Republicans Are Clinging to Power in Wisconsin. Expect to See More GOP Power Grabs.

The anti-democratic moves to strip power from incoming Democrats are now officially part of the Republican playbook.

Source: Republicans Are Clinging to Power in Wisconsin. Expect to See More GOP Power Grabs.

Monster Energy Loses Trademark Opposition Against UK Drink Company, But May Have Bullied It To Death Anyway | Techdirt

Dan Smith, from Newbury, created healthy drinks company Thirsty Beasts in 2018, and the US firm filed a legal challenge against him.It claimed customers would confuse both Mr Smith’s slogan – “Rehab the beast” – with its “Unleash the beast” line. The case, which was dismissed, cost Mr Smith more than £30,000 in legal fees. He said he and his wife had ploughed every penny they had into launching the business. After registering his first trademark in the UK in 2016, Mr Smith then filed the Thirsty Beasts logo. Billion-dollar company Monster Energy objected to his application, claiming Mr Smith’s slogan was too similar to its own.The UK Trademark Office ruled in favour of Thirsty Beasts, but Monster Energy appealed the decision.

Source: Monster Energy Loses Trademark Opposition Against UK Drink Company, But May Have Bullied It To Death Anyway | Techdirt

Supreme Court Appears Inclined To Apply The Eighth Amendment To Civil Asset Forfeiture | Techdirt

The Supreme Court heard oral arguments recently in a case that may result in some involuntary reforms to state civil asset forfeiture laws. The case involves Tyson Timbs, an Indiana resident who had his $42,000 Land Rover seized by law enforcement after selling $260 worth of heroin to undercover cops.Despite securing a conviction, law enforcement chose to forfeit Timbs’ vehicle in civil court. This may have been to keep Timbs from challenging the seizure as excessive, given the crime he was charged with maxxed out at a $10,000 fine. This is how Timbs is challenging this forfeiture, however. That’s how this case has ended up in the top court in the land.

Source: Supreme Court Appears Inclined To Apply The Eighth Amendment To Civil Asset Forfeiture | Techdirt

Stupid Patent of the Month: A Patent on Using Mathematical Proofs | Electronic Frontier Foundation

In some fields, software bugs are more than the proverbial pain in the neck. When software has to ensure that an airplane lands safely, or that a pacemaker keeps operating, there’s no room for error.The idea that mathematical proofs could be used to prove that software is error-free has been around since the 1970s, and is known as “formal verification.” But like a lot of technologies that some visionaries saw coming, it took time to develop. In recent years, computing power has become cheap enough for formal verification to become practical for more software applications.Unfortunately, last month, the field had a monkey wrench thrown into it, in the form of U.S. Patent No. 10,109,010, which the patent office awarded to a U.K.-based company called Aesthetic Integration Ltd.

Source: Stupid Patent of the Month: A Patent on Using Mathematical Proofs | Electronic Frontier Foundation

Canary Mission’s Blacklist of Pro-Palestine Activists Is Taking a Toll


Activists blacklisted by Canary Mission say they’ve experienced anxiety, and now find themselves stepping back from pro-Palestine advocacy as a result.

Source: Canary Mission’s Blacklist of Pro-Palestine Activists Is Taking a Toll

Video Appears to Show NYPD Officers Planting Drugs in Black Man’s Car

It was magical.The marijuana magically appeared in the backseat of a car containing four black boys. Moments before it happened, one of the boys somehow magically knew that the white cops were conjuring up evidence. Police footage showed the entire episode but, for some reason, magically cut off the moment the cop found the weed. Video shows that an invisible blunt must have wondrously lit itself. Prosecutors finally saw the footage and made the case disappear. After a judge saw the video, he magically knew that the police officer would need a lawyer.Yes, there is such a thing as white magic.

Source: Video Appears to Show NYPD Officers Planting Drugs in Black Man’s Car

$337,000 Settlement Headed To Elementary School Students Handcuffed By School Resource Officers | Techdirt

Handcuffing children and causing this sort of reaction is just good school policing, according to the sheriff.After the handcuffings, both children had repeated nightmares, started bed-wetting, and would not let their mothers out of their sight. Both families left the school district, and moved to areas where their children could receive the treatment and accommodations they needed.

Source: $337,000 Settlement Headed To Elementary School Students Handcuffed By School Resource Officers | Techdirt

RIAA Court Filing In Stairway To Heaven Case Warns Against *OVERPROTECTION* By Copyright | Techdirt

Here’s one you don’t see everyday. The RIAA is telling a court that it needs to be careful about too much copyright protection. Really. This is in the lawsuit over “Stairway to Heaven” that we’ve been covering for a while now. As we noted, the 9th Circuit brought the case back to life after what had appeared to be a good result, saying that Led Zeppelin’s “Stairway” did not infringe on the copyright in the Spirit song “Taurus.” While we were a bit nervous about the case being reopened after a good result, as copyright lawyer Rick Sanders explained in a pair of excellent guest posts, there were good reasons to revisit the case — in part to fix the 9th Circuit’s weird framework for determining if a song has infringed, and in part to fix some bad jury instructions.

Source: RIAA Court Filing In Stairway To Heaven Case Warns Against *OVERPROTECTION* By Copyright | Techdirt