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  • Jul 21st, 2017 @ 3:40pm

    Re: There's a more obvious flaw with this "evidence"

    It's a pretty good presumption, though. People don't just go loaning out their phones for extended periods, so if he had it on him at all around that time it's likely he had it on him for the entire period. It's an easy presumption to rebut, but absent any rebuttal it's reasonable to assume that his phone didn't go randomly wandering off.

  • Jul 21st, 2017 @ 3:35pm


    It isn't even triangulation. The prosecution was essentially trying to base their location calculation on data from a single tower, and even assuming they got the right tower the error margin's far too high for their claims. And there's no guarantee they even identified the right tower, just imagine the error margin if they're trying to calculate the location relative to a different tower than would've been used at the time of the incident.

  • Jul 11th, 2017 @ 4:36pm


    Tiffany Inc. v. Ebay Inc. would seem to indicate otherwise.

  • Jul 11th, 2017 @ 9:30am

    (untitled comment)

    We won't get the FCC to do anything thanks to Pai, but it's important to have this on the record. When it comes time for court challenges the FCC's going to wave the public comments to justify their decision as being in the public interest based on their expressed views, and being able to show that not only were those expressed views provably falsified to some unknown degree but the FCC knew they'd been falsified before they made their decision and before they used it in court. That's the kind of thing that can get a judge to order the FCC to re-evaluate the comments and possible order new commentary.

  • Jul 6th, 2017 @ 8:34pm

    Re: As Dog's my witness ...

    I'd love to see an attorney in one of these cases call up the officer and hand him a sealed envelope, telling him to put it in whatever pocket he chooses. Then he hands the judge another envelope and says "Here's the police lab's analysis of what's in the first envelope, along with the lab's statement that they placed the sample in the envelope and sealed and signed it themselves and that it's the same sample they analyzed. Let's have the dog search the officer and the officer tell us whether the dog alerted or not, then your honor can open the envelope and tell us what the dog alerted to. Sound fair?".

  • Jul 5th, 2017 @ 11:52am

    (untitled comment)

    Now if we could only get courts to routinely add "Since counsel for the plaintiff was plainly aware or should have been aware that this argument has been ruled to be invalid, this court rules that counsel for the plaintiff shall pay all defendant's costs and fees in this matter and refers counsel for the plaintiff to the Bar for disciplinary action for professional malfeasance.".

  • Jun 28th, 2017 @ 10:58am

    (untitled comment)

    I do agree with Google about one point: if I search for a specific product I typically want to see either a) pages with information about that product or b) pages where I can purchase that product. Pages that offer me search results for that product... are what I went to Google to get, if I wanted another search engine's results I would've gone to them instead of Google. No matter what the EU bureaucrats may say, it's not Google's job to throw a lifeline to shopping comparison sites and keep them alive for another few months to a year before Amazon kills them off for good.

  • Jun 22nd, 2017 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Hah!

    Because law enforcement's going to target everything except child porn and child exploitation.

  • Jun 22nd, 2017 @ 12:46pm


    Look at those who are denouncing sex workers, any doubts they avail themselves of the services?

    Not any doubt at all. Maybe it's time for those sex workers to go to all their other important/influential clients and go "I'm going to get caught by this bill anyway, so if it passes I'm going to out all my clients publicly and negotiate for a light sentence in return for my cooperation. So you may want to make sure it gets scuttled and stays scuttled."

  • Jun 22nd, 2017 @ 11:12am


    I sometimes wonder if it's not time for the courts to take matters in hand: "The Bar Association may do as it wishes, but this Court remains the final authority over who may stand before it's bar and lawyers who we find are consistently ignoring the basic rules of the legal profession and this court can go sit with the other spectators.".

  • Jun 21st, 2017 @ 3:26pm


    Well, yes, because to be illegal speech it first has to be found to be outside the scope of the 1st Amendment's protection. And the Court sets a fairly high bar for that.

  • Jun 21st, 2017 @ 1:31pm

    Re: Re:

    Exactly. The terminology the copyright maximalists are using has long-established meaning in the legal system, and I'd like to see them jerked sharply back into legal reality by a defendant going "They're basing their entire argument on my having been found to have infringed repeatedly, yet there's nothing in the record showing I've been found to have infringed even once. If they can't cite the actions where a court reached a finding of infringement, I'd like this action dismissed.".

  • Jun 21st, 2017 @ 10:57am

    (untitled comment)

    I think the ruling might be usable to challenge blanket disconnection, but orders barring someone from accessing specifically sites offering pirated material would probably pass muster. That of course leads to other questions, including one that I haven't seen brought up much: the definition of "repeat infringer". I'd love to see someone contest disconnection on the basis that they have never been found to have infringed. Been accused of it yes, but anyone can accuse anyone of anything at any time and none of the accusations have gone through trial and been sustained.

  • Jun 19th, 2017 @ 2:26pm

    Re: Re: It makes sense...

    You'd need to have it allow a certain amount of time after registration before a product had to be traded, otherwise you're going to open a whole new front-running industry based around watching for new products about to be introduced and grabbing the relevant trademarks just before the products went on the market.

  • Jun 15th, 2017 @ 9:29am

    Re: Re: Re: Government has a point...

    And in the above the person has control over the money and the offshore trust. Does this mean that the US government can order him to change the trust so it's no longer offshore so they can collect taxes on it that they can't as long as it's offshore?

  • Jun 14th, 2017 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Government has a point...

    I suppose Google does have the means to comply with the order, by simply changing how it manages data. The question is, does it have to change how it manages it's data so that it can comply?

    That question isn't just an abstract question about network management, it implicates a lot of other very concrete aspects of law. For instance, a person can set up their finances so all their income is earned in the name of and goes to an overseas trust which buys what it's trustees (who happen to be the person in question and a couple of people he employs for the purpose of agreeing with his decisions) tells it to and lets the trust's beneficiary (also the person in question) use it. That way the person has no income and no assets in the US and none of the trust's income is under US jurisdiction, so they don't have to pay US income tax on anything. That person can easily change their finances to bring all of their income under US jurisdiction. Assuming that the trust arrangement is legal, is that person then obligated to change their finances so the US can collect income tax from them?

    The question's the same in both cases. I do things in X way. The government orders me to give it something it's entitled to ask me for. As it stands I'd only have to turn over A to comply with their order, but if I stop doing things X way and do them Z way instead then I'd have to turn over B, C, and D in addition to just A. Both X and Z are perfectly legal ways of doing things. The government would prefer I turn over A, B, C, and D. Am I obliged to change how I do things to suit their preference, or am I entitled to turn over only A and tell them to go pound sand as far as B, C, and D go until they can get the law changed to make doing things X way no longer legal?

  • Jun 14th, 2017 @ 11:12am

    (untitled comment)

    If Mr. Clapper's so sure it's possible, I'll be happy to work on the problem for him. My rates start at $200/hour assuming a minimum of 2080 hours (a 1-year contract at 40 hours/week), with rate adjustments for travel, out-of-office work and work in excess of 8 hours/day or 40 hours/week to be determined. An initial estimate is it'll take quite a bit more than just one year for the work, but I should have a good handle on the time required by the end of that first year and he can decide then whether it's worth it to him to pay for the time required.

    Oh, he wants me to do this for free? Well, I suppose I could. He'll have to take a number and get in line behind the other 7,936 people who've asked me to do pro bono development for them over the years, though.

  • Jun 13th, 2017 @ 4:34pm


    I suspect the tape's one of those where the sex was consensual and she knew the tape was being made but the understanding she had at the time was that it wasn't going any further than the participants. Years down the road, the other participant got mad at her for some reason or another and decided to post their copy of the tape to get back at her and/or cause her trouble.

    As unfair as it seems that someone should have to deal with this just because of a jerk they stopped dating, it's still an example of the old Sicilian proverb "Two can keep a secret, if one of them is dead.".

  • Jun 13th, 2017 @ 3:19pm


    And even if it hadn't been covered, consider something. If sites like Tumblr have to waste time and money showing up every time someone wants to hold them liable for or require them to act because of posts by their users without having first won against those users, what's the point of having Section 230 at all? The whole idea behind Section 230 was specifically to prevent hosting providers from having to worry about plaintiffs trying to go after the easy target instead of the right target.

    Maybe it's time to start going directly to the Appeals Courts on the grounds that the judges in these cases are failing to apply the law as written when handing down these default judgments (they're ignoring Section 230 when it applies and they should be forced to either apply it as they're required to or face disciplinary action).

  • Jun 13th, 2017 @ 1:26pm


    It's one of the legalistic bits. Tumblr's being asked to turn over info in an action against Tumblr. That ought to fall under the Section 230 shield since there's not supposed to be an action against Tumblr at all in these circumstances. By rights, if the plaintiff wanted to go after the people who reblogged the link they should've filed actions against those users, shown that their actions were serious enough to allow for their identification, and then asked Tumblr to turn over the info as a third party in a proceeding not directed at Tumblr. But that's a lot more work than the plaintiff in this case wants to go to, especially given that they're unlikely to be able to show enough to get the identities, hence the shortcuts.

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