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  • Jan 12th, 2018 @ 1:49pm

    Defamation law...

    A notable omission from this piece is any discussion of the relevant law. Republication of defamatory material, even with the source credited, is itself defamatory. Thus, if blue wrote, as a factual claim, "Tim blows goats," I wrote that "blue says that Tim blows goats," and Tim does not in fact blow goats, Tim would (potentially) have a case not only against blue, but also against me.

    Now here, it's going to be a hard case--Cohen will have to show not only that the claims made in these documents are false, but also that Buzzfeed knew they were false when they went to print. That's not impossible, but it is difficult--public figures rarely win defamation suits.

  • Dec 27th, 2017 @ 7:00am

    Re: Basic Contract Law

    Well, no, it isn't a matter of contract law at all. The customer's issue with the hotel could be (ignoring any other governing consumer protection statutes), but the customer isn't a party to this case. The state is bringing this case, claiming (correctly, I believe) that its consumer protection statutes have been violated.

    If there were a contract action, I think the hotel would lose, but not for the reason you state. Courts don't really look at whether both parties actually understood all the terms of a contract (how many people read all the fine print on everything they sign?). Rather, that provision would likely be thrown out as unconscionable.

  • Dec 27th, 2017 @ 5:20am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'd say that the problem is yours, in that you aren't using the criminal law definition when addressing whether it's a crime.

  • Dec 26th, 2017 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, conspiracy is a crime. See, for example 18 U.S.C. sec. 371. Under that section, if

    • two or more people
    • agree
    • to commit a federal crime
    • and at least one of them does "any act to effectuate the object of the conspiracy"

    Then all are guilty of conspiracy, whether or not the contemplated crime is ever committed.

    There are other, more specific conspiracy statutes, and state laws also provide for nearly-identical offenses.

  • Dec 6th, 2017 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re:

    Please explain those "irreversible laws" that you hope Congress will enact.

  • Dec 5th, 2017 @ 4:06pm

    Re: Especially funny since...

    Civilian ownership of machine guns is perfectly legal (highly regulated, and very expensive, but still legal) in most of the country. Are you quite sure there are no M2s on the NFA registry? Because I see a listing for a fully-registered and transferrable model from last year for $40k. See http://www.sturmgewehr.com/forums/index.php?/topic/1712-wts-browning-m2hb-50-cal/#comment-4319

    Now, do I believe JLVD has a legal machine gun (of any flavor)? No, and I don't think that's what he's saying--I expect he's referring to a .50 BMG-cal rifle, not an M2 heavy machine gun.

    Is he a gun {nut|enthusiast}? Don't know. But he is actually a lawyer, in that he has a law degree and is (at least for the time being) licensed to practice in a few states.

  • Nov 21st, 2017 @ 5:32pm

    Re: This smear job has flopped. Dropped off Drudge.

    Suppose you're right. Suppose the allegations are completely false. Suppose the accusers subsequently recant completely. AMG still wins, unless Moore can prove, by clear and convincing evidence, that what they printed was false, and they knew it at the time. It's not going to happen. It's nearly impossible for a public figure to win a defamation case as a plaintiff, and that's a good thing.

  • Nov 20th, 2017 @ 11:55am


    More precisely, 50 BMG (.50 Browning Machine Gun) is the cartridge, originally used in the (surprise!) .50 cal. Browning Machine Gun, but now used in a variety of firearms, mostly single-shot rifles, sometimes semi-automatic rifles, occasionally pistols. It's certainly possible he has a legal .50 cal machine gun, but highly unlikely that he actually fires it full-auto, as it would be obscenely expensive to do so. Ammunition is at least a few dollars per round, and the machine gun fires around 500 rounds per minute.

  • Nov 15th, 2017 @ 10:57am

    (untitled comment)

    But that's the upshot to this decision: people who wish to speak anonymously online, in any capacity, won't be able to.

    Sure they will--if the places where they're speaking don't gather the information in the first place. But most sites gather far more information than they have any legitimate need for. And having done so, they can be forced to reveal it, and they can also inadvertently leak it.

  • Nov 14th, 2017 @ 4:00pm

    Re: Fascist..

    So any legal consequences for defamation are unconstitutional?

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 5:00pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Find an alternative technology that will stop a threat as quickly and reliably as a 9mm hollow-point, with significantly less danger of permanent harm to the target, and is as portable as a compact pistol, and the discussion can meaningfully continue. Tasers don't do it. Pepper spray doesn't do it. Other lethal weapons can do it, but fail the "significantly less danger" test and/or the "as portable as a compact pistol" test. I'm not aware of anything that meets all four requirements.

    My intent isn't to do more harm than necessary to an attacker, but I'm also not going to compromise protection of myself and my family in order to reduce the risk of harm to someone who's trying to harm us.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 3:10pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    I'm not trying to obscure anything. When you shoot a person, the odds are very good that you will seriously injure, and possibly kill, that person. But the objective is important. The objective is not "kill the target." The objective is not "wound the target." The objective is "stop the threat." The wounding/killing are unfortunately-necessary means toward that objective, not the objective itself.

    The "OMG hollow-points!!1!!" reactions are surprisingly numerous and ignorant.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 1:32pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Basically 0 value is placed on stopping a threat without harming them more than necessary

    That's correct. Once you're shooting a gun at someone, you've already made the decision that lethal force is warranted--which means that (you reasonably believe that) you, or someone else, is facing an imminent threat of death or serious bodily harm, and that lethal force is necessary to stop that. Under those circumstances, you're right--I place zero value on minimizing harm to the person I'm shooting at. Further, any value I do place on that is offset by the fact that minimizing harm to that person directly means that effectiveness is reduced. Guns are effective for self-defense because they seriously hurt, and often kill, people. If they didn't, they wouldn't be effective.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 11:43am


    Yeah--having watched The Room, it's hard to believe that Wiseau had ever interacted with another human being before writing/producing/directing/"starring" in that movie.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 10:45am

    (untitled comment)

    OHAI, Techdirt!

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 8:44am

    Re: Re:

    Hollow-points are neither meant to "wound" nor to "kill." They're designed to stop the threat as quickly as possible. Which is what anyone using a gun defensively, whether a police officer or a private citizen, should be trying to do.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 8:03am


    No, you're not the only one, but you're no less ignorant than the others. Hollow-point ammunition is designed for self-defense and police use, and is almost universally what's used for those purposes.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 7:58am


    Hollow-point ammunition is standard police issue, and is most commonly carried by private citizens for self defense as well. The main reason is that it's more effective on the target, and "maximiz[ing] the amount of damage made to the target" is almost exactly the point of shooting that target (more accurately, the point is to stop the threat posed by that target, but the two overlap almost exactly). The second is the reason you identified--they reduce the risk to bystanders, because the bullet expends more energy in the target.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 7:40am


    Racism is not a crime, the best efforts of the progressives notwithstanding. Therefore, neither supporting nor aiding and abetting racism is a crime.

  • Nov 9th, 2017 @ 7:38am

    Re: Re: Re:

    This law is unconstitutional.

    What provision of which constitution does it violate? It certainly doesn't violate the federal constitution--there's no federal requirement for states to have public records laws at all, much less any requirement on what must and must not be released.

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