Proposed Texas Law Makes It a Crime to Photograph Police from within 25 Feet

Jason Villalba

The Texas Representative Jason Villalba filed House Bill 2918 last week in Texas House of Representatives that attempts to criminalize any photographs, video, audio recording or other documenting of a police officer within 25 feet the officer.

I’ll cut right to chase and tell you that this bill is unconstitutional under the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. No questions asked. This is Constitutional Law 101. There is no way this bill could withstand a constitutional challenge in court.

The bill seeks to amend an existing Texas law that states in pertinent part: [Read more…]

FAA Tells Police How to Handle Illegal Drone Encounters

Max Aero Drones-4

While the drone market continues to expand, the legality of operating them continues to be more up in the air than ever before. Earlier this month, the FAA released a new directive to local law enforcement agencies on how to handle encounters with drone operators.

While I am a lawyer, I am not your lawyer and this is an editorial commentary on newsworthy issues rather than legal advice.  Unless you’re paying a lawyer, you aren’t really getting legal advice, and what you are getting on websites, blogs and forums is worth just what you paid for it. If you are busted by the FAA for violating its regulations, get an aviation lawyer who knows their way around the administrative process. Do not solicit legal advice online. That free advice will be the most expensive you ever take.  [Read more…]

Sigma Ordered to Pay Nikon 1.5 Billion Yen for VR Patent Infringement

Sigma 24-105mm f4-2

We are finally seeing results from a lawsuit that Nikon filed against Sigma in May 2011. A judgment was issued against Sigma last month in Tokyo District court, which awarded 1.5 billion Yen to Nikon (close to $15M USD).

The dispute centers a number of Sigma lenses using vibration reduction technology. Nikon originally sought the equivalent of close to $150M USD; however, the judgment stated that the damages was equivalent to 15% of the profits of the violating products earned by Sigma, cutting damages down from the max profits of 10.1 billion Yen.

This has to be quite the blow to Sigma. The company has been a roll lately with awesome lenses like the 24-105mm f/4 OS and 18-35mm f/1.8 lenses. Hopefully, Sigma’s operations won’t be negatively affected in a manner that would delay future lens releases and Sigma’s momentum will continue to gain traction as a solid third-party lens maker.

[via Nikon Rumors]