Sunday, August 14, 2011

Judge kills massive P2P porn lawsuit

Only 10 days after a federal judge in Washington, DCsharply limited the US Copyright Group's mass file-sharing lawsuits there, a federal judge in West Virginia has come down even harder on another set of mass lawsuits. Ken Ford, the lawyer behind the Adult Copyright Company, has just had his business model chopped off at the knees; not only did Judge John Preston Bailey dismiss every defendant but one in Ford's mass lawsuits, he also demanded that each case be filed separately and that Ford only submit IP addresses likely to map to West Virginia Internet users.
From his base in Martinsburg, West Virginia, Ford has rapidly eclipsed his mentors at the US Copyright Group. Between September 24 and November 11 of this year, Ford filed nine mass lawsuits against more than 22,000 alleged file-swappers, each accused of sharing pornographic films with titles like Teen Babysitters andTeen Anal Nightmare 2 and Batman XXX: A Porn Parody. Ford's initial lawsuits were releatively small, but he had enough confidence in his method by late October that he began filing against 7,000 and then 9,000 individuals at once.
The judge overseeing these cases has had enough. In a series of orders today that cover all seven of Ford's initial September cases, the judge "severed" every defendant but one. If Ford wants to proceed against all these people, he can do so individually and pay the $350 per case filing fee. (For the cases severed yesterday, this would amount to $1.8 million in filing fees alone.)

Thursday, June 23, 2011

Former Girlfriend of Mesothelioma Victim/Sex Pistols

Malcolm McLaren is widely known throughout the music world as a “godfather” of punk rock, having acted as the manager for the New York Dolls before organizing and managing The Sex Pistols as they became a household name around the world following the release of “God Save the Queen” in 1977.
However, following his death on April 8 from mesothelioma at the age of 64 – only months after he was initially diagnosed with the illness - he has also become known as one of the more notable figures to succumb to mesothelioma.
According to Young Kim, McLaren’s girlfriend for the final 12 years of his life as well as his work partner for nine years, the fact that mesothelioma is still a widespread problem that ended up affecting McLaren and taking his life is the equivalent of a criminal ac

“That people should die because governments knowingly failed to protect their safety is nothing short of homicide,” Kim told us in a series of emails commenting on mesothelioma.According to Kim, one of the most frustrating aspects of mesothelioma is that it has been cultivated by the continued use of asbestos in many products that people encounter every day.

“From what I understand, once you’ve been exposed to asbestos and have it, there is really nothing that can be done but hope for the best,” she said. “The most important thing I think, however, is to understand that this disease is man-made-- due to the use of asbestos, a dangerous and lethal substance. It should not exist.”
Kim added that the onus to limit the use of asbestos fibers and spread awareness regarding how dangerous they are is on governments around the world. However, despite medical reports and data suggesting the dangers of asbestos exposure that were published in the first half of the 20th Century, she added that politicians have kept information of how dangerous the fibers are under wraps from the public for commercial reasons. A number of countries that still allow asbestos to be used benefit from money received through asbestos production and trade.
“This is particularly reprehensible behavior but unfortunately something that continues to this day by all governments and industries around the world. Perhaps industry can be excused as they are in effect, selfish entities, but governments, like the United States or Europe, which are based on democratic systems, have a duty to protect the people and to regulate such industries,” Kim said. “They should be our watchdogs. Instead, we are constantly being betrayed by their corruption.“
She added that the government’s turning a blind eye to the dangers of asbestos exposure was not unlike other privileges given to gas and oil exploration, EMT proliferation, questionably safe pharmaceuticals, and the use of contaminated or genetically modified foods that showed “corruption” rather than intent to act in the public’s best interests.
In order to best help minimize the number of those affected by mesothelioma in the future, Kim felt that a top priority should be making sure the conditions for the disease were eradicated.
“We need to have systems in place that prevent the exposure of innocent people to toxic material for the sake of short term profit for industry and corrupt politicians,” she said, “The public needs to be more aware of this and realize that sometimes, to have safety, it may actually involve certain collective sacrifice or inconvenience but long-term it is the only safe way to go.”

Friday, May 27, 2011

Mesothelioma Stories!

Admiral Zumwalt was the youngest Chief of Naval Operations (CNO) in history when he took this post in 1970 at the age of 49. He was well known for his efforts to transform the Navy from an aristocratic organization to an egalitarian institution.
During Admiral Zumwalt's tenure as CNO, asbestos-related deaths of shipyard workers escalated dramatically. According to the Sinai School of Medicine in New York, asbestos related deaths, either from asbestos or mesothelioma, grew by 47%, from approximately 1,650 to 2,420 per year. From 1970 to 1979, it is estimated that more than 20,000 tradesmen died of asbestos exposure. And many more became debilitated and were forced to stop working and take disability or early retirement.
Zumwalt himself was exposed to asbestos on many different occasions. He had served on many vessels that contained asbestos insulation. Also, he had been stationed at the Pentagon during renovation that may have stirred up asbestos dust. This would ultimately lead to him contracting mesothelioma.
In an ironic twist, Admiral Zumwalt had campaigned within the Navy to ban the use of environmentally unfriendly chemical agents and became a staunch advocate of new measures to protect the environmental safety of Navy men and women. Much of his fervor derived from his son's untimely death, from cancer, at age 42. His son commanded a river boat in a part of Vietnam where Agent Orange had been used to defoliate vegetation. Admiral Zumalt had given the command to use the defoliant while he was commander of Navy operations in Vietnam. He was convinced that his son's cancer was a result of exposure to Agent Orange.
Admiral Zumwalt had watched a virtual epidemic of mesothelioma and other asbestos-related diseases occur on his watch as CNO. He was taking steps to try to protect Navy personnel from future environmental hazards. His statements in the congressional record are paraphrased below.
At age 78, almost 30 years after Admiral Zumwalt had assumed the position of CNO, he was diagnosed with mesothelioma. After participating in a 5 kilometer run, he experienced a shortness of breath that was unusual for him. Two months later a chest x-ray showed a larger tumor in the lung and the diagnosis of mesothelioma was confirmed. At age 79, within 6 months of visiting the doctor due to shortness of breath, Admiral Zumwalt died of complications related to mesothelioma. 

Wednesday, May 18, 2011

Before You Take Out a Student Loan!

Deciding whether or not to take out a student loan is a major step. You should be reasonably sure that a student loan will help you to increase your income in the long run. Unlike credit card debt, a student loan is considered good debt rather than bad. This is because of the potential earnings increase that a college education may offer.
Those with a college degree usually earn a higher salary than those without one. If getting a student loan is the only way you'd be able to earn a decent income then it is worth serious thought. 

If you default on your student loan payments, it may ruin your credit rating. You could have collectors calling and writing you constantly. The best idea is to do some good research that includes informational interviews. An informational interview is one in which you contact potential employers and ask them what qualifications and other requirements they're looking for in employees. You also need to find out how likely they'll be to be hiring at all after the time you complete your degree or studies.
Working part-time while going to school may sound like a good idea, but in reality may be impossible depending on the requirements of some study programs. A combination of working part-time and going on student loans works for many students. However, if you go on student loans there may be restrictions on how much you can spend on living expenses and other things so you need to consider this aspect of the loans as well. If you're required to pay some of the cost of your education from work you do while going to school, this may be good for reducing the amount of loans you'll need.

The benefits of a college education go beyond just the monetary ones. A college degree can give you a great sense of achievement and provide you with a good base of knowledge and experiences. However, the money aspect of taking out a student loan is one that may last a long time after the degree is earned, so the decision of whether to get a student loan should be one that is well thought out.