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May 15 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 15, 2014

  • “Sign Installer Cited for Violating Rule on the Sign He Was Installing” [Lowering the Bar, Santa Barbara]
  • YouTube yanks exhibit from public court case as terms-of-service violation. How’d that happen? [Scott Greenfield on controversy arising from doctor's lawsuit against legal blogger Eric Turkewitz]
  • Philadelphia narcotics police scandal (earlier) has an alleged-sex-grab angle; also, given the presence of compelling video clips, shouldn’t the story be breaking out to national cable news by now? [Will Bunch, Philadelphia Daily News; Barbara Laker and Wendy Ruderman, PDN 2009 Pulitzer series, on Dagma Rodriguez, Lady Gonzalez and "Naomi" cases]
  • The most dynamic part of the economy? Its endangered “permissionless” sector [Cochrane] Call it subregulatory guidance, or call it sneaky regulation by agencies, but either way it can evade White House regulatory review, notice and comment, etc. [Wayne Crews, CEI "Open Market"]
  • What’s Chinese for “Kafkaesque”? Dispute resolution in Sino-American contracts [Dan Harris, Above the Law]
  • In another win for Ted Frank’s Center for Class Action Fairness, Ninth Circuit reverses trial court approval of Apple MagSafe settlement [CCAF]
  • Mississippi’s major tort reform, viewed in retrospect after ten years [Geoff Pender, Jackson Clarion Ledger]


Court order muzzles gun advocate after his arrest [ACLU of Missouri]:

To express his opinion that Officer [Jerry] Bledsoe was using his position to harass him for exercising his Second Amendment rights, [Jordan] Klaffer posted recordings of the May 1 encounter on YouTube and Facebook. And, on Instagram, he posted a picture of Bledsoe alongside a photo of Saddam Hussein, with the caption “Striking Resemblance.”

Officer Bledsoe retaliated by obtaining a court order that prevented Mr. Klaffer from posting videos, pictures, and text data criticizing Officer Bledsoe on the Internet. “A government order prohibiting criticism of government is the worst kind of censorship,” explains Tony Rothert, legal director of the ACLU of Missouri.

Meanwhile: Virginia state trooper sues police activist in small claims court over his actions and statements following a traffic stop of his car in which she participated, the videos of which wound up on YouTube.


WordPress is fighting back. [its blog via BoingBoing, Popehat] Will YouTube? [Popehat re: Colorado assembly hopeful]

The airline has “dropped its threat to sue a local TV station” after a much-forwarded on-air gaffe [Will Kane, SFGate; Erik Wemple, WaPo (calling threat "idiotic")]

More: meanwhile, the TV station appears to be using copyright takedowns to get the offending video removed from YouTube [Matthew Keys]


Esther Wrightman, who opposes the construction of wind turbines near her Ontario home, made some YouTube videos taking a dim view of NextEra, a leading wind-power company. Now the company is suing her, alleging among other things that she infringed on its intellectual property rights by publishing satirical altered versions of its logo. [Ezra Levant, Sun; Bayshore Broadcasting]

Posting videos of yourself to YouTube, for example, is definitely not a good idea, at least unless they are consistent with the disability you are claiming. “Don’t go climbing trees or fixing your roof in public. And certainly do not upload to YouTube a video that shows you half-naked and covered in tinfoil, doing ‘the robot’ to the tune of Steppenwolf’s ‘Magic Carpet Ride.'” [Slate, Utah A.G.'s office] More on “dubious disability”: Lee Habeeb, NRO. Earlier on growth of federal Social Security Disability payments here and here.

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Free speech roundup

by Walter Olson on October 12, 2012

  • Why did Chevron subpoena a lawprof/blogger who took opposite side in Ecuador case? [Kevin Jon Heller, Opinio Juris]
  • “Paleo Diet Lawsuit Dismissed By Court in Blow to Free Expression” [Brian Doherty, Reason; earlier here, etc.]
  • “[National Hispanic Media Coalition] Renews Call for Federal Government to Study Hate Speech in Media” [Volokh]
  • Call for “oversight board of regional experts” to direct more YouTube takedowns [Ann Althouse]
  • No more dirty looks: North Carolina students now face possible jail time for what they say about teachers online [Reason]
  • Popehat sampler: “Schadenfreude Is Not A Free Speech Value; Holmes’s fire-in-theater quote the most “pervasive lazy cheat in American dialogue about free speech”; “Zampolit Angela McCaskill, Report For Reeducation.”
  • EU “terror” web-muzzle schemes: “We should start to freak out, but in a sort of preliminary way” [Ars Technica]

Rochester’s Jim Shapiro (“I cannot rip out the hearts of those who hurt you. I cannot hand you their severed heads“) is not the only injury lawyer who advertises as “The Hammer.” Natasha Lydon offers a YouTube-powered guide to the various injury lawyers to have adopted that monicker [Above the Law]


“Earlier in the week, YouTube said it found that the video was “clearly within” its guidelines.” [L.A. Times, Washington Post, Jesse Walker, Matt Welch, Paul Alan Levy; previously on calls to suppress putative "hate speech" in response to riots in the Middle East and elsewhere] Per news accounts, YouTube chose to block access to the video in certain Arab countries where outbreaks of violence have occurred. More: “Google rejects White House request to pull Mohammad film clip” [Reuters]

Meanwhile, L.A. County sheriffs swoop down to round up the alleged filmmaker for questioning, supposedly for probation violations. Ann Althouse has a thing or two to say about that. But see defense lawyer and former prosecutor Ken at Popehat (viewing arrest as not unusual if a defendant in serious fraud case involving aliases is observed to violate probation terms by doing business under alias)(more).


…better get ready for the YouTube takedown demands — or for efforts to obtain the identity of you as the poster [Popehat]

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YouTube, Flickr in peril?

by Walter Olson on November 10, 2011

Concerns are mounting about something called the Stop Online Piracy Act, billed as giving authorities the power to close down “rogue” websites devoted to exchange of stolen content. [Timothy Lee, Cato at Liberty]

The Senate Judiciary Committee has unanimously approved S. 978, a bill that would raise from a misdemeanor to a felony the unauthorized performance or streaming of a copyrighted work when the infringement takes place at least ten times and either reaps $2,500 or more in revenue, or avoids the payment of license fees whose fair market value would exceed $5,000. Mike Masnick at TechDirt thinks the bill could wind up authorizing the jailing of some persons who embed YouTube videos or post videos of themselves lip-synching hit tunes; CopyHype defends the bill and dismisses the concerns as overblown.


After a video went viral showing a distracted shopper walking into a mall fountain, it’s not clear that much of anyone would have known that the blurry figure was Ms. Marrero. They know now, though, as her lawyer talks about holding someone “responsible” for the less-than-professional reaction of security, which included laughing and not going up to her to confirm that she wasn’t hurt. [Mediaite, Balasubramani, Salon, Popehat, MSNBC "Technolog", Mystal]


The New York Times tells of a Beverly Hills, Calif. student who

videotaped friends at a cafe, egging them on as they laughed and made mean-spirited, sexual comments about another eighth-grade girl, C. C., calling her “ugly,” “spoiled,” a “brat” and a “slut.” J. C. posted the video on YouTube. The next day, the school suspended her for two days.

Now, before clicking the link, guess who collected the resulting $107,150.80. Right. Ken at Popehat thinks the judge decided the case in favor of the right party, more or less, which doesn’t keep the right party from also being a deplorably wrong party (strong language, invective, etc.)


May 10 roundup

by Walter Olson on May 10, 2010

  • Failure to warn? “Non-Child Sues For Slide-Related Injury” [Lowering the Bar]
  • “AG Cuomo Sues Lawyer for Fraud, Says He Sold His Name to Debt Collector for $141K” [ABA Journal]
  • Ted Frank on his move to the Manhattan Institute and Point of Law [CCAF]
  • “Viacom is becoming a lawsuit company instead of a TV company” [Doctorow, BoingBoing]
  • UK: “NHS pays £10,000 to family of psychiatric patient who committed suicide” [Times Online]
  • American Cancer Society: federal advisory panel’s chemicals-cause-cancer alarms are overblown [NYTimes] More: Taranto, WSJ.
  • “Who Knew Bankruptcy Paid So Well?” [NYTimes]
  • Famed sleuth Bloomberg Holmes on the case: was the Pathfinder headed for a vile sodium den? [IowaHawk]

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April 2 roundup

by Walter Olson on April 2, 2010


Apparent theory: YouTube should screen and monitor everything before it goes up. [TechDirt, American Lawyer, Jim Harper/Cato at Liberty, New York Times]