Reporters Without Borders strongly condemns the six-month jail sentence that Mitja Kunstelj, a well-known and controversial blogger, received on 13 May on criminal charges of defaming and insulting two journalists in his blog. “Regardless of the offending content – and we are not trying to defend Kunstelj’s posts – the very possibility that someone can be jailed for abusing freedom of expression is utterly unacceptable,” Reporters Without Borders said. “It violates international conventions (…) …
Earlier this month we reported on yet another copyright troll lawsuit in the United States.
It was a slightly unusual in that instead of parading the usual porn titles, the case featured a horror movie. Furthermore, since the movie named in the suit was very low budget at just $20,000, settlements from just a handful of the couple of dozen alleged file-sharers mentioned in the suit would have covered the movie’s production costs.
Well, that was the theory at least.
As can be seen from the image below, documents submitted to the court clearly show the movie Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection. The problem is that the plaintiffs in the case – Dimentional Dead Productions – have made no such movie, nor do they own the rights to one.
This huge error means that a completely innocent film producer has been sucked into a controversy that has literally nothing to do with him.
TorrentFreak has been speaking with Andrew Jones, the producer of Night of the Living Dead: Resurrection, the movie named incorrectly in the lawsuit. He’s understandably not amused by Dimentional’s incompetence.
“I’d like to respond by saying that the real story here is that the court documents have named the WRONG movie involved in this case. Dimentional Dead Productions LLC are actually the makers of NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD 3D: RE-ANIMATION, and not NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD RESURRECTION which was produced by my production company North Bank Entertainment,” Jones told TorrentFreak.
Jones’ assertion is backed up by these entries (1,2) at the US Copyright Office.
The producer also underlined that his company has never been involved in suing people for file-sharing and would not consider it.
“I have actually been personally contacted by one of the downloaders accused in this case to inform me that the court documents have mistakenly named my film as the subject of this case,” Jones explains.
“I was sympathetic to his plight and think this whole practice of suing individuals is nonsense and I would personally not be interested in pursuing any case of this nature. I support people’s rights and freedoms and do not want my film to be mistakenly associated with Dimentional Dead Productions LLC or their nonsense lawsuit,” he adds.
Jones adds that if the ISP account holders in the lawsuit highlight the error, they might have a chance of getting the case thrown out.
“Lionsgate, a US studio, are distributing this title in North America and they had a legal team check out and confirm the ownership of this motion picture before they bought it. So there is no dispute over who owns this motion picture, Dimensional Dead definitely do not,” Jones explains.
“If the accused in this case point out to the court that the WRONG film has been named in the lawsuit and that Dimentional Dead Productions LLC hold NO rights in any territory to NIGHT OF THE LIVING DEAD: RESURRECTION, then the case will surely be thrown out of court.”
But of course, what has also happened here is that Jones’ good name has been sullied by the actions of Dimentional Dead. Perhaps his lawyers should be seeking a suitable settlement in that respect? Maybe, maybe not, but the matter looks set to continue.
“I will likely pass the details of this case onto Lionsgate as they will no doubt be interested in a company claiming for a film that they have the exclusive distribution rights in North America,” Jones concludes.
Source: File-Sharers Sued For Wrong Movie Title, Producer Outraged
Should human genes be patentable? That’s the
central question in Association for Molecular Pathology v.
Myriad Genetics, Inc., a case argued before the U.S. Supreme
Court this week. The lawsuit was organized by the American Civil
Liberties Union on behalf of several professional organizations
that have long opposed such patents, which the U.S. Patent and
Trademark Office has been granting since the 1980s. The plaintiffs
claim that patents impede rather than speed vital research and
development. Reason Science Correspondent Ronald Bailey
considers the evidence. View this article.
France launched one its biggest-ever trials on Wednesday as five managers from company PIP faced charges of selling faulty breast implants that sparked a global health scare. More than 5,000 women registered as plaintiffs in the case, which sees the defendants including PIP founder Jean-Claude Mas…
Cindy McCain is ready for her close-up.The wife of Sen. John McCain — and a memorable and sometimes icy figure from the 2008 presidential campaign — is to appear in a Phoenix production of “8,” the play by Dustin Lance Black dramatizing arguments against California’s anti-gay-marriage Proposition 8.McCain is to join Phoenix first lady Nicole Stanton in the production; the two will play Kris Perry and Sandra Stier, a lesbian couple who served as plaintiffs in the case against Proposition 8.In the 2008 presidential election, candidate John McCain voiced his support for Proposition 8, which was on the ballot in California:As I did in my home state of Arizona, I support the effort in California to define marriage as the union of a man and a woman. However, the people of California will ultimately decide this issue, and I’ll of course respect the decision of the voters.Continue Reading… …
Roberto Moreno-Gutierrez and Jaime Moreno-Gutierrez are suing Hill County, the Hill County Sheriff’s Department and the Texas Department of Public Safety in federal court.Their complaint states that the two men were en route from their home in Killeen, Texas to a car dealership in Plano, Texas to purchase a used hybrid electric car, AlterNet reports.At that point they were pulled over and detained by Texas State Trooper Carl. R. Clary, who was driving with a K-9 unit. Troop Clary was not, however, identified as a party to the complaint that has been filed since“The trooper provided no traffic violation or reason for the stop to the plaintiffs,” the complaint states. “The trooper requested driver licenses from both plaintiffs, which he then took to his patrol unit. Upon returning, he requested to search the vehicle. Consent was given, and he then brought out his dog. After a search, the dog was put in its kennel. No drugs or drug paraphernalia were found in the vehicle or on the plaintiffs.”“The officer used a translator apparatus to translate his questions but did not translate the Spanish responses into English,” the suit continues. “He inquired as to the money and the plaintiffs explained where it came from and why they had legal possession.”“There was simply no indication of wrongdoing. Nevertheless, Trooper Clary seized the money and waited for backup. After 20 minutes, the plaintiffs were taken to another squad car and were told they were going to be interviewed where it was quiet. Even though there was no sign from the K-9 and, therefore, no probable cause, the arriving officers tore apart the vehicle for money or drugs that did not exist.”It was at that point, the complaint alleges, that the two men were placed in the back of a police car and taken to the Hill County Sheriff Department Jail, located between Waco and Dallas. They claim the Texas Department of Public Safety officer failed to file a probable cause affidavit or to read them their rights.“At the Hill County Sheriff Department, the plaintiffs were never handcuffed, never Mirandized and never told they were under arrest; rather, they were asked when they were from. The money was counted, and they were then booked into Hill County Jail for what jail documents call pending charges pursuant to ‘money laundering,’” the complaint reads, as posted by Courthouse News.The plaintiffs, who were held in the jail for more than a month without a hearing or any finalized charges, are seeking damages for civil rights violations, false imprisonment, negligence, intentional infliction of emotional distress, and negligent supervision, training and retention.It’s not the first time in 2013 Texas cops have come under scrutiny for their practices at the jailhouse. Earlier this year, a Texas mother sued members of the Hays County Sheriff’s Department for failing to prevent her son from committing suicide while he was behind bars. The American Statesman reported that Eric Dykes hung himself in jail after only sporadically receiving medication for his bipolar disorder, the lawsuit claimed. …
Judges Rule on Police Practices Along the Canada-New York Border: No Unreasonable Searches, No Unreasonable Stops
A U.S. district judge ruled on Friday that cops
in Niagara County, New York were wrong to detain a couple for hours
for having windows tinted beyond what’s allowed in the state (it
was a permissible tint in Tennessee, where the car was registered)
and that, further, from the
“Given that material issues of fact exist as to whether
the continued detention of plaintiffs was constitutionally
permissible, a reasonable fact-finder could find that it was
objectively unreasonable for the officers to conclude that removal
of plaintiffs to a border facility, a further search and x-ray of
their car without their consent, and their continued detention for
an unspecified amount of time, did not violate plaintiffs’
constitutional rights,” Judge [Richard] Arcara ruled.
The couple says in the lawsuit they were stopped because they
Meanwhile, a county judge in St. Lawrence, New York
earlier ruled the Border Patrol
could not stop somebody just for driving carefully, even if a
subsequent search turned up drugs. From the
Agent [Brandon] Carrier became suspicious and about an
hour into the stop a drug dog was called to the scene, and a tire
filled with marijuana was found in the trunk. This evidence,
however, was thrown out because the traffic stop itself was deemed
invalid and the Border Patrol had no business stopping them.
“The court believes that Officer Carrier decided to follow the
white SUV and do a radio run because the driver appeared nervous,”
Judge [Kathleen] Rogers ruled. “Her actions were completely
consistent with a person who was not engaged in any criminal
activity. There was no basis to believe that a vehicle with a NYS
license plate and registration had crossed the border or was
engaged in any way with smuggling persons or contraband across the
Agent Carrier testified that he also became suspicious when he
learned the car was registered to someone with the common Indian
name of Deer.
“A vehicle stop must be valid at its inception: it cannot be
bootstrapped into reasonable suspicion by mounting concerns over
diverging explanations from the vehicle occupants as to their
intended destination,” Judge Rogers ruled. “His candid testimony
that the occupants looked like Mohawks and that one had what
Carrier believed is a Mohawk name, and that the car was listed for
an address near the Mohawk Indian reservation bordered on improper
It may have turned out differently in the agent had said his dog
alerted him from the beginning, based on
the recent unanimous Supreme Court ruling that a dog’s ok was
enough to warrant a search by police. …