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The Story of Dealing With 33 Attorneys General

The Only Druid Re:Irony (172 comments)

Here in MD, Driving Without Insurance is 1 year in jail and I believe $1k. The non-jailable version - Failure to Maintain Security - is $280 on the ticket.

more than 3 years ago
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The Story of Dealing With 33 Attorneys General

The Only Druid Re:Irony (172 comments)

In many states, it's a jailable offense to knowingly drive without insurance. If you're driving, and your insurance isn't valid, it would typically be enough to arrest you in such states (which could include the impounding of your car).

more than 3 years ago
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Blizzard Sues Private Server Company, Awarded $88M

The Only Druid Re:EULA wasn't needed to run the game (356 comments)

You might want to familiarize yourself with American law. In the US, the judge IS the court. They're synonymous. "The Court" is the finder of law, which is ALWAYS the judge (or, in appellate courts, the panel of judges). The jury is only ever a finder of fact.

more than 3 years ago
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Arizona "Papers, Please" Law May Hit Tech Workers

The Only Druid Re:What about the presumption of innocence? (1590 comments)

That's never been the whole rule. You're presumed innocent as a matter of finding a verdict, but your'e not, nor have you ever been, presumed innocent as a matter of evidence gathering and investigation. This law, whether or not it is a good one, makes the correct move in requiring that the officers have some probable cause to begin investigating you (i.e. asking for papers). One question going forward is: is your skin color sufficient probable cause? If the officers think so, then that's going to be unconstitutional. However, how about if you're sitting in front of Home Depot in dirty clothes, not going in or out to buy anything. Is that probable cause to think you might be an illegal day-laborer? It's not sufficient to arrest you, but it's sufficient (most likely) for the officers to ask for your papers, i.e. to begin an investigation.

Compare it to less onerous laws. Right now, any officer in any state can ask you a question while you're walking on the street. You're entitled to ignore it and keep walking, and they can't just arrest you for that. However, let's say it is 2am and you're in a residential area. Now, the officer might have some concerns as to why you're walking around. In the interest of safety, he wants to know your name. When you're uncooperative, he might have enough probable cause to think you're there for criminal reasons. What if he sees what looks like a burglar's tool? (most states criminalize burglar tools).

If this law is enforced reasonably, it won't be trouble for anyone but criminals. If it's enforced unreasonably, it'll be wildly unconstitutional. The question is going to be the police, ultimately.

more than 3 years ago
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Terry Childs Found Guilty

The Only Druid Re:Poor jerk. (982 comments)

This is one of those situations that seems to draw out the difference between people who understand how policies work (as opposed to laws) and those who do not. A policy is an internal rule generated by an organization. Violating it exposes you to internal punishments and (in some situations) contractual civil liability. In other words, violating your policy might lead to some sort of penalty but not jail time. However, a law is above and beyond the scope of your organization, even when that organization is the government itself. The law that this idiot violated superseded the policy considerations. He was correct in his policy interpretation, I believe, but he was grossly incorrect in his legal interpretation. While the policy bound him against divulging the passwords, the law bound him against NOT divulging the passwords. He was in an ugly situation - one initiated by his boss - but this idiot is the one who broke the law to protect a policy.

more than 3 years ago
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Tenenbaum Lawyers Now Passing the Hat

The Only Druid Re:I have a question (388 comments)

Admitting you did what you're accused of is admitting "guilt". This is a factual decision, and so witnesses are able to testify on that matter. "Liability", on the other hand, is legal obligation to someone else due to your guilt. It is a legal decision, and so witnesses are (generally) not supposed to testify on that matter, especially when that legal decision is the central issue of the case. The question was improper as it apparently called for something beyond the scope of the witness' testimony. I'm not sure it actually was (the issue of "I am liability" versus "I am liable" is subtle...) but that's the idea.

more than 4 years ago
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Tenenbaum Lawyers Now Passing the Hat

The Only Druid Re:I have a question (388 comments)

(a) The whole "life sentence" concept isn't valid. By that reasoning, poor people should just commit massive financial damages against people, because they wouldn't be subject to paying those damages.
(b) He's going to just declare bankruptcy anyway, so it's rather silly as an aside.
(c) Separately, his lawyers appear to be grossly unable to handle the case; their "fair use" defense was beyond laughable, and they failed to preserve the easiest possible appeal (which would have, at least, probably allowed a retrial).

more than 4 years ago
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Amazon Sued Over E-Book DRM Patent

The Only Druid Re:Unfortunately... (84 comments)

It's more problematic than that. Amazon cannot risk rending existing Kindles and books inoperable; they'll have to change the DRM on all their books, etc. More likely, they'll win anyway (due to, among other things, prior art) and/or settle and license the patent.

about 5 years ago
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What Filters Are Right For Kids?

The Only Druid Re:The simple one. (678 comments)

Blaming everyone else is bad, but you're completely inanely conflating viruses, etc. and porn.

The truth is, the best situation is to educate the child enough that they can be trusted to navigate the online world without either visiting porn inappropriately (i.e. w/ anyone else around) or downloading malware. The reality is, you have to educate children while using some protections against their mistakes.

So, teach her about sex, etc. Explain the issues as best you can, and discourage her from visiting it too much (and certainly set rules). But don't pretend she'll never check it out. The truth is, there's no harm in her checking it out occasionally.

Malware, on the other hand, is actually destructive, hence the use of spam, virus, etc. filters. So, teach her about it, hope she doesn't accidentally infect your system, but use tools to support her.

The key idea is to support your child's growth, not to restrict it.

about 5 years ago
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You Are Not a Lawyer

The Only Druid Re:Reasonable Doubt. (693 comments)

That logic doesn't follow. It assumes, among other things, that: (a) we ever had a lower rate (i.e. that it has 'become' anything), and (b) we're not just better at dropping cases before they go to trial where the person is innocent (which would be a good thing).

more than 5 years ago
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You Are Not a Lawyer

The Only Druid Re:No, I think the converse is true (693 comments)

It's sort of fascinating that you've posted the exact sort of response TFA expects. I'm tempted to think you're being ironic.

Here's the thing: a lot (i.e. the majority, actually) of these technical arguments you've referred to here are just silly. For example, you complain that the RIAA evidence links only to the computer, not the user. This is, of course, true. However, in the case of a family home that means the prosecution can narrow it down to the household members, so your argument would merely be "Well, you don't know if it was the dad or the son, so you can't sue", and that'll end up just bumping into group liability (which I won't bore everyone with here).

In the case of a shared computer, you'd have more of an argument, e.g. one a library computer or whatnot. But realistically, how many prosecutions have involved such a machine? So far, as far as I know, all the prosecutions have involved machines in private homes or apartments, so what exactly are you arguing?

more than 5 years ago
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RIAA Threatens Harvard Law Prof With Sanctions

The Only Druid Re:Capitalism at it's best. (333 comments)

I don't think it's revisionist at all: the reason you couldn't be aware of the law was not just your illiteracy, but the difficulty in distributing the information. Today, it's not a function of literal illiteracy (i.e. inability to read) but rather figurative illiteracy of the law (i.e. inability to digest the readily available legal materials). We can solve that need by (a) educating everyone on all law, (b) continuing to rely upon lawyers, or (c) re-writing the law to be accessible to everyone.

Everyone (especially on forums like this) likes to jump on option (c), forgetting the basic problem that a system is definitely not automatically bad just because it's complex. Far from it, when you're describing a tremendously detailed world such as our own, it is inevitable that your laws would become complicated and labyrinthine.

more than 5 years ago
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RIAA Threatens Harvard Law Prof With Sanctions

The Only Druid Re:Capitalism at it's best. (333 comments)

The law has not "become" so complex; from day one, the entire reason for the legal profession was that the average citizen (then, in the European nations) couldn't possibly be expected to know all the procedures of the courts, not to mention all of the details of substantive law.

more than 5 years ago
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Blizzard Awarded $6M Damages From MMOGlider

The Only Druid Re:Finances & Conflict (460 comments)

I don't see the conflict. In fact, I think this case is ridiculous. A game should be fair? Ok, I am all for that. But simply building a tool that allows people to play unfairly does not constitute a crime or a civil offense. It might be immoral, but then my moral may be different of yours. Perhaps if you were in a tournament and someone uses a cheat, you could sue the cheater (and not the developer of the cheat, unless he happens to be the same person) for damages. But Blizzard? What damages did they had?

Besides, I don't see how he could have infringed their copyright since he doesn't distribute the game. If people cannot meddle with their own RAM because what's in there is protected by IP laws, we live in a very fucked world already.

I don't think you read the documents involved (including the stipulated damages issues already posted here).

Basically, Blizzard isn't just selling the software to users, but also the ongoing experience of the MMO which involves not only operating the servers and updating software, but also ensuring that the use of the software by legitimate customers isn't interrupted by illegitimate users.

A tremendous number of players find themselves disrupted by these Glider bots, and that's the damage.

more than 5 years ago

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