Online ‘Reputation Management’ Company Brags About Abusing Copyright Law To Take Down Bad Reviews | Techdirt

There are three ways to effectively remove a Ripoff report:

Method 1. Take legal action and sue the offender. Then once you have won the lawsuit you go here and submit it to Google. https://support.google.com/legal/contact/lr_courtorder?product=websearch&vid=nullThey may or may not remove the Ripoff report within a few months. This approach is very expensive and time consuming with no guaranteed outcome. We do not use it or recommend it.

Method 2. Bury the Ripoff report from off of the top pages by using a variety of website, links, blogs etc… that go above the Ripoff report and push it off of the front pages so no one will see it.

Method 3. This involves a legal method that the US congress signed up to in 1988 and many people are unaware that this provision exists and how effective it is. It can remove a Ripoff report from the search engines permanently.

We use methods 2 and 3 together and can have your Ripoff report neutralized and removed effectively at a fraction of the cost of going to court!​

Source: Online ‘Reputation Management’ Company Brags About Abusing Copyright Law To Take Down Bad Reviews | Techdirt

After pushing addictive OxyContin, Purdue now pursuing overdose antidote | Ars Technica

Notorious OxyContin-maker Purdue Pharma—which has been widely criticized for deceptively marketing its highly addictive painkiller and for its role in spurring the current nationwide epidemic of opioid abuse and overdose deaths—is moving ahead with a new, potent drug, one said to be an antidote to opioid overdoses.

Source: After pushing addictive OxyContin, Purdue now pursuing overdose antidote | Ars Technica

“Yelp, but for MAGA” turns red over security disclosure, threatens researcher | Ars Technica

Wallace had left his username, email, and a plaintext password in the code—twice.
There is no authentication for any of the application programming interface calls, so someone could spoof any user—essentially giving them administrative access to the API.
All of the APIs are clearly defined as URLs in the source code.
By using the “Get user by ID” API call, someone could retrieve the user name, email, ban status, and other details on each user account.
Passwords were not in this data, but the entire user database could be retrieved by iterating through all the possible first letters or digits of an account ID.
Any user could be blocked using an HTTP Post to the “block” API.

Source: “Yelp, but for MAGA” turns red over security disclosure, threatens researcher | Ars Technica

Auto Finance Company Sues Massachusetts City Over Its Unconstitutional Sale Of Seized Vehicles | Techdirt

The complaint makes it clear the company thinks this is some bullshit: seizing and selling a vehicle that still belongs to the company holding the lien. Until the vehicle is paid off, Honda still owns the car. But Massachusetts law enforcement doesn’t appear to care who owns the car so long as they get to profit from its sale. The narrative detailed in the lawsuit makes it clear zero effort was made to make the car’s real owner aware of the city’s plans for the seized car.

Source: Auto Finance Company Sues Massachusetts City Over Its Unconstitutional Sale Of Seized Vehicles | Techdirt

Montana legislator introduces bills to give his state its own science | Ars Technica


It’s no secret that some of our federal legislators don’t have a firm grip on scientific evidence; it only takes watching a session of the House Science Committee, where one member suggested the climate-driven rise of the oceans might instead be caused by rocks falling into the ocean.What’s often overlooked is that state legislators are even worse (though it’s not clear how much this is a product of there simply being more of them). Each year, they oversee a variety of attempts to introduce pseudoscience into the public schools of a number of states.But it recently came out that a legislator in Montana was attempting to have the state officially renounce the findings of the scientific community. And, if the federal government decides to believe the scientists and do something about emissions, he wants the Treasure State to somehow sit those efforts out.

Source: Montana legislator introduces bills to give his state its own science | Ars Technica

South Carolina Cops Love Asset Forfeiture So Much They Take Cash From Crime Victims | Techdirt

Cash is king in South Carolina. Law enforcement loves taking it. Under the pretense of dismantling drug syndicates, law enforcement officers are taking money from waitresses, businessmen, and crime victims. Cash motivates law enforcement efforts — dubious drug-focused shakedowns that are often given far too much credibility by local journalists.This is state where county sheriffs run week-long events with cool names like “Rolling Thunder” and claim they’re disrupting the flow of drugs. The reality is there’s no disruption. People are separated from their cash and other property, but arrests and convictions are almost impossible to find, despite the discovery of a few hundred pounds of illegal substances. In 2017, the Spartansburg County Sheriff’s Department pulled over more than 1,100 vehicles during an operation, searched 158 of them, recovered enough drugs to fill a table for a press conference, but only ended up with eight felony convictions. It did end up with $139,000 in cash, which was the actual focus of the “drug interdiction” activity.The cases gathered from elsewhere in the state tell the same story: cash-hungry law enforcement agencies taking money from people and calling it a victory in the War on Drugs. African-Americans make up only 13 percent of the state’s population, but 65 percent of asset forfeiture cases target African Americans. If you’re white, you’re not only targeted less frequently but you’re twice as likely to get your property returned to you.

Source: South Carolina Cops Love Asset Forfeiture So Much They Take Cash From Crime Victims | Techdirt

Calling Out Copyright Troll Mathew Higbee | Techdirt

Over the last few months, I’ve been hearing an awful lot about a copyright trolling operation that goes by the name Higbee and Associates. We had written about them years back when they (incredibly) threatened Something Awful for using a photo in a movie review (which was clear fair use). A few months back we wrote about them again when they (you guessed it) threatened Something Awful again over someone in its forums hotlinking a picture of Hitler that was actually hosted on Imgur.While that’s all we’ve written about the firm on Techdirt, Higbee’s name keeps coming up in other conversations — among copyright lawyers who have been seeing a massive increase in Higbee demand letters, and even from some friends who have received such letters (which nearly always involve clearly bogus threats). One thing that has happened over and over with Higbee claims that I’ve been privy to is that they are over unregistered images, meaning that Higbee is unlikely to actually be able to sue over those images, and even if they could, it wouldn’t be for statutory damages. And yet, the threat letters tend to allude to statutory damages are part of the scare tactic.Public Citizen’s Paul Levy has apparently seen enough of Higbee and Associates and their trolling activity that he’s done a pretty thorough investigation of Higbee’s activities and written up a long description calling out many of the sketchy practices of the firm and its principal, Mathew Higbee

Source: Calling Out Copyright Troll Mathew Higbee | Techdirt

Monster Energy Loses Appeal On Monsta Pizza Trademark Ruling | Techdirt

Monster Energy, maker of caffeinated liquid crank, has a long and legendary history of being roughly the most obnoxious trademark bully on the planet. It faces stiff competition in this arena of bad, of course, but it has always put up quite a fight to win that title. The company either sues or attempts to block trademarks for everything that could even possibly be barely linked to the term “monster” in any way. One such case was its opposition to a trademark registration for Monsta Pizza in the UK. Pizza is, of course, not a beverage, but that didn’t stop Monster Energy from trying to keep the pizza chain from its name. It lost that opposition, with the IPO pointing out that its citizens are not stupid enough to be confused between drinks and pizza.And that should have been the end of the story, except that this is Monster Energy we’re talking about, so of course it appealed its loss. Its grounds for appeal amounted to “Nuh-uh! The public really might be confused!” Thankfully, Monster Energy lost this appeal as well.

Source: Monster Energy Loses Appeal On Monsta Pizza Trademark Ruling | Techdirt

Sheriffs’ Union Boss Says Officers Have No Reason To Do Their Job If They Can’t Score Forfeiture Cash On The Side | Techdirt

If Wells Fargo account reps can’t sign people up for accounts without their knowledge or permission, why should they even show up to help people open accounts or deal with banking issues? If an entrepreneur can’t rope investors into a pyramid scheme, why even bother getting out of bed at 4 am to bathe in the glow of inflated self-worth? Come on, Bruder. How can you be so obtuse?

Jarrod Bruder, the executive director of the South Carolina Sheriff’s Association who frequently lobbies for law enforcement interests at the Statehouse, said that without the incentive of profit from civil forfeiture, officers probably wouldn’t pursue drug dealers and their cash as hard as they do now.If police don’t get to keep the money from forfeiture, “what is the incentive to go out and make a special effort?” Bruder said. “What is the incentive for interdiction?”

Source: Sheriffs’ Union Boss Says Officers Have No Reason To Do Their Job If They Can’t Score Forfeiture Cash On The Side | Techdirt

Mississippi Governor Extends Middle Finger To Constitution On Twitter While Applauding Asset Forfeiture | Techdirt

That conflict [of interest] is on full display in Richland, Miss., where construction of a new $4.1 million law enforcement training facility was funded entirely by forfeiture proceeds garnered by police in Richland—a town of just 7,000 people. A sign in the building’s window boasts: “Richland Police Station tearfully donated by drug dealers.”

Source: Mississippi Governor Extends Middle Finger To Constitution On Twitter While Applauding Asset Forfeiture | Techdirt