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Comment The supply - demand model breaks down yet again. (Score 1) 940

Supply and demand only works efficiently when entities have a motivation to work towards the equilibrium price. In the event of a shortage, economic theory goes, the producers will be keen to create more supply because sales are going unfulfilled even though the entity is able to charge a higher price.

OPEC has figured out over the years that the above is not quite accurate. What we are seeing here (with rent and other goods such as new console releases) is that the producers have figured out that human behavior does not track with the economic models. If you sell your item at an artificially high cost and cause a "shortage", people will still pay it. And not only will they pay it, but they will line up and wait for their chance to pay it. Thus the producers are left with zero incentive to increase supply and lower what they can charge.

What is missing is the element of "greed", that is entities that want to get as many customers and market share as they can. If an oligargy takes over and they decide they are content with 95 percent occupancy and the current rate of return, then why would they add a lot of new capacity quickly? Doing so would just fuck up a good thing.

Comment Re:Law of supply and demand (Score 1) 285

No. The rate might not be too low. The rate might actual be the correct rate. Just because people aren't willing, or able, to work for that rate, does not mean that it is possibly or the correct decision to increase the labor's wage.

And in my opinion this story is a good example of the markets working properly. Consumers are willing to pay a certain amount for a good. The previous workers have better opportunities, and are deciding to stop working for the lower wage. The producers have accepted this, still want to produce the good, and have instead found other ways to ensure the cost of production meets the ability to sell it at a price that consumers are willing to pay.

1) Not being able to fill jobs at a given pay rate is the *classic* economic sign that the wages offered are too low. One of the farmers in the article said that people were not willing to move to the country to farm. This is further the classic case on non-incentivized labor. That quote says they know exactly what the problem is, the producers just aren't willing to remedy it with higher wages.

Personal commentary: They've been use to paying immigrant labor depressed wages for decades. Maybe they just believe that fruit pickers "shouldn't make that much" and the Mexicans are being uppity.

2) And you know what the consumer price cap for strawberries is? Please inform us, what is the price elasticity co-efficient of produce? And if indeed the farmers were to pay $3 - $5 an hour more for labor, how much exactly would that add to the price-per-unit of the goods?

First slaves, then "family farms", then Mexicans, and now possibly machines. From it's early days in the U.S. farmers have looked for ways to depress labor costs This trend continues today. The article linked to is filled with lazy quasi-economics and farmer fear mongering. One is well served to look outside the industry and it's participants to understand its true economics.

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

.......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.

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