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Movies

IMDb Ignores New Law Banning It From Publishing Actors' Ages Online, Cites Free Speech Violations (betanews.com) 218

Back in September, the state of California passed a new law that banned sites that offer paid subscriptions, and allow people to post resumes, from publishing individuals' ages. It's a law that has the potential to affect many sites, but it is the Internet Movie Database (IMDb) that hit the headlines. From a report: IMDb was told to remove actors' ages from the site by 1 January, 2017, but the site has failed to take any action. A full week into 2017, IMDb has not only chosen to ignore the new law, but has also filed a lawsuit in a bid to stop California from implementing Assembly Bill No. 1687. The reason? IMDb believes that the law is a violation of the First Amendment and it says the state has "chosen instead to chill free speech and to undermine access to factual information of public interest" rather than trying to tackle age-discrimination in a more meaningful way.

Comment Re: Who cares? (Score 1) 502

because its a giant scam you imbecile.

Duh? That's why everyone wants something done about it. Externalizing pollution to get an easy subsidy isn't merely a scam, it's an old and obvious scam.

The trouble is, everyone does it. If I tell you to stop scamming everyone, then you'll tell me to stop scamming everyone. It's all well and fine for me to try to stop paying for your subsidy, but you better keep on paying mine!

Comment Re:I still don't get it. (Score 1) 128

How was it NOT extortion before the law?

I haven't found the text of the law to read, but I can guess.

I used to work for a place where, in the late 1980s and early 1990s we would occasionally sell ransomware to clients who had iffy credit. Pay your bill every month, and we'd send you an update to our software. Stop paying or don't install your update, and a time bomb would go off: it fails to start. The software's data wasn't encrypted or anything, but it was in a proprietary undocumented form, so it was effectively unusable. (Unless you set back your machine's clock, which would have some annoying consequences for data entry speed.)

I think what we were doing would probably be considered ransomware to most people.

The reason I wouldn't call that extortion, is that the client would agree to it beforehand (and without any coercion or duress) and they would get something of value (our software) in exchange that they previously didn't have. Don't wanna do it? Don't sign the license agreement. (Yes, back in those days, a license was actually a real contract, and customers would sign it and we'd put it in a filing cabinet. No after-the-fact "surprise! you didn't really buy this in spite of having thought so at the time you parted with your money!")

I think what we were doing would probably not be considered extortion to most people. (But I'm still glad I don't do that anymore.)

Comment Re:Bigoted much? (Score 1) 404

Expelling diplomats and seizing property is outrageous behavior if it's believed that it was done for no reason.

Not really. What the administration did was actually pretty much the least retaliation they can do. On MSNBC, they asked an analyst what the actions were on a 1-to-10 scale and it was called a 1, maybe a 2.

There's not much else less severe that could have been done.

Comment Retaliation..again (Score 3, Insightful) 821

This is like groundhog day. Putin very likely struck out at Sec. Clinton because of the damage her claim that the 2011 elections in Russia were illegitimate. That claim from the United States, by the way, is effectively like what Russia is accused of doing in 2016 - interfering in national elections of a rival.

This is a fools game. Retaliating by interfering in Russian politics will simply invite more of the same. There is no sense of balance or proportionality here.

It would have been nice for the Obama administration to have done a policy change here at the end, that put some teeth into a rule that prohibits the United States from interferring in the elections or politics of any foreign nation. But of course that's not in the cards.

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