Officer doesn’t like your car? Go to jail, no drugs required

If you were partying hard during the last week of 2013, you may well have missed this story. It’s understandable as I missed it the first time through myself, but it’s fresh enough that I don’t feel terribly awkward doing a post on it.

The Daily Caller reports an Ohio man was arrested not for possessing drugs, but simply for having a car which had been modified to have a compartment which could theoretically store and transport drugs covertly at some future date. Ohio revised section 2923.241 effective 2012 September 28, but only now have they found someone they can charge under the relatively new law.

If this sounds outrageous to you, it should. In essence, it’s a license for Ohio’s law enforcement officers to detain anyone they don’t like if there’s been any modification to the interior of a vehicle at all, maybe even if there hasn’t. John Whitehead, president of the civil liberties group the Rutherford Institute, seems to concur (as quoted in this article on

Although Norman Gurley had no drugs on his person, nor in his car, nor could it be proven that he intended to conceal drugs, he was still arrested for the ‘crime’ of having a hidden compartment in the trunk of his car… This is what a world without the Fourth Amendment looks like.

I’ve spoken many times on the absurdity of drug prohibition. It took almost 14 years for us, as a country, to figure out Prohibition (of alcohol) was a failure (1920 January 17 – 1933 December 5). How long must the so-called “war on drugs” go on before we admit it’s a lost cause and all the “war” has done is make more crime?

Disney’s cloud-based video subscription shenanigans

Is it just me, or is the whole point of buying seasonal videos (Thanksgiving, Christmas, Yule, etc) to watch them during that season?

In a recent story on TorrentFreak (originally reported on BoingBoing) which I unfortunately missed during the holiday season, it was reported that Disney temporarily pulled several Christmas-themed videos from the Amazon Instant Video service during the holiday season. The reason? So the videos would be exclusively available on Disney’s cable TV channels.

From the article, quoting a customer only identified as Bill:

“Amazon has explained to me that Disney can pull their content at any time and ‘at this time they’ve pulled that show for exclusivity on their own channel.’ In other words, Amazon sold me a Christmas special my kids can’t watch during the run up to Christmas,” Bill notes.

“It’ll be available in July though!” he adds.

I think Disney has hit a new low here and has unintentionally brought a whole new meaning to the term “Mickey Mouse operation.” It defies pretty much any type of logic to sell a video intended for viewing during the holiday season, and then make it unavailable during said holiday season. In essence, it’s “thank you for your money, now subscribe to the Disney Channel which will require even more money.”

Disney needs to apologize profusely for this, if they have not already done so. Should Disney fail to do so, I can count at least one Star Wars fan who will not give Disney one red cent to watch the new Star Wars films. (I do plan to watch them; it’s a question of whether or not Disney gets any money from me when I do. How I watch some movies without paying for them is left as an exercise to the reader.)

Amazon has disappointed me as well. I would rather have seen Amazon not budge and tell Disney where to stick their “we can revoke access at any time” clause in the contract. Maybe that means that Disney’s holiday-themed videos wouldn’t be available anywhere (I am assuming Netflix didn’t have them). And maybe that’s a good thing, as it is paramount to giving Disney the figurative shotgun and shells to figuratively blast themselves in the foot.

Moral of the story: if you want to be sure it’s there when you’re ready to watch, don’t trust the cloud. Get a physical disc or DRM-free download.