e dot dot dot
a mostly about the Internet blog by

September 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
           
           


Success! Roanoke 'Harry Potter Festival' Changes Name To 'Generic Magic Festival' Due To WB's Bullying

Furnished content.


Earlier this summer, we discussed a policy shift at Warner Bros. regarding how it was enforcing its Harry Potter intellectual property that has resulted in the bullying of several fan conventions and gatherings. Events long left alone by WB to enjoy and promote the Potter franchise were suddenly getting threat letters and communications from the studio, informing them that all references to the franchise had to be removed. Many festivals, including one in Philadelphia, chose to simply shut down.Others are going on, however, although perhaps not entirely as originally planned. Now, one might say, they are going on generically planned.

Although much smaller, even Roanoke' Harry Potter Festival has now changed its name. New names, new features, larger spaces and more magical stories can be expected to appear in this year’s Generic Magic Festival-- once known as the Harry Potter Festival."We are still celebrating literary magic and a lot of the creatures and potions Rowling uses are ones from mythology that have been used for years,” said Tracy Fisher, Roanoke minister of magic for the Generic Magic Festival.
It can be very hard to define something like success, but surely this must qualify for the WB's legal and business departments. Through its capricious bullying efforts, it has managed to turn a convention of fans of its product into something so generic so as to include the word in its festival's name. Yay? Those attending will still know exactly what they're there for, with the only real changes to this year's festival being the name, the amount of work organizers now have to do thanks to the changes, and likely some anger towards the studio from the festival's participants.
Craig Slomczewski, creator of the magical objects and that you’ll see around the festival, tells 10 news that the copyright infringement limitations made this year's event a challenge to design. “It seemed like an impossible task because you are used to what you see in the movies and it makes you think out of the box that much more,” Slomczewski said.
Truly, today, justice has been done.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story


Read more here

posted at: 12:35am on 13-Sep-2018
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



Couple Get Back $10,000 Seized By State Trooper After Local Media Starts Asking Questions

Furnished content.


Here's one way to avoid the lengthy, often-futile process of recovering your assets after they've been seized by the government via civil asset forfeiture. The Charleston Gazette-Mail reports law enforcement suddenly decided to return $10,000 to the couple it seized it from, but only after being asked to comment on the forfeiture. (h/t C.J. Ciaramella)

After the Gazette-Mail reached out to the state police Monday with inquiries about the seizure, and after weeks of [Tonya] Smith calling police, the Jefferson County prosecuting attorney and local politicians, Smith said an officer returned her and [Dimitrios] Patlias’ possessions in full Thursday evening.

The couple was traveling from New Jersey to a casino in West Virginia. A West Virginia state trooper rolled the dice on the out-of-state plates and pulled over their car for "failure to drive within [their] lane." From there, the stop became exploratory with the trooper accusing them of smuggling drugs, smuggling cigarettes, or -- following a search of the vehicle -- gift card fraud.

Smith and Patlias had $10,000 in cash between both of them. In addition, they had a number of gift cards, loyalty cards, and cash cards -- all legally obtained -- which the trooper used to shore up the last accusation on the list. Despite being possible fraudsters/smugglers, the trooper handed the pair a warning for the lane violation and let them go on their way. So, they returned to New Jersey with $2 in their pockets.

This set the forfeiture in motion. The couple had 30 days to state a claim to their belongings, otherwise the proceeds would be split between the state police and the prosecutor. The trooper had every incentive to seize everything in the car (which included a cellphone): 90% of proceeds go to the agency that performed the seizure.

As the article points out, this could have been deterred, if not avoided completely. But, unfortunately, a bill requiring convictions for forfeitures died in the state legislature. Despite the incentive-skewing, asset forfeiture still has its advocates who make horrible arguments like this on its behalf:

Those in support of the practice say the ability of law enforcement officers to use forfeiture laws can hamstring drug dealing networks by leaning on their finances, which can be more effective than criminal charges. They also point out that the proceeds can help police buy much-needed equipment.

First, most forfeitures performed in the US involve low dollar amounts, often taken from someone never charged with drug-related crimes. Second, what kind of idiot justifies the seizure of property from people who've never been convicted of a crime by stating that it helps the government buy new stuff for itself? The answer is: only the sort of idiot who can't see how it incentivizes exactly the sort of thing that happened here: a state trooper pulling over an out-of-state driver for a roadside fishing expedition. Nothing about the process deters police officers from shaking down anyone and everyone for valuables so long as they can imagine a criminal origin for the property of citizens.

This worked out well for this couple, who now won't have to spend more than what was seized to get their property returned. Fighting forfeiture is expensive and the outcome is far from guaranteed, even if there's no evidence the seized property was involved in or the byproduct of criminal activity. Officers looking at a 90% payout down the road know this. That's why asset forfeiture -- minus criminal charges -- is the abusive debacle it is today. Nothing about it rewards honest law enforcement work.

Permalink | Comments | Email This Story


Read more here


posted at: 12:35am on 13-Sep-2018
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



September 2018
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
           
           







RSS (site)  RSS (path)

ATOM (site)  ATOM (path)

Categories
 - blog home

 - Announcements  (2)
 - Annoyances  (0)
 - Career_Advice  (1)
 - Domains  (0)
 - Downloads  (4)
 - Ecommerce  (2369)
 - Fitness  (0)
 - Home_and_Garden  (0)
     - Cooking  (0)
     - Tools  (0)
 - Humor  (1)
 - Notices  (0)
 - Observations  (1)
 - Oddities  (2)
 - Online_Marketing  (3420)
     - Affiliates  (1)
     - Merchants  (1)
 - Policy  (957)
 - Programming  (0)
     - Browsers  (1)
     - DHTML  (0)
     - Javascript  (536)
     - PHP  (0)
     - PayPal  (1)
     - Perl  (37)
          - blosxom  (0)
     - Unidata_Universe  (18)
 - Random_Advice  (1)
 - Reading  (0)
     - Books  (0)
     - Ebooks  (1)
     - Magazines  (0)
     - Online_Articles  (4)
 - Resume_or_CV  (1)
 - Reviews  (1)
 - Rhode_Island_USA  (0)
     - Providence  (1)
 - Shop  (0)
 - Sports  (0)
     - Football  (1)
          - Cowboys  (0)
          - Patriots  (0)
     - Futbol  (1)
          - The_Rest  (0)
          - USA  (1)
 - Woodworking  (1)


Archives
 -2018  September  (29)
 -2018  August  (46)
 -2018  July  (46)
 -2018  June  (51)
 -2018  May  (49)
 -2018  April  (69)
 -2018  March  (79)
 -2018  February  (65)
 -2018  January  (79)
 -2017  December  (75)
 -2017  November  (59)
 -2017  October  (65)


My Sites

 - Millennium3Publishing.com

 - SponsorWorks.net

 - ListBug.com

 - TextEx.net

 - FindAdsHere.com

 - VisitLater.com