?

    Changing the subject slightly: just why hasn't this case been thrown out? Have Beale's lawyers really convinced the judge that this anonymous review has caused harm?

    Or is this yet another case of a small town judge trying to bolster his own reputation by going after "the big guys". Hey, look, our local judge is telling Google what to do! Now we have the power, not Google.

  • Dec 11th, 2017 @ 4:04pm

    Some better hotels will remove the resort fee

    Recently, my wife and I took a weekend vacation to a Marriott near Disney World. They wanted to charge a $25 "resort fee" to cover things like "free" shuttle service to the theme parks and internet access.
    We told them that we have our own car and annual passes, so we don't need the shuttle service.
    And like most people, we have our own cell phones, so we don't need the internet service.

    So they took the resort fee off our bill.

    However, if all the hotels in New York or Times Square charge the same fee, then it might be hard to convince them to remove it.

  • Dec 11th, 2017 @ 10:16am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    To take it one step further, it would be like the Detroit Auto Show getting a trademark on "auto show" and suing the Chicago Auto Show because they think people will associate "auto show" with Detroit rather than "a show with automobiles".

    It doesn't matter if Detroit was the first to use "auto show", the phrase isn't unique enough to sue over.

  • Nov 30th, 2017 @ 10:59am

    Maybe they need to meet a quote

    I wonder if the officers who call in the K-9 unit are trying to meet some kind of monthly arrest goal.
    Sure, the department may not have a written goal, but maybe officers compete with each other to see how many arrests they can make.

    It goes something like this:
    "Gee, John, you got traffic duty this month. Your arrest rate is going to suck."
    "No it's not- I'll just call the K-9 unit in, have it 'alert' on drugs, and arrest the driver. (It's not my problem if there's no drugs or no charges are pressed- I just got another arrest this month.)"

  • Nov 22nd, 2017 @ 9:15am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Star Trek: Discovery was renewed for a second season 7/

    This means CBS has another year to look at their stats to see how many subscribers are staying.
    Then again, Star Trek may be enough of a "prestige" show that CBS doesn't care that much about the viewership numbers as long as it keeps bringing in subscribers.

  • Nov 18th, 2017 @ 1:20pm

    A third meaning of the title

    The way I interpret the title of the show, "Empire":
    1) It's based around a recording label with the word Empire.
    2) It takes place in New York, the Empire State.
    3) Ir's about people building an empire in the recording industry.

    So, sure, the writers could have chosen a thousand other names for the fictitious record label, but I'm sure only "Empire" had the right feel.

  • Nov 17th, 2017 @ 9:57am

    Re: Eminent domain

    I was just about to say this.
    And if the government tries to do this, is their plan to fight them in court?

    Or like other posters can suggested, could Cards Against Humanity bring in a naturalist and declare their land to be the nesting place of an endangered species? Then the government agency trying to take the land has to argue with the other government agency trying to protect endangered species.

  • Nov 17th, 2017 @ 9:54am

    Re: Walls

    At one point, there was a story going around about how someone in the Trump administration (or maybe the Trump campaign) was standing next to a section of the Berlin Wall, going on about how great that wall was... completely oblivious to the fact that the wall is gone! She's literally standing in a front of a section of the wall in a unified Berlin in unified Germany. I just wish the reporters covering her would have pushed her to explain what she meant.

    Though I think Trump is playing a long-game: he builds a wall now, then in 50 years, the wall comes down and the US and Mexico are unified to become simply "North America". Then there are no more Mexicans immigrants stealing jobs because there's no more US or Mexican citizenship- everyone is a North American citizen.

  • Nov 16th, 2017 @ 10:07am



    In all seriousness, way too many companies are designing their websites to be unusable unless Javascript is enabled.
    Want to read the article? Enable Javascript so the formatting isn't screwed up.
    Want to see the images in the article? Enable Javascript to see them.
    Want to leave a comment on the article? Enable Javascript so the page will display the Facebook commenting system.

  • Nov 16th, 2017 @ 9:27am


    This is exactly why there's still so much spam: a certain percentage of the audience will believe it, no matter how many other people say it's fake or a scam.

    The propagandists who put out videos know the smart people will figure out it's from a video game, but they also figure their audience doesn't read enough "mainstream media" to see the stories about how it's video game footage.

    And the more hard-core propagandists will simply respond with "You say you read an article about how this is video game footage? Open your eyes, sheeps! This is exactly what they want you to believe! Don't fall for their propaganda."

  • Nov 15th, 2017 @ 9:52am

    Re: Photo booths

    Going by your logic, there's a third issue at stake:
    3) If monkeys can own a copyright by clicking a button, can other animals? If put my phone in front of my cat and she hits the button to take a selfie, does she own the copyright?
    If not, then why does a monkey get to own a copyright but not a cat?

    And how far are we willing to extend this argument? Suppose a nature photographer puts a camera in a forest and the shutter is triggered by ants. Do the ants own the copyright? Or do we know have to argue "intent": the monkey and cat were curious and pressed a button, but the ants didn't do it on purpose.

  • Nov 15th, 2017 @ 9:24am

    Bluefrog did something similar

    Does anyone remember a website called Bluefrog? Their process for fighting spammers was similar: you forward spam to them (or in the case of Yahoo Mail, you could link a folder to automatically process spam). The Bluefrog would overload the spammer with unsubscribe requests until the spammer gave up.

    That sounds great, right? Well the spammers got smart to this and started issuing DDOS attacks on Bluefrog's website and blog platform. It was bad enough to go after their website, but the blog platform had hundreds of other blogs, which were also taken down by the attack. The blogging company had to end Bluefrog's account out of self-defense, and Bluefrog itself shut down shortly after.

    So will something similar happen to Re:Scam? Will spammers issue DDOS attacks on any site that talks about this service?

  • Nov 14th, 2017 @ 8:37am


    Were these "third parties" ever named? If they profited from Madoff's actions, wouldn't they be victims also?
    Or if they're not victims, why not name the businesses and prosecute them as conspirators with Madoff?
    Something just doesn't sound right to me.

  • Nov 10th, 2017 @ 10:48am

    Re: You Do Really Own What You Buy: If you buy a horse, the previous owner has no right to drop by an shoot it to force you to buy another one!

    This would be a good argument except many companies have already thought of it: this is why so many transactions are now called "licenses" instead of "purchases". There's no "first sale" doctrine for "licenses".

  • Nov 10th, 2017 @ 10:13am

    Some ideas

    First, why in the world did the author link to the videos that he says are disturbing for kids? Providing a clickable link will cause people to click, which gives the videos more views, which pushes the videos further up the popularity index, which gives them more advertising revenue.

    Second, one idea for Google could be to negatively-rank any video with more than 10 words in it. How in the world can a video be called "Bad Baby with Tantrum and Crying for Lollipops Little Babies Learn Colors Finger Family Song 2" and NOT be junk or spam?
    But again, kids may not read the titles or they may not even care- they just want to see the next gross/ exciting/ stimulating video that comes next.

  • Nov 10th, 2017 @ 9:57am

    The documentary could stop the show's revenue stream

    Would the production company have allowed clips of the show in documentary if they were asked? I would say, probably not.

    I think the real issue is that the documentary definitely "maligns" the reputation of Cosby and by extension, his show. But since the production company can't sue over true facts, they have to sue over copyright.

    And since the show is still on TV and sold on DVD, the production company probably doesn't want a documentary to be released, which could affect their revenue.
    Sure, Cosby's issues have been on the news, but a documentary could have a bigger reach: look what happened to SeaWorld after the documentary "Blackfish" was released.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 10:46am

    Re: Way off base

    I agree with you.

    When I watch ESPN, I want to hear opinions about sports and such, not opinions about Trump and Clinton.
    On the opposite side, if I'm watching Inside Edition or Entertainment Tonight, I don't want to hear their opinions on whether the Dallas Cowboys have a good 3-4 defense.

    In other words, it's okay to have opinions, but keep it relevant to the topics that the show or network covers.
    The execs could have worded their policy statement a little better.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 10:00am


    I don't think the "high school diploma" education makes a different in this case.
    Where was this guy's police training? Isn't there a class or two at the police academy about how to write reports... and how to write reports that won't be taken apart by lawyers?
    Or is the training for writing reports to simply write "I feared for my life" and not worry if the sentences are coherent or the actions make sense.

  • Nov 8th, 2017 @ 9:33am


    If you read the article a little closer (and sort-of read between the lines), the events happened like this:
    The LA Times reports about a "too cozy" relationship between Disney, Anaheim, and other city governments that may or may not be corruption.
    Instead of debating the story or presenting evidence to the contrary or even suing for libel, Disney decided to be a child and say "You can't review our movies!".

    (I'm assuming The LA Times has good research and legal departments that cleared the story to prevent Disney from suing for libel.)

    Sure, Disney has every right to ban whomever it wants, but if the issue is about an article in a newspaper, then at least be adult about things and explain why the article is wrong. Then the issue would get more coverage and Disney could explain their side of things.
    Unless the story is true and they don't want to explain anything... hmm...

  • Nov 6th, 2017 @ 9:43am

    Personal versus government account

    Changing the subject slightly: I think one issue to consider is that Trump is still tweeting from his personal account, not the official @POTUS account. I hope that Twitter has more restrictions on who can and can't access official government accounts, but until Trump uses the official POTUS account, then his account is subject to the same terms as everyone else's.
    Sure, Twitter might not delete his tweets because they're "newsworthy", but they obviously didn't change the employee access. So, technically, anyone else "on their last day" could also switch off Trump's account at any time.

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