3D printed guns just cleared a major legal hurdle

Last week, Defense Distributed founder Cody Wilson won a major ruling in his quest to distribute gun-printing software. The video above from February outlines the background of the case. Read the rest

Farming while Black: farmers allegedly sold fake certified seed in an effort to bankrupt them

Farming is a tough gig, made even tougher when racism and greed are plied against you.

According to WMC News, a number of African American farmers have claimed that, in March of 2017, they were sold fake seed by the Stine Seed Company. The most likely motivation for their receiving counterfeit seed, according to the farmers: money. If their fields fail to yield an adequate crop, the farmers would become insolvent, making it easy for anyone interested in their property to buy it out from under them. It’s a serious allegation but, thanks to Mississippi State University, the farmers have some serious science to back up the belief that they’d been swindled.

After testing certified Stein brand seed against the stuff that the black farmers had been sold in 2017, the University concluded that they had not been given the “certified” seed that they’d paid for. This is a huge deal. Branded seed stock from companies like Stine, does not come cheap. Farmers are willing to pay more for it because they know that the crop yields they’ll see will make it worth while at the end of the growing season. Due to the fact that the farmers spread fake seed on their fields, they suffered millions of dollars worth of losses.

From Raw Story:

Thomas Burrell, president of the Black Farmers and Agriculturalists Association, explained how black farmers were receiving one-tenth of the yield as their white neighbors.

“Mother nature doesn’t discriminate,” Burrell said. “It doesn’t rain on white farms but not black farms.

Read the rest

European Parliament rejects copyright bill

In a 318 to 278 vote, the European Parliament today shot down proposals that would have made online publishers liable for users' copyright infringement and made even linking to other websites fraught with legal risk. The bill, widely reviled for its service to legacy media interests and general ignorance of the internet itself, now goes back to committee.

Julia Reda, a Pirate Party MEP who had campaigned against the legislation tweeted: "Great success: Your protests have worked! The European Parliament has sent the copyright law back to the drawing board."

BPI Music, which represents UK record labels, had supported the bill and tweeted: "We respect the decision... we will work with MEPs over the next weeks to explain how the proposed directive will benefit not just European creativity, but also internet users and the technology sector." ...

The Copyright Directive is intended to bring rules around content in line with the digital age. The two most controversial parts of it are Article 11 and Article 13. The first of these is intended to provide fair remuneration for publishers and prevent online content-sharing platforms and news aggregators sharing links without paying for them. But it has been called the "link tax" by opponents and raised questions about who will have to pay and how much. Article 13 puts more onus on websites to enforce copyright laws and could mean that any online platform that allows users to post text, images, sounds or code will need a way to assess and filter content.

Read the rest

Ohio judge: transgender teen lacks "maturity, knowledge and stability" to get a name change

The slow eroding of autonomy for trans youth continues apace in Ohio, where a judge denied a legal name change to a trans teen who has taken all available social and medical steps required to do so. Read the rest

Apple and Samsung finally settle 7-year patent dispute over claims of 'slavishly' copied iPhone design

• It's about patents for smartphones & tablets • The legal battle began in 2011 • In May, jury said Samsung owed Apple $539M • Today, they settled. Read the rest

Essay competition: "Science Fiction & Information Law"

The University of Amsterdam's Institute for Information Law is soliciting English-language essays from 8,000-15,000 words dealing about ""our possible data-driven future, where data has been firmly established as an economic asset and new, data-driven smart technologies can change the way we live, work, love, think and vote." Read the rest

For the best of reasons, The Slants won the right to trademark racially offensive slurs -- and now there's rather a lot of that

It's been a year since the Asian-American band The slants won their court case against the US Patent and Trademark office, which had refused to allow them to trademark their band-name because it was a racial slur. Read the rest

Supreme Court: no government location tracking without a warrant

The Supreme Court has ruled in the closely watched Carpenter v. United States case, which questioned the constitutionality of warrantless location surveillance, a widespread practice among US law enforcement and surveillance agencies. Read the rest

Today, an EU committee voted to destroy the internet. Now what?

This morning, the EU's legislative affairs committee (JURI) narrowly voted to include two controversial proposals in upcoming, must-pass copyright reforms: both Article 11 (no linking to news stories without permission and a paid license) and Article 13 (all material posted by Europeans must first be evaluated by a copyright filter and blocked if they appear to match a copyrighted work) passed by a single vote. Read the rest

With the App Store monopoly case, the Supreme Court could reverse decades of frustrated antitrust enforcement

On Monday, the Supreme Court will review the 9th Circuit's decision in Apple Inc. v. Pepper, in which the plaintiffs argue that Apple has established a monopoly over apps for Ios (this part is actually incontrovertible, as Apple has used both technology and law to prevent rival app stores from operating), and that Iphone and Ipad owners have a right to ask the government to break up this monopoly (that's the controversial part). Read the rest

It's often cheaper to pay cash for your prescriptions rather than the co-pay, but the pharmacy is legally prohibited from suggesting it

America's health care is totally screwed up, Part Ten Gazillion: in many cases, the medicines your doctor prescribes are cheaper than the co-pay your health insurance charges, which means that if you just buy the meds instead of charging them to insurance, you save money. Read the rest

Why you don't park in front of a fire hydrant

This photo, which comes courtesy of the Hamilton Township Fire Department, shows a car parked in front of a fire hydrant. The car's windows were smashed by the firefighters and a large hose threaded through them, so that a nearby fire may be fought.

This is what happens when you park in front of a hydrant. This was taken last night at the fire on Norway Avenue in the Bromley section of Hamilton. Reminder, it is against the law to park in front of a fire hydrant.

Here's another angle of the Great Humiliation Snake of Hamilton:

Most cities will just push the offending vehicle out the way, but this is funnier and less likely to damage a fire truck's bumper. Read the rest

Canadian border authorities hold citizen without charge for eight months

Look, we’re not all maple syrup lollipops and free healthcare up here. According to the CBC, a naturalized Canadian citizen was held against his will, without charge, for 10 months while immigration officials attempted to verify his identity.

47-year old Nigerian-born Olajide Ogunye moved to Canada with his family in the 1990s and, in 1996, he became a Canadian Citizen. But that didn’t matter to the Canadian Border Services Agency. During a sweep of his neighborhood (which, I have to admit, I had no idea that the CBSA did), Ogunye was told to produce evidence of his citizenship. So he did: His Ontario Health card and Canadian Citizenship card.

But here’s the thing: despite his producing two pieces of government identification – the gold standard for get-out-of-my-face-I’m-a-citizen, the CBSA refused to believe that Ogunye was who he claimed to be. So, without charge, they took him into custody so that he could be properly identified.

From the CBC:

According to Ogunye's statement of claim, the officers ran his fingerprints, which they said matched the identity of a man named Oluwafemi Kayode Johnson, a failed refugee claimant who had been deported from Canada to Nigeria in the 1990s.

Ogunye says he was told the CBSA believed he was actually Johnson, who had returned to Canada illegally and assumed Ogunye's identity. Those fingerprints, according to court documents, were never produced by the CBSA to Ogunye.

This shit went on for EIGHT MONTHS. Despite having not committed any crime, Ogunye was remanded to two different mixed medium/maximum security prisons. Read the rest

Stormy sues again, Avenatti leaks secret Cohen texts of Trump sex affair quash plot

Brace yourself for abundant Avenatti on the telly. Read the rest

Judge to EPA: you are legally required to turn over Pruitt's documentary evidence for climate denial

Embattled EPA Director Scott Pruitt went on national TV to announce on behalf of the US government that "I would not agree [CO2 is] a primary contributor to the global warming that we see... There’s a tremendous disagreement about the degree of the impact [of] human activity on the climate." Read the rest

Illinois votes to eliminate inmates' doctor visit co-pays, equivalent to one month's wages

Illinois lawmakers have want to end inmates' co-payments of $5 for each prison doctor visit -- the equivalent of a month's wages in the prison's $0.05/hour and under workshops; in Oregon, they're contemplating creating a $3-5/visit co-pay. Read the rest

Here's the Starbucks racial bias training video employees saw

Filmmaker Stanley Nelson created The Story of Access, the video shown to all Starbucks employees on the day the store closed for racial sensitivity training. Read the rest

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