The judge’s anger at Stone burns clearly throughout his order, especially when he sums up the entire situation:
To summarize the staggering chutzpah involved in this case: Stone asked the Court to authorize sending subpoenas to the ISPs. The Court said “not yet.” Stone sent the subpoenas anyway. The Court appointed the Ad Litems [EFF and Public Citizen] to argue whether Stone could send the subpoenas. Stone argued that the Court should allow him to – even though he had already done so – and eventually dismissed the case ostensibly because the Court was taking too long to make a decision. All the while, Stone was receiving identifying information and communicating with some Does, likely about settlement. The Court rarely has encountered a more textbook example of conduct deserving of sanctions.
Judge Godbey fined Stone $10,000, which he hopes will be enough to “deter similar misconduct and adequately reflects the gravity of the circumstances.” In addition, Stone has to pay the attorney fees for EFF and Public Citizen, and must tell the court if he has settled with anyone in the Mick Haig case, and if so, for how much.
Do I hate lawyers? It depends. I know a few, and they are upstanding people. But the fact is, a lawyer whether licensed in the State or not has not leg for ignorance of the law for a defense. He/she spent 3-4 years learning the law. But when I hear that a lawyer either games the system or outright ignores it as this case indicates, the lawyer in question should be immediately disbarred. He can then go prove he is worthy of being brought back into the fold. Harsh? Yes. But I have seen two lawyers from my home town destroy the fiscal trusts of respected members of the community. There is no excuse.
Am I dreaming? Sure, lawyers protect their own. I applaud the judge in this instance legally wringing the guys neck. He should have made the fine $1m.
Righthaven chief executive Steve Gibson confirmed by telephone that his company has stopped filing new lawsuits, pending appellate rulings that could take months or even years to filter through the San Francisco-based 9th U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals.
“It certainly seems to be prudent to see how all of these cases come out in the wash,” Gibson said, adding that he still reserves the right to file new lawsuits at any time.
Taken together, the setbacks suggest the business model employed by Righthaven has imploded on nearly every front — making it difficult to envision Righthaven copycats or a solid Righthaven future.
“The cases continue to show that their business model is not a viable business model,” said Kurt Opsahl, an attorney with the Electronic Frontier Foundation, which has opposed Righthaven in court.
RightHaven’s claim is that ‘Is this really a fight over whether the blogosphere should be able to take people’s creative works and reproduce it?’, according to CEO Steve Gibson. Yes this was lifted from an article. So in a sense this post fulfills Gibson’s observation. Here is the oddity about claims like RightHaven. How far up the information chain do you go? Go beyond the newspaper, to the event(s). The fact that a reporter is on the scene does not the ultimate source of the story. That is reserved to the participants around the event. Say a reporter covers a public event, town council meeting. Paid for by the taxpayers as part of functioning government. Should the Las Vegas Review be permitted to profit off the event and declare it under copyright? How about an auto wreck on the freeway? Or the weather since they source most of it from taxpayer funded weather services?
We have fair use as a provision in law for a reason. Its a vehicle expected to be used to further the arts and sciences and inform the public. The Las Vegas Review has a right to their property which is the expression of the event, but not the event itself.
How about something more innovative than a law firm? How about a subscription service that is reasonable in price? A sliding scale starting at $20 and goes up based on the blog’s Google Analytics rating. It is delivered to the blog as a private RSS feed. Single use articles on a similar sliding scale starting at 50¢. Automated it would have garnered probably equal to what the net from the lawyers would be. A blog like Drudge, MichelleMalkin, etc could afford those kind of fee rates. The upshot is the standing of someone like the LA Review would have been stronger. They could point to the fact that there was an avenue to acquire the piece and the defendant decided to forego that option.
Hopefully with RightHaven’s demise the idea of legal troll as profit center will wane.
… Here to rid your botnet? At least this is the word out of the courts –
In the battle against the Coreflood botnet, US authorities are going a step further by deleting the contaminant from infected computers, according to a report by Computerworld. Up to now, the FBI has merely sent a kill command to the bots that disabled them until the computer reboots but does not remove it permanently. In this way, the FBI has managed to reduce the Coreflood botnet by 90 per cent within the US and by 75 per cent worldwide.
Now, a court has given the FBI permission to delete the contaminant from infected computers until 25 May provided that the victims give their written consent. In some cases, investigators have been able to trace static IP addresses back to users, who can therefore be contacted. Internet users with dynamic IP addresses will not be contacted.
In giving the FBI this permission, the court warns that, while the FBI has tested the uninstall command, it could nevertheless have unforeseen consequences, including damage to infected computers. The FBI told Computerworld that user data on infected systems would not be accessed in the process.
My question is if you were to receive a notice that the FBI was to flush a bot off your machine, would you? Me, ain’t no way. I would kindly thank them, but no. I would just do a tear down, reformat and reinstall. Then review my security procedures. If I was feeling generous maybe contact the FBI to see if they could get in again, just so they can mark me off.
But the issue is should the FBI be in this business to begin with?
I predict an upsurge in garages if this request meets Supreme Court muster. –
The Obama administration is urging the Supreme Court to allow the government, without a court warrant, to affix GPS devices on suspects’ vehicles to track their every move.
The Justice Department, saying “a person has no reasonable expectation of privacy in his movements (.pdf) from one place to another,” is demanding the justices undo a lower court decision that reversed the conviction and life sentence of a cocaine dealer whose vehicle was tracked via GPS for a month without a court warrant.
The petition, if accepted by the justices, arguably would make it the biggest Fourth Amendment case in a decade — one weighing the collision of privacy, technology and the Constitution.
In 2001, the justices said thermal-imaging devices used to detect marijuana-growing operations inside a house amounted to a search requiring a court warrant. The justices are likely to accept the government’s petition to clear conflicting lower-court rulings on when warrants are required for GPS tracking.
I find it fundamentally unsettling that the FBI or other federal agency could cross on to your property, attach a device to your car and be legal. It all hinges around the idea of what is a search. Your car in in the driveway, hence it is in public view. I think the trip up tho is the clause “…and particularly describing the place to be searched, and the persons or things to be seized.” The place to be search. Well if the warrant alludes to transportation in the driveway the matter has been met. But what happens as soon as the car goes to the grocery store? The place has changed and generally the search or seizure is invalidated. On the other hand police have done stakeouts since the days of Elliot Ness and that is legal.
A case to watch.
Its not that far fetched when you think about it. The first thing you have to take note of is the usual tack taken by politicians and bureaucrats. Seldom do they directly go against the public in policy matters that effect us. No, they erect the barriers on the producers who become the partners either willingly or not in the scam. For the politicians it prevents an upset in the voter apple cart. Examples –
So when it get down to if there is something you don’t agree with you won’t be able to look to the producers for relief. In many cases the producers prefer the arrangement they have. It keeps the number of entrants down, etc. So if your desire is not to comply then you have to do something about it.