John85851’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jan 12th, 2018 @ 7:07am

    Let the FBI test this idea

    If encryption is really so bad, then why doesn't the FBI test this idea and lead by example: from now on, they should 100% unencrypted cellphones, e-mails, and other communications. If no data is stolen and no one loses anything, then we'll slowly roll it out to the rest of the country.

  • Jan 11th, 2018 @ 10:00am


    In some cases, the middlemen have deeper pockets. This is why people choose to sue Google or Facebook for user-generated content instead of actually going after the user or website that created the content.

    And, yes, this is the idea behind Europe's "right to be forgotten": it's easier to ask Google to delist an offending website than it is to actually contact the website ask them to correct or update the content.

  • Jan 10th, 2018 @ 10:34am

    Is SDCC even a comic book convention any more?

    I know this is probably a fool's errand, but I would almost go on the legal offensive and claim "San Diego Comic Con" is more about pop culture than comic books, and therefore, can't own "comic con" since it's clearly not a "comic book convention".

    Just look at the trailers, cast and crew panels, and sneak peeks for "Twilight", "Star Trek", "Star Wars", and "Avatar", none of which are comic books.
    And how about the announcement of exclusive toys for "Star Wars" at SDCC... when neither toys nor movies are comic books.

    It would be like me owning a show called "San Diego Auto Show" and then suing "Salt Lake City Auto Show" because I think I own the trademark on "auto show"... even though most of the vehicles at my show are motorcycles, not automobiles.

  • Jan 10th, 2018 @ 9:44am

    What other tools do the police not know how to use?

    Can we take this discussion up a level, so to speak?

    If the police testified that they don't know how to use the drug testing equipment, is it safe to assume they don't know how to use other equipment? Then can we assume these police officer may not know how to use their gun to shoot accurately? Can we assume they may not know how to operate a patrol car properly?
    Okay, maybe driving a car is a bad example, but you know what I mean.

  • Jan 9th, 2018 @ 9:57am


    I'm surprised no one has brought up the word "truthiness" yet, Stephen Colbert's word for something that you think is probably true, even though there's no basis in fact.

    Does Trump watch Gorilla TV? It sounds like it could be true.
    Do vaccines cause autism? Sure, why not- it's easier to believe than looking at the medical data.
    Was Obama born in Kenya? Well, he's black, so why not?

  • Jan 8th, 2018 @ 10:22am

    Re: Downward spiral

    I was just about to mention this.
    How long will it be until other countries follow Germany's lead and threaten companies with huge fines?
    Is it still considered government censorship when companies are choosing to take down posts to avoid the potential of a 50 million Euro fine?

  • Jan 5th, 2018 @ 8:53am

    Don't forget the international market

    One of my friends recently posted some photos from the Tokyo ComicCon. Will SDCC be going after the international comic cons also? After all, countries like Japan have signed treaties to honor US copyrights, so there's no reason not to go after every single convention company.

  • Jan 5th, 2018 @ 8:46am

    This seems one-sided

    I get how the media gives attention to this guy for this idiotic quest to create restrictive laws and spend taxpayer money defending it, but where's the side of the story that talks about the people who don't agree with this?

    Where are the quotes from the other lawmakers who think this is a dumb idea? Why isn't the other 99% of the Indiana legislature speaking up against it or giving quotes to the media? Are they afraid that everyone in Indiana will vote them out if they denounce this bad proposal?

    What's the old saying about how it's easy for bad things to happen when good people won't do anything to stop it?

  • Jan 5th, 2018 @ 8:26am

    I'm going to be cynical...

    I'm going to be cynical and I hope I'm proved wrong, but I don't think there will be a "voter backlash". (Again, please prove me wrong.)

    In the 2016 election, we had to most qualified woman run against the least qualified man and the man won. You can say it's due to Hillary having political baggage or what not, but I say it's because Trump and the Republicans knew how to press people's buttons.

    I have the bad feeling that the same thing will happen in the 2018 elections:
    Democrat: "Vote for me because I support net neutrality."
    Republican: "Vote for me and I'll bring coal jobs back to the state and I'll build a wall to keep Muslim terrorists from shooting up our schools."
    Democrat: "But he's accused of being a child molester."
    Republican: "At least I'm not a Democrat who wants to continue Obama's policies, am I right?"

    And the Republican wins.

  • Jan 4th, 2018 @ 11:10am

    Fascism or Totalitarianism?

    I can't decide if this is an example of modern-day fascism or totalitarianism.

    In the old days, dictators could keep control by saying "If you talk bad about me, I'll send you to the gulag".
    Now, dictators say "If you talk bad about me, I'll sue you and family for so much money that you'll go bankrupt just thinking about it."
    Either way, the effect is the same: people are afraid of talking bad because they fear the consequences.

  • Jan 4th, 2018 @ 10:15am

    The point is that it could be expensive to defend

    I think the last paragraph sums up the real reason for this case: Trump and Harder are filing a legal threat with the assumption that the case will be very expensive to defend against. And since it's too expensive to defend, the publisher will simply give into the demands.

    Trump doesn't want this to go to court and have to give a deposition over whether the alleged defamation statements are true or not. And how would it look if a sitting US president was giving testimony in a libel case to block the sale of a book? Then again, I doubt Trump cares about his image as long as he thinks he's "winning".

  • Dec 28th, 2017 @ 10:26am

    Too big to fail

    Another issue is whether companies like Comcast have realized that they're "too big to fail" because of their monopoly position, so they simply don't care about screwing customers.
    After all, what's the government going to do, kick them out of the state and leave millions of people without cable and Internet access?
    And what happens if a state AG does kick Comcast out of the state? People won't thank the AG for getting rid of a bad company- they'll yell and scream about how the AG turned off their cable TV.

  • Dec 28th, 2017 @ 10:19am

    Re: Criminal charges

    You beat me to it. :)

    If the fines/ punishment are far less than the profit they made, they'll treat it as a cost of doing business and there's no real reason for them to stop doing it.

  • Dec 28th, 2017 @ 10:11am

    My favorite part

    My favorite part of the announcement: "
    "Blue Alerts can be used by state and local authorities to notify the public... to help apprehend dangerous suspects."
    So the public gets to help apprehend dangerous suspects? How? People already call in tips so why is a push-alert needed? Or is this telling people that it's okay to grab your gun and go help the police arrest (or "apprehend") the person?

  • Dec 20th, 2017 @ 10:15am

    Who are the lawyers who take these cases

    I've said it before and I suppose I'll say it again: who are the lawyers who are taking cases like this:
    1) Do they not know copyright/ trademark law? If not, why are they taking on cases if they don't know the relevant laws?
    2) Do they know the law and are ignoring it just to take the client's money? Is this an ethics violation?

    Either way, these lawyers should be called out and have their bar association/ license reviewed.
    If more lawyers learn that their licenses could be revoked for starting dumb lawsuits like this, then maybe there would be less bullying.

  • Dec 20th, 2017 @ 10:03am

    (untitled comment)

    "In the meantime, I'm still left wondering why this is a good move by Dr. Seuss Enterprises."
    This is the same move that the NFL uses for the words "Super Bowl":
    The companies charge money to license out their property, whether it's a Seuss book or "Super Bowl". But then someone comes along and makes an unlicensed version. The company almost has no choice but to sue, if only to protect the investments from the licensees. After all, if anyone could make a mashup/ parody/ satire version, then why should people pay for a license?

  • Dec 18th, 2017 @ 11:09am

    Apology not accepted

    The problem with issuing an apology after the first apology and after the initial statement comes down to this: who in the world thought it was a good idea to say those things in the first place?
    Did they think they were being smart or funny? Did they think they wouldn't get called out for offending people?

    As always with things like this, the ad (and first apology) was written by someone, then approved by a manager, and then sent out by the marketing department to the public... and none of them thought there was anything wrong with what they did.
    Oh, but it's finally wrong when the State AG starts investigating.

  • Dec 14th, 2017 @ 10:13am

    Re: Re: It isn't... but it could be

    Like you said, this would be a cool scene in a movie, but I think the reality would go something like this:

    Interior bedroom, midnight:
    A man hears a prowler in the hallway outside his bedroom.
    **Man:** (whispers) Siri, unlock the gun safe.
    **Siri:** I'm sorry, I didn't get that. Please speak louder.
    **Man:** (normal voice) Siri, unlock the gun safe.
    **Siri:** I think you said you want to unlock your gun safe. I found 5 locksmiths in the area who can help with that.
    **Man:** No, unlock my Vaultek gun safe.
    **Siri**: Now dialing "Walt's Locksmith Service".

  • Dec 14th, 2017 @ 10:02am

    The company's response

    I thought the paragraph about the company's response (under the image) would go a little differently:
    "Once this video and the code for the hack was released publicly, Vaultek snapped into action by suing the researchers and issuing a copyright-takedown notice on YouTube for finding this vulnerability."

  • Dec 14th, 2017 @ 9:55am

    Re: Re:

    First, why should SDCC call themselves a comic con when they've become a comic book and pop culture convention where Hollywood studios and game makers go to promote their latest productions. Though that doesn't roll off the tongue either. ;)

    Seriously, though, there's DragonCon in Atlanta and MegaCon in Orlando (and probably many other), so these conventions don't necessarily need to say "comic con" or "comic convention".

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