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Not This Again: Facebook Threatens To Sue Guy Who Registered 'DontUseInstagram.com'

Ah, this one takes me back to the early days of Techdirt, when the biggest nonsense we were writing about was giant corporate bullies threatening (or in some cases suing!) over so called "Sucks Sites" (that's an article from almost 20 years ago!). The issue was that people who were upset with a particular company would register the domain of CompanySucks.com to (usually) put up a protest site. The company (and its lawyers)...

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Josh Hawley: We Must Break Up Companies Whose Politics I Disagree With For Discriminating Against People Whose Politics I Agree With

Josh Hawley is gonna Josh Hawley. The Senator from Missouri, who still has not apologized or admitted to supporting the invasion of the Capitol in an attempt to overturn the election, has a long history of nonsense bills that are performative for his riled up base. His latest is more of the same. On Monday he introduced the "Bust Up Big Tech Act" and even if you're a supporter of antitrust and think that big tech should be...

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Steven Biss Loses Yet Again; Judges Still Resist Sanctions

It truly is incredible how many second chances the courts are willing to give lawyers who clearly seem to be filing vexatious SLAPP suits. The lawyer in Devin Nunes' long list of SLAPP suits, Steven Biss, has a few other clients as well, though so many of them seem to be in the same Trumpist circles. The other thing they have in common is that Steven Biss seems to have no problem filing vexatious wasteful SLAPP suits to try to stifle...

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Republican's 'Big Tech Accountability' Platform Calls For Both More And Less Moderation, And A 'Not Fairness Doctrine' Fairness Doctrine

It's become quite clear over the past few years that the Republicans' platform these days is "punish those who disagree with us," or, in the shorter vernacular: "cry moar, libs." This becomes blatantly clear as you look at the newly released "Big Tech Accountability Platform" that the Republicans in the House have released (coming from the ranking member of the House Energy & Commerce Committee, Rep....

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Patent Loving Judge Keeps Pissing Off Patent Appeals Court, But Doesn't Seem To Care Very Much

You may recall last fall we had an absolutely astounding story about Judge Alan Albright, a former patent litigator, who was appointed as the only judge in the federal district court in Waco. He very, very quickly made it clear that he wanted all patent cases to come to him, turning the Western District of Texas into the new favored home of patent trolls, taking the mantle from East Texas, which has famously been the trolls' preferred...

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MSCHF Settles Upgraded Shoe Dispute With Nike And Promises (Wink, Wink) To Buy Back Satan Shoes

There were actually a whole bunch of interesting legal questions raised by Nike's trademark lawsuit against MSCHF the weird "structured chaos" organization that seems to basically sell publicity stunts as a business model. It had teamed up with the musician Lil Nas X to sell 666 pairs of upgrade Nike Air Max 97, complete with red ink (and, it claimed, a single drop of blood) inserted in the sole of the shoe. The lawsuit...

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North Carolina State Senators Read Section 230 Completely Backwards, Introduces Laughably Confused Bill In Response

What is it with state legislators not having anyone around them who can explain to them how Section 230 works, leading them to push incredibly stupid state bills? We've written about both Republicans and Democrats pushing bills to modify Section 230, ignoring how 230 likely pre-empts those attempts (if the 1st Amendment doesn't already). Many of these bills misunderstand Section 230, the 1st Amendment, or how content moderation...

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Another Day, Another Ridiculous NY Times Opinion Piece That Is Confused About Section 230 And Free Speech Online

What is it with the NY Times publishing incredibly ridiculously wrong and confused articles and op-eds about Section 230? It's gotten to the point that you have to think that they're doing it on purpose. I've covered the NY Times getting 230 wrong (often in totally embarrassing ways) over and over and over and over and over again. And those are just examples from the past two years. You'd think that maybe -- just maybe -- someone at...

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UK Politicians Getting Serious About Ending End-To-End Encryption

Last week we noted that there was some fairly mixed up pressure mounting on UK politicians to block encryption from some confused charities which (falsely) thought that ending encryption would somehow protect children. We also noted that many of the politicians pushing to end encryption... were using encrypted messaging themselves in an effort to dodge public records requests. And now more news is coming that the UK government is...

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Georgia Republicans Try To Punish Delta For CEO's Statement About Voting Rights Law

Punishing people or companies for their speech is never something any politician should ever be engaged in. It's why we called out Elizabeth Warren recently. And now we'll call out Republican legislators in Georgia, who tried (but failed) to punish Delta in direct response to its CEO's comments. The details honestly don't matter here, because all that matters is "politicians looking to punish speech" but we'll give the basic...