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Comment Bad policy yes, slippery slope... not really. (Score 4, Interesting) 305

It's just another tax on something that shouldn't be taxed... We already get taxed on ramen noodles, water, gasoline, cheeseburgers, cable television, telephones, and almost everything else.

If you're worried about a slippery slope, please glance downward at the icy incline and the skates on your feet.

It is kinda stupid to justify as way to pay for fighting "online crime". Why don't they levy an additional tax on retail sales and call it the "shoplifter arrest and incarceration tax".

Comment It's their content and their business. (Score 1) 355

If you don't want it, don't factor it into your decision of who to buy internet access from. Conversely, if you DO want it, then DO factor it into your decision. If it's not available from any of the ISPs in your area, that's a cross you may have to bear.

Some ISPs provide free usenet access that a lot of people don't use.

Some ISPs provide free antivirus software that a lot of people don't use.

Some ISPs provide 24 hour tech support for home networks that a lot of people don't use.

I don't need any of things, but I'm not bitching about the fact that my ISP provides them to the customers who do find these things useful.

Comment Re:Who is this guy, & why does he not want to (Score 1) 333

Undoubtedly, the things they want to ask Oppenheim about have nothing to do with his work as a lawyer, they have to do with his work as a "principal" of the record companies, which he has himself represented himself to be.

How is that likely to reveal any relevant information in a lawsuit that alleges a copyright violation?

I know it's a pretty loose standard for what is discoverable, but I don't see what they're getting at.

Comment Re:Who is this guy, & why does he not want to (Score 1) 333

'. . . has acted as attorney of record for the record companies in several proceedings in Washington, D.C.'

So, if he represents the interests of the artists, (ahem), why is he - or his legal team, taking such extraordinary steps to avoid testifying?

If he is their attorney, one might wonder what it is that they intend to ask which would not be covered by the attorney-client privilege.

Comment Typical knee-jerk Slashdot reaction. (Score 1) 180

You can't go online and lie about someone falsifying billing records any more than you can put a full-page ad in the newspaper about it. It's called libel, and that's what the guy is being sued for.

I'm not saying the guy is lying or that the suit is justified. I don't know. Neither does anyone else here. Answering that question is what trials are for. Whether he's a quack or not, the chiropractor has a right to clear his name of these accusations if they are not true.

Freedom of Speech doesn't allow you to run out into the street and scream that your pharmacist is a child molester, unless he is.

Comment Re:Shit (Score 1) 568

"Lori Drew is guilty of causing the death of an impressionable child who was not quite old enough to understand life and responsibility and consequence. She abused her position as a parent and an adult, and maliciously manipulated a child into killing herself. Just because the prosecution could not convict her of this, does not mean she did not do this. You can't use the Jersey Defense here, that Everything is legal as long as you don't get caught."

Of course they couldn't convict her of that. It's not a crime to do what she did, but for the fact that she used a pseudonym. If you want to make it a crime, pass a law and prosecute people who break it after the law takes effect.

Your Al Capone and "Jersey defense" comparisons are misplaced, and they have nothing to do with this case or this discussion.

Get a hold of yourself.

Comment Re:Shit (Score 2, Insightful) 568

"Yes, it is, if you use that pseudonym to chat with teenage girls and you encourage them to kill themselves and they follow through. Be very afraid."

That's not relevant to the crime she was charged with. If none of that had happened, she could still have been convicted.

This is an example of government using a bad law to reach a popular result. In this case, we tend to like the result, because it was used against a person who well and truly sucks.

If you trust that the government will never use these charges against people who don't well and truly suck, then you have more faith in the government than I do.

Comment Re:First thing the Bush admin did (Score 3, Informative) 179

"Clinton FCC" and "Bush FCC" are sort of misnomers. The FCC is an independent Federal agency that does not fall under the Executive branch.

Commissioners are appointed to five year terms by the President, with approval of the Senate. Once appointed, they are similar to Federal judges in that they may only be removed by impeachment (or the expiration of a term). The President has influence over who gets onto the Commission, but he cannot fire them or tell them what policy to make.

There is an additional check on the influence of the President in that no more than 3 of the 5 commissioners may be of the same political party. So the President can have some influence in who he appoints over time, but even if he gets two terms, he cannot completely alter the partisan make-up of the Commission.


Submission + - Fifth Amendment Ruling Protects Passwords 1

PhysicsPhil writes: A few websites (here, here and here) have reported on a recent ruling in US computer law. A federal magistrate judge in Vermont has ruled (PDF) that the Fifth Amendment right against self-incrimination protects a suspect against having to reveal his computer password. The case centres around a (legal) search of a Canadian man's laptop at a border crossing, during which evidence of encrypted child pornography was found. A grand-jury instruction to disclose the password was challenged on Fifth Amendment grounds, leading to this ruling. A columnist at has an article with legal analysis of some of the issues.

Judge Rules That I Own Slashdot 386

Bennett Haselton wrote in with this weeks amusing and shocking story of high finance, judicial discretion, and oh so much more... he writes "People still ask me if I make enough money suing spammers in Small Claims court to make it worthwhile. I say: What about the entertainment value? Recently I received an e-mail with the subject line: 'Reminder: Link exchange with your site' Finally, I thought, someone else who agrees that I'm carrying the site's entire success on my shoulders. I even hurried off to check the registration of the domain to see if they had made the transfer official in honor of my contributions, but apparently the domain is still being squatted by some outfit calling itself "SourceForge"." I'm shocked that a legitimate businessman would make such an error. Read on to see what Bennett does about it.

Microsoft Forces Desktop Search On Windows Update 579

An anonymous reader writes "The Register is reporting that the blogosphere is alight with accusations of Microsoft forcing Windows Desktop Search on networks via the 'automatic install' feature of Windows Update — even if they had configured their systems not to use the program. Once installed, the search program began diligently indexing C drives and entire networks slowed to a crawl."
GNU is Not Unix

Richard Stallman Proclaims Don't Follow Linus Torvalds 965

StonyandCher writes "Here is an interview with Richard Stallman about a range of free software topics including GPLv3 and comment on the Microsoft patent issue. Stallman has a go at Linus Torvalds even suggesting that if people want to keep their freedom they better not follow Torvalds. From the interview 'Stallman: The fact that Torvalds says "open source" instead of "free software" shows where he is coming from. I wrote the GNU GPL to defend freedom for all users of all versions of a program. I developed version 3 to do that job better and protect against new threats. Torvalds says he rejects this goal; that's probably why he doesn't appreciate GPL version 3. I respect his right to express his views, even though I think they are foolish. However, if you don't want to lose your freedom, you had better not follow him.'"

"The pyramid is opening!" "Which one?" "The one with the ever-widening hole in it!" -- The Firesign Theatre