Clearing Up Nevada Anti-SLAPP Situation On SB444

There seems to be a lot of misinformation floating around about the Nevada anti-SLAPP bill under consideration by the state legislature. The bill seems to have originated out of Wynn Resorts during the current legislative session.  What I feel like was a terrible bill (SB444) has been substantially amended.

SB444 cleared the Assembly Judiciary Committee on Friday.  It is awaiting a vote in both the Assembly and Senate.  It must go back to the Senate for a vote because it was amended.

The language opposed to by Yelp, quoted in columns by Bloomberg and Business Insider, is no longer included in SB444.  The language I vehemently objected to, and testified against before the Assembly Judiciary Committee last month, was removed from the bill.

SB444 now includes just two changes.  I consider both to be minor compared to the original version.  Discovery would be permitted under this bill in situations where:

Upon a showing by a party that information necessary to meet or oppose the burden set forth in subsection  (b)  is  in  the  possession  of  another  party or  a  third  party  and  is  not  reasonably  available without discovery, the court shall allow limited specified discovery for the purpose of ascertaining such information. 

The other change allows the judge in an anti-SLAPP motion 20 judicial days, as opposed to the current 7 days, to rule on the case.

It also allows the court to extend deadlines, as it deems necessary:

The court may modify briefing and hearing schedules or other deadlines set forth in  this Section upon a finding that doing so serves the interests of justice.

The bill’s amendment submission goes on to state:

Note: All other provisions of the original bill are deleted.

It is possible that this language could be edited by either house in the Nevada Legislature.  To the best of my knowledge, there is no discussion to do so.

This is the amendment as recorded in the Nevada Legislature’s database.

Nevada Anti-SLAPP Law Repeal Passed Senate – Time to Fight

The Nevada senate voted 21-0 to repeal much of Nevada’s anti-SLAPP law.  Unfortunately, none of the Nevada news outlets have reported this.

Currently, Nevada’s anti-SLAPP law deters frivolous defamation lawsuits.  It immunes those that speak or write the truth or give an opinion on a topic of public concern from lawsuits.

A SLAPP is a Strategic Lawsuit Against Public Participation.  Opponents have been known to file these types of lawsuits to silence critics.  These can be expensive to defend.  Too often, the person with the deepest pockets wins, regardless of the merits of the case, because the defendant cannot afford the legal fees to stand up for their rights.

As the law passed in 2013 is written now, a defendant that has a SLAPP suit filed against them can request a special hearing.  If the judge agrees that the lawsuit is a SLAPP, it is immediately tossed.  The plaintiff owes the defendant attorney’s fees and up to $10,000 as decided by the judge.  The victim of the SLAPP suit can then file a suit seeking punitive damages.

SB 444 would remove the recovery of attorney’s fees, the potential monetary relief of up to $10,000 that goes to the defendant, and the explicit ability to bring separate action for punitive damages.  It also removes language that immunes those that speak the truth and their opinions on matters of public concern from these types of lawsuits.

If you live in Nevada, the time to speak up about protecting our free speech is now.  This is where you can find your state lawmakers. You can comment directly on SB 444 here.

Governor Sandoval signed the anti-SLAPP bill into law two years ago.  Make sure to contact him to remind him of that in the hopes that he vetoes SB 444 if it makes it to his desk.

It is hard to think there is any positive motive or agenda behind this repeal.  An easy conclusion to draw is that someone is unhappy that their defamation lawsuit machine was put out of business by it.  We shouldn’t be allowing those types of motives repeal great laws that protect free speech and the citizens of Nevada.

Marc Randazza was behind the push in 2013 to pass an anti-SLAPP in Nevada. He had this to say on Twitter last night:

SCOSSA High-Low Craps Available on the Apple App Store

I wrote about Scossa a few years ago and it is a popular post on my blog.  It is no longer available in casinos, but the game inventor turned it into an app.  I thought the readers looking for Scossa would enjoy this press release on the game.

You can download the app here.

Dallas, Texas, January 20, 2015 –Available today, SCOSSA® High-Low Craps is a new, free-to-play casino dice game that preserves the excitement and speed of play of craps while embracing the simplicity of roulette. Casino action at its best!

The app is geared towards novice to intermediate players, but also appeals to more experienced gamblers. If you have ever played Roulette or Craps, you’ll love this game. Even if you haven’t, SCOSSA® is easy to learn, fun to play and allows you to win big. If you are heading to a Casino to play craps, SCOSSA® is a great way to learn the odds and develop a betting strategy. Simply place your bets, roll the dice, and instantly know whether you lost or won. Sound familiar? It is really quite simple! In fact, some players have commented that it is “like playing Roulette with Dice.”

Like Roulette, you can place straight number bets, split bets or range bets. Similar to craps, you can place hard way bets, or the NEW split-hard way bets, then Roll, Swipe or Shake the device to roll the dice to determine the outcome.  Added to the excitement, bet on Triple 7’s…roll three consecutive 7’s and the payout is 200 to 1!  Other features are a display showing your last five rolls – great for developing a betting strategy; and social media so you can refer friends, watch a video ad, or post your success for FREE chips.

“Just make your bets and throw the dice. In other words, the game has the simplicity of roulette but is played with dice just like craps. Compared to craps, the odds are a lot better…” said Michael Shackleford from the Wizard of Odds, best known for professional analysis of the mathematics of casino games.

SCOSSA® High-Low Craps is available for free download worldwide on the Apple App Store.  Please visit www.ScossaDiceGame.com for more information about SCOSSA® High-Low Craps.  The game is developed by Brill Entertainment, LLC in Dallas, TX founded in 2010.

Politically Correct Police Slam Borgata Restaurant for Honoring MLK with Favorite Meal

I try to stay out of politically correct debates, but this one really rubbed me the wrong way.  A group of people that are not from the South have completely misunderstood a southern tradition.

In what is one of the most baffling stories I have read in a while, a handful of poker players slammed a Borgata restaurant for honoring Dr. Martin Luther King on his holiday by serving one of his favorite meals as a special.  The person that originally tweeted the menu even used the hashtag #isitracist.

Anyone that grew up in the South like me (I’m born and raised just outside of Atlanta) just cringed at this for multiple reasons.

First, it is customary to honor a person in the South with a favorite meal.  It can be on a birthday or to celebrate another life event.

Food is a tradition in the South, and Southerners don’t eat salads and gluten-free crap.  Southerners with deep roots eat comfort food.  It is regional and not specific to any race, contrary to what some of these noise makers seem to think.

Maybe there is some sort of misconception about comfort food in other parts of the country, but it certainly isn’t that way where Dr. King was raised and is now honored with a memorial.

I grew up eating exactly what was put on MLK’s birthday menu at Borgata.  It was a staple in our southern household. Southern diners serve exactly that type of meal, whether it is in an urban, suburban, or rural area, regardless of the demographics of its clientèle.

Honoring Dr. King with his favorite meal, the one served by Borgata on Monday, is also a tradition in the South.  Some restaurants outside of the comfort food niche would also advertise it as their daily special on January 15th, his actual birthday, to honor him. The observed holiday later became the third Monday in January.

For whatever reason, some poker players feel that Borgata has done something wrong by participating in this longstanding tradition.  If there was any doubt, a simple Google search would have proven the meal served is associated with Dr. King and his holiday.

The politically correct police got this one wrong.  It appears that these people have a stereotype about comfort food and are ignorant of the culture in the South.  They should be embarrassed of their actions for shaming an establishment that brought a tradition of the South into Atlantic City, one that honored a man so great that he deserves his own holiday.

This post was simply meant to educate.  I’m not trying to call anyone out.  That is why I did not use any names of the people involved in this.  I feel that the people that are offended by how a Borgata restaurant honored Dr. King have stereotypes about the South that are false, which led them to draw an improper conclusion.

There are certainly many issues in the South, but none of them have to do with its food and traditions of honor that surround it.

NFL Picks Week 2

Last week I went 1-1.  I lost the Rams after they got slaughtered by injuries but won the Vikings making the assumption that the Chargers would be once again slow out of the gate.  Week 2 is always tough.  You only have one week to look over and a great week 1 performance can often skew the point spreads.  The sports gambling websites are ready for this weekend’s action and so am I.

Houston (-3) at Miami

Here we are with a match up that takes one team that had a week 1 blowout against a team that lost by two touchdowns.  I was impressed by the Texans, that game was not a fluke.  I do not think the Colts are as bad as the score represented in week 1, even without Manning.   Arian Foster is expected to play as well.  The Dolphins have little talent.  They gave up 517 yards and 4 TDs to Tom Brady and gave up over 100 rushing yards.  On top of that, it appears that the Dolphins, their sponsors and the local media bought around 10,000 tickets to avoid a TV blackout that would have affected much of South Florida.  I expect the stands to look like a Raiders home game with 20,000 empty seats.  There will be little in the way of home field advantage here.  The Dolphins are also on one less day of rest after playing Monday night.  Take Houston, I think they will win big.

Cleveland at (+1.5) Indianapolis

When a line looks messed up I usually say bet with it.  Not here though.  Cleveland only averaged 3.2 yards per carry last week.  I do not expect their rushing game, or Colt McCoy, to go into Indianapolis and win this game after an awful showing at home against the lowly Bengals last week.  Kerry Collins has had one more week to learn the offense and he will not be losing two fumbles in this game.  Colts win this outright.

Philadelphia (-2.5) at Atlanta

I must admit, I hate both teams.  At least there is no bias.  The Eagles tore apart the Rams’ offense last week with Steven Jackson missing most of the game due to an early injury.  The Falcons basically did not show up last week in Chicago.  The Falcons are overrated and  cannot beat good teams.  The Eagles are a good team.  There will be tens of thousands of fans in the Georgia Dome yelling Michael Vick’s name and he will deliver.  Philly routs the Falcons once again in the Georgia Dome.

You know who I am cheering for on Sunday.  Good luck with your picks and hopefully I do not go 0-3 on Sunday.

Beware of Righthaven Copyright Enforcement

I wanted to share my opinion about what has been going on lately in copyright enforcement online by a company called Righthaven.  Righthaven is a copyright enforcement company that scours the internet looking for copyrighted material owned by Stephens Media newspaper Las Vegas Review Journal, Denver Post and some smaller partners.

When Righthaven finds material owned by their partners they buy the rights, then file suit against the offending website.  Righthaven typically demands $75,000 or $150,000 as well as forfeiture of the domain although most settle for much smaller amounts and it appears all accused website owners have kept their domains.  Righthaven does not send website owners any type of demand to remove the content, they simply file a lawsuit.

Righthaven has gone after website owners, both for profit and non profit.  These include bloggers and people from any industry or profession.  They have sued politicians and well known sites.  They have even gone after individual posters on forums.  They do this even when the work is backlinked and the original producer of the content is credited.  They are equal opportunity copyright enforcers.

I totally respect copyrights.  I have had my work stolen from me countless times on the internet.  I have had paragraphs or even entire websites stolen word for word.  It is a terrible feeling.  Still the fact that this is a third party filing lawsuits, while somewhat related to the copyright theft victims, is not proper in my opinion.  Righthaven is not the actual victim.  They are simply a company that looks for the copied work, then obtain the rights to the work and file lawsuits.  In my opinion they are nothing but a lawsuit factory, a troll scouring blogs and forums looking to sue people.  To me this is not a legitimate business.

Nobody should be using other people’s work without consent  but you can protect yourself from an honest mistake.  First don’t quote articles from Righthaven partners in any way even if you give them credit and link to them.  These sites include LVRJ.com and Denverpost.com.  Even if you feel your article would fall under fair use why link to their sites if they act this way?

You should also post and register a DMCA notice.  When you do this with the U.S. Copyright Office it will include who to contact to have infringing work removed.  This should help cover you.

If you own a forum you should not allow posters to quote anything from Stephens Media sites such as LVRJ.com and Denverpost.com.  I would even go so far as not allowing them to link to their sites.  While it seems Righthaven is now going after forum posters and not the owners you should still try to protect your posters and yourself.  There is no need to receive bad press when one of your posters gets sued.  It may drag you into the mess as well.

According to the Las Vegas Sun 238 people have been sued by Righthaven in the past year for copyright violations.  While more and more people are standing up to Righthaven and denouncing their behavior the lawsuits are still going on no matter how much the newspaper reputations get hurt.  In my opinion the behavior of all involved is disgusting and I will never touch anything either newspaper is involved in.  Until this lawsuit factory is shut down by the legal system I hope everyone else will do the same.

Super Bowl Pick

After a 5-5 playoff with two moneyline winners I’m posting my pick for the Super Bowl.  I have picked 14 of the last 15 Super Bowls correctly against the spread.  The only one I lost in that span was picking the Raiders +4 in 2003.  My pick is:

Pittsburgh +2.5 +105

I don’t see any way that the Packers will be able to run the ball.  My analysis shows that this point spread should be Pittsburgh -1.5.  I guess people just think that the Packers are so hot that they can’t possibly lose.  Like in most other Super Bowls I’m going against the hype and going for the better team.

Pittsburgh 24, Green Bay 20

NFL Divisional Playoff Picks

After going 3-1 last week I figured that I would post my picks this week.  I took all of the underdogs again.  The Saturday games are my favorite.

Baltimore +3.5 – Each of the last four meetings have been decided by exactly three points.  These teams are evenly matched, in fact the Ravens are probably slightly better.  This game should go down to the wire.  The hook could make all the difference in the world.

Green Bay Packers +2.5 – I think the Packers will win the NFC.  The books seem to think so too.  Some Las Vegas sportsbooks have the Packers at the same odds to win the Super Bowl as the Falcons.  This would seem odd because the Falcons would host two games where the Packers would have to play on the road both games and are underdogs here to the team they are equal to in odds to win it all.  The Packers are healthy, have discovered a running game and are on fire.  The Falcons are simply overrated in my opinion.  They beat up on the Panthers, Bucs and the NFC West for 8 of their wins.

New York Jets +9 – The Patriots are certainly the better team here but I don’t see this being a blowout.  I think the Patriots host the AFC Title game next week, they just don’t win this in a big way.  Don’t bet the farm on this one though.

Seattle Seahawks +10 – This is a better team than people think.  Sure they aren’t a great road team but they beat the Bears earlier this year on the road.  I think this will actually be a low scoring game.  Cutler has a way of giving away games and this could be one of them.  Don’t expect a blowout here.

Good luck this weekend on the games but only if you are on my side.  Remember that sports gambling probably isn’t legal where you are so make sure to place that bet legally.