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Facebook To DEA: Stop Using Phony Profiles To Nab Criminals

Goobermunch Re: CFAA violation! (227 comments)

It's time we all sit back and remember the first rule of dealing with cops. They do not have any obligation to tell you the truth. The courts give them a pass because criminals lie.

Note: if you lie to the police, the odds are good that you will be charged, because lying to the police is a crime.

The honesty street is one way.

--AC

yesterday
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

Goobermunch Re:That photo did rather weaken her argument (622 comments)

When did she consent to let you look at her body whenever you want? When did she consent to let you observe her sexual relationship with her boyfriend? Do you feel like just because you've seen a woman naked, you have the right to walk into her home whenever you want? Do you have the right to invite your friends into her bathroom while she showers?

She didn't consent to have those particular pictures which she shared with her boyfriend disseminated to you. She did consent to have a different image presented on the magazine.

Ah, but I get it now. It's because of the way she dressed in the X-men, isn't it. Oh, because of the way she dressed on the magazine. Once a woman has done that, or its equivalent, her consent no longer matters.

--AC

about a week ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

Goobermunch Re:Straw Man (622 comments)

You don't know shit about the law, do you?

Let's take this a piece at a time. First, contributory negligence is a tort doctrine, not a criminal doctrine. Second, the doctrine of contributory negligence has fallen by the wayside in most American jurisdictions. It was a shitty doctrine used by wealthy industrial interests to avoid having to pay for the injuries they caused. Third, the doctrine of contributory negligence applies to situations where both actors are negligent. Guess what? The hackers who publicized the photos didn't accidentally plug in their own usernames and passwords and suddenly find themselves in possession of naked photos of dozens of women. They didn't accidentally publish those photos to 4chan and reddit. This was intentional conduct. Which means the doctrine of contributory negligence wouldn't even come into the equation. Fourth, the doctrine of contributory negligence was tempered by the "last clear chance" doctrine. That means that, as between the two parties to the civil suit, if both were at fault (i.e., negligent), then the one who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the accident is at fault. Here, the ones who had the last clear opportunity to avoid the "accident" would be the ones who hacked into the accounts.

People are also entitled to expect others to follow the law and to act reasonably. That's one of the perks of civilization. You seem like the kind of guy who believes that people who get hurt in car crashes should have known better before getting on the highway, or maybe that women have a responsibility to keep their ankles, wrists, and heads covered.

None of the women who were targeted by the people who did this consented to have their pictures publicized. That's really the end of the blame analysis.

--AC

about a week ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

Goobermunch Re:Straw Man (622 comments)

The problem, of course, is that the celebrities did not consent to the theft of their pictures. Right. I mean, implicit in your phrasing is that these women consented to the distribution of their nude photographs.

So if, by transmitting anything on the Internet, you consent to its disclosure and use by others, you would have no problem posting your credit card number, CVV number, expiration date, and home address posted here, right? You've used Amazon before, so you've already consented to the dissemination of that information.

The odds are that the people behind this behavior aren't 13-year olds. Likely, they're men in their 20s and 30s who think that women have no right to sexual autonomy. IOW that women exist merely to provide men with sexual gratification (except the ugly ones--they're not sure how to deal with those women). But whatever their ages, if they did this, they should go to jail. It is criminal. It is hateful. What other motivation is there to invade someone's privacy like that? Seriously. If you lose your wallet and I find it, what's the proper response? A) Look at your drivers license and try to return your wallet; or B) post your credit card information all over the internet? The fact that you were negligent in losing the wallet doesn't give me the right to take shit that doesn't belong to me.

--AC

about a week ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

Goobermunch Re: Read below to see what Bennett has to say. (622 comments)

Right, until the moment that it goes from being a single shoplifter to a shoplifting ring or a high value shoplifter. At that point, public resources do get spent on the investigation, because it becomes worthwhile. Here, you've got a case involving someone breaching the security on not just one, but dozens of accounts. This, then, falls into that later category.

--AC

about a week ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

Goobermunch Re:Sounds like a planned PR stunt to me. (622 comments)

Sex crimes are not limited to penetrative sex. In most jurisdictions, peeping toms get tagged with criminal charges.

--AC

about a week ago
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The Correct Response To Photo Hack Victim-Blamers

Goobermunch Re:Sounds like a planned PR stunt to me. (622 comments)

Not sure where you live, bud, but in most jurisdictions, being a peeping tom is a crime. Moreover, in many jurisdictions, you peep, you get tagged as a sex offender.

--AC

about a week ago
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Bennett Haselton's Response To That "Don't Talk to Cops" Video

Goobermunch Re:Police and Judges. (871 comments)

They also don't have to tell you the truth when they speak to you.

You, OTOH, face serious penalties if you are not completely truthful when you speak to them.

--AC

1 year,15 days
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Slashdot Asks: How Does the US Gov't Budget Crunch Affect You?

Goobermunch Re:Political timeline (1144 comments)

Great. Problem's solved. The deficit has significantly decreased in the past two years. Hell, it's down 35% since last year. Yay. Problem solved.

--AC

1 year,15 days
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Fifteen Years After Autism Panic, a Plague of Measles Erupts

Goobermunch Re: Jenny McCarthy (668 comments)

That's great for the anti-vaxers and their kids, but once the vax rate drops low enough, even vaccinated kids can catch these diseases. So no, they don't die because they believed it and acted on it. They die because other people believed it and acted on it.

--AC

about a year ago
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Supreme Court Overturns Defense of Marriage Act

Goobermunch Re:Good ... (1073 comments)

Unless you sign a written contract providing for arbitration, see 9 U.S.C. 1, et seq.

--AC

about a year ago
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Supreme Court Overturns Defense of Marriage Act

Goobermunch Re:Good ... (1073 comments)

Tinder.

--AC

about a year ago
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US Attorney General Defends Handling of Aaron Swartz Case

Goobermunch Re:What an ass. (276 comments)

And trespass into a computer network. Which is what the statute was intended to discourage.

Oh, and there was that whole downloading journal articles from a business that makes its money from charging people to view them. I'm pretty sure there's something in the U.S. code about that.

Look, I don't agree with what the U.S. Attorneys did in this case, but let's be honest. Aaron Swartz was willfully and intentionally committing at least two felonies. He was doing it because he believed that we, as a people, would be better off if the information he was accessing was freely available to everyone. That's a noble goal. I agree with him.

But--if you engage in an act of civil disobedience, you have to be willing to accept the consequences, whatever they may be. That's the tradeoff--you get to break the law with a clear conscience, but you also suffer the punishment to demonstrate the injustice of the law. To say that Mr. Swartz ought not have been punished, or that his punishment should be minimal because we like what he was doing is to say that the ends justify the means. If I were to access a server room at your bank to access information that is valuable to you--like the 1s and 0s that represent your bank balance--I suspect you wouldn't be so forgiving, even if I were moving those 1s and 0s to help the poor or the sick.

I do think the prosecutors should have exercised their discretion in a less overbearing way. It makes me sad and furious that a brilliant young man is dead. But we don't do ourselves any good by glossing over the facts and minimizing what was and is at stake. Aaron Swartz wanted us to change the way we think about "intellectual property." He envisioned a world in which the work of human minds was freely available to enrich the lives of everyone. Where one person's brilliant thoughts could spark genius in minds years and miles from the source. He did so in a legal climate that inflicts draconian civil and criminal punishment on people who try to make that dream a reality. And he did it by flouting the very laws he wanted changed.

He didn't just trespass, he flipped the bird to the Federal Government. But then, when confronted with the reality that the U.S. Attorneys were going to treat him in the exact same way they treat every "criminal" they see, day after day, he realized he'd bitten off more than he could chew. And he killed himself. I don't know how to respond to the situation, because I'm mad about the whole thing. I'm mad at my government for its stupidity and heavy handed tactics, but I'm mad at Aaron Swartz for not having the courage to stand and fight or to be a political prisoner and a symbol. Hell, I'm even mad at myself for lacking the courage he had. But I'm really frustrated with the idea that we should gloss over what actually happened. The only way we can learn from what went wrong is to look at it with clear eyes.

--AC

about a year and a half ago
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FunnyJunk Sues the Oatmeal Over TM and "Incitement To Cyber-Vandalism"

Goobermunch Re:Obligatory (390 comments)

It's not a change if it is how things already are.

In every jurisdiction within the U.S., a judge can, upon motion, enter summary judgment for one party or the other. Summary judgment can be entered if there is no genuine issue of material fact, and one party is entitled to win as a matter of law. There is no trial.

In many jurisdictions in the U.S., if the judge concludes that the case is frivolous, groundless, or vexatious, the judge may then enter an award of attorney fees for the winning party, even without a trial. However, if there are counterclaims . . . in other words, if the prevailing party is suing the losing party for other matters, then a trial is necessary, because the losing party may still have a valid defense.

Your proposed system is not a change . . . .

--AC

more than 2 years ago
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FunnyJunk Sues the Oatmeal Over TM and "Incitement To Cyber-Vandalism"

Goobermunch Re:Obligatory (390 comments)

But the trial doesn't continue if the judge tosses the case. It just ends. However, if (big if) the case is frivolous, groundless, or vexatious, then the judge can award attorney fees in many U.S. jurisdictions.

No one continues litigating to rack up attorney fees under the existing system.

--AC

more than 2 years ago
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FunnyJunk Sues the Oatmeal Over TM and "Incitement To Cyber-Vandalism"

Goobermunch Re:Oatmeal stumbled here (390 comments)

While I generally agree with what you're saying, your post is not entirely accurate.

The truth is that a losing plaintiff often ends up with substantial expenses. While his lawyer may be on a contingency fee, his expert is likely barred from working on contingency. That means the engineer, doctor, economist, or general contractor whose testimony is key to the case is charging the plaintiff hourly for his or her work on the case. Most states prohibit plaintiff's lawyers from absorbing those costs (due to concerns about champerty and maintenance). That means that even though the case may be close, that losing plaintiff may end up on the hook for tens of thousands of dollars in costs.

So the little guy can end up bankrupt simply by losing a close case.

--AC

more than 2 years ago
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FunnyJunk Sues the Oatmeal Over TM and "Incitement To Cyber-Vandalism"

Goobermunch Re:Obligatory (390 comments)

Actually, in the United States, barring a contract or statute to the contrary, the rule is that each party pays its own attorney fees.

In many jurisdictions, there are statutes that permit the judge to award fees if the case is groundless, frivolous, or vexatious. A few states have statutes that permit an award of fees if the defense is groundless, frivolous, or vexatious (but nobody ever thinks about that side of the equation).

If the original case is "tossed," then judgment enters for the defendant, and the case is over (unless there are counterclaims, or only some of the plaintiff's claims were tossed). A court cannot continue to hear a case that has been fully resolved (where there are no remaining claims between the parties), because there is no longer a case or controversy before it. I am not aware of any system in which the defendant must continue incurring fees in the hopes of making a losing plaintiff pay them. That's a catastrophically stupid way to run a legal system.

--AC

more than 2 years ago

Submissions

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Wizards of the Coast Clarifies 4e License Details

Goobermunch Goobermunch writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Goobermunch (771199) writes "Back on April 21, mxyzplk reported that Wizards of the Coast had announced "that anyone wanting to publish material for the new Fourth Edition of D&D, expected out in June of this year, must forgo open licensing entirely as part of their new Game System License."

Today, Wizards of the Coast responded to questions regarding the terms of the new license submitted by posters at the popular Dungeons and Dragons fansite EN World. In short, the new license does not require companies wishing to publish under the new license to forgo open licensing. Instead, "Publishers will be able to decide on a product line by product line basis which license will work best for them." The full text of Wizards' response can be found in the linked thread.

It is unknown whether Wizards' position changed as a result of the furore that followed the events reported by mxyzplk, or whether the furore resulted from a misunderstanding of the license terms is unknown."
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Patent Appeals System Under Constitutional Attack

Goobermunch Goobermunch writes  |  more than 6 years ago

Goobermunch (771199) writes "According to this article, the validity of recent (within the past eight years) patent rulings by the Board of Patent Appeals and Interferences is being questioned due to the unconstitutionality of the method for appointing patent and trademark appeals judges. From the article:

The U.S. Patent and Trademark Office may have a major problem on its hands — the possibly unconstitutional appointment of nearly two-thirds of its patent appeals judges. Such a constitutional flaw, if legitimate, could call into question the hundreds of decisions worth billions of dollars in the past eight years. The flaw, discovered by highly regarded intellectual property scholar John Duffy of George Washington University Law School, could also afflict the appointment of nearly half of the agency's trademark appeals judges.
The article quotes John Duffy, a professor at the George Washington University Law School, who has analyzed the question in depth. Essentially, the problem arises because the patent appeals judges were appointed by the Director of the Patent and Trademark Office, rather than the Secretary of Commerce. Under Article 2, Section 2 of the U.S. Constitution, the power to appoint "inferior officers" of the government may be vested in "in the President alone, in the courts of law, or in the heads of departments." The patent appeals judges are likely inferior officers, and therefore must be appointed by the President, the courts, or a department head."

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