Legal Issues

Justice Rallies for Trayvon Martin Continue Around U.S.

Organized rallies arose all around the USA this past week and weekend, protesting the verdict after a jury of six women found George Zimmerman not guilty in the death of Trayvon Martin last Saturday, July 13, 2013.

After the verdict was read last Saturday, protestors continued to rally outside the courthouse where the trial was held in Sanford, FL.

The crowd chanted, “Shame, shame, shame, shame…” after hearing the verdict and seeing Zimmerman walk out of the courthouse, across the hallway.

It was reported that over 100 cities across America held rallies and protests in the wake of 17-year-old Trayvon Martin who was slain by Zimmerman back in February 2012.

Atlanta, Detroit, Chicago, Orlando, Miami, New York City, Brooklyn, San Diego, Oakland, Los Angeles—these were only a few of the named cities that participated in these rallies supporting Trayvon Martin and his family.

This past Wednesday on July 17, a peace rally was held in Orlando, FL. Protestors marched from Lake Eola in downtown Orlando to the Orange County courthouse. Organizers of the rally spoke to the crowd through a megaphone on the courthouse steps. They encouraged everyone to stay peaceful and that there will be justice to come for Trayvon Martin.

Shayan Modarres, one of the organizers of the Orlando rally, said that he thought it was a great turn out. “Everyone was peaceful, we demonstrated peacefully. In two days to have this many people come out and support the movement, I think that’s amazing. And this is only the beginning, we’re going to keep the momentum going and we’ll do more and more.”

“We just want people to know we’re not going to relent, we’re not going to quit, we’re not going to give up. We’re going to keep the momentum going and we are not going to move on,” Modaress continued to say.

Celebrity singer and DJ Solange Knowles organized a peaceful rally in downtown Brooklyn at Borough Hall on July 14. The singer tweeted, “seeing & gathering with people today/tonight all for the same fight helped to restore my faith in humanity…”

Superstar couple Beyoncé and Jay-Z attended a rally in New York City with thousands of other people on Saturday morning, July 20. Rev. Al Sharpton, community activist, commented on speaking to the star-couple before the rally. Sharpton said, “Jay Z and Beyoncé said they didn’t want to speak and they didn’t come for a photo op.”

Sharpton continued, “Jay Z told me, ‘I’m a father. Beyoncé is a mother.’ We all feel the pain and apprehension – the laws must protect everybody, or it doesn’t protect anybody. We do not come from hate, we come from love of children.”

Justin Jones was one of the rally organizers in Oakland, CA. Jones just recently graduated from Hercule High School and is 17-years-old—the same age that Martin was when he died.  Jones said he did it to encourage and reach out to other young people in the East Bay area.








George Zimmerman Found Not Guilty in Trayvon Martin Death

In Sanford, FL, a jury of six women found George Zimmerman not guilty in the charges of second-degree murder and manslaughter in the shooting death of Trayvon Martin on Saturday night.

The jurors, whose identities were kept secret, deliberated for 16 hours over the duration of two days. Court officials announced that there was a verdict yesterday evening at 9:47pm.

Zimmerman was showed no expressive reaction as the verdict was given.  After the verdict was read aloud, he shook hands with his lawyer a smiled for a split-second.

Martin’s family was not inside the courtroom; their lawyer, Ben Crump, quickly walked out of the courtroom afterwards.

Crowds rallied outside the courtroom and continued to protest after the verdict was given. Emotions surged through the crowd as many Martin supporters felt that justice was not served in the court’s decision.

Martin, a 17-year-old black male, was found dead on February 26, 2012 walking on the way home to his father house, Tracy Martin, in Sanford, FL.

Sanford police waited 46 days to arrest Zimmerman; the delay in his arrest also led the public to suspicions of racism.

Mobile Apps Targeted for Copyright Infringement

Hollywood corporations are growing more aware of the rising issue of mobile applications using their licensed content without permission in the mobile app stores.Executive corporations such as, Sony, Warner Bros., NBC Universal, Marvel Comics, Paramount, and Twentieth Century Fox have all made complaints against various mobile applications on the market. According to an article by Reuters, all of these companies have filed requests for Google to take certain apps down from the Google Play Store that may use infringing material.

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From TV to cell phone, mobile apps are using copyrighted content without permission.
Photo Credit: Lawren Chandler

Marvel Comics, Paramount, and Twentieth Century Fox are some companies going after mobile apps for copyright infringement.
Photo Credit: Lawren Chandler

According to Tech Hive, “apps targeted by the content owners allegedly contain unauthorized images from such properties as “Clash of the Titans,” “Glee,” “Gossip Girl,” “Green Lantern,” “Spider-Man,” and “The Hobbit.””


Through a study directed by using IP Lasso’s AppGuard, software created to detect foundations of infringing content, IP Lasso determined that 90% of mobile applications stating the Oscars or the Academy Awards were questionable and were “infringing on copyrights or flagrantly violating consumer privacy, or in most cases, both.”

On their website, IP Lasso also stated, “These rouge apps are becoming a growing concern as many of them are deceiving consumers with unauthorized copyrighted material while damaging the credibility of branded entertainment, and ultimately violating consumers’ private data by requesting unnecessary access to contacts, camera, and even exact GPS coordinates stored on smartphones and tablets.”

Google has been sending requests to takedown infringing apps from the Google Play store to Chilling Effects, where they posted these requests for the public to view. Photo Credit: Lawren Chandler

Google has been diligently attempting to take down apps that allegedly contain copyright infringing content. They have also been sending out copies of takedown requests on the Chilling Effects website.

Lester McDowd, a student at the University of Central Florida, shared how he felt about the growing mobile app issue. “The problem that I see in this situation is that technology will constantly evolve. It is just that Hollywood movie and television corporations are just now beginning to catch on.”

McDowd continued, “In the mobile app world they thought they were safe by just using copyright protected material without permission. Now that many of these apps have been discovered for their wrong-doings, they will surely have time to think about taking their feet out of their mouths while their business gets shut down.”


Judge of Dark Knight Shooting Case Pushes for Fox News Reporter Subpoena

Overseeing judge in the Dark Knight Rises shooting allows for a motion to subpoena Jana Winter over an article she wrote in regards to the case. Photo Credit: Lawren Chandler

Overseeing judge in the Dark Knight Rises shooting allows for a motion to subpoena Jana Winter over an article she wrote in regards to the case. Photo Credit: Lawren Chandler

In the case against the accused shooter James Holmes, of the Colorado Dark Knight Rises shooting in July 2012, the judge overseeing the case subpoenaed a New York Fox News reporter to appear in court over an article she wrote in regards to the case.

Holmes’ attorneys requested the reporter, Jana Winter, to appear in a February 4 hearing to question her about the sources of her story and ask her to share her notes with the court.

Fox News reporter, Winter, would not be legally required to attend the hearing unless a New York judge also wants her to appear in court. Additionally, Holmes’ attorneys said they would pay for her travel costs as a complimentary service.

What compelled Holmes’ attorneys to summon Winter in court was the fact that she wrote an article providing information on Holmes’ activity with his psychiatrist. According to the Denver Post, “Winter wrote a story in July about a notebook Holmes sent to his psychiatrist at the University of Colorado. Winter, citing two unnamed law-enforcement sources, reported that the notebook contained violent drawings and details about a murderous plot.”

Photo Credit: Lawren Chadler

According to the Denver Post, Winter reported on a mysterious notebook from Holmes that may have contained “violent drawings and details about a murderous plot.”
Photo Credit: Lawren Chadler

In a motion requesting a judges approval convincing Winter’s appearance in court, Holmes’ attorneys wrote, “Identifying the law enforcement sources who leaked this information to the media is an issue of serious and material importance to the case.”

Prosecutors later determined that there was no official proof that law enforcement officials were actually responsible for the leak of information.

The Denver Post also said that Holmes was charged with “166 counts of murder, attempted murder and other crimes for the July 20 attack that left 12 dead and 58 more wounded by gunfire. According to a source who spoke to The Denver Post on condition of anonymity, Holmes told his psychiatrist that he fantasized about killing “a lot of people.”

Jana Winter reported viable information gathered from an unknown source.
Photo Credit: Lawren Chandler

Brandon Williams, a soon to be graduate of Full Sail University’s Show Production bachelor program stated, “I agree with Winter wanting to protect her source for their confidentiality rights.”

Williams went on to say, “But from the outside looking in, Winter could also be lying about having a source that was a law enforcement official. How do we know what is the truth?”

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