December 2023
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Limewire Shutdown Over Copyright Issues

Limewire joins the list of infamous internet services deemed to be overwhelmingly used for copyright infringement (source).  Napster,, and Grokster rumored to be throwing a welcome bash for the new fish.

This article was originally posted on The Legal Satyricon

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Preach it, Brother Mike…

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There’s good reason for why all of my friends are Trekkies…

(granted some of them just don’t know it yet, since they may not have watched enough)

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News Flash: L.A. Times Prints Whiney Panic Piece

Okay.  So it’s not really a news flash – it’s kinda the bread and butter of the L.A. Times to print whiney panic pieces.  However, this story hit upon our sweet spot.  Reporter David G. Savage writes to warn us all about the dangers of criticizing others on teh interwebs.  The advice to bloggers and emailers: “think twice before sending a message.”

With all due respect to the attorneys quoted in the piece, the story is a load of shit.  It paints the picture that you can and will be sued for posting anything negative about anyone or anything.  We understand that there is only so much space available for a story, but this one was so halfway done, that we question the article’s intent.  Newspapers are losing their grip on the dissemination of information, as blogs and citizen journalists deliver information to the masses.  It almost seems like the L.A. Times was trying to scare us all from encroaching on their turf – and that it must have consciously failed to complete the story.

ShittyDentistThe article quotes our friend Professor Eric Goldman, of Santa Clara University, as saying that someone can be sued for saying “My dentist stinks.”  Conveniently, this is the end of the quote – convenient because it supports the message behind the piece, i.e., don’t be mean to people and hurt their feelings by writing unkind things about them.  We’re sure that, if the entirety of Professor Goldman’s input were published, he would have gone on to state, unequivocally, that “My dentist stinks” would never carry the day in court.  In fact, in California, bringing such a frivolous suit would leave the plaintiff paying everyone’s attorneys’ fees, after getting hit with a special motion to strike pursuant to the state’s anti-SLAPP statute.  We’ve never seen Goldman shill for the “fraidy cat” contingent, and we bet our entire publication’s credibility that he didn’t do so this time.

Let’s break it down LS style, in case someone out there is now afraid to complain about how much her dentist stinks on yelp after reading the article.  There are two ways the statement “My dentist stinks” can be interpreted:

Continue reading News Flash: L.A. Times Prints Whiney Panic Piece

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“Night Work” by Scissor Sisters

Dirty lyrics set to dirtier grooves.  Not meant for consumption by squares.
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“The Contours of Actual Malice” or “Rand Paul Learns About Tabloid Journalism”

Rand-8If you’re not a liberal by eighteen, you’ve got no heart; if you’re not a conservative by thirty, you’ve got no brains — as the saying goes.  The axiomatic truth behind those words is what makes this GQ story about Rand Paul kinda cute and heartwarming.  Some of the senatorial candidate’s Baylor buddies remember that he was quite the rebel back in the day, and what better time to talk to a reporter about it than ninety days before an election?  I’m sure the political theater aspect of this whole thing never entered into the minds of GQ’s editorial staff.

Understandably, Paul and his campaign staff are a bit upset about the story.  It paints the picture of a college dropout who regularly participated in felonious assaults on women — one to which Kentucky voters may have a hard time relating.  In response, a spokesperson for the campaign has hinted that there may be a defamation suit in the works, and GQ’s Editor-in-Chief, along with the rest of the left, doing their best Glenn Beck impression, just want to know why there’s been no denial.  Why isn’t he answering questions?  Don’t we have a right to know?

In the week since the story was first published, the most salacious charges therein have been largely discredited, and only one question remains (at least as far as we’re concerned):  If the story was really false, can Dr. Paul prevail in a libel suit against GQ?  The answer to that question is not a simple “yes” or “no” — but hey, what fun would it be if it were.

Continue reading “The Contours of Actual Malice” or “Rand Paul Learns About Tabloid Journalism”

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Suck it, El Jobso

steve-jobs-wtfA while back, attorneys for Apple concocted a creative argument for why jailbreaking your iPhone constituted an infringement of the copyrights in the device’s software, based on the anti-circumvention provisions of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (more familiarly known as the “DMCA”).  The Library of Congress (as the body that promulgates regulations for enforcement of the Copyright Act) has today proposed an exemption to liability that specifically puts the kibosh on Apple’s legal theory.

This article was originally posted on The Tactical IP Blog

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Time to pack it in

Well, I guess that’s the end of this blog.  According to Prince, the Internet is on the way out.  See you all on the next publication medium.

This article was originally posted on The Legal Satyricon

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Silly Redneck

Anyone with a law school education knows that state action is required before anyone can whine about having their free speech rights taken away.  Well, okay — you can whine about it, but that’s about it.  You can’t get a court to step in and fix your problem, unless some government entity is involved.  Not to go too far off track here, but this is the whole idea behind the Constitution.  It’s a big long list of the things that government isn’t supposed to do, and a really short list of what it *may* do.


Enough 1790′s background; let’s talk 2010.  If you’re a redneck (this is not necessarily a requirement, but it helps), and you decide to publish a “newspaper” (not sure what else to call it) that describes your political ideas, don’t get all uppity if the local KFC won’t let you put it on the take-one-free rack, between the Auto Trader and the Keels and Wheels.  It’s not a constitutional issue.

The scary part of this story is that you have to wade two thirds of the way into this Fox News article before they reveal that little tid bit to the reader who isn’t in the know.  How many of those readers have the kind of attention span necessary to make it that far?  More than likely, the majority start seeing red after reading the headline, and three sentences in, they’re sputtering some nonsense about “they’re ruinin’ are country” and clicking over to something more soothing.  Gold star for journalistic integrity to Fox News on this one!

This article was originally posted on The Legal Satyricon

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Romantic Advice

This article was originally published on The Legal Satyricon

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