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March 2019
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Arkansas Senate Unanimously Approves A Conviction Requirement For Asset Forfeiture

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Some more good news about asset forfeiture comes our way, courtesy of Lauren Krisai. It appears the Arkansas senate overwhelmingly agrees the abusive state of forfeiture it oversees cannot continue. The state senate unanimously passed an asset forfeiture reform bill that would institute a conviction requirement for seized assets, preventing law enforcement from policing for profit.The bill would basically outlaw civil asset forfeiture in its current form, replacing it with criminal asset forfeiture. And it would prevent cops from using rinky-dink criminal charges to take property away from state residents.

There shall be no civil judgment under this subchapter and no property shall be forfeited unless the person from whom the property is seized is convicted of a felony offense that related to the property being seized and that permits the forfeiture of the property.
Unfortunately, it does contain a couple of loopholes. First, law enforcement can convert this back to civil asset forfeiture if it can show the person never responded to the civil complaint against their property. Tying this to a conviction requirement should make this tougher to exploit, seeing as a person dealing with a criminal complaint will probably be apprised of the state's desire to take their property.Second, it still allows local law enforcement to take advantage of the federal government's equitable sharing program to bypass the new restrictions. The Tenth Amendment Center points out the state took a shot at closing this loophole with an earlier law. This is what the state's partially-closed loophole looks like:
(1) No state or local law enforcement agency may transfer any property seized by the state or local agency to any federal entity for forfeiture under federal law unless the circuit court having jurisdiction over the property enters an order, upon petition by the prosecuting attorney, authorizing the property to be transferred to the federal entity.(2) The transfer shall not be approved unless it reasonably appears that the activity giving rise to the investigation or seizure involves more than one (1) state or the nature of the investigation or seizure would be better pursued under federal law.
Given that most seizures are performed by "drug interdiction units" or whatever, exploiting the federal loophole is as easy as claiming the property seized is part of a larger drug cartel's operations. Almost every state drug charge has a federal equivalent, so if local cops don't want to pursue a conviction, they can give the feds a cut of the seizure to bypass any state-level conviction requirements.As the Institute for Justice notes, Arkansas has some of the country's worst forfeiture laws. And this legislative attempt to close the federal loophole has had zero negative effects on local law enforcement's ability to turn vague claims about drugs into cop shop petty cash.
Arkansas law enforcement received $27 million in DOJ equitable sharing proceeds between 2000 and 2013, which equates to roughly $1.9 million each calendar year. And these proceeds have been increasing steadily over the years, from a few hundred thousand dollars a year in the early 2000s to over $3 million in 2013.
If Arkansas legislators really want to end forfeiture abuse, they'll also need to address equitable sharing. Until that loophole undergoes further restrictions, it will be business as usual in the state. Cops would rather have 80% of something than 100% of the nothing they'll get if they feel they can't obtain a felony conviction.

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Japanese Government Puts Restrictive Copyright Amendments On Hold Over 'Internet Atrophy' Worries

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Call me surprised. We have been recently discussing a proposal in Japan to alter copyright law in the country to criminalize every single instance of copyright infringement, rather than saving any of that for the civil courts. The bonkers proposal would take the current law, in which all instances of copyright infringement on movies and music carry criminal penalties and expand that to essentially all copyright infringement everywhere. This would include screenshots, posting lyrics to songs, and the like. Shortly after all of this was announced, a large group of Japanese academics wrote an open statement to the government indicating their concern that allowing the new law to move forward would result in an extreme chilling effect on internet usage in the country. At the time, I said it was a litmus test for whether the government would take any objection to the law seriously, tame as it was. It was also likely clear that I wasn't optimistic.Well, surprise, the government has actually put the proposal on hold out of a concern for the very chilling effects those academics raised.

The planned copyright amendments were set to be submitted to the Diet on March 8, 2019 but according to local sources, Japan’s ruling Liberal Democratic Party (LDP or Jimint) put the brakes on the proposals the day before they were due to be submitted.Reports suggest that the party had such serious concerns over the scope of the law that its implementation might mean that “use of the Internet would be atrophied.”Prime Minister Shinzo Abe reportedly held a telephone call with Keisya Furuya, the former National Public Safety Commissioner and chairman of the bipartisan MANGA (Manga-Animation-Game) parliamentary group on March 6, 2019. According to AnimeNewsNetwork, this led to the decision to remove the proposals from the agenda.
And so the law now goes back to the Ministry of Culture, Sports, Science and Technology for further discussion. The ultimate fate of the law is yet to be decided, of course, but this should be encouraging for the pessimists among us (Hi!) that tend to believe these restrictive laws in favor of content companies always get railroaded through no matter the people's protest. In this case, at least, it seems that protest worked.Part of that may be because, again, those objecting to the law did so on only the mildest grounds.
Scholars and other experts are suggesting that the best route is to only criminalize actions that cause real financial damage to content owners.The general consensus among the academics is that making infringement criminally punishable may be acceptable, but only when full copyright works – such as movies, music, manga publications, and books – are exploited in their entirety.
Which, you know, okay. That's probably still too onerous, but at least it's a step back from the truly insane route Japan was on.

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MediaRadar Study: eBay, Walmart, and Spotify Among Top 10 Companies with Most Brand Safe Behavior

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One-third of major digital advertisers reduced programmatic ad spend in 2018 MediaRadar, a leading advertising intelligence and sales enablement platform, released an analysis yesterday of the top 10 brands exhibiting brand safe behavior.Comparing 2018 to 2017, these 10brandsexperienced a significant decrease in programmatic digital spend, while increasing direct digital spend considerably. Programmatic has been a […]The post MediaRadar Study: eBay, Walmart, and Spotify Among Top 10 Companies with Most Brand Safe Behavior appeared first on Adotas.

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Q&A: In-housing and brand attribution

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Ray Kingman, CEO and founder of Semcasting, shares his insights on the growing trend of in-housing and how brands can take the power of attribution into their own hands and the important elements they need to keep in mind as they do. What do you think led to the growing trend of brands bringing advertising […]The post Q&A: In-housing and brand attribution appeared first on Adotas.

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