This video depicts an angry cop lying about the law—"it's illegal to take photographs of me"—then, after he confiscates the camera but forgets to turn it off, his discussion with a fellow officer about now to "cover our ass." The Hartford Courant reports they're in some superficial degree of trouble over this, which is a start.
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Michael Picard, 27, of East Hartford, was charged with creating a public disturbance and reckless use of the highway for the Sept. 11 incident in which a trooper can be heard saying on a recording of the encounter, "We gotta cover our asses."
Copyright shakedown company Rightscorp, which threatens suspected music sharers with lawsuits unless they give Rightscorp money, has agreed to pay $450,000 to settle claims it illegally targeted thousands of people with recorded messages.
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Morgan Pietz, an attorney who played a key role in bringing down Prenda Law, sued Rightscorp in 2014, saying that the company's efforts to get settlements from alleged pirates went too far. Rightscorp's illegal "robocalls" violated the Telephone Consumer Protection Act (TCPA), a 1991 law that limits how automated calling devices are used. The class-action lawsuit claimed that some Rightscorp targets were receiving one robocall on their cell phone per day. It's generally illegal to have automated devices call cell phones.
Earlier this week, Pietz and his co-counsel filed court papers outlining the settlement. Rightscorp will pay $450,000 into a settlement fund, which will be paid out to the 2,059 identified class members who received the allegedly illegal calls. Each class member who fills out an "affidavit of noninfringement" will receive up to $100. The rest of the fund will pay for costs of notice and claim administration (about $25,000) and attorneys' fees and costs, which cannot exceed $330,000. Rightscorp will also "release any and all alleged claims" against the class members. The company had accused the 2,059 class members of committing 126,409 acts of copyright infringement.
Wall Street Journal columnist Geoffrey A Fowler: "There’s a fight brewing between giant tech companies and tinkerers that could impact how we repair gadgets or choose the shop where we get it done by a pro. At issue: Who owns the knowledge required to take apart and repair TVs, phones and other electronics?" Read the rest
Police officers are required to display and provide their identification on request—except when they aren't.
Oft-cited stats about child abduction puts kidnappers behind every bush. But the numbers are old and frequently mangled, distorting our understanding of genuine risks to children.
Jailed, in part, because he shared a link to a stolen document that he did not steal, and despite the fact that this is not a crime.
Fran Moreland Johns
sought an abortion in 1956 following a workplace rape. Now the author of Perilous Times: An Inside Look at Abortion Before and After Roe v. Wade
, she survived a back-alley procedure in the days before legalization, and warns that with women's rights under renewed assault, those grim days are returning.
Andy Ihnatko's golden rule about photographing cosplayers: You must never do anything that makes the cosplayer wish you hadn't taken that photo.
Much of what you hear about the purpose of marriage is ahistorical. Lisa L. Spangenberg on what the institution was traditionally fit for.
Technically, A&E merely "suspended indefinitely" Duck Dynasty's Phil Robertson, following his remarks about gay people. But they know there'll be hell to pay should he be permitted to return.
Interesting, mind you, that they're more afraid of progressive-led criticism than the backlash they're going to get now instead from the bigot community. Progress! Entertainment Weekly's James Hibberd:
The network issued the following statement to EW: “We are extremely disappointed to have read Phil Robertson’s comments in GQ, which are based on his own personal beliefs and are not reflected in the series Duck Dynasty. His personal views in no way reflect those of A+E Networks, who have always been strong supporters and champions of the LGBT community. The network has placed Phil under hiatus from filming indefinitely.”
This is where some Christian conservatives do that thing where the First Amendment is held to guarantee Freedom of Reality Show, isn't it?
P.S. This reminds me that Ender's Game really did end up bombing hard despite the promising opening weekend. Data points! Read the rest
Joe Palazzolo, at the WSJ
: '“Liking” something on Facebook is a form of speech protected by the First Amendment, a federal appeals court ruled Wednesday
, reviving a closely watched case over the extent to which the Constitution shields what we say on social media.' Read the rest
Seven things Maggie Koerth-Baker
and Her Husband Learned at 4 am on a Tuesday
Two and a half years ago, James Siddle moved to London for a new job; in two weeks time, he'll be moving out to a small town in the country, defeated.
Europe's fourth-largest airline said the ban was aimed at keeping crews "artless and well-groomed with makeup in pastel tones
", reports Ayla Jean Yackley; Turkey's move toward a more conservative brand of Islam has secularists concerned. [Reuters] Read the rest
Derek Khanna writes that a more permanent solution is needed to the underlying legal mess, "ensuring consumer rights, protecting small businesses, and fostering innovation.
" [The Atlantic] Read the rest
UPDATE: Reader Pat David went the extra mile and improved the trailer a different way: by keeping the music and sound effects but removing the dreadful voiceover: "turns out it's a center-panned vocal - so just inverted the LR stereo channels." Pat's edit is pasted above, UberWaz's is below.
After years of waiting, Alien fans were shocked yesterday by the appalling state of the trailer for Aliens: Colonial Marines. Badly-acted and terribly-scripted, it made the forthcoming game look amateurish and cheesy; the project's lead writer immediately and publicly disowned it. But what a difference a day makes: Rock Paper Shotgun reader UberWaz remixed the clip with new audio, creating something that perfectly matches the franchise's gloomy mix of science fiction and horror. Read the rest