We’ve covered this topic before, but Mike Masnick at Techdirt has a slew of revealing new details on how Mississippi attorney general Jim Hood acted as cat’s paw for Hollywood studios in his legal battles against Google. Former Mississippi attorney general Michael Moore, another longtime Overlawyered favorite, plays a key role in the story as well. Our coverage of Hood’s work over many years is here.
- Weirdly, Europe is more willing to legislate against pro-ISIS views than openly to argue against them [Nick Cohen]
- City of Inglewood, Calif. sues for copyright infringement over videos by critic of Mayor Butts [CBS L.A., Volokh, Paul Alan Levy]
- “Department Of Justice Uses Grand Jury Subpoena To Identify Anonymous Commenters on a Silk Road Post at Reason.com” [Ken White/Popehat, Wired, Scott Greenfield]
- Bans on the singing of sectarian songs, as in the Scotland case mentioned here recently, are perhaps less surprisingly also a part of law in Northern Ireland [Belfast Telegraph, BBC] UK government “now arresting and even jailing people simply for speaking their minds” [Brendan O’Neill]
- Broad “coalition of free speech, web publishing, and civil liberties advocates” oppose provisions in anti-“trafficking” bill creating criminal liability for classified ad sites; Senate passes bill anyway by 99-0 margin [Elizabeth Nolan Brown; more from Brown on bill (“What, you mean grown women AREN’T being abducted into sex slavery at Hobby Lobby stores in Oklahoma?” — @mattwelch), yet more on trafficking-panic numbers]
- Group libel laws, though approved in the 1952 case Beauharnais v. Illinois, are now widely regarded as no longer good law, but a Montana prosecutor doesn’t seem aware of that [Volokh] No, let’s not redefine “incitement” so as to allow the banning of more speech [Volokh]
- Supreme Court’s ruling in Elonis, the “true threats on Facebook” case, was speech-protective but minimalist [Ilya Shapiro, Orin Kerr, Ken White, Eugene Volokh]
Mike Masnick doesn’t think highly of the copyright and defamation claims filed against critic Stephanie Guttormson by Arizona resident Adam Miller, whose past promotion of healing services has included mention of “Great Beings of Light” who “come into a person’s body and transmute with light every single cell and raise the vibratory rate.” [TechDirt]
- “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.
- “Make patent trolls pay in court” [Judge Randall Rader, Colleen Chien, and David Hricik, NYT]
- “Let’s play”: Nintendo claims “monetization rights” to fans’ videos on YouTube [Doctorow, BoingBoing]
- I only read it for the cease and desist notices: University of Kansas lawyers go after Twitter feed featuring suggestive display of university licensed apparel [Gawker]
- Alleged misdeeds of Prenda Law just got even stranger [Mike Masnick, TechDirt, earlier; Nate Anderson ArsTechnica] Piling up statutory damages, experimental suit-filing, cost infliction? Copyright mills like Prenda didn’t invent any of that [Mitch Stoltz, EFF]
- “Here’s the Chipotle Ramen Concept Lawsuit, in Full” [Eater]
- “Help the EFF save podcasting from a patent troll” [Mark Frauenfelder]
- Semi-defense of Craigslist suits against competitors [Jerry Brito]
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.