Quick Links: Dumb Ideas In Online Law

FCC Commissioner McDowell Proposed Crackpot Threat to Bloggers
While addressing the conservative Heritage Foundation, FCC Commissioner Robert McDowell made a lame attempt to suggest this election is about preventing Democrats from using the FCC to regulate content on Internet blogs. Of course, there’s no legal basis for the FCC to regulate content on personal servers, and network neutrality focuses on providing access to data regardless of its format, let alone its content. However, Commissioner McDowell’s FCC has considered requiring censorship (filtering) of public Wi-Fi networks. So, Commissioner, what’s this election about again?

Why Should Terrorists Get Free Music?
Copyright societies can be relentless about collecting fees from nursing homes, hospitals, prisons and such, on the basis that these are “public” places. Never mind that the audience is captive and it’s their home (like it or not). So what about music used as torture in Guantanamo? Though international human rights may not apply there, what about international copyrights? This question exposes the absurdity of both accepting torture and copyright over-reach. See Wired article.

Wikipedia Wins “Dumbest” Defamation Lawsuit
Literary agent Barbara Bauer sued the Wikimedia Foundation over posted statements that identified her as among the “dumbest of the twenty worst” literary agents and claimed that she had “no documented sales at all.” This New Jersey judge dismissed the case, citing protections afforded to online service providers under Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. See the EFF’s press release.

This prelaunch website aims to become the Lending Tree of lawyers. Of course, currency is a commodity, so it’s easy to bid for, but finding the right lawyer depends on an array of personal factors. Perhaps WhoCanSue should be trying to be eHarmony for lawyers and clients?

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