Tanner Andrews’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Jan 21st, 2019 @ 4:05am

    (untitled comment)

    Early on, the main character informs his father that “Bandersnatch is a ‘Choose Your Own Adventure’ book” and holds up a copy by fictional author Jerome F. Davies.

    It seems odd that someone would be using trademark for books, though it could be one of those shared-universe things. If you get over the issue of whether there ought to be a trademark at all, however, it is certainly possible that Chooseco could be producing goods/services using that mark.

    Depending on the setting and prominence, this could actually be a false designation of trademark. You have the product identifying early on using the trademark, and more or less stating that the trademark owner is the origin of the TV show.

    I don't know that it is a valid claim. But it is at least not as silly as the original post makes it sound.

  • Jan 20th, 2019 @ 2:57am

    (untitled comment)

    FCC Wants Delay In Net Neutrality Trial

    [ ... ]

    US Court of Appeals for the District of Columbia Circuit,

    This alone is unusual. Normally there are no trials in the courts of appeal; indeed, the very essence of a court of appeals function is to review actions in trial courts and agencies where there may have been trials.

  • Jan 14th, 2019 @ 5:47am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: [interstate commerce]

    The Feds famously claimed that possession of certain drugs within a state, for personal use (not sale), is "interstate commerce"

    Sure, and there is precedent for it. In Wickard v. Filburn, 317 U.S. 111 (US 1942), the Court held that growing wheat for your own use was interference with interstate commerce. The theory was that, if you grew your own wheat, you were then not purchasing it in interstate commerce.

    Sure, it was a bad decision when it was made. But since that time, it has provided ample opportunities for abusive expansion of government power, and truly there seems to be little limit. Federal littering charge? Sure, if the material crossed a state line (or competing vendors' material crossed state a state line). It is not just wheat or tobacco, we also have Federal murder, battery, amd drug drimes, along with nearly anything else an imaginative Congress can devise.

    One stupid decision. A cascade of ill effects. Leading to the question, "Whether the Supreme Courtourt purchased drugs which had traveled in interstate commerce, where they issued the Wickard decision".

    (additional question, whether the people who suggested using this "markdown" instead of HTML were using the same, where "markdown" is known to eliminate real quotes and do other irksome things)

  • Jan 4th, 2019 @ 4:26am


    Cloudflare is a de-facto proxy for many sites

    Cloudflare is actually a pretty good spammer and scammer concealment service. If you have bad intentions, you need someone like Cloudflare to help keep you hidden when the marks catch on and the complaints come in.

    I am sure there are legitimate uses, too, though where I have seen them Cloudflare does not appear to work all that well. Lots of failed fetches, permission problems, and the like.

  • Jan 4th, 2019 @ 4:23am

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    > those broadcasting companies have infringed

    "So what?"

    Well, at least for smaller broadcasting companies, it can come back to bite you. Not saying that Ringgold v. Black Entertainment Television, Inc., 126 F.3d 70 (US 2d Cir. 1997) was correctly decided, but it does show that copyright maximalists hold some serious influence.

    Remember, there, it was 26 seconds of out-of-focus viewing of part of a poster of a quilt was sufficient to infringe on the qulit-maker's copyright.

    (Which reminds me, who came up with the silly idea for this "markdown" stuff, where you cannot nest includes and cannot use proper quotes? Did there not used to be a fairly common language for marking up this sort of thing. Let me see, something about hmxs, no, hrts, no, now I remember, HTML.)

  • Dec 29th, 2018 @ 10:38am

    Appeal Does Seem Likely

    The sentence is being appealed

    It may be, since there is likely no provision in the sentencing statute permitting a ban on facebook posting.

    What is missing, however, is a statement that the conviction is being appealed, probably with arguments that [a] the statute itself violates the First Amendment and [b] the application to these facts violates the First Amendment. Near v. Minnesota, 238 U.S. 697 (US 1931).

    This appears the sort of case where everyone involved should have known that you should not prosecute someone for passing along rumors. Even if the rumors are untruthful and probably silly. I see an unsuccessful S:1983 action lurking here once the conviction and possibly statute are overturned. Unsuccessful mostly because the judges will find some way to apply a judicially-created immunity doctrine.

    This is probably an appropriate opportunity also to insult those who feel that there was evern any appropriate justification for the result in Schenck v. U.S., 249 U.S. 47 (US 1919). It was an embarassment in 1919, and Holmens spent much of the rest of his career trying to distance himself from it without being seen to do so. And, of course, Holmes is also the author of Buck v. Bell, 274 U.S. 200 (US 1927), as if you need another opportunity to be embarrassed.

    So, for those of you above, referring to Schenck without derisive intent, please take this as a gratuitous insultment.

  • Dec 23rd, 2018 @ 12:44pm

    Re: Re: [not naming names]

    mention them as "The Plaintiff"

    That's silly. We would not have a term for the Streisand Effect had your suggestion been followed.

    In general, when someone sues for hurt feelings, they are already sensitive about mentions. Naming the person who did the bad thing and is now unhappy about publicity has a greater deterrent effect.

    Here, Loftis sued because someone noticed he was doing a crummy job. Every time someone mentions it, it is in connection with the crummy job he did, his hurt feelings over it, and perhaps also the rather dodgy legal work done by Tom Loftis' lawyers, W. Gary Blackburn (Tenn Bar #3484) and Bryant Knoll (Tenn Bar #33394) of 213 5th Ave N, Nashville 32219.

    It is free publicity of exactly the most appropriate type. This is reporting on the aftermath of the hurt feelings and the lawyers who did not warn the client against bringing such an action. It gives you not only the first item, that Tom Loftis did a crummy job, which we know because of the reported replacement, but also background, that he is excessively sensitive so that you may be better off avoiding him.

    My view is that mentions of their names serve a public good, warning about the sort of actions that might be expected from Tom Loftis and legal accument to be expected from W. Gary Blackburn and Bryant Knoll. Mentions as ``the plaintiff'' would not serve this salutory purpose.

  • Dec 23rd, 2018 @ 4:54am

    Re: Re: BDS is only interested in anti-Israeli activity or anti-

    best interests of the Palestinians

    Not sure how we can define ``Palestinian''. Is that someone living in a certain area of the world, which then includes both people within Israel and those in adjacent areas including some apparently ungoverned wilderness?

  • Dec 1st, 2018 @ 9:23am

    (untitled comment)

    why the Defense should ALWAYS have any lab-tested items (including fingerprints) independently tested

    Sometimes that is not practical. EIther the state has conveniently used up/lost the samples, or there is no budget for it.

    Remember that, for budget purposes, the state has the full budget of state government behind it. Few defendants have the same access to funds. That assumes that samples can even be had for testing. Many times the state is very reluctant to allow defense testing.

    Also, there is essentially no cost-shifting: defendant wins, that's nice, but he does not get his fees or costs. Interestingly enough, the state automatically gets to add ``investigation costs'' to pretty much any judgment and sentence.

  • Nov 19th, 2018 @ 11:15pm

    Re: Presenting Exhibit A: The WH's own statement.

    either did not run that by any lawyers, or the ones they did run it past are just abysmal

    Rudolph Giuliani

  • Nov 19th, 2018 @ 3:58am

    Some Advantages to Off-Shore Operations

    For an entity like the Romanian investigatory journalism group, being off shore (or at least having the public face off shore) could be an advantage. It is less likely that a foreign court would be sensitive to the pain felt by the presidential cronies.

    On the other hand, for a US entity, it can be good to be somewhere not too closely allied to the US govt. Being off shore offers some real protections. It is certainly not impenetrable, if the host govt decides to turn you over you can still be cooked. But it is better than being within the easy reach of the feds.

    I can offer little specific guidance as to good places for relocation. (That's not my job. My job is to try to prise the information out of the govt in the first place.)

  • Nov 19th, 2018 @ 3:45am

    Re: More than one Orange County

    I find out Orange County is referring to Los Angeles

    You might want to go back and find out again. Los Angeles is not in Orange (CA). Of course it is not in Orange (FL) either.

  • Nov 17th, 2018 @ 4:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: [mark-up]

    Damn. Is there some reason the use markdown checkbox cannot be checked by default?

    Is there any chance of finding the person who thought that this "markup" stuff was a good idea, instead of using HTML like most of the world's web browsers? If we find him, we can use the pointed sticks.

    Then, the "markup" box could be unchecked by default. We would we'd use normal HTML. You would not have to worry about a special language for one forum.

  • Nov 16th, 2018 @ 10:37pm

    Re: Re: No Such Thing as a ``Palestinian'' Flag

    Or a country of "The International Red Cross" with a flag. Or a country of "The Boy Scouts of America" with a flag. Or a country of "The Holy See" with a flag.

    Right. Like I said, there is no more a country of "Palestine" with a flag than there is a country of "Central Arizona" with a flag, though there may be some sort of affinity group.

    For pretty much any such group, if they have art depicting a bear flying a kite in their preferred colors, it is hard to see a California state school having the power to restrict their use of that art. The challenge is getting good art, not a need for state permission from a state which uses a bear as one of its symbols.

  • Nov 15th, 2018 @ 4:33am

    No Such Thing as a ``Palestinian'' Flag

    bear flying a kite with the colors of the Palestinian flag

    There may be some sort of affinity group, but there is no more a country of "Palestine" with a flag than there is a country of ``Central Arizona'' with a flag.

    As for the bear, well, let me feign sympathy for the school. Images of bears are fairly common. Indeed, if memory serves, there is a bear on the state flag of the state where the school is located. Claiming control over bears, with or without kites, is an obvious over-reach.

    [and who's idea was this "markdown" crud where you cannot even use proper quotes?]

  • Nov 14th, 2018 @ 12:14am

    Re: Re: Clearly a legal scam

    If it's clearly a legal scam, why are you capitulating.

    Often there are economic justifications. If fighting costs more than {you can afford,the anticipated return from winning,some other limit} then it may be a sound business decision.

    In the case of the non-profit transport safety site posting ancient power points, and disregarding the positive good of eliminating power points, I would see the business decision as comparing zero (income) to non-zero (cost to fight).

    Fix the copyright litigation system, which may be a fairly large and difficult task, and you may lower the cost to fight so as to obtain better outcomes.

    I have seen cases where ``losing'' makes more economic sense than winning.

  • Nov 11th, 2018 @ 5:43pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Intent can be a factor like it is in many other aspects of the law

    Intent is a factor. When we refer to Times v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (US 09-Mar-1964) ``malice'', we are considering intent. The person publishing the defamatory information had to either intend to publish false information, or acted with such reckless disregard of likely falsity as to have imputed knowledge.

  • Nov 11th, 2018 @ 5:30pm

    (untitled comment)

    'Counting votes is stealing the elections' seems incredibly nuts

    It may seem nuts, but it is the law in the U.S. See Bush v. Gore, 531 U.S. 98,109 (US 12-Dec-2000) (counting votes could result in undesired result).

  • Nov 11th, 2018 @ 5:25pm


    hope the FBI or GBI does something [about Brian Kemp voter suppression efforts]

    Law enforcement appears to be doing something. (https://www.kempforgovernor.com/posts/news/sheriffs-across-georgia-back-kemp-governor)

    This may not reflect glory upon them.

  • Nov 11th, 2018 @ 4:49pm

    entertainment lawyers who demand that every possible thing

    entertainment lawyers who demand that every possible thing seen on a screen must first be licensed, that's not how copyright law actually works

    Well, I could agree that it is not how copyright law is supposed to work. However, Ringgold v. Black Entertainment Television, 126 F.3d 70 (US 2d Cir. 1997). There. the court said that a total of 26 seconds of out-of-focus views of parts of a museum's poster showing a quilt infringed on the copyright of the quilt producer.

    The poster was visible in the background for a total of 26 seconds of a TV show. Trial court dismissed complaint, appeals court revived it.

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