Dan Brown's Techdirt Profile

Dan Brown

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  • Sep 25, 2019 @ 11:32am

    Re: As your piratey-fanboy-trolls show, few people have decency.

    You obviously don't like this site, and equally obviously, nobody here likes you. So seriously, why are you here?

  • Sep 22, 2019 @ 03:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The fact that you're seeing significant discussion of moderation in the comments on this very post would appear to answer your question, such that you shouldn't have needed to ask it in the first place--why did you?

  • Sep 21, 2019 @ 03:54am

    Re: Re: Re: FOREIGN CORPORATION Airbus does NOT have "1st Amendm

    I don't believe you are correct with stating illegal aliens have US Constitutional Rights.
    Not that it matters to the subject of this post (because Airbus is legally present in the United states), but the Supreme Court disagrees with you. See, e.g., Plyler v. Doe, 457 U.S. 202 (1982) ("The illegal aliens who are plaintiffs in these cases challenging the statute may claim the benefit of the Equal Protection Clause"), as well as earlier decisions cited there holding that the Due Process clause also protects illegal aliens. This is particularly significant because it's the Due Process clause of the Fourteenth Amendment that results in the Bill of Rights applying to the states as well as the Federal Government.

  • Sep 20, 2019 @ 02:12pm

    Re: FOREIGN CORPORATION Airbus does NOT have "1st Amendment righ

    Anyone in the United States (whether legally or not, whether a natural person or not) has First Amendment (and Fourth and Fifth, among others) rights. Airbus operates in the United States. Therefore, they have First Amendment rights.

  • Sep 04, 2019 @ 01:02pm

    Re: Re:

    ...and the broader argument certainly has merit. The narrower argument that I quoted, however, doesn't. The broader argument can be made without adding bullshit.

  • Sep 04, 2019 @ 10:10am

    In essence, the OLC is creating secret laws.

    Scott Greenfield explained five days ago why this claim is bullshit.

  • Aug 29, 2019 @ 03:18pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    The First Amendment is constitutional but limiting its scope is not.
    Well, the First Amendment is part of the constitution, so it's constitutional by definition--which means your analogy doesn't really work. Moreover, limiting its scope most certainly is constitutional. Defamation isn't protected by the First Amendment, for example. Neither are true threats. There are a few other known exceptions. They're few, narrow, and far between, and the Court hasn't shown any inclination to expand any of them, but they do exist. Section 230 is a Congressional creation. I haven't heard any argument of any substance that it's constitutionally required (i.e., that the First Amendment, or any other provision of the constitution, would require the substance of Section 230 even if Section 230 didn't exist). And if the substance of Section 230 isn't constitutionally required, reducing its scope would generally* be well within Congress's authority.
    • Yes, generally. Certainly if they did it in a way that discriminated based on, say, race or sex, that would be unconstitutional. It could be argued (though I'd consider it a fairly weak argument) that the proposal is effectively a bill of attainder, and unconstitutional for that reason. But as a general rule, what they can do, they can un-do.

  • Aug 29, 2019 @ 02:11pm

    Re: Under what authority?

    What he is asking for is for the Federal government to step into the affairs of state, city and smaller municipalities for their failure to collect local taxes.
    That's about 99.44% incorrect. What he's asking for is a change in the scope of Section 230. As it now stands, Section 230 generally says platform operators can't be held accountable for the speech of their users. The proposed legislation, as he describes it, would amend Section 230 to say that it doesn't apply in certain cases. If Section 230 is constitutional at all, so is limiting its scope. Now, the proposal is stupid, wrong-headed, counterproductive, and quite possibly unethical, but it simply isn't doing what you say it is--if anything, it's doing the opposite, in that it's getting the federal government out of the affairs of state and local governments.

  • Aug 21, 2019 @ 07:52am

    he must do more to differentiate between him and plaintiff,”

    This is simple, and already done--Jr. doesn't unethically advertise himself as "U.S. Marine George Sink" the way his father does.

  • Aug 21, 2019 @ 06:52am

    Vermont's Supreme Court has said it's not defamatory to call ATL a patent troll.

    Is it Vermont (as stated in the close of the article) or New Hampshire (as stated in the headline)?

    it sent threat letters to a ton of banks and credit unions, claiming their ATMs violated its patents, and demanding licensing fees. It also set those license fees at a rate that would be below what it would likely cost to fight a patent lawsuit. These are hallmarks of what most of us consider to be patent trolls.

    I think that the non-practicing status of the putative troll needs to be considered, as well as how those demanded licensing fees compare to the cost of litigation. It's one thing if the fees are carefully calculated to be just below the likely cost of litigation, and quite another if they're only a fraction of the likely cost. ATL could very well be a troll, but I don't think the quoted statements are enough to support that conclusion.

  • Aug 05, 2019 @ 03:43pm


    Their easy access to weapons of mass murder once relegated exclusively to the military is a symptom.
    You're certainly entitled to your own opinions, but not to your own facts. No military in the world uses, or has ever used, the scary black rifles that the left particularly likes to call "assault rifles". Consequently (and obviously) they've never been "relegated exclusively to the military." Now, if you're going to talk about rifles that are capable of fully-automatic fire (which have not been used in any of the mass shootings), then yes, some of them are used by military forces. But even then, they have never been "relegated exclusively to the military," and they're very tightly controlled (and consequently very expensive--thing "price of a new car") today.

  • Jul 29, 2019 @ 02:12pm

    Re: What the Hell, being a Contitutional lawyer mean for much??

    Have a flag for being utterly incomprehensible.

  • Jul 09, 2019 @ 07:44am

    Re: Qualified immunity...

    It also has no place in this article, as it's irrelevant to a criminal prosecution.

  • Jul 01, 2019 @ 01:56pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    "Hate speech" (whatever it actually is) is speech. It's protected by the First Amendment, like almost all other speech.

  • Jun 27, 2019 @ 05:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    That would be an interesting argument, and I'm not sure if it's been made before. I'm not sure it would succeed, though. The point of facts not being copyrightable is that there's essentially no creativity involved; the facts themselves pretty well dictate any design decisions (as in a phone book--there are really only two sensible ways to list the numbers: alpha by name, or in order by phone number). But to summarize a court's decision as related to a certain section of the code, there's a near-infinite number of ways in which that could be done. The summary can be copyrightable, even if the material summarized isn't (you'd better believe that the Cliff Notes of Shakespeare's works are copyrighted, even though Shakespeare is in the public domain). So I suspect this argument fails. But then, I expected Malamud's argument to fail--I could certainly be wrong.

  • Jun 27, 2019 @ 12:53am

    Re: Re: Re:

    Annotations and summaries are not just abstract musings.
    Of course they aren't--they're specific summaries of specific decisions as they relate to specific points of law. As such, they are original (if brief) works of authorship, they're fixed in a tangible medium of expression, and therefore they're presumptively copyrightable.
    They are relied upon by other court cases and make new law.
    (citation needed). Seriously, just one will do. Which court, in which case, specifically relied on which annotation (rather than the court decision summarized in the annotation) in making its decision? Mike made this claim a few times when the case was first filed, but ultimately corrected himself. Really, except for the unusual situation in Georgia with there being an "official" annotated code, this wouldn't be a close case. Almost all states have annotated codes, they're privately published (usually there are two, by two competing publishers), and they're copyrighted (as to the annotations, not as to the text of the law itself). There's no question but that if Malamud had copied one of those, it would be copyright infringement with no reasonable defense. But in Georgia, they have the unusual situation of having an official annotated code. The annotations are no more the law than they are in any other state, but the 11th Circuit held that their status as "official" made them close enough to the law that they aren't copyrightable. I think they were mistaken in this, but it's an interesting question that hasn't (to my knowledge) been addressed before. I'm also a little surprised the Supreme Court granted cert in the case.

  • Jun 26, 2019 @ 08:06pm


    They generally aren't. But your description of annotations is incorrect; they're summaries of the court decisions. Even if the decision isn't copyrightable, the summary is a separate work of authorship which is.

  • Jun 25, 2019 @ 06:42pm

    Re: Re:

    That said, 230 just says (in a very simplified form) "You can't sue Facebook for something posted by a user."
    ...and more to the point for purposes of this case, you also can't sue Facebook for their moderation actions with respect to such content.

  • Jun 25, 2019 @ 06:36pm

    Re: Re: Fires Up Crude Techdirt

    As does Section 230 IF as you claim empowers some "persons" having First Amendment Right to be set up to control the speech of all others.
    Facebook doesn't have the right (under the First or any other Amendment) to control the speech of anyone, anywhere else than on their platform. They do have an absolute right to control the speech of anyone, on any (or no) basis, on their platform.

  • Jun 25, 2019 @ 12:02am

    Re: Re:

    You're responding to a point the OP didn't make. OP's point (and, for that matter, the article's) was that my statements on Facebook are my speech, not Facebook's. Any liability resulting from that speech should therefore also be mine, not Facebook's. This had nothing to do with Facebook being required to host any content it doesn't want to.

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