We can all feel safe now....

Mousey

Ueber Meister Mouse
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Sep 12, 2004
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Up$hitCreek
Mont. officials seize man's antique gambling devices

WHITEFISH, Mont. (AP) A 19th-century roulette wheel and other old gambling equipment were seized by state agents from an antique store under a law prohibiting the possession of unlicensed gambling equipment, authorities said.

Some of these things are over 100 years old, said Ron Turner, owner of the Cowboy Cabin. These are not gambling devices. These are antiques. Its a historical collection.


Those arguments failed to persuade three agents with the state Department of Justice Gambling Control Division who showed up at the store on Jan. 31.

The agents seized two roulette wheels, two early 20th century punchboards and a chuck-a-luck a small, hourglass-shaped cage that spins with three dice inside.

The agents marked as evidence and said they would return for a craps table, a blackjack table, a roulette table and a smaller craps table top all 19th century items. Turner said the items are worth an estimated $77,000.

The state has not filed charges against Ron or Eila Turner, who recently moved to Whitefish from California, where they also sold antiques. The couple opened the Cowboy Cabin in December.

Gene Huntington, administrator of the states Gambling Control Division, said the most likely charge would be misdemeanor possession of illegal gambling equipment.

Huntington said the state could destroy the equipment, use it for training or give it to a museum.

I don't know whether to laugh or cry...
 

cynthial

Boo
Joined
Oct 9, 2006
Location
Albuquerque
This is not OK!

The elected officials of our once great country seem to have lost all perspective here. These items are antiques of value and interest to many people. I feel like I am in an old episode of the Twilight Zone.
Where have our freedoms gone? Jeez, this is just really starting to piss me off! I want my "inalienable rights" back, NOW!
 

winbig

Keep winning this amount.
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Location
Pennsylvania
Heil Bush!


What FUCKING IDIOTS. I surely hope the shop owners turn around and sue the fucking DoJ. This is getting rediculous.

Sorry for my language, but shit like this pisses me off. It also makes me embarrased to be an American.

If I had the money to relocate overseas, I would gladly renounce my citizenship, no questions asked. It's not because of the UIGEA, it's the principle behind it.


PS: Can you please provide the link to the source of this article? Thanks...
 

kwblue

Dormant Account
webmeister
Joined
Jun 22, 2005
Location
USA
This kind of crap just enrages me. This is typical of the government officials we have in office today. It's sickening that they can just take off with $77k of people's valuables in the name of the law.

It's theft and the DOJ should be brought up on charges, IMO.
 

winbig

Keep winning this amount.
Joined
Mar 10, 2005
Location
Pennsylvania
What the hell is next? Are they going to fucking outlaw the sale of playing cards and poker chips? How about poker tables? wtf....

Are they going to shut down Vegas, AC, Reno, Henderson, all of the riverboats in various states?

Does anyone remember the movie "Escape from LA"? This is turning out to be exactly like that. Soon it will be illegal to have sex if you're not married, they will throw you in jail for not going to church, for smoking, etc.

EFF YOU BUSH AND CO.
 
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Addisyn

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Joined
Oct 4, 2006
Location
Underground Sewer Access
What you all said. If I go off on a rant I will use up all of Bryan's bandwidth.

Couldn't have said it better myself. winbig. I wonder who is getting this booty? They are now stealing from the citizens directly. OMFG!

:eek2:
 

jetset

RIP Brian
Joined
Feb 22, 2001
Location
Earth
This kind of crap just enrages me. This is typical of the government officials we have in office today. It's sickening that they can just take off with $77k of people's valuables in the name of the law.

It's theft and the DOJ should be brought up on charges, IMO.

It seems that US enforcers have lost all sense of perspective...and they are certainly out of control and in desperate need of a serious reining in.

This sort of crazy jackboot enforcement has no place in the America I know (or should that be 'in the America I have known')
 

LadyHoldem

Dormant account
Joined
May 17, 2006
Location
Oregon
that's an insane and crazy misuse of power.. to take someone's property where they obviously had no intent towards misuse.. .to just take away their lively hood..

I don't know if you can blame the DOJ, afterall theyre supposed to be pricks.. but wow.. our laws just seem crazier and crazier.. sometimes I just have to take a break from all these forums before I start thinking I live in a caged environment.. to think, without the net, we'd never have heard about these people being robbed..

~LadyH
 

Mousey

Ueber Meister Mouse
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Location
Up$hitCreek
Heil Bush!

...................


PS: Can you please provide the link to the source of this article? Thanks...


Oops! I was so mad I forgot to put the link in! LOL Here ya go...

You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.


Oh... and while we're on ridiculous gambling siezures.... Here's another that will curl your hair...

You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.
 

winbig

Keep winning this amount.
Joined
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Location
Pennsylvania
Oops! I was so mad I forgot to put the link in! LOL Here ya go...

You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.


Oh... and while we're on ridiculous gambling siezures.... Here's another that will curl your hair...

You do not have permission to view link Log in or register now.

Sounds like the RIAA going after grandmothers and children.

Link Removed (invalid URL)

Recording industry cracking down on theft of music
ED TRELEVEN
608-252-6134
[email protected]

Fannie Pearson was shocked two years ago when a letter arrived in the mail accusing her of illegally downloading music over the Internet.

True enough, the 72-year-old grandmother from Beloit had a computer and an Internet connection, which she used to keep in touch with friends by e-mail. But her computer savvy pretty much ended there. She didn't even know it was possible to download music online.

"I didn't know anything about it," Pearson said from Jackson, Tenn., where she lives now. "I didn't do it."

For $3,000, she was told by the law firm that sent the letter, she could settle the case and be finished with it.

"I said, 'You're crazy,'" Pearson said. "I'm not sending you $3,000 for something I didn't do."

Pearson was one of four people the recording industry sued in federal court in Madison in 2004, the second year of an ongoing campaign by the industry to go after people who illegally share copyrighted music on the Internet through file-sharing networks such as Kazaa and Grokster.

File sharing networks first came to public attention with the rise and fall of the original Napster, which was sued by the Recording Industry Association of America in 1999 as it began legal actions against companies that provided file-sharing technology and networks. (The Napster brand name has since re-surfaced as a paid online music service.)

But the lawsuits didn't stop there. In 2003, the RIAA, which represents the "Big Four" record companies and their subsidiaries, began going after individual users for copyright infringement for sharing music files online. If the number of lawsuits filed in Madison is any indication, the RIAA is ramping up such efforts.

Since 2003, record companies have sued 26 people in U.S. District Court for the Western District of Wisconsin, in Madison. The lawsuits started slowly, with one in 2003 and four in 2004. In 2005, eight people were sued; last year that number grew to 13.

Of those 26 defendants, only four hired attorneys to represent them, according to court records. Nine of the defendants settled with the record companies, eight cases were dismissed at the request of the record companies, four default judgments were granted after defendants failed to answer the lawsuits and one was transferred to the federal court in Milwaukee. Four cases are still pending.

The judgments specified in court documents have ranged from about $5,000 to $15,000, though settlement amounts, even in cases where a judgment was entered in court, have been less.

Nationwide, the RIAA has sued more than 18,000 people since 2003 and reached settlements with about 5,600 people. The association does not provide a breakdown on how many people it sued each year.

The RIAA blames file-sharing for a decline in CD sales in recent years. The pain of piracy is felt by thousands of people, including musicians, songwriters and producers whose livelihoods depend upon record sales, said RIAA communications director Jenni Engebretsen, and not just the labels or the artists at the top of the Billboard charts.

The lawsuits seek to protect the recording industry's interests and its ability to "invest in the next generation of artists," Engebretsen said. The efforts have been effective, she said, in deterring others from illegally downloading music.

But they haven't stopped the practice, and the number of people illegally sharing music files appears to have dipped only slightly from its peak, according to one industry analyst.

How they work

Finding people to sue, by the RIAA's own description of the process, could almost be described as random. The RIAA's investigators, from a firm identified in court documents as MediaSentry, log into peer-to-peer networks to search for copyrighted material being offered by individuals.

The investigators take down Internet Protocol (IP) numbers of those offering recordings for upload from their computers. Record companies then file John Doe lawsuits in court against the unidentified holders of the IP addresses. The purpose of the lawsuits is to gain a subpoena, to be served on Internet service providers, for the names of subscribers that correspond with those IP addresses.

Once the companies have the names, the lawsuits are amended or re-filed with the names included.

Initially, federal law gave the RIAA the authority to directly subpoena Internet service providers for the names of subscribers. But in December 2003, an appeals court curtailed that power and ruled that the search for subscribers' names had to be done under the supervision of a judge.

Record companies, through their attorneys, typically send letters to Internet subscribers whom they suspect have illegally shared music, requesting a cash settlement, often $3,000. A lawsuit is usually filed if a settlement can't be reached.

In Pearson's case, the lawsuit was dropped after she and her attorney, Ralph Johnson, convinced the plaintiffs that it was Pearson's teen-age grandchildren who downloaded the music. Pearson said they tried to go after her grandchildren and have since notified her son - their father - in Bloomington, Ill., that they plan to take action against him.

That tactic is not unusual, said Ray Beckerman, a New York City copyright attorney who writes a blog about RIAA cases, "The Recording Industry vs. the People," and represents clients in file-sharing cases.

"They conduct their investigation after rather than before (they file their lawsuits)," Beckerman said.

The RIAA rejects that accusation.

"It doesn't change the fact that for every IP address we have along the way is an instance of theft along the way," Engebretsen said. She added that the law is clear: Illegally downloading music is just as wrong as shoplifting from a record store.

"It takes a tremendous toll on labels and those who work in the industry," Engebretsen said.

Legal help?

Finding a lawyer to help navigate the cases can be difficult. Beyond the initial fee, which is usually more than $3,000 just to retain a lawyer, it can be challenging to find a lawyer who has much experience in this area of the law.

Madison attorney Richard Ward, who has spent most of his career practicing insurance law, represented a Verona woman who was sued by the RIAA in 2004. It was the first and only case of its kind he has handled. He was ultimately able to persuade the record companies that his client's daughter, and not his client, had been the file-sharer in the household, and the case was dropped.

"Most people just get shaken down for the $3,000 (settlement offer)," Ward said. "I think it's a racket the way things are set up."

Beyond the fee to start a case, the cost of presenting an aggressive defense can be prohibitive, potentially as much as $200,000, Beckerman said.

One key case

But Beckerman said one case, currently pending in Oklahoma, could change that. The RIAA sued a mother when it was her daughter who was sharing songs. The industry amended its lawsuit to dismiss the mother and add the daughter - but the mother is now seeking attorney fees to cover expenses she incurred defending herself against the lawsuit.

A decision in her favor could help encourage lawyers to take cases like these, Beckerman said.

Resources are also available on the Internet for people who are sued by the RIAA. In particular, the Electronic Frontier Foundation, a non-profit, non-partisan free speech and consumer rights group in San Francisco, offers advice by e-mail or telephone to those who have been sued by the RIAA.

The group does not condone file-sharing, but it wants to protect the civil liberties of those who are sued.

"We want to make sure people are informed before settling," said spokeswoman Rebecca Jeschke.

"One of the things we do is step back a bit, think about these lawsuits and whether they're helping anyone," she said. "Clearly lots of people are sharing music illegally online. That's a real situation. But it's not clear that this lawsuit campaign solves that."

Fear is a factor

The RIAA says the lawsuits, and a growing awareness of them, are a reason that many people cite for no longer taking part in file sharing.

One independent study the RIAA cites, from March 2005, found that fear of lawsuits was the top reason mentioned by people asked why they no longer illegally download music or video files. In another study they cite, from December 2005, 48 percent of former peer-to-peer users said lawsuits were a reason they stopped using such services.

But its critics say the RIAA's tactics are too heavy-handed.

"These people put out a press release (when they sue)," Beckerman said. "Why would you send out a press release? Because you want to humiliate people, because you want people to know."

That gives accused downloaders incentive to pay whatever the record companies want, to avoid the humiliation, he said.

And once in court, he said, the proceedings are often one-sided affairs because of the high cost of legal representation. Even with lawyers, he said, the RIAA is secretive and tough to fight.

"In these cases, the way they handle them, they demand everything and give nothing," Beckerman said. "They bury you with discovery demands and trample all over you. They'll fight you to the death for the slightest piece of information. They know everything. The defendants know nothing."

Peaks and valleys

But are the lawsuits making a difference? That's open to interpretation, said Eric Garland, CEO of Big Champagne, a Beverly Hills, Calif., Nielsen partner that tracks online media.

On one hand, the RIAA can argue that its lawsuits have stemmed the growth in illegal downloads, Garland said.

"The rate of growth in music file sharing is nothing like what it was three or four years ago," Garland said.

That growth is instead going to the illegal sharing of television episodes and movies, he said. Sharing of those materials has led to similar lawsuits by the Motion Picture Association of America, none of which have been filed in Madison as of yet.

However, the number of people using peer-to-peer file sharing networks hasn't dropped, he said.

Big Champagne found that in August 2003, when the RIAA began bringing lawsuits against file-sharers, the average number of global peer-to-peer users online at one time was about 3.8 million. Though there were peaks and valleys, that number steadily increased to nearly 10 million in March 2006. The number dipped slightly but remained steady at around 9 million through October, the last month for which Big Champagne has data.

The number of illegally downloaded music files also continues to far outstrip the number of legally purchased downloads from services like Apple's iTunes.

"It's not that we've stopped people from doing that," said Garland said. "We're not getting tens of millions to stop. Has litigation curbed or solved this? The answer is clearly no."
 

REOdeathwagon

Dormant account
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Mar 31, 2006
Location
arizona
I think the odd thing about the Montana story, was that it happened in Montana. Usually they kind of stay out of one anothers business in that state. Definately an overzealous Gambling Control Division officer, with too much time on his hands. Hopefully the citizens administer some frontier justice back at his azz. I would think that the defendant would have a very winnable case against the Gambling Control Division if he decided to sue.

It's sad because I like those kind of antiques myself. They are representive of the old west gambling, saloon, cathouse, boomtown, mining culture that Montana is known for.

The Lake Elsinore story, well they're in direct competetion with the casino there. That could be why they ended up in court? Very similar to the online gaming BS we are dealing with.
 

REOdeathwagon

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Joined
Mar 31, 2006
Location
arizona
Uh Ooh, rant time.

I support fully the rights of artists to make a good living doing what they're doing. And the producers, engineers, A&R, etc.
Most musicians get into music for free liquor, chicks, and the love of music. The $$ is cool, but it shouldn't be the main thing to a true artist. When Metallica went against Napster, I instantly hated them. They had already truly sold out by that time, made millions, and wanted more millions, screw 'em. I bought Metallicas first album brand new, first issue. I sold it for a tidy profit, do they want a cut of that too? I get a woody now, when I D/L the old Metallica songs off the internet. Don't even listen to the music, just D/L for the spite of it. I would not even consider ever giving the band one more cent of revenue till the day I die.


I generally support copyrights and intellectual property rights.
I love getting new Cd's, they're like a beer you can drink again and again. But where I disagree, is when I think that I am being ripped off. $20.00 for a new CD, that's too much, if I can get it for free on the internet, damn skippy I will. It costs alot less than $2.00 to make and market CD, if they were sold with a reasonable markup, I would still be buying them.
$95 for Windows, I feel as though MS is anti-competitive and taking advantage of users, I hope that the users in return steal it from MS. Even if MS uses that as a reason to raise the price on me a little bit. I like the updates, so I bought my copy.

The music industry got too greedy and bloated from 1960 thru the present, that is why the public does not shed tears for them. Don't they already get revenues from the sale of all the blank cd's, and videotapes sold, as well as a percentage of the sales of the hardware that can record music?

Now if we could only D/L free oil!....Utopia


"I said, 'You're crazy,'" Pearson said. "I'm not sending you $3,000 for something I didn't do."

Right on Fannie.


"Fear is a factor" -

I do not fear of them, fear of the viruses, that come with the free tunes. This is the same tactic the DOJ is using against I Gaming.

"Most people just get shaken down for the $3,000 (settlement offer)," Ward said. "I think it's a racket the way things are set up."

I wouldn't doubt for a second if they did financial background check on their potential victims before they filed suit.

The RIAA says the lawsuits, and a growing awareness of them, are a reason that many people cite for no longer taking part in file sharing.

Gutless wankers

The number of illegally downloaded music files also continues to far outstrip the number of legally purchased downloads from services like Apple's iTunes.

Good, at a buck a song. They can go die.


CHEERS!
 

Cynthia777

Senior Member
Joined
Feb 4, 2006
Location
My house
That is so proposterous...sounds like crooked officials to me...how can they even deem it illegal if it is not actually even being used, and the man is an antique collector, for goodness sakes!! Any lawyer worth their salt should be pounding on that poor man's door....should surely be a case against those "authorities"?? How about those slot machines we see in bars, etc..that read "For Amusement Only"?? and are out in the open and there's no proof people are cashin out...cops walk past all the time, and they don't even bother the tavern owners about it..they are more concerned with REAL crime issues...

To me it sounds awful fishy that these "officials" weed their way into what just happens to have a lot of value
 

Rettahs

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Aug 1, 2006
Location
Saint Louis
I am just to worn out to fully comment here, way too many directions I could go and rant on forever. I am tired of it all.
 

Mousey

Ueber Meister Mouse
Joined
Sep 12, 2004
Location
Up$hitCreek
Here's a followup story on the seizure of the antique gambling stuff from the antique dealer...

Link Removed (invalid URL)

Bill takes up antique gambling devices
By CHARLES S. JOHNSON
Gazette State Bureau

HELENA - A House committee heard testimony Wednesday but took no action on a bill to allow licensed businesses to sell up to three antique, now-illegal gambling devices in a year.

Sen. Verdell Jackson, R-Kalispell, R-Kalispell, said the Senate Business and Labor Committee members collaborated on the bill. They wrote it after reading about the uproar arising from state gambling investigators' seizure of $77,000 worth of old-time gambling equipment from the Cowboy Cabin, a Whitefish antique store, on Jan. 31.

State law now forbids the possession, even in a private home, of old-time gambling equipment. However, the law does allow a licensed dealer to pay a $50 license fee and to sell three antique slot machines every 12 months.

Jackson wants to extend this law to other antique gambling equipment, which is defined as being more than 25 years old. That would include the blackjack table, chuck-a-luck (dice in a hourglass-shaped cage), a roulette table and wheel and two punchboards that the state seized from the Cowboy Cabin earlier this year.


*************

A more detailed article is Link Removed (invalid URL)
 
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footdr

Banned User: PITA violations of the Forum Rules
Joined
Jan 13, 2006
Location
cyberspace
WE LIVE IN A POLICE STATE

We are guilty until we can prove ourselves innocent. Costing thousands of dollars to defend ourselves and if found not guilty cost of defense not reimbursed

Supreme court judges that no longer uphold the u.s. constitution and Bill of Rights. FBI and Department of Justice given full reign to invade our privacy under the guise of investigating terrorist activities. Laws passed based on which lobbyist groups can pay the most. People only care about unjust laws when they are personally affected. At least my friends and neighbors. I can't seem to make them understand how even though certain laws may not directly affect them the laws themselves are taking away personal rights guaranteed by the Constitution. Rights that are disappearing at a fast pace.

I would have liked to have been of legal age during the 60's. That was a group of citizens that stood up for what they believed in. Whether you believe they were right or wrong, at least they didn't just sit there an take it.

They banned together, something you rarely see today from the average joe.

The Religous groups, and big business are raising money and buying our elected officials. We are left working our butts off to pay taxes and being told where we can spend the money thats left over.

I am sick of Governments interfence in personal lives. Good lord, they need to stay out of personal, private matters and deal with the task of running this Country the way it should be. Focus on the things that affect us all. Like jobs, education, health care, protection of our lives from outside forces, feeding OUR hungry. AND LEAVE US ALONE WHEN WE ARE NOT HARMING ANYONE OR INFRINGING ON OTHERS RIGHTS. [email protected]!!!!!
 

VayCayMom

Dormant account
Joined
Oct 14, 2006
Location
usa
who ratted them out?

Someone squealed, or the gambling agents just drive around all day looking for this stuff. That would be VERY inefficient.
Don't like big government ? Watch out for AllBore, with the earth in such a heated crisis I suppose he'd like to FINE us if he could regulate and measure our personal flatulence output. Eating bean would be outlawed.
:p
 

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