Graydon Head
THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT

Blog: Jack "Out of the Box"

Do you read Jack-out-of-the-Box regularly? Do you think other lawyers should know about us?

Nominations are now being accepted for the American Bar Association’s 8th Annual Blawg 100, their annual list of the 100 best legal blogs.  We’d like to invite you, our loyal readers, to use the link below to submit messages on our behalf. Any nomination is appreciated and some of the best comments will be included in this year’s Blawg 100 coverage. Thanks in advance for your participation.

SUBMIT YOUR COMMENTS HERE

Human Stink Bugs

Oct 08, 2013

I live in Ohio, which means I am dealing with a stink bug invasion. Stink bugs are an Asian species. They are ugly, annoying and hard to get rid of. When they get stepped on, they omit an unpleasant odor. Hence, the name.

So what is the human equivalent of this obnoxious pest? I’m going to nominate these guys. There are companies out there who publish mug shot photos online and, for a fee, remove them. And that’s tough luck for young folks who make a dumb mistake.  Most states allow a first time offender to have a criminal record expunged, particularly where it involves a minor, non-violent offense.  And the reason for that procedure is to allow a person to move on from an early knuckleheaded incident. The mug shot stink bugs frustrate that objective. 

And the business model is even less fair for people who are merely arrested – their mug shot stays up even if the charges are dropped. 

But like stinkbugs, the mug shot operators may be here to stay. The mug shots are public record, and should be. There are legitimate reasons for making mug shots available. They are a record of government activity. They may, for example, provide evidence of police brutality. And so efforts to restrict access to the photos raise First Amendment issues. If you’re free to access them, and free to put them up online, then you’re probably free to charge a fee to take them down. Legislation to stop it probably won’t work.    

But the market may provide a solution. Google is working on a system to drive these pages off the first page. And Mastercard and PayPal are taking steps to drop the sites as customers.  Maybe the market will ultimately exterminate these human stink bugs. 

 

Comment

  1.    
     
     
      
       
Connect on Facebook

Get Linkedin with Jack

Follow Me

Info/Law
Federal Trade Commission
Rebecca Tushnet's 43 (B)log
Pittsburgh Trademark Lawyer

Do You Know Jack?

READER COMMENTS
(what's the point of a blog without them)
We'd love to hear what you're thinking. Although we can't guarantee that we'll post every question or comment on our site, please note that when you submit a question or comment we assume we've got your consent to post it on our site. To add a comment on any post, just click on "go comment" immediately below that post.

LEGAL DISCLAIMER
(you had to see this coming):
This blog is a periodic publication of Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP and should not be construed as legal advice or legal opinion on any specific facts or circumstances. The contents are intended for general information purposes only, and you are urged to consult your own advisor concerning your situation and any specific legal question you may have. Many states, including Kentucky, require that law firms add the statement "THIS IS AN ADVERTISEMENT" on publications of this nature.

Copyright © 2014 Graydon Head & Ritchey LLP. All Rights Reserved.