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March 2019
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Digital Marketing Trends That Will Define Success of Online Businesses in 2019

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By Erica Sunarjo Digital marketing is changing incredibly fast, making it more difficult for online businesses to create and optimize promotional content that corresponds to the latest industry requirements. The first two months of 2019 showed that some of the digital marketing strategies that were effective last year might not be as good as they […]The post Digital Marketing Trends That Will Define Success of Online Businesses in 2019 appeared first on Adotas.

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posted at: 12:00am on 06-Mar-2019
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The Insider Secrets for Hello World

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The Insider Secrets for Hello World You will carry on to let it operate since you stop by this next report. Nothing might have assisted them longer. Yes, in the event that you should be doing Math. If you should be capable of going into the candidate name in the writing box and vote and […]The post The Insider Secrets for Hello World appeared first on Adotas.

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Marketers Weigh in: Celebrities Are No Longer the Key to a Brand's Success

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By, Kamiu Lee, CEO, ACTIVATE A new era of more thoughtful influencer marketing drives towards a broadening of the industry When influencer marketing first entered the scene as a tool,brands used to build awareness, expand their reach and be associated with a dominant figure, there weren't many pre-existing parameters to guide you. A celebrity with […]The post Marketers Weigh in: Celebrities Are No Longer the Key to a Brand's Success appeared first on Adotas.

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Judge Refuses To Hand The Government Biker Gang's Trademark

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If we were ever to hand out some kind of award for a trademark dispute due to both its insanity and longevity, surely that award would go the US Government's attempt to strip the Mongols, a motorcycle gang, of its trademark. This whole thing actually started way back in 2008, with the government arresting several Mongols members for all manner of crimes ranging from extortion to murder. On top of prosecuting these cases and the gang, it requested it be allowed to seize the Mongols trademark on its logo, reasoning that this would allow them to simply strip any members of any biker gear that displayed the logo, even though that isn't what trademark allows one to do. This somehow continued several years later, when the remaining members of the gang claimed the group collectively owned the trademark in question, meaning that the government couldn't simply take control of it.And, amazingly, this whole thing continues to today. It looked for all the world that this case was finally going to wrap up with the trademark being handed over to the US Government. In a jury verdict, the jury had ordered exactly that to happen. To the suprise of many, however, the judge overseeing the case stepped in and disregarded that part of the judgement, arguing that it would violate the First Amendment.

Denying Mongol members the ability to display the logo on their leather riding jackets and elsewhere would overstep the right to free expression embedded in the 1st Amendment, as well as the 8th Amendment’s ban on excessive penalties, U.S. District Judge David O. Carter found.“There is a realistic danger that the transfer of the rights associated with the symbol to the government will have a chilling effect,” Carter wrote.
The government's request relied on likening the trademark the Mongols had on its iconography as property of the same kind as its guns and contraband, suggesting that the logo was a chief tool of a criminal enterprise. Forfeiture laws are not typically used in this way, and it was quite clear that the government was attempting to stretch all kinds of definitions as a way to cripple every last bit of a biker gang that is indeed quite infamous. Still, the judge rightly notes that the bar with regard to the First Amendment is quite high, and allowing the government to essentially strip speech in this way would be both unconstitutional and would create a chilling effect on speech more generally.
The judge said 1st Amendment issues were undeniably at play because the type of trademarks the Mongols own, called collective membership marks, don’t serve any commercial purpose but only help members to identify themselves as part of a group.And because the jury had found the logo was tied directly to the conspiracy charge but not the murders and other violent crimes with which the club was accused of participating, Carter concluded forfeiting the trademarks would violate the Constitution’s 8th Amendment, which forbids the government from imposing excessive punishments.Denying members control over the logo would be an “unjustified and grossly disproportionate” punishment, he wrote.
And, so, the gang gets to keep its logo, though the government has announced it may appeal this specific decision. It really shouldn't, though. Already the biker gang has been convicted of multiple crimes, from rackateering to murder. Going after the trademark again, even after all of these years, is pretty clear overreach.

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Missouri Law Enforcement Is Dodging State Forfeiture Laws To Screw Schools And Keep Drugs Flowing Into The State

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The journalists at St. Louis Public Radio are the latest to dig into their state's asset forfeiture programs. Despite the state receiving a decent grade from the Institute of Justice for the controls it places on state-level forfeitures, the station found plenty of abuse thanks to the federal loophole, which allows law enforcement to bypass all the built-in protections legislators have enacted.

Missouri law around asset forfeiture contains some fairly strong protections. Civil asset forfeiture can only take place after a conviction or a guilty plea in a criminal case. In addition, the money is set aside for schools. The Institute for Justice, a libertarian-leaning legal advocacy group, gave Missouri a grade of B+, among the best in the country. In the federal system, however, no criminal conviction is required, and police departments can keep up to 80 percent of the money they seize.Prosecutors like Tim Lohmar in St. Charles County make the decision whether to handle potential asset-forfeiture cases with state charges, or at the federal level. The vast majority of the time, Lohmar chooses the federal process.
This has resulted in a windfall of over $1 million for local law enforcement agencies. Thanks to federal adoption, the money train never stops, no matter what state laws require. If the forfeiture is tied to criminal charges, the money goes to local schools. Cops aren't fond of sharing, so only three of the 36 forfeiture cases processed by Lohmar last year included criminal charges for the person the cash was taken from.The preference to grab cash, rather than drugs, has led to some completely nonsensical defenses of civil asset forfeiture.
“When you seize a thousand pounds of marijuana in the St. Louis area, you’re really not hurting the operations of a drug cartel in Mexico, because the cost to produce that thousand pounds is negligible in the grand scheme of things,” [State Rep. Justin] Hill said.
We're expected to believe cultivating and processing drugs is a zero cost effort but lost cash can never be replaced. It stands to reason that the production and sales of drugs aren't going to stop, so the seizure of a few thousand dollars from a random driver is also pretty "negligible in the grand scheme of things."And we know cops don't actually care about stopping the drug flow. They allow the drugs to make their way into St. Louis and camp out on the roads leading away from the city to seize cash they believe resulted from the drug sales they can't be bothered to stop.
[Sgt. Carmello] Crivello, like most highway interdictors, focuses on the westbound lanes of the interstate, targeting cash, rather than drugs, that comes through Missouri in the eastbound lanes.“The westbound, generally speaking, are the profits from the drug sales,” said Crivello in an interview, “... so stopping westbound (is) more likely to hurt drugs … (You) hurt the cartels more than you hit the pocketbooks.”
Repeating the same fallacy doesn't make it true. Law enforcement agencies like cash and the federal loophole that allows them to keep 80% of what they seize. What they don't like is the work that comes with actually dismantling drug cartels which, at some point, has to involve drug seizures and arrests, rather than pocketing cash and sending drivers on their way.The state's law enforcement agencies have a chance to do some truly great things with forfeiture money. As was noted earlier, adding arrests to seizures routes funds to the state's public school system. Rather than be an active contributor to their communities -- both by funding schools and actually taking drug runners off the street -- cops are seizing cash and asking the feds to launder the proceeds so they can bypass local schools and any pretense of stopping the flow of drugs into the state.
Of the $19 million collected in asset forfeitures over the past three years, $340,000 has gone to schools. That’s less than 2 cents on the dollar. Most of the rest of the money went to law-enforcement agencies for new equipment, squad cars, weapons, ammunition and jail cells.
Legislators enacted reforms almost two decades ago. Law enforcement immediately found a way to circumvent these restrictions. For a brief moment a few years ago, the federal government closed the escape hatch. That has been reopened and it certainly won't be closing again while Trump is in office. Fortunately, state legislators are aware of what's happening and are attempting to close this loophole.
Missouri State Rep. Shamed Dogan, R-Ballwin, has tried unsuccessfully during recent legislative sessions to pass a reform measure that would reduce the number of forfeitures that go the federal Equitable Sharing route and thus circumvent state law. Opposition from law-enforcement groups has kept the proposal bottled up in committee.Dogan is considering two forms of the bill. One would bar officers from sending forfeitures of less than $100,000 to the federal program. An alternative, more palatable to law enforcement, would set the cap at $50,000. In other words, the small seizures would have to comply with state law, while the big seizures could go the federal route.
Doing this would force state cops to play by the rules set up in 1991 -- the ones that gave the state residents some of the best protections in the country. It would make them focus on actually stopping the drug trade, rather than directly profiting from it.

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