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Judge Rejects Sheriff's Suit Against Craigslist

kdawson posted more than 3 years ago | from the could-have-told-you-and-did dept.

The Courts 121

jjohn24680 passes along word that a federal judge has thrown out a local sheriff's lawsuit accusing the online classified group Craigslist of facilitating prostitution. We discussed the case when it was filed back in March. Here is the decision (PDF). "As was pretty clear at the time, Craigslist is the service provider and is quite obviously protected by Section 230 immunity. ... Even after all of this was clearly explained to Sheriff Dart, he still insisted that his lawsuit made sense. It looks like the court system, however, does not agree. As expected, the case has been dismissed on Section 230 grounds."

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121 comments

Mmm, delicious. (1, Funny)

protodevilin (1304731) | more than 3 years ago | (#29844895)

Dart likes his Humble Pie with plenty of Failsauce on top.

Idiot Sheriff (4, Insightful)

mark_hill97 (897586) | more than 3 years ago | (#29844929)

The sheriff in question was no doubt trying to just drum up some publicity for himself. Remind me again why he's enforcing laws he clearly doesn't understand?

Re:Idiot Sheriff (4, Insightful)

schwit1 (797399) | more than 3 years ago | (#29844961)

And guess who foots the bill for this publicity stunt?

Re:Idiot Sheriff (2, Interesting)

spartacus_prime (861925) | more than 3 years ago | (#29844983)

Depends on if the court imposes sanctions. The lawsuit seems frivolous considering that the sheriff proceeded even though Craigslist was immune.

The Pirate Bay (-1, Offtopic)

emj (15659) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845159)

It wasn't all clear that The Pirate Bay would be sentenced, I'm guessing because of something similar to section 230 immunity (what ever that is). And since TPB got sentenced I suppose it's the phase of the moon that decides the outcome of these cases (and the mafia).

Re:The Pirate Bay (2, Informative)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845179)

I think The Pirate Bay operates in a different legal jurisdiction...

Re:The Pirate Bay (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29845275)

-1, Clueless.

Re:The Pirate Bay (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#29849747)

Pirate Bay is not in the US, and not subject to US law.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | more than 3 years ago | (#29844997)

Probably because the degenerate electorate would rather have a sheriff who stands for "values" and against "bad people" than a sheriff who upholds the law?

There are cases(most notably just about anything having to do with "asset forfeiture" or the possibility of real consequences for police misconduct) where law enforcement, as a body, are led by self-interest to run roughshod over the public and the law; but in cases like this, the sheriff is almost certainly running roughshod over the law because he has calculated(probably correctly) that that is exactly what the public wants.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (4, Informative)

eldavojohn (898314) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845015)

The sheriff in question was no doubt trying to just drum up some publicity for himself. Remind me again why he's enforcing laws he clearly doesn't understand?

You don't realize how right you are. From Mr. Dart's Wikipedia page [wikipedia.org] :

In October 2008, Dart made national news when he announced that he was suspending all foreclosure evictions in Cook County. The number of such evictions had increased dramatically since 2006 as a result of the national subprime mortgage crisis. Dart stated that many of the people being evicted were renters who had faithfully paid their rent but had not known that their landlord was in financial trouble. He explained that in many cases, mortgage companies had not fulfilled their obligation to identify tenants in the foreclosed properties, and said, "These mortgage companies only see pieces of paper, not people, and don't care [...] who gets hurt along the way ... We're not going to do their jobs for them anymore. We're just not going to evict innocent tenants. It stops today."

The Illinois Bankers Association was critical of Dart, accusing him of "ignoring his legal responsibilities" and of engaging in "vigilantism".

Dart says that he is enforcing an Illinois state law which requires the banks to determine whether the persons resident at an address are actually the persons to whom the foreclosure notice should be served.

Due largely to these efforts, Time Magazine named Dart one of its 100 most influential people for 2009.

That last sentence will probably have him championing things (or rather trying) for the rest of his life. I have the feeling this ain't the end of the Craigslist shenanigans nor is it the last thing Mr. Dart will overstep his duties on. He's got a J.D. from Loyola University and a Bachelor's Degree in History and General Social Studies from Providence College. What is he doing trying to practice law?

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

Thanshin (1188877) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845057)

He's just creating content for the movie about his life.

Some possible titles:

- The greatest hero who ever lived in the entire world.
- Dumb&Dumber2: Dumbest.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (5, Insightful)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845259)

Even if his suspension of foreclosures was a stunt to get him publicity, there are still reasonable people (like me) who thought it was the right thing to do.

Why? Because people a huge number of the foreclosures are going forward even though banks themselves can't even produce the mortgage paperwork! Because of all weird financial instruments that helped cause the mortgage crisis (cutting the mortgages up into securities and such) these corporations can't find the original paperwork. I don't know the exact numbers on this, but it's a big percentage.

There are Members of Congress that are saying the same thing: make the companies actually PRODUCE the paperwork! This is how lax the U.S. has become on the financial industry.

So, Dart might be a pompous windbag, but that doesn't necessarily mean he is wrong.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (5, Informative)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845389)

Banks and other instutitions have flagrantly [market-ticker.org] ignored [market-ticker.org] federal and state laws [market-ticker.org] , and in many cases it appears that they screwed up so badly that no one actually has legal standing [market-ticker.org] to forclose!

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

gnud (934243) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845773)

Your last link should probably be http://market-ticker.org/archives/1454-Has-A-MERShole-Opened-Up.html [market-ticker.org]

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

Wonko the Sane (25252) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846825)

Thanks.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (4, Informative)

The Moof (859402) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845731)

Yea, that's fine and dandy for people who bought property and are being evicted by shady bank practices, but it completely screws landlords who run their businesses legitimately. The news has even covered it [cbs2chicago.com] . I understand suspending evictions for people being worked over by the system, but not an across the board suspensions.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

mcgrew (92797) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848389)

Yea, that's fine and dandy for people who bought property and are being evicted by shady bank practices, but it completely screws landlords who run their businesses legitimately

If they're running their businesses legit, then if they get forclosed on they're going to get proper notice and get the tenants out. Foreclosure proceedings take a long time, the landlord has plenty of time to get the tenants out.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

The Moof (859402) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848729)

If they're running their businesses legit, then if they get forclosed on they're going to get proper notice and get the tenants out.

Except this wasn't landlord getting foreclosed on. It's landlords trying to evict people who aren't paying rent, and Dart not serving those evictions as well.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (2, Interesting)

Jah-Wren Ryel (80510) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846089)

Even if his suspension of foreclosures was a stunt to get him publicity, there are still reasonable people (like me) who thought it was the right thing to do.

I think that eldavojohn's intention was to say that once Dart tasted the drug of national fame for his stance against foreclosure evictions, that he probably became addicted and would continue to seek out his drug by any means possible, craigslist being an example.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (2, Interesting)

plopez (54068) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846709)

Banks sometimes evict people but don't complete the foreclosure process. This does 2 things:

1) keeps the evicted person on the hook for taxes and maintenance, e.g. weed control.

2) keeps the property off of their balance sheet so they do not look insolvent.
I'm supposed to ba happy about the bailouts why?

http://www.washingtonpost.com/wp-dyn/content/article/2009/06/23/AR2009062303500.html [washingtonpost.com]

http://exurbannation.blogspot.com/2009_03_01_archive.html [blogspot.com] (references a NYT article)

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (0, Flamebait)

blueskies (525815) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848641)

Too bad they signed the mortgage and accepted the bank's cash to allow that to happen....

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (2, Informative)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#29849921)

WHOOSH.

The GPs point was that some banks are cheating in the foreclosure process so they can evict the person without actually taking legal ownership of the house away until they get around to it, making the former owner legally responsible for it even after being evicted. That's not even remotely legal.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

blueskies (525815) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848617)

What does that have to do with legitimate foreclosures? It's like saying "i'm not going to arrest any murderers" because some people get arrested falsely. Open season.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848995)

> Why? Because people a huge number of the foreclosures are going forward even though banks
> themselves can't even produce the mortgage paperwork!

A friend of mine was recently telling me that he basically hired a lawyer to go over his credit report, and challenge every negative item for documentation. He was telling me that he was quite surprised at how many items they dropped from his record because the creditor didn't have documentation for their claims.

Very sloppy.

-Steve

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

jamstar7 (694492) | more than 3 years ago | (#29849463)

A friend of mine was recently telling me that he basically hired a lawyer to go over his credit report, and challenge every negative item for documentation. He was telling me that he was quite surprised at how many items they dropped from his record because the creditor didn't have documentation for their claims.

And then there's idiots that I hadda deal with at the collections shop I used to work at. They'd dispute the debt every fucking month, we'd send them copies of the original bills, highlighting their signatures on it. Next month, they'd dispute AGAIN, because a debt under dispute 'cannot go on their credit report.' Thing about it is, once you verify the debt ONCE, they're fair game.

And no, we didn't do unsecured debt. If it came into the shop, it brought its paperwork with it, otherwise we'd cancel & return it to the client and tell them 'Get better documentation, doods!'

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (3, Insightful)

metrix007 (200091) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845277)

He did exactly the right move in suspending foreclosures, in which he prevented innocent people being kicked out of there homes because of mistakes made by the banks or land lords.

He was enforcing the law, and doing a morally correct act before anyone even knew who he was. I'm not sure why you try to make his actions appear as though they were just for publicity.

I'm not sure how to take his trying to sue craigslist though.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

blueskies (525815) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848687)

If only they there existed some sort of due process...someone should invent some sort of due process...

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (3, Insightful)

morgauxo (974071) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845391)

I hate reality. Cheesy, flat story characters are so much easier to deal with. Love them or hate them. Real people are heroes today, clueless assholes tomorrow.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845409)

What is he doing trying to practice law?

Don't be surprised to see Dart for Congress bumper stickers in the future.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (3, Informative)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846147)

He's got a J.D. from Loyola University and a Bachelor's Degree in History and General Social Studies from Providence College. What is he doing trying to practice law?

You do know what kind of degree a J.D. is, right?

Right?

It's a frickin' doctorate of law (Juris Doctor).

That said, he has perhaps overstepped his role as Sheriff... but this worked out well in the end. The courts denied his actions, and he brought attention to something he felt was a concern.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29846563)

He's got a J.D. from Loyola University and a Bachelor's Degree in History and General Social Studies from Providence College. What is he doing trying to practice law?

You do know what kind of degree a J.D. is, right? Right? It's a frickin' doctorate of law (Juris Doctor). That said, he has perhaps overstepped his role as Sheriff... but this worked out well in the end. The courts denied his actions, and he brought attention to something he felt was a concern.

I'm sorry, when did he pass the BAR exam? And in which state was that? And is he doing this in his free time or are the people being duped into paying for renegade sheriff legal action?

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (2, Insightful)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846827)

OP (I'm assuming you, since eldavojohn likes to single-post and then any responses are AC -- my apologies if you're not him) posited his academic credentials in an effort to discredit the sheriff's knowledge of the law.

Those academic credentials SUPPORT his knowledge of the law, which is directly opposed to the conclusion OP tried to make. Basically, eldavojohn talked out his ass again...

or it was a particularly clever troll, which is possible, considering how many times he posts a generally-good-enough-for-karma-whoring-post with an obvious error in it.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

Red Flayer (890720) | more than 3 years ago | (#29849667)

I'm sorry, when did he pass the BAR exam? And in which state was that?

Oh, and do some basic research before asking questions with easy answers. He's licensed to practice law in Illinois -- he's a member of good standing of the Illinois Bar Association. Prior to running for sheriff, he was actively practicing law.

And is he doing this in his free time or are the people being duped into paying for renegade sheriff legal action?

That's a horribly worded loaded question. You say renegade, I say challenging the law in the courts. Regardless of whether or not you agree with him on the particular issue, this is how the system is *designed* to function.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

TimeElf1 (781120) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846707)

So basically what you're saying here is that we have a new Jack Thompson? Trying to get rid of things he doesn't understand or doesn't like.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

tsstahl (812393) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846975)

He's got a J.D. from Loyola University and a Bachelor's Degree in History and General Social Studies from Providence College. What is he doing trying to practice law?

Um, J.D. stands for Juris doctor, AKA 'a law degree'.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847445)

AKA Doctor of Being Unemployed, Crushed by School Debt, But At Least Everyone Hates You

Bitter? Me? Nah...

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29847485)

Everybody who has replied to this thus far needs a -1 Whoosh.

Your sarcasm detectors are offline.

Clearly he's saying that Dart knows what he's doing and isn't a total fuckup.

Re:Idiot Sheriff Strikes Again! (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848031)

He's got a J.D. from Loyola University and a Bachelor's Degree in History and General Social Studies from Providence College. What is he doing trying to practice law?

Wow.

A degree in History and General Social Studies doesn't indicate that you're aware of history repeating itself, eh?

This is one you won't win. I find it strange that "we" (the common) try to "stop this" and "prevent that."

There is a base Human instinctual desire, combined with thought development from early childhood until adulthood that clearly doesn't change.

Call me an idiot, but it looks to me like he's in the general group that thinks by preventing communications of, and support of activities that some do and some do not like, that he is somehow doing something good... or would that be controlling instead of good? *shrug*

Make alcohol illegal. If you do, no one will quietly produce and sell it. No one will run quiet underground establishments that resemble the saloon. If you make it illegal and enforce that law, people won't talk about it, people stop wanting it, and people hence stop fulfilling that want. ...oh.. wait. History. *slaps self*

FOR THE RECORD, I am not disagreeing with the parent comment. Just using information from it to throw some additional thought out there.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (3, Insightful)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845163)

Give the guy a break man. He just wants to protect the public. From themselves..

Prostitution is one of the few crimes that make a person a criminal if he/she sells something that is normally "free". Strange, but whatever. That "industry" is so frigging shady it begs to be regulated. But then we'd have to admit we like sex, so of course that's out of the question.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (4, Informative)

spun (1352) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846341)

Prostitution is one of the few crimes that make a person a criminal if he/she sells something that is normally "free".

Sometimes you can barter for it, but it's never free.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (1)

ThrowAwaySociety (1351793) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848181)

Prostitution is one of the few crimes that make a person a criminal if he/she sells something that is normally "free".

Sometimes you can barter for it, but it's never free.

Indeed. The poster should have put "free" in quotation marks or something.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (1)

sabt-pestnu (967671) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848719)

it's never free.

"Love me?"

"Love you."

"Shake on it?"

Re:Idiot Sheriff (1)

MaskedSlacker (911878) | more than 3 years ago | (#29849995)

Still not free. Read the fine print next time.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (2, Funny)

idontgno (624372) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846641)

Prostitution is one of the few crimes that make a person a criminal if he/she sells something that is normally "free".

Spoken like someone who's never been married.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (1)

e2d2 (115622) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848933)

Heh, actually that's why I used the quotes. Nothing in this world is free, especially vagina.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (1)

TheCarp (96830) | more than 3 years ago | (#29849277)

> Prostitution is one of the few crimes that make a person a criminal if he/she sells something that
> is normally "free". Strange, but whatever. That "industry" is so frigging shady it begs to be
> regulated. But then we'd have to admit we like sex, so of course that's out of the question.

Well, what came first? The shady abusive pimp, or the law?

Unregulated illegal industries are shady by definition. I would love to see a comparison between the prostitution problems in a place like RI and places with more general prostitution laws. In RI the laws are all against running brothels or "street walking". What you do in the privacy of your home is perfectly legal there.

In some ways, that makes a lot more sense to me. WHat is the PROBLEM with prostitution? Is it the sex? Why make illegal that which can be given away for free?

The problems tend to revolve more around street walkers and the abusive relationshops that girls have with their pimps. Overall, these seem like a MUCH better fit for regulation than prohibition. Under prohibition, a bitch (what? its an industry term) is engaging in illegal activities, so they take a risk themselves going to the police about an abusive pimp. Make their end legal, and well, whens the last time you heard about a Pizza shop owner who beat his employees and they didn't report him?

But that would make sense. The law seldom does that very well. I tend to view law makers (having had a couple of conversations with them) like a group of plumbers who get called in to fix a backed up drain. They remove the flow valve from the sink, turn the water back on, and as the water flows all over the floor will look you in the eye and say "well we should give the fix time to work".

-Steve

Re:Idiot Sheriff (1)

dreamchaser (49529) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845201)

Yep. Elections are coming up and I would bet even money that he's up this year. He's just trying to get some votes by grandstanding.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845369)

I dont agree with his suit but an interesting point is made. There are some lawsuits that make sense but it seems that the legal system is unable to reason things out. Something as simple as abuse or murder in a human's world doesn't make sense in the legal world. Every human in the courtroom may know the murder took place but the legal system wont agree. Reminds me of studying NP complete problems in college, I know the answer but I cant get the damn algorithm to figure it out.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29845851)

Reminds me of studying NP complete problems in college, I know the answer but I cant get the damn algorithm to figure it out.

You can solve instances of NP-complete problems in reasonable amounts of time? I'm really impressed.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (1)

COMON$ (806135) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846687)

Well, you got me there, but things like traveling salesmen and backpacks are simple for me to see and do, but to find a way to get my algortithms to do it on a consistent basis efficiently poses a problem. Same with the Legal system, on one hand you need to generate a fair non biased system, on the other you need to keep the human experience involved for a proper outcome.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (1)

Todd Knarr (15451) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846953)

In large part I think it's the way the legal system reasons things: successive approximation to previous cases. The problem is that there's no sanity check for situations where the law says A but NOT Z, but you can build a chain of reasoning that A is true and A is equivalent to B, B is equivalent to C, C is equivalent to D and so on until you get Y is equivalent to Z therefore Z (exactly the opposite of what the law says).

The flaw is obvious when you realize that you can use that kind of successive approximation and the "if the difference between two things is suffuciently small, it can be ignored and the two things treated as equivalent" rule to prove that 1 = 2.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848327)

When this sort of thing happens, appellate courts or the Supreme Court will introduce a "test" for certain laws to determine whether a given event is subject to it. In the absence of well-defined tests from higher courts, judges are expected to reason it out themselves. This is why attorneys are generally expected to have years of experience before being appointed or elected judge.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (5, Insightful)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845411)

The sheriff in question was no doubt trying to just drum up some publicity for himself. Remind me again why he's enforcing laws he clearly doesn't understand?
Yes, because anyone whose view on the law is different than the generally espoused views on slashdot MUST be expressing those views out of dishonesty or corruption or a desire for publicity or because they were bribed. Year in, year out, I see that viewpoint repeated again and again and again here and I just don't understand it. Every bad legal opinion, and a bunch of people pipe up that the judge in the case was probably bribed.

Man, I've got to take a break from slashdot, not worth getting annoyed every morning.

ANYWAY, first of all, the cause of action here was not for "facilitating prostitution," it was for public nuisance. Secondly, the sheriff here is a former prosecutor, so he probably understands the law pretty well. He's probably also familiar with the fact that the 7th Circuit, which interprets law for this district, has held that 230(c) does not provide blanket immunity for internet service providers; he was likely hoping that the court might find this case to be one of those where it doesn't apply. Thirdly, it's entirely possible that he intended all along, if necessary, to appeal the constitutionality of the safe harbor provisions of the law.

I don't agree with his position. But that doesn't mean I think it was a frivolous case, or he's somehow a horrible person because of it. And if you read the position the Court, while agreeing with the Defendant, doesn't seem to think so either. It's not an especially harshly worded decision, the word "frivolous" and "obvious" do not appear.

Finally, the way the techdirt article is phrased is just silly; "[e]ven after this was clearly explained to Sheriff Dart"? By who? The defendant? What's he supposed to do, "well I was going to prosecute this case, but the defendant is arguing that it's wrong, so I better just stop what I'm doing"? The headline is ridiculous too; should we just phrase all legal headlines like that? "Court Teaches EFF About DMCA"?

Re:Idiot Sheriff (2, Funny)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846017)

Man, I've got to take a break from slashdot, not worth getting annoyed every morning.

Someone is wrong on the internet!

He's probably also familiar with the fact that the 7th Circuit, which interprets law for this district, has held that 230(c) does not provide blanket immunity for internet service providers;

Craigslist is not an internet service provider.

Finally, the way the techdirt article is phrased is just silly;

Agreed.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (1)

nomadic (141991) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846355)

Someone is wrong on the internet!

You know, that's the thing, someone being wrong doesn't get to me, it's the lack of critical thinking and the incessant groupthink gets to me.

Craigslist is not an internet service provider.

Yah, meant interactive computer service or whatever the law defines as falling under the CDA protections.

Re:Idiot Sheriff (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29846671)

This was indeed a publicity stunt; if he was interested in enforcing anti-prostitution laws, he would have prosecuted every individual who advertised prostitution services on Craigslist. Filing a bogus lawsuit allows him to take no action against prostutitution while telling voters "See, we TRIED to shut down prostitution in this county, but those darned liberal judges won't let us!"

Groovy (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29844957)

I'll set up my business in section 230 of the Yankee stadium.

But..but..but... (0, Offtopic)

skgrey (1412883) | more than 3 years ago | (#29844985)

Sorry Mr. Sheriff. If you want to change the laws you too have to go through the proper process, you can't just circumvent the system even though "it feels like it should be that way". Someone should kick his ass out of authority. Anyone with power over the public (such as a Sheriff) who doesn't understand the law, even after explained to him, doesn't deserve to be the one looked at to uphold it.

Troll, do not read (0, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29845001)

Even after the meaning of "free" was clearly explained to Stallman, he still insisted that his definition made sense.

Your official guide to the Jigaboo presidency (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29845007)

Congratulations on your purchase of a brand new nigger! If handled properly, your apeman will give years of valuable, if reluctant, service.

INSTALLING YOUR NIGGER.
You should install your nigger differently according to whether you have purchased the field or house model. Field niggers work best in a serial configuration, i.e. chained together. Chain your nigger to another nigger immediately after unpacking it, and don't even think about taking that chain off, ever. Many niggers start singing as soon as you put a chain on them. This habit can usually be thrashed out of them if nipped in the bud. House niggers work best as standalone units, but should be hobbled or hamstrung to prevent attempts at escape. At this stage, your nigger can also be given a name. Most owners use the same names over and over, since niggers become confused by too much data. Rufus, Rastus, Remus, Toby, Carslisle, Carlton, Hey-You!-Yes-you!, Yeller, Blackstar, and Sambo are all effective names for your new buck nigger. If your nigger is a ho, it should be called Latrelle, L'Tanya, or Jemima. Some owners call their nigger hoes Latrine for a joke. Pearl, Blossom, and Ivory are also righteous names for nigger hoes. These names go straight over your nigger's head, by the way.

CONFIGURING YOUR NIGGER
Owing to a design error, your nigger comes equipped with a tongue and vocal chords. Most niggers can master only a few basic human phrases with this apparatus - "muh dick" being the most popular. However, others make barking, yelping, yapping noises and appear to be in some pain, so you should probably call a vet and have him remove your nigger's tongue. Once de-tongued your nigger will be a lot happier - at least, you won't hear it complaining anywhere near as much. Niggers have nothing interesting to say, anyway. Many owners also castrate their niggers for health reasons (yours, mine, and that of women, not the nigger's). This is strongly recommended, and frankly, it's a mystery why this is not done on the boat

HOUSING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger can be accommodated in cages with stout iron bars. Make sure, however, that the bars are wide enough to push pieces of nigger food through. The rule of thumb is, four niggers per square yard of cage. So a fifteen foot by thirty foot nigger cage can accommodate two hundred niggers. You can site a nigger cage anywhere, even on soft ground. Don't worry about your nigger fashioning makeshift shovels out of odd pieces of wood and digging an escape tunnel under the bars of the cage. Niggers never invented the shovel before and they're not about to now. In any case, your nigger is certainly too lazy to attempt escape. As long as the free food holds out, your nigger is living better than it did in Africa, so it will stay put. Buck niggers and hoe niggers can be safely accommodated in the same cage, as bucks never attempt sex with black hoes.

FEEDING YOUR NIGGER.
Your Nigger likes fried chicken, corn bread, and watermelon. You should therefore give it none of these things because its lazy ass almost certainly doesn't deserve it. Instead, feed it on porridge with salt, and creek water. Your nigger will supplement its diet with whatever it finds in the fields, other niggers, etc. Experienced nigger owners sometimes push watermelon slices through the bars of the nigger cage at the end of the day as a treat, but only if all niggers have worked well and nothing has been stolen that day. Mike of the Old Ranch Plantation reports that this last one is a killer, since all niggers steal something almost every single day of their lives. He reports he doesn't have to spend much on free watermelon for his niggers as a result. You should never allow your nigger meal breaks while at work, since if it stops work for more than ten minutes it will need to be retrained. You would be surprised how long it takes to teach a nigger to pick cotton. You really would. Coffee beans? Don't ask. You have no idea.

MAKING YOUR NIGGER WORK.
Niggers are very, very averse to work of any kind. The nigger's most prominent anatomical feature, after all, its oversized buttocks, which have evolved to make it more comfortable for your nigger to sit around all day doing nothing for its entire life. Niggers are often good runners, too, to enable them to sprint quickly in the opposite direction if they see work heading their way. The solution to this is to *dupe* your nigger into working. After installation, encourage it towards the cotton field with blows of a wooden club, fence post, baseball bat, etc., and then tell it that all that cotton belongs to a white man, who won't be back until tomorrow. Your nigger will then frantically compete with the other field niggers to steal as much of that cotton as it can before the white man returns. At the end of the day, return your nigger to its cage and laugh at its stupidity, then repeat the same trick every day indefinitely. Your nigger comes equipped with the standard nigger IQ of 75 and a memory to match, so it will forget this trick overnight. Niggers can start work at around 5am. You should then return to bed and come back at around 10am. Your niggers can then work through until around 10pm or whenever the light fades.

ENTERTAINING YOUR NIGGER.
Your nigger enjoys play, like most animals, so you should play with it regularly. A happy smiling nigger works best. Games niggers enjoy include: 1) A good thrashing: every few days, take your nigger's pants down, hang it up by its heels, and have some of your other niggers thrash it with a club or whip. Your nigger will signal its intense enjoyment by shrieking and sobbing. 2) Lynch the nigger: niggers are cheap and there are millions more where yours came from. So every now and then, push the boat out a bit and lynch a nigger.

Lynchings are best done with a rope over the branch of a tree, and niggers just love to be lynched. It makes them feel special. Make your other niggers watch. They'll be so grateful, they'll work harder for a day or two (and then you can lynch another one). 3) Nigger dragging: Tie your nigger by one wrist to the tow bar on the back of suitable vehicle, then drive away at approximately 50mph. Your nigger's shrieks of enjoyment will be heard for miles. It will shriek until it falls apart. To prolong the fun for the nigger, do *NOT* drag him by his feet, as his head comes off too soon. This is painless for the nigger, but spoils the fun. Always wear a seatbelt and never exceed the speed limit. 4) Playing on the PNL: a variation on (2), except you can lynch your nigger out in the fields, thus saving work time. Niggers enjoy this game best if the PNL is operated by a man in a tall white hood. 5) Hunt the nigger: a variation of Hunt the Slipper, but played outdoors, with Dobermans. WARNING: do not let your Dobermans bite a nigger, as they are highly toxic.

DISPOSAL OF DEAD NIGGERS.
Niggers die on average at around 40, which some might say is 40 years too late, but there you go. Most people prefer their niggers dead, in fact. When yours dies, report the license number of the car that did the drive-by shooting of your nigger. The police will collect the nigger and dispose of it for you.

COMMON PROBLEMS WITH NIGGERS - MY NIGGER IS VERY AGGRESIVE
Have it put down, for god's sake. Who needs an uppity nigger? What are we, short of niggers or something?

MY NIGGER KEEPS RAPING WHITE WOMEN
They all do this. Shorten your nigger's chain so it can't reach any white women, and arm heavily any white women who might go near it.

WILL MY NIGGER ATTACK ME?
Not unless it outnumbers you 20 to 1, and even then, it's not likely. If niggers successfully overthrew their owners, they'd have to sort out their own food. This is probably why nigger uprisings were nonexistent (until some fool gave them rights).

MY NIGGER BITCHES ABOUT ITS "RIGHTS" AND "RACISM".
Yeah, well, it would. Tell it to shut the fuck up.

MY NIGGER'S HIDE IS A FUNNY COLOR. - WHAT IS THE CORRECT SHADE FOR A NIGGER?
A nigger's skin is actually more or less transparent. That brown color you can see is the shit your nigger is full of. This is why some models of nigger are sold as "The Shitskin".

MY NIGGER ACTS LIKE A NIGGER, BUT IS WHITE.
What you have there is a "wigger". Rough crowd. WOW!

IS THAT LIKE AN ALBINO? ARE THEY RARE?
They're as common as dog shit and about as valuable. In fact, one of them was President between 1992 and 2000. Put your wigger in a cage with a few hundred genuine niggers and you'll soon find it stops acting like a nigger. However, leave it in the cage and let the niggers dispose of it. The best thing for any wigger is a dose of TNB.

MY NIGGER SMELLS REALLY BAD
And you were expecting what?

SHOULD I STORE MY DEAD NIGGER?
When you came in here, did you see a sign that said "Dead nigger storage"? .That's because there ain't no goddamn sign.

and this is why (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29845097)

And this is why the Sheriff (aka, a high-ranking thug) is not a lawyer. That actually requires some brain power (although just how much is arguable).

Re:and this is why (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29845827)

and posts like this are why slashdot is diseased with idiocy. do your homework, Dart is a lawyer, and knows more about the law than you do.

Re:and this is why (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29846983)

You never completed the "How to capitalize sentences" homework assignment.

The pirate bay case (2, Interesting)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845193)

This is the ideal concept for how the pirate bay should be looked at. Somehow it's not though.

Re:The pirate bay case (1)

gblackwo (1087063) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845205)

And yes, I know it is a different legal system.

Re:The pirate bay case (1)

mounthood (993037) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847553)

This is the ideal concept for how the pirate bay should be looked at. Somehow it's not though.

It's clear that Craigslist only provides a service for people to communicate, but for The Pirate Bay it's only clear to us (/.) that they are doing the same.

I think there is also an unspoken bias about the proximity of any "crime" to the facilitator, that I would summarize like this: Craigslist is all just talk until people get together and do something wrong, but The Pirate Bay is stealing right there on the site. What counts as direct involvement? The closest we seem to get is asking if there's a "substantial non-infringing use" for a service. But for TPB that answer doesn't yield the desired results.

Re:The pirate bay case (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847753)

"That's the law."

What if that's what I say when I look at you while standing tall, crossing my arms, and doing the legal 1000-yard stare?

That makes it the law. That makes me the law maker. That means that I am the guy you need to hire for your dirty work. I can say that because my dirty work is better than Craigslist-based online sexual dirty work. ...and that's the law.

Wow, that was supposed to be an agreeing sarcastic comment, but after thinking about guys like him, it's looking too true for people of his mindset at this point.

I digress. :>

Good (5, Interesting)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845215)

It's nice to see this ruling. Escorts and such have been advertising in local newspaper classified ads for YEARS now and nobody seemed to care. No matter what they do they're NOT going to stop prostitution because at the end of the day it's a "crime" between willing adults. There's no victim to complain to anyone because every person involved is happy if at the end of the day no law enforcement ever shows their face.

In reality though, the truth is that a lot of times strip clubs, brothels, and other such activities are giving kickbacks to SOMEBODY in power, somewhere. I've seen it time and time again. For example strip clubs here are not supposed to feature fully naked dancers and dancers are not supposed to be on the club floor when exposed. Generally they ignore the floor rule, and will just wrap their panties around their wrist when on stage to comply with the first (they're still wearing them, just not in the proper location). Every now and then though they'll get pressured to comply, resulting in the panties staying on and the bouncers literally having to carry the girls on their shoulders from stage to stage so that the girl never touches the floor, until the club owner pays off whoever is pressuring him. Then it's back to business as usual. The same is true for most escort services and such. The older more established services stay there pretty much until the owner decides to get out of the business. New services jump into and out of existence on a monthly basis. Simple reason is that the older services have figured out who they have to pay to be left alone.

My guess is that a lot of this backlash against Craigslist is simply that with everything being done on the Internet it's making it easier for people to get these dealings done without the officials getting their due cut of the cash, and that just doesn't go over well.

Re:Good (1)

MickyTheIdiot (1032226) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845331)

Everyone always goes OMGWTF when stuff that happens in real life makes it onto the 'net. There are two people that still see the Internet as magic (whether it is in the sense of not understanding the technology or whether it is seen as a magic money box). It's run by humans like everything else and so it's subject to all the human problems like everything else. Until most people stop seeing it as technology indistinguishable from magic then it's probably more OMGWTF in the newspaper and CNN every day.

Re:Good (-1, Offtopic)

corbettw (214229) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845431)

This sig is worded exactly as intended. Any lame "Fixed that for you" jokes will be modded into oblivion.

FTFY.

Re:Good (5, Insightful)

skornenicholas (1360763) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845435)

Bingo, we have a winner! That is EXACTLY what this is about, it is about corruption in the name of greed and what happens when you cut out the middle man. I used to live next to a college campus and there was a very well known "tutoring" service with some very attractive ladies who were frequent visitors to the campus. My roomate was campus security, he made an extra 2 grand a week for putting the proper id visitor badges on the girls and "escorting them to their clients in the name of safety." Plenty of the RAs were in on it was well, keep security happy, keep the RAs happy, college kids get their bone on, plenty of people make some money, all in all it was a good business arrangement. Secruity helped keep the girls relatively safe as well, rode in their little carts to the dorms and back to their cars, cuts out a lot of rapes, murders, and robberies to boot. Highly illegal and unethical but a nice little package, suddenly you have Craigslist and people cutting everyone else out of the picture, things get messy pretty quickly.

Re:Good (1)

Fast Thick Pants (1081517) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846021)

College kids *pay* for poon? I could barely afford gin...

Re:Good (2, Funny)

vslashg (209560) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846453)

College kids *pay* for poon? I could barely afford gin...

Priorities.

Re:Good (1)

Fulcrum of Evil (560260) | more than 3 years ago | (#29849373)

Dude, it's college - you should be able to find a horny girl without much trouble.

Re:Good (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29848321)

College kids *pay* for gin? I could barely afford Mickeys...

contemplatign a career change (1)

Rick Bentley (988595) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845497)

Generally they ignore the floor rule, and will just wrap their panties around their wrist when on stage to comply with the first (they're still wearing them, just not in the proper location). Every now and then though they'll get pressured to comply, resulting in the panties staying on and the bouncers literally having to carry the girls on their shoulders from stage to stage so that the girl never touches the floor

How did I miss being a domain expert in this field?

Re:Good (1)

rwyoder (759998) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845553)

Every now and then though they'll get pressured to comply, resulting in the panties staying on and the bouncers literally having to carry the girls on their shoulders from stage to stage so that the girl never touches the floor...

That sounds like nice work when you can find it.

MAFIA (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29846429)

In reality though, the truth is that a lot of times strip clubs, brothels, and other such activities are giving kickbacks to SOMEBODY in power, somewhere.

When I was dating a stripper, it was no surprise to learn that all her bosses were mafia.

Re:MAFIA (1)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846567)

This is in South Carolina. "Good ol' boy" corrupted politics are to blame here rather than Mafia.

Re:Good (1)

Schadrach (1042952) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848559)

Could be worse, you pull the sex industry specific terms out and replace them with words specific to many other industries, especially extraction industries, and it remains just as true.

To add a little context... (5, Insightful)

twistah (194990) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845291)

When you say "local sheriff", it makes it sound like he's the sheriff of some small town. In fact, Tom Dart is the sheriff of Cook County, which contains Chicago, is the second most populous county in the U.S, and his department is the second largest in the U.S.

People claiming Dart is drumming up publicity are pretty much correct. Keep in mind, we're talking Chicago here, so consider the history of the political machine here. Dart also refused to evict renters from houses when their landlords lost the mortgage. In a way, this is an honorable thing to do, but the way it played out, everyone read it as once again more publicity for Dart. The Craigslist case just further proves his motives.

Re:To add a little context... (4, Interesting)

rcamans (252182) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845681)

Notice Dart is not closing down cheap motels / hotels with rooms by the hour, who actually are facilitating prostitution. Nor is he closing down bars and liquor stores for facilitating drunk driving. Nor is he closing down sleazy bars (all of them) for facilitating drug dealers (all bars have drug dealers operating in them), or for facilitating prostitution. So he clearly is not into closing down facilitators, nor is he into hard work for publicity. He is attacking a single target for publicity. A cheap shot.

Re:To add a little context... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29845757)

We here in Chicago like to refer to it as Crook County, thank you very much.

Every day that Sheriff Dart doesn't arrest Todd Stroger [wikipedia.org] is another day that proves we're right.

Re:To add a little context... (1)

twistah (194990) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846379)

I'm a resident too, and I love this city to death, but I also know too well about Toddler Stroger and his antics.

Re:To add a little context... (1)

MartinSchou (1360093) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846751)

Not only is Cook County the second most populous county in the US (5.3 million by US census data [census.gov] ), it ranks 17 by population density, 18 by housing density but only 411th of 3,141 by area(unsurprisingly the top 9 are all in Alaska, as well as 13 of the top 20).

And being the sheriff for 43% of the population of Illinois (1.91% of the entire US population) makes the "local sheriff" moniker sound like an attempt to make him sound like a hillbilly. Keep in mind he's the sheriff of a bigger populace than 30 US States can muster on their own. In fact he's the sheriff of a population bigger than Delaware, South Dakota, Alaska, North Dakota, Vermont, District of Columbia, Wyoming, Guam, US Virgin Islands, Northern Mariana Islands and American Samoa combined.

Now, if the poster was talking about the Sheriff of Loving County [wikipedia.org] (population 65), that'd be different. It's one of the few counties, where a single person will make a big difference to the population numbers.

Pimps take notices (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29845483)

Pimps across the country retitled themselves "Service Providers".

Re:Pimps take notices (1)

Chris Burke (6130) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846855)

Service providin' ain't easy...

Hm, doesn't have the same ring to it.

Re:Pimps take notices (2, Insightful)

MBGMorden (803437) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848761)

They've been on to the wording game long ago. It varies slightly, but the online variety of escort service owner/pimp basically has the following legal disclaimer:

"This website does not condone illegal activity. This is not an offer of prostitution. All services contracted for are legal arrangements for the model's time and company only. Anything additional that may or may not occur is a matter of personal preference between two consenting adults."

There's nothing against the law about contracting for a girl's company. Even for a stripper or lingerie modeling services. It's only the sex part that's illegal, and the girls for the most part know to speak and behave. You walk in and ask about sex and they'll politely ask you to leave (or they'll leave if they visited you). The assumption is that if you're pushing that issue you're either a cop or a clueless "newbie" to the industry (they don't use the word "newbie" but it's the same concept), and they don't want to take the risk. Generally, you walk in and just start talking normally. Chat for a while. Eventually the cue comes where she says "I'm going to the restroom to freshen up - make yourself comfortable.". Making yourself comfortable means you go ahead and undress. When she comes back the sight of your naked body presumably drives her mad with lust and you, as two consenting adults, get it on.

To any common sense person yeah, that's prostitution, but from "beyond a shadow of a doubt" standpoint there was never a verbal arrangement on the sexual services. That's the insanity that happens when you try to outlaw something that is completely legal if there's no money involved. I mean, if a woman is sleeping with the pool boy then it's the same situation - they paid for one service and when he got there they ended up having consensual sex. Drawing that line can be hard (near impossible if those involved really stick to their stories).

If both parties know how to choose their wording and don't slip up it can be a very hard case for the prosecution.

The police do this shit all the time (5, Insightful)

MikeRT (947531) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845665)

This chief [theagitator.com] actually made violating state law a departmental policy:

“My message to my troops is if you see anybody carrying a gun on the streets of Milwaukee, we’ll put them on the ground, take the gun away and then decide whether you have a right to carry it.”

That's despite the fact that it is perfectly legal to open-carry in Wisconsin!

The police frequently think anything goes in enforcing the law, even violating "little laws" to enforce "big laws" is ok.

If only we went back to the old American model in which the police not only did not have a monopoly on enforcing the law (any private citizen could arrest you and bring you to a court), but anyone who broke the law while enforcing the law was civilly and criminally liable to their victim.

Re:The police do this shit all the time (2, Interesting)

CompMD (522020) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845905)

Careful, make sure you read the law in detail. In Kansas it is also legal to open-carry, however the state law permits cities to pass municipal ordinances restricting open-carry.

Re:The police do this shit all the time (3, Interesting)

Rastl (955935) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847129)

Careful, make sure you read the law in detail. In Kansas it is also legal to open-carry, however the state law permits cities to pass municipal ordinances restricting open-carry.

We have a preemption law in Wisconsin. For those not in the know it means no municipality/county/etc. can make a law that's more restrictive than the state law. So the open carry is legal everywhere.

That being said there's places all over the state trying to pass laws/ordinances with heinous penalties for open carry in a 'no gun' area. As in $10,000 fine for first offense. I think they've backed down on those but haven't really followed them.

Here's the lovely irony. The preemption law was passed while the current governor was attorney general. Now he's upset that it is getting in the way of his agenda. He's also trying to do away with open carry. But he's also been vetoing conceal carry because we have open carry. So the logical thing is - if he's against open carry we should have conceal carry. It's quite confusing. Funny, but confusing.

Re:The police do this shit all the time (1)

Nakarti (572310) | more than 3 years ago | (#29848603)

Ban open carry and pass conceal carry in one bill. Bonus: those who can legally carry now are automatically grandfathered in to conceal-carry.

You write the bill, I'll hide until the fan stops throwing shit.

Re:The police do this shit all the time (2, Insightful)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 3 years ago | (#29845963)

If only we went back to the old American model in which the police not only did not have a monopoly on enforcing the law (any private citizen could arrest you and bring you to a court)

I don't know how it works where you live, but in California if you witness a misdemeanor or have reason to believe a felony has been committed, you may execute a citizen's arrest. Don't be wrong, the court hates it when you do that shit and if you don't have evidence expect to be nailed for false arrest. Once you have placed someone under citizen's arrest you are legally permitted to utilize necessary force to subdue the subject. I don't know shit about how it works when a private citizen wants to be a prosecutor, though. I suspect they'd have to hire a lawyer to assist them at minimum.

Re:The police do this shit all the time (1)

socrplayr813 (1372733) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847715)

I have almost zero knowledge of the actual laws, but isn't it generally accepted in the US that you're allowed to intervene with reasonable and/or necessary force to protect yourself, your family, and your house/possessions? Isn't it also true that various parts of the US (and probably other parts of the world) have tried to encourage citizens to intervene another citizen is in danger (ie. a violent crime)?

Anonymous Coward (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 3 years ago | (#29846313)

Whenever I see somebody crusading that hard and obsessed against sex my thought it, "Don't let this guy near your kids."

Need to draw the line somewhere (2, Insightful)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846901)

If Craigslist is facilitating prostitution, then so are the phone networks, internet, yellow pages directories, and newspapers. If you're going to get an injunction against one form of advertising or contacting unlawful services, you'd damn well better get an injunction against all of them -- but that would demonstrate just how stupid his premise was in the first place.

Re:Need to draw the line somewhere (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847539)

<sarcasm>

Stop THINKING! We're just supposed to be all emotional about it and form social groups dedicated to the just cause!

</sarcasm>

Its all about money (1)

adeydas (837049) | more than 3 years ago | (#29846949)

If my company advertises prostitution, it doesn't mean that its promoting it... it plain money baby!!!

Hush. (1)

poofmeisterp (650750) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847405)

Don't tell his prospective emplo....

I I I mean...

Don't tell his current employer that he proved himself foolhardy and an overt rusher and that you shouldn't hir...

I mean..

Don't fire him.

Quite understandable (1)

hrimhari (1241292) | more than 3 years ago | (#29847973)

Even after all of this was clearly explained to Sheriff Daft, he still insisted that his lawsuit made sense.

There, fixed it for you.

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