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  • Jan 14, 2021 @ 07:36am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: It gets better

    This is the exact free market that the right advocates, they claim that anyone can refuse service to anyone (see: cakes and gay people) right up until it affects them. The irony is thick here. Free association is just that. These companies have chosen to not associate themselves with a platform that allowed literal calls for violence, rape, insurrection, and so on. It's a call that the right wing claims is allowed unless, apparently, it's against one of their own darlings. Yes the baker and gay people analogy is bad. It's apples and oranges. LGBTQIA+ aren't literally calling for others to be injured. I use it only to highlight the hypocrisy here. It's also completely ironic that the CEO of a platform that allowed calls for physical harm, death threats, rape threats, and more is now afraid to return to his home because of the very thing he allowed to be directed towards others. I abhor death threats but I'd be lying if I said I wasn't amused at the poetic nature of what's happening.

  • Oct 15, 2012 @ 07:36am

    Re: Re: WHAT HARM? Simple: Google has too much POWER.

    You apparently think that free speech has something to do with Techdirt. It's sort of cute. It is not stopping free speech for a community to downvote/report/etc a comment on a private website. Said private website is under no obligation to provide any forum for commentary at all and if they do then they are welcome to police and or/restrict it any way they choose to see fit. Techdirt allows the user community to regulate some of the comments through a voting system. Some people's comments get voted in to oblivion. Of course, according to Techdirt's policies you are then free to repost said comments and even free to incorrectly claim that it has something to do with free speech! The rest of us are free to giggle at you for even mentioning free speech in regards to user comments on a privately owned website and click the report button on your reposting of the original comment.

  • Jul 12, 2011 @ 10:12am

    Re: Re: Re:

    In Houston it is a separate law than if an officer stops you from running a red light. It is a civil offence and not a criminal offence, does not go on your driving record, and they are required to state that they cannot arrest you for non-payment when they send out the "ticket". In essence all that happens if you don't pay is a mark on your credit rating and annoying phone calls from bill collectors.

  • Jan 27, 2011 @ 10:49am

    Re: Re: Re:

    You seem to be completely unaware of how the lending on the Kindle works. The service never even sees a copy of the e-book to begin with. They match up people and those people share between themselves. During the time the book is shared it is unavailable on the original owner's Kindle. Once the time limited lending period is over it is removed from the device the original purchaser regains control. All the service does is match up people who want to read stuff other people already have and doesn't participate in transferring the actual media at all. Most of the comments below also ignore the way the lending actually works and what the service actually does. For once the pro-copyright folks really should RTFA because there is nothing akin to piracy happening here at all. Just a matchmaking service for a completely legal feature of the Amazon Kindle.

  • Nov 09, 2010 @ 08:46am

    Re: Re: Re: Wonder if it'll happen... and whether thay'll count properly if it does.

    There is a difference. The ballot question to which you refer merely stated the will of the people which the legislature is free to ignore. They did not pass a law stating no laws requiring seat belts could be passed. They spoke their wishes and had them ignored. The vote in question here invalidates an existing law which is a completely different scenario. From the point the vote was certified the law no longer existed from legal standpoint. They could, in theory, pass a law to allow the cameras with different language but they cannot continue to operate under the existing law.

  • Nov 09, 2010 @ 08:43am


    The timing is regulated by law and Houston has not been found to be in violation of that law however other municipalities have been found to be in violation. The specter of shortened yellow lights always looms in any city with these automated cameras. This is proved by what the city officials are currently bemoaning. They have not once said anything about safety decreasing but are ringing their hands about the revenue. So Houston didn't have an argument concerning the illegal shortening of yellows but it has happened. The voters spoke and red light cameras are no longer legal in Houston, Texas whether for better or worse. The government now has to abide by the voters' will.

  • Nov 09, 2010 @ 08:39am

    Re: I know, but....

    The problem here is the will of the voters. Enough people signed the petition and the people voted. They have to throw the whole thing out regardless of revenue or safety issues. You have to remember this is civil code not criminal code so it is different in execution and practice. The worst they could do is put it on your credit record if you didn't pay. In fact the Houston law required them to tell you that you couldn't be thrown in jail, couldn't lose your license, and a lot of other stuff they couldn't do to you if you didn't pay and as far as I know they never actually sent out the correct notices to begin with.

    It doesn't matter if someone was making money or not the fact is the voters struck down the law and at this point the city is operating the cameras without a law to back them up. I know they want the revenue and I can appreciate that (have recently driven on Westhiemer they certainly need if) but the fact is that the law the cameras operated under is now null and void. They should shut off the cameras or at least cease issuing citations. To continue issuing citations is most likely illegal and there is already a class action in the works to get it stopped. I expect the class action will succeed pretty quickly and before the 120 days notice requirement is fulfilled. The city should have never signed a contract that did not include a provision for the voters to strike down the law. That provision is not the concern of those being issued citations now that the law has been struck down but rather for the city lawyers. Any ticket issued after the vote was certified needs to be declared null and void.

  • Nov 08, 2010 @ 10:53am

    Re: Re: Re: The citations were *never* valid. Ignore them.

    You will find that in Houston citations issued by traffic cameras are covered under separate law than citations issued by officers and citations issued by officers are still, and likely always will be, criminal offences. If you miss a court date for speeding a warrant will be issued for your arrest and you will eventually be taken to jail (we don't have speed cameras here in Houston) but if you miss a court date for a traffic camera the worst that happens is the judgement is placed on your credit report.

    So your assumption is incorrect. In Houston, at the very least, the civil code covers traffic cameras and makes it a civil offense but they kept tickets issued by actual officers of the law completely separate and those are still criminal offenses. I suspect, without any evidence at all, that most municipalities have done the exact same thing are your above interpretation is completely incorrect.

  • Aug 26, 2010 @ 02:19pm

    Re: New law but old crime.. its not going to protect you..

    what about "the crime' being committed before this new "yanks are allowed to say what they like" laws that have recently been introduced. Im sure that new law will not be retroactive.. BTW: do you know how stupid that new law sounds to anyone who is not American. What are you saying ? if you are in America you can say what you like about anyone else, or anything else because of your "free speech" thing ? WOW, talk about ego's !!

    Firstly the new law applies to lawsuits and not content so it covers this threat of a lawsuit regardless of the age of the post or comment in question. Secondly you apparently do not understand U.S. law regarding free speech. You can say anything at any time about anything with few restrictions. If the things you are saying could be damaging, and the offended party must be able to prove damages, then you may cross the line into libel or slander depending on the medium however if the statements made are true then you have a defense. If what you say is opinion and not represented as fact you also have a defense against lawsuits. There are other situations but they don't apply here. In fact the two situations mentioned don't apply here because Mike did not say the things that have offended Mr. Morris. The things in question were said by posters on this website and Mike is protected from liability for comments made on the site by U.S. law which is one thing that makes this lawsuit laughable. The new law to which Mike refers only aims to keep U.S. citizens from having their rights violated by foreign laws.
    The US is internationally on the nose anyway, I suppose this could not make things much worse.. Also the US being able to say what they like to other countries or people, is a US LAW. If your web page is available in the UK, you are acting under UK law, so you might only get blocked to the UK. But it would be fun, and interesting to see it tested in court. Under UK law !!
    You are dead wrong on your statement that if your webpage is available in the UK then you are subject to UK law. Jurisdiction depends on where the server is physically located which, in this case, is in the U.S. so British law does not apply to Mike's site. The only enforceable judgement, provided Mike doesn't travel to the UK, is the site being blocked in the UK which I am not sure happens anyway. The UK has absolutely no right to try and apply its laws to citizens of the United States who are operating legally and physically inside of the U.S. and you speak of the arrogance of Americans? For the UK to think they can apply their laws to citizens outside of their country is much more arrogant than US citizens practicing their right to free speech.
    You refused to take down this post, and you wonder why he took it further !!. What is there to wonder about, what other choices did he have.
    He could have gone after the actual culpable parties which are the people that made the posts. Mike is not legally responsible for the posts made by others on Techdirt. You may be used to living without freedom or protection of speech but here in the US we take that sort of thing seriously. Attempts could have been made prior to the threat of a lawsuit which Mike clearly states was the first action. Mr. Morris's attorneys decided that attempting to file suit without any way to enforcement a judgement would be a good first step. There were other options.
    As for racist comments, you should be able to remove offending material, and take a little responsibility for your posts. And you would be surprised at what some people will believe, or mabey not, as you say some 'off the wall' stuff yourself, that is often 'believed' by your followers. Those who do not wish to think and enquire for themselves. And allthough you say you will not remover posts when asked, you will certainly remove posts that you dont like yourself. Double standards ?
    Have you read any of the comments on the years old post to which this threat is related. The "racist" comments are comments accusing Mr. Morris of giving preference to Jewish employees. The only racism in the thread is accusations thereof. And furthermore why should Mike take them down? Isn't it better to address filth like racism, or accusations of racism, in public where refutation can occur or is it preferable to sweep it under the rug? Mike is taking responsibility for his posts he is just not, nor is he required to, take responsibility for other's comments on his posts. And Mike doesn't remove posts he doesn't like he removes spam which is another matter entirely. There are tons of posts which disagree with Mike all over this site and some of them are quite well thought out and well reasoned but they still stand. It's just a guess but I predict your idiotic post will stay just like all the rest all over the site.
    But using the Constitution as your took to be an international bully and mouth, is not a good look for the US. Considering their (your) track record over the past 10 or so years.
    Constitutional freedoms are why the US has a less than stellar international reputation. In fact some of the reasons can be argued to be a violation of the very same. We have had some bad leaders and that's not debatable but whatever the idiots in Washington do or look like no foreign government is allowed to trample on the rights of US citizens and we just passed another law to make sure of it. Sorry if that offends you. Ok I am not sorry but it sounded good at the time.
    So its ok to use the constatution for your own gains, but when it comes to Muslum community centre near the 911 site, you quickly want to forget that prized constatution to get your own way..
    I don't see anyone in the US government threatening to pass laws to prevent the mosque from being built. What you see if public outcry which is well within the rights of the people. You can say what you want but I have the right call you on your bullshit. Just like the folks wanting to build a mosque have a right to build it anywhere they own land, depending on zoning which I think is stupid anyway, I have the right to tell them they are being inconsiderate assholes for building it where they are. Neither of us has violated the rights of the other. They offend me by building where they want to build but I would take up arms if the federal government told them they couldn't but until that happens I'll keep calling them assholes and hoping they build somewhere else. You apparently have no grasp of how freedom actually works.
    US law is not internation law, and the US are not the police governing system for the planet.
    You are right. And British law is not international law and the British are not the governing system for the planet which is why the US passed laws protecting its citizens from being subject to oppressive laws from other countries. The British don't get to come and enforce their laws on Americans. If you think they can and can get away with just look at the history of the United States. They did it once and we are still making sure no-one else can do it again. Of course our own leaders are whittling away our rights but that's another story.
    So why expect the rest of the world to abide by your laws, if you will not abide by their laws.
    We don't expect the rest of the world to abide by our laws. We expect them to respect our laws on our soil which is all this hoopla is about. Some British twat has threatened an American with British law to which he is not subject and now we are laughing at the British twat.
    (they might extradite you for a freebee trip the london!!,, but not to see the Queen..).. :)
    You are wrong about jurisdiction here. Mike is US citizen and the server is in the US which makes him subject only to US law. The US government wouldn't allow British laws to be enforced in the US for something that is perfectly legal in the US and happened in US jurisdiction and to even think for a second they would allow an extradition based on a case like this is lunacy. I know I am not supposed to feed the trolls but I couldn't help it this time...

  • Aug 24, 2010 @ 10:13am


    Intent to infringe relates solely to the damages allowed and not to whether the infringement is actionable. You are arguing something that hasn't been stated. Innocent infringement provides much lower damages which is why it's important in the case mentioned.

  • Aug 20, 2010 @ 09:23am

    Re: is the correct link. I was thwarted by my laptop touchpad in the above post.

  • Aug 20, 2010 @ 09:22am

    While the case mentioned is federal it has also been mentioned that there widely varying laws throughout the states governing recording. For instance in Texas only one party has to know the conversation is being recorded and it can even be recorded by a third party that has been given permission: Summary of relevant portions of the Penal Code linked above:

    So long as a wire, oral, or electronic communication—including the radio portion of any cordless telephone call—is not recorded for a criminal or tortious purpose, anyone who is a party to the communication, or who has the consent of a party, can lawfully record the communication and disclose its contents. Texas Penal Code § 16.02.
    The other interesting portions of the Texas laws governing this cover non-electronic communication which would cover spoken conversation:
    Under the statute, consent is not required for the taping of a non-electronic communication uttered by a person who does not have a reasonable expectation of privacy in that communication. See definition of “oral communication,” Texas Code Crim. Pro. Art. 18.20.
    A great resource for this is: which covers all states in an easy state by state format. My family had some issues with harassment when I was growing up so I overheard my father talking about the laws governing recording phone calls and for some reason it stuck with me. I never had a tape deck and phone attachment around like we did when I was growing up and those problems were happening but now that I can record calls on my phone with a single press on the screen I have made use it when dealing with the occasional customer service rep that went to far so I could easily file my complaint with evidence.

  • Aug 12, 2010 @ 10:31am

    Re: Who's right is more important

    If the press lied about the charges against your brother then a libel suit would be in order. That's where the checks and balances lie in these situations. A libel suit can force a retraction as well as provide monetary damages. Limiting the press isn't an option. The dangers of a free press, as you have illustrated with your anecdote, are outweighed by the dangers of not having a free press. What happened to your brother sucked but there was legal recourse that could have been taken if what you say is true and I have my doubts about that but there is no reason to go into those doubts. I'll just assume that you are not making it up. If the press lied about your brother mentioning a gun then there is legal recourse if they reported the facts then there isn't.

  • Aug 12, 2010 @ 10:26am

    Re: A couple more points.

    The photograph is not "solely prejudicial" it is a fact as well. The accused was there, in an orange jumpsuit, when the picture was taken. It is as much of a fact as the name of the accused. It may be prejudicial as well but the publishing it won't create any more prejudice than when the accused is brought in to court for trial in the same orange jumpsuit in front of the jury. The LA Time may be a corporation attempting to make profit off of the photograph but they are also a member of the press which is granted very specific freedoms in the first amendment and the case law surrounding this sort of ban as well as SCOTUS rulings show that this judge has overstepped his authority in this case. Whether you like the freedom or not it exists. Whether the press has a moral obligation regarding the photograph is entirely moot when it comes to the rights enumerated in the constitution.

    Secondly you are dead wrong about the constitution being entirely concerned with individual rights. The first amendment is about two individual rights (freedom of religion and speech) and two group rights (freedom of press and assembly). Your arguments here are entirely moral and irrelevant to the law of the land. Past cases show the judge is beyond his authority in banning the publishing of this photo. No matter how much it sucks no matter how immoral it may be they press has a right to publish the photo that is laid out clearly and has been upheld by the courts over and over again. Your moral arguments may well hold water but the law is not concerned with morality in cases like this. And yes in cases like this the group right of freedom of the press does trump any right to privacy the accused may have once the press has a picture or a story. You may not like. It might not even be morally right but that's the way it is and restricting the press is not an option if we want to continue living in a free country.

  • Aug 12, 2010 @ 08:22am

    I wish the LA Times had the balls to stand up for the First Amendment and publish the picture anyway, completely ignoring the judges clearly unlawful order, so that this case would be forced to come to head immediately. The precedent is clear here and the judge has overstepped his authority. Today's press is all too eager to allow the judiciary to stifle the rights of the press. More publications need to take hard stances against this kind of abuse and the judges quite honestly need be put in their place.

  • Aug 12, 2010 @ 08:18am


    While it sucks that people are tried in the court of public opinion it is one of the hazards of living in a free society. We deal with these hazards so that we have our freedoms. All of the things you list do, in fact, suck for the accused however the right of the press to freely publish trumps the suck.

    You may be on to something about keeping persons of interest and suspects private until an arrest is made but the onus would have to be on law enforcement with penalties for leaks on that side of the game. The press must be free to publish the information it receives or we don't have a free press.

    The issue of honesty in the press is one the consumer needs to address and cannot be addressed by law. Unfortunately our society rewards the drivel that's being published so those who do care about honesty from the press are a minority that is rarely heard from.

    Your last statement is completely wrong. There is very little that supersedes our first amendment rights and some of what does now is already crap. Factual reporting should never be superseded by the chance of embarrassment. The accused could sue for libel or slander depending on the method of delivery if more than the facts were presented but the press must be allowed to remain free. It sucks for the accused to be sure just like it sucks for the families of military families to have deal with Fred Phelps and his crew of disgusting douchebags at funerals but this is the way it must be if we are to have a free society. You cannot place restrictions on the press like this and still claim freedom and once you allow the restrictions to be placed you only open the door for more.

  • Jul 08, 2010 @ 07:28am


    You present a false dilemma. There may be two modes for copyright, protected or public domain, but the licenses in question grant rights beyond copyright. If you choose not to accept the license then you have only whatever use copyright grants you so it is not a question of the two states of copyright but rather one of if the creator of a work is allowed to grant rights above and beyond what copyright offers. Copyright remains untouched by the discussion.

    I also disagree with Mike that challenges to CC licenses could end up harming what little rights the public has left. As long as the licenses only grant rights and do not restrict rights I think everything will be fine. I don't see the courts allowing a license to remove rights and they have not ruled that way yet. The same dangers to the public rights granted by copyright exist in any challenge to a EULA, the GPL, or any other license that relies on copyright as its base. I don't think the treat Mike sees exists and I think it's pretty much crying wolf to demonize CC licenses when the EULAs are likely a much larger threat.

    If you think there is a threat then the GPL is likely a much larger threat than CC licenses due to the complexity. CC licenses only grant rights and take nothing away and if you don't agree with them you are limited to fair use. A CC license, in essence, gives the end user of the content a defense in court and the owner of the content more control of their work while allowing them to allow other to make use of their work. Since copyright is not like trademark the only other real option is selective enforcement of copyright as it does not cause you to lose your copyright. I would much rather see CC licenses used to spell out an end users rights and have those rights granted to all end users, or all non-commercial end users in some cases, than have copyright holders never say what they will allow and have the public find out only by who they sue for what.

    It's no often I disagree with Mike on copyright issues but here I do. I do not believe that CC licenses are a threat and I actually believe this lawsuit is a good thing as the producer of the content has allowed use of their work that basic copyright would not and their goodwill has been taken advantage of by the defendant. Licenses are contract law and always will be and enforcing them has to be done through contract law (IANAL) as far as I know. The end user of the content in question made use of the content outside of the stated allowed uses. I would have preferred to see this handled through a series of exchanges where the end user admitted they screwed up and stopped but that didn't happen so the next recourse is a lawsuit. I am rooting for the plaintiff in this case. If they win we have court decisions that say (at least at the time of this posting):

    1. You can't remove rights through a license
    2. You can grant extra rights through a license

    And with those two decisions out in the wild I think the world of copyright will be a better place.

    I won't get into positing on the implications for a lot of licenses such as the GPL if it was to be found that you couldn't grant extra rights through a license. If you are worried about CC licenses then you should be just as worried about challenges to the GPL.

  • Jul 07, 2010 @ 08:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Simple really. He read a news story where someone got fined for playing a radio in public, like the mechanic shop who played a radio for their mechanics to listen to while they worked but since the customers could hear it they got fined, and thought he ought to pay the license because he likes playing music and didn't want to get fined. He gave in to the extortion he just didn't give in to enough of it.

  • May 26, 2010 @ 02:05pm

    Re: Re:

    I did read the post thanks. I was commenting on the industry overall as did other posters. Did you bother reading everything I wrote before nitpicking one point that doesn't change anything I said? Moron!

  • May 26, 2010 @ 10:48am

    I want to first state that I am not taking a stance on whether or not this company illegally towed cars or not.

    Years back I worked for a towing companies that did private property as well as accidents. Not a single one of them had a good BBB rating because even if I hooked a car that didn't have a handicap tag in a handicap space people would complain to the BBB. And then some asshole who thinks it's alright to park in a handicap space, fire zone, or other obviously marked non-parking space for just a few minutes files yet another complaint after the first one gets a response. Eventually the companies stop bothering to respond because it doesn't change anything. So the F rating from the BBB likely applies to any towing company that handles private properties. Since towing companies that handle private properties, accidents and repos don't generally require any sort of customer satisfaction on the part of the towee the cost associated with responding to the BBB with the volume of complaints they frequently don't bother.

    Here in Texas there are very specific laws concerning towing from private property and while there are operators who hook cars outside of those laws they are stopped pretty quickly because the fines are steep enough that it doesn't make any business sense and the driver doing it will get fired on top of being responsible for the fines.

    Also a property owner can sign a tow slip for a legally parked vehicle (fire zones and handicap are the only illegal as far as the law is concerned parking areas) and it's a legal tow whether the owner of the vehicle likes it or not. Once a vehicle is on private property the owner of the property has control of whether or not the vehicle stays. At that point all the towing company can do is tell the owner of the car to speak with the property owner which also leads to them being hated. If it comes down to the police requesting a tow outside of an accident then it's their responsibility once their name and badge number is on the tow slip. The point is that the towing company may have no idea about any shady practices the property owners engage in and be operating completely legally. At least here in Texas it's in their best interest to do so.

    People hate wrecker drivers and tow companies and this company isn't helping the situation. If they acted legally and continue to do so then a lawsuit isn't the way to handle these complaints. It would be easy to require their drivers to take pictures of the illegally parked vehicle (I was required to do so) and simply post them in response to these complaints. If they are just doing their job, which they claim, then these complaints could easily be shown to be sour grapes after someone got caught parking illegally. The way they are handling this makes very little sense and makes me, a former wrecker driver, think they might have something to hide.

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