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  • Mar 24th, 2021 @ 5:28pm

    Re: Schooling

    Also, I saw one lawyer say that bringing up this defense—even as a preliminary one—may actually hurt more than it helps. To prove defamation, Dominion has to prove both that the statement was false and that it was made with her either actually knowing it was false or harboring serious doubts that it was true. This defense effectively admits that both are true if the statement is legally a statement of fact. If this defense fails (and it almost certainly will), her case may get a whole lot harder.

    In other words, it’s a huge gamble that is unlikely to succeed and, if it fails, could actually backfire on her.

  • Mar 24th, 2021 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Schooling

    The whole purpose of a journalist is to talk about a variety of topics that they have some knowledge about even if they aren’t professionals or experts in that field. That way, the public can learn more about them.

    Also, the opinion that this is an incredibly weak and astounding argument to make in context is perfectly valid. I’ve seen other lawyers and other legal experts say as much. The fact that this is a preliminary argument makes no difference to the fact that this is a silly and poor argument to use in this particular case.

    Also, Dominion (and SmartMatic, for that matter) have seemed extremely confident that they will win on the facts and actually appear to be looking forward to discovery. Also, it is incredibly rare for a major company or a rich public figure to sue (not pro se) for defamation if discovery has any real chance of exposing damaging information about them. They might still threaten legal action, but they’ll stop short of actually filing a lawsuit. It’s highly unlikely that Dominion’s lawyers would have been willing to go this far without first making sure that discovery won’t make their client’s reputation worse.

    And even if it turns out Sidney Powell is right in her accusations (which she won’t be; several of her statements have already proven to be categorically false), it’s highly unlikely she would get to use Anti-SLAPP laws to do anything here. Even giving her the best likelihood of success, anything favoring her would be too weak to provide the sort of “exceptional” case it would defend, and if it gets that far that discovery is something to worry about, it won’t be the sort of thing that an Anti-SLAPP law would lead to it ending.

    What you’re describing sounds less like a multi-prong approach and more like a throw-everything-at-the-wall-to-see-what-sticks approach.

  • Mar 24th, 2021 @ 4:56pm

    Re: Re: "merk" seen only once before!

    we're supposed to believe that some person waited 3 and half years

    Three and a half years isn’t even that long. There are sites I haven’t posted anything on for longer than that that I still visit. Heck, I was on YouTube for far longer than that before I posted my first comment.

    then found this topic on waning site

    Do you have evidence to back up the claim that this is a waning site?

    of such interest that just had to comment. BALONEY.

    Again, pretty normal. I stayed off Facebook for longer than that until the “bathroom bill” in North Carolina became a hot topic on there and I decided to weigh in.

    This is ASTRO-TURFING.

    Tell me, why would someone “astro-turf” such a silly comment that doesn’t really support the opinion of the article? I don’t think you’ve actually thought this through.

    Seriously, I don’t know why you keep bringing up these “zombie accounts”, but it seems that you’ve been coming up with weaker and weaker arguments lately. One guy had actually made multiple comments on recent articles, one of which you had actually replied to, when you made (another) claim that they hadn’t commented for years. One person was actually a former writer for Techdirt (a poor choice for a sock-puppet account). And now you have someone who was only inactive for less than four years and who is actually taking a contrary position. You were never exactly good at this, but you’re actually getting worse lately. Is something going on with you? You’re not even reaching the incredibly low bar you previously met. Is there something going on IRL with you?

  • Mar 24th, 2021 @ 4:36pm

    Re: Re: 'Were you lying to that court, this court, or both?'

    Your suspicion is accurate. IANAL either, but every lawyer I’ve seen speak on the subject has explicitly said that the fact that actual people genuinely believe(d) that these statements were intended to be taken as statements of fact and not mere exaggeration or hyperbole has little to no impact on whether or not it is actually a statement of fact as a matter of law.

    That said, even under the current standard, the fact that these were sworn statements of fact and sworn factual allegations in actual litigation does tend to suggest that a reasonable person knowing the full context of the statements made would reasonably believe that they were intended to be taken as statements of fact even when stated outside the courtroom by the same person.

  • Mar 24th, 2021 @ 4:26pm

    Re: If Maz ever wants a gun, he'll rely on 2nd Amendment.

    Let’s set aside whether or not guns are actually helpful in such situations. Masnick hasn’t really spent much time discussing the 2nd Amendment at all. Gun rights, gun control, and the 2nd Amendment are rarely even mentioned on Techdirt beyond noting that many pro-2A people are less insistent on protecting other rights, or that someone is known for having strong opinions on such issues, or noting cases where someone was shot solely because police thought that they had a gun but it wasn’t out in the open or where the police broke into the home and an occupant exercised their right to defend their home from unknown intruders. None of it was anti-2A, pro-gun-control, or any of that. Sure, many commenters have taken such stances in the comments, but neither the articles nor their writers did.

    Meanwhile, Trump has repeatedly and vehemently attacked §230, calling for its repeal or reform (mostly repeal) in many occasions, both as President and as a private citizen. He has never expressed support for or said anything even neutral about §230. He even tried to hold up a military spending bill because it didn’t repeal §230 (which, of course, has literally nothing to do with the military or spending at all)!

    As such, the idea that Trump will have to rely on §230 is far more ironic and hypocritical of him than the idea that Masnick will someday rely on the 2A, and the former also appears far more likely than the latter. The comparison you make is completely and utterly inapt.

    (Also, I’m unaware of any articles on Techdirt that even mention abortion aside from mentioning the speech rights of people who are pro-life or pro-choice or anyone sued by such persons, nor have any Techdirt writers appeared to have ever mentioned abortion in any of the comments on Techdirt or in their Twitter accounts. So why you even mentioned abortion is beyond me.)

    Furthermore, Masnick never said that Trump shouldn’t rely on §230. He just noted that it would contradict his vocal stance against §230, and that he should really rethink that particular stance if and when he does start a social media site if he doesn’t want to be a hypocrite (something Trump doesn’t seem particularly bothered by beyond calling any such accusations “fake news” when it’s inconvenient for him).

    As for Trump being mentioned again, he was brought up as a potential new entrant to the social-media space in recent news, and his stance on §230 is well-known. That makes this news on current events in an area Techdirt generally covers. It’s also been only, like, two months since he left office and slightly longer than that since he was kicked off of Twitter, and he’s still a public figure both as a businessman and as a former president who still tries to remain relevant in politics even now (and also as a subject of several ongoing criminal investigations, but that’s not exactly relevant to this specific article). That he’s being mentioned on this site now is essentially his own fault, not to keep beating a dead horse.

  • Mar 24th, 2021 @ 3:26pm

    (untitled comment)

    the only people who'll be surprised by their findings get all of their news from email forwards and YouTube

    I dunno. Some of them are luddites who refuse internet or cable and just assume all tech is dangerous.

  • Mar 24th, 2021 @ 3:07pm

    (untitled comment)

    Yeah, I don’t think she thought this one through. While statements made in court or in court filings can’t form the basis of a defamation lawsuit due to the litigation privilege, it can be used as evidence in support of a defamation lawsuit.

    For example, if a lawyer is sued for public statements she made to the media where she is speaking as a lawyer and she also made the same claims in a court of law under penalty of perjury, the fact that she made those exact same (or substantially similar) claims in actual litigation can be used as evidence that one should take them a serious statements of fact rather than exaggeration, hyperbole, or puffery. If she had just said them in court, she would be protected. Had she not made those claims in court, maybe she could argue that they were obvious exaggerations or hyperbole, though that would be quite tough given she was still speaking as a lawyer about her own litigation.

  • Mar 22nd, 2021 @ 5:26pm

    (untitled comment)

    I know cops lie, but sometimes I’m astonished at the gall they have with their lies, even after evidence has been shown to prove them wrong.

    So, you were so stressed out about the situation that you can’t recall it correctly? What exactly is so stressful about a man standing motionless by his car, then attacking him from behind for no reason at all? Was the stress caused by you trying to come up with a good enough lie to explain why you assaulted an unarmed man during a traffic stop? Because that’s the only reason I can think of for the cop to be stressed in that situation. Well, that or he was stressed beforehand and decided to relieve his stress by assaulting a random civilian.

  • Mar 16th, 2021 @ 6:11pm

    Re: But, Maz: the stragety succeeded in stopping the attack!

    And thus you miss the point. If it was actually defamation, then you’ll still win regardless of any anti-SLAPP laws. In other words, a loss means no case. And the only reason Techdirt doesn’t talk about Ayyadurai anymore is because nobody cares about him.

  • Mar 16th, 2021 @ 2:50am

    Re: Re: People lie

    Why are people showing up now months later and lying about this story? It's so weird.

    I don’t get it either. Hopefully it won’t get as bad as that article about anti-vaxxers. That one still had new comments over a year later, if I recall correctly, and reached into the thousands well before then.

  • Mar 14th, 2021 @ 4:48pm


    I think you missed the part where this particular article is about a bill that would force tech companies to do more moderation.

    And no, companies moderating content on their privately owned websites and servers is not against the 1st Amendment as they are not in any way a government or part of the government; rather, between the 1A right against compelled speech and the 1A right of association, not allowing companies to moderate speech on their websites is against the 1A. Again, there are court cases that point to this being the case.

    And no, private companies removing unwanted content and/or users from their privately owned websites and/or servers is not censorship, either. There is a difference.

    Look, I am no fan of Twitter or Facebook; I mostly left them a long time ago. However, I know how to read the whole article rather than just the introduction, I know what the law is on this issue, and I know what words mean. I don’t think you do.

    If there was a white supremacist platform for user content owned and operated by a single private citizen who was also a bigot or by a corporation run by a bigot, and that platform removed speech that didn’t conform with those ideals, while I would find the platform to be, at the very, very least, distasteful, and more likely hateful and abhorrent, I would still defend their right to exist, say such horrible things, and remove content they dislike even if I think that content is perfectly fine. I wouldn’t support or use such a platform, and I would likely heavily criticize it both publicly and privately, but I wouldn’t want the government to ban it entirely or stop it from moderating content on the platform however it sees fit. That’s how the 1A and private-property rights work. I also wouldn’t say that they’re censoring anyone or violating anyone’s 1A rights. It doesn’t matter how big or small it is (though if such a platform got even close to as large as either Facebook or Twitter, I’d be admittedly shocked and dismayed at the state of humanity); I’d feel the same on the issues of 1A rights, private property rights, and government interference with such either way.

  • Mar 14th, 2021 @ 4:26pm

    Re: Re: Oh boy

    Actually, based on past history, the current SC is unlikely to overturn the precedential decisions that make these bills unconstitutional.

  • Mar 14th, 2021 @ 4:20pm

    Re: Our Society

    So, in a super litigious society, you don't appear to understand that making cops personally liable for every law suit that 2nd guesses split-second actions, might be chilling, […]

    I don’t have a problem with that, and we do the same for just about everyone else. Lots of people are held liable for split-second actions.

    That said, since we also have precedence outside qualified immunity that says that a lot of those split-second decisions aren’t violating anyone’s rights, anyways, and the ones that are or might be shouldn’t be dismissed early on, anyways, I don’t see that happening beyond what it ought to. If a person makes an allegation that something violated their rights, but the law says that, even if the allegations are true, their rights haven’t been violated, the case will and should be dismissed quickly anyways, QI or no QI. If the allegations are very clearly false or the plaintiff has absolutely no evidence whatsoever to support their claim, then the plaintiff will lose in summary judgement without getting to a jury. Otherwise, it’s a case that absolutely should go to a jury.

    If that’s chilling, it only appears to chill bad or excessive behavior and would only dissuade people who shouldn’t be officers from becoming officers, so I fail to see the problem. Really, even without QI, the system tends to favor cops over citizens anyways. And the law quite explicitly does not require the cops to personally pay for legal help, court cost and fees, or any fines stemming from such a lawsuit. That all comes from taxpayer money, and not even necessarily the police department’s funds, specifically.

    Also, even with QI, governments spend a lot of money defending against or settling such lawsuits. If a case is truly frivolous, the state may even be able to recover court costs either way.

    […] and thus the equivalent of defunding the police?

    I’m afraid I don’t see the connection between “chilling police” and “defunding the police”. Especially when “defunding the police” refers to diverting funds that would go to law enforcement for anything, including legal costs, to other things (like mental health professionals or social workers), or, in the oft-used misunderstanding of it, removing all funding for the current police department entirely, neither of which would be likely direct consequences of eliminating QI.

    And actually, on that note, while I perfectly understand why people confuse the issue (intentionally or not), I should probably explain how defunding the police (which, again, this isn’t) is supposed to work, at least in theory. Currently, police have to handle a lot of things that aren’t exactly related to enforcing the law. Things like stopping people from committing suicide or getting homeless people off of the streets. The idea is to remove funds from police departments and divert it towards other programs and agencies that will handle those tasks for the police (at least most of the time), so while police will have less funding, they will also have fewer duties. Other programs and agencies that might receive funding might be intended to solve problems that increase lawlessness, like mental healthcare programs, programs intended to help unemployed people get jobs, and drug-rehabilitation programs. This would make even the law enforcement part of the job of police officers easier because there would be fewer instances of law breaking. So yes, police departments would get less money and possibly have fewer employees, but they would also need less money and fewer employees because they would have fewer tasks that they would have to handle.

    There is an extreme version that involves defunding the current police department entirely and moving those funds to (possibly among other programs) a completely new police department built from the ground up to replace the old one. This is intended to, essentially, clean house and remove systemic issues with the current police department and to ensure the removal of any bad apples. So, even under this scenario, there will still be police officers who still get paid sufficiently to do the jobs they’re supposed to do.

    Now, both of these methods have been tested (in varying degrees) in several locations across the country, and the results we’ve seen so far have been promising. Fewer deaths and injuries caused by police, less harrassment by police, happier civilians, fewer lawsuits, fewer cases settled or lost, fewer people in prison, and no more crimes committed than before (often less), with little to no additional costs to the government.

    Of course, as I already stated, removing QI doesn’t do either of those things. If removing QI costs departments more money, that’s the fault of the officers, not the law. Police should be held to a higher standard than civilians.

  • Mar 14th, 2021 @ 3:37pm


    So if people started writing opinion pieces as to why they believed that Joe Biden (Or Mike Masnick) were attracted to young children, that would be OK.

    It depends. If by “OK” you mean “is and ought to be absolutely protected by the First Amendment and should not be sued over as defamatory or false light or anything like that”, and the opinion piece itself did not allege or imply any false facts that they knew or really should have known to be false in explaining how and why they formed that opinion, then yes, that would be perfectly okay. It would also be okay if it was obviously or at least probably satirical. If you mean something else by “OK”, then unless they have really good reasons for doing so, I’d say probably not, but I wouldn’t necessarily support a lawsuit over it. And either way, if the opinion piece does not fit the conditions I mentioned earlier, then for the most part, no matter what definition of “OK” you mean, that would not be OK.

    However, even if it’s not “OK”, that doesn’t necessarily mean I’d support taking the writer and/or publisher to court over it. At the very least, I’d say trying to contact the writer or publisher to at least try to work something out outside of court before possibly resorting to legal threats or legal action. Legal action should be a last resort when dealing with speech, especially online speech, particularly due to the Streisand effect. Even if the opinion piece is defamatory, depending on a variety of factors, it’s entirely possible that the opinion piece was largely unnoticed by most people, and by trying to censor it, you may wind up making it seen by a lot more people, so even if you are morally, ethically, legally, and factually right to sue over the piece, it may just backfire on you.

    Again, just because someone’s speech is objectionable or hurts your feelings or damages your reputation, that’s not enough reason to ignore the 1A and try to censor it, and I will still defend people’s right to say objectionable things, even if they aren’t true, so long as it is reasonable for them to think it is true and actually believe it’s true, and to voice objectionable opinions. I don’t have to like or agree with what is being said to defend their right to say it. Sometimes, there may be unfortunate consequences. However, the law is not and should not be a shield against any negative consequences even if they weren’t your fault.

  • Mar 14th, 2021 @ 3:07pm

    Re: Staffing

    There is absolutely no evidence that Voice of America is or ever has been a left propaganda machine or that it is or ever was laughed at by everyone who listens to it. Indeed, it has been seen as a positive force by non-totalitarians to counter totalitarian propaganda, and no conservative prior to Trump has ever leveled that accusation against it that I’m aware of.

    Also, the changes being made were actually making people around the world respect it less and were seen as attempting to make it a source of pro-Trump propaganda and fake news. More people found the VoA as Pack pushed it as far more laughable than the one that was already there.

    It’s also worth noting that the political opinions of the members of VoA were fairly diverse. Even the so-called anti-Trump people weren’t all leftist; many were right-wing or right-leaning, and some were centrist. Anti-Trump =/= anti-conservative or pro-liberal, which can be seen by the many ballots from 2020 where people voted essentially all Republican except for in the presidential race, and most of these particular ballots actually voted for Biden solely because they were anti-Trump. And the anti-Trump ones were not, by and large, ideologues or spreaders of “toxic wokeness”, whatever that is.

    I will concede that VoA may have been seen, at least by some, as a pro-America or pro-democracy propaganda machine, but not a leftist one.

    But please, do provide evidence that supports your claim.

  • Mar 14th, 2021 @ 2:51pm

    Re: Trump Derangement Syndrome is PERMANENT.

    First, regarding the subject line, for the most part, the only Trump-related derangement I’ve seen is for Trumpists to ignore reality when it comes to Trump or Democrats. And it does, indeed, seem to be largely permanent, though I have seen some cases of former Trumpists in recovery, so there’s still some hope.

    Here you've successfully stolen the election, Congress and President […]

    Nope. There have been numerous court cases alleging such about the Presidential race, and none of them had any merit and were dismissed either for failing to state a claim, being wrong about the law, lacking sufficient reasonable evidence to support their claims, lacking standing (the least common reason), or some combination of the above, and they have all been ended. Numerous hand and machine recounts were done in the contested states, and none of them differed significantly from the original count. The only known instances of attempted or successful voter fraud or election fraud were by Republicans.

    And as for Congress, a lot of votes for Biden voted all Republican downticket, and the run-offs showed no evidence of voter or election fraud by Democrats either.

    Additionally, the various Republican election officials and Secretaries of State for each of the contested states have all said that there was no widespread voter or election fraud in their states during the 2020 election.

    As for the laws and election-policy-changes being complained about, all of them were also in place for states that went to Trump and to downballot Republicans in that same election, and with one possible exception, all of them were found to be lawful and constitutional, and many of them were in place well before the 2020 election.

    So, there is no credible evidence to support a claim of widespread voter and/or election fraud by Democrats that would be enough to have changed the results in any of the federal races in the 2020 election or the Georgia run-off for Senate. In fact, there’s a plethora of evidence to the contrary. As such, no US election was stolen here.

    and all that you can write of is TRUMP.

    First, they’ve written plenty of articles about the new Congress and administration as well as topics that have little to nothing to do with any Congress or administration, be it this one, the last one, and the one before. So no, this claim is false.

    Second, when Trump became President, Techdirt would still write some articles about the Obama administration, so this isn’t something they only do for Trump.

    Third, this has some information we didn’t previously know about, so Techdirt couldn’t have written about it before while Trump was still President, and it is still fairly relevant to today, in part because it’s also about what Biden is doing now:

    Tell ya again, kid: you need some POSITIVE, not more opinion / ad hom on Trump.

    Again, there have been some positive (or neutral) articles recently, and there were some throughout the Trump administration. So, you’re still working from a false premise. If you mean positive pieces about Trump, let me know what good Trump has done first, and then we’ll talk. That said, the only times most journalists may write positive pieces about the last president are when summarizing that President’s legacy right around when they leave office, when the current President does something that makes the last President look good, at least by comparison, or when the current President says something false about the last President. None of those are the case right now with Trump or Biden.

    Second, this is still largely an opinion blog, so of course they will write opinions about current and/or recent events as well as compare them to older events. They did the same thing for both Trump and Obama when they were President.

    Third, this isn’t an ad hominem argument, really. An ad hominem would be trying to refute what someone said because they are a bad or undesirable person or something. Criticizing someone’s actions and the motivations for those actions is not an ad hominem in itself. For example, saying that evolution is wrong or immoral because Charles Darwin was a racist would be an ad hominem. Saying that Michael Pack is corrupt and abused his power because he spent a lot of taxpayer money trying to weed out anti-Trump people in his cabinet and therefore should not keep or have ever had that position or been able to do those things is not an ad hominem. Not every insult is necessarily an ad hominem.

    Finally, technically, this article isn’t really about Trump. It’s about Michael Pack, the former Trump-appointed head of the US Agency for Global Media. You could argue that it is about Trump’s administration, but that’s not quite the same thing as being about Trump himself.

    “It truly is insane how obsessed Trumpists are over Hillary's emails.”

    State your evidence that [it] shouldn't be. Those US Secretary of State emails containing official secrets were apparently intentionally on a server open to the world, YET [the] US gov't still doesn't know the contents nor who got them.

    1. Actually, that server was no less secure than the one she was supposed to be using. It was not “open to the world”.

    2. Several Republican-led congressional investigations into it found no illegal activity.

    3. A Republican-led FBI investigated the issue and found no evidence of anything illegal.

    4. During the past four years, the Trump administration did nothing to indict or really even investigate Hillary Clinton at all over anything, let alone over those emails, despite saying that they would and having plenty of motive to do so and the power to do so if there was any wrongdoing on her part.

    5. Just about every previous Secretary of State who used email did essentially the same thing, including Colin Powell, and they received no repercussions whatsoever. Ivanka Trump also did something similar during the Trump presidency.

    6. It was not intentional. The investigations showed that essentially all of the allegedly classified emails were not properly marked to indicate that they were classified or what the classification was, all of them were sent there by others, not sent or solicited by Hillary, and many were improperly claimed to be classified despite not actually containing any classified material. Both the FBI and the congressional hearings on the matter said as much.

    7. As implied by point 6 and contrary to your assertions, the US government does (or at least did) know the contents of those emails. Yes, some emails were deleted, but supposedly they were purely personal emails and were not at all work-related. They were also deleted without knowledge of the investigation. Besides, they made up a minority of the emails on that server.

    8. The US government also knows (more or less) who got these emails. It doesn’t take forensic science to read the To, From, and Cc lines or to see who, if anyone, Hillary forwarded them to. The only things missing would be what recipients other than Hillary did with them or the Bcc recipients of the original email, and she had no control over those, nor was she responsible for that. And before you say, “But they were on an unsecured server and open to the world, so someone could’ve hacked in and seen them,” again, no they were not unsecured or open to the world (see point 1), but even if they were, the government also checked the private server and found no evidence of intrusion, infection, compromise, or anything else suspicious, so even if it was hypothetically plausible that a hacker obtained access they wouldn’t have had if the emails were on a government server (which it isn’t, really), it doesn’t appear that anyone actually did, so at least with regards to this specific claim, that point is moot.

    9. It has been more than five years since the topic of Hillary’s emails popped up, and by all credible accounts (and a number of less credible ones biased against Hillary), there doesn’t seem to have been any damage done to anyone or anything except possibly Hillary’s reputation. The secrets don’t appear to have anything that needed to be classified to protect national security or anything. No one who was not authorized to receive classified information actually accessed these emails. No one was hurt or killed. No money was lost (except in the investigations). Hillary also admitted that it was a mistake and that she learned her lesson, and she no longer holds any public office; she doesn’t even come into the public eye much any more. There has also been no new information or developments or other changes to the story since December 2016. Aside from Ivanka, who wasn’t punished or even investigated, there have been no new comparable situations that have come up to make it relevant to anything today. So, why keep bringing it up? What good does it do, especially now?

    Your "writing" is dead easy since don't bother with facts. IF had to come up substantive proposals, you'd be stumped.

    The only ones not bothering with facts here are you and Michael Pack. That said, this is meant to be an opinion piece, not just a blind recitation of the facts, so yeah, you’re going to get more than just facts here; you’ll also see opinions and maybe some speculation. Welcome to Techdirt. Clearly you’re new here.

    As for coming up with substantive proposals, Techdirt is not a lobbying body, a politician, a holder of any political office, involved in government contracts, a government agency/agent, a judge, or a clerk for any of the above. They don’t have any obligation to come up with substantive proposals because that’s not their job. Most journalists and writers of opinion pieces don’t come up with substantive proposals. Why would you expect Techdirt to be any different?

    That said, Techdirt has come up with substantive proposals for several things in the past, such as police accountability (especially qualified immunity), net neutrality, section 230 (and yes, “leave it alone” is a substantive proposal), copyright (especially the DMCA, which they recently sent several ideas about reforming to a representative), patents, and anti-SLAPP laws. So clearly, when it comes to coming up with substantive proposals, they clearly aren’t stumped as you claim.

    Finally, what “substantive proposals” would be made here on this issue? This is all about one guy’s attempt to make the USAGM and several things that come out of it like VoA into pro-Trump propaganda outlets, and that has been dealt with by Biden, who has removed the man responsible (among others) and is seeking replacements, including people who quit or were fired because of that guy. Maybe have some sort of oversight committee regarding how finances get used by that department? A bad actor would probably just gut the think to being useless.

  • Mar 14th, 2021 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Yet again, lecturing to an Appeals Level court!

    You're an amazingly arrogant little corporate-supported, pirate-defending pretense at one studied in law.

    I don’t know how a person can be a pretense at anything; they can have a pretense, but I don’t think they can be one.

    Pedantics aside, what evidence do you have that Cathy Gellis is corporate-supported, and on what basis do you claim that she defends pirates?

    Also, I’m not sure how, even if she is corporate-supported, that would make her opinion in this case less valid. The makers of “Oh the Places You’ll Boldly Go!” (the defendants in this case) are not a corporation, but Dr. Seuss’s estate (at least arguably) is. Additionally, corporations (namely publishers and movie studios) tend to support copyright maximalism, not piracy. So, if she is influenced by corporate interests, surely she would be against pirates and also support this decision. And before you say, “But Google/YouTube/Facebook/Twitter…!”, those corporations aren’t terribly opposed to an expansion of what is infringing; the only thing that matters to them is whether they will be held liable for infringement done by users.

    Also, this case isn’t about piracy. Piracy, as it relates to copyright, is about infringing distribution, acquisition, possession, and/or usage of (essentially identical and largely unaltered) copies of the original work that are specifically meant to serve the same purpose of the original and replace it. Not all copyright infringement is piracy. If they were selling unauthorized copies of the original book essentially unaltered, that would be piracy. If they were distributing photocopies of the pages and/or cover of the original book, that would be piracy. Instead, what we have here is the creation and distribution of, according to the 9th Circuit opinion, derivative works based on the original book but also distinct in some critical respects. So, even if you agree with the 9th Circuit, this isn’t piracy, even though it would be copyright infringement. So, yeah, Cathy’s opinion in this article isn’t defending pirates or piracy with regards to copyrighted works, even if she may defend pirates or piracy elsewhere.

    Basically, this is just an ad hominem attack that doesn’t even work in this case.

    Just to start, you wave aside the black letter Constitution provisions!

    Well, the only time the Constitution talks about copyright is in Article I, Section 8, Clause 8, which also deals with patents:

    [The Congress shall have power t]o promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries.

    So, basically, it just says that Congress can pass laws that grant and enforce copyright and patents, says they have to last only for a limited time before expiring, and says that the purpose of copyright and patent laws must be “to promote the progress of science and useful arts”. It also only says to secure those exclusive rights to authors (and inventors), not publishers, inventors, or estates.

    There are also some limitations, though not explicitly spelled out as such, that come from the First Amendment:

    Congress shall make no law […] abridging the freedom of speech, or of the press; […].

    Other than that, the Constitution doesn’t say anything about the extent of what copyright protects (note that it says nothing about derivative works, when it kicks in, how to get a copyright over a work, or what works or elements are actually protected), its duration (as long as the duration is limited), the idea of passing or selling copyrights to others, or the idea of licensing. (It also doesn’t say anything about fair use, but that stems from trying to balance copyright with 1A rights, and it is also explicitly established in current copyright legislation and treaties.) All of those details are hashed out in federal laws and statutes and in the interpretations of those laws and statutes as well as the Constitution by federal courts. Heck, the Constitution doesn’t even say that Congress must write laws to establish copyrights or patents or anything; it only gives it the power to do so if it wants to.

    Now, explain to me how Cathy Gellis here is “wav[ing] away” a plain reading of the text of the Constitution like you claim she is (as opposed to current copyright legislation and court opinions, as those would not be considered part of “the black letter Constitution provisions” even if they are also legally binding, so they would not provide support for your claim).

  • Mar 12th, 2021 @ 6:19pm


    Dude, please calm down. I understand your frustration, believe me. However, this isn’t Twitter, and none of us are responsible for what’s going on with you. And yes, I’m sure that there are plenty of people who’ve done more reprehensible things than you who have gotten better treatment on Twitter than you.

    And, not to defend Twitter or anything, but I can understand why they want the phone number. It’s just basic cybersecurity. Why you were locked out to begin with, I don’t know, but I’m sure that, the way it’s set up, if you’re locked out of your account for any reason, whether it’s your fault or theirs, this is literally the only way they can allow you access to your account again.

  • Mar 11th, 2021 @ 6:57pm

    Re: Section 230 will surely be found Unconstitutional too!

    Just takes the right case with bit of skepticism and the evidence of the actuality that it's being used by corporations to stifle every "natural" person's 1A Rights, to implement a de facto end-run on 1A, and grant corporations the status of Royalty.

    The 1A right to free speech doesn’t include the right to be heard by anyone in particular or a particular number of people, nor does it include the right to say whatever you want on someone else’s privately owned property—even if it’s open to the public—without consequences from the owner of that property, including but not limited to being kicked off of it. In fact, the 1A doesn’t anyone at all from doing anything unless they’re the government, part of the government, or acting on behalf of the government (outside of certain contracts, but that’s another story). It does include a right not to speak or be forced to host someone else’s speech on your privately owned property. The 1A also includes a right for persons—natural or otherwise—to be or not be associated with other persons if they don’t want to.

    In other words, it is literally impossible for a corporation to stifle anyone’s 1A right to free speech (outside of NDA-type clauses in contracts), and trying to force them to host speech infringes on their 1A rights. But even if corporations didn’t have 1A rights, that still doesn’t mean that the 1A is being run around. Seriously, this is exactly how the 1A is supposed to work.

    And as for “the evidence of the actuality”, the courts have not ruled as it has on such things out of ignorance of what corporations have been doing. They were assuming for the sake of argument that corporations were doing exactly what they’ve been accused of. These were rulings about what the law says, not what it ought to be. Your assumption is that, if they only knew what you did, they would overturn all that legal precedent and agree with you. That’s not how it works at all. Even if the corporations were doing exactly what you say, that wouldn’t change the court rulings one iota.

    Also, even if you were right, how would that give corporations royalty status? And I don’t think you understand what skepticism means.

    Besides, as you note, everyone but a few rabid corporatists HATES it.

    Uh, no, that’s not what they said. It’s mostly politicians, ignorant people, and whiny bigots who hate it.

    It’s also important to note that the haters are extremely divided on why they hate it, and the reasons are irreconcilable. Anti-230 liberals hate that corporations are protected from liability for others’ speech on their platform and that they can’t be forced to remove certain undeserable content (generally); they want to force corporations to do more moderation. Anti-230 conservatives hate that corporations are allowed to moderate whatever and whoever they want however, whenever, and whyever they want to (generally); they want corporations to moderate less. These two positions are irreconcilable, and they’re fairly evenly divided. In turn, each side is unable to consistently agree among themselves what content, exactly, is okay to/must be moderated, what content is okay to/must be moderated, what tools a corporation can use to moderate, or whether §230 should be repealed, replaced, or reformed.

    On top of that, they all operate from a misunderstanding of the 1A and how the internet actually works.

  • Mar 11th, 2021 @ 6:21pm


    That’s a pretty massive oversight. It may also save the state from wasting money defending the bill since it wouldn’t actually do anything.

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