- “Lying to a Lover Could Become ‘Rape’ In New Jersey” [Elizabeth Nolan Brown/Reason, Scott Greenfield]
- “A $21 Check Prompts Toyota Driver to Wonder Who Benefited from Class Action” [Jacob Gershman, WSJ Law Blog]
- On “right of publicity” litigation over the image of the late General George Patton [Eugene Volokh]
- HBO exec: “We have probably 160 lawyers” looking at film about Scientology [The Hollywood Reporter]
- Revisiting the old and unlamented Cambridge, Mass. rent control system [Fred Meyer, earlier]
- Lawyers! Wanna win big by appealing to the jurors’ “reptile” brain? Check this highly educational offering [Keenan Ball]
- “Suit claims Google’s listings for unlicensed locksmiths harmed licensed business” [ABA Journal]
- Nastygrams fly at Christmas time over display and festival use of “Jingle Bells”, Grinch, etc. [Elefant]
- Claims that smoking ban led to instantaneous plunge in cardiac deaths in Scotland turns out to be as fishy as similar claims elsewhere [Siegel on tobacco via Sullum, Reason “Hit and Run”]
- Myths about the costs and consequences of an automaker Chapter 11 filing [Andrew Grossman, Heritage; Boudreaux, WSJ] Drowning in mandates and Congress throws them an anchor [Jenkins, WSJ]
- Mikal Watts may be the most generous of the trial lawyers bankrolling the Texas Democratic Party’s recent comeback [Texas Watchdog via Pero]
- Disney settles ADA suit demanding Segway access at Florida theme parks “by agreeing to provide disabled guests with at least 15 newly-designed four-wheeled vehicles.” [OnPoint News, earlier]
- Update on Scientology efforts to prevent resale of its “e-meter” devices on eBay [Coleman]
- Scary: business-bashing lawprof Frank Pasquale wants the federal government to regulate Google’s search algorithm [Concurring Opinions, SSRN]
- Kind of an endowment all by itself: “Princeton is providing $40 million to pay the legal fees of the Robertson family” (after charges of endowment misuse) [MindingTheCampus]
YouTube received a flurry of takedown notices, but “quickly realized something was fishy, and began investigating.” It “rapidly became clear” that the entities filing the takedown demands “did not hold the copyrights to the materials they claimed to be infringed, including footage from a Clearwater City Commission meeting and a man-on-the-street interview. In addition, many of these videos were obvious fair uses, such as independent news reports.” (Eva Galperin, Electronic Frontier Foundation, Sept. 25)(via Ardia).
From a Rolling Stone investigative report on L. Ron Hubbard’s Church of Scientology (Janet Reitman, “Inside Scientology”, Feb. 23):
The church has a storied reputation for squelching its critics through litigation, and according to some reports, intimidation (a trait that may explain why the creators of South Park jokingly attributed every credit on its November 2005 sendup of Scientology to the fictional John and Jane Smith; Paramount, reportedly under pressure, has agreed not to rerun the episode here or to air it in England).
Yes, it’s the Scientologists again (see Apr. 16, 2004; Mar. 25-26, 2002; Mar. 19-20, 2001; May 3, 2000). This time they’re threatening a New Zealand parody site named ScienTOMogy.info, which is thus named in honor of Scientology adherent Tom Cruise (via Matt Welch, Reason “Hit and Run”, Oct. 19, headline and all). More: Ron Coleman, Likelihood of Confusion, Oct. 22.
“A former member and longtime critic of the Church of Scientology has been ordered by a Marin County judge to pay the church $500,000 for speaking out against the controversial religious movement.” Scientology defector Gerald Armstrong, in a 1986 settlement of earlier litigation with the church, had agreed to “maintain strict confidentiality and silence with respect to his experiences with the Church of Scientology” with a penalty of $50,000 for every offending utterance. “The church maintains that Armstrong has violated the agreement at least 201 times and owes it just over $10 million.” Armstrong’s “lawyer noted that his client had declared bankruptcy to avoid paying past damages won by Scientology, and Armstrong still vows to never pay a penny to the church.” (Don Lattin, San Francisco Chronicle, Apr. 13). See also Mar. 25-26, 2002; May 3, 2000.