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Comment: and... (Score 5, Insightful) 124

by Tom (#47435245) Attached to: "Internet's Own Boy" Briefly Knocked Off YouTube With Bogus DMCA Claim

as activists are all too aware, false copyright claims can can knock legitimate content offline.

As not only activists but almost everyone aware of the rampant abuse going on has been claiming for years, it is high time that the "under penalty of perjury" part of the DMCA claims is actually enforced. Mistakes can happen, nobody is perfect, but some companies have been taking down large amounts of content for years, repeatedly and with not even a slap on the wrist.

Comment: Re:Go Aereo! (Score 2) 133

If you sue someone for putting a fence on their lawn and screwing up your nice, pretty neighborhood with a fence--because fences are universally visually disruptive--and then sue them for not having a fence, something else is going on.

In this case, there are obvious business dynamics in play here. What those dynamics imply may not be obvious, but that the dynamics exist is blatant. A business raising conflicting lawsuits is obviously trying to play some kind of legal three card monty, and forcing the courts to rule another business as X and then coming to court to complain that the business cannot be X is exceedingly easy to hit with SLAPP rules: suddenly you have to show, before discovery, that you can reasonably win this case, all while you just won a case where a judge ruled that the thing you were previously demanding and that you are now against is in fact the thing that must be done. You've already won the case against this, and you are now bringing bullshit to court.

As for backtracking, it's extremely unlikely. I said it would be monumental; but it's possible. If the courts hit the plaintiffs with SLAPP, there opens an argument that the lower courts often sided against the final ruling or made opinions to the effect that their judgment was extremely borderline and the issue is unclear from both a legal and logical perspective. If that's the actual case, then the supreme court has a lot of opinion to take into account to re-evaluate its position: the supreme court could decide that the situation is not clear-cut and, although their opinion does lean in the direction of the prior ruling, it was never strong and there is no strong legal opinion in the courts in general.

In such a situation, the court can stretch this analysis to infer that the plaintiffs, having forced the defendant into a court-ordered position and then attacked the defendant in court from exactly the opposite position, were never interested in he legal position the courts were actually examining. Given that the courts aren't *exactly* sure how to approach that issue, the plaintiff's motives become much more important: to engage in long, drawn-out legal battles they don't have strong likelihood of winning.

Having one legal battle on a nebulous issue that's not well understood by legal precedent or statue is fair. This happens, it's a normal part of civil disputes. Going through all that and then immediately reversing your position and starting over signals to us that you're just trying to drag the defendant through as much legal bullshit as possible, which suddenly makes every suit you've filed the whole way up look like SLAPP. Ironically, there is neither precedent nor statute to guide the courts in matters where it becomes clear you've been abusing the court system for a very long time; if any such legal case does come up, it would end in a landmark decision telling us whether the statute of limitations is measured in years or in how far out the door you can get before the judge smells bullshit.

Comment: Re:Go Aereo! (Score 1) 133

If the companies raise a suit in the opposite direction, Aereo can point back at prior suits, enter in prior arguments against them as evidence, and try to classify the whole tirade as a SLAPP.

That is to say: Aereo can reference back that the same people suing them "because they're not a cable company" made arguments and successfully sued them "because they are a cable company." It can show the same entities suing them, successfully, with arguments diametrically opposed to the premise of the current case. It can then have the courts declare the lawsuits as strategic and not legal, and force them to repay legal fees.

Backtracking is harder. The Supreme Court sided against Aereo. I've read that the lower courts didn't have a firm decision, or that only one lower court found Aereo substantially similar to a rebroadcaster because Aereo is unicasting to individuals on a case-by-case basis. The debate is largely over whether Aereo's time and space shifting counts as copying content, or if they're logically and legally similar to a person renting a small space on your roof and putting an antenna and a small computer there.

Even given all that, it's hard to go back after you hit the Supreme Court. Aereo would have to appeal to the Supreme Court again, have them reverse their decision, then point back at the long history of suit and point forward at the sudden opposing suit and say, "Look, they sue us in any case, they're just being dicks," and get the courts to retroactively apply SLAPP and make the plaintiffs pay full legal fees all the way back. I don't think there's actually statute or precedent for any such thing; it would be monumental.

Comment: Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 1) 354

by techno-vampire (#47426969) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere
OK, I can understand that. I don't agree with it, but I understand it. And, the reason that I don't agree with it is that AFAIK there's nothing in Communist ideology that would dictate that type of conduct, any more than there's anything in Bushido that could be used to justify the Rape of Nanking. BTW, back in '71, I saw a documentary on that war that included some newsreel footage from Nanking; I'm still trying to forget some of the images.

Comment: Re:Stop throwing good money after bad. (Score 1) 354

by techno-vampire (#47426749) Attached to: The Pentagon's $399 Billion Plane To Nowhere
That was an ideological difference between the two that prevents the Germans from being willing to surrender German territory to the Soviets...

That wasn't the biggest reason that the Germans fought so much harder in the East during the final days of the war. They considered the Soviets to be little more than animals, and if you'll read accounts of how they acted, e.g., raping every female they found from 8 to 80, you'll see that the Germans were, to some extent, trying to make sure that they surrendered to the western allies, who they could trust to act in a civilized manner. Aside from that, I have no disagreement with your premise.

A computer scientist is someone who fixes things that aren't broken.