Shaun Wilson's Techdirt Profile

Shaun Wilson

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  • Apr 13, 2022 @ 12:10am

    If you are talking about "the originators of copyright laws" in terms of the writers of such laws as the Mikey Mouse Protection Act then supporting publishers instead of artists was exactly what was intended. The same if you are going way back to the Statute of Anne. If however you are refering to the US Constitution's copyright clause you would be correct as it clearly states that the "exclusive rights" MAY be granted for the purpose of promoting "science and the useful arts" and not for any other reason.

  • Mar 31, 2022 @ 03:16am

    Personal experience with dowsing

    As a child on a holiday with my parents we once had a dowsing demonstration where presenter walked over a creek showing the dowsing rods dipping each time. When it was our turn to try, my parents, apparently having not paid enough attention, had the road turn UP instead of down and exclaimed in amazement each time. As I knew how this worked I walked across without the rod twitching at all, but personally I think my parents reaction was better proof of this fraud. I also remember the presenter giving us a bit of a sour look as he couldn't correct my parents without admitting the whole thing was fake.

  • Nov 23, 2021 @ 11:59pm

    Just to be clear, they are literally claiming "the unconcious person didn't tell me no" as their excuse.

  • Oct 09, 2021 @ 04:22pm

    Re: the courts are drawing a funny distinction

    I agree with what many are saying here: just get a warrant! Basically I would completely get rid of the current "private search" doctrine and merely concider a private search evidence to be concidered when a warrant is applied for. This deals with the contortions over weather an algorithmic search is really a "search" as defined by the courts - in the ordinary meaning of the term I definetely concider it a search, just a slightly less objectional search the narower the targets. (Eg: known child porn hashes probably ok, apples fuzzy hash system maybe, trying to calculate wether the amount of skin tone in an image makes it porn probably not, and potential defamatory statements/memes about polititions definetly not.) This would also help with cranks for example who constantly report "crimes" that arent crimes as well - their reports should no longer be concidered probable cause after crying wolf too many times.

  • Jul 23, 2021 @ 06:04pm

    I've been part of several martial arts groups (none I was any good at) and a lot of this case seemed to be the same sort of bragging and training that went on in them. The "training" on how to conduct a pseudo-military assault and the loud talk about how many police officers they could take out etc sounds quite similar to the martial arts training on how to take out an armed mugger and braging on how many attackers someone could take out that occured in those groups.

    The only part where it started to get to be more of a concern from my perspective was when they started doing actual survielance of the governor. After that point I believe it would be appropriate to start arresting people who continued to play an active, preferably pro-active role. By this I meen someone who pawned their wedding ring or took out a second mortgage on their house to buy the explosives not just someone who handed over whatever spare change they happened to have in their wallet...

  • Jul 21, 2021 @ 03:37am

    How to negotiate in good faith

    Google: by observing the adds placed of your news stories and based on our extensive experience in the advertising industry we have determined that you make 6 cents off every consumer we send you and believe we deserve 50% of that or 3 cents per followed link. We would of course be happy to entertain any good faith argument regarding the method of calculating the add revenue you gain due to us or why the revenue split should be a different percentage.

  • Jul 21, 2021 @ 03:16am

    Band-Aid is already generic

    I'm sorry, it seems to me that band-aid is already a generic term (even if a court hasn't declared it). Whenever I or anyone I know uses the term "band-aid" it is never used to mean the specific Band-Aid TM "medical adhesive bandage". It is so generic I have no other real description of these things other than band-aids and had to re-read this article to find the term "medical adhesive bandage". They are not "medical adhesive bandages" they are "band-aids" regardless of what brand of band-aid they are.

  • Jul 21, 2021 @ 02:50am

    The closest any of the signs come to the "purient interest" standard of the law (and to be clear it is still well off) is the "Socialism sucks, Biden blows" sign - in that I could see a bunch of 10 year old boys pointing to the sign and gigling after having it explained by an older kid. Even this is a stretch, along the lines of "rational basis review" where anything even cocievable (even if irrational) counts.

  • May 29, 2021 @ 12:47am

    Re: Re: No qualified immunity

    You may have a point there with regards to body cameras. With police, currently they have such a weight of the historical assumption of their benevolance that police testimony is sometimes given more weight than video recordings. But with this lot if they used body cameras from the start (and were regularly forced to release the footage) then the myth of their infalability might never have the chance to build up. But on your other points: cops already engage in denying medical care and selective enforcement, have you never read any news story about cops in the last decade or so?

  • May 26, 2021 @ 05:51am

    Re: Re: No qualified immunity

    As I said, the primary bennefit is the ability to actually get them into court as opposed to what happens with cops. From what I can tell you already have that same situation you describe with real cops and they don't even have to argue justification just say the magic words "qualified immunity" and the case is dismissed.

  • May 26, 2021 @ 05:37am

    No qualified immunity

    On the plus side, not being public "servants" means that that laws actually (at least in theory) apply to them. They incorrectly storm a house and it's armed robbery, assault, kidnapping etc instead of Tuesday like it is for police. Their guns likely don't "discharge" on their own instead it should be that they actually shoot someone (them, not the gun on it's own) and can be charged for it.

    Note I'm not expecting them to actually perform better than cops but it seems hard for them to do worse and it would seem to require less political will to punish them for their inevitable misdeeds than it appears to need with regards to actual cops.

  • Jul 08, 2020 @ 04:45am

    The real problem

    It's actually a matter of jealousy, the US politicians are jealous of those politicians in China who have the power to successfully order censorship on local websites/apps and the banning of foreign ones. Since the US politicians are having little luck instituting censorship on local websites/apps they want to prove (perhaps even to themselves) that this lack of relative power isn't so broad, at least they can ban foreign apps/websites.

  • Apr 07, 2020 @ 06:42pm

    What he actually meant

    I think it's worse than how your summation of his comments implied, instead it should be: "I'm sorry you thought I called the captain stupid when I said he was either stupid or a criminal, I obviously meant he was a criminal."

  • Jul 16, 2019 @ 08:57pm

    Don't throw pain patients under the bus

    I suffer from ongoing pain due to arthritis and about the only thing I'm offered any more is oral acetaminophen (or paracetamol as we call it here is Australia). Unfortunately for me it doesn't seem to have any effect while opiates work well and have negligible side effects - but because of political and media grandstanding I've been almost completely weaned off them.

    When I was on a reasonable dose of opiates I had a life and a (part time) job, now I have no life, no job and I barely make it out of the house most days. While some so called "pill mills" actually involved fraud the majority are just good doctors, some of the few still willing to buck the public pressure and actually care for their patients. By being one of the few not scared away from treating pain they therefore get a good reputation for helping and end up seeing more patients in need.

  • Apr 11, 2019 @ 06:11pm

    Penalties for False Take-downs

    In a similar manner to the story about Canadian copyright treat letters from earlier this week or more directly analogous with the DMCA, if there is no penalty for false take-downs being sent the many, or perhaps a majority, will be false and cause massive censorship. At an absolute bare minimum the penalties for ignoring a take-down (or in this case not responding within 1 hour) should not apply to any further requests send from a source that has proved itself "incompetent" in this manner. If you want to actually be reasonable about it however then the submitter of the false take-downs should be fined (again at a minimum) the cost of dealing with the false take-down such as the cost of the time spent by employees dealing with take-down requests, commercial losses if a commercial site (or some of it's content) is taken down by a responding hosting provider and even damages for the reputational costs and emotional and mental harm associated in having your content falsely designated as terrorist content.

    Ideally the individual within the "competent authority" responsible for a false take-down should also personally liable - such as the law in the US that states that government employees are personally liable for violating citizens constitutional rights - but even if that were somehow passed, the EU courts would likely react the same as the US supreme court did and completely make up something like "qualified immunity" to essentially overturn such a law.

  • Mar 18, 2019 @ 10:10pm

    Financial sense for whom?

    While you are likely correct that this continued legal action doesn't make sense for the company as a whole or it's shareholders, there is one group for whom it almost certainly does make financial sense - the lawyers themselves. Odds are that any halfway competent lawyer would have the skills to "explain" that either the courts are wrong to rule against them and/or that they need to take on these fights regardless. What is likely harder would be to explain why they need their job if all they do is occasionally report to management that everything is fine and they don't need to sue anyone.

  • Dec 18, 2018 @ 05:00am


    I agree almost completely with this with the exception that the penalties should apply to the people in the agencies acting illegally instead of (or in addition to) the actual agencies and probably should include significant criminal penalties as well. If it's not their own money the fine comes out of then almost no level of fine could possibly be high enough to have any effect.

  • Dec 18, 2018 @ 04:53am

    Jail the prosecutors

    The people who prosecuted/perseceted Swartz belong in jail, their harassment led directly to his death. With social media bullying suicides getting attention it's absurd this isn't considered criminal as harassment is thousands of times worse with the power of the state behind the bully. But obviously that's exactly why it isn't criminalised, even in our supposed modern democracies we still have a high Court/low Court system like in feudal days but with politicians and selected "public servants" now in the place of the nobility.

    Separate and unequal justice for all.

  • Jun 08, 2018 @ 06:14am

    Re: Re:

    So... a second "American Revolution"?

    As an outsider, it's my understanding that this is precisely why you guys have your second amendment - so that a second revolution, if needed, had a chance of succeeding. Or am I missing something here?

  • Jun 08, 2018 @ 06:37am

    That's a new one

    The court ... does make it clear it will trust videotape more than it will trust cops.

    I pretty sure it was on this site only a few years back that we heard that a cop's recollection could be trusted more than a video. If I remember right it involved a camera in a police van showing a prisoner being assaulted by a cop and the court deciding that the cop's memory (of "helping") was more reliable than the video of the assault.

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