Saturday, December 1, 2012

Law Links ~ SCOTUS: Filming the Cops, Gay Marriage, Facebook Copyright, Jindal and School Vouchers


I'm starting a new weekly feature called "Law Links" to alert readers to legal actions here and around the world. This has always been an interest of mine, and even more-so now that my daughter is a new attorney who just passed the Bar Exam and is in court every day.

SCOTUSBlog Gears Up for Supreme Court Rulings Next Week
Editor's Note: On Tuesday, December 4, we expect one or more opinions at 10 a.m. We will be live blogging.
On Friday, the Court has granted two new cases, Mutual Pharmaceutical Co. v. Bartlett (12-142) and Association for Molecular Pathology v. Myriad Genetics, Inc. (12-398 ). The Court did not act on the same-sex marriage cases. Additional orders are expected Monday at 9:30.

Bloomberg: A Free Market Fix for the Copyright Racket
Even as digital technology has made reproducing, remixing and repurposing creative works easier -- with potentially enormous benefits for consumers and producers of new works -- the monopoly privileges of copyright have expanded. The result is a bizarre combination of rampant copyright violations, frequent encroachment on legitimate fair use, suppression of new technologies and business models, and the ever-present threat of draconian penalties.

Ars Technica: Supreme Court Backs 7th Circuit Over Filming Police
The United States Supreme Court rejected a request from a Chicago-area prosecutor to review a recent ruling that the First Amendment protects a right to record the actions of police officers as they perform their public duties.
. . . The Supreme Court's decision to let the Seventh Circuit's ruling stand is a victory for the American Civil Liberties Union of Illinois, which spearheaded the case. The ACLU's chapter in Massachusetts also had success vindicating a First Amendment right to record the actions of public officials. The First Circuit Court of Appeals ruled police violated the rights of a Boston man when they arrested him for using his cell phone to record the arrest of a suspect. In March, the city agreed to pay $170,000 to settle his civil rights lawsuit.

Louisiana Judge Rules Against Bobby Jindal's School Voucher Program
The Associated Press said that (Judge) Kelley’s 39-page ruling concluded that the voucher program violates provisions in the state constitution regarding the Minimum Foundation Program, or MFP, which determines how public schools are funded. “The MFP … was never meant to be diverted to private educational providers,” Kelley’s ruling said.
What Jindal’s team has been doing is implementing a voucher program, potentially the country’s largest, as a result of a new law that in part allows the state to offer vouchers to more than half of its students, or some 450,000 students. About 10,000 have applied, with most of the slots given to Christian schools, some of which didn’t really have the resources to handle the influx. They also use curriculum that promotes Young Earth Creationism, the belief that Earth is no older than 10,000 years old — and that human beings lived alongside dinosaurs — despite definitive scientific consensus that it is billions of years old.

Wired: Magical Copyright Hoax Debunked by Facebook
A silly copyright notice is sweeping Facebook . . . with users attaching pseudo-legalese to their status updates in a misguided effort to prevent Facebook from owning or commercially exploiting their content. The notice incorrectly implies that Facebook has recently changed the copyright provisions of its user agreement. It then unnecessarily asserts a user’s copyright over his Facebook posts (you retain such copyright without posting a notice) and cites the “Berner Convention,” an irrelevant international treaty properly spelled “Berne Convention.” The notice then instructs Facebook to get written permission to make commercial use of the user’s content, which is pointless as Facebook users agree to let the social network make money off their posts when they sign up for the service.
Popular hoax-debunking site Snopes addressed this copyright notice in the spring and updated their refutation today. Also, Facebook has taken the further step of putting out a statement of its own:
There is a rumor circulating that Facebook is making a change related to ownership of users’ information or the content they post to the site. This is false. Anyone who uses Facebook owns and controls the content and information they post, as stated in our terms. They control how that content and information is shared. That is our policy, and it always has been.

1 comment:

  1. Too many Americans are in prison today, and it is very important to improve the penitentiary system. You seem to be a very informed person in this kind of legal issues. You can publish articles about it on Attorney Online. This is a category with prison legal news. You can publish links to legal sites in your articles promoting your legal services or services of other persons.