Friday, May 14, 2010

TNS#70: Legal Topics: Fair Use, Fair Enforcement

The Next Step show #70 was taped 3/10/10 and featured a discussion of various legal topics of current interest with local attorneys Mark Malachowski ( and James Barrett ( in a return appearance on the show.

We opened with a discussion of Fair Use w/r copyrighted content and the need for copyright reform as espoused by Larry Lessig (,; and of the recent Citizens United Sup.Ct. case giving free speech rights to corporate speech. The discussion of Fair Enforcement was w/r local red light cams, and a recent local case where police broke down the front door and seized all electronics devices at a group house where a rape case suspect apparently tried to compromise an email account of the victim. (The landlord/manager was never even contacted).
The big issue w/r red light cams was: whether in fact you will be held liable unless you identify the true driver, as the Notice of Violation asserts. Our legal panelists seemed to support the view that the registered owner of a vehicle could be held liable for the violation, even if the photo didn't implicate the owner personally. In this case it turned out that, in fact, if the photo indicated someone else was driving, once in court the owner was not even asked to ID the actual driver, and the citation was dismissed. (Yay!)

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