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  • Mar 29th, 2015 @ 9:34am

    The problem with the legal system

    This is the problem with the legal system. According to the players, judge, attorneys, etc., everyone pretty much deserves their day in court. Even for ridiculous complaints from vexatious litigants. The court would not interfere with their rights to go to court.

    That said, a single small bar being sued by a huge tobacco company over trademark infringement is pretty implausible. But the judge may just be waiting for the defendant to bring a reasonable Motion for Summary Judgment, which might cost them $100,000 to bring. Which they may not be able to afford to bring. And they'd need some discovery first.

    This is why huge corporations have such an advantage. Lorrilard has good revenues, they can bring nuisance suits against anyone they want. There is nothing a little guy can do about it.

    The court won't dismiss it on their own, the defendant would have to bring them a reason. The judge might be eager for that to happen. But it'll never happen on it's own, our legal system is based on advocacy, which sometimes means whoever has the best lawyers wins, no matter how ridiculous the argument.

    The loser pays system in Great Britain would take the wind out of some of these, but no one is advocating that here. Even me. Sadly.

    If you want to read a fascinating case look up Tabberone,
    A husband and wife who got sued for trademark infringement and defended it themselves, and won against a huge corporation, maybe Disney or Warner Bros. It's quite a read.
  • Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:25am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Step #1 to fix this, ban private contractors from collecting ticket money

    Why did government agencies allow per ticket commissions?

    Because they just didn't think it was going to be a problem. At the time, they couldn't see a problem.

    They had no idea that dishonest camera vendors would think that manipulating the evidence, blatant forgery, stuff like that was somehow OK. They just didn't think it would be a problem.

    In government affairs there are always unintended consequences.

    This unintended consequence is that dishonest vendors were desperate for more revenue, and realized that even if they get caught it's not likely anyone would think to prosecute them for forgery. They knew it was just illegal. They're not stupid.

    That's what we need to prove them wrong on. Prosecute them, both the employees and the company.

    What is incomprehensible is that the workers at those companies who forged the evidence likely made no extra money themselves for their forgery.

    I have never had an employer ask me to do something illegal or even dishonest for the company, and I wouldn't be involved in anything like that.

    Clearly there are people who think lying, cheating, stealing for an employer is somehow proper.

    I am not doing jailtime for an employer.
  • Aug 7th, 2013 @ 10:00am

    Re: Re: Step #1 to fix this, ban private contractors from collecting ticket money

    You're kidding, right?

    Why are they wanting to bill by the citation? It's 1000x more profitable and a much easier sell.

    IMHO the voters should pass an initiative setting the automated enforcement ticket at a $4 fine, and that money can only be used for affordable housing.

    No money to run the camera system. That'd solve the problem completely.
  • Aug 7th, 2013 @ 8:54am

    The conflict of interest and forgery.

    I am against such automated enforcement, I like to face my accuser.

    In California we used to have red light camera contracts which allowed the camera vendor to share in the fine. So the more fines, the more money they and the government agency made.

    This was all changed some years ago and now camera vendors do not participate in any "profits". They are paid a flat rate, monthly fee for the camera system, they don't make any more money if more citations are issued.

    So the camera vendors have no incentive to do anything like they did in this MD case.

    As I said, I am against the whole thing, but my approach would be for the citizens in every jurisdiction to tell their elected representatives they want all conflicts of interest removed and cameras either made illegal or the payments to the vendors should be volume neutral.

    No funny business.

    As to this case, I think the camera vendor should be prosecuted, and if they are found to have forged evidence they should be fined and the corporation dissolved.
  • Jul 19th, 2013 @ 1:10pm

    She's a U.S. Senator

    Heck, she's a U.S. Senator.

    She is actually able to take them to task for removing a video that had her face on it. It was her talking, right? Who has rights to that more than her?

    I can't imagine they can get away with that, but here's her chance to change the law to prevent this going forward. Glad it was her and not me, because I couldn't do anything about it.

    I hope she takes the initiative to reign in these copyright/DMCA crooks who use thin arguments to have things taken off the internet.

    It's been going on too long and we do need all that to be strictly limited. With significant liability for those that misuse the DMCA.

    The DMCA is way too broad, and it was no sooner passed than there were lawsuits to expand it. That needs to be rolled back. Sen. Warren can do it.
  • Jul 16th, 2013 @ 9:16am

    Those ILECs need some standards set for them by society.

    They have been paid all those years with a guaranteed ROI to maintain the PSTN and now they want out. What business gets a guaranteed profit? Only monopolies like them.

    You heard what the Attorney General of New York told Verizon? "Get in there and serve your customers or sell out to someone who will."

    These companies made billions of dollars as regulated utilities, now they are offering DSL service using that same PSTN, and guess what?

    Internet is now the equivalent of what telephone was a generation ago.

    We need to bring them all under proper regulation, since they have taken all that money from their customers for so many years.

    They should get in there and bond pairs, put in fiber, whatever it takes to give adequate service to their customers.

    Those utility easements on all our property that they got for free, that's not free. There is a quid pro quo.

    We deserve it.
  • Apr 13th, 2013 @ 2:46pm

    What about my idea?


    What about my idea? mall-businesses-1k-per-employee-using-network-scanner.shtml#c292

    Just bring in the scanner manufacturers, big fortune 500s all. After all, we didn't write that scanner software, it was done by those big companies. They provided it to us, right?

    If there was some patent infringement, it's their problem. We are all their licensees, right?

    Find your natural allies. I doubt these patent trolls really want 5 or 10 multinational companies with lawfirms on retainer answering their troll threat letters. They want easy money.
  • Apr 12th, 2013 @ 10:12am

    Send a demand letter to your scanner vendor.


    You are using HP, Fujitsu, Kofax, some company like that's software, right?

    Just send a demand letter to your scanner vendor, let them defend you. It's their fault, they wrote the allegedly infringing software. You didn't, they did.

    They provided the software to you. Any infringing is their fault.
  • Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 4:51pm

    Even more fun!

    Even more fun!

    On second thought I would say "We may well have such scanner devices manufactured by Hewlett Packard, Brother, Xerox, Fujitsu, Canon and perhaps others. Each of them provided the equipment and licensed software to operate the equipment."

    Then send out copies to each of those companies legal departments and their sales managers for this equipment.

    See if the patent trolls have time to respond to discovery from 5 or 10 lawfirms. Fun!

    This is what you call "finding your natural allies".

    BTW, I actually do have all that scanner equipment. All different brands too. From Fortune 100 companies with legal departments and outside counsel on retainer. Great fun!
  • Jan 2nd, 2013 @ 4:41pm

    Countersue the scanner manufacturer.

    I think this is a pretty easy matter to deal with.

    I would write them a letter and CC the scanner vendor's legal department. I'd say "We bought that scanner from Hewlett Packard (just an example), and they provided the software that we use with it. If there is a licensing issue take it up with them. We are their licensee."

    If they happened to sue me I'd counter sue Hewlett Packard and bring them in. After all, they put me up to it by selling me the machine and providing that software. If it has to be licensed, they ought to have done that.

    It'd just not my problem past that.

    Now, if Hewlett Packard was countersued on 300 of these lawsuits they would have to do something, wouldn't they? Or they would be out of business.

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