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location Atlanta, GA
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visits member for 1 year, 9 months
seen Sep 26 at 17:18

I am a former Navy Explosive Ordnance Disposal technician who now lives in Atlanta and works as a computer programmer. Along the way I've qualified and volunteered as an EMT(Basic), gotten a Masters in forensic science, and qualified as a Professional Engineer in the state Georgia (Fire Protection). I am currently in last year of law school and hope to get a job in the prosecutor's office.


Dec
12
comment Good idea to describe the heist place before the heist begins?
You have to make sure your focus is on the primary plan for the deviation to be surprising. Don't include a detailed description of a pseudo-random side corridor or the reader is going to see the swap a mile away. Also, it might be in your best interest to describe the 'new' pathway as the character encounters it, since it will be new to him, too. He comes to an never-before-seen intersection and has to make a decision; describing the intersection chops up the flow of action for the reader the same way. If he blows through the intersection on instinct, a similarly brief description works.
Aug
6
comment Legalities about fictionalizing current events
To avoid running afoul of this ruling, you only have to do one of two things. One, make the character inherently different from the real individual. For example, create a game player with Keller's stats, but a different background, appearance, and jersey. The second approach is to take a different but identifiable person and put them in a vastly different environment. So, football player number 9 from XYZ, Kansas, and how he reacted to the alien invasion.
Aug
6
comment Legalities about fictionalizing current events
This case has a fairly narrow ruling in that it involves taking a readily identifiable public figure and depicting them in the exact environment for which they are famous. For example, in Keller, a EA wrote a football video game that used the likeness, background, jersey number, etc. of a college football player. The court's ruling ensures that if someone is going to benefit from that likeness, it should be the player himself, not the third party EA.
Aug
6
comment Legalities about fictionalizing current events
Your link doesn't include the case name, which is always a red flag in any article about a legal case. The opinion is IN RE: NCAA STUDENT-ATHLETE NAME & LIKENESS LICENSING LITIGATION, the case is Keller v. EA out of the 9th circuit.
May
28
comment Is dialogue in a novel necessary, or just padding?
Isn't most of any story 'padding' in this sense? Why sit through four hours of Titanic, you already know the ship sinks (oh, and there's a girl)? It's not 'Robin Hood', it's 'There is a guy who's good at archery and he uses it to rob the rich to give to the poor (oh, and there's a girl).' Gone with the Wind? The South lost (oh, and there's a girl). If it helps you tell the story, it isn't padding. If it really is padding, then it isn't helping you tell the story.
May
8
comment Is it possible my book could be taken off-line for sale if there is a cease and desist letter?
You say you have documents supporting your side of the story, but truth in defamation lawsuits is an odd animal. Basically the other side doesn't have to show your statements were false, only that they were harmful. It is up to you to prove Truth as an affirmative defense. You would carry the burden of proof, so if it comes down to "He said"/"She said," you lose.
May
8
comment Is it possible my book could be taken off-line for sale if there is a cease and desist letter?
Also, the amount of damages in defamation suits is based in part in the size of the publication (in the legal, not book selling sense). The more people who download the book, the bigger the publication and the higher the damages. If you are worried about a lawsuit, you should at least consider taking the book down voluntarily.
Apr
11
comment Can a mock-magazine with fictitious content count legally as fan fiction?
The problem with this footer is that it isn't true. As you've described it, the resemblance isn't coincidental, it's the intended purpose of the site. This doesn't prevent it from being satire, but avenas is right, the use of specific logos or genuine car names are protected trademarks. Place names are not protected, but I would hesitate about giving the genuine phone number. That makes it sound too much like a 'real' car rather than a parody.
Mar
20
comment Structure for computer science research paper
Given the title "Key Implementation Decisions" I would think the implementation needs to go beyond just 'how' and also explain 'why'. Design identifies the specific problem and gives and idea of how to sort it out. Implementation states what has actually been done and why those decisions were made (Why only cat videos but not dogs? Why Chicago but not New York? and so forth). From there you can move on to the experiment on a solid foundation.
Mar
11
comment How can one plan elaborate crimes for fiction without getting into trouble?
@CQM First off, ALL criminal trials are 'state sponsored actions', that's part of the definition. Secondly, there is (or should be) a difference between hashing out flaws and developing realism in your story and obsessively cataloging the movements of real people. Even in the NY case, the defendant isn't claiming 'it was for a story', his argument is that it was only a fantasy (i.e. something he wanted to do but would not). There is a world of difference between scaring general people with an interesting tale, and terrorizing a specific person with dark detailed desires.
Mar
6
comment How can one plan elaborate crimes for fiction without getting into trouble?
@JohnM.Landsberg That was sort of my point with Capone. The police (heck, everybody) knew Capone was guilty of many crimes, but couldn't get enough evidence to convict him. They used tax evasion as a judicial proxy. Conspiracy can be used in the same way. It's a charge the prosecutor can bring when they can't convict you of anything else.
Mar
5
comment How can one plan elaborate crimes for fiction without getting into trouble?
Now that I think of it, both of my above examples are flawed. They still require a finding of some other crime. Say you're arrested for attempted murder and conspiracy to commit murder. The jury deliberates and finds you not guilty of the attempted murder. As a matter of law, you're then innocent of the conspiracy as you can't 'conspire' to do something if the thing (in this case the attempt) was never done. Sally and Al, above, could still be in trouble, but it would require that the police can prove the other criminal acts.
Mar
5
comment How can one plan elaborate crimes for fiction without getting into trouble?
I think you're closer to the truth with the idea of tacking conspiracy on as a separate charge to increase the potential sentence. The only time I think it would be charged alone is if 1. It's the only crime of several they can prove (Al Capone style) or 2. They're trying to get you to talk about someone else (Your boyfriend a killer, Sally. Tell us where he is or you're going down for abetting, maybe even conspiracy!) In both cases, the charge is political, a means to an end. The charge is not being brought for itself.