Rico R.’s Techdirt Profile


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  • Oct 14th, 2021 @ 9:56pm

    Re: Re: Count me among those at Techdirt who think this ruling i

    I do think that not every SLAPP will be automatically continued because of this case, but even if the facts merit it here, the fact that this case is precedential (based on the "Certified for Publication" language at the bottom of the document) should be concerning. This is another example of a lawsuit where the facts specific to the case may be beneficial for a particular outcome to play out, but in the process creates case law that's bad for everyone.

  • Oct 14th, 2021 @ 9:51pm

    Re: Count me among those at Techdirt who think this ruling is wr

    I completely agree, Mike! I'm not sure how different the standard and/or cost is for an anti-SLAPP motion compared to a motion to dismiss under 12(b)6 of the Federal Rules of Civil Procedure, but simply saying "This statement is false and they didn't do enough investigation to confirm that it was false" sounds an awful lot like a mere legal conclusion and not a statement of fact. Under the motion to dismiss standard, that's below the standard and the case should be dismissed.

    And speaking of cost, I also think discovery will make things costly and can cause some parties to settle. Very few cases go to trial these days, so simply getting a full-fledged ruling on the merits is not always a given. And when the cases do ultimately settle, there's no guarantee that the same result would be rendered had the case gone to trial. The ComicMix v. Dr. Seuss Enterprises case comes to mind in that regard: Even though the judge wanted a jury to hear whether or not it met all the requirements for substantial similarity and therefore copyright infringement, the settlement reached by the parties also required ComicMix to more or less admit that Oh, The Places You'll Boldly Go is an infringing work. They might have even had to pay a pretty penny to Dr. Seuss for a book that was never sold!

    But I digress. Here, an entity like Twin Galaxies might have the legal resources to still defend the lawsuit on the merits throughout the appeals process, but the average, everyday citizen does not. When they are the defendants, it may be more financially feasible to chill their speech and pay the plaintiff in a settlement than it is to defend their rights in court. When that happens, everyone loses. The first amendment rights are weakened for everyone, and we as a society are deprived of someone else's otherwise lawful speech. If California, which has the gold standard anti-SLAPP provision, keeps the precedent on the books, that law is essentially dead for everyone in California, which is good for no one (regardless of where they live).

  • Oct 14th, 2021 @ 8:35pm

    Re: the algorithms...

    Even as someone who's asexual, I could tell the algorithmic censoring of NSFW content was doomed from the start. And it's not even inactive users that are affected... Somehow, this old post of mine was flagged. It had no notes, and I appealed it. It's still in limbo to this day, hence the screenshot!

  • Oct 8th, 2021 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Ode to the Wait For a New Circuit Split...

    Not true unfortunately… the Ninth Circuit’s decision has the phrase “For Publication” at the top of the first page. This means the legal finding is setting a binding precedent for the Ninth Circuit, and can be considered influential in other circuits. I live in the jurisdiction of the Seventh Circuit, for example, so while a plaintiff who might sue me over a fanvid could point to this case as persuasive in deciding the case, but any court in the Seventh Circuit is in no obligation to follow it. (But given this was the circuit that said transformative works could implicate the derivative work right in a fair use case, I’m not exactly hopeful.). Yet, within the Ninth Circuit, the court would be bound by its interpretation from this case.

  • Oct 8th, 2021 @ 7:42am


    I mean, I believe there's a PDF online somewhere of The Cat NOT in the Hat, another book Dr. Seuss Enterprises shut down on copyright grounds. So, I guess anything's possible!

  • Oct 7th, 2021 @ 9:21pm

    Ode to the Wait For a New Circuit Split...

    Oh, the places some go
    To defend copyright
    And say they were on the right side of this fight

    Now, the culture’s grown thin
    Yet they do not care
    The author’s long dead
    But they are his heir

    The Trekkies held fast
    For as long as they could
    Their mashup was fair
    As they understood

    Yes, one court agreed
    Another did not
    The SCOTUS refused to weigh in as they fought

    This battle was lost
    The war boldly drags on
    Some new artists are chilled
    And this comic is gone

    Transformation’s now weakened
    Thanks to one Dr. Seuss
    ‘Cause the mashup is dead
    Long live fair use!

  • Oct 7th, 2021 @ 2:29pm


    To Trump, lawyers are just magical wizards that can intimidate his enemies by waving legal threats like a magic wand, and regardless of whether or not the law is on his side, he can force them to comply with whatever his heart demands. I wouldn't even be surprised if Trump's lawyers knew all of this was bound to fail, got yelled at by Trump to do their jobs, and put together this motion that they knew was legally frivolous!

  • Sep 28th, 2021 @ 5:16pm

    Great minds think alike!

    One of the cleverest moves by the copyright industry was to claim to speak for the very people it exploits must brutally.

    I was thinking about this very concept the other day. In the music industry, it's an especially vicious and exploitive cycle. The smallest musician usually tends to dream of a major label deal, so they can say they "made it" like the Katy Perry's, Coldplay's, and Taylor Swift's of this world. And if they ever get big enough to attract the attention of a major label, their number one concern tends to be creative control. They don't want the label to make creative decisions for them, be it their sound, lyrics, what songs do or don't appear on the tracklisting, who they collaborate with, etc.

    Unfortunately, they gloss over the more important aspect of any deal any label would write up: By signing on the dotted line, they gain very little in the short term while the label swallows up 100% of the rights of the master recordings released through the label, which they can use to pocket more money than they hand over to you.

    It gets worse once you consider how some musicians tend to be anti-copyright in one way or another. For example, Miley Cyrus once said on Jimmy Kimmel Live that she doesn't mind it if anyone downloads her music illegally, saying that they're just fans at the end of the day. Yet, you know who does mind very much? Miley's label! And unfortunately for the "pirate", it's the label and not Miley who has the copyright to the recording you've downloaded.

    And what's worse, whenever the label successfully defends its legal rights in court, the artist sees nothing from that payout. These are the very artists that the label claims to be defending in court. The very same artists whenever they lobby for more copyright maximalist policies in Congress. And whenever that hypothetical artist mentioned above does make it big and is signed to a label's roster, one of their fans looks up to them and dreams of following in their footsteps. Unfortunately, those footsteps are on the path to copyright maximalism, whether the artist ever wanted it or not.

  • Sep 24th, 2021 @ 3:53pm

    There's only one 1st amendment protection Republicans care about

    The entire amicus brief tries to claim that editorial discretion is "conduct" and not speech -- and that would upend basically all 1st Amendment precedent.

    If the first amendment only protects speech, does that mean the government can start regulating religious services? I mean, that's conduct, not speech! /s

  • Sep 16th, 2021 @ 12:44pm

    (untitled comment)

    Posting hyperlinks to original stories should not constitute republication. I mean, by that logic, what's next: copyright maximalists arguing that those who post hyperlinks to infringing content should be held liable for direct copyright infringement? Oh, wait...

  • Sep 15th, 2021 @ 1:18pm

    Yet another incorrect movie quote:

    Are you issuing baseless legal threats? There's no issuing baseless legal threats in baseball!

    — A League of Their Own

  • Sep 14th, 2021 @ 9:53pm

    Is there anything involving Nintendo that Nintendo won't DMCA?

    At this point, I wouldn't be surprised if Nintendo issued legal threats against a documentary crew that films an interview with a parent while kids play Nintendo video games in the background.

  • Sep 10th, 2021 @ 8:12pm

    AI's don't monkey around...

    [H]ow long will it be until some sucker of a Senator or Member of Congress, convinced by Thaler's nonsense, will introduce a bill to amend the Patent Act to enable AI patents?

    That will happen when some other sucker in Congress is convinced by PETA's equally astounding nonsense and introduces a bill that amends the Copyright Act to enable monkeys to become copyright holders!

  • Sep 8th, 2021 @ 2:35pm

    Hey, News Organizations:

    Now that you know what it's like to be forced to pay someone you don't owe money to for something done by a third party completely out of your control, does that mean you're going to stop asking for Facebook to pay you money when a third party decides to post links to stories on your news sites?

  • Aug 30th, 2021 @ 3:18pm

    Hmm, sounds familiar...

    Lawyers filing lawsuits need to do so in good faith. Due diligence is expected. Extensive research is expected before filing lawsuits...

    Let's see, where else have I heard this on Techdirt? What other lawyer is frequently mentioned here as someone who doesn't do their due diligence before filing lawsuits? Someone else who has been heavily sanctioned as a result?

    Man, the name must have escaped my mind...

  • Aug 27th, 2021 @ 7:27pm

    Re: Re: Incorrect Star Wars quote

    To be fair, the actual Star Wars quote came from A New Hope, but I didn't find it as fitting as riffing off of the sequel's title.

    But hey, you forgot about The Copyfraud Awakens!

  • Aug 27th, 2021 @ 3:30pm

    Incorrect Star Wars quote

    “That’s no moon. It’s copyright infringement!”

    — Star Wars: The Copyright Empire Strikes Back

  • Aug 18th, 2021 @ 2:17pm


    That's because that "mountain of evidence" is really a molehill of unfounded conspiracy theories...

  • Aug 5th, 2021 @ 10:43am

    As problematic as this is, I'll give them this much...

    At least this DRM scheme is aimed at stopping actual theft!

  • Aug 4th, 2021 @ 2:08pm


    In that case, piracy seems more like a boogeyman than an actual problem. Notwithstanding any copyright policy argument, if people are generally no longer interested in the product/service/content you're providing, then the solution is to change it up and offer something your customers will like. That's Business 101. Competition is bound to be more successful if your product is inferior to what your competitors are offering. And piracy has always been about competition and not legality. Tougher anti-piracy measures and changing the law to better benefit your position are not just wrong, but they're also bound to still fail if people legitimately aren't interested in what you're offering them.

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