Weev’s tale weaves the same legal path as Aaron Swartz’s, even while his tactics– and fortitude– are bolder
While not as widely a sympathetic a personality to all, Andrew Aurenheimer’s plight ought to arouse concern and action among anyone who mourns the circumstances of Aaron Swartz’s unfortunate prosecution:
“The controversial hacker’s punishment highlights flaws in the justice system, ” Rolling Stone.
“Auernheimer conviction could open door to government overreach in hacking cases“, Fox Business News.
” [Auernheimer Case] drives home the vital point that an unjust law is unjust whether it targets a saint or an asshole…. Hackers, Occupy Wall Streeters, artists, tech bloggers, and even venture capitalists [feel he is] a fellow pioneer who is now being punished for his ingenuity by a government that wants to control the world’s flow of information, “Gawke (and another personal vignette).
The Computer Fraud and Abuse Act Defense Fund]]>
A disorderly conduct charge against Ms. Pedine upon her arrested on the evening of July 6, 2012 outside of the Mercury Bar on the east side of Manhattan traffic were dismissed by a judge for facial insufficiency. According to her attorney Mark. C Taylor Ms Pedine believes her arrest was the result of a private conversation over heard by passing NYPD Officer Craig Campion in which she stated to a friend her desire for the police force to stop it’s controversial stop and frisk policy.
Ms. Pedine believes that New York City’s stop and frisk policy “is horrendously unconstitutional to communities of color” and further believes that the her lawsuit will increase awareness and inspire “authentic conversations about solutions and [policy change].”
Her attorney Mark C. Taylor stated “The right to criticize the government is a cornerstone of our civil liberties, as is our protection against unreasonable searches. Under Police Commissioner Ray Kelly both of these rights have been ignored. The NYPD’s intolerance to criticism and disrespect to civil liberties is a natural consequence of the stop-and-frisk policy which has made a mockery of those rights.”]]>
Two questions USLaw.com suggests local journalists ask the Frederick County Sheriff Chuck Jenkins; Frederick County State’s Attorney Charlie Smith; and officer’s Lt. Scott Jewell, Sgt. Rich Rochford and Deputy First Class James Harris.
Photo credit: Creative Commons by cinematreasures.org.]]>
Yet now, just a few months later, we see that corporate activities and public dangers can collide spectacularly. Today, the corporation crushing journalistic inquiry is seeking to protect something far more menacing to the nation as a whole than a mobile phone that makes calls and plays games at the same time or an email address spewing website for an $800 electronic clipboard. There has been extensive reporting that BP has been influencing, and in some cases employing, local law enforcement agencies and the Coast Guard to harass and intimidate news organizations from covering the horrific oil spill that is devastating the entire Gulf Coast. Amid these widespread reports that BP is squelching the truth about the extent of the spill and pace of the cleanup, the public is coming to realize that allowing corporate interests to unduly influence law enforcement to trample on the free speech rights of journalists is harmful to the core of our existence.
If we’re concerned about the health of our environment, the integrity of our food supply, and the well being of millions of families whose livelihood can be impacted by the hidden malfeasance of a single corporation, we need to honor, protect, and celebrate all those who make sacrifices to shine the light on public activities, no matter if they be commercial or more directly political in nature. And no matter if the exposer of truth is modest in his approach or seeking spectacle. All truth seekers must be protected from interference by those whom the truth will incriminate. Without such a check on the power of corporate actors, the devastation caused by Enron, MCI, AIG, Bernie Madoff, and BP will be dwarfed by the harm done by future negligence that is allowed refuge in the darkness beyond even the most enterprising journalist’s reach.26d8 ]]>
Times Square’s affable “Naked Cowboy” seems to take only one thing seriously– his image. When Mars Inc. created an blue M&M in his likeness and used it in a video billboard in 2008, Robert Burck, 39, struck back with a multi-million dollar lawsuit, which ended in an undisclosed settlement (reportedly $4 Million).
Now, Burck has his tighty-whiteys in a bunch over another possible trademark infringement by 37-year-old Sandy Kane, a New York comedy circuit regular who has been performing as the unofficial Naked Cowgirl in Times Square for the last two years. Burck has asked her to sign a franchise agreement six times, but Kane has always ignored his requests. Though the two naked cowpeople once talked about doing a duet together, their working relationship finally went south—to Nashville—where Kane recently recorded a song for EMI Music called “He Taught Me How to Love” (more examples of Kane’s musical talent here).
The fact that Kane is claiming Burck is involved with the song is the last straw, according to Burck’s manager, Todd Rubenstein. “She claimed it features The Naked Cowboy. This is completely bogus and an unauthorized use of the registered ‘Naked Cowboy’ trademark,” he said. While a homemade CD label contains the phrase “featuring the Naked Cowboy,” the Nashville studio where Kane recorded the song, Omni Sound Studios, confirmed that she recorded the song under her own name. “She just booked us. I mean, it’s Sandy Kane. That’s how she did everything—under her name,” said owner Steve Tveit. Though a representative from EMI confirmed that Kane has indeed recorded a song, it is unclear how she is associating the song with Burck.
USLAW.COM ANALYSIS: Burck is prudent to actively maintain the integrity of his trademark. Under US law, if a trademark is licensed without adequate quality control or supervision, that trademark can be cancelled if it’s deemed to no longer serve the purpose of identifying a distinct brand and/or otherwise becomes “generic”. In fact, Rubenstein also explained that there were three official Naked Cowboy franchises, but only one still exists—the younger, official Naked Cowgirl, Louisa Holmlund, who also performs in Times Square.
Burck sent Kane a cease-and-desist letter, insisting that she pay his franchising fee (usually $500 per month or $5000 per year), under threat of a $150,000 lawsuit. Scott Rothman of Halberstadt Curley, the attorney representing Burke in his 2008 case, says that he has not been retained for this potential particular case.
Kane, a former stripper, shows no signs of budging, as she told news sources: “You know how much money I make? Two dollars a picture. I’m not selling any products!”170e ]]>