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Comment: This is probably going to sound elitist but..... (Score 1) 700

by doubledown00 (#48976309) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Pros and Cons of Homeschooling?
.......your wife doesn't sound academically qualified to be the sole instructor for your child. I say that as someone with two advanced degrees (I do not consider myself able to teach every topic at a high school level either). Now granted this presumably won't be an issue for awhile......say 7 or 8 years. And the obvious retort to this is that there will be a curriculum that she can teach from etc. But without the subject mastery, her ability would be hindered to offer further explanation when your child hits a snag. In short your wife would be one of those teachers that we all had who is reliant on reading verbatim from the "Instructor's Edition". Is that good education? Is that what you want for your kid?

If your wife wants to stay involved, she can bake brownies for the class.

Comment: Re:Court made the right decision (Score 0) 181

The standard contained in the Federal Rules of evidence is that an individual who "knew or should have known" about pending litigation is obligated to preserve evidence to the extent they are able. Most states have adopted these rules as their own although I don't know for sure about this specific state.

The late 2012 letter, while Indeed a letter and not a summons, is still sufficient to trigger the rules of evidence.

Exactly what he knew, when, and what the sanctions if any should be are up to the judge. In this case it sounds like the judge may also have a history with the Plaintiffs. That helps too.

Comment: Re:Presumption of innocence (Score 1) 181

Not this.

The accused is not bound to preserve any and all possessions that might be discoverable in litigation at a later date after even a rumour that the accused will become a party in a suit.

Evidence does not exist before probable cause defines the scope of what will constitute evidence, only after a motion to preserve evidence is filed.

1) When he received the notice to preserve evidence, the clock started running there and violations of civil rules became sanctionable.
2) Probable cause does not exist in civil cases.

Comment: Re:Presumption of innocence (Score 4, Insightful) 181

Well, it's a little more than "probably". They have to show a preponderance of evidence. It's not enough to say, "this guy's a big movie fan and had 200gig of downloads every month and never rented a movie or went to a theater, so he probably was pirating movies".

Preponderance of the evidence is a 51 percent standard......i.e. "more likely than not".
Barring any statutorily necessary elements of the Plaintiff's claims, if the jury finds that to be sufficient then the dude can be found liable. It's all circumstantial, certainly. But I have guys doing decades of prison time based on circumstantial evidence, and that was "beyond a reasonable doubt". With what you lay out above, I could *easily* see a jury making a few key inferences and finding liability in that.

Never try and predict what the 12 geniuses in the box will or will not do.

Comment: Re:Court made the right decision (Score 1) 181

Defendant received notice of this lawsuit at the beginning of October 2012. []Defendant, however, did not destroy the hard drive until “late February 2013.” [] Thus, almost five months passed between the time that Defendant learned of the lawsuit and Defendant’s destruction of the hard drive. Had Defendant truly wished to hide adverse information, the Court finds it unlikely that Defendant would have waited nearly five months to destroy such information. Instead, Defendant’s continued use of the hard drive for the months after he learned of the litigation suggests that the hard drive contained no information to hide at all, or that Defendant did not intend to hide any such information.

That's one interpretation. Another has been suggested earlier in this forum that he chalked it up to a scare tactic and didn't think anything had come of it. If this case goes to depositions then more will be revealed about that.

Comment: Re:Pretty Fine Line There (Score 1) 181

You have this backwards. The accused is presumed innocent until proven otherwise (the wishes of copyright holders notwithstanding). The burden of proof is thus upon Malibu Media to prove he knew about their intent to sue before he had the drive recycled. Personally I would say a mailed notice from Comcast is insufficient - lots of us have gotten those, whether correctly or in error, and nothing has happened. So it's insufficient to act as a notice to preserve evidence. I'd say a certified notification letter which must be followed through with an actual lawsuit or settlement is the minimum. Another party should not have the power to compel me to modify my behavior (hang onto equipment I'd otherwise throw out) for the mere cost of a 49 cent stamp.

1) Civil court is not a case of "guilty or innocent". It is a manner of "liable or not liable" and to what degree.
2) It is not accurate that the Defendant had no burden. This was a discovery abuse motion. The initial burden is on Malibu to prove that a violation of evidence rules occurred (this is a low and easily met burden). *After* they have met that burden, the burden shifts to the Defendant to put on any defenses or to refute the assertion.
3) The rules of evidence state that one has committed discovery abuse if evidence is disposed of after someone "knew or should have known" that litigation was pending. Yes, attorneys many times make threats. Yes most of the time they are just talking noise. But don't kid yourself. A notice to preserve evidence *is* enforceable. The recipient ignores it at their own peril.

Comment: Re:Uninformed court? (Score 1) 181

If the plaintiff can't show that there was (not say that there probably was) evidence on the drive, then the court should bloody well assume there wasn't (assumption of innocence and all that nonsense....)

This is a civil case. "Innocent until proven guilty" does not apply. Instead the issue is one of "liable or not liable". Further it is not a binary yes / no but rather a percentage of fault scale. Subject to notable exceptions the Plaintiff must prove that the Defendant is liable via a preponderance of the evidence (51% or more).

Comment: Whew! (Score 0) 181

Thank goodness the judge doesn't understand technology or that defendant would have been screwed.
"Yes your honor, hard drives are merely mysterious magical containers of stuff with no alternative method of recovery."

From a tactical standpoint the defendant avoided default. Sure he may have saved himself from them seeing exactly what he had downloaded. However he isn't out of the woods yet as other sanctions are possible. For example the Plaintiff could secure jury instructions that the jury is to assume that there was pirated material on the drive. Or the judge could hand down discovery sanctions such as fines, limits on what discovery the Defendant can do, etc.

I would expect that the Plaintiffs will explore these avenues soon enough.

Disclaimer: IAAL.

Comment: It's situation specific (Score 1) 213

by doubledown00 (#45757073) Attached to: Ask Slashdot: Can Commercial Hardware Routers Be Trusted?
Start by evaluating what you have and whom you wish to keep it away from. If you have classified data that a national security apparatus wants, do what a poster up-thread suggested and keep it offline (also, stay the hell away from me). If your data is less sensitive, then evaluate your security posture using a multi-tiered approach. Assume all routers can be compromised and treat them as the first line of defense. Evaluate where you data sits (cloud based versus local) and how it is transferred (encrypted versus non). Evaluate your own work flows in determining how the data is potentially vulnerable.

You can build your own fortress unto yourself if you want to, but at the end of the day even if you're sharing with other fortress entities you will still end up having to send data across untrusted lines. Some of those lines are run by people who don't have your privacy interests at heart. So knowledge and common sense are still your best defenses.

Comment: Sure, if you do no real actual work. (Score 1) 453

by doubledown00 (#45595817) Attached to: The Desktop Is Dead, Long Live the Desktop!
When I can have multiple monitors going, with legal research on one screen and MS Word on the other, and am able to type text quickly with a reasonable keyboard......then I'll believe the desktop / laptop is dying.

Until then tablets and smart phones are for surfing the web, putzing around on facebook, and doing minor work tasks. Productivity is still the domain of the PC.

What good is a ticket to the good life, if you can't find the entrance?