DB’s Techdirt Profile

dob

About DB




DB’s Comments comment rss

  • Oct 17th, 2017 @ 3:25pm

    (untitled comment)

    Hopefully this case will result in much more careful consideration with a default judgment. It was easy to foresee that transferring the copyright could only lead to the plaintiff stirring up trouble.

  • Oct 13th, 2017 @ 8:40am

    (untitled comment)

    "One million accounts" is quoted. But it appears that fewer than 5000 of them were active, and there is no estimate of how many individuals that represents.

    Just looking at this website is illegal in many places. It's likely that the users regularly created and abandoned accounts to avoid leaving an obvious long-term record of their activities. Some may have have done it as frequently as every use. 5000 active accounts over a year might be only 100 active users.

    A similar thing is true for the image view counts. Most users are presumably going back to the site rather than downloading incriminating content. And viewing with their browser caching turned off, or even with browsers that retain no state. Each time the page is viewed the images are downloaded. In some cases just scrolling up and down will load an image multiple times, or re-load the page to render additional content.

    The count of individuals is important. Police are justifying their actions based on large counts. If the reality is there are few people creating and viewing child porn, it may be that the police are actually the largest purveyors and consumers.

  • Sep 11th, 2017 @ 11:35am

    Re:

    More to the point, how is having money and credit cards in a wallet evidence of the suspected crime? Before this was a seizure, it was a search -- why were they searching in the first place? What relevant evidence did they expect to find in his wallet?

  • Sep 7th, 2017 @ 1:24pm

    Re: Re:

    The equipment is free, but it can be extremely expensive to operate and maintain. A Bearcat spare tire is $5K. Helicopters cost at least a few hundred an hour, up to $1K.

    Once you can pass the cost to someone else, there is a strong incentive to move every expense in the operating cost column. For instance leasing the equipment instead of purchasing, and have the lease contract include training.

  • Sep 6th, 2017 @ 10:46am

    (untitled comment)

    I'm sure many companies would be happy to rip up the rules and start over.

    Not because they want clarity and fairness, but because they expect that they will be able to grab a bigger piece of the pie.

    Even if that happens, licensing of existing content will continue under the current rules, so deciding what those rules actually mean is important. And once the rules are clarified, there might be little reason to make new ones.

  • Sep 6th, 2017 @ 10:40am

    Re:

    There used to be arguments over what constituted a "copy" sufficient to implicate copyright law, but that has long been decided. Ephemeral copies are not covered.

    There might be thousands of identifiable "copies" along the distribution chain, but legally that counts as Zero Copies. Not one of the copies from the master tapes, through storage, memory and registers of uncounted servers and routers counts. You don't need a separate license for DRAM chip, swap disk, flip-flop and transistor along the way.

  • Sep 1st, 2017 @ 2:54am

    Re: Re:

    Thanks for the link that reminded me of those comments.

    There was also the poster that (intentionally?) conflated disparaging property (a putative undervalue estimate) with disparaging property rights (falsely claiming some aspect of ownership), combined with stretching "injurious falsehood" to cover a value estimate.

  • Aug 24th, 2017 @ 9:24am

    A good decision

    They have carefully avoid deciding an issue that might make them look archaic in a few years.

    Just as Linux devices (Trolltech Greenphone), PDAs and music players simultaneously developed into sophisticated smart phones in just a few years, digital cameras may suddenly become something more. Or perhaps not, as GoPro is demonstrating.

    Arguing that digital cameras should fall into the same category as wallet photos couldn't have helped their case. To most people it just solidifies how different the two situations are.

  • Aug 17th, 2017 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Tried and got burned?

    My guess is that thousands have tried this, and far fewer than 50 have been caught. And of those, have any really been punished?

  • Aug 15th, 2017 @ 1:53pm

    So many sketchy things, why are they bring it to the court's attention?

    It appears that the top two guys at Proper Media have done many, many questionable things. What type of personality would drag their own soiled laundry into court and not expect everyone to notice the stench?

    The opening question might be establishing that they are truly officers of Proper Media. An corporate officer is generally a statutory employee. Exceptions may be made for officers that have extremely limited, token, perfunctory or no duties.

    If they have claimed in corporate tax filings that they are not employees, then they aren't legitimate corporate officers.

    It wouldn't surprise me if the judge takes the easy way out and dismisses the case because Proper Media isn't a valid plaintiff.

  • Aug 15th, 2017 @ 11:16am

    (untitled comment)

    I don't think that Green comes out looking too bad. He was a minority shareholder, and thus had very limited power. He was heavily pressured into signing a loan guarantee that disproportionately imposed liability on him, at the risk of losing even that small share of ownership.

    If that email is genuine, and there is no reason to suspect that it is not, Proper grossly misrepresented the employment situation in their complaint.

  • Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 12:13pm

    (untitled comment)

    When I read this story I was thinking "in what mall storefront could you find an attorney to take such an obviously bogus case?"

    So I checked.

    Apparently this lawyer doesn't have an office, instead working out of his house. He is variously listed as a detective, computer forensic investigator and a litigation attorney. His website proclaims that he has a "law enforcement commission from the governor of South Carolina". Which sound serious, but seems to typically mean an auxiliary police officer, volunteer/reserve constable, or a park ranger.

  • Aug 1st, 2017 @ 5:46pm

    (untitled comment)

    There are a huge number of potential innovations on the horizon. Many are based around spacial sensors and image processing -- stereoscopic vision, time-of-flight sensors, IR imagers, etc. Gesture recognition might become interesting, or entirely news ways of interacting with the device might become suddenly popular. Eye,and even focus tracking might become input methods.

    Who knows, after more than a century, typing might be gone in the blink of an eye.

  • Jul 28th, 2017 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re:

    Yes, I do wish courts would bring that issue up.

    You shouldn't get to claim to be a U.S. company for the purposes of court protection if the bulk of your revenue is booked as occuring in Bermuda.

  • Jul 20th, 2017 @ 4:21pm

    (untitled comment)

    Looking at the filing, the cash transfers are pretty damning .

    There are lots of ways to transfer other assets for much less than market value when you have control of the company.

    The touchstone for those transfers might be the vehicle. To transfer ownership, the title needs to be transferred. Most states really, including California, really don't like losing out on the tax revenue from vehicle sales. Typically for vehicles less than ten years old the declared sale price must be close to the "blue book" value (the state has its own tables).

  • Jul 20th, 2017 @ 10:38am

    Just like Amber Alterts

    Amber Alerts were originally for kidnapping, and were explicitly not to be used for custody disputes.

    It turns out that there are vanishingly few stranger abductions, and the system's budget couldn't be justified. So they gradually broadened it. Today it's used almost exclusively in custody disputes.

  • Jul 18th, 2017 @ 10:57pm

    The Panama Papers are all faked

    The Panama Papers are all fiction. Someone simply created a few tens of thousands of internally consistent financial documents that superficially match the identity and dealings of thousands of people worldwide.. exactly.

    So you shouldn't believe anything contained in them. Because it's really easy to create convincing forgeries.

    Or just look at this story for an example of how difficult it is to create a short, single-topic document that doesn't, well, step on its own dick.

  • Jul 17th, 2017 @ 5:06pm

    Re: Re: To be fair

    I don't know why you refer to that as "proper training".

    "Taking command of the situation" before you know the situation is likely to lead to conflict.

  • Jul 13th, 2017 @ 4:59pm

    (untitled comment)

    I recall that when I worked at NASA we were delighted to get "Space Station desks".

    These were used desks from one of the canceled efforts to design a space station. The effort must have been lavishly funded, because they were much, much nicer than our 1960s-era dark gray steel desks that showed their decades of use.

  • Jul 12th, 2017 @ 5:15pm

    (untitled comment)

    They will almost certainly come to a settlement agreement.

    To make that clearer, they will almost certainly push for a tax-deductible out of court settlement agreement rather than a non-tax-deductible judgment.

More comments from DB >>