Brazilian Supreme Court rules there is no right to be forgotten in media

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SAO PAULO – Despite a 2018 decision that allows the right to de-indexation of certain information from search engines, a majority of the Supreme Federal Court (STF) has voted that there is no right to prevent media from disclosing truthful old information obtained legally, citing the Freedom of Expression Clause of the Brazilian Constitution and noting that such right does not degrade over time. The ruling sets precedent to guide jurisprudence over similar cases that come before the courts.

By Milan Sime Martinić

ICC has jurisdiction over Palestine, it says

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International Criminal Court judges found that the court has jurisdiction over the Palestinian territories because Palestine had been granted membership to the tribunal’s founding treaty.

The decision refers to the territories without attempting to say anything about the question of Palestinian statehood or national borders. The ICC’s jurisdiction, the judges found, extends to Gaza and the West Bank, including East Jerusalem–territories occupied by Israel since 1967.

The finding may lead to the ICC taking up war crimes cases against the Israeli Defense Forces and armed Palestinian groups such as Hamas, according to ICC Prosecutor Fatou Bensouda.

In response, Netanyahu issued a televised message where he said that “When the ICC investigates Israel for fake war crimes, this is pure antisemitism.” He said Israel was defending itself against terrorists, and pointed to dictatorships in Iran and Syria “who commit horrific atrocities almost daily” which the ICC “refuses to investigate.”

The US also opposed the decision. Human Rights Watch, though, said it “finally offers victims of serious crimes some real hope for justice after a half century of impunity.”

Millions of workers are ‘bound’ by non-binding contracts

American Workers
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Millions of American workers believe they are bound by contracts they are not actually bound by, according to University of Maryland Smith Business School’s Evan Starr, and this means less earnings for workers. Starr spoke at length on the subject at the recent Aspen Institute summit and to us on Twitter.

While non-competes are required by employers to protect trade secrets, they are found everywhere, including regular minimum wage workers and volunteers. Around 20% America’s 130 million workers are in a non-compete right now, and 40% have signed a non-compete at some point in their lives.

What Starr has found is that workers are acting as though they are bound by employee contracts based solely on their false belief that the contracts are always enforceable. In many states the contracts are not.

“[W]orkers are chilled just by the existence of the contract regardless of whether it’s enforceable or not, and when you ask workers, ‘What do you know about the law,’ most of them don’t know what the law is, but their default is they believe that contracts they put their name on are enforceable, and they abide by them, even in states like California where they wouldn’t be enforceable if they went to court.

Evan Starr
Evan Starr of UMD Smith B-School

“When it comes to workers choosing to move between jobs what we see is the use of these provisions appears to be what matters, not necessarily their enforceability in court.”

And, according to Starr, one of the results is workers making less money throughout their careers.

“I did one study where we tracked workers over 8 years of their career. We had every single worker in 30 states over roughly a 20-year period, and what we found was that if you start your career in kind of an average enforcing state, you are going to earn 5% lower earnings relative to a non-enforcing state like California, over those 8 years, regardless of where you end up, regardless of where you go.”

Numbers are uncertain as to exactly how many Americans are affected in this way, because states vary so much in regards to non-compete enforceability.

“There’s tremendous heterogeneity across the US in what states will do. In some states you can be fired from your job, and if you get sued over the violation of a non-compete it can still be enforced even though you were fired. In other states it won’t be enforced, and everyone else is kind of in the middle.”

But Starr said it was safe to say that many millions of Americans assume they are bound by non-binding contracts. In California, to use a state he studied recently, there are approximately 20 million workers, so around 4 million may be involved in non-binding contracts. Those numbers can be roughly extrapolated to the rest of the 130 million U.S. workers who live in the other states.

“And that number is most certainly an underestimate given that non-competes are used for workers in states that wouldn’t enforce them for such workers, even though they would enforce them for other workers,” Starr added.

Starr et al’s ‘Noncompetes in the U.S. Labor Force’

New Tech Means More People Will Be Making Money From Their Intellectual Property – Russian Economic Diversification Authority

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According to Igor Drozdov, the board chairman of the Skolkovo Foundation, who spoke at Russia’s SPIEF economic forum this year, new technologies will allow more people “to earn real money using intellectual property institutions.”

He also talked about tech that would be developed in order to protect IP, describing projects similar to what Microsoft is currently working on.

“Currently, works of authorship are analyzed by humans, but as artificial intelligence technologies become more and more sophisticated, they can at one point analyze texts just like humans, making AI expert evaluation possible.”

Lexmark Sued a Company That Let Buyers Refill Their Ink Cartridges … and Lost

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The Supreme court in a 7-1 decision found that consumers can do what they want with the printers they buy, despite Lexmark forcing buyers to “sign” a “post-sale restriction” contract that the buyer won’t tamper with their patented product after they buy it.

The case is “Impression v Lexmark.”

Lexmark makes two similar types of printers: the cheaper one comes with ink cartridges that have a chip on them that prevents users from refilling them and putting them back in the printer, so the user has to go buy a new one from a store. Impression removes the chip so users can refill their cartridges.

Lexmark sued, saying that infringes on their property rights (which they said they maintained post-sale) that prevented third parties from modifying or repairing their products.

The court reasoned that if companies could maintain property rights preventing modification and repair after a product was sold, pretty much every repair shop in the country could be sued, the “smooth flow of commerce” would be impaired, and all parties involved would end up harmed.

Elementary Schools Cancel High Jump Due to ‘Risk’ Factor

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Two school boards in Sault St. Marie are citing the Ontario Physical Education Safety Guidelines, which classifies high jump as a “higher risk activity,” as the reason they are cutting the sport out of elementary schools immediately.

Other sports so far included in the “higher risk activity” category: wrestling, alpine skiing, and snowboarding.

According to the school boards’ joint statement, “It was felt that the changed classification and the need to maintain student safety as a priority means this event is best suited for development at the secondary level where there is greater access to trained staff and proper equipment at sites.”

“We felt it best to maintain high jump at the secondary level and to have our younger students compete in events that are most appropriate for their stage of development and which can showcase their abilities with less risk involved,” added Lucia Reece, Algoma District School Board director.

Innocent Man Jailed for Rape Has Been Released, and His Lying Ex Is Now Jailed

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The man was jailed after his ex-spouse charged him with choking and trying to rape her.

The story she and her attorney told the judges in the original 2015 trial was that her ex broke into her apartment, threw her on her bed, choked her, threatened to kill her, and attempted to rape her multiple times, and they presented as evidence injuries to her neck. The man was charged and sent to prison.

19 days later, the woman came forward with the truth: that she made it up.

The 34-year-old Ontario woman was then charged with mischief for the lie (mischief in Canada has maximum punishment of 14 years). Her lawyer suggested a punishment of a conditional sentence, citing that she had changed since she made the claim, that she had recently completed anger management, and that she was making progress in drug recovery. They also presented a letter to the court written by her daughter asking that her mother not be sent to jail and an unsigned letter from her ex asking the same.

However, because the woman had a previous criminal record and had been in jail several times, the court said, it gave her jail time: 60 days.

The court justice said of the sentence, “When you go to a police officer and pretend to be a victim, the police officer begins investigating the case, but that takes that officer away from investigating real cases. … (Your story) was calculated. You inflicted injuries to your neck. You said they were caused by someone. You gave a sworn statement to police. You knew (the ex-spouse) was arrested and in custody …

“One day went by. Two days went by. A week went by. Nineteen days went by knowing an innocent man was in jail.”

Teens Now Have to Get Business Licences to Mow Lawns

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In a city in Alabama called Gardendale, youths who go out to mow lawns this year have been threatened by officials and landscaping companies that they have to get a business licence before starting, which brings in $110 for the city for each licence.

Adults who also cut lawns over the summer have made complaints about teens making money cutting a few lawns, and the mayor of the town, Stan Hogeland, said that people must have a business licence when operating within the city, and that he would like to have something added to the books that would be more appropriate for teens making summer cash, like “maybe a temporary licence … that targets teenagers.” He said that going after teens was not a priority, and that he wanted to find a way to deal with the situation favorably.

The Man Who Livestreamed a Birth on Facebook Has Lost Bid to Sue News for Copyright

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When you livestream something and news organizations cover your story, using the images you uploaded in their report, is it copyright infringement?

It is not, according to a recent ruling against a man who in 2016 livestreamed the birth of his child to Facebook (note: he did not intend for the livestream to be public, but attempted to make it viewable only to friends and family members). When many news organizations covered the story, using parts of the video feed to illustrate (for example, ABC used 22 seconds of the 45 minute stream), Kali Kanongataa sued for copyright infringement.

US District Judge Lewis Kaplan agreed with the defense that the purpose of the Fair Use defense was to allow portions of works to be used for commentary and news reports. If copyright suits like Kanongataa’s succeeded, news in the current era of social media sharing of digital images would suffer because it wouldn’t be covered as well.

Pharmaceutical Ad Spending Up 62% Since 2012

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The U.S. is one of only two countries that allow drug ads on TV (the other is New Zealand), and spending keeps rising. Most other markets have not increased spending since 2012.

$6b was the amount spent last year, mostly on TV, and the ads are shown most heavily during major network’s evening news, Mike & Molly, and General Hospital, according to Kantar Media, a consulting firm that tracks multimedia advertising.

The value of the industry in the U.S. is reported to be $425b nominally; $263b in pharmacy and drug store sales.

While drug ads are legal in American and not in Canada, Canadian authorities have more or less turned a blind eye to illegal ads targeting consumers, at least according to the research of UBS scientists. Plus, it’s always been legal to target health professionals in Canada, and a few years ago “reminder ads” (brand recognition aimed at consumers without any health claims) were made legal.

First-of-Its-Kind Assassination in Jordan: Famous Writer on Trial

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“An insult to Islam” was the charge. Prominent writer Nahed Hattar, a Jordanian Christian, was walking to the court where he was on trial for contempt of religion when he was approached by a man and shot several times in the head.

The shooter was chased down and turned over to the authorities.

The subject of the charge was a cartoon. Hattar had shared the cartoon (the cartoon was by an anonymous hand) on social media.

In the past, Hattar had also popped up on the Jordanian legal radar when he allegedly shared a social media post critical of the king of Jordan.


Hattar commented on the cartoon charge, saying that he intended only to mock ISIS and not Islam.

The cartoon depicts a lavish tent with a bearded Arab — called simply “jihadist” — flanked by two women in bed, surrounded by food and drink, with a large white bearded God peeking in the tent flap. God is asking if the jihadist “needs anything,” and the jihadist asks God to serve him wine and for Gabriel to serve him cashews, as well as a door so that God will knock next time.

His first lawyer in the trial had resigned claiming he could not defend the cartoon, which the lawyer considered offensive, but said the charge should be dismissed anyway.

In the country, many Jordanians consider the trial and shooting to be indicative that radical Islam and tolerance for it by the government has gone too far.