Category Archives: Law

MPAA Offers To Settle (Again)

There is an “Early Neutral Evaluation Conference” on May 23, 2006 to determine if this matter can be settled. Personally, it seems like an utter waste of time because at this point about the only thing I would settle for is if they dropped the case, paid my attorney fees and then dissolve their whole organization.

They offered me an initial settlement of $2,500 (before they decided to take it to court), which was rejected on the basis of principle. Then today I talked to my attorney and they are offering a settlement of $3,500.

Bahahahahahaaha! So if I refused your $2,500 out of principle, what exactly makes you think I’m going to give you $3,500 now? That’s comedy. πŸ™‚

From everything I’ve read online, the MPAA (and RIAA) has been pretty much extorting everyone simply because they can’t afford to fight it. This certainly will give me something interesting to blog about. I just pray it goes to a full trial, where they will lose and then give everyone else that is being sued a nice lawsuit they lost as a reference for their lawsuit… “MPAA vs. Shawn Hogan” That has a nice ring to it. Maybe this loss will be the start of their demise. (Hmmm… I seem to have quite the aspirations, eh? haha)

From a purely business standpoint, I think all the lawsuits that the MPAA and RIAA are throwing out are only hurting them in the long-run. From everything I’ve read, it does not curb piracy at ALL. I would even argue it increases it because all of a sudden people that weren’t aware you could download music/movies now realize you can (and some will start). Then you are going to compound this by everyone talking about it and reading other’s blogs. I’m a perfect example… from talking my attorney and then researching stuff online as a result of that, I now know that if you have the proper software installed, you can download pretty much any movie (or anything else) you want.

Not only that, but you would think they would be wiser about who they choose to extort.

For as big of an organization they are, my website gets roughly 10,000 times more traffic than theirs (hell, this stupid blog gets more traffic than their site). Then again, digitalpoint.com more traffic than buy.com or adobe.com.. hehe

So what just happened? Well now a few hundred thousands people per day were just educated about 1. about their general extortion and 2. they also now know that you can download whatever you want. I’m starting to think maybe the MPAA might actually kill the movie industry (which this dude shares my viewpoint). If they were smart, they certainly would choose their racketeering targets a little wiser (like maybe someone without the resources to fight and a captive audience of 80 million people per month that will read my viewpoint). This could turn out to be some good/interesting reading though. Reminds me a bit of the Winn and Sims fiasco.

Wanna see something else funny? Check Google’s top 10 results for “MPAA”… It seems I’m not the only one that thinks the MPAA is looney. πŸ™‚

//www.google.com/search?q=mpaa

Oh, and just as a side note, they are utter liars… They told me they identified the specific computer that did whatever they claimed and they traced it back to me (of course I knew that was a lie since it never happened). But now they are saying they don’t have any such information (MAC address basically). {rolls eyes}

Update

For everyone asking, it’s case number 06CV0545, Universal vs. Hogan filed in US District Court (California Southern District, Ninth Circuit).

Ferrari Enzo Crash In Malibu

I heard about this yesterday, but apparently it’s been an ongoing saga the last few months…

//www.wreckedexotics.com/special/enzo/

The driver hit a telephone pole going 162 miles per hour and only suffered a bloody lip.

The amazing part to me is that the Enzo (a $1,000,000 car) can be repaired by Ferrari to be “good as new” for $250,000 (1/4 the cost of the car), because from the looks of it, it uhm… got cut in half, and the engine ripped out. πŸ™‚

Shania Twain Helps Drunk Driver Drive

This is just weird… and even weirder that he got off because of it.

One of the most notorious drunk drivers in the Ottawa area has been found not criminally responsible on his latest impaired driving charges because of a mental disorder that makes him believe female celebrities are controlling his actions.

Matt Brownlee was arrested last October after police spotted a pickup truck speeding along a busy street in downtown Ottawa.

Matt Brownlee believed singer Shania Twain was helping him drive. (AP file photo)
The 33-year-old man told psychiatrists that he knew the legal repercussions of his actions, but believed singer Shania Twain was helping him drive.

Brownlee pleaded not guilty to four charges, including impaired operation of a motor vehicle and driving while disqualified.

On Monday, the judge drew on several psychiatric assessments in ruling that Brownlee was not criminally responsible for his actions because he suffers from delusions that celebrities such as Twain are communicating with him telepathically.

Ten years ago, Brownlee was given a seven-year prison sentence and barred from driving for the rest of his life after he killed an Ottawa woman, Linda Lebreton-Holmes, and her 12-year-old son while driving with a blood alcohol level three times the legal limit.

Earlier in March, a psychiatrist told the court that Brownlee suffers from psychosis and mood disorders resulting from a brain injury caused by the 1996 car crash.

Brownlee has been undergoing a series of assessments at the Brockville Psychiatric Hospital since last fall.

Another assessment of how much risk he poses to the community could see Brownlee being detained in hospital, released under supervision in the community, or given an absolute discharge.

Man Cuts Off Own Penis To Throw At Cops

I don’t really have anything that I can say that would make this any more (or less depending on who you are) funny… But DAMN it’s funny. πŸ™‚

Fik, 33, cut off his own penis during a Northwest Side rampage Wednesday morning. When confronted by police, Fik hurled several knives and his severed organ at the officers, police said. Officers stunned him with a Taser and took him into custody.

//www.suntimes.com/output/news/cst-nws-ouch17.html

MPAA Suing Me

I’ve been waiting for this lawsuit for a few months now, and yesterday I finally got served the official complaint filed in the US District Court (San Diego).

Now we can finally get this show on the road… I’m sure it will give me all sorts of interesting stuff to blog about in the coming months. πŸ™‚

I’ll meet with my attorney tomorrow to give them the stuff…

6 Year Old Suspended For Sexual Harassment

Some first grader was suspended from school for 3 days for sexual harassment. hahaha!!! The beginnings of a true pimp. πŸ™‚

There have been similar cases. In 1996, a New York second-grader was suspended for kissing a girl and ripping a button off her skirt — an idea the boy said he got from his favorite book “Corduroy,” about a bear with a missing button. Earlier that year, a Lexington, North Carolina, 6-year-old was separated from his class after kissing a classmate on the cheek.

//www.cnn.com/2006/EDUCATION/02/09/sex.harass.ap/

France Legalizes Peer To Peer Networks

It seems French Parliament has legalized the use of peer to peer networks to share otherwise copy-written music and movies. Now they are just trying to figure out if they are going to impose a $5/month tax to users.

This is the best reason I’ve ever heard of to move to France. πŸ™‚

The French courts have ruled that using peer-to-peer networks (P2P), providing you are doing so for personal rather than commercial reasons, is legal. The decision comes just as the French Parliament meets to discuss whether internet users should pay a voluntary tax or surcharge of Γ’β€šΒ¬5 a month to use P2P networks.

The decision was actually made back in December but has only just been made public.

//www.reghardware.co.uk/2006/02/08/france_legalises_p2p/

Letterman’s Restraining Order Overturned

David Letterman successfully had the restraining order against him overturned.

“I appealed to the court for a restraining order to keep this man away from me, but now that’s been denied me,” she said. “He has access to me. He can actually come for me or send people. He has many accomplices. I know this sounds crazy. I was crazy to have listened to him in the beginning.”

Well… at least she KNOWS she sounds crazy. πŸ™‚

//www.cnn.com/…people.letterman.restraining.ap/

Man Arrested For Not Warning Bicyclist Of Pothole

A photographer that hung out waiting for a someone to eat crap (so he could take pictures) was arrested for “lying in wait” to take the pictures.

A photographer has come under fire in China for his pictures of a man falling off a bicycle.

The man came a spectacular cropper in Xiamen city after his bike hit a pot-hole submerged in rainwater.

But photographer Liu Tao was accused of lying in wait to take his pictures instead of warning people of the danger.

//www.ananova.com/news/story/sm_1399668.html

I originally saw it on Boing Boing.

President Bush Is An Upfront Guy

President George W. Bush, 2004:

“[T]here are such things as roving wiretaps. Now, by the way, any time you hear the United States government talking about wiretap, it requires — a wiretap requires a court order. Nothing has changed, by the way. When we’re talking about chasing down terrorists, we’re talking about getting a court order before we do so. It’s important for our fellow citizens to understand, when you think Patriot Act, constitutional guarantees are in place when it comes to doing what is necessary to protect our homeland, because we value the Constitution.”

In case you don’t know what’s going on in the world, it was recently leaked that Bush has allowed the government since 2002 to do wiretaps on US citizens without a court order in order to “fight terrorism”, which according to many members of Congress (including Republicans), is illegal.

Even if it’s not illegal, I know Bush couldn’t disclose a classified directive publicly, but why does he need to go into so much detail about how it would never be possible. He should have stopped after the first sentence IMO.

Saw it on Boing Boing

Letterman Subject Of Restraining Order

Colleen Nestler of Santa Fe, New Mexico was actually granted a restraining order against David Letterman because she says he used code words on Late Night to show he wanted to marry her and train her as his co-host. According to the documents, Letterman has forced her to go bankrupt and caused her mental cruelty and sleep deprivation since May 1994.

She wrote that she began sending Letterman “thoughts of love” after his “Late Show” began in 1993, and that he responded in code words and gestures, asking her to come East. She said he asked her to be his wife during a televised “teaser” for his show by saying, “Marry me, Oprah.” Her letter said Oprah was the first of many code names for her and that the coded vocabulary increased and changed with time.

Nestler requested that Letterman, who tapes his show in New York, stay at least 3 yards away and not “think of me, and release me from his mental harassment and hammering.”

I have one word for that lady – Hahahahahahahaahahaha!

Elderly Drug Dealers

Saw this on CNN today… apparently elderly people who are hard up for cash are selling their prescription medicine to addicts for quick cash.

Dottie, say it isn’t so!

Quote:
Dottie Neeley, 87, was fingerprinted, photographed and thrown in jail, imprisoned as much by the tubing from her oxygen tank as by the concrete and steel around her.

The woman — who spent two days in jail after her arrest last December — is among a growing number of Kentucky senior citizens charged in a crackdown on a crime authorities say is rampant in Appalachia: Elderly people are reselling their painkillers and other medications to addicts.

“When a person is on Social Security, drawing $500 a month, and they can sell their pain pills for $10 apiece, they’ll take half of them for themselves and sell the other half to pay their electric bills or buy groceries,” Floyd County jailer Roger Webb said.

//www.cnn.com/2005/LAW/12/12/elderly.dealers.ap/

Sony Violates Copyright With Own Copyright Protection System

Sony is in all sorts of trouble when they were recently exposed as to installing rootkits on user’s PCs without their permission in order to “protect the copyrights of their CDs” which can’t be uninstalled. That in itself is enough to get Sony in pretty hot water.

Hackers are now using backdoors in the rootkits to attack/take control of people’s PCs. Oh boy… I’m sure Sony loves that too.

Now, the funniest part… Sony’s rootkit was compiled with the LAME music encoder inside it. LAME is licensed under the Lesser General Public License (LGPL), which requires those who use it attribute the original software and publish some of the code they write to use the library. Sony hasn’t done any of this, which means Sony’s dangerous rootkit software that “protects its copyrights” is a copyright violation by Sony in itself. hehe

//dewinter.com/modules.php?name=News&file=article&sid=215

Loeb and Loeb/MPAA Extortion

Got an interesting call from a law firm (Loeb & Loeb) representing the MPAA today. They want me to settle out of court and pay $2,500 for some movie I never downloaded (and ironically enough I actually own the DVD). Of course, I declined their settlement offer and told them I would rather let it go to court.

They are TOTALLY extorting money from people because when I told her I would rather let it go to court, she started to get rather huffy…

Her: You understand that defending this in court will cost you much more than $2,500 in attorney fees, right?
Me: Yep.
Her: We are able to get a default judgement against you which will be substantially more than $2,500.
Me: Okay.
Her: I will let them know to go ahead and file a federal lawsuit against you.
Me: Okay, sounds good.

If you *really* think you have a case against me, why are you “letting me off” for $2,500? You can make much more with a court ruling.

Someone has to stand up to these clowns… their scare tactics make them sounds pretty foolish IMO. First of all, I would rather spend $100,000 and not pay them $2,500 than to just give them $2,500 (it’s about the principle).

Secondly, it should be interesting to see how they are able to get a default judgement against me. I would have to fail to appear in court after receiving a summons. As long as I actually GET a summons, I will be there. Even if they go the route of Winn and Sims (filing a proof of service that never happened), it can be reversed once I find out about it.

Winn & Sims Employs The Borg?

I think that Winn & Sims employees have a single collective conscious known as “The Borg”. How else can you possibly explain three employees independently making identical statements on their personal websites?

Quote:
“Hey Everyone! These are just a few of my law firm links, including my favorite Law Firm: Winn and Sims, APC. I just love working for them!”

A truly heartfelt testimonial as quoted from Aric, Lauren and Stephanie’s personal websites.


These three must be Borg probes masquerading as human beings, and you better believe I’m going to be reporting this to Star Fleet Command so they can start planning for the full scale Borg invasion. I wonder if you need a green card to work here on earth when you are an intergalactic alien?

“A Law Firm I Like: Winn and Sims”?

I just found out today that it’s the professional opinion of Brian Winn (of Winn and Sims law firm) that my Winn and Sims blog is not only “infringing on their intellectual property rights”, but is a flat out “illegal site”. Not only that, I’m somehow “spreading misinformation” about them. It all seems like a very strange choice of words considering it’s nothing more than a factual timeline of events that transpired.

I would think that if it was the true belief of a lawyer that I’m trying to “malign his company’s reputation”, they would be quick to file a libel suit against me. Then again, maybe I was already served another mystery summons and I’m due to appear in court. πŸ˜‰

[Quoted from the source…]

Sony’s Fictional Film Critic

A class action suit has been settled, and Sony Pictures is obligated to refund $5 to anyone who saw Hollow Man, Vertical Limit, A Knight’s Tale, The Animal or The Patriot at the movie theatre. Because those people may have been influenced by Sony’s fake film critic, “David Manning”.

I wonder if you need to show your original movie stub to get the $5? πŸ™‚

Dale Mohlenhoff Letter

Man I love attorneys… I got a letter from Dale Mohlenhoff today, letting me know that “my website” uses the phrase CREDIT AFTER BANKRUPTCY somewhere. Since American Debt Foundation has a registered service mark for that phrase, it is his belief that consumers are confused that when they are on “my site”, they think they are on American Debt Foundation’s site.

Let’s take a moment and forget the fact that Dale forgets to actually mention what the address or domain (or even name) of the offending site is… but even if he had, considering I don’t have any sites that have anything to do with bankruptcy, I think it should be interesting for them show the following in a court of law:

“…imitation of a registered mark in connection with the sale, offering for sale, distribution, or advertising of any goods or services on or in connection with which such use is likely to cause confusion, or to cause mistake, or to deceive…”

I looked up the service mark, and it has to do with “Conducting workshops and seminars in the fields of financial education, bankruptcy information, and credit re-establishment and credit acquisition as well as audio and video tapes.” Maybe I should put up a poll on Digital Point Solutions to find out how many people using ISP billing software or free webmaster tools thought they were actually attending a bankruptcy seminar or purchasing audio tapes. heh

Another interesting thing about this letter, is it keeps referencing an enclosed attachment that doesn’t exist. Maybe the opened envelope is the attachment? {shrug} Maybe he should get a job with Winn and Sims. Oh well, whatever… at least it gives me something to yammer about on my blog. haha

Vioxx vs. Celebrex

Until today, I had no idea what Vioxx was. I only knew that I see Vioxx lawyer ads everywhere (online, TV, etc.) so I decided to see what the hell it is, and what’s the deal with it (normally it’s not something worthy of blogging about, but there is something interesting I found). It’s basically a prescription medicine for arthritis. Last summer it was voluntarily pulled by the manufacturer because there were studies that showed users had a 100% increase in heart attacks.

Okay, so now all these people no longer have their arthritis medicine… so what do they do? Most switched to another medicine called Celebrex. Well guess what? Some studies were just finished that shows Celebrex causes a 150% increase in heart attacks. More interesting is that Celebrex is still on the market, while the “safer” Vioxx isn’t.

If you ask me, that’s just retarded… but even more retarded are all the lame people suing Vioxx. Personally, I think if you tale medicine or get surgery or anything else, you need to sign a waiver that you understand that things might not go as expected, and you are willing to take that risk. If you aren’t, then maybe you shouldn’t do whatever it is, or better yet, you could visit a doctor in Tijuana.

iTunes Music Store

Dude, let me just say how happy I am that the iTunes Music Store is around now. Before the music store, I would order a CD online, but get tired of waiting for it to come, so I would use Napster to download the album so I didn’t have to wait. Anyway, long story short is by the time I get the CDs in the mail, I already have the music (if you download, you should always buy the music in my opinion). So I have tons of audio CDs that I bought that I never even bother opening (still shrink-wrapped) only because I buy all the music I download.

The iTunes Music Store saves me from having to buy CDs that I never open! Yay!

Now if they would just create an iTunes Movie Store, I wouldn’t have to have all these stupid DVDs (which I never actually use) laying around. Plus it would curb illegal downloading (people that don’t actually own the movie/CD) and protect the copyright owners with the DRM.

I have no issues with DRM on stuff I buy… I just want to be able to download electronically the media I buy, that’s all.