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  • Nov 27th, 2017 @ 4:58am

    One Possible Class-Action Glitch

    In many cases, the class is not a ``mandatory'' class. That means that there is a method for potential class members to ``opt out'' of class settlements or class verdicts.

    Such excluded persons may either bring their own actions, or not do so. But in either case, if they have properly opted out of the class, they are not bound by its resolution.

    Each separate action would likely be barred by whatever the sovereign immunity limit is in Georgia. Surely the (now suspended) sheriff and his catamites would be pleased to defend separate actions. It is possible that they might even be personally liable, depending on the facts and law in Georgia.

  • Nov 27th, 2017 @ 4:28am

    Re: Re: Re: No one has proven the allegations, but your fired anyway

    wrongful termination of an employee is most certainly a legal action, if for no other reason than one may wind up either in front of an administrative law judge arguing rights

    Nope. Wrongful termination is an act, not a legal action. A legal action has certain requirements, generally including court filings.

    On the other hand, an act has no such requirements. When I run over an old lady, that act is not a ``legal action'', even though I may wind up in court explaining why I should not be held liable for damages.

  • Oct 30th, 2017 @ 4:52am

    Re: Misuse of term 'hacker'

    use the term "crackers" for people that break security

    That's the thing with ignorance. It is of no use if you cannot show it off. So, congratulations on getting full value.

    The term cracker'' typically refers to people from a certain part of the south-eastern US. The term comes from the sounds of the whips used in driving the cattle across the state. Many counties still havecracker day'' festivals celebrating this part of their heritage.

  • Oct 28th, 2017 @ 11:51am

    (untitled comment)

    Rosenstein is certainly correct to have said "there is no constitutional right to sell warrant-proof encryption"

    He is certainly wrong.

    Initially, there is a right to write such a thing, as the US First Amendment provides for free expression. If I am smart enough to figure out how to do this, I may certainly express and demonstrate my view through the writing. That would include my view that I have really developed ``warrant-proof'' encryption.

    There may be other views, where other people working in the field of encryption, may have doubts that my ROT-13 encryption is truly unbreakable. Those folks are also free to express their views. But, given the general competence of Federal warrant-seeking agencies, I feel pretty confident that ROT-13 would be qualify.

    The second prong, selling, does not negate the first. Courts routinely hold that publishers who charge for copies of their publication retain the First Amendment rights despite the commercial motive in publishing. Valentine v. Chrestensen was a bit of an outlier, if not flatly wrong even on its rather specialized facts.

    Were these things to be otherwise, you could never have had the NY Times publishing ``Pentagon Papers'' information, because the newspaper publishes with the intent of collecting money and the motive of making a profit.


    V sneg va gur trareny qverpgvba bs Ebfrafgrva.

  • Oct 24th, 2017 @ 8:30am

    Re: [what would happen if]

    wonder what would have happened if they just ignored the judge and aired the photos

    Well, the Supreme Court suggested in Gompers v. Buck's Stove, 221 U.S. 418 (1911) that the outcome would not be good. There, they affirmed contempt for violating a patently unconstitutional prior restraint against saying ``we do not patronize this business''.

    Yes, it is a shameful case. Yes, it is still the law of the land. So is Korematsu v. US. For that matter, so is Wickard v. Filburn, an incredible overreaching of the commerce clause leading to incredible mischief.

  • Oct 23rd, 2017 @ 12:26am

    Re: [prosecuting porn judged by community standards]

    No sane prosecutor would be willing to work on the basis of community standards.

    Of course he will, that is the only basis on which he can bring a case. In some areas, he will bring it, because a large portion of the population there are blue-noses. Sure, that can turn out to be a mis-calculation; does anyone remember [Fla. 7th Cir. SA] John Tanner?

    And an enthusiastic state's atty can get convictions, too. Remember that the jury pool is drawn from the same crop of blue-noses that elected him.

  • Sep 9th, 2017 @ 6:33am

    Re: Re: Re: Shiva Will Appeal

    Is there any chance an appeals court could uphold the dismissal yet also reverse the trial court judges denial of the California SLAPP issue

    Sure. The normal vehicle would be that Techdirt files a cross-appeal, raising the issue of whether the Cali anti-SLAPP statute should apply. While it might not, initially, have been worth an appeal to decide the issue, you are already in for an appeal since Mr Email has filed his notice. Someone will have to write a brief anyway.

  • Sep 9th, 2017 @ 6:28am

    Re: Re: Shiva Files Notice of Appeal

    That sounds to me like a suggestion for a cross appeal, on the issue of whether the California anti-SLAPP law should be applied to award fees, where speaker is located in California and speech is uttered in that state.

  • Sep 2nd, 2017 @ 3:14am

    Re: theme birthday party planners

    The amazing thing is that this birthday party spammer just contributed about as much to the discussion as did Podyelka. Maybe more, since Mr Birthday Party Spammer probably will go away, and we cannot count on Podyelka to do the same.

  • Sep 2nd, 2017 @ 3:05am

    Spoliation Instruction

    If the officer has a personal video camera, and that footage is not available to the defendant, he is likely going to request a spoliation instruction.

    The judge instructs the jury, in effect, that because the evidence was in the sole custody and control of Officer McSnarfley, and has disappeared without good explanation in light of the officer's knowledge of impending litigation [prosecution], the jury should presume that the missing video would have refuted the cop's story.

  • Aug 29th, 2017 @ 3:52am

    Re: Re: 'Ignoring paying customers'

    Look at a grocery store. They have some pilferage and they do try various methods to stop/minimize it

    Home Depot are trying a new technology. Instead of discouraging pilferage, they are sacking people who write down tag numbers of pilferers, or who pick up goods dropped by pilferers on their way out.

    This is part of their new, more efficient brick-and-morter experience program. The new technology allows people to select merchandise, carry it to their cars, and depart. This is a real time-saver over the old method, where shoppers were expected to queue up to pay.

    I got a newspaper column out of them last year, but I doubt that they are alone in trying out the new fast-exit schemes.

  • Aug 26th, 2017 @ 8:27am

    Re: Re: Nice precedent here

    Do you get precedent with summary judgments?

    Of course. Celotex Corporation v. Murtle Nell Catrett, Administratrix, 477 U.S. 317 (1986).

    I cannot say that most reported cases are summary judgments. However, a lot of them are. That is most likely because summary judgments present the pure questions of law which appeals courts are intended to decide.

  • Aug 5th, 2017 @ 9:07am

    Geographic Name Trademarks

    Things could be worse. There is a lot of grifters out in California who trademarked the name of Hollywood, a city between Miami and Palm Beach, and now attempt to prevent people from using that name to denote origins of goods and services.

  • Aug 5th, 2017 @ 8:31am

    Re: Golden Goose Eggs

    Butthurt Cases - funding a new generation of lawyers looking for a golden goose to shake down

    It is better than that. Remember that there is also a defendant, who may well need to lawyer up as Google did. So not only is the lawyer filing the silly suit eating, but he is providing a necessity for another lawyer to eat.

    And yes, it probably is turtles all the way down.

  • Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 4:51am

    Proper Response to Bumptious Threats

    Occasionally, there is a real possibility of infringement or confusion. While those appear to be the few golden needles among a hay-rack full of straw, I understand that the sample here may be selected.

    With al that disclaimed, then, let us take the opportunity to cheer for the Hometown Committee. They did the right thing. The received bumptious threat, and decided to have the matter properly sorted.

    By doing this, the Hometown Committee get the advantage of venue. It's in their district, not out in Indiana. The evidence is close at hand; they need not ferry witnesses and exhibits across three states.

    Ultimately it may be an expensive mistake for the Whiting chamber. And perhaps it will get them some publicity, to serve as a caution for the others.

    I have to admit that I have thought someone should do this in many of the previous cases mentioned here in Techdirt. It's easy for me to say this, as I am not licensed in the relevant courts and states.

  • Aug 3rd, 2017 @ 4:28am

    Maybe He Should "Lawyer Up"

    I am not familiar with the laws of Mass, or even how to spell the entire state name, and am certainly not licensed there.

    It follows that I should not offer legal advice on the matter. None the less, I can offer something similar. After this time and trouble, he ought to talk to a lawyer. The local bar assn will likely have someone in the area who is familiar with that area of law.

    There may be a fee-shifting provision, or there may not be. Someone more familiar with that area would likely know.

  • Jul 9th, 2017 @ 2:24pm

    So, What Happens When...

    some web-based service receives the National Security Letter via some electronic maildrop which is automatically published? The NSL shows up, and if the right person is busy it may be up for a considerable amount of time.

    Of course there also remains the question of how one would prosecute a defendant. You probably have to explain to a jury how the publication was wrong, and the basis for the classification.

  • Jul 9th, 2017 @ 1:45pm

    Re: Preliminary v. Permanent Injunction

    If Bob Murray won the case, he could constitutionally seek a permanent injunction prohibiting John Oliver from repeating the statements found to be defamatory

    You may want further information. Willing v. Mazzocone, 393 A.2d 1155 is the case they teach in school, but of course you should probably not forget Near v. Minnesota, 283 U.S. 697.

  • Jun 7th, 2017 @ 1:58am


    Have shrink-wrap licenses ever held up in court?

    Sure. Pro-CD v. Zeidenberg, 86 F.3d 1447 (US 7th Cir. 1996). Possibly wrongly decided and unconvincing to the rational, but there it is.

  • May 27th, 2017 @ 1:09pm

    Re: Re:

    with Leaking of Classified Materials, which is treason

    We may all be getting dumber just from being exposed to folks crying that leaking classified reports of government misdeeds is ``treason''. Treason is defined as (1) levying war against the country or (2) adhering, giving aid and comfort to the enemies.

    Exposing official crimes may make officials uncomfortable, but it does not appear to rise to the level of waging war.

    We may also be made a bit dumber by exposure to whoever came up with this silly ``markdown'' idea as some sort of unreliable replacement for HTML. Get used to it, being competent in the language of the web is so old-fashioned and stupid is the new orange spray-tan.

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