Bizarre language in Mattel ruling

'Slavery' and 'genocidal slaughter' cited in copyright case

The Register is more than a little concerned with the mental health of US District Judge Edward Harrington, who ruled in favour of the plaintiff, Mattel, in a copyright case involving a crack to decrypt a list of banned URLs in the company's Cyber Patrol filterware. We thought this was a straightforward dispute over intellectual property rights, but we were sadly mistaken. "This case involves more than a... legal issue relating to copyright law," the Judge wrote. "It raises a most profound societal issue, namely, who is to control the educational and intellectual nourishment of young children - the parents, or the purveyors of pornography and the merchants of death and violence." Excuse us? Making it possible to decrypt a file of banned URLs puts the merchants of death in control of the intellectual nourishment of children? But wait, there's more Apocalyptic terror. "Ideas bear consequences, fruitful and also destructive. The pernicious idea that all men are not created equal is the philosophic basis which incited the degradations of slavery and the genocidal slaughter of the [Nazi] Holocaust," His Honour wrote. Stunning. We now have to wonder if Judge Harrington's ruling can be overturned on appeal because of 'disturbingly odd citations'. Might be worth a shot... ® Related Stories Mattel sues hackers, wins injunction Mattel buys copyrights to Cyber Patrol crack

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