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A 999-year lease, under historic common law, is an essentially permanent lease of property. The lease locations are mainly in Britain, its former colonies, and the Commonwealth.
A former colony, the Republic of Mauritius (The Raphael Fishing Company Ltd v. The State of Mauritius & Anor (Mauritius)  UKPC 43 (30 July 2008)) established legal precedent on 30 July 2008 in respect of a 'permanent lease' on St. Brandon.
- "999-Year Lease" | 2019-07-18 | 39 Upvotes 28 Comments
ACTA will force border searches of laptops, smartphones for pirated content
The Anti-Counterfeiting Trade Agreement (ACTA) was a proposed multilateral treaty for the purpose of establishing international standards for intellectual property rights enforcement. The agreement aims to establish an international legal framework for targeting counterfeit goods, generic medicines and copyright infringement on the Internet, and would create a new governing body outside existing forums, such as the World Trade Organization, the World Intellectual Property Organization, and the United Nations.
The agreement was signed in October 2011 by Australia, Canada, Japan, Morocco, New Zealand, Singapore, South Korea, and the United States. In 2012, Mexico, the European Union and 22 countries that are member states of the European Union signed as well. One signatory (Japan) has ratified (formally approved) the agreement, which would come into force in countries that ratified it after ratification by six countries.
Industrial groups with interests in copyright, trademarks and other types of intellectual property said that ACTA was a response to "the increase in global trade of counterfeit goods and pirated copyright protected works". Organizations such as the Motion Picture Association of America and International Trademark Association are understood to have had a significant influence over the ACTA agenda.
Organisations representing citizens and non-governmental interests argued that ACTA could infringe fundamental rights including freedom of expression and privacy. ACTA has also been criticised by Doctors Without Borders for endangering access to medicines in developing countries. The nature of negotiations was criticized as secretive and has excluded non-governmental organization, developing countries and the general public from the agreement's negotiation process and it has been described as policy laundering by critics including the Electronic Frontier Foundation and the Entertainment Consumers Association.
The signature of the EU and many of its member states resulted in widespread protests across Europe. European Parliament rapporteur Kader Arif resigned. His replacement, British MEP David Martin, recommended that the Parliament should reject ACTA, stating: "The intended benefits of this international agreement are far outweighed by the potential threats to civil liberties". On 4 July 2012, the European Parliament declined its consent, effectively rejecting it, 478 votes to 39, with 165 abstentions.
- "ACTA will force border searches of laptops, smartphones for pirated content" | 2012-01-22 | 412 Upvotes 191 Comments
Beerware License: Best Open Source License Ever.
Beerware is a somewhat tongue-in-cheek term for software released under a very relaxed license (beerware licensed software). It provides the end user with the right to use a particular program (or do anything else with the source code).
- "Beerware License: Best Open Source License Ever." | 2008-08-06 | 14 Upvotes 3 Comments
Bitcoin (₿) is a cryptocurrency. It is a decentralized digital currency without a central bank or single administrator that can be sent from user to user on the peer-to-peer bitcoin network without the need for intermediaries.
Transactions are verified by network nodes through cryptography and recorded in a public distributed ledger called a blockchain. Bitcoin was invented in 2008 by an unknown person or group of people using the name Satoshi Nakamoto and started in 2009 when its source code was released as open-source software. Bitcoins are created as a reward for a process known as mining. They can be exchanged for other currencies, products, and services. Research produced by University of Cambridge estimates that in 2017, there were 2.9 to 5.8 million unique users using a cryptocurrency wallet, most of them using bitcoin.
Bitcoin has been criticized for its use in illegal transactions, its high electricity consumption, price volatility, and thefts from exchanges. Some economists, including several Nobel laureates, have characterized it as a speculative bubble. Bitcoin has also been used as an investment, although several regulatory agencies have issued investor alerts about bitcoin.
In criminal law, Blackstone's ratio (also known as the Blackstone ratio or Blackstone's formulation) is the idea that:
It is better that ten guilty persons escape than that one innocent suffer.
As expressed by the English jurist William Blackstone in his seminal work, Commentaries on the Laws of England, published in the 1760s.
The idea subsequently became a staple of legal thinking in Anglo-Saxon jurisdictions and continues to be a topic of debate. There is also a long pre-history of similar sentiments going back centuries in a variety of legal traditions. The message that government and the courts must err on the side of innocence has remained constant.
Charter of the Forest
The Charter of the Forest of 1217 (Latin: Carta Foresta) is a charter that re-established for free men rights of access to the royal forest that had been eroded by William the Conqueror and his heirs. Many of its provisions were in force for centuries afterwards. It was originally sealed in England by the young King Henry III, acting under the regency of William Marshall, 1st Earl of Pembroke. It was in many ways a companion document to Magna Carta, and redressed some applications of the Anglo-Norman Forest Law that had been extended and abused by William Rufus.
- "Charter of the Forest" | 2019-09-21 | 38 Upvotes 7 Comments
A closed city or closed town is a settlement where travel or residency restrictions are applied so that specific authorization is required to visit or remain overnight. They may be sensitive military establishments or secret research installations that require much more space or freedom than is available in a conventional military base. There may also be a wider variety of permanent residents including close family members of workers or trusted traders who are not directly connected with its clandestine purposes.
Many closed cities existed in the Soviet Union until its collapse in 1991. After 1991, a number of them still existed in the CIS countries, especially Russia. In modern Russia, such places are officially known as "closed administrative-territorial formations" (закрытые административно-территориальные образования, zakrytye administrativno-territorial'nye obrazovaniya, or ЗАТО ZATO for short).
- "Closed city" | 2016-08-01 | 84 Upvotes 27 Comments
- "Atomgrads" | 2013-06-08 | 31 Upvotes 11 Comments
The Communications Over Various Feeds Electronically for Engagement Act (COVFEFE Act) is a bill introduced into the United States House of Representatives in 2017 (on June 12), during the 115th United States Congress.
The bill would amend the Presidential Records Act to preserve Twitter posts and other social media interactions of the President of the United States, and to require the National Archives to store such items.
U.S. Representative Mike Quigley, Democrat of Illinois, introduced the legislation in the wake of Donald Trump's routine use of Twitter, stating "In order to maintain public trust in government, elected officials must answer for what they do and say; this includes 140-character tweets. If the president is going to take to social media to make sudden public policy proclamations, we must ensure that these statements are documented and preserved for future reference." If enacted, the bill "would bar the prolifically tweeting president from deleting his posts, as he has sometimes done."
If the bill were enacted, it would see US law treat US presidents' personal social media accounts (such as Trump's "@realDonaldTrump" Twitter account) the same as "official" social media accounts (such as the "@POTUS" Twitter account).
- "COVFEFE Act" | 2019-09-11 | 24 Upvotes 15 Comments
- "COVFEFE Act" | 2017-08-14 | 113 Upvotes 29 Comments
A Frankenstein veto occurs when an American state Governor selectively deletes words from a bill, stitching together the remainder (à la Victor Frankenstein) to form a new bill different from that passed by the legislature.
In 2008, the state Constitution of Wisconsin was amended to place certain restrictions on the Frankenstein veto. With those changes, the governor of Wisconsin still has far greater veto powers than any other governor in the United States of America.
- "Frankenstein Veto" | 2020-02-09 | 177 Upvotes 87 Comments
HTTP 451 Unavailable for Legal Reasons
In computer networking, HTTP 451 Unavailable For Legal Reasons is an error status code of the HTTP protocol to be displayed when the user requests a resource which cannot be served for legal reasons, such as a web page censored by a government. The number 451 is a reference to Ray Bradbury's 1953 dystopian novel Fahrenheit 451, in which books are outlawed. 451 intends to provide more information than 403 Forbidden, which is often used for the same purpose. This status code is standardized in RFC 7725.
Examples of situations where an HTTP 451 error code could be displayed include web pages deemed a danger to national security, or web pages deemed to violate copyright, privacy, blasphemy laws, or any other law or court order.
The RFC is specific that a 451 response does not indicate whether the resource exists but requests for it have been blocked, if the resource has been removed for legal reasons and no longer exists, or even if the resource has never existed, but any discussion of its topic has been legally forbidden (see superinjunction). Some sites have previously returned HTTP 404 (Not Found) or similar if they are not legally permitted to disclose that the resource has been removed. Such a tactic is used in the United Kingdom by some internet service providers utilising the Internet Watch Foundation blacklist, returning a 404 message or another error message instead of showing a message indicating the site is blocked.
The status code was formally proposed in 2013 by Tim Bray, following earlier informal proposals by Chris Applegate in 2008 and Terence Eden in 2012. It was approved by the IESG on December 18, 2015. It was published as RFC 7725 in February 2016.
HTTP 451 was mentioned by the BBC's From Our Own Correspondent program, as an indication of the effects of sanctions on Sudan and the inability to access Airbnb, iOS's App Store, or other Western web services.
After introduction of the GDPR in European Economic Area (EEA) many websites located outside EEA started to serve HTTP 451 instead of trying to comply with this new privacy law.
- "HTTP 451 Unavailable for Legal Reasons" | 2019-10-25 | 72 Upvotes 18 Comments
- "HTTP 451 Unavailable for Legal Reasons" | 2019-03-22 | 18 Upvotes 2 Comments
- "HTTP 451: Unavailable for Legal Reasons" | 2017-01-26 | 10 Upvotes 1 Comments