John85851’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Oct 21st, 2017 @ 9:43am

    Real-world comparison

    Suppose Trump decided to give his State of the Union address at Trump Tower instead of in the Capitol Building.
    The Capitol is a government building which is open the public, but Trump Tower is privately owned.
    Now suppose Trump told the manager of Trump Tower not to let certain people inside.
    Could these people sue because they were blocked from hearing Trump's State of the Union address?

  • Oct 21st, 2017 @ 9:31am

    What's the going rate for a 3 year-old?

    Everyone knows that the going rate for a 3 year-old is $50. Of course the authorities had to get involved- this lady is severely undercutting the other sellers!

    I'm going to jail for encouraging child trafficking, aren't I?


  • Oct 19th, 2017 @ 4:56pm

    What's the harm?

    I know it's not a popular position to side with a corporate giant like Disney, but hear me out:

    1) The Characters for Hire company is obviously trading on Disney's characters. Do they hire out "policeman" or "fireman" characters? Probably, but those aren't as exciting (or make as much money) as Darth Vader and Chewbacca look-alikes.

    2) The "not affiliated with" idea: how many people will go to the Characters for Hire website, see the "close enough" characters and assume the company works with Disney? I doubt many people will look for the "officially licensed by" tagline as seen on many costume sites.

    3) And by extension, what happens when something goes wrong? Maybe the actor gets into an accident or the party goes bad or whatever. Now Disney's characters are associated with this incident.
    Does anyone really think the media will say "An actor playing Big Chewy Guy, which is totally not Chewbacca because Chewbacca is a registered trademark of Disney and these guys are not associated with Disney, rear-ended someone"? Of course not- it'll be "A guy dressed as Chewbacca rear-ended someone".

  • Oct 19th, 2017 @ 4:37pm

    Hide comments from the trolls

    I don't remember where I saw this, but it's similar to what another poster said:

    The idea is that if a user gets too many downvotes from the community then all of his posts are hidden from the community. The user can still post comments and he'll still see his posts, but no one else will.
    This way, he can post all the insults that he wants *and* he can't play the victim by saying "ohmergerd, my right to free speech is being censored!".

    After a while, he'll get bored because his insults aren't having any effect and no one's responding to him.

  • Oct 19th, 2017 @ 4:23pm

    Was this case started by a lawyer who doesn't know copyright law?

    Again, I have to ask: who are the lawyers taking cases like this? Either:
    1) They don't know copyright law, which means they shouldn't be leading a copyright case.
    2) They're taking Dunn's money to file a case they know they'll lose, but they need the money.

    The courts should start to take action against lawyers like this, if just to stop these frivolous lawsuits. And, yes, it's 100% frivolous to try to keep suing when the case is dead. (And I'm assuming he exhausted all appeals in the US, which is why he's heading to the UK.)

  • Oct 16th, 2017 @ 9:10am

    When is censorship due to religion good?

    Are they trying to block adult sites and magazines because of Sharia law? This is the United States! How dare they try to force their religion on us! The nerve of these people! It's called "separation of church and state"! I'm going to protest and maybe get violent!

    Oh, wait, it's Mormon law that's being forced on everyone? Never mind. There's nothing to see here since this is a "good" religion.

  • Oct 3rd, 2017 @ 12:48pm

    But fake news is entertainment

    Since most media outlets are basically entertainment driven, they'll talk about the stories that get the most attention/ readers/ viewers. And the more outrageous and fake the news, the more it gets passed around Facebook.

    I know this is an old joke, but it seems like the media cycle goes something like this:
    CNN: Obama eats a hamburger at McDonald's.
    MSNBC: Obama goes to McDonald's to eat a hamburger.
    FOX News: Obama tells Burger King to shove it by eating at McDonald's.
    CNN reports: FOX News reports that Obama hates Burger King.
    FOX News: The lying CNN is lying again.

    BBC News: China invades North Korea. US media concerned with Obama eating hamburgers.

  • Oct 3rd, 2017 @ 11:46am

    The Good Fight

    It's interesting that everyone is talking about piracy and CBS AllAccess now.

    Did you know that "Star Trek: Discovery" (STD) was originally supposed to air back in January, but was delayed due to reshoots and other production issues? Instead, CBS used this same strategy with "The Good Fight", the spinoff of "The Good Wife": the first episode was shown on regular CBS and the rest of the series was shown on AllAccess.

    Yet there were no discussions back then about how CBS AllAccess wasn't a good deal or how CBS was greedy or how people were pirating the show.
    I'm sure "The Good Fight" had decent enough numbers and far less piracy to convince CBS executives that the idea would work for STD.

  • Aug 9th, 2017 @ 10:13am

    A joke too far

    This reminds me of the joke on "Friends":
    Joey is taking a lady out on a date and asks Ross where to go.
    Ross: Take her to the Met.
    Joey: The Met? That's great! I love baseball.
    Ross: No, not the Mets, the Met- the New York Metropolitan Museum of Art.
    Joey: Really? That's confusing. You'd think one of them would change their name.

    So it would be more logical for the Mets to go after the Met since the words are so similar. No one will confuse a software program for a baseball team, but they might confuse the locations in New York.

  • Aug 9th, 2017 @ 10:08am

    Re: Pepperidge Farm Remembers

    I was just going to mention this.
    I remember the point of cable television was to get commercial-free channels, such as HBO.
    And in return, cable channels got their income from subscribers not advertisers.

    But then channels like TBS and WGN came along as decided they could charge customers to be on "extended cable" service *and* charge advertisers for commercials.

  • Aug 9th, 2017 @ 9:54am

    Re: Huh?

    It's not illegal for a federal person to have another e-mail address as long as that e-mail isn't used for federal business.
    The line starts to get very gray when a federal person uses a private company as his official communication channel. This would include using a private e-mail address or server and believing it was secure enough. And it would include Trump usinghis own Twitter account to send out official Presidential communications rather than using the official @POTUS Twitter account.

  • Aug 9th, 2017 @ 9:40am

    Take a look at the development chain

    So what kind of website developer thinks it's a good idea to be able to change the URL and display someone else's data without any kind of verification? How about at least comparing the URL to a cookie to see if the logged-on user has access to that account.

    Then what about the testing/ QA department who didn't think to run this kind of test?

    Then what about the department manager who didn't think to tell the testers if they ran this test or ask the developer to write secure code?

    How did this company even make it to the stage of releasing production-ready code, which I assume is available in the usual app stores?

  • Aug 7th, 2017 @ 12:24pm

    On the other hand

    What kind of system allows people to give a rating without any comments? Why did the person give a 1-star rating? Is it an unsatisfied customer, someone being a jerk, or even a competitor looking to damage someone's business?

    Second, why would anyone think a 1-star rating with no comment is a valid review? When I read the reviews of a product, I read the *comments*, not how many 1-star ratings it received. In fact, I ignore any ratings without a comment to back up the rating.

  • Aug 1st, 2017 @ 10:04am

    Nice story, but still no solution

    On the other hand, what can a person do? They sit down at the pizza restaurant, sees that there's free Wifi, sees a TOS, clicks OK, and uses the free Wifi.
    Is anyone really going to read the TOS? And if they do read it, I doubt anyone will think "Hey, I don't want to hug a dog. This Wifi isn't for me"!

    In other words, this is a nice story, but it still doesn't address whether a click-through TOS is a legally binding contract. Sure, the company could argue that hugging a dog is a small price for getting free Wifi, but still.

  • Jul 27th, 2017 @ 12:12pm

    It's not over

    Did Darden say they were going to stop using these IP bots? If not, then the issue it's settled. Although the situation worked out fine for this guy, I can easily see this happening again.
    In fact, I'd be willing to bet that an IP bot will send a notice to TechDirt for daring to mention Olive Garden (or olivegarden) in an article talking about Olive Garden.

  • Jul 24th, 2017 @ 11:12am

    Playing devil's advocate

    And I know this is probably a stretch, but what United wants to inspect the comic books for insurance reasons? I saw some photos on Facebook of some guys holding an Action Comics #1 (worth around $2 million), so I'm wondering if United is trying to prevent any fraudulent insurance claims.

    I can just see someone filing a claim saying United lost their luggage and of course their copy of Action Comics #1 was in the bag, so please pay a claim of $2 million. Or maybe someone claims United lost their complete run of Action Comics #1-20.

  • Jul 24th, 2017 @ 11:05am

    File a counter-suit

    I wish some enterprising lawyer would take up this case and counter-sue:
    1) No, Darden doesn't have to "enforce" its trademark to keep it. The counter-suit should go after the lawyers that told the executives that this was true OR go after the lawyers who send robo-letters.

    2) Even if this was true, who in the world thinks it's a good idea to file a takedown notice against a review site... and a review site with good reviews?
    What would happen if he took his site down and replaced it with "Olive Garden sucks" instead of the good reviews?

  • Jul 24th, 2017 @ 10:31am

    I can see both sides

    On the one hand, if customers are paying for 10m/s, then that's what they should get. If Verizon wants to slow their speed, then tell them and give them an option to pay less each month.

    On the other hand, did it affect everyone or just the "uber-nerds" who run speed tests to make sure they can get 4K data streams even though their mobile devices can't support 4K.

  • Jul 19th, 2017 @ 3:04pm

    Yes, you can copyright common names

    Yes, you can copyright common names if you can convince the public that you own the name.

    This "Elvis" issue is a good example, but here's another: did you know that CBS/ Paramount own all usages of the word "Enterprise"? Okay, maybe they don't own it, but they've pressured/ scared/ convinced enough websites that they do.
    At digital product sites such as Turbo Squid, sellers aren't allowed to mention the word "Enterprise" in a product description, even if the product is a 1800's schooner, a space shuttle or the aircraft carrier.

  • Jul 19th, 2017 @ 2:40pm

    When are companies going to stand up to this?

    When are companies going to stand up to this kind of search and seizure? Or are they not worried that the government (and its agencies) are collecting data from their employee's computers? Or have companies not said anything because it hasn't happened to them yet?

    I seem to remember a case a few months ago where a scientist from the Joint Propulsion Lab (JPL) visited some relatives in the Middle East, but then his computer was confiscated by border patrol when returned. And look at all the designs on his computer- he's obviously a terrorist planning something and he must have falsified his JPL credentials.

    In all seriousness, the guy was trying to do some work while on vacation and now border patrol has his computer, which means he can't do his work *and* the JPL has to get him a new one *and* all of his documents and data are now in the red tape of "we'll return it eventually".

    Are people not supposed to take their laptops/ pads/ phones with them so they can get some work done?

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