law

Two former models who are now special agents are on the trail of mobsters in possession of a music book that has the coded location of a chest of gold bullion

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Giving violators more punishment than they deserve can undermine the benefits of cooperative action. […] At the same time, imposing markedly less punishment than what a violator deserves creates disaffection and acrimony that also can subvert cooperation. In other words, it is not punishment that is needed to maintain social cooperation, but justice. […]

In 1848, the discovery of gold brought 300,000 men to California from all over the world. Yet this sudden mass of humanity lived without a functioning legal system. And if there had been a legal enforcement system, it was unclear what law it would enforce. […] Without a functional government, there were no licensing procedures, fees, or taxes to regulate gold prospecting. No miner worked land that he owned. Any prospector could join any mining camp at any time. Camp populations were heterogeneous: “Puritans and drunkards, clergymen and convict, honest and dishonest, rich and poor.” There was no common language, culture, or legal experience. […] The men shared a common set of needs, however. Each miner needed to be able to leave whatever he owned unguarded each day while he worked his claim. A miner who found gold needed to protect his find until he could convert it into cash or goods.

{ Paul H. Robinson/SSRN | Continue reading }

To restore silence is the role of objects

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The husband and wife team behind the handmade cosmetics company Lush – which this week won a high court battle against Amazon over its use of the word “lush” to sell rival cosmetics – has trademarked the name “Christopher North” as a brand name for a new range of toiletries, which could eventually extend to deodorants and hair removing cream. North is the managing director of Amazon.co.uk.

{ Guardian | Continue reading }

Josie Powell that was, prettiest deb in Dublin

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Typically, the loser of a bar fight who later initiates a lawsuit has been beaten up pretty badly, or at least has the medical bills to suggest significant personal injuries. The loser sues the bar on one of several theories — the most common ones being inadequate security, not having banned a patron known to have a history of fighting, bar employees initiating the violence, or bar employees responding to a situation with unreasonable force. But that’s the boring legal stuff. […]

Roughly equal numbers of men and women filed these lawsuits. […] Everyone I can remember had tattoos. […]

You might think that a bar fight is most commonly started between two guys fighting over a woman. That’s not so, at least not in my experience. Ejection seems to be a more precipitating event. More than half the bar fights I had to sort out started when a too-drunk patron was asked to leave and refused to do so. […]

Women were faster to employ weapons, whether prepared (the knife) or improvised. Improvised weapons are almost always thrown, and have included highball glasses, pool balls, bar stools, knives, and in one notable case, the assailant’s own feces.

{ ordinary-Times | Continue reading }

Two roads diverged and you took both

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Lawsuit Accuses Hit Show New Girl of “Blatant Plagiarism”

[…]

In documents obtained by The Hollywood Reporter, it’s clear Counts and Gold aren’t fucking around.

{ Defamer | Continue reading }

images { 1 | Jayne Mansfield, 1964 }

This is what happens when you find a stranger in the Alps

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A high-ranking FBI agent filed a sensitive internal manual detailing the bureau’s secret interrogation procedures with the Library of Congress, where anyone with a library card can read it. […]

“A document that has not been released does not even need a copyright,” says Steven Aftergood, a government secrecy expert at the Federation of American Scientists. “Who is going to plagiarize from it? Even if you wanted to, you couldn’t violate the copyright because you don’t have the document. It isn’t available.”

{ Mother Jones | Continue reading }

‘It is always the unreadable that occurs.’ –Oscar Wilde

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Damnatio memoriae is the Latin phrase literally meaning “condemnation of memory” in the sense of a judgment that a person must not be remembered. […] The intent was to erase someone from history, a task somewhat easier in ancient times, when documentation was much sparser. […]

Any truly effective damnatio memoriae would not be noticeable to later historians, since, by definition, it would entail the complete and total erasure of the individual in question from the historical record.

{ Wikipedia | Continue reading }

It’s your beliefs about the world that cause distress, not the world itself

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Woman fined $3500 for leaving a negative review online. […] Apparently, she violated a non-disparagement agreement hidden within the terms of sale.

{ Gawker| Continue reading }

twophrasebark
Just because something is in the terms of agreement does not make it legal. Or binding.

lobstr
Exactly — what’s to stop them from picking “$1,000,000″ instead of the arbitrary amount of “$3,500″ as the fine?

Sue–Asponte
Not to mention that the husband is the one that signed it so it never bound the wife. Not to mention, further, that the contract was probably void when the purpose of the agreement wasn’t fulfilled when the couple didn’t get their crap.

olal
According to reports from Techdirt, it would appear that the company didn’t even have this clause up when the woman made the order. It seems that years later, after having their rating ruined, they added this clause and then threatened these customers retroactively.

{ Gawker/Comments | Continue reading }

related { Your Phone Number Is Going To Get A Reputation Score }

Master the art of making potions

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{ giveitbackto.us | See also: US Government Shutdown: Good News For Patent Trolls }

The ‘non-’ in non-philosophy, of course, is not a negation

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Who knew Martha Stewart had it in for patent trolls? The decorating queen’s media empire has filed a lawsuit to crush Lodsys, a shell company that claims the Martha Stewart Weddings iPad app infringes its patents.

In case you’re unfamiliar with Lodsys, the firm — which doesn’t make any products or do anything other than sue people — gained infamy two years ago by launching a wave of legal threats against small app makers, demanding they pay for using basic internet technology like in-app purchases or feedback surveys.
Many of the app companies, which are usually one or two-person operations, simply capitulate and agree to hand over a portion of their revenues rather than go up against Lodsys’ battery of lawyers and a Texas jury. But not Martha.
In a complaint filed this week in federal court in Wisconsin, Martha Stewart Living Omnimedia asked a judge to declare that four magazine iPad apps are not infringing Lodsys’ patents, and that the patents are invalid because the so-called inventions are not new.

The complaint explained how Lodsys invited the company to “take advantage of our program” by buying licenses at $5,000 apiece. It also calls the Wisconsin court’s attention to Lodsys’ involvement in more than 150 Texas lawsuits.

In choosing to sue Lodsys and hopefully crush its patents, Martha Stewart is choosing a far more expensive option than simply paying Lodsys to go away. The good news is that the decorating maven has some unlikely allies in the campaign: tech rivals Google and Apple are also lining up against Lodsys in an effort to protect the app developers, and the Electronic Frontier Foundation this week filed an anti-Lodsys brief of its own.

{ Gigaom | Continue reading }

photo { Diane Arbus, Woman on the Street With Two Men, NYC, 1956 }

The path of the righteous man is beset on all sides by the inequities of the selfish and the tyranny of evil men

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“Chris,” a Chicago high school student and gang member and gunslinger, explains exactly how easy it is for he and his fellow gang members to obtain firearms, even if they have criminal records:

“I will make a call and say I need a gun. I will ride down the street on my bike and get it — five minutes.” . . . Chris calls them the “gun guys.” The cops have another name for them: “straw purchasers.”

“Gun guys” have clean records allowing them to obtain Illinois firearm owner’s identification cards. With FOID cards, they can legally buy guns at stores in the suburbs.
Then they illegally sell them to gang members banned from owning guns because of their criminal backgrounds.

Most of the guns recovered in crimes in Chicago were bought in suburban gun stores, according to a new University of Chicago Crime Lab study of police gun-trace data.

As Chris points out, many of these straw purchasers’ full-time job is trading on their clean criminal record to buy guns and then resell them at a markup to dangerous felons. Such professional straw purchasers should be easy to catch. Because federal law requires most gun purchasers to undergo criminal background checks before they can buy a firearm, it should be an easy matter for law enforcement to check whether the same person is purchasing guns over and over and over again.

Except that the so-called “Tiahrt Amendments” thwart such checks by requiring the Justice Department to destroy the record of any gun buyer whose purchase was approved within 24 hours. As a result, law enforcement is often blind to straw purchasers who are flooding the streets with guns right under their noses.

Nor is this the only aspect of federal law that “gun guys” can take advantage of. An estimated 10 percent of all guns used in a crime by juveniles were sold at a gun show or flea market where many of the dealers do not have to conduct criminal background checks on their customers. Indeed, federal officials are often forced to charge straw purchasers with paperwork violations due to the absence of an appropriate law criminalizing unlicensed gun trafficking.

{ Think Progress | Continue reading }

related { Another responsible gun owner just doing his thing }

Inventors of the Accu-jack

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Eyewitness error is the leading cause of wrongful felony convictions. For example, eyewitness error played a role in 72% of the 302 DNA exoneration cases, and it is estimated that one-third of eyewitnesses make an erroneous identification. In this article, we discuss why jurors and legal professionals have difficulty evaluating eyewitness testimony. We also describe the I-I-Eye method for analyzing eyewitness testimony, and a scientific study of the I-I-Eye method that shows it can improve jurors’ ability to assess eyewitness accuracy.

{ The Jury Expert | Continue reading }

‘Never argue with an idiot. They will bring you down to their level and beat you with experience.’ –George Carlon

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Forget patenting an invention. These days, companies patent conceptual categories for future inventions.

During the first dot-com boom, Amazon famously patented the concept of buying things online with one click. More recently, companies have patented concepts such as scanning documents to an e-mail account, clearing checks electronically and sending e-mail over a wireless network.

The problem with these kinds of abstract patents is that lots of people will independently discover the same basic concept and infringe by accident. Then the original patent holder — who may not have come up with the concept first, or even turned the concept into a usable technology — can sue. That allows for the kind of abusive litigation that has been on the rise in recent years.

A lawsuit over an Internet advertising patent offered a key appeals court an opportunity to rein in these abstract patents. Instead, the court gave such patents its endorsement on Friday, setting the stage for rampant patent litigation to continue unchecked.

A firm called Ultramercial claims to have invented the concept of showing a customer an ad instead of charging for content. The company has sought royalties from a number of Web sites, including Hulu and YouTube. Ultramercial’s patent isn’t limited to any specific software algorithm, server configuration or user interface design. If you build a Web site that follows the general business strategy claimed by the patent, Ultramercial thinks you owe them money.

{ Washington Post | Continue reading }