Property Rights / Ownership
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Date Fairness.com Resource Read it at: Aug 10, 2012 Why Asset Forfeiture Abuse Is on the Rise: It’s time to build a wall of separation between government power and the profit motive.
QUOTE: throughout the United States, government agencies increasingly rely on “civil forfeiture” to bolster their strained budgets. The more assets these modern-day tax collectors seize, the more money they have for new equipment and other things....We should all be concerned that district attorneys—who are, by law, supposed to pursue justice first and foremost—are perpetrating abuses of property rights so that they can fill their coffers with money that comes primarily from people who have not been convicted of any crime.
Reason Dec 25, 2011 A Dispute Over Who Owns a Twitter Account Goes to Court
QUOTE: Can a company cash in on, and claim ownership of, an employee’s social media account, and if so, what does that mean for workers who are increasingly posting to Twitter, Facebook and Google Plus during work hours? A lawsuit filed in July could provide some answers.
New York Times Jun 29, 2011 Tom Petty wants Michele Bachmann to quit using his song. Can he make her?
QUOTE: Like thousands of other songs, "American Girl" is distributed by the American Society of Composers, Authors, and Publishers, meaning that any entity that is licensed with ASCAP can play a song without getting the artist's explicit permission.
Slate May 20, 2011 On Tyson’s Face, It’s Art. On Film, a Legal Issue.
QUOTE: In “The Hangover Part II,” the sequel to the very successful what-happened-last-night comedy, the character played by Ed Helms wakes up with a permanent tattoo bracketing his left eye. The Maori-inspired design is instantly recognizable as the one sported by the boxer Mike Tyson...But S. Victor Whitmill, a tattoo artist formerly of Las Vegas and currently from rural Missouri, doesn’t quite see the humor. Mr. Whitmill designed the tattoo for Mr. Tyson, called it “tribal tattoo,” and claims it as a copyrighted work.
New York Times May 12, 2011 Why gadget makers wield a 'kill switch'
QUOTE: When you buy a video game from Best Buy, you don't give the retailer the right to barge into your house whenever it wants. So why do we give that permission to software companies? Most popular smartphone operating systems and other electronic gadgets include what security researchers refer to as a kill switch. This capability enables the company that makes the operating software to send a command over the Web or wireless networks that alters or removes certain applications from devices.
CNN (Cable News Network) Apr 23, 2011 Show Us the Data. (It’s Ours, After All.)
QUOTE: Companies are accumulating vast amounts of information about your likes and dislikes... The more they know, the more money they can make... Not only should our data be secure; it should also be available for us to use for our own purposes.
New York Times Dec 26, 2010 Conflict Over Squatters Divides Argentina
QUOTE: a series of land invasions by thousands of people in the last few weeks that have pushed the capital to the brink of crisis. The ostensible cause, analysts said, is a shortage of low-income housing that has been exacerbated by high inflation and a boom in immigration. But scratch the surface and there are mind-twisting layers of maneuvering and intrigue that one resident called “Alice in Wonderland” politics, in which the president and the mayor of Buenos Aires are blaming each other.
New York Times Dec 21, 2010 African Farmers Displaced as Investors Move In
QUOTE: Across Africa and the developing world, a new global land rush is gobbling up large expanses of arable land. Despite their ageless traditions, stunned villagers are discovering that African governments typically own their land and have been leasing it, often at bargain prices, to private investors and foreign governments for decades to come.
New York Times Jun 30, 2010 Black Landowners Fight to Reclaim Georgia Home
QUOTE: n 1942, Harris Neck, a thriving community of black landowners who hunted, farmed and gathered oysters, was taken by the federal government to build an airstrip. Now, the elders — who remember barefoot childhoods spent climbing trees and waking to watch the Canada geese depart in formation — want to know why they cannot have it back.
New York Times May 26, 2010 Trampled in a Land Rush, Chinese Resist
QUOTE: Protests like those in Laogucheng — including self-immolations and deadly standoffs — have forced officials to at least consider measures to make it harder to seize property and turn it over to developers without fully compensating those who live on it or use it. Effective confiscation of land nominally owned by the state, but farmed or lived on by the poor, has been a major source of unrest for the past two decades.
New York Times May 07, 2010 FCC hands Hollywood the keys to your PC, home theater and future
QUOTE: The FCC has given Hollywood permission to activate the "Selective Output Control" technologies in your set-top box. These are hidden flags that allow the MPAA to deactivate parts of your home theater depending on what you're watching. And it sucks.
Boing Boing May 04, 2010 Who Draws the Borders of Culture?
QUOTE: The British Museum is Europe’s Western front in the global war over cultural patrimony, on account of the marbles. The pamphlets give the museum’s version for why they should stay in Britain, as they have for two centuries....patrimony claims too often serve merely nationalist ends these days, no less often than they do decent ones, never mind that the archaeological and legal arguments by the Greeks, while elaborately reasoned and passionately felt, don’t finally trump the British ones.
New York Times Mar 24, 2010 Assemble a Paper Trail, and Make Sure Your Heirs Can Follow It
QUOTE: No one wants to think about dying. But refusing to look at the documents that will determine where your money goes when you pass away will not make you live longer. It will just make sorting through everything more difficult for your heirs.
New York Times Dec 09, 2009 Supreme Court dismisses challenge to Illinois forfeiture law: The Supreme Court dismissed a case pitting innocent property owners against Chicago police and prosecutors who held seized autos and other property for years
QUOTE: The US Supreme Court on Tuesday handed a victory to the Cook County State's Attorney and the Chicago Police Department when the justices unanimously dismissed as moot a challenge to Illinois' controversial forfeiture law.
Christian Science Monitor Nov 22, 2009 In Ethiopia, farmland is hot property
QUOTE: The scale and pace of the land scramble has alarmed policy makers and others concerned about its implications for food security in countries such as Ethiopia...
Washington Post Oct 10, 2009 Debate Follows Bills to Remove Clotheslines Bans
QUOTE: Proponents argue they should not be prohibited by their neighbors or local community agreements from saving on energy bills or acting in an environmentally minded way [by hanging laundry to dry]. Opponents say the laws lifting bans erode local property rights and undermine the autonomy of private communities.
New York Times Aug 17, 2009 Tax Bills Put Pressure on Struggling Homeowners
QUOTE: in recent years struggling cities and counties have sold their delinquent tax bills to the highest bidder... But housing advocates say the private companies may be exacerbating the foreclosure crisis, pushing out homeowners faster than would governments, which are increasingly concerned about neighborhoods becoming wastelands of abandoned properties.
New York Times Aug 11, 2009 Bankruptcy Judges, Justice Dept. Rip Mortgage Companies
QUOTE: Judges have found that major mortgages servicers regularly mess up basic accounting, improperly credit payments and charge unwarranted fees.
Aug 04, 2009 Evicted Palestinians stand their ground – on thin mattressesEvicted Palestinians stand their ground – on thin mattresses
QUOTE: In all, 58 Palestinians were evicted in this predominantly Arab neighborhood of East Jerusalem, Sheikh Jarrah. Though they had received – and refused to obey – a court order in May to leave after losing a longstanding dispute over property rights, it was still a shock.
Christian Science Monitor Jul 07, 2009 Colorado town's wildfire law called intrusive
QUOTE: Breckenridge [,CO]... recently passed an ordinance requiring residents to thin vegetation around their home... the new law has infuriated many residents, who call it an encroachment on their rights and demand its repeal.
Los Angeles Times Jul 02, 2009 Tourism tangles a fishing lifeline: Loss of sea access hits the Dominican Republic’s already pressed fishermen.
QUOTE: loss of access to the ocean is indeed a growing problem in the Dominican Republic, say experts. By law, beaches are public, but in reality, most beaches... are now off limits to ordinary Dominicans.
Christian Science Monitor Jun 17, 2009 Keeping a True Identity Becomes a Battle Online
QUOTE: Staking out and protecting their names and trademarks on the Internet has become a seemingly never-ending battle.
New York Times Nov 20, 2008 Jan. 20 Housing Is Risky Business: Inauguration Renters, Landlords Face Perils Of Disputes, Fraud
QUOTE: thousands of people in the Washington area have come out of the woodwork to make a quick buck by offering their houses for rent in January. But the arrangements -- with deals being brokered largely between amateurs, often online and with little personal contact -- are fraught with peril on both sides, including fights over money and property damage in addition to issues regarding insurance, liability and fraud, experts said.
Washington Post Nov 05, 2008 Who Really Owns Digital Music?
QUOTE: Do people who decide that they want to trade up iPods have the right to sell their old ones without deleting the music? Are they committing a crime?
PC Magazine Oct 20, 2008 89-Year-Old Woman Accused Of Theft Over Football
QUOTE: An 89-year-old Ohio woman faces a charge of petty theft because neighborhood children said she refused to give back their football.
WLWT Jul 16, 2008 Beyond Episcopal theological split, a property fight: The Episcopal Church is battling breakaway parishes over who owns the local assets.
QUOTE: On Wednesday, Anglican bishops from around the world gather in Britain to discuss their differences over scriptural interpretation and homosexuality at the once-a-decade Lambeth Conference. But in America, those differences are already ending up in court. The stakes are high. Not only are some of the properties valuable, the legal battle over them is wrenching apart close-knit religious communities. Presbyterians and other denominations are keeping a close eye on the wrangling because they also have conservative congregations that are trying to pull out in response to actions of their denominations.
Christian Science Monitor May 18, 2008 Va. Snake Saga Rattles Residents, Ends in Ban
QUOTE: "This isn't about snakes," said Koskinen, a father of three, who lives next door to the Snake House. "This is about protecting our children. That my neighbor has something from Mexico or Africa that could kill my child violates the social compact in a profound way."
Washington Post May 09, 2008 For This Treasure, Spain Says, Finders Aren’t Keepers (The Lede)
QUOTE: international salvage law treats merchant vessels and warships differently. Spain argues that, as a naval vessel, the ship and its contents remain the property of Spain even after 204 years at the bottom, and that the treasure should be returned intact...
New York Times May 08, 2008 Florida to pay $11.5 million for cutting citrus trees: The jury verdict comes in the first of five lawsuits seeking compensation for backyard trees destroyed in disease-prevention efforts.
QUOTE: "This case from Day 1 has been about the constitutional guarantee of full compensation when private property is taken for a public purpose,"...an emergency effort to insulate the state's commercial citrus industry from an outbreak of citrus canker disease...
Christian Science Monitor May 08, 2008 Mural Tests Vermont Law That Forbids Billboards
QUOTE: In February, a state board ruled that the painting, finished in October, runs afoul of the state’s billboard law, and must be removed. In response, the legislature passed a measure on Saturday that exempts this mural and ones like it — hand-painted signs that urge drivers to visit a designated downtown — from the law.
New York Times Feb 01, 2008 Sweden Accuses 4 of Copyright Offenses
QUOTE: ...authorities say that [the Pirate Bay Web site] helps others violate copyright laws by linking providers of pirated songs and films with people searching for the material. The site has become the focus of the entertainment industry’s fight against the unauthorized digital copying of films, games and music.
New York Times Jan 14, 2008 Farmers Rise In Challenge To Chinese Land Policy
QUOTE: The [land] redistribution exercise at Changchunling [on Dec. 19] was not an isolated incident. Rather, it marked what appears to be the start of a backlash against China's system of collective land ownership in rural areas.
Washington Post Dec 18, 2007 A Lawsuit Will Determine the Fate of 2 Picassos
QUOTE: That lawsuit, filed this month in Federal District Court in Manhattan, now pits an heir of the Mendelssohn-Bartholdy family against the Solomon R. Guggenheim Foundation and the Museum of Modern Art. The heir, Julius H. Schoeps, a grandson of one of Paul von Mendelssohn-Bartholdy’s sisters, has claimed that two of the Picassos — “Le Moulin de la Galette,” done in 1900, and “Boy Leading a Horse,” from 1906 — were sold under duress during the Nazi regime, and thus, belong to him.
New York Times Dec 07, 2007 Young Israelis Resist Challenges to Settlements
QUOTE: The cat-and-mouse contest here lays bare a key dilemma of the Israeli-Palestinian dispute: Israel has pledged that it will permit no new settlements in the territory it has occupied since the 1967 war, no more expropriation of Palestinian land and dismantle unauthorized outposts — like this one — erected since March 2001, but it has never applied the muscle needed to do so.
New York Times Dec 03, 2007 A Colorado couple use a rarely invoked law to take part of a neighbor's lot. The squatters' rights case sparks outrage.
QUOTE: squatters' rights....The doctrine of adverse possession, which says a person can gain possession of property after using it without challenge by the owner for a certain length of time, isn't a new or obscure legal doctrine. Still, its application in this case has the residents of this university town fuming.
Los Angeles Times Nov 30, 2007 Heritage Areas vs. Property Rights: With Designations on Rise, Conservatives Sound Alarm
QUOTE: But historical preservationists are encountering opposition from conservative activists, who see the rapid growth in congressionally created heritage areas as a backdoor way to restrict property owners' rights to develop their land as they see fit.
Washington Post Nov 04, 2007 Colorado Ranchers Angry Over Army Site Expansion: Plan to Take Land Spurs Debate On Patriotism, Property Rights
QUOTE: Several dozen ranchers and members of 15 county commissions that voted to oppose the project find themselves pitted against the Pentagon and Colorado business interests in a struggle over property rights, personal heritage and the contested priorities of national security.
Washington Post Oct 17, 2007 The Real Carver: Expansive or Minimal?
QUOTE: Amanda Urban, the agent for Carver’s literary estate, said she had previously spoken with Knopf about publishing the restored stories. Knopf declined and wrote Ms. Urban and Ms. Gallagher, telling them that if they tried to publish with another house, Knopf would consider it an illegal, competitive edition.
New York Times Oct 09, 2007 Arguments in Atlantic Yards Case
QUOTE: The lawsuit, known as Goldstein v. Pataki, was filed in October 2006. It is one of the most significant eminent domain cases to be brought since the United States Supreme Court, in the Kelo v. City of New London decision in June 2005, held that public officials may transfer condemned property to another private interest if doing so would create a superior benefit to the public.
New York Times Sep 01, 2007 Housing advocates are drawing line in the sand: Lock Vista latest battle in condo conversions
QUOTE: State law allows 90 days' notice for tenants and $500 for moving expenses if their income is below 81 percent of the city's median income -- an amount some don't think sufficiently finances relocation. Landlords must honor leases regardless of development schedules, and if remodeling work connected to the conversion takes place on weekdays, it can't start between 7 a.m. or continue later than 10 p.m.
Seattle Post-Intelligencer Aug 27, 2007 Will Finders Be Keepers of Salvaged Treasure? 17-Ton Haul of Silver and Gold From Atlantic Pits U.S. Firm Against Spain
QUOTE: Spanish officials, convinced that the loot could be Spain's, filed suit in the United States to force disclosure of the wreck's name and location, block future recovery efforts and claim what has already been hauled up. The Spanish coast guard has effectively barricaded Odyssey's main salvage vessel, the 251-foot Odyssey Explorer, in the port of Britain's overseas territory of Gibraltar, by threatening to seize it if it ventures out.
Washington Post Jul 23, 2007 In bayou, whose water is it? A legal battle brews over whether fishermen are trespassing when they fish in the flooded bottomlands.
QUOTE: ...Mississippi Delta landowners say they're warning off fishermen who traverse flooded, but privately owned, bottomlands that can stretch for miles on either side of a main channel on the Mississippi .... [But] The fishermen...say these landowners can't infringe upon what they see as their traditional and legal right to go anywhere the water can carry them.
Christian Science Monitor Jul 18, 2007 Hummer Owner Gets Angry Message: Vandals Batter D.C. Man's SUV, Slash Its Tires and Scratch In an Eco Note
QUOTE: On a narrow, leafy street in Northwest Washington, where Prius hybrid cars and Volvos are the norm, one man bought a flashy gray Hummer .... It lasted five days on the street before two masked men took a bat to every window, a knife to each 38-inch tire and scratched into the body: "FOR THE ENVIRON."
Washington Post Dec 10, 2006 All That Noise? It's Just Derrick.
QUOTE: By Louisiana law you can't drill closer then 150 feet to an occupied dwelling. That may not seem too bad unless you are listening to the constant noise.
Washington Post Nov 29, 2006 Land claim unsettles Israeli settlers: Peace Now says 40 percent of West Bank settlements sit on private Palestinian land.
QUOTE: a report by the dovish Peace Now group stated that Palestinian private land accounts for more than one-third of the settlements, and that for Maaleh Adumim the proportion is a startling 86 percent. That's at odds with decades-old government and settler statements that only public lands were being used for building in territory captured during the Arab-Israeli war of 1967.
Christian Science Monitor Aug 07, 2006 15 States Expand Right to Shoot in Self-Defense
QUOTE: 15 states have enacted laws that expand the right of self-defense, allowing crime victims to use deadly force in situations that might formerly have subjected them to prosecution for murder.
New York Times Jul 18, 2006 Judge dismisses Collins suit: Former pol may appeal to Virginia's Supreme Court
QUOTE: “Under the Virginia Constitution, there is no general right to engage in political speech in privately-owned shopping centers.”
C-ville Weekly Jul 07, 2006 Legal doctrine stacks up to erase Lay's conviction
QUOTE: Centuries of jurisprudence and a key court ruling in Texas two years ago will make it hard for prosecutors to overcome the bedrock legal principle that will likely erase the fraud conviction of former Enron CEO Ken Lay, who died Wednesday.
USA TODAY Jun 12, 2006 Bottlers, States and the Public Slug It Out in Water War: Rights to Resource Are at Odds With Fears of Shortage
QUOTE: ...Maine has become a battleground in a growing fight that pits environmentalists against an industry that has become rich by selling the purity of nature: the bottlers of spring water. In a series of lawsuits and statehouse debates that reached critical mass in the past year, activists and lawmakers have questioned whether bottling companies have become too greedy about the water they take from the ground, and -- in some cases -- what gives them the right to take it at all
Washington Post Mar 16, 2006 Sursum Residents Fear Loss of Homes: D.C. Seeks Use of Eminent Domain in Area North of Capitol
QUOTE: City officials have asked the D.C. Council to authorize the use of eminent domain in the neighborhood that includes the Sursum Corda housing cooperative, a move that provoked some Sursum residents to accuse the city yesterday of plotting to take their homes.
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