I completely understand about receiving the demand to preserve evidence. That's perfectly normal in legal cases of all stripes and is applicable before any case is filed or any judge rules.
I am, however, not so familiar with gag orders -- especially gag orders that can be triggered by sending a letter, without having filed any case or obtained any judicial order.
Would you be willing to share a little more about the advice you got from Ken White about keeping the information confidential? I am curious to know whether the letter you received compelled you to keep the information from being revealed to the subject of the investigation (and if so, under what authority), or if you were simply advised to do so as a best practice (and if so, why).
In my mind, there is an enormous difference between the government compelling someone not to destroy information and the government compelling someone (particularly a journalist) to remain silent.
I agree, and I am disappointed with Tim Cushing for not pointing this out. In the same article, he manages to decry the attempt to insert changes to section 230 of the copyright act into this unrelated defense bill, yet fails to even point out the connection when he discusses an attempt to include this rider about policing (which is also unrelated to defense).
I agree that the proposed changes to section 230 are undesirable and the proposed changes to policing are desirable. But that doesn't justify complaining about the procedure for one and not the other.
Unicorn Riot (understandably) is complaining that Facebook and YouTube have "algorithmically interfered" with their reporting, but the reality is that it's copyright to blame here. And we should not confuse the two.
Unicorn Riot is correct in this case.
Facebook and YouTube have not taken these videos down because a judge has found that they violate a music copyright. Even our copyright-happy courts could not find that an interview conducted on the street to report on an issue of pressing national importance was prohibited from distribution due to background music that was playing.
What has happened is that Facebook and YouTube have each formed their own set of policies which enable them to take down this video. Those policies are NOT law, and if the policies were different then Martin Gay (or rather those that control his music) would have to sue Unicorn Riot for infringement -- a lawsuit that wouldn't happen and would fail if it were tried. But Facebook and YouTube can use their own first-ammendment freedom to choose not to display these videos, and Unicorn Riot cannot defend against that choice in court.
The nuance is that Facebook and YouTube crafted such policies largely in response to copyright laws -- and also significantly in response to threats from the music industry to ratchet up their legal efforts and their lobbying to CHANGE the laws. But both policies go far beyond what copyright law itself requires.
Look, write article. It's an important topic. However, please just leave out lines like this:
Florida has lots of sunny beaches that are currently too empty to satisfy sun junkies who wish to take advantage of the lengthy shorelines contained in America's Penis.
I should think TechDirt would more respect than that for the subject, for the people of the state, and for basic principles of journalism. It also isn't an approach that will actually reach people. Tim, I expect better from you.
On these sorts of matters, it appears that the Apple AppStore does a slightly better job of providing moderation. But when they decide to kick something off their platform (perhaps because they now have their own competing product), there is no other choice. At least Android still allows side-loading.
Perhaps the real opportunity is for someone to make a competing app store with its own level of review ("none" doesn't seem to work). Competition can work wonders at forcing folks to up their game. However, because of network effects, this will only work if there is a simple, effective way for app publishers to submit to MULTIPLE AppStores simultaneously without additional effort.
In the meantime, I just added PodcastAddict to my Patreon list of monthly donations, right alongside some others that I regularly support.
Normally a Land Rover of that age which hadn't received proper mechanical care during the years it was impounded would be worth far less than the original $35,000. But hopefully for Tyson Timbs, this particular Land Rover will be worth more as a collector's item -- after all, it was famously the subject of an important Supreme Court case.
In the article, you reference "CCIA" without specifying what organization that acronym refers to. From context, it could be some government agency, a consumer watchdog group, or any of a number of other things. If, indeed, you mean the Computer and Communication Industry Association <https://www.ccianet.org/>, then you should probably specify that.
I realize you are paraphrasing the decision, but nevertheless, this quote:
Since this protest of the killing of a black man by cops didn't agitate against racists[sic] laws
strikes me as being shocking inaccurate. Racist laws are PRECISELY what the protests were about.
to sue the reporter for sharing the details seems incredibly cowardly
I disagree completely. To sue a party who might be unable to afford to mount a defense might well be the cowardly approach, but to sue someone who will be protected by the legal team at the New York Times may be foolhardy, even stupid, but cannot be called "cowardly".
I thought the second TorrentFreak article you linked to made a particularly good point. The problem could easily have been avoided with a small amount of transparency. If, like Twitter, Reddit were to submit the DMCA notices it receives to Lumen (or use any other means to make them publicly visible) then this deception (as well as quite a few other abuses of the DMCA takedown system) would quickly become apparent.
How is is any of our business what the financial details are? While it would be interesting, it is still none of our business.
First of all, it WOULD be interesting -- in fact, reporting on the actual costs of being on the receiving end of a meritless lawsuit which ends up not being covered by SLAPP laws is just the kind of thing that Techdirt covers well. I encourage Mike and his crew to consider such an article.
But mainly, while I can't speak for others, I am more willing to contribute at this point if I see the actual numbers. While Mike and Techdirt are under no obligation to release them, I DID donate in the early stages of the lawsuit, but have not contributed to this fund since (although I do contribute to support Techdirt's reporting). I might be willing to do so again, but my willingness is dependent on the actual costs and the degree to which the previous contributions helped cover those costs. There may be others out there who take the same position as I do, in which case that may be a motivation for releasing the information.
If the court's reasoning in this case was clearly explained to be based on "here, the court said no one raised the "overbreadth" issue [so they didn't have to consider it]", then doesn't that mean that the very next case where someone DOES raise that issue requires re-consideration (by the lower court, and potentially appealable to the Vermont Supreme Court) because the precedent doesn't apply?
Well, there are ads on the site which you can click on (especially if they offer you something useful). There are deals. You could choose to buy an ad. You can contribute through Patreon if that's your preference.
You could help them get a good scoop by submitting a story. You can participate in the comments, helping to grow the community. You can share links to TechDirt on Facebook (!!) or other media sources to help get the word out. And best of all, you can just pay them money.
And before you ask: No, I wasn't asked to submit this comment. I don't even know Mike Masnick and the other folks who run this place. I'm just a pleased user who wants his media to continue delivering good news and realizes that it isn't possible without some source of income.
The local prosecutor is wrong. The statute of limitations may have run out for SOME crimes... which is all the more reason to pursue other crimes. I'm fairly certain that the statute of limitations has not run out on the crime of murder. It is a bit of a stretch, but I am confident that many people who are NOT police officers have been convicted of murder on evidence far more flimsy than this.