You can taste with your balls! (Source)
By Jay Wolman
Shameless plug: I appeared on Fox 25 Boston last night discussing issues relating to privacy rights and personal use drones that take surveillance video.
Link to the article, with video, is here: http://www.myfoxboston.com/story/21202581/2013/02/14/privacy-concerns-rise-as-personal-drone-market-expands
And a companion piece I wrote: http://www.bostonbusinesslitigation.com/technology/unmanned-drones-and-the-right-to-privacy/
If you don’t already know who Carlos Miller is, you should. You are more free because Miller won’t let newsgathering and photography die under the wheels of a paranoid nation, shrieking with fear at imaginary terrorists, and hiring policies in police departments that seem to favor people with personality disorders that would make Eric Cartman blush.
Miller’s crusade began a few years ago, when he photographed some Miami-Dade officers standing around on the street. Arrested for his “crime,” Miller beat the rap. Then, he did it again, and was convicted, but won his case on appeal, despite representing himself. (source). Since then, Miller has refused to back down when challenged by police officers, TSA Agents, and rent-a-cops who think that they are above the law. He recently beat another charge, over dishonest testimony by the Miami-Dade cops. (source)
Anyone with even a half a brain knows that Miller’s conduct is legal. However, as his case requiring an appeal shows us, judges don’t aways give a shit about the law. And, when a judge and a prosecutor team up to spank a citizen for not respecting authority, that citizen can face serious repercussions. Miller faced incarceration and financial ruin, and does again and again, when he refuses to back down in the face of a pig screaming “respect my authoritah.”
Do you have balls that big?
Last night, Miller was at it again. Taking pictures. For this “crime,” a bunch of gutter swine decided that it was time to punish him. He has a history with “50 state security.” He is involved in a lawsuit against them for violating his rights. Funny enough, they decided to rough him up last night.
As a First Amendment lawyer, I occasionally get mail from people saying really nice things about what I do. I stick up for the Constitution. I stick up for people whose rights have been violated. But, I do so in a pretty cushy way. Yeah, I wind up not getting paid for my work a lot of times, since I can’t turn down a good First Amendment story. Sometimes I even get threatened by opposing counsel when I outclass them in terms of professionalism and ability. Sometimes, I agree to help someone on a pro bono basis, and they turn on me because they want to prove that no good deed goes unpunished. Back in 2006 or so, I had a redneck display a gun to me, to warn me that representing a “dirty bookstore” in his town ran afoul of his christian principles. I have gotten my share of threatening phone calls and emails.
But, I’ve never been locked in handcuffs for the First Amendment.
I’ve never faced financial ruin and imprisonment for the cause.
I’ve never shed actual blood for it.
Miller has done all of the above.
Because someone has to.
Someone has to say “no” to the flunkies and the petty little tyrants who incrementally chip away at our liberties. Someone has to have the courage to put his liberty and his personal safety on the line. That someone is Carlos Miller.
And Carlos Miller is my hero. He should be yours too.
Denham Springs, Louisiana resident Sarah Childs was in a dispute with her neighbors. So she exercised her First Amendment rights and created a special holiday message just for them.
The neighbors were not happy about this and complained. A lot. And Miss Sarah fought back. Source.
I’ve composed this Christmas poem just for her.
‘Twas the month before Christmas and all through the ‘hood
The neighbors all gossiped that Sarah’s no good.
Angry and tired her response did not linger
A Holiday light show comprised of a finger.
“Outrageous! Offensive! How dare she!” They whined
They called the cops and so she was fined.
She took down the show and felt quite dejected
Until the ACLU interjected.
The attack on free speech is a thing that’s quite shitty
So Sarah fought back and they sued the city.
The cops and the mayor remained so undaunted
that Miss Sarah’s steps from then on were haunted.
“I know what we’ll do!” Said the city with glee.
“We’ll make her sorry! You wait and see!”
A citation here and a ticket there
So much to the point that it’s hard not to care.
A wonderful plan was retaliation
Until they got nailed for a rights violation.
The lights went back up this time on the double
And this for poor Sarah was nothing but trouble.
The neighbors began to snivel and wail
This time they tried to throw her in jail!
The lights came down alas one more time,
It seemed all was lost- those fiends! That slime!
But the judge took her side and told the city to suck it
That First Amendment-ain’t no way you can duck it.
And all through the town her message rang true,
“Happy Christmas to all and to all a fuck you!”
Python hunting contest in the Everglades! (source)
Rick Santorum got a little more than the coffee he was expecting from his mobile phone app.
n00b reveal update: Turns out this is satire (see comment below from Aaron W below). Still funny as hell, though.
By J. DeVoy.
“What what, in the butt?” was the question recently before justices Easterbrook, Cudahy and Hamilton in the appeal of Brownmark Films LLC v. Comedy Partners from the Eastern District of Wisconsin. (Opinion) At issue was whether South Park’s interpretation of Samwell’s “What What In The Butt,” as performed by Butters in the episode “Canada on Strike,” was non-infringing fair use under 17 U.S.C. § 107. More interestingly, though, was that Comedy Partners raised the defense on a 12(b)(6) motion to dismiss – without any discovery or opportunity therefor (see FRCP 56(d), formerly Rule 56(f)). The Eastern District of Wisconsin agreed that South Parks’ rendition of What What In the Butt was fair use, and dismissed the Complaint at the pleading stage.
Brownmark did not include the original What What In the Butt video, nor South Park’s adaptation, in its Complaint. South Park Digital Studios did, however, attach both videos to its motion to dismiss, relying on the incorporation by reference doctrine. On appeal, the Seventh Circuit resolved this issue in South Park’s favor:
Because the claim was limited to the production and distribution of a single episode, the district court was correct to rely solely on the two expressive works referenced in Brownmark’s amended complaint and attached to SPDS’s motion, as well as the allegations in the complaint, to decide on the fair use defense.
SPDS relies on the incorporation-by-reference doctrine to maintain that reliance on the attached works does not violate Rule 12(d), which requires that Rule 12(b)(6) or 12(c) motions containing materials outside of the pleadings be converted into motions for summary judgment. It is well settled that in deciding a Rule 12(b)(6) motion, a court may consider “documents attached to a motion to dismiss . . . if they are referred to in the plain- tiff’s complaint and are central to his claim.” Wright v. Assoc. Ins. Cos. Inc., 29 F.3d 1244, 1248 (7th Cir. 1994). In effect, the incorporation-by-reference doctrine provides that if a plaintiff mentions a document in his complaint, the defendant may then submit the document to the court without converting defendant’s 12(b)(6) motion to a motion for summary judgment. The doctrine prevents a plaintiff from “evad[ing] dismissal under Rule 12(b)(6) simply by failing to attach to his complaint a document that prove[s] his claim has no merit.” Tierney v. Vahle, 304 F.3d 734, 738 (7th Cir. 2002). (Op. at 5)
But the Seventh Circuit noted a curious wrinkle to this analysis:
While the application of this doctrine to the present case would seem to allow SPDS’s action, no court of appeals has ruled that the content of television programs and similar works may be incorporated by reference. Several district courts have concluded that the doctrine does apply to such works. See, e.g., Burnett v. Twentieth Century Fox, 491 F. Supp. 2d 962, 966 (C.D. Cal. 2007); Zella v. E.W. Scripps Co., 529 F. Supp. 2d 1124, 1131-32 (C.D. Cal. 2007); Daly v. Viacom, 238 F. Supp. 2d 1118, 1121-22 (N.D. Cal. 2002). And we think it makes eminently good sense to extend the doctrine to cover such works, especially in light of technological changes that have occasioned widespread production of audio-visual works. The parties, however, did not brief this issue, and so we reserve the resolution of the question for a later date. (Op. at 5-6)
Ultimately finding that the Eastern District of Wisconsin was within its jurisdiction to grant dismissal, the appellate court engages in a relatively truncated fair use analysis under the four factors of 17 U.S.C. § 107. The reason for the brevity?
Since Brownmark never opposed SPDS’s fair use argument in the district court, we consider the argument waived. (Op. at 9)
Ouch. And, since it’s the Seventh Circuit, that means automatically shifting attorney’s fees and costs under 17 U.S.C. § 505. What What In the Butt, Indeed.
Perhaps the overlooked gem of this opinion is that the Seventh Circuit has forever enshrined my favorite South Park meme: Internet Money.
The South Park Elementary school boys—Cartman, Stan, Kyle and But- ters—decide to create a viral video in order to accrue enough “Internet money” to buy off the striking Canadians. The boys create a video, “What What (In The Butt),” (WWITB) in which Butters sings a paean to anal sex. Within the show, the video is a huge hit, but the boys are only able to earn “theoretical dollars.”
As the South Park episode aptly points out, there is no “Internet money” for the video itself on YouTube, only advertising dollars that correlate with the number of views the video has had. It seems to this court that SPDS’s likely effect, ironically, would only increase ad revenue. Any effect on the derivative market for criticism is not protectable. Id. at 592. And the plaintiff has failed to give the district court or this court any concrete suggestion about potential evidence indicat- ing that the South Park parody has cut into any real market (with real, non-Internet dollars) for derivative uses of the original WWITB video. (Op.)
Of course, when I use “Internet Money,” it refers to settlements from BitTorrent infringers and others who pay for their wrongdoing. But, it is evocative of the constant challenge of monetizing the digital ether of the World Wide Web.
Not sure what to get that friend who’s a wine enthusiast AND head banger? The Almighty Slayer has come through like a champ and delivered unto us “Reign in Blood” Red, a California Cabernet being marketed out of Sweden. Who cares if it is so terrible that it would be better suited to salad dressing? The inverted cross on the label is enough for me to seriously consider stocking it in at least one of my wine racks.
He says he waited 21 years because he didn’t want to jump on any exploitative bandwagon.
It’s been 21 years, so it’s not like exploiting the story for personal gain. If I am, I’m doing a lousy job of it – I should’ve rushed something into print a year after the crimes came to light. I just didn’t want to be a part of the scandal, the sheer feeding frenzy. I wanted to tell a story that I thought was very unusual and compelling, and I wanted to do it my way. So I took my time, and when I finally got around to doing it, I did I the way that I’d always envisioned, and that was important to me. (source)