“Gamer vs Cartoon” Lawsuit Gets Erased

More Arcade Games, by flickr user Sam Howzlt, licensed by Creative Commons.

Game Over, Please Insert Coin

Sometimes the court room can become a little cartoonish, but a recent case regarding a real man’s likeness to a TV show character has reached a new level. Billy Mitchell, the man famous for holding the world record for the video game Donkey Kong, recently filed a lawsuit against Cartoon Network. One of the network’s shows, aptly named “Regular Show”, featured a character who looks very similar to Mitchell, who appears as a floating head with video game skills. The character, named “GBF”, has long brown hair and big beard, very similar to the plaintiff. Mitchell came to fame in 2007 alongside the documentary “King of Kong”, which tells the story of how he broke the world record for Donkey Kong, and also details his prowess in other arcade games like Pac-Man. A judge in New Jersey recently decided that the lawsuit itself was without merit, and decided to pull the plug.

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Yelp Reviews – The Good, The Bad, and The Ugly

When it comes to Yelp reviews, businesses expose themselves to a variety of comments –

Carpets

Keeping carpets clean.

from the happiest customers to the most outraged ones. One small business owner, Mr. Joe Hadeed, is taking a stand against several negative reviews posted on Yelp’s website. Hadeed is the owner and operator of Hadeed Carpet Cleaning, a small, Virginia-based business with a listing on Yelp’s website. After his listing received several anonymous negative reviews, Mr. Hadeed decided to take legal action. Hadeed’s lawyer, Mr. Raighne Delaney “issued a subpoena demanding the names of [the] seven anonymous reviewers” (Howell & Swarts, 2014). Delaney and Hadeed argued that the reviews were created by fictitious customers and therefore were fraudulent posts. Read More

Is It Legal To Film Police?

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

Courtroom

I’m sure everyone can remember a YouTube video of police brutality or an invasive TSA pat-down that made them cringe. Imagine all of the encounters that never make it to the internet.  Those moments are only made public because of someone exercises their First Amendment right.

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New Apple iPhone Patent Raises First Ammendment Concerns

Decorative Scales of Justice in the Courtroom

Decisions

Apple recently acquired a patent  that would disable an iPhone’s camera, recording ability and even put it into sleep mode.  The patent characterizes its function as “forcing certain electronic devices to enter ‘sleep mode’ when entering a sensitive area”.  There are certainly some benefits of this feature that would make life a little less annoying.  Wouldn’t it be wonderful to never enjoy a film without the interruption of someone’s cell phone?  College lectures would be silent of ringtones and it could even cut down on cheating.  While these functions appear to be harmless and even beneficial, there are serious legal questions being raised that cause some to worry about other uses of the patent.   What exactly is a sensitive area and who gets to determine this?

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Natalee Holloway’s Mother Seeks Revenge Against Tabloids

Tabloids, by Flickr user "mtsofan", licensed via Creative Commons.It’s puzzling how ragmags can hide behind the First Amendment and get away with publishing outlandish headlines and blatant hurtful lies.  Take a trip down the checkout aisle and you’ll see some outrageous headlines.  You have “John Travolta’s Cross Dressing Scandal”, next to that, the gut-wrenching “Brad & Angelina Twins Health Shocker: Tragic Down Syndrome”, and right before you can whip out your wallet, you are overcome with disgust when you still see headlines regarding the disappearance of Natalee Holloway.  You might ask yourself, “how can these magazines publish such lies, and seven years going, no less?  Isn’t this libel?  And what about that poor girl’s still-living mother?”  Well, after nearly a decade of enduring near-daily assaults on the memory of her daughter, Beth Holloway is ready to fight back against tabloids.

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