Monday, March 18, 2019

Google Hit With Boring Lawsuit

A couple in love with their privacy has sued Google in a Pennsylvania state court and its program for invasion of privacy, claiming “mental suffering and diminished value of their property.” The Boring couple, Aaron and Christine are suing for $25,000.

“The Borings claim that Google drove down Oakridge Lane — a private road owned by residents — and then further trespassed into their driveway to take a photo that includes their pool. ‘If you were sitting in the pool, you’d see a Google vehicle right there close enough to hand them a drink,’ said Moskal. ‘It’s fortuitous that no one was in the pool.’”

A lawyer for the usually anti-Google Electronic Frontier Foundation, Kevin Bankston, thinks this suit may have some merit, but perhaps only if Christine was a little daring and showed us her derrière. He “pointed to a 1964 Alabama case, Daily Times-Democrat v. Graham, 162 So.2d 474, where a newspaper was held liable for printing a photo of a woman whose skirt had been blown over her head, even though the picture was taken in a public place….”

Clancco also plans on suing Google’s Street View for making us endure this cheesy and nerdy goofball with his orange suit. More at


Texas Judge: Stripping Is Constitutional

Earlier this year, Clancco reported that Texas had just instituted a “pole tax”: a $5 surcharge to be paid by all visitors wishing to gawk at naked women. However, on March 28th, a Texas state district judge ruled that Texas may not collect a $5-per-customer strip-club fee that went into effect in January. Judge Scott Jenkins wrote in an opinion that the fee, ‘while furthering laudable goals, violates the First Amendment to the United States Constitution and is therefore invalid.’


More at FirstAmendmentCenter.


Rabbi Sues American Apparel

Yesterday, Woody Allen sued American Apparel Inc, claiming it had used his image, depicting him as a rabbi, in advertising on billboards and the Internet without his consent. The billboard ads appeared in New York and California, according to the suit, filed in U.S. District Court in Manhattan.


Allen did not endorse or consent to such use: “Allen does not engage in the commercial endorsement of products or services in the United States,” according to the lawsuit. He is seeking damages in excess of $10 million. More from Reuters.


Art not Terrorism: Hackers Acquitted

So far two for two. Showing once again that judges aren’t completely clueless when it comes to art.

“Seven Czech artists who faked a nuclear explosion in a stunt broadcast live on national television were acquitted yesterday of spreading false information, escaping a potential prison term of up to three years.


The Ztohoven group of young artists admitted hacking into a live panoramic broadcast of the Krkonose Mountains in the north of the country on June 17 last year, after climbing a television tower to attach a computer. Viewers watching the public broadcaster Czech Television saw a bright flash of light followed by an ominous mushroom cloud in the distance.

A county court in Trutnov ruled yesterday that the stunt ‘was not a criminal act’, according to Czech news station CT24.” More on this in The Guardian.


Georgia Man Beats Wal-Mart in Trademark Suit

Another intellectual property victory for the lonely artist against a mega-corporate conglomerate. Aided by Lawrence Lessig, Public Citizen and the ACLU, “[a] Conyers, Ga., man has won a two-year legal battle with Wal-Mart, which has demanded he stop making and selling T-shirts, beer steins and other items that sport slogans such as “Wal-ocaust” and “Wal-Qaeda.” He started producing his Wal-ocaust-themed products and offering them for sale at the Web site, which allows sellers to create their own home pages to market their items.”


(bumper sticker logo from Logo image by Charles Smith)

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Dirty Words and Fleeting Expletives Revisited

This past week, the U.S. Supreme Court agreed to review decency regulations as they apply to television and radio, specifically, “fleeting” or accidental use of expletives in live broadcasts. In effect, to review the 30 year-old ruling of FCC v. Pacifica Radio (whether a broadcast of patently offensive words dealing with sex and excretion may be regulated because of its content). The Pacifica case specifically dealt with George Carlin’s “seven dirty words”: S**t, P**s, F**k, C**t, C**ks****r, Mother*****r and T**s.

Regarding the “fleeting” expletives and accidental use, The First Amendment Center writes: “for most of the 30 years since, broadcasters have felt generally unthreatened when a prime-time expletive escaped from an entertainer’s mouth. That changed after the seemingly spontaneous use of the F-word by Cher in 2002 and both the F-word and the S-word by Nicole Richie in 2003 on Fox broadcasts of the Billboard Music Awards. In accepting an award, Cher said critics had counted her out for decades, and she added, ‘So f— ‘em. I still have a job, and they don’t.’”

The case is FCC v. Fox Television Stations.


Death of the Art Critic

The Guardian’s Adrian Searle has an interesting article on the uselessness of criticism and art critics today (including on Dave Hickey, Jerry Saltz, and Donald Duck). Nothing in this article touches on law, but being that Clancco does partake in online writing and criticism we felt the need to comment. Although Searle makes some interesting and on-point observations, we feel he neglects some other pertinent issues, such as the role played in the death of relevant (and interesting) criticism by the redundant and moribund theories still being kicked around universities and art schools. Perhaps if critics accessed other discourses more relevant to our times and dispensed with the laundry list of canonical writers, more people would not only read their criticism but actually “take them seriously.”

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