e dot dot dot
a mostly about the Internet blog by

home << Policy
April 2021
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
       
 


Flip-Flop: Nike Now On The Receiving End Of Trademark Threat Over USPS Inspired Sneakers

Furnished content.


Nike finds itself on our pages again. We're fresh off of the settlement Nike reached with MSCHF over the Lil Nas X "Satan shoes". That settlement sees MSCHF agreeing to buy back at retail prices 666 modified Nike Air Max 97s after Nike sued over trademark. It could have been an interesting case, bringing in all kinds of questions about resale rights, the First Amendment, ownership of property, and more. Instead, it all ends with a posturing settlement that achieves nearly nothing, since these fought-over shoes have suddenly been moonshot into an even more rare and valuable item than they already were. But, Nike gets its ounce of litigation blood and gets to pretend this is all somehow a victory.And perhaps that settlement will be referenced in another trademark dispute that seems to be brewing between the United States Postal Service and Nike, with Nike this time on the receiving end of the threats.

In an ironic twist, the sneaker giant is being taken to task by the United States Postal Service over an upcoming postal service-inspired sneaker reportedly being planned by Nike. The USPS’s challenge, the latest in a string of public relations headaches for the top athletic brand, all but guarantees the company will end up in court once again — but with the shoe on the other foot.According to a USPS statement provided to Yahoo Finance, Nike’s experimental Air Force 1 sneaker “is neither licensed nor otherwise authorized by the U.S. Postal Service This is an unfortunate situation where a large brand such as Nike, which aggressively protects its intellectual property, has chosen to leverage another brand for its gain.”
Now, perhaps you're wondering just how much borrowing Nike is doing here. Well...
So, yes, the imagery of this entire sneaker is very clearly an homage to the USPS iconography and dress. Due to that, the USPS statement also noted ominously that it will do everything necessary to protect its "IP rights".It's worth noting that I don't think this sort of thing represents trademark infringement necessarily. The chief questions in these cases are, first, will the public be confused into thinking there is some kind of official association at play here and, second, does the use in question dilute the brand. I would argue that nobody is going to think that the USPS is somehow now in the sneaker business and, because of that, nobody is going to think less or differently of the federal mail system by this use.But, on the other hand, those are the same arguments made by those of us who pushed back on Nike's suit against MSCHF.
According to Christopher Buccafusco, a legal expert at the Cardozo Law School in New York City, Nike might find itself on far more shaky ground than when a judge ruled relatively swiftly in its favor.“Nike’s claims to doing this without a license are much weaker than MSCHF,” he told Yahoo Finance. The latter “is engaged in a pretty obvious set of criticism and comments on Nike and Nike’s role in corporate culture. All of the sorts of things that we think fair use are there to protect,” he explained.Yet Nike “is not doing any of that. [It’s just saying] that’s a cool logo that USPS uses, we want to use your cool logo. It’s not a commentary on USPS,” Buccafusco added. “Nike is not engaged in a first sale. It’s not like Nike bought USPS logos and stuck them on their shoes. They created a logo that was like the USPS logo because it kind of looks cool to them,” he said.
Note here as well that Buccafusco, despite the above, went on to state that he does not think Nike should lose this case if it does in fact go to court.But, you know, live by the sword and die by the sword and all that. Given the recent lawsuit and settlement reached, it strains the mind to see how in the world Nike plans to articulate a coherent defense for itself in this case.

Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 14-Apr-2021
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



Court Says Two Cops Who Deployed Deadly Force Can Use Florida's Victims' Rights Law To Hide Their Names From The Public

Furnished content.


Laws written with good intentions are being used in bad faith by public servants hoping to shield themselves from public scrutiny. Multiple states have passed versions of "Marsy's Law" -- legislation that grants more rights to victims of crime, including blocking the release of personal info under the theory this will protect victims' privacy and head off abuse and harassment.Law enforcement officers have discovered this law and legislators' seeming unwillingness to exempt public employees from these protections. And, since officers are often able to claim every violent act they've engaged in was predicated by a criminal act by the suspect they've deployed force against, they're able to claim they were "victims" of crimes, even if the crime was nothing more than the grab bag of charges commonly known as "contempt of cop."We saw this law put to work a few years ago in South Dakota. An officer, who shot an arrestee two times, was able to keep their name private despite being engaged in public service and presumably putting their name on official reports about the incident -- reports that would be considered public records.It has happened again, this time in Florida. Two officers who deployed deadly force against arrestees -- represented by their police union -- have successfully sued to keep their names secret. The Florida Court of Appeal says the victims' rights enacted by the law are constitutional and the withholding of these officers' name is completely justified. (via Volokh Conspiracy)The lower court's decision coming down on the side of transparency and accountability has been reversed. Here's how the lower court summed it up:

The Court finds that the explicit language of Marsy’s Law was not intended to apply to law enforcement officers when acting in their official capacity.[...]The officers do not seek protection from the wouldbe accuseds, instead they apparently seek protection from possible retribution for their on-duty actions from unknown persons in the community. This type of protection is outside the scope of Marsy’s Law and is inconsistent with the express purpose and language of the amendment. This Court cannot interpret Marsy’s Law to shield police officers from public scrutiny of their official actions.
Unfortunately, this court can interpret the law this way. It says the lower court misread the conflict between the state's victims' rights law and the public's right to "inspect or copy records of any state of local agency." The Appeals Court [PDF] says the newer law (the victims' right law) supersedes the older public records law (emphasis in the original).
Article I, section 16 can be construed in harmony with article I, section 24(a)—without excluding from the definition of crime victim any person entitled to protection under article I, section 16. Article I, section 24(a) describes the broad right to inspect or copy public records in Florida:Every person has the right to inspect or copy any public record made or received in connection with the official business of any public body, officer, or employee of the state, or persons acting on their behalf, except with respect to records exempted under this section or specifically made confidential by this Constitution.
The Appeals Court says older laws can be altered by newer laws, and residents' overwhelming support of the state's Marsy's Law (61% of voters) suggests the state as a whole desired the new law to protect every criminal victim, even public servants charged with arresting suspected criminals.The court says the police can police themselves. It does not need the assistance of the public that has been locked out by this use of the victims' rights law.
This does not mean that the public cannot hold law enforcement officers accountable for any misconduct. Maintaining confidential information about a law enforcement officer who is a crime victim would not halt an internal affairs investigation nor impede any grand jury proceedings. Nor would it prevent a state attorney from reviewing the facts and considering whether the officer was a victim. If a prosecutor determines that the officer was not a victim and instead charges the officer for his conduct, then the officer would forfeit the protections…
But these are all state and local actions that -- while nominally performed to benefit the public -- rarely involve direct public participation or result in outcomes that approach any widely understood definition of "accountability."This may be the correct ruling inasmuch as that's what the law says. But it's certainly not keeping with the spirit of the law, which was supposed to protect crime victims, not shield public employees from accountability. Legislators who've enacted these laws around the nation need to amend them to ensure this sort of abuse ceases.

Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 14-Apr-2021
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



Iowa Senate Approves Bill That Would Add Qualified Immunity To The State Law Books

Furnished content.


In 2018, the Iowa Supreme Court decided to align the state with one of the worst aspects of federal jurisprudence. Deciding it was too much to demand law enforcement officers perform their duties without violating rights, the state's top court decided to adopt a form of qualified immunity so plaintiffs could be just as screwed in state courts as in federal courts.The case prompting this decision dealt with an arrest of someone who drove an ATV through a ditch. This violated state law but did not violate city laws. So, the court decided this bizarre case involving a conflict of state and local laws should be the standard bearer for civil rights lawsuits going forward.A long dissent decried this decision, saying that lowering Iowa's standard to the federal standard was the wrong way to go. It would only make cops worse by providing them with a built-in excuse for every time they crossed constitutional lines.

We should not voluntarily drape our constitutional law with the heavy chains of indefensible doctrine. We should aim to eliminate fictions in our law and be honest and forthright on the important question of what happens when officers of the law commit constitutional wrongs that inflict serious reputational, emotional, and financial harms on our citizens.
That's been the standard in the state since this decision. For some reason -- with protests against police violence still ongoing around the nation -- the state legislature feels now is the time to codify the doctrine first conjured up by the US Supreme Court into Iowa law.
The Iowa Senate passed legislation Monday intended to strengthen 'qualified immunity” for law enforcement officers who take forceful action in situations where state law is 'not sufficiently clear” to understand their conduct might violate someone's constitutional protections.Majority Republicans said the statutory language is needed to clarify court rulings and provide 'balance” in cases where the law was not 'clearly established” at the time of an incident giving rise to a claim against an officer.
The bill does more than give Iowa officers a new defense tactic. It codifies the US Supreme Court's watered-down legal standards that have made it extremely difficult for plaintiffs suing over rights violations to succeed.
Under provisions of the legislation, a law enforcement officer would not be found liable in any action for damages in an individual capacity if the state law was not sufficiently clear so that the officer would have understood the conduct was a violation of the Constitution or any other law, or the law was not clearly established at the time of the incident giving rise to the claim against the officer.The burden would be on the plaintiff to show that the law enforcement officer violated a clearly established constitutional or statutory right and the officer's employing agency would not be liable if the officer was found not to be liable under the new provision.
There is no reason to do this since state precedent says this already exists. What's happening here appears to be political point scoring that caters to the base these legislators have chosen to serve.
'We're not here today to try to create something new,” said Sen. Dan Dawson, R-Council Bluffs, 'we're trying to preserve the current law of the land right now because there are a slew of political actors out there that have decided in making kicking law enforcement in their teeth a hobby every day.”
If you're not creating anything new, why are you bothering? Is this the counter-hobby -- one that placates cops and gives cop fans a reason to cheer, even as it makes holding officers accountable much more difficult? The legislation is, at best, redundant. At worst, it's a public statement to law enforcement that their supposed oversight is more interested in keeping officers happy than making sure they respect the rights of the people they serve.

Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 13-Apr-2021
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first



Activists Say Biden Camp Taking Too Long To Properly Staff The FCC

Furnished content.


If you'll recall, the Trump administration rushed the appointment of Nathan Simington to the FCC last year, despite Simington having absolutely no real experience or qualifications for the role. That's because Simington was appointed for two other reasons. One being the idiotic (and utterly hypocritical if you tracked the net neutrality fights) effort by the Trump administration to try and have the FCC target Section 230, which was derailed by Trump's election loss.But the other purpose of Simington's rush announcement was to ensure the FCC would be gridlocked at 2-2 commissioners. Like the FTC, the FCC is comprised of a 3-2 partisan makeup depending on who controls the White House. And while Biden could have easily appointed a new FCC Commissioner to break that gridlock, we're now three months-plus into his Presidency and the Biden camp still hasn't appointed a third Democratic Commissioner (and potential new FCC boss).Without that majority, the FCC can't reverse a lot of Trump era policies, like net neutrality. Or the telecom-lobbyist backed effort to effectively lobotomize the FCC's consumer protection authority. And not too surprisingly, activists are starting to get a little punchy about the delay

"The Federal Communications Commission is deadlocked, and will remain so until the Biden administration nominates, and the Senate confirms, a fifth commissioner. But we desperately need a functional FCC now: Millions of people are without reliable Internet access in the midst of a pandemic, kids are sitting outside Taco Bell to do homework, and people need to access information about how to get a vaccine."
On the one hand, some delay is understandable given the sheer volume of priorities on the administration's plate. At the same time, as telecom policy wonk Harold Feld notes, the delay is effectively crippling the FCC's ability to do its job during a pandemic that is clearly showcasing the essential nature of broadband. And the window broadband industry reform advocates are working with could be a very narrow one:
"That's basically a year lost on the ability to move forward on anything remotely controversial, or starting major new initiatives. That's huge, particularly if either the House or Senate (or both) flips in 2022. As I say, it's understandable given the multiple crises and the catastrophic damage done by the Trump Administration to the basic infrastructure of governance. But even if it's understandable, it's a trade-off with costs that need to be appreciated."
While vague, the Biden broadband plan is hitting most of the right notes with activists, given its heavy focus on community broadband efforts (and a strange concept known as "more competition"). But it's going to have one hell of a time getting passed a heavily telecom-lobbied Congress. Meanwhile, the FCC, the one agency perfectly tailored to holding telecom monopolies accountable, is effectively being forced to sit on its hands and wait before it's able to actually do its job and reverse Trump era policies focused largely on one thing: making AT&T, Verizon, and Comcast happy.The lag in prioritizing the appointment of a new FCC head is just the latest indication of our myopic, imbalanced obsession with "big tech" as the only policy conversation worth having, while "big telecom" gets a free pass. While "big tech" gobbles up all the policy oxygen and sees endless calls for antitrust reform, "big telecom" continues to not only expand its massive broadband monopoly and vertically-integrated media empires, but increasingly mimic all the worst aspects of "big tech" as telecom giants increasingly push into online advertising."Big telecom" is every bit as problematic as "big tech" (in some ways worse given telecom's physical monopoly over access itself and close alliance with law enforcement and intelligence) yet the sector continues to get DC policy attention that floats somewhere between kid gloves and outright apathy.

Read more here

posted at: 12:00am on 13-Apr-2021
path: /Policy | permalink | edit (requires password)

0 comments, click here to add the first


home << Policy

April 2021
Sun Mon Tue Wed Thu Fri Sat
       
 







RSS (site)  RSS (path)

ATOM (site)  ATOM (path)

Categories
 - blog home

 - Announcements  (1)
 - Annoyances  (0)
 - Career_Advice  (0)
 - Domains  (0)
 - Downloads  (3)
 - Ecommerce  (0)
 - Fitness  (0)
 - Home_and_Garden  (0)
     - Cooking  (0)
     - Tools  (0)
 - Humor  (0)
 - Notices  (0)
 - Observations  (1)
 - Oddities  (2)
 - Online_Marketing  (146)
     - Affiliates  (1)
     - Merchants  (1)
 - Policy  (2365)
 - Programming  (0)
     - Browsers  (1)
     - DHTML  (0)
     - Javascript  (5)
     - PHP  (0)
     - PayPal  (0)
     - Perl  (37)
          - blosxom  (0)
     - Unidata_Universe  (22)
 - 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  (0)
          - Cowboys  (0)
          - Patriots  (0)
     - Futbol  (0)
          - The_Rest  (0)
          - USA  (0)
 - Windows  (1)
 - Woodworking  (0)


Archives
 -2021  April  (23)
 -2021  March  (48)
 -2021  February  (42)
 -2021  January  (46)
 -2020  December  (47)
 -2020  November  (46)
 -2020  October  (48)
 -2020  September  (49)
 -2020  August  (47)
 -2020  July  (46)
 -2020  June  (46)
 -2020  May  (49)


My Sites

 - Millennium3Publishing.com

 - SponsorWorks.net

 - ListBug.com

 - TextEx.net

 - FindAdsHere.com

 - VisitLater.com