Tanner Andrews’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Nov 29th, 2015 @ 7:24pm

    Re: Probably the warning on the right side?

    I really want tools to help disrupt ALL of the spammers' infrastructure, pursue ALL of the spammers' accomplices, and even help and protect ALL of the spammers' victims.

    This may not be compatible with the Yahoo business model. They provide two vital services to spammers:
    1. spam distribution
    2. scammer maildrops

    So long as these are important parts of their business, I cannot foresee them making any effort to disrupt these things. I have not yet heard any suggestion that they intend to leave the spam and scam support business.

  • Nov 18th, 2015 @ 2:11am

    (untitled comment)

    took a lawsuit to force the county government to act in accordance with the wishes of those in the area is absurd

    Not quite. The county govt discerned that the public wanted red light cameras abolished, put it on the ballot as a charter amendment, and the voters approved it by an overwhelming margin. Thereafter the county government acted in accord with the voters' expressed desires.

    Which is more than you could say for the plaintiff municipalities. They sued the county to prevent it from acting in accord with the voters' wishes expressed through charter amendment.

    I would commend that county and hold it up as an example to be emulated here, where the county govt has (successfully) sued to prevent the citizens from amending the charter. Charter government in Florida is occasionally described as a necessary evil. I am unsure as to the ``necessary'' part of that. In those counties which have adopted a charter, the results have been uniformly bad, so the ``evil'' is beyond dispute.

  • Nov 15th, 2015 @ 3:52am

    Re: Re: Did he hurt anyone?


    Yes, but I think even the author of that opinion would up being less than proud of it. Look at Holmes' dissent in Abrams v. US, 250 U.S. 616 (US, 1919). Similar, Gitlow v. NY, 268 U.S. 652 (US 1925). Certainly the entire Schenck opinion is not one of which the court can be very proud. The cases in which Schenck is followed mean that the case will remain as a perpetual stain of dishonor on the court.

    These arrests and prosecutions have some of the same air, the government falsely yelling ``fire'' in a crowded theatre. In crowded cities, the government yells that there is a threat from which only they can protect you, and the result is a rush to trample the constitutional rights of the citizens.

    The threats turn out to be either entirely bogus, or manufactured by the govt. Maybe we can add a new category: lighting a fire in a crowded theatre.

  • Nov 14th, 2015 @ 5:41am

    Re: How much would it cost?

    What's the going rate for custom awards these days?

    I seen to get my share of spam from rthurman@smallbusinesscommunity.org, who will happily sell you an award for a little under a hundred dollars. If Mr. Zarrelli needs an award, I'd probably want him to pay for it himself. You can pay more for a fancier award, depending on how much support your ego needs.

  • Nov 9th, 2015 @ 7:01pm

    Re: Re: Re: My daughter is deaf.

    When you carry your shopping bags out the automatic door at the supermarket, you are looking at an innovation that would not be in place if the ADA had not mandated it

    In your dreams, maybe.

    In the real world, the ADA was enacted in 1990. The grocery stores where I shopped had automatic doors in the 1980s.

    Indeed, automatic doors were hardly rare back in the 1960s and 1970s, though they used a different technology to detect people. I remember one on a hospital office building in the 1960s using light beams to detect people, but the normal technology of the day at retail stores was a rubber pressure mat.

    I normally reject arguments that a thing which came after caused an effect which came prior. I see no reason to deviate from this rule in rejecting your argument.

  • Nov 9th, 2015 @ 4:44am

    Re: The new novel argument

    Now, nothing can *ever* be released, because it might be elevated to the Supreme Court.

    Argument is neither new nor novel. It is fairly standard and in many cases well taken. Release client/atty discussions pending appeal, and you cannot put the cat back in the bag. Release pending investigation, same result.

    Neither can you punish publication of supposedly secret information. For instance, unlawfully publish victim name in sex crime, that is Florida Star v. B.J.F., 491 U.S. 397. Once the information is out, it is out.

    The difference here is that the official fears embarrasment, and this is probably a well founded fear. However we are not sympathetic to this case.

  • Oct 24th, 2015 @ 12:06pm

    Re: Interesting thing I just learned

    Exxon used to be named "Humble"

    There is a town outside of Houston, Texas, which is named ``Humble''. It is hard to imagine a Humble, Texas, but there you have it. I think one of the major oil companies started there.

  • Oct 24th, 2015 @ 10:21am


    There's also regular cases of musicians being upset when their music is used in political campaigns by candidates they oppose.

    That is not a ``moral rights'' problem, however, but just a simple copyright problem. Politician who does not buy the right of public performance of the work may lack that right. And if the pol has purchased the rights, perhaps through one of those aggregate licensing societies, then the artist whose work is used has no beef.

  • Oct 17th, 2015 @ 5:39pm

    DMCA Takedowns and Unpleasant Options

    One of these days, somone whose material is taken down by a bogus notice is going to turn around and file a dec action, naming the sender of the notice and perhaps also the video hosting company.

    What with fee-shifting provisions, internet discussion sites, and all that stuff, it could get messy for some unlucky sender of a bogus notice.

    (disclaimer: I do not handle these cases, go away.)

  • Oct 3rd, 2015 @ 10:07am

    Got the Spam Last Year

    Mr. Price appears to be a stinking spammer of no great value. Yeah, I got his spam last fall. The odd thing was that, despite all the attempts to appear to be a legitimate business, there was no way to reach a human. It seemed odd to me.

    I say appear to be a legitimate business, but really it appears that he wanted to appear to be ten or twenty legitimate businesses: Operations summits, CIO summits, executive summits, corporate counsel summits.

    It would be interesting to know if he has ever done an honest day's work in his life. Certainly the spammy history suggests otherwise.

  • Sep 18th, 2015 @ 5:10am

    Re: How can one follow the law,

    There are no secrets courts in this country

    There are secret courts in the US. We have both the FISA court, wherein the judges almost always rubber-stamp the government requests to spy on citizens. I believe there were three cases over the years where the secret court did not comply with the government request, I presume the judges had a headache.

    Fortunately, by way of headache powder, there is the FISA appeals court. It, too, is secret. It convenes but rarely because the ``trial-level'' FISA court is so compliant, and of course when it does convene it necessarily rules for the only party before it.

    By the way, ``FISA'' stands for Foreign Intelligence Surveillance Act. We call it that because the spying is done against US citizens and rarely involves any intelligence. The court was established in 1978 by act of Congress. It permits the government to regulate the governmeent; this works about as well as you would expect.

    There are also various military tribunals which operate with varying degrees of secrecy. We are allowed to know of the existence of at least some of them, such as the one in Cuba, though of course the proceedings are veiled in secrecy and the defendants are not uniformly allowed to see the evidence offered against them. The reason for the secrecy in these cases is that the courts and their proceedings would be an embarrasment if well known.

  • Sep 18th, 2015 @ 4:50am

    (untitled comment)

    Too bad CafePress didn't feel like publishing this letter

    If the offended cafe press vendor were to litigate, probably bringing a dec action, the letter would surely be discoverable. It might wind up in the court file in support of a motion for summary judgment, because it would demonstrate controversy and adverse parties.

  • Aug 30th, 2015 @ 10:23am

    Re: Dirtbags vs Solid Acting Careers

    He is a credit to the film industry itself.

    Based on the little I have heard about the film industry, this could be a damning condemnation of Mr Woods' suit. The film industry appears from this great distance to be filled with cocaine consumers. If the plaintiff is much involved in that industry, to the point of being deemed an exemplar, he could well be a cocaine consumer.

    I am informed that cocaine does not make its consumers smarter or wittier. Neither does it make the consumers more attractive to the appropriate sex except to the extent that a particular member of the appropriate sex may also be seeking cocaine.

    All of which leads to an interesting question. If this gets past the anti-SLAPP motion, does Mr Woods get to pee in a cup? Normally I would not expect that to be legitimate discovery, but it appears that his lawyer may have opened the door.

  • Aug 29th, 2015 @ 4:37am

    Re: Budweiser == piss?

    somehow confused for the mega-corporation that pumps out piss.

    Well, you may have hit upon the reason for keeping all those clydesdales. And, see Dickes v. Fenne, 82 Eng.Rep. 411 (K.B. 1640).

  • Aug 24th, 2015 @ 8:05pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Fundamentally outrageous

    I think lawyers should (perhaps be required to) warn plaintiffs of the potential damages they could face when they absolutely insist on going forward with a frivolous lawsuit

    Yes, and I suspect these are fairly common. The Federal rules provide for a Rule 11 motion for sanctions. Florida provides this by statute. Check your state law for corresponding details, perhaps by tracking how the Federal rules flow into your state rules.

    The ethics rules generally prohibit lawyers from promoting cases known to be meritless, though an argument for application of or extension of existing law is an exception. That is how law evolves: compare Pace v. Alabama, 106 U.S. 583 (1883), to Loving v. Virgina, 388 U.S. 1 (1967). Or, the classic case, Plessy v. Ferguson, 163 U.S. 537, to the several ``Dining Car'' cases,or Brown v. Board of Education, 347 U.S. 483.

    In this case, I cannot see any plausible explanation for the atty taking the city's case. There is no claim that present law is incorrect, nor any principle to be extended to a new area. The attorney for the city should, however, be grateful for the $50,000.00.

    In a situation like this, I am glad not to represent the city.

  • Aug 20th, 2015 @ 2:25am

    Re: Fiber [and satellites]

    [sattellite] latency is horrible, but the speed isn't bad once you get going. That was 2000-2005, it's probably improved since them.

    Probably not. The speed of light has stayed pretty steady for the past few decades. The latency is essentially the time for signal to get up to the Clarke belt and back.

  • Aug 18th, 2015 @ 5:53pm

    (untitled comment)

    What people -now- call an API has been called different things through the ages ("interface", "system subroutine library", "library function", "supervisor call", etc)

    There, I think that's probably as good a demonstration of the problem as you'll find anywhere. In one sentence we have managed to conflate non-copyrightable API, copyrightable implementation of API, and some other stuff. Such confusion does wonders for technically uninformed judges in the federal appeals courts.

    They may know the law, but it is patent that they do not understand computing.

    Simple example trying to get it fairly close to correct, the classic read(2) system call on something that looks similar to a real machine:

    int read(int fd, char *buf, int sz); /* here is the API */

    /* here is part of a hypothetical implementation */
    mov 6(sp), r1
    mov 8(sp), r2
    mov 10(sp), r3
    trap #2
    /* the actual stuff takes place in the supervisor call */

    I should mention that 3 years of law school normally includes a grand total of zero hours of understanding how to program computers. Some of the more advanced students will get an extra 50% more programming education. When the beaks on the CAFC went through law school, many years ago, they only got about half this much programming experience.

  • Aug 6th, 2015 @ 6:59am

    Re: appeal : [DO NOT PUBLISH]

    wonder why the court didn't want that appeal published

    It's fairly common. They figure that it does not decide any interesting legal issues and will not offer much guidance beyond the case at hand.

    Since they charged through all the F.2d numbers and in just a few years are well up in the F.3d numbers, there is some desire to cut down on the published opinions or at least limit them.

  • Jul 29th, 2015 @ 1:43am

    Re: Re: This is great! (pledge of allegiance)

    There's a reason they made every kid say it

    Yes, but the reason is not very compelling. It was written by Francis Bellamy back in the late 1800s. Its original publication and promotion were intended to sell flags into classrooms.

  • Jul 28th, 2015 @ 7:00am

    Covenant Not to Sue

    Without some analysis of the covenant, and whether it is an agreement with consideration on both sides or just a paper from the city, it is hard to say how much protection it would offer. It may eliminate the case and controversy, if it releases the plaintiff and everyone in any wise associated with him, now and forever. Otherwise, next week's Newcorp Sign Pictures, LLC, of which he is the president, has the same issue and he still has the same need for a declaration.

    This sort of problem evades review and is likely to recur. Courts sometimes address such even when the original controversy is moot.

    If the covenant works and is broad enough to eliminate his case and controversy, then we need to wait for Newcorp Free Automatic Sign Image Sublicensing, LLC, to see how this works out.

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