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  • May 30th, 2019 @ 6:29pm

    Re: Re: "Can't"?

    You have no idea what you're talking about.

    Yeah, I guess that law degree, licenses, and 20+ years of practice don't mean anything. But if you haven't seen a decision here that you thought was way off the mark, you just haven't been reading long.

  • May 30th, 2019 @ 6:18pm

    Re: Re: "Can't"?

    You might want to ask a lawyer.

    I am one, thanks.

  • May 30th, 2019 @ 4:14pm


    But you can't win if you're so completely wrong about the law, as these plaintiffs are.

    Well, you'd hope not, anyway. There have been some stunningly-bad decisions reported here...

  • May 30th, 2019 @ 3:43pm

    Re: Let me guess: Self filed.

    Yep, it's pro se.

  • May 19th, 2019 @ 3:42am

    Re: Re: Techdirt is now Toothless

    He just didn't invent email.
    ...and is a lying fraud when he continues to claim that he did.

  • May 16th, 2019 @ 1:47pm

    Re: Corporate power on "platforms" is government-conferred SO

    If your position were not so moronic (and if you actually understood the meanings of terms you used), your persistence would be adorable.

  • Apr 19th, 2019 @ 7:55am

    (untitled comment)

    The correct standard to use was mens rea, meaning the government needed to prove Elonis knew his posts were illegal

    "Correct standard" according to whom? You? Since you don't seem to know what mens rea is (tip: it isn't "Defendant knew what he was doing was illegal"--as the very definition you linked to shows), I'm not inclined to accept you as an authority on the subject.

    In the current case, sounds like an entirely appropriate result. And if it's characteristic of "rap music" (sic) to threaten death to specific individuals by name, the sooner it goes away the better.

  • Mar 28th, 2019 @ 8:34am

    Re: Re:

    One would think this law was to protect journalists from law enforcement.

    ...and that would even kind of make sense. It would even be within legitimate Federal authority. But no, pretty sure that isn't what's going on here.

  • Mar 27th, 2019 @ 2:33pm


    ...is this the time to welcome him to the big leagues?

  • Mar 22nd, 2019 @ 7:48am


    War is peace! Freedom is slavery! Ignorance is strength!

    I don't think that's necessarily what's going on here, though I'm far from sure that Facebook deserves the benefit of the doubt. What it sounds like, based on the anonymous dev who's quoted, is that passwords were written in cleartext to an error log file, presumably along with lots of other information about the user's environment and what they were doing. Devs (2000 of them, apparently) queried those log files, and the results of those queries included the passwords. But there is (allegedly) no evidence that those passwords were misused. Believe it or not, it's at least facially plausible, and it's reasonably consistent.

  • Mar 21st, 2019 @ 9:18am

    Re: Re: Re: So... crack a book open bro

    unis are private institutions just like Twitter or Facebook

    Um, no, they aren't. At least not when they're public universities, as the school in question is. They're state actors, and as such, the First Amendment can be implicated by their actions. I don't see that their choosing not to show this piece of alleged art does violate the First Amendment (Tim apparently thinks this point is obvious enough to not require any support--I'm a lawyer who has researched the issue a bit, and I disagree). But the school is nowhere close to the same position as Facebook/Twitter/etc.

  • Mar 20th, 2019 @ 12:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hmm...

    seeing him hit with a few hundred copyright violation claims would be entertaining.

    ...except that his use of those works is almost certainly fair use.

  • Mar 20th, 2019 @ 10:30am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    All of this is irrelevant. His view of the 1A is irrelevant. The quality of his works is irrelevant. His motivation for creating them is pretty much irrelevant. The 1A itself, and the relevant case law (as defined by courts, not by him), are what's relevant.

    Under that case law, I don't see any way that the work is properly deemed obscene. The sheriff may not have known better, but the DA should have. I don't see any other reason that the work wouldn't be protected (i.e., it isn't defamatory, it isn't a threat, it certainly isn't fighting words, etc.). Without a clear-cut exception, the work is protected, as is his right to create and display it.

    However, from what I've found (and I'll acknowledge that the case law I've found is both scanty and old), the First Amendment doesn't guarantee him space at the school's exhibition. Tim seems to think the contrary position is so obvious as to not require any explanation at all. I'm still waiting for a citation to relevant authority.

  • Mar 20th, 2019 @ 8:39am

    Re: Re:

    I'm not sure what any of that has to do with the question of whether the college violated his First Amendment rights by declining to show his work in their exhibition. After all, troublemakers are still protected by the 1A just like the rest of us, and the 1A's protection of free speech certainly isn't limited to the cream of the crop. I just don't think it guarantees his right to have his work (regardless of who he is, or what it is) exhibited in this venue, and I think the courts agree here--though I remain interested in seeing contrary authority.

    I'm also pretty skeptical of the conclusion that his work is obscene. Yes, it depicts sex acts. Does it, taken as a whole, "lack[] serious literary, artistic, political, or scientific value"? Well, maybe, though I doubt any Circuit would agree here--after all, it's pretty obviously intended as (certainly childish) political commentary. But is it, as a whole, designed to appeal to the prurient interest? Not even close. In order to establish obscenity, all three of these must be true--if any of them is not, the work isn't obscene.

    So, IMO: The work itself, whatever its merits or lack thereof, is not obscene, and I don't see anything else that would put it outside of the scope of the 1A's protection. Thus, the 1A protects the "artist's" right to make and show the work. It does not, however, guarantee him a venue, nor does it require the school to include it in their exhibition.

  • Mar 20th, 2019 @ 6:50am

    (untitled comment)

    Polk State Program Coordinator Nancy Lozell informed Tanyolacar on Feb. 6 that it would not be displayed at a then-upcoming faculty art exhibition

    The university refused to offer any justification for this move when asked to explain its ignorance of the First Amendment by FIRE.

    The school declined to show the piece at a faculty art exhibition. How do you believe this demonstrates "its ignorance of the First Amendment"? Granting that the school is a state actor for purposes of the 1A, are you suggesting that the 1A prevents the school from limiting what pieces will be shown at such an exhibition? From making content-based distinctions among pieces? Because if so, I'd be very interested in seeing your authority for these propositions.

    There doesn't seem to be a lot of directly-relevant appellate case law, but there is some. In Close v. Lederle, 424 F.2d 988 (1st Cir. 1970), an art instructor at a state university, after being invited to exhibit his paintings in a busy corridor, was made to remove them because they were sexually explicit; the First Circuit found no violation of the First Amendment. See also Piarowski v. Illinois Community College Dist. 515, 759 F.2d 625 (7th Cir. 1985), in which a faculty member was required to remove his sexually-explicit artwork from a public gallery--again, this was held to not violate the First Amendment.

  • Mar 5th, 2019 @ 5:11pm

    Re: Re: Streisand

    That solves a different problem. It gives you a safe connection when on public WiFi, but doesn't do so much when you're actually at home. And even when away from home, your connection is going to be limited by your connection speed at home. And if you're concerned about your home ISP snooping on your connection, this doesn't help you at all. OTOH, if your goal is to get into your home network, that's exactly the right answer.

    Now, if public WiFi providers are blocking connections to AWS/GCE/DigitalOcean/Vultr IP blocks, then a Streisand host might not help you. But that's going to block an awful lot more than just VPNs.

    Personally, I do both--I run an OpenVPN server on my home router, and a Streisand node (actually, two--one on AWS and one on GCE, but once my free year on AWS is up I'll cancel that one).

  • Mar 5th, 2019 @ 4:55pm


    This seems like a particularly appropriate place to mention Streisand (https://github.com/StreisandEffect/streisand)--a script that provisions a small VPS (free on Google, free for a year on Amazon, minimal cost elsewhere) to serve as your own private VPN host.

  • Feb 6th, 2019 @ 3:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    There's also (in the US, at least, though we derive our legal system from England) the concept of "judicial notice", where the court can accept without the presentation of evidence such propositions as that the sky is blue, the sun rises in the east, and February 4, 2019, was a Monday. That alone should suffice to demonstrate that the Big Mac is a well-known sandwich sold by McDonald's. But even if judicial notice alone weren't enough, the sales figures presented should have done the job.

  • Jan 23rd, 2019 @ 9:33am

    Re: Re: Re:

    please explain why victims can't sue gun makers.

    Well, because there's (properly) specific legislation protecting gun makers from liability in (most) such situations.

  • Jan 16th, 2019 @ 10:07am


    Mike, is your headline dishonest, or do you really not understand what you wrote? Because the body of your article explains, in a good bit of detail, the basis for the decision--why do you then act like you don't understand it?

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