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Comment: Re:So what, the DC are gonna be gatekeepers now ? (Score 4, Insightful) 175

"Ignorance is no excuse." ...ahem...even if there's no possible, reasonable, or legal way of ever knowing.

I believe the phrase is "Ignorance of the law is no excuse." It means that if you willfully commit an act, and that act happens to be illegal, then you are criminally liable even if you didn't know the act in question is illegal. That is to say, you don't have to have to form an intent to break the law, you merely have to form an intent (and act on that intent) to commit some action, and that action has to be illegal.

What's at issue here isn't ignorance of the law, but ignorance of the facts, and that, oftentimes, is an excuse. Although possession of child pornography is illegal in most jurisdictions, almost all the statues generally say something along the lines of "it is unlawful to knowingly possess...". There is a very practical reason for this: absent the word "knowingly", anyone could simply e-mail anyone else some images that are illegal, and the recipient could be criminally liable for possession even if they hit the delete key immediately upon seeing it. Defendants could e-mail such images to prosecutors and judges and said prosecutors and judges would be guilty of the same crime the defendant is accused of.

So it is very relevant here whether or not the owners, administrators, or employees of the data storage service knew that they were storing child pornography.

Comment: Re:Co-Conspirators? (Score 1) 188

by BitterOak (#49051197) Attached to: MegaUpload Programmer Pleads Guilty, Gets a Year In Prison

From my understanding, the government will have to show that: A) That the purpose (or at least one purpose of the site) was to aid copyright infringement (or other illegal thing) B) That this guy knew about the purpose, even if he tried to pretend he didn't. I'm guessing that they won't have any problem convincing a jury of (A), and he emailed someone a screenshot of his computer watching a pirated video on MEGAVIDEO.COM, so I don't think they'll have much trouble with part (B), either.

I don't think they have to prove actual knowledge if your activities facilitated the crime. I think they need only prove a lesser "subjective test": that is "would a reasonable person have known that their work was facilitating crime?". This kind of reasonable person test is commonly used so that people can't use a "blind eye" defense. Willfully turning a blind eye to criminal activity doesn't absolve you if you were actively participating.

Comment: Re:A programmer arrested for © infringement? (Score 1) 188

by BitterOak (#49051157) Attached to: MegaUpload Programmer Pleads Guilty, Gets a Year In Prison

Isn't a programmer an employee doing what he is requested to do - and anyway making programmes does not infringe copyright laws.

Not directly, but it does facilitate infringement which is what is needed in a conspiracy charge. It's similar to working as receptionist for a hit man or something like that. If your job activities facilitate crime, you can be charged.

Comment: Re:That'll stop the terrorists! (Score 1) 236

by BitterOak (#48919271) Attached to: White House Drone Incident Exposes Key Security Gap

Because nobody with bad intentions defies FAA guidelines.

No, but at least they could be caught and stopped for defying those regulations hopefully before they do too much damage. If you don't even have those regulations in place, then you can't really do anything but watch and wait for them to do something more serious.

Comment: Re:First Sale (Score 2, Informative) 468

First sale doctrine doesn't obligate Ubisoft to honor the key.

Exactly right! What a lot of people don't understand is that the First Sale Doctrine is a defense not an offense. In other words, if you buy a copyrighted item, like a book, and resell it, the First Sale Doctrine protects you from getting successfully sued by the copyright holder for doing so. In other words, it is a defense. It does not however, put any obligations on the publisher to provide any support to ensure that these later customers can use the product. I'm not saying Ubisoft is doing the right thing here, but this really has nothing to do with the First Sale Doctrine.

Comment: Re:This guy is a crank. (Score 5, Informative) 81

by BitterOak (#48882497) Attached to: Quantum Computing Without Qubits

Classified information is purely a product of the government. They can't just classify information produced by citizens (citation: the first fucking ammendment, you dumbass crank).

Actually they can and have done so in the past, primarily in the field of cryptography, a field for which quantum computers might have important applications, so his fears are not unfounded.

Comment: Re:The Dangers of the World (Score 1) 784

by BitterOak (#48833319) Attached to: Parents Investigated For Neglect For Letting Kids Walk Home Alone

I do not know about Maryland in specific, but I have an Aunt that is a Guardian Ad Litem for children in another state. As soon as CPS is involved, you as a parent are essentially fucked.

Actually, it's the kids who are fucked. Sometimes literally, as children are much more likely to be sexually abused in a foster home than by real parents. (That's not to say MOST foster parents abuse kids; they don't. Most are very good people. But kids are statistically more likely to be abused in that way by non-parental guardians than by parents.)

Comment: Re:WTF (Score 1) 319

No, freedom of speech is the freedom to offend (or rather, "criticize") your government.

That's absolute poppycock. I can't fathom how you were modded up to +5. According to your logic, in the US, if the Democrats are in power, no one is allowed to criticize Republicans and vice versa because they're not the governing party. Political debate, which is at the heart of free speech, would become impossible.

Comment: Re:It may not be a lie. (Score 1) 172

you comment is completely wrong. Any court would first ask, why the fuck are you suing here when the action took place in another country, when you answer that you did sue there they would throw your case out, potentially with costs awarded to who you were suing. If this sort of thing was allowed companies and especially patent troll type companies would be launching suits all over the world to try to cash in as much as they could.

But if the files are being shared on Bittorrent, they're being made available to every country in the world, and these could all be regarded as separate instances of infringement.

"Nature is very un-American. Nature never hurries." -- William George Jordan