A company that made millions of dollars by suing people for improperly viewing pornographic movies on the Internet repeatedly deceived courts while “seeking easy money” from people too embarrassed to defend themselves, a federal judge ruled Monday. U.S. District Judge Otis D. Wright II found that Prenda Law Inc., its attorney, its owners -- who also are lawyers -- and affiliated companies made false statements in court in an online piracy case. He ordered the companies and the lawyers to pay $81,320 in fees and damages to the attorneys for one of the people they sued.
Judge Wright´s written opinion in the case is a remarkable mix of Star Trek references and very strong denunciations of the lawyers involved. It can be downloaded here:
A broader issue here (no pun intended). How does one know that any site, news, general interest etc. is showing material copyrighted by another party and you should pay that party some unknown sum for looking at it? Should not the copyright holder have an obligation to go after unauthorized servers before trying to make innocent viewers pay?
A two-decade family feud came to a violent end when a man shot dead the two home invaders that killed his wife and son, not knowing the assailants included his long-estranged daughter, authorities said Sunday. Though the investigation of Friday´s shootings continues, authorities said it appears Josephine and Jeffrey Ruckinger planned to murder her family at their rural central Pennsylvania home — but it remains unclear what exactly led to the deadly confrontation. [snip] Police say Roberta, 64, answered the door, and cried out something like "Oh my God, they have guns!" before her daughter shot her at point-blank range.
Less than four hours after a three-judge panel of the 3rd Court of Appeals reversed former U.S. House of Representative Tom Delay´s felony convictions and acquitted him of money laundering and conspiring to money launder, prosecutors from the Travis County District Attorney´s office said they will ask the Texas Court of Criminal Appeals to review that ruling.
The sun fired off an intense solar storm at Earth Wednesday (Aug. 21) — the second in two days — hurtling billions of tons of charged particles at our planet, but should not pose a threat to people on the ground, NASA says. The solar eruption, called a coronal mass ejection, occurred yesterday at 1:24 a.m. EDT (0524 GMT) and sent charged particles streaking outward at 380 miles per second. That´s just over 1.3 million mph (2.2 million km/h). The solar fallout from the sun storm is expected to reach Earth within the next three days.
Kim M. Catullo does not like giving interviews or getting behind a microphone. At political events, she tends to hover in the background, so much so that she is sometimes mistaken for a member of her wife’s security detail. But with the primary just weeks away, Ms. Catullo, the wife of Christine C. Quinn, is edging out of her comfort zone to take on a more visible role in Ms. Quinn’s campaign for mayor of New York City.
SEATTLE — Jeff Bezos, the founder of Amazon.com, told reporters today that his reported purchase of the Washington Post was a “gigantic mix-up,” explaining that he had clicked on the newspaper by mistake. “I guess I was just kind of browsing through their website and not paying close attention to what I was doing,” he said. “No way did I intend to buy anything.” Mr. Bezos said he had been oblivious to his online shopping error until earlier today, when he saw an unusual charge for two hundred and fifty million dollars on his American Express statement.
CLEVELAND — A former school bus driver who pleaded guilty to more than 900 counts, including aggravated murder, kidnapping and rape, after imprisoning three women in his west Cleveland house for a decade, gave a rambling justification for his crimes at his sentencing hearing Thursday, denying that he was depraved or violent and saying instead that there had been “a lot of harmony in that house.” Afterward, the man, Ariel Castro, 53, was sentenced to life in prison plus an additional 1,000 years by Judge Michael J. Russo of Cuyahoga County Common Pleas Court.
Anthony Weiner shouldn´t count on Eliot Spitzer for support in the New York City mayor´s race. Spitzer, the former New York governor who resigned because of a prostitution scandal, was asked Monday by Chris Matthews on MSNBC whether his fellow disgraced Democrat should not be mayor of New York. "Fair point, that is correct," Spitzer said. Spitzer, who is running for New York City comptroller, said he would fire any municipal employee who engaged in the same behavior as Weiner.
Police say a family found a pipe stuffed with marijuana inside a Kids Meal bought for a 4-year-old boy at a Burger King restaurant in southern Michigan. [snip] After officers responded to the restaurant, they identified a 23-year-old employee who admitted to owning the paraphernalia. Uhl said the employee told officers that he put the pipe in the box to hide it while he worked and he didn’t mean to give it out.
The U.S. Supreme Court on Wednesday struck down a federal law that restricts the definition of marriage to opposite-sex couples in a major victory for the gay rights movement. The ruling, on a 5-4 vote, means that legally married gay men and women are entitled to claim the same federal benefits that are available to opposite-sex married couples.
The George Zimmerman second-degree murder case will proceed to trial June 10, after his judge today denied his defense team´s latest request for a delay. The ruling was among several important decisions by Circuit Judge Debra S. Nelson during a two-hour hearing this morning at the Seminole County Courthouse. The judge ruled for the state on several key issues: The defense may not bring up Trayvon Martin´s past marijuana use at trial, or his school suspensions or alleged participation in fights, without clearing several legal hurdles and another ruling granting permission.
Civil rights icon Julian Bond defended the IRS for targeting tea party groups, on Tuesday, labeling them “the Taliban wing of American politics.” “I think it’s entirely legitimate to look at the tea party,” Bond said on MSNBC. “Here are a group of people who are admittedly racist, who are overtly political, who’ve tried as best they can to harm President Obama in every way they can.” [snip] “I don’t think there are any parallels to what we’re seeing today,” he said. “Of course we were unfairly targeted.”
The last time O.J. Simpson was in a Las Vegas courtroom, he stood next to defense attorney Yale Galanter before being handcuffed and hauled off to prison for up to 33 years. On Monday, the former football hero returns to Clark County District Court with a different set of lawyers hoping to convince a judge that ... the lawyer who was paid nearly $700,000 for Simpson´s defense had a personal interest in preventing himself from being identified as a witness to the crimes and so misled Simpson that the former football star deserves a new trial. "To me, the claims are solid. I don't know how the court
Families of fallen military service members usually receive a "death gratuity" of $100,000 for interment and expenses within days, but not during government shutdown. They paid the ultimate price serving their country — but their government can’t spare a cent to cover their funerals. The stooges on Capitol Hill added insult to tragedy Tuesday when it was revealed that the families of four soldiers and a Marine who were killed in Afghanistan have not received a $100,000 “death gratuity” because of the government shutdown....
Over the first four days the new online health insurance exchanges were open last week, more than 8 million people visited them, according to the Obama administration. At the very least, this casts doubt on the Republican claim that Americans hate Obamacare and want it repealed. It seems millions of people desperately want the coverage the law will allow them to get, regardless of their medical histories. Alas, the administration managed to turn the experience for most of those visitors into a nightmare. Websites crashed, refused to load, or offered bizarre and incomprehensible choices. Even though the system was shut down
From its earliest days, the Obama Administration has operated from a “community organizer” worldview, characterized by an “us” against “them” perspective. The President has repeatedly and in a variety of circumstances said, “Elections have consequences, and I won” as an excuse for yet another executive order, non-Constitutional decision, or “in-your-face” arrogant action. The President goes through the motions of listening to others: he claims to be bipartisan; he hosts White House confabs and talks about the need for compromise, but he always ends up saying, “I won,” and ends any pretense of discussion or negotiation. He explains that, as President,
WASHINGTON — Starting in about a decade, Kingston, Jamaica, will probably be off-the-charts hot — permanently. Other places will soon follow. Singapore in 2028. Mexico City in 2031. Cairo in 2036. Phoenix and Honolulu in 2043. And eventually the whole world in 2047. A new study on global warming pinpoints the probable dates for when cities and ecosystems around the world will regularly experience hotter environments the likes of which they have never seen before. And for dozens of cities, mostly in the tropics, those dates are a generation or less away. "This paper is both innovative and sobering," said
I was at a dinner recently where I happened to be seated at a table with new acquaintances of the liberal political persuasion. We went around the table introducing ourselves. As I said that I work for a "conservative website," a man at the far end of the table made his displeasure known by booing. He wasn´t kidding. These were professional, accomplished, senior members of the community. They had never met a conservative before. Their first reaction was hostile. No one chided the man who booed, or apologized on his behalf for his rudeness, or laughed to break the tension.
I’m tempted to call it a clown show but that would be insulting to clowns:(Snip for graphic) It ran for one hour and six minutes, with 12 different reporters being called on — although, notably, not Ed Henry of Fox News — and between them they couldn’t muster one question about the catastrophe that is Healthcare.gov or the spectacle of National Park Rangers locking senior-citizen tourists out of war memorials and/or inside their hotels. I admit that, near the end of it, when Twitter was already starting to buzz about the oh-fer on this week’s two unhappy topics, I started
Former presidential candidate Mitt Romney intends to buy a $9million Park City, Utah ski chalet to complement his family homes in California, Boston, and New Hampshire. The 8,730 foot vacation mansion is in the ski destination´s Deer Valley resort and, while it doesn´t have a $55,000 car elevator like Romney´s La Jolla home, the chalet does rest right on the slope and may be skied into and out of. The six bedroom home´s most noticeable features is its prevalence of wood. The lodge-like home features wooden floors, walls, and furniture that brokers call Utah rustic. The home was once featured
Top political strategist turned CNN anchor, Stephanie Cutter is pregnant with her first child at the age of 44. The Washington Post notes that there is no early word on who the father is and the blonde is thought to be single. A source told the publication that Ms Cutter, due in March, is ´very excited´ about the prospect of motherhood and otherwise, ´not dishing about the details of the pregnancy at all.´ Ms Cutter apparently announced the news of her pregnancy to her CNN colleagues on Monday. She will take maternity leave and return to Crossfire next spring.
Tyranny, being as endemic to the human condition as other similar privations of the human good such as ignorance, vice, or sickness, is as old as mankind. What may be new, however, is the uniquely intractable form of tyranny that is currently metastasizing throughout the world, namely the rule of an authoritarian plurality of societal parasites. Our next thousand years of darkness, if such be our fate, will begin under the governance of a "parasitocracy." The modern West has defied ancient wisdom on so many fronts, introducing new modes of existence and coexistence, spreading prosperity and promise in hitherto inconceivable measures,
Gov. Jerry Brown of California signed AB 154 on Wednesday, legalizing non-physician abortions in the state. The legislation, which had been pushed vigorously by Planned Parenthood, had been strongly opposed by pro-life groups and some physicians, arguing that it amounted to legalizing back-alley abortions for profit. In a statement, Gov. Brown boasted that AB 154 was one of seven bills signed Tuesday "to support the health and well-being of women in California."
I am just wondering if Miriam Carey, the mentally ill mother who drove her black Infiniti down Pennsylvania Avenue after she rammed a White House barricade, was read her Miranda rights before she was shot dead in a fusillade of gunfire by a gang of well-armed police who surrounded her car at the other end of Pennsylvania Avenue. The information has not been released, though as I write almost a week has passed since the lethal event. Why could not those crack shots have aimed at her car’s tires. Then they could have waited for her next move. It looks
PRESIDENT OBAMA: I also told [Speaker Boehner] that having such a conversation, talks, negotiations, shouldn´t require hanging the threats of a government shutdown or economic chaos over the heads of the American people. Think about it this way, the American people do not get to demand a ransom for doing their jobs. You don´t get a chance to call your bank and say, ´I´m not going to pay my mortgage this month unless you throw in a new car and an Xbox.´ If you´re in negotiations around buying somebody´s house, you don´t get to say, ´well let´s talk about the