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Lawyer Banned for Threatening File-Sharers

Soulskill posted more than 6 years ago | from the your-uppance-has-come dept.

The Courts 123

S. Hare brings us a report from TorrentFreak about a lawyer working for a Swiss anti-piracy group who was recently given a 6-month ban for her attempts to intimidate file-sharers though letters threatening fines and court fees. Elizabeth Martin demanded 400 Euros each from "hundreds of thousands of file-sharers," and suggested that they would have to face large settlements if they did not comply. The Paris Bar Council took exception to this and instituted the ban. Martin worked for Logistep, a company who has had trouble following laws in the past. "The disciplinary board decided that 'By choosing to reproduce aggressive foreign methods, intended to force payments, the interested party also violated [the code] which specifies that the lawyer cannot unfairly represent a situation or seriousness of threat.' In addition, the lawyer also violated the code by cashing payments into a private account, not the usual dedicated litigation account, known as a 'Carpa'. Martin also refused to reveal how many payments had been received from file-sharers."

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123 comments

Value (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22980882)

It's truely amazing that people continue to support copyright theft here. It's an indection that most Slashdotter's don't actually produce anything of value.

Re:Value (5, Insightful)

y86 (111726) | more than 6 years ago | (#22980900)

It's truely amazing that people continue to support copyright theft here. It's an indection that most Slashdotter's don't actually produce anything of value.
I beg to differ.

Ever heard of Linux? Jackass. Go back under your bridge.

Re:Value (5, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22980958)

Yeah, and some of us can keep producing value, not like other people who _apparently_ can only produce value once in their lifetime and so require copyright terms of > 100 years to support them (or long patent terms).

To the latter bunch I say, go find something you are better at and stop wasting time and resources.

If the speed of communications has got faster, and people want a faster pace of progress, then the length of all these monopolies should be getting shorter and shorter, not longer and longer. In the old days it takes a long time for a book (or other work) to get from an author to people (takes time for people to get to know about the book, and for payment to reach the author etc). Now I believe it should be much faster if you are doing things right.

Re:Value (4, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981054)

In the old days it takes a long time for a book (or other work) to get from an author to people (takes time for people to get to know about the book, and for payment to reach the author etc). Now I believe it should be much faster if you are doing things right.

In much writing things are still going to take a while. Peer review takes time, because peer reviewers have busy lives. Doing fine typesetting is still a laborious task (yes, computers help, but you still have to painstakingly tweak their output).

Still, for some forms of entertainment, things do move fast, and once things are out they can be quickly duplicated. But in fact, they have always moved fast and copyright was an unnatural innovation forced into the the market only a few hundred years ago. In Ancient Rome, for instance, people would transcribe poetry recitals, have copies mass-produced by a team of amanuenses, and then sell it in the marketplace. No one seems to have had a problem with this lightning-speed duplication and sale of material. In his Epigrams [amazon.com] , the poet Martial complains only that someone else was putting his own name on his poems, but he had no problem with people profiting from the poetry itself, even if he didn't see a dime. The arts flourished even without copyright.

The digital era has brought nothing new in many respects. Art just fine existed before copyright, and we should dismantle it now because it will exist after copyright.

Typesetting isn't hard anymore (1, Informative)

uuxququex (1175981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981198)

Doing fine typesetting is still a laborious task (yes, computers help, but you still have to painstakingly tweak their output).

Don't use Microsoft Word for serious work then. Computer typesetting is a solved problem. Has been since the eighties [wikipedia.org] .

Re:Typesetting isn't hard anymore (5, Interesting)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981232)

I've done professional typesetting with LaTeX. Yes, the TeX world is a wonderful, but you still have to laborious tweak the output. LaTeX will, for example, put a single word on a line at the end of a paragraph, a taboo. You also have to remove overfull \hboxes, ensure that hyphenation of proper names is correct, and work out any issues with non-Latin characters (UTF-8 is only partially supported in the TeX world, even with xetex).

Re:Typesetting isn't hard anymore (1)

uuxququex (1175981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981604)

I've been fairly involved in the TeX world. I started with LaTeX, but after a year I found it to be limiting enough to switch to TeX with a set of custom macro's.

Yes, you have to proofread your document after typesetting. Ofcourse you have to do that. But the problem isn't hard. An overfull hbox? Rephrase that paragraph slightly. Hyphenation control is excellent.

The lack of real Unicode support irks me too, I've needed it on a project. In the end I used a severely kludges Omega setup. I would not care to do that ever again.

Re:Typesetting isn't hard anymore (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981640)

This is going quite off-topic, but it's always night to talk with other TeX afficionados.

An overfull hbox? Rephrase that paragraph slightly.

Sometimes you can't. For example, I recently typeset a manuscript where a paragraph consisted of little more than phonetic transcriptions in IPA, which don't hyphenate. It took me a long while to figure out a way around the overfull \hbox.

Hyphenation control is excellent.

The hyphenation files for any language don't handle more obscure proper names.

The lack of real Unicode support irks me too, I've needed it on a project. In the end I used a severely kludges Omega setup. I would not care to do that ever again.

Omega is in fact abandoned now.

Re:Typesetting isn't hard anymore (1)

Sique (173459) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981792)

My mother is an actual typograph and did typesetting with scissors and paste when I was a child. When I was sick, she stayed at home and did her typesetting there. So I have an idea what manual typesetting looks like (even thought the actual text was already done by a linotype typesetting machine).

I estimate Desktop Publishing has increased the output of a normal typesetter at least twentyfold (not to mention the ease of error correction you get with a computer!).

Re:Value (4, Insightful)

TheLink (130905) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981678)

"In much writing things are still going to take a while"

AFAIK the copyright term stuff is _after_ publication. So if you're not done yet, don't publish.

My point was nowadays, after you publish, you should be able to get word out really quickly. Just some emails to your friends linking to your "teaser material" and word will soon get around, especially if you didn't actually produce crap. Or your crap is so crap that it "wrapped round to great" - just look at some of the "internet phenoms" ;). If you're good or entertainingly crap you can get $$$.

If the teaser material is all you've managed to produce, perhaps you should just do it as a hobby and get different job.

Wouldn't it be great if my employer paid me for the next 100 years just because I created one piece of work? It might be cushy for me, but I doubt this sort of thing benefits society, especially if it means nobody else can use that piece of work or a close derivative without my permission for the next 100 years. I think that's very wrong.

Lastly, someone else putting name on your work = plagiarism, which is something different from copying since it involves lying.

A copyright term of even just 7 years should be ok. Microsoft will still get money from XP, but they'd then have to make something much better than Vista, since people could use Win2K instead.

If they don't like it, I'm sure Apple or IBM will happily step up to take their place.

Re:Value (4, Informative)

sjames (1099) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981746)

In much writing things are still going to take a while. Peer review takes time, because peer reviewers have busy lives. Doing fine typesetting is still a laborious task (yes, computers help, but you still have to painstakingly tweak their output).

All of that is absolutely NOTHING compared to the days when goods were carried by horse, typesetting involved blocks of metal, strips of lead, and a hammer, and a printing press' speed was measurable in seconds per page.

At that time, marketing was primarily word of mouth and equally slow to produce print ads in entirely local papers (no such thing as buying a national ad). The time between an author completing a work and having it ready for printing was measured in years. Still more years would pass between publishing and mots potentially interested buyers hearing of a work's existance.

At that time, in spite of the long lead time to market, 28 years was considered adequate time on a copyright.

By contrast, these days, the time between an author completing a work and it being bulk printed and marketed to all potential buyers is measurable in months. In spite of that, we seem to think a copyright measured in lifetimes is needed.

It's especially a travesty in software where a 28 year old program is of historical interest at best (more likely forgotten entirely).

Re:Value (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981850)

In much writing things are still going to take a while. Peer review takes time, because peer reviewers have busy lives.

"Peer review" refers to scientific writing, and specifically to research papers. Is copyright actually significant to those ? From what I've understood, the authors actually have to pay to get their papers published, so it seems to me that having them spread for free would help, not hinder, the scientists.

Re:Value (0, Flamebait)

das_schmitt (936797) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982016)

Ever heard of Linux?

Yes, and it sucks.

Re:Value (1)

jlarocco (851450) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982502)

I don't think the AC was too far off. At the very least, the /. groupthink is confused.

File sharing violates the license that most music is released under. That license happens to be based on copyright law. But, the prevailing attitude on /. seems to be that it doesn't matter because music is just data, and sharing data is easy/cheap, so file sharing should be okay.

On the other hand, every time a story breaks about some company violating the GPL, the /. crowd throws a hissy fit, even though the same principle still applies.

The **AA's tactics are a bit heavy handed, and their "evidence" gathering is a bit suspect,but they're as in the right as people suing GPL violators.

Re:Value (5, Insightful)

CyberData4 (1247268) | more than 6 years ago | (#22980930)

How does the RIAA know that it's theft? That's the issue many take with them. It's the way they go after people through their ISP's. Which they SHOULDN'T have access to in the first place. But silly me, I always assumed "Innocent until PROVEN guilty" meant just that. My mistake.

Re:Value (3, Insightful)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981488)

Here is the really disturbing part. That lawyer may have collected a fortune from people seeking to avoid a court hearing. By simply suspending him for six months the court effectively encourages others to do exactly the same thing. This is a case where a staggering fine would have sent a message that no other party dare pull such nonsense.

Re:Value (2, Interesting)

mrvan (973822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981728)

I'm no lawyer and I don't know anything about the French legal system --- but I think it is fairly rare for a lawyer to get a ban and this will look bad on his CV, and I'm pretty sure the penalties will get heavier for repeat offense or copycats.

It would also be interesting to see whether some of the threatened people are willing to take civil action...

Re:Value (1)

blackest_k (761565) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982772)

from the summary

Elizabeth Martin demanded 400 Euros each from "hundreds of thousands of file-sharers,"
'm no lawyer and I don't know anything about the French legal system --- but I think Elizabeth Martin is probably a woman

To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (-1, Offtopic)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22980962)

There is no such word as "indection". Better look it up before you get indected from behind.

But seriously, while on the subject, what is with the Original Poster calling a company "who"? I admit that this is a pet peeve of mine, but that doesn't change the fact that it is just plain bad English. It is incorrect. Period.

Companies are not "who". People are not "that" or "which". Get it straight, folks.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (2, Informative)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981000)

But seriously, while on the subject, what is with the Original Poster calling a company "who"? I admit that this is a pet peeve of mine, but that doesn't change the fact that it is just plain bad English. It is incorrect. Period.

Linguists dropped prescriptivism a century ago, and English speakers are often proud of the fact that they have no body directing usage like e.g. the Academie Francaise. Your ranting about what is correct English isn't going to change anything and you'd have peace of mind if you finally got with the times.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (-1, Offtopic)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981200)

Languages still have rules, even if they are informal. They absolutely must follow a common framework, otherwise they would not be languages!!!

In English, it is NOT proper to refer to things like companies as "who". Even if you want to argue about rules, the definition of the word does not match. Look it up!

Regardless of language rules, calling a dog a cat does not make it so. Calling an inanimate object a person does not make it so, and calling a person an inanimate object also does not make it so. I suppose the latter might be technically proper if the person were dead, but otherwise not.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (1, Insightful)

owlnation (858981) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981276)

Languages still have rules, even if they are informal.
However, the beauty of English over many other languages is that it is still possible to massacre grammar and spelling and still be perfectly understandable. This article is wholly understandable. There's really no need for any issue. Instead of funny or insightful comments relating to this very interesting article, we've got a dozen pointless, pedantic posts by grammar nazis. Be off with you all, return to wikipedia along with others who enjoy rules for rules sake.

All nazis must die, and grammar nazis are not excluded from this.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (5, Funny)

The MAZZTer (911996) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981576)

However, the beauty of English over many other languages is that it is still possible to massacre grammar and spelling and still be perfectly understandable.
O RLY? R U SUR?

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (2, Insightful)

ppanon (16583) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981612)

However, the beauty of English over many other languages is that it is still possible to massacre grammar and spelling and still be perfectly understandable.
True, but unless you're deliberately massacring the grammar and spelling for poetic or satirical reasons, what you say will come across weakly and reflect intellectual sloppiness. You and CRCulver may not like it but one of the insights from the 20th Century is Marshall McLuhan's observation that "The medium is the message". A sloppily written post doesn't carry as much weight as a gramatically correct one.

do u get it? lolz

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (3, Informative)

mrvan (973822) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981772)

I agree that people should stop nitpicking on grammar or spelling errors in comments --- part of the community here is not a native speaker of English (including yours truly) and we will often get tense or prepositions wrong. Also, punctuation rules differ per language; using commas and apostrophes correctly is not trivial in your native tongue so have a bit of patience with your fellow slashgeek.

For the editors I have no mercy, however: they are paid professionals and should get their spelling and grammar right. And avoid dupes! :-) They post an average of one article per hour, so surely they have time to proofread a paragraph and check links (and link to print versions) in that time...?

You assume too much. (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982026)

I agree with your first statement, but that is not the point. It is not what the argument was about.

First, my initial post was a response to someone else who was being a Troll, and who ALSO demonstrated little grasp of English. I was being sarcastic, true, but I was also making a point. The other comment was nothing more than an aside about a pet peeve of mine, clearly labeled as such. That hardly constitutes being a "grammar nazi".

But someone else argued with me -- incorrectly, in my view -- about my point. The rest followed.

So what you are doing here is telling me to shut up and take it when someone else tells me, without proper justification, that I am full of shit.

So... uh... WHO is being the nazi here?

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (0, Offtopic)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981290)

Languages still have rules, even if they are informal. They absolutely must follow a common framework, otherwise they would not be languages!!!

Yes, but as we've known since Saussure and his concept of l'arbitraire du signe, the rules are ever-shifting and based on mutual intelligibility, which can stretch much more than you give it credit for.

In English, it is NOT proper to refer to things like companies as "who". Even if you want to argue about rules, the definition of the word does not match. Look it up!

Definitions are established by usage, and dictionaries do not set the meaning of a word, they merely reflect the meanings given to it by the community. Any dictionary maker will readily admit to this. If people start using "who" with non-animates, as they have already been doing in some varieties of English for decades or centuries, dictionaries will eventually reflect this usage.

Calling an inanimate object a person does not make it so, and calling a person an inanimate object also does not make it so.

Assigning grammatical animacy to non-animate items is a common development in languages. It's already happened once in the history of English (when Proto-Indo-European innovated animate terms for water and fire).

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (1, Insightful)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981510)

I am well aware of all these points, however, this particular use of the word is still wrong, according the majority of people who speak the English language, and therefore your own logic shoots down your argument. You make the point that things can change, and yes they can. But you also point out that these changes are based on common usage, and that is where your argument falls down. In order for your defense to have merit, calling an inanimate object "who" would have to be a usage that is becoming commonly accepted... but it is NOT. It is simply illiteracy. In fact it is something that people who have possessed low levels of literacy have "commonly" gotten WRONG for at least a couple of hundred years, and in that time the commonly accepted rules concerning it -- and the definition of the word "who" -- have not changed significantly. If you want to talk commonality here, the exact form used in the post is "commonly" accepted to be incorrect!

Languages do change. And you may be very knowledgeable in the history of same. But trying to defend a usage that is acknowledged to be incorrect by the vast majority of English speakers looks to me like nothing more than talking out your ass just so you can admire the sound it makes.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (-1, Flamebait)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981542)

But you also point out that these changes are based on common usage, and that is where your argument falls down.

Lexical and grammatical innovations are based on mutual intelligibility. Dictionary definitions are based on common usage. Two different things.

But trying to defend a usage that is acknowledged to be incorrect by the vast majority of English speakers looks to me like nothing more than talking out your ass just so you can admire the sound it makes.

Pointing the folly of prescriptivism does a lot more for everybody than your masturbatory whining about how someone said something you don't approve of, even if everyone hear understands what he meant.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (0, Offtopic)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981628)

And mutual intelligibility does not exist without generally accepted commonalities. You are arguing in circles.

What you call "prescriptivism" is the basis of those accepted commonalities... in fact it is those, and nothing more. You made that point yourself. You can deride it all you want, but you cannot eliminate it without also eliminating those necessary commonalities. If you think it is folly to have mutually understandable languages, more power to you. You can go invent your own and try to communicate with others using it. I have no reason to care.

But I am not the one here who is arguing in logical circles... you are. And there is very little in this world that is more "masturbatory" than that particular brand of circle-jerk.

Have a nice day. :o)

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (0, Offtopic)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981760)

Get some actual training in linguistics and then come back, OK?

Okay... how about now? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982124)

The fact that I disagree with you does not imply ignorance on my part. I know what "prescriptivism" is, and I have very solid and intelligible reasons for disagreeing.

On the other hand, I have known a number of Language majors, and even PhDs, who knew nothing about logic.

All insults aside, and in all seriousness, I can explain why your argument is wrong. But it is a long explanation, and I have some work to get done today, so it will not be for a few hours at least. But I can make it clear, no fear there.

AND, it should probably take place somewhere else, since these posts are getting marked down as "off topic", and for a change I agree with the moderators.

If you want my explanation, ask. I will not take the time to write it all out unless you do. Tell me where to send it.

Re:Okay... how about now? (1)

CRCulver (715279) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982336)

All reputable linguists condemn prescriptivism, and have done so for many, many decades. Almost all introductory linguistics textbooks open with a condemnation of prescriptivism, and in order to get this sense to the general public publishers have put out layman-friendly books like Bauer & Trudgill's Language Myths (Penguin, 1999). If you believe that you are someone more knowledgeable than an entire community of scholars, when you haven't even bothered to familiarize yourself with the basics of the field, you are the very definition (ha) of a crank.

Re:Okay... how about now? (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22984088)

You can cite all the experts in the field that you want. That does not refute my position at all (more on that in a moment). On the contrary, that is a logical fallacy known as "appeal to authority". Look it up.

If you want to refute my statements, you need to address the actual statements I have made and show how they are incorrect. I stated that I am prepared to do that; you, on the other hand, have so far refused, and simply cited that certain others disagree with me. So what? I was already aware of that.

It appears that you do not want to hear the full explanation of my position that I offered to give you free of obligation. That is okay by me. But if you do not even know what my full argument is, then you cannot really dispute it, much less disprove it. Even you should understand that much logic. If you do not, and somehow think you have won here, then think again. I would point you to a reference on what a logical argument is, and how to make one.

All science, including linguistics, is based on hypotheses and supporting same with reason and logic. If you are not prepared to do so, and simply want to cite other references, then fine. But if that is the case then you have been wasting everybody's time.

And I repeat that if you want to continue this "discussion" we should do it elsewhere. If you wish, I will write to the indicated email address. But again, I will not waste my time unless you indicate that you are interested in having a real, logical discussion about the issue. I am done wasting everybody else's time here.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (0, Offtopic)

blankinthefill (665181) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981842)

By everything that you've said, Shakespeare was a hopeless illiterate. Without him, the modern vocabulary would be significantly smaller, as well as totally lacking in contractions. Changes in grammar do not happen over night, the majority of the populace doesn't wake up one morning and say, 'Oh, I think we should all talk like this today.' It has to start somewhere. Anyways, you're the one that started arguing in circles, pretty much ignoring the arguments provided against you in order to drive home your supposed point that this was WRONG. Well, scratch the circles, actually, you're just arguing like a brick wall, everything just bounces off.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981960)

Since you challenge my assertions, it is on your shoulders to show where I was wrong. So... where was it? The simple statement that I was wrong will not suffice to make a real argument. Please... explain to me, if you can.

The Shakespeare thing does not cut it... you might want to try actually reading the thread before you make such outrageous claims. Shakespeare was not around in the "last couple of hundred years", which I clearly stated was the period under discussion.

So, really. I am serious. If you can actually address the issues I raised and show where I was wrong, by all means do so. I have always enjoyed being educated.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (1)

davolfman (1245316) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981582)

A company at it's core is a group of people (even though their humanity may be open to debate) therefore who is perfectly applicable.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982062)

No, it is not. Look it up! A company is an inanimate object that could never be mistaken for a person or animal.

Even a corporation -- an entity that is legally a person in many ways -- still does not qualify. I like your logic, but it simply ain't so.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982350)

A company is an inanimate object that could never be mistaken for a person or animal.
I know this is U.S. centric, but here a corporation -IS- a legal entity with all the rights of a human citizen. I think in the States at least, this bit of law-flotsam (put into code by a court -CLERK- FFS) does give legitimacy to the notion of using the word "who" in reference to an unliving thing. "Official" personification by legal fiat, so to speak.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (1)

Idiomatick (976696) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981474)

Companies are a collection of people. 'Who' can refer to plural. So yes, it is perfectly acceptable.

Re:To illiterate poster below my normal threshold: (1)

Jane Q. Public (1010737) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982080)

Not so. Look it up. A company is not a "collection of people". A company is an inanimate object that exists only on paper. If you are referring to the group of people who work for a company, then yes... but that was not the case here.

Re:Value (3, Funny)

X.25 (255792) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981682)

It's truely amazing that people continue to support copyright theft here. It's an indection that most Slashdotter's don't actually produce anything of value.

I produce shit, and since you seem to eat shit, it is valuable to you.

Do the same to RIAA and its lawyers (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22980904)

RIAA and their lawyers do the same (scare tactics), and do it more and more blatantly.

Re:Do the same to RIAA and its lawyers (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22981082)

Where did she live again?

Re:Do the same to RIAA and its lawyers (1)

b4upoo (166390) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981500)

And you can bet that the very day that a judge strikes out and causes the RIAA to loose its financial life it will stop.

Re:Do the same to RIAA and its lawyers (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983642)

But in America no one cares about the people
only the corporations that run the country.

~Dan

Speaking of broken voting... (-1, Redundant)

Bootle (816136) | more than 6 years ago | (#22980926)

How many times am I going to have to fill out the slashdot poll?

From the Summery... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22980928)

By choosing to reproduce aggressive foreign methods
Was that just a shot, Switzerland? I thought you didn't have any guns in your country to shoot....

Re:From the Summery... (4, Funny)

sholden (12227) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981044)

This is how the swiss go to the supermarket:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Image:Caroline-Migros-p1000507.jpg [wikipedia.org]

Re:From the Summery... (1)

stormguard2099 (1177733) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981974)

They have guns, just no ammunition apparently :)

Re:From the Summery... (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982460)

Being Swiss, I can explain you that.

Switzerland has a militia army, and every years, mens incorporated in the army have to go to the shooting gallery to do prove that they still can shot.
We have ammunitions at home, yes, but in a sealed container that we are allowed to open only in case of war.

We are usually called to those shootings around may until august (explaining the t-shirt the guy wears) and his weapon is a FASS 90 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Sig_550 [wikipedia.org]

So it's not unusual to cross mens with their guns on their back during summer.

Re:From the Summery... (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981656)

Damn you are thick!
Switzerland is a neutral country, that means they'll have to stand on their own feet when it comes to (military) conflict.
The only thing that makes this difficult is they're a small country, otherwise they are quite ready for defence.

Re:From the Summery... (1)

neomunk (913773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982372)

Can you imagine the international outcry that an aggressive attack on Switzerland would ignite? You'd have to be superpower level to be able to get away with it, maybe not even then.

Re:From the Summery... (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982134)

"Switzerland has one of the highest gun ownership rates in the world." [wikipedia.org]

i'm reminded of a joke i was once told. during WW2, hitler spoke to a swiss national saying, "y'know, there are only 500,000 people in your entire country. i've got a million people in my army. what do you think will happen if i just decide to walk right in?" to which the swiss person replied, "well ... i guess we'll have to shoot twice."

balless bars (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22980934)

If they had any real ballz they would have permanently dis-barred her, especially given her past abuses.... oh wait the law really doesn't apply to those who are supposed to enforce it...

Also I wonder if anyone who received the letter could sue?

Re:balless bars (4, Insightful)

mboverload (657893) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981092)

> If they had any real ballz they would have permanently dis-barred her, especially given her past abuses.... oh wait the law really doesn't apply to those who are supposed to enforce it...

Lawyers are not charged with enforcing the law. They are charged with bending it to their own purposes, should that be getting an innocent man out of jail or extorting money from large amounts of people.

Not true. (4, Insightful)

an.echte.trilingue (1063180) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982088)

Lawyers are not charged with enforcing the law. They are charged with bending it to their own purposes, should that be getting an innocent man out of jail or extorting money from large amounts of people.
Bullshit. Lawyers are officers of the court. While they are not charged with enforcement per se, they are charged with presenting the law and interpreting it in good faith. There are sanctions for "bending" the law, up to and including prison.

Re:Not true. (4, Funny)

neomunk (913773) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982414)

This thread ladies and gentlemen has been brought to you by the Association of Dissonance Between Theory and Practice.

Re:Not true. (1)

number11 (129686) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983620)

Lawyers are officers of the court. While they are not charged with enforcement per se, they are charged with presenting the law and interpreting it in good faith.

And you know this to be true in Switzerland (where the lawyer in question works)?

Couldn't be more wronger (4, Funny)

Tsar (536185) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982194)

Lawyers are not charged with enforcing the law. They are charged with bending it to their own purposes, should that be getting an innocent man out of jail or extorting money from large amounts of people.
That's just plain WRONG!!!!

It should be, um, large numbers of people.

Operating within the law (1)

phorm (591458) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982580)

Yes, but they are still required to follow certain rules, and operate within the law. Stepping outside of certain boundaries can result in being disbarred, or charged, or both.

Re:balless bars (1)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982374)

No she should have been ARRESTED for EXTORTION. Plain and Simple.

Re:balless bars (1)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22984264)

If they had any real ballz they would have permanently dis-barred her, especially given her past abuses.... oh wait the law really doesn't apply to those who are supposed to enforce it...
Enforce or Abuse?

Banned from torrent freak? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22980938)

Nope, banned from doing lawyer stuff temporarily.

Re:Banned from torrent freak? (4, Insightful)

nurb432 (527695) | more than 6 years ago | (#22980982)

Should be permanent, and charged with extortion or at the least fraud.

6 month ban seems rather lite.... (4, Interesting)

3seas (184403) | more than 6 years ago | (#22980946)

Should not such an act as this hold a penalty of disbarment?

This is only another situation that shows there is no position a human can hold that prevents him from committing some deception against others.

It is because of such evidence that some positions of power should be eliminated or have built-in checks that would at least require wide scope and unlikely collusion to perform.

Especially those positions of initiating war.

   

Re:6 month ban seems rather lite.... (5, Insightful)

mboverload (657893) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981038)

ONLY A 6 MONTH BAN - WHAT???

I agree that this SHOULD be grounds for disbarment or worse. Of course, I am not a lawyer but if I used my knowledge of computers to scare payments out of people I would probably go to jail or have a huge fine. Then the company I work for would find out and I would be fired ASAP.

How is this different? Isn't this some kind of extortion? Someone please clue me in.

Re:6 month ban seems rather lite.... (1)

zmollusc (763634) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981098)

Duh! The legal profession looks after its own.

Re:6 month ban seems rather lite.... (2, Interesting)

Kingrames (858416) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982112)

You're not a lawyer.

she has the means and the power to make that incredibly difficult for everyone involved.

It would be like a police officer trying to arrest another police officer. It would take a heck of a lot more than just one officer's statement to allow something like that to go through.

Re:6 month ban seems rather lite.... (4, Funny)

gbjbaanb (229885) | more than 6 years ago | (#22982334)

a lawyer threatening a lawsuit should you not pay up? Sounds just as fishy as this..........

FROM THE DESK OF
MR,CHARLES BOSAH
MUTUAL TRUST LAWYERS & COMPANY
HEAD QUATERS BRANCH
VICTORIA ISLAND,
LAGOS-NIGERIA.
DEAR FRIEND,

My name is DR CHARLES OBOSAH, INTERNAL AUDITOR MUTUAL TRUST LAWYERS & COMPANY. I am writing in respect of a fee which you are owing to a customer of our bank Mr.JONATHAN GHUNIAM.

Since the fee has been outstanding fdor some time now, we must regretfully commence action upon you according to the laws of our country which would see you personally liable for a sum of up to US$9..5m (Nine Million Five Hundred Thousand United States Dollars) or a jail sentence of up to 424 years (Four Hundred Twenty Four years)

On this note, I decided that the late payment of said fee is a small matter to you, and should you wish to enter into communications with me for payment of said sum, we can arrange to close this matter if you will deposit $400 into the account via Western Union to the account described within the next 7 days.

I will not fail to bring to your notice that this business is hitch free safe and legal. we have to hire an attorney who will protect you legally,and for benefit of doubt position you as the next of kin and beneficiary.that you should not entertain any fear as all modalities for fund transfer can be finalized as soon as possible.

When you receive this letter, kindly send me an e-mail on this mail box including your most confidential telephone/fax numbers and your address for quick communication.

Your Friend
DR CHARLES OBOSAH

This was her first offense (4, Informative)

Nicolas MONNET (4727) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981166)

And besides, this is a suspended sentence, ie she will not be banned for 6 months this time, but would in the future if she commits more ethics violations.

Re:This was her first offense (2, Insightful)

iminplaya (723125) | more than 6 years ago | (#22984190)

People in authority shouldn't get a second chance. I know I wouldn't if I committed extortion. She's a common criminal who should suffer the same fate as any other common criminal. Too bad they let her off. But then, file sharers aren't exactly politically connected.

Re:This was her first offense (2, Insightful)

Dan541 (1032000) | more than 6 years ago | (#22984304)

Who cares about first offense!!

What if it's my first offense filesharing copyrighted content?

Somehow I doubt I'll be given a such lenient sentence for the lesser crime.

Re:6 month ban seems rather lite.... (4, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22981280)

It seems more in keeping with a blackmail fraud. File sharers who have been fed a constant tide of propaganda and disinformation about the legality of their actions are in a vulnerable position. Young people who have commited no crime are easily intimidated and made to feel guilty if a letter from an apparently reputable law firm tells them they've broken the law and pressures them to settle.

The fact that the money was deposited in a private account shows this was nothing more than a mafia style shakedown.

Yes, the legal profession should look after its own, by throwing the book at these crooks. It's in the interests of every honest lawyer in the world that these scammers do hard jail time, and lots of it. Permenant disbarment would seem only the first step. They should never work as lawyers again.

Re:6 month ban seems rather lite.... (1)

ultranova (717540) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981748)

It's in the interests of every honest lawyer in the world that these scammers do hard jail time, and lots of it.

But it's not in the interests of the vast majority of lawyers, so it won't happen.

Re:6 month ban seems rather lite.... (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981698)

It is because of such evidence that some positions of power should be eliminated or have built-in checks that would at least require wide scope and unlikely collusion to perform.

Especially those positions of initiating war.
Several countries I know of have such a system, it's called "Parliamentary Democracy", I can commend it!

Re:6 month ban seems rather lite.... (1, Insightful)

Dhalka226 (559740) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981972)

Should not such an act as this hold a penalty of disbarment?

No.

Look, I hate the RIAA's tactics as much as anybody and this issue seems like it was taken from their playbook, but we need to very carefully consider what we're doing before we tell somebody they wasted tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars going to law school and take their livelihoods from them. At the very least, I don't think a second chance is out of line.

Further, what they seem to be citing her for is overstating the seriousness of the matter. It's unethical, but I certainly don't think it falls into the "you can't practice law" category. The money-into-a-private-account thing is a serious issue, but there doesn't seem to be an accusation of theft. If that's the case, the firm she's working for should sue her into the dirt and file a complaint -- and then she should be disbarred. If they don't feel any money is missing, well, then let's give that second chance again. If she does anything like this in the future, send her packing.

Now, on the other hand if what another poster said is true and the six month ban isn't even really in effect--then that's too light. The lapses certainly deserve a punishment, not a notification that a punishment might come next time.

Re:6 month ban seems rather lite.... (1)

slashtivus (1162793) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983596)

"tens and possibly hundreds of thousands of dollars going to law school" One would think that spending that amount of money to learn and understand the law and be an officer of the court would mean they are held to a higher standard. Maybe not disbarment for 1 minor infraction, as human beings make mistakes, but this looks like a fairly egregious violation of ethics. As you said, this should not have been suspended.

Re:6 month ban seems rather lite.... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982480)

Maybe it was rather light because they're shifting part of the blame to 'foreigners'?

The disciplinary board decided that 'By choosing to reproduce aggressive foreign methods, intended to force payments, the interested party also violated [the code] which specifies that the lawyer cannot unfairly represent a situation or seriousness of threat.'

Was that really what was said in French/Swiss/etc? Is this the official English version, if there was one? Shouldn't a judgement be on points of law? I find it rather incredible that there should be any reference to "foreign methods" one way or another. This is like yet more of that Swiss black sheep election poster.

Meanwhile can some IANA(EU)L explain what the purpose and limits of the Paris Bar Council is? 6 months may be a heavy censure from them, and they may also be just a trade organization, with voluntary membership and/or compliance. BBB and all that; essentially toothless.

Cheese-Eating Surrender-Monkeys (0, Troll)

turgid (580780) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981108)

Makes you wish you lived in Freedom, doesn't it?

Re:Cheese-Eating Surrender-Monkeys (1)

Teun (17872) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981758)

"The disciplinary board decided that 'By choosing to reproduce aggressive foreign methods, intended to force payments, etc"
Regarding your wish for freedom a very insightful comment from the disciplinary board...
I don't think we have to wonder who is meant by "foreign"

I would prefer this for all lawyers who (1)

zoomshorts (137587) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981140)

Try to circumvent the law.
BANNED FOR LIFE from practising law
anywhere on the planet, PLUS banned
from running for public office.

Time to get medieval on these types.

They had it coming (1)

Eradicator2k3 (670371) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981150)

FTA: Lawyer Elizabeth Martin had been demanding 400 Euros from hundreds of thousands of file-sharers who Logistep say had been infringing the rights of software company Techland, on their game 'Call of Juarez'.

Frickin noobs. It should be 'Call of Warez'.

Goes Beyond Copyrights... (5, Interesting)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981170)

A friend of mine had a kid sister who got in with some bad friends, and was involved in some apparent shop lifting shenanigans at the local mall. She never stole anything, but her friends did, and this was made pretty clear with store management, so nothing ever came of it.

A few months later they get a letter from a law firm in Tennessee (they live in Canada), threatening to sue unless they turned over $500. My friend's family was quite intimidated, and was even ready to fork over the cash until I wrote them a letter for them in response. I basically told them to fuck off, and that if they wanted to pursue charges we would see them in court.

The knew full well that there isn't a lick of evidence that my friend's sister ever stole anything, they also know that there's no fricking way they're going to go through all the trouble of getting a local (Canadian) law firm to sue. It was all one big scare tactic.

And people wonder why lawyers are so hated.

Re:Goes Beyond Copyrights... (4, Interesting)

p0tat03 (985078) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981932)

Oh, and just as a note... My friend's family did hear back from them after another month. This time they reduced their demand to $100. What a load of crock, this is basically them saying "we know we have no case, but can we pleeeeeeease have some money now?". Once again, I told them to fuck off. We have not heard from them since (it's been almost 2 years now).

I really wish I could file a complaint somewhere against these people. They are nothing but the lowest form of scum on Earth, as bad as any racketeering mafioso out there. IMHO sending letters like these should be grounds for a very quick disbar.

Oh, and FYI, they threatened to pursue CRIMINAL charges (since nothing of value was actually stolen). This would've been laughable, since there's no evidence she stole anything, and even if convicted her record would've been expunged in only a couple of years. Nice threat, jackasses.

Interesting bit of law ... (1)

ScrewMaster (602015) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981176)

... the interested party also violated [the code] which specifies that the lawyer cannot unfairly represent a situation or seriousness of threat.

I would think that there'd be similar Federal or State law here in the U.S. Not that it would matter: copyright law is so screwed up here that when the RIAA says you might go down for hundreds of thousands of dollars they actually aren't lying. Not about that, anyway.

pay me now! (2, Funny)

suck_burners_rice (1258684) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981242)

All ye Slashdotters listen up: Each of you must PAY ME ONE THOUSAND POUNDS STERLING immediately, or else I will tell your mommy on you!

Re:pay me now! (4, Funny)

smaddox (928261) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981424)

Fine!

Whats your account number, social security, and birth date? I'll transfer it into your account.

Re:pay me now! (1)

HTRednek (793937) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981904)

Note to self: Return to this post for future... er... use.

deserves it (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22981246)

HAH! serves her right!
should be punished by being beaten to death with a hammer.

Re:deserves it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22984168)

Burn her!

Myka (1)

Per Abrahamsen (1397) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981384)

Actually, what I found most interesting was the add for Myka, a BitTorrent based set-top box. Could have potential.

The home page looks a bit suspect though. Anyone have any real information on it?

Why just banned? (2, Interesting)

Godji (957148) | more than 6 years ago | (#22981778)

Why is she getting just banned, as opposed to sued? IANAL, and if I were to go around sending settlement requests to thousands of people, there must be some law that could be used to stop me.

Is she being treated more lightly just because she's a lawyer?

Re:Why just banned? (1)

wes33 (698200) | more than 6 years ago | (#22983348)

Is she being treated more lightly just because she's a lawyer?


Apart from this, how are you enjoying your first trip to Earth?

Re:Why just banned? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22983440)

It's an interesting planet, even if a little too dirty. I can't believe you guys managed to achieve so much given how closed-minded, stupid, and ignorant the average human being is. But yeah, other than that, I'm enjoying it!

!Oh my god what a (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982040)

Bitch!

Mod parent up (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22984320)

Honesty should be worth the extra points.

many laywers are simply prostituting the law (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 6 years ago | (#22982476)

IMHO, many lawyers, esp. North American ones, care far more about profits than their profession or their ethical standards. The law has essentially become a servant and slave to monied interests and no longer serves the people.

It's such a shame that corruption and greed are destroying this once great land.

Throw her in jail! (0, Flamebait)

billcopc (196330) | more than 6 years ago | (#22984368)

From what I understand, this is plain old extortion. Toss the bitch in jail with a very aggressive butch, so we'll have a precedent to use against the RIAA/MPAA's thugs.

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