Notes from the Electronic Cottage 4/29/21

Producer/Host: Jim Campbell

It’s been in the news recently that one of Mr. Trump’s lawyers, Sidney Powell, has been sued by Dominion Voting Machines for defamation based on her claims that Dominion programmed their voting machines to generate more votes for Mr. Biden and less for Mr. Trump. Her defense? “No reasonable person” would believe that her claims were actually facts. Strangely enough, Apple tried to use a similar claim to get a suit thrown out of court when a customer sued because he believed he was buying songs on iTunes and he later found out that Apple had the right to remove those songs he purchased and thought he had bought. The judge wasn’t buying Apple’s argument, and would not grant a dismissal of the suit. Several suits are in court now against Apple and Amazon that center on just what is a person purchasing when they “buy” a song or movie or book in digital format. Good question. The answer at present is not very pretty.

About the host:
Jim Campbell has a longstanding interest in the intersection of digital technology, law, and public policy and how they affect our daily lives in our increasingly digital world. He has banged around non-commercial radio for decades and, in the little known facts department (that should probably stay that way), he was one of the readers voicing Richard Nixon’s words when NPR broadcast the entire transcript of the Watergate tapes. Like several other current WERU volunteers, he was at the station’s sign-on party on May 1, 1988 and has been a volunteer ever since doing an early stint as a Morning Maine host, and later producing WERU program series including Northern Lights, Conversations on Science and Society, Sound Portrait of the Artist, Selections from the Camden Conference, others that will probably come to him after this is is posted, and, of course, Notes from the Electronic Cottage.