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Comment Re:Horsecrap indeed (Score 1) 273

While I like your cornfield metaphor, I'm not sure it captures the truth. There are many talented lawyers working in the class action field, and arbitration agreements are almost universally accepted as a 'pro-business' stance that courts have made over the past decade: the courts realize that unless you create a forum that is favorable to corporate interests (Arbitration Companies) and allow contract offerors to funnel disputes into them, the companies that handily pay gross receipts tax to states will have less money, and the courts will have less money after devoting more of their time to cases that will get removed to federal court anyway. So in the end, it's politics, not legal skills, that are the determinant here.

Comment uh... (Score 2) 20

Isn't this article the same one that came out to accompany google's "ngrams" ( lab? I don't think these guys are trying to make generalizations about culture in general; they are only raising the possibility that, even with a small (4% of the total published) sample, interesting queries and surveys of human (although in this case Anglophone) culture can be made.

Comment exaggerations sell newspapers (Score 1) 530

Apple et. al. will do with the carriers just what they did with the music licensing companies: pay them off. Consumers will need to be taught that an iPad with 4g connectivity is actually worth $1500 instead of $500, but they are a docile sort, ready to accept any script Jobs reads. The real danger is that the American consumer will not have the money when the time comes to pay up; but that's a non-start.

Comment Re: Properly Served? (Score 1) 70

You grossly overestimate the US court system's ability to take the things you list into consideration when the plaintiff cites some actual legal precedent and sends lawyers to court (and the defense does not, for in this case obvious reasons). the US legal system is built on adversarial mediation; hence the court is biased towards a form of mediation in which both parties are represented. It's not the judge's job to consider the moral/legal implications of a particular judgement, it's the job of the respective plaintiff/defendant's legal representative(s). The judge here is not guilty of any sort of negligence it's the precedent that he must obey. If it is anyone's job to ensure that censorship like this does not happen again. This responsibility lies on the shoulders of those concerned citizens (you, me, slashdot, and wider nerd-dom) who must translate their political will into votes for those presidential candidates and congresspersons who will work towards the repeal of the sort of predatory and fascistic legal policies implemented during the reign of George II.
The Courts

Submission + - US DOJ Defends RIAA's $9250-per-file verdict (

NewYorkCountryLawyer writes: "In what has been dubbed "the Bush administration's most blatant support of the commercial music industry yet", the United States Department of Justice has intervened in the Capitol v. Thomas case, on the side of the RIAA and against Ms. Thomas, filing a brief (pdf) which defends the constitutionality of the $9250-per-song-file jury verdict. The Government justified the award by arguing that the damages awarded "were not 'so severe and oppressive as to be wholly disproportioned to the offense or obviously unreasonable'", and that "it is impossible to calculate the damages caused by a single infringement, particularly for infringement that occurs over the internet"."

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