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The ABA is looking to publish a list of most popular legal blogs. Not that I seek public adulation, but, uh...why not head over to http://www.abajournal.com/blawgs/web100 by July 30, 2017 and vote this blog as one of the best legal blogs.

You know, for kicks and giggles.

Monday, December 26, 2016

Imagine

It's a money grab
Today's story is about greed and the fact that one (very bloated) company doesn't have enough of your money.

In Disney Enterprises Inc. v. VidAngel Inc, 16-CV04109 (C.D. Cal.), council for the plaintiff (i.e. Disney) declared that VidAngel violated copyright law by allowing customers the ability to filter out offensive content (like nudity, vulgar language, and violence).  In its defense, VidAngel argued that under the Family Home Movie Act of 2005, its filtering process is protected and it should be allowed to continue to operate since VidAngel owns the individual physical copy of each movie steamed to customers.  

Basically, what VidAngel's argument means is that VidAngel should be allowed to alter any movie that it owns (because the people to whom it streams the video doesn't own the physical copy of the DVD).  Because VidAngel owns the rights to the copy, they should be able to do as they like with it.  

Thing is, if you look at that argument, it's a pretty good statement.  How many people have bought a book and then wrote in it or had their kid scribble the pages with a crayon?  How many people have bought a record, CD, or DVD and then sold it at a garage sale?  You bought it, you can (or should) be able to do what you want to or with it. 

What Disney is saying, though, is that even if you buy a DVD, you don't own it (pretty much what the Feds said about Napster).  Heck, if you don't own a DVD/movie, then even though you bought it (for $20-$50), Disney, or whomever, can now reverse established law (under Kirtsaeng v. John Wiley & Sons, Inc) and demand its return without having to reimburse you for the cost (and then resell it to someone else).

Heck, under Disney's argument the very act of scribbling in a book could also result in prosecution under copyright laws.  Over zealous federal judges could very well move against otherwise law abiding citizens because the act of scribbling technically "violates" the interests of the original copyright holder (i.e. the person who published the book).

Really?  Does anyone really think that the Feds would go after someone who scribbles in a book?  I do.  In fact if we the people let judges make these rulings and/or let them stick, then the prisons who used to hold people who smoked marijuana will be replaced by people who scribbled in a book. 

Basically, this all comes down to greed and stupid judges making stupid, twisted rulings.  In this case, it was/is Disney's greed and the fact that they don't have enough of your money.  Don't believe me?  Well, if you thought being prosecuted for smoking a single joint was stupid, imagine what it will feel like when you get jailed for selling a DVD at a garage sale or scribbling in a book.  

Dang but you'll be the laughing stalk of cell blocks A-Z!