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  • Mar 17th, 2021 @ 10:47pm

    (untitled comment)

    Marx Howell probably hypnotized himself into thinking that hypnosis is a legitimate investigative technique.

    Either that or he's simply disappointed he won't be paid for making people sleep their way to jail anymore.

  • Mar 17th, 2021 @ 9:20pm

    (untitled comment)

    It's already known (or at least it should be) that cops are legally allowed to lie during interrogation. They can tell you they have evidence they actually don't have. They can tell you about witnesses that don't exist.
    I find that wrong, morally speaking, but it goes beyond just the morality of it. There have been numerous cases of innocent pushed to confessing crimes they didn't commit because those lies made them distrust their own memories. So it's wrong because it's a failing tool to find the culprit of a crime. Unless you see as a game where the goal is to convict someone. Anyone.

    Now, we have a worse case here. (And it's not unique.)
    This is falsified evidence brought to the trial itself.
    This definitely is illegal and the police - possibly along with the prosecutors, if they knew about it - should be sued back.
    There is some degree of immunity against lawyers, judges and prosecutors, but this should only stand when not committing perjury or evidence tampering. Also, I don't think that covers the cops brought as witnesses. And certainly not the paid and lying witnesses themselves.

    The third-party involvement here shouldn't even have been a problem because, except for that bribed witness, they didn't even have a case. Not that it excuses Hertz, but they are not the main ones to blame.

  • Mar 17th, 2021 @ 3:36pm

    (untitled comment)

    The main failure of this case is how it should have gone the other way.
    The cop as defender and the journalist as plaintiff.
    Too bad "wrongful arrest" only seems to exist in law books, never in actual cases, even the ones that have undisputable evidence.

    I'll agree with the prosecutor and That One Guy above. Sahouri's job should not even matter. This was a wrongful arrest, even had he not been a journalist.
    Justice is far from blind. She obviously knows several colors, blue is but one of them.

  • Feb 17th, 2021 @ 9:59am

    (untitled comment)

    When we stop having the cops harass ordinary citizens, which is a demonstrated behavior, we might not have to record every little interaction, just in case we need documented proof of police abuse.

    For years, police has abused people, and their word was law - quite literally - because of the lack of evidence to their lies in court and in the media. Nowadays, the balance is shifting - a little - in favor of the citizens thanks to cameras everywhere. The cops still have plenty of advantages, but their word is not quite as sacred anymore. It's a progress, but we can't stop recording them yet but because we know they still lie. A lot.

    You celebrating that they find "clever" workarounds to accountability is a cheap shot. The cops here are clearly abusing a law that is not intended for this purpose. They should be disciplined, if only because they stop working in the middle of an interaction to dumbly listen to music, and ideally for actively trying to prevent a citizen from lawfully recording his interactions with a police officer.

    Note that there will be abuse only the day cops are being recorded while off-duty. Otherwise, they are public agents in a public space, and there have been several court cases proving that they don't have a claim against this behavior from concerned citizens.

  • Feb 17th, 2021 @ 9:50am

    (untitled comment)

    What did the IP holders tell us again?
    Ah right, "Copyright is not a tool for censorship."

  • Feb 5th, 2021 @ 4:16pm


    as long as people are voted into office who dont understand a damn thing about the Internet

    Actually, it's more a problem of electing people who don't want to understand a damn thing about the Internet.

    They have their idea of what it is, and actively resist learning better information. That is not a problem exclusive to republicans. Even democrats similarly resist understanding the world beyond their current knowledge of it.

    Neither is it exclusive to technology matters. Politics and economy subjects are treated the same as they were 20-30 years ago. As if they were right then (which they weren't already) and as if nothing changing since.

    As for social issues, republicans still live in the 80s. The 1680s.
    The democrats are a little late on these subjects as well, but they at least try to show some progress on this front.

    So, resistance to change is prevalent across most of the political landscape. Only a few of the most recent entries in the democrat-side of the Congress are actually trying to push for modernization, for long-overdue change. The majority of democrat are still trying to catch up with the 90s and the republicans are trying to pull the country backwards.
    How is surprising that they can't cope with such a "revolutionary" concept as actual free speech for everyone? (Not just the few that the newspaper and TV deign to glorify.)

  • Jan 11th, 2021 @ 3:03pm

    Re: Terrorist

    Even according to your definition, these people - or some of them at the very least - are terrorists.
    Failed ones though.

    Pipe bombs and molotov cocktails were found. Some of them had clearly expressed plans to kill Pence and some members of Congress. A noose was set up outside and zip-ties were brought in. That's a lot for people with no intention to kill.
    I didn't even mention assault rifles and other guns because these are just standard equipment for right-wing nuts like them. They never go to a rally without heavy firearms, so it's difficult to distinguish when they actually intend to use them. They even had less than I expected. Every thing else above clearly expresses murderous intent.

    If that doesn't fall under "terrorism", what does?

    Also, the right wing has had a way more liberal use of the word than we do here. They called people "terrorists" for peacefully assembling, expressing disagreement with a republican elected official, or filing too many perfectly legal FOIA requests.
    We call people terrorists when they use or threaten violence on people they disagree with politically.

    Who is abusing the word here?

  • Jan 5th, 2021 @ 2:53am

    Re: Re:

    Sorry I'm late replying to this message, but my answer is simple: does everything need a copyright?
    My answer is simply no.
    I don't need a copyright on this comment, even though I actually got one the moment it was published. That's stupid. Same thing when I have a selfie I post for my friends or family to see. I care about privacy to some extend, but I absolutely don't care about copyright. My incentive to take my own picture is to show my entourage that I'm well and happy, not to make them pay for the privilege.

    If you want to monetize your work, you copyright it. Meaning you take an active step to register it for copyright. That's how it was originally, and it makes sense for nearly everything on the internet. The little content that is actually a source of income could be registered in several ways. It can be made as easy or difficult as the lawmakers want to make it, but registering should be necessary in order to trace the ownership of the rights on a work, including date of start, date of end, author, current owner. At a minimum. (Note that I also object to retroactively extending copyright on existing work. That is one of the biggest scams ever. End of rights should be set when they start.)

    It's not like small physical items where - mostly - holding it means you own it. (Not so simple, obviously, but close enough.)
    It's way more akin to land ownership where you need to have official records of the owner because otherwise anyone could come and claim it for himself.
    (But even land can only have one clear owner at most. Copyright is way more complex as "similarity" is sometimes enough to be considered infringing.)

    In the case of copyright, my opinion is to make it clear: if you want to make money out of it, register it. Otherwise, let it be.

    nb: about "how easy or difficult you make it", I can imagine something where you can register online for a whole website content at once. Or on the other end of the scale, making you file a form for every page and content element on it. I don't mind either way because copyright is not part of my life. Or at least, it shouldn't be since I'm not in the business of owning and spreading the works of my imagination. But it happens to be nowadays because anything and everything on the internet is a copy. So everyone on the internet is involved with this crazy minefield of laws and regulations. You can only hope the sights of some right holder will not fall on you for some reason.
    This, despite not "illegally" downloading movies, songs or whatever else. I'm subscribed to a few services, and if I don't get what I want there, I'm of the idea that, if they don't want my money, I don't want their works either. They lose more than I do.

  • Dec 16th, 2020 @ 3:29pm

    (untitled comment)

    And that's why you need an actual copyright registry.
    I understand that was the case before, and the law was changed to make it easier for "creators" to claim copyright on their works.

    But, as it should have been predicted, it became a mess where copyright can be claimed fraudulently. Even when bad faith is not factored in, it sometimes become difficult to impossible to trace who is the current holder of a particular copyrighted work. Orphaned works are a huge problem. And people who want to use a copyrighted work sometimes don't know who to contact. (See recently, the news about the game studio who wants to remake a game, but doesn't know which of three studios owns the rights... and neither of them will be bothered to check until they have an opportunity to sue.)

    The law is broken and needs to be fixed in all sorts of ways: registration, scope and duration. But the copyright lobby is huge, and very generous... towards politicians.

  • Nov 26th, 2020 @ 11:42am

    (untitled comment)

    Section 1983 meets Catch-22. Plaintiffs must produce precedent even as fewer courts are producing precedent. Important constitutional questions go unanswered precisely because those questions are yet unanswered.

    This guy deserves to be nominated for insightful.
    This has been pointed out in comments several times, so it's a happy day when an actual judge actually states it in an actual court. (Yes, repetition is intended.)

    Also, whoever established that stupid rule in the first place should be tagged as inept to practice law and thrown out of court. I know it was the judge, but that shouldn't have stopped everyone else from kicking him out.

  • Nov 26th, 2020 @ 9:45am

    (untitled comment)

    On the one hand, that's a pretty greedy move. Not surprising, but deplorable nonetheless.
    On the other hand, as long as researchers really want to say "I was published in Nature", Nature can charge them what they want.
    Offer & demand, the "beauty of capitalism" in action. (/s in case you didn't get it.)

    It will take a bold group of academics to make a different, less greedy publisher as prestigious as Nature and Science. Only then will there truly be an alternative to paying tons of money to publishers. This might take time, and some dedication from the research in question, for them to eschew the (questionable) fame of being published under these two big names.

    This is what happens when the branding is more important than the content.

  • Nov 23rd, 2020 @ 12:15pm

    (untitled comment)

    In my view social media companies must not censor political speech but they have a responsibility to act against known sources of harmful disinformation wherever it comes from, including when it's from a President

    Does he not realize how contradictory this statement is?
    "Don't censor political speech, which is 90% lies (half-truth at best), but please censor their lies."
    And given that he wants to decide what truth is, I'll pin his statement as contradictatory.

  • Nov 23rd, 2020 @ 12:07pm


    Cyberpunk 2077 will have a game mode dedicated to using stream-safe music for streamers...

    Copyright holders have sued over the most ridiculous thing.

    • Music they provided themselves for public use (though that was actually an action taken by their publishing company)
    • Public domain works
    • Works published by their authors
    • Public domain works published by their authors
    • Animal cries
    • Monkey selfies!
    • Background/white noise
    • Not sure about this last one, but I think I remember a DMCA notice over the audio of a silent stream (I'll need a bit of time to confirm it if you want a source for this one)

    So no, there is definitely no such thing as "stream-safe" music.

  • Nov 5th, 2020 @ 11:41am


    "Uber alles" might be ok when taken out of this specific context.
    But quoted at the end of a presentation that also quotes Hitler several times, this is definitely not innocent.
    It's not a problem of "US context", though this probably does invoke the Nazi Germany for many american. The problem is that it is explicitly tied to Hitler here.
    And apparently the cops who attended the training didn't mind. Which is a bigger problem that the "Uber alles" at the end. Even if you don't know the quote is from Hitler, quotes like "the very first essential for success is a perpetually constant and regular employment of violence" should be suspicious by themselves.

  • Oct 23rd, 2020 @ 11:25am

    Now the tool is to blame?

    I'm half-surprised that nobody reminds them, at every opportunity, that the current implementation and interpretation of section 230 is normal.
    Nobody blames car manufacturers for a bank robbery when their car is used as escape vehicle.
    Nobody blames alcohol producers for drunken bar brawls.
    The rule is always that the tool is not the culprit.

    And if anybody would go and blame gun manufacturers when someone shoots his neighbor, "second amendment" extremists would go up in arms. Possibly in the most literal sense.

    But when it comes to section 230, suddenly the first amendment doesn't mean anything and the tool is as responsible - if not more - as the tool user.

    Next time someone goes to court for murder, let him blame the gun and refer to those anti-230 activists in their defense. "Don't sue me, sue Smith & Wesson instead."

  • Oct 9th, 2020 @ 5:16pm

    (untitled comment)

    I still don't understand how "unprotected" has priority over "protected".
    If I criticize white men, that's wrong, but if I criticize white adult men, it's fine?

    There might be some logic here, but I don't see it.

  • Oct 9th, 2020 @ 2:40pm

    Re: Re: Re: I'm confused

    Note about the "destruction of evidence" part... that's actually not a valid concern in most forfeiture cases.
    The police is not holding on your property as evidence (though that is another nuisance they can use), which wouldn't change its ownership. Forfeiture is them taking ownership of a property, to use or resell as they want. They don't even need to start an actual investigation of the "crime" they accuse the property of being part of. So "evidence tampering" or "destruction of evidence" is not the problem.

  • Sep 23rd, 2020 @ 12:39pm

    (untitled comment)

    As some people commented above, I think trying to "correct" trolls and loudmouths out there is an exercise in futility... in normal times.
    They don't care what the law says or what it was intended to say. They care about what they want the law to say. Namely to let them engage in any outrageous behavior online and not face the consequences... or get millions in damages suing big social media companies for their hurt feelings at being "censored" (whatever the word means in their mind).

    The best thing to do, in normal times, is just to ignore those trolls and let the administration do its job... of ignoring trolls.

    Problem is that the current POTUS is the Troll in Chief. He believes in his and others' conspiracy theories which he broadcasts as widely as possible using his position, he wants to ramble on yelling his threat at anyone who ever hurt his fragile ego and he consistently lies about literally everything. Had he been anyone else, he would have been banned from all but the most permissive platforms. (And maybe even from these ones.) He's impossible to ignore and his example encourages others who now feel entitled to not being banned from anywhere, and expect the law to reflect this expectation.

    So Cox and Wyden do have to come up and explain (again) why section 230 is the way it is, and why it would be stupid and dangerous to alter it bluntly. What should have been useless and boring is now necessary for the sake of democracy.

  • Sep 21st, 2020 @ 12:18pm

    (untitled comment)

    There is a lot to be said on the subject, but I'll object to any credentials Dershowitz has in the domain of law.

    The only thing that would make a quid pro quo unlawful is if the quo were somehow illegal.

    Starting from there, he's already so very wrong. The quid and quo can both be perfectly legal, and the qui pro quo illegal. Quick example:

    • Giving money to someone is legal.
    • Voting for or against a specific law is legal.
    • Giving money in exchange for a vote on a given law is illegal. That's bribery, even in the US where most bribery (aka lobbying) is legal provided you don't make it specific. (You can bribe a politician as incentive to vote your way in general, but not for a specific vote. That's stupid, but you have the SCOTUS to thanks/blame for that.)

    Where did he go to law school?

  • Sep 17th, 2020 @ 4:11pm

    (untitled comment)

    The cops argued there's no constitutional duty to disclose this information (under the US Constitution or the Commonwealth's) unless failing to do so would alter the outcome of the trial by creating reasonable doubt where none previously existed.

    So how is that supposed to work?
    They do a trial, and if the accused is declared guilty then the liars are to be exposed?
    Or is the prosecutor supposed to guess the outcome of the trial with and without the disclosure, and only disclose if it makes a difference?

    You can't tell me this is an actual standard.

    ... (Reading the decision of the Court)

    Glad to know it actually is not.

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