Tagged With law

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“Free speech” is often raised as a defence in the court of public opinion, particularly when people are called out by their ideological opponents. “You’re attacking my right to free speech!” However, either through forgetfulness or ignorance, many Australians don’t appear to realise free speech is not a legal right they hold.

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Matt Hosseinzadeh (AKA Matt Hoss) is easy to mock. The parkour-loving comedian runs a YouTube channel full of misogynistic videos, including "a comedy series about a confident and funny man who picks up women, beds them, and gets into all sorts of crazy trouble". But when two other YouTubers made a video mocking him and included clips of his fictional pickup artistry, Hoss sued them for copyright infringement. This week, Hoss lost.

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In a unanimous decision today, the US Supreme Court struck down a North Carolina law that prevents sex offenders from posting on social media where children might be present, saying it "impermissibly restricts lawful speech". In doing so, the Supreme Court asserted what we all know to be true: Posting is essential to the survival of the republic.

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Films and TV shows like Blade Runner, Humans and Westworld, where highly advanced robots have no rights, trouble our conscience. They show us that our behaviours are not just harmful to robots -- they also demean and diminish us as a species. We like to think we're better than the characters on the screen, and that when the time comes, we'll do the right thing, and treat our intelligent machines with a little more dignity and respect.

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Two extremely similar cases involving locked iPhones in two neighbouring Florida counties ended up with two conflicting judgements this week. Both suspects claimed that they couldn't remember their passcodes, which prevented police from obtaining evidence. In one case, the judge slapped the suspect with contempt and sentenced him to 180 days in gaol. In the other case, the judge basically said, "OK, sorry you can't remember, no big deal, let's move on."

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On Tuesday, a scary case reached a surprisingly positive outcome in the Supreme Court of the United States. Impression Products, Inc. v. Lexmark International, Inc. was seven-year-long standoff between a small business and an international corporation and stood to upend the world of consumer rights, especially for tech and pharmaceutical companies. Guess what? The little guy won.

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While the tension between state and federal laws in the US has created a difficult situation for cannabis users, there's another factor that is complicating the changing attitude towards weed: Hospitals. Though it isn't legally mandated, many US hospitals won't allow people who use weed to be placed on organ transplant waiting lists.

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Microsoft just scored a point for its customers' privacy. Today, a US District Judge ruled that the government can't avoid a lawsuit alleging that its surveillance operations violate citizens' constitutional rights. The judge in question is the same one that Donald Trump recently referred to as a "so-called judge".

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On Wednesday, lawyers representing the families of three toddlers killed by recalled IKEA dressers said the company has agreed to settle their wrongful death lawsuits, paying the parents a collective $US50 ($69) million. In addition, IKEA will donate $US250,000 to various children's organisations and increase funding for a campaign highlighting the dangers of tipping furniture, The Philadelphia Inquirer reports.