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22 April 2011


John Galt

Excellent report George. The County used to be self-insured, so the E&O insurance is interesting to learn of. However most insurance policies require that the insurance company be notified at the first hint of a legal claim so that they can mitigate their loss for coverage. It seems the county did not do that from your report, so it's doubtful the E&O (Errors and Omissions) coverage would fully apply. Furthermore, I'm puzzled at how E&O insurance would even apply...the county wasn't the one providing the service. In otherwords, E&O insurance would typically be the wrong type of insurance for this type of claim.

Since The Coupon Courier has time to file a freedom of information act request on the CHP for the recent tow truck accident, perhaps it can also make time to get a copy of all the County's insurance policies (or at least the E&O policy.)

One thing holds true with all such insurance policies: Criminal or fraudulent activity is not covered.

George Rebane

JohnG, the county's insurance policies are indeed open for public inspection. However, specific communications between insurer and insured relevant to an ongoing case, such as Reservation of Rights Memos, are privileged.

I did not learn about the timing of the county's communications with its insurance company, and did not mean to imply any information in that regard.

The E&O insurance would, for example, apply if/when the plaintiff prevailed in the arguments that the county authorized Diaz to reveal ATPacs intellectual property to Aptitude, and that it inadvertantly destroyed evidence material in the case (as with the server scrubbing).

Your last statement was the motivation for my concluding question.

D. King


“Really, no wrong doing? How does the County make their case when they destroyed the evidence? Yes, at both ends! Aptitude Solutions had huge computer crash that resulted in the loss of all e-mails between the County and Aptitude Solutions. How convenient! Hey, County were is the evidence that you did not do it, the Judge is not buying your explanation.”

“Yes, at both ends! Aptitude Solutions had huge computer crash…”

Hey Russ,
I wonder if San Diego was on the same Aptitude server and lost all their e-mails. ;)


D. King

Sorry, wondering if Aptitude lost their e-mails to / from San Diego also.

Dixon Cruickshank

I agree with both of you - E&O will be a hard pressed collection based only on what we already know. Deleting probably doesn't fall under an error or an omission, I have a sneaky suspion that their answer is a two word answer - one starts with an F and the other with an O. They may have been under the impression that they could collect and its why they don't seem worried - yet.

Dixon Cruickshank

Actually this was very good topic for this since there hasn't been alot of coverage locally.

Douglas Keachie

Rebane is secretly laughing at all the people who don't understand how trivial a programming exercise this is.

Ask him to go on record as to how long it would take him to come up with an equivalent routine. His professional pride might just require him to give an honest answer, because he would look like a pointed headed boss to every programmer in the county if he answered otherwise.

Better yet, ask him under oath, and blow this silly suit out of the water.

Cross posted:

Rebane and Pelline

Douglas Keachie

AtPAC scrambled the county’s data, and the only way to get it out was to use AtPAC’s algorithym, so that the county’s data could be transferred to the new software.

Essentially the “secret code” to unscramble the data, was one of an infinite number of such codes that can be develeped, and are REGULARLY developed, in BEGINNING HIGH SCHOOL computer classes, as a programming exercise.

The notion that AtPAC could possibly sell their particular version is absolutely comical.

Such a program looks like this:

To a computer, the letter “A” is represented by 65, “B” by 66, and so on.

The computer might have the following instruction set:

If you read “A” (or 65), add 10 to it and store it in our new proprietary file, as a “K,” the eleventh letter of the alphabet.

If you read “B” (or 66), add 10 to it and store it in our new proprietary file, as an “L,” the eleventh letter of the alphabet.

and so on.

It is very easy to make millions of variations to make the codes harder to crack.

“Odd numbered letters add 10, even numbered letters, add 11,” would be one example. Then add after each stored letter any of the 256 ASCII codes, 128 for even, 128 for odd, chosen by a randomizer.

Any 2nd year high school programming student can do this in their sleep.

AtPAC’s code is so simple a caveman, a Teeper Creature, could make the equivalent, in written outline form, even if they were a lawyer, in less than two hours.

George Rebane

Mr Keachie, you seem to have had some difficulty in understanding my post. What caused you to go off on the tangent of presenting a tutorial on data encryption?

Dixon Cruickshank

Just to point out a basic fact - plagerism - copyright infringment ( a fav of the FUE ) and intellectual property all have basic protections Mr keatchie

According to her deposition the Project Manager with 25 yrs experince couldn't do it? Either its kinda hard or you pay ninny's to be high level IT people. Because they stated they were going to do it - to AtPac, then when they couldn't they let AT try it - that was a lie any way you cut it. Actually AtPac had offered to do it for less than the county spent on the attorney to sit through the deposition of the Project Manager.

As far as your other statement not posted here - how do you figure AtPac held the county data illegally for ransom? I would think there should be some security measures so your HS class couldn't just come in and browse - cause their smarter than the county IT guys.

E&O insurance is just that - unless its just being stupid they aren't paying - they aren't that stupid either. Its not a blanket to do anything you please and your ass is covered - its not. After reading every page of the Bareale depo ( Project Manager) you can kiss that E & O coverage goodbye, no errors according to her, they all knew what they were doing and by her admission knew it was wrong - you take that to the bank - when you pick up the giant check for the plaintiff.

Barry Pruett

Curious. DKing pointed out that San Diego is a client of Aptitude Solutions. If Aptitude Solutions and San Diego County entered into a contract almost one year ago (May 2010), why is San Diego County still not using the OnCore system which Nevada County is using?


Why is that? Someone should do a public records request to San Diego to find out.

Barry Pruett

Keachie: Are you admitting that you too have been given access to AtPac's source code?

D. King

Hey Keachie,

What are the odds that both ends of an e-mail trail blow up?

68 85 77 66 65 83 83 33 <-random numbers.

Does anyone know why Diaz switched to Aptitude?

D. King

I started looking into Aptitude in FL.
The trail goes all over the place.

Douglas Keachie

Have no access to AtPAC source code, haven't been teaching programming for 12 years or so, it is just obvious from a reading of the news.

Switch to new system requires data from the old system. Old system was given the data when it was started, quite possibly from someone else's encrypted version (revealing their coding "secrets," too, possibly?).

Data in AtPAC system needs to be cleanly and accurately transposed from AtPAC's encryption to new Diaz system.

Data always has, and always will, belong to the county.

Diaz had been given a backdoor key to see encryption system. He was never specifically told he could not share that key to get the County's data into another system. Not having access to county data for new system would amount to an "emergency use" of that key, IMHO.

He used it, because At PAC wanted to charge the county to get to their own data. Your car is running, the key is locked inside, you are at a dealer locksmiths, what would be a fair price to get it open, WHEN THE DEALERSHIP LOCKED IT UP?

Free, or you would counter sue too.

Tell me, Mr. Rebane, does this suit have absolutely nothing to do with AtPAC having encrypted the county's data? Yes or No? You seem to indicate that you find my questioning "off on a tangent." I find my questioning to be to the core of the case.

Or, do you think Diaz or the new company is trying to sell this priceless encryption scheme? Now that would be illegal, but as I pointed out, there would be no buyers, and any programmer or judge who knows anything about the industry, would be aware of this.

Cross posted to Pelline's blog, where the topic of hardwaired brains showed up two days back, I believe.

D. King


I'm sorry for that post; it was harsh and uncalled for...Sorry!


Douglas Keachie

"Actually AtPac had offered to do it for less than the county spent on the attorney to sit through the deposition of the Project Manager."

What proof of this is there, and what is the number in dollars?

Or are you trying to be cute and say for less than what the case cost up to the point where an attorney took the deposition.

I've never heard of a deposition taking more than a day or two, or at most $5,000. What is the number you are talking about? Did Diaz ever amit to receiving such an offer, and when was it made? Before or after Diaz already gave access? After doesn't count.

Barry Pruett


First and in connection with AtPac's software, thank you for admitting that you have no idea about which you are speaking and that your assumptions are pure speculation. Data is county's but data schema is AtPac's. Diaz gave the competitor the schema...bad news.

Second, AtPac offered to complete such data migration for $135 per hour with a maximum contract of $15,000 (industry standards). AtPac actually started on the migration work and the County actually had the contract drafted and ready for signature until Diaz pulled the plug on January 7, 2009. The agreement happened after Diaz had already given access...which occurred on November 5, 2008.

See timeline

Russ Steele


Here is the timeline. AS had access to AtPac intellectual property before the BOS approved the contract and before the selection process was complete.

October 31, 2008 – Gregory Diaz authorized the creation of a login “isphydoux” to AtPac’s software for Aptitude Solutions. Such login gave Aptitude Solutions full and unfettered access to AtPac’s software. The login was authorized by Nevada County Security Protocol 102 (“NCSP-102”) which was signed by Gregory Diaz. (NCSP-102)

November 4, 2008 – Nevada County creates a login “isphydoux” for Aptitude Solutions. (Dan Evers Notes)

November 5, 2008 – After traveling from Florida, Tom McGrath, VP of Development for Aptitude Solutions and Patty Sandever, account manager in California, are allowed full-access to AtPac’s software. They are placed in a locked room in the IT Department with no windows with (1) AtPac’s software, (2) an Aptitude Solutions server (“AS-Nevada”), and (3) a copying program provided by Nevada County. They are in the room for over eight hours. Steve Monaghan is informed of this occurrence. (Dan Evers Deposition)

November 6, 2008 - Nevada County's Information and General Services Department published the scoring results of the companies that responded to Nevada County’s RFP.

November 18, 2008 - The Nevada County BOS voted 5-0 to approve a resolution authorizing execution of a Software License Agreement with Aptitude Solutions, Inc. for a new Recorder System in the County-Clerk Recorder's office for a total amount of $229,428.

December 5, 2008 – AtPac offers to extract the data for Nevada County at a rate of $135 per hour with a maximum contract amount of $15,000. Such work is scheduled to begin on January 1, 2009. (Contract)

January 7, 2009 – Nevada County abruptly cancels negotiations of the AtPac migration of the data. Gregory Diaz assures AtPac that Nevada County will be extracting the County’s official records and Clerk records data from AtPac’s CRiis system data file, without asking for AtPac’s definition or schema information. (Diaz Letter)

Oops, AP realizes that they maybe in legal jeopardy as they had already extracted the data starting way back in November 2008, and they wanted some Oh S**T protection with the County.

January 13, 2009 – Nevada County BOS ratifies the Indemnification Agreement with Aptitude Solutions, Inc. covering extraction and migration of County data for a data system conversion in the County

So, as you can see no need to pay 15K for data extraction that already had been completed. I think that terminating negotiation and the Indemnification Agreement was what tipped AtPac that something funny was going on. Sure enough, and there is more yet to come.

George Rebane

Mr Keachie, you are confusing your expansion of the discussion (to the particulars of data handling during the systems changeover) with the points that I made in my post. The expansion is up to you, but your desire to misinterpret my points to include the particulars of data handling are not. That is why I charitably believe you understood neither the gist nor particulars of my commentary, else you are here just trying to muddy the waters to promote another agenda.

Re the encryption/decryption factors of this case, I believe that Barry Pruett's and Russ Steele's comments cover the particulars. Their validity can be addressed as a specific detail of the case.

It is, of course, obvious why ATPac would not want its data security algo or code to be compromised to third parties since that is what it uses to assure other customers the safety of their datasets. I am not aware of the details of how the county's data was returned to them, or how it was contractually supposed to be returned to them.

John Galt

Obviously Aptitude could NOT complete the migration without obtaining illegal access to the AtPac system which is why they sought imumnity via the indemnification proposal carried by Diaz.

If any reader here would help someone do something illegal FOR FREE, please let us know.

The odds are high that somehow Diaz felt their was some benefit to helping Aptitude illegally and covertly access AtPac's data

Inquiring minds want to know...What was the benefit/motivation behind Diaz's covert/deceptive actions (as reported in the depositions?)

Dixon Cruickshank

John your last statement is quite intrigueing - why ??, honest it really could not have been saving 15K of somebody else's money, they never seem to worry about taxpayers $$ any other time.

That part is is really good question - access then immunity, it really doesn't make any sense to me either.

My only CYA idea - he had already given access, at that point the deed was done, he then did not want AtPac going into the server and maybe finding out there had been access already ???? Thier attorney saw it in redhat logs or whatever, so AtPac would seen it too. Can't see any benefit to him personally other than AS wanted to get the code and stuff and paid him off. That would make sense only if they were targeting other AtPac clients in CA. BTW whatever happened to buy local and support local business that your desparately trying to attract, Auburn isn't far is it?

Douglas Keachie

"The odds are high that somehow Diaz felt their was some benefit to helping Aptitude illegally and covertly access AtPac's data "

Once again, the data is the County's data, not AtPACs.

AtPAC wanted to charge the County $135/hour, up to $15,O00, to get back the data the belonged to the county in the first place.

AtPAC is responsible for the fact that the only way to get at the data, which is the County's data, not AtPAc's, was to use the emergency key.

If using the emergency key opened up absolutely everything, instead of just the data, that is AtPAC'S DESIGN FAULT. If they feel that their encryption scheme has been compromised, it is their responsibility to correct this system in the future, at their own expense. I'm sure all the other counties using their software will no be demanding that they have free access to their own data, so that they can freely compare systems for the next round of bidding.

AtPAC only offered another solution AFTER they knew they had already lost the contract, on a 5 to 0 vote.

AtPAC has offered no information suggesting that the Florida firm has in any way shape or form used anything or sold anything that they might have seen.

Finally, my basic point remains, AtPAC had a fiduciary responsibility not to hold the County's data hostage for ransom, which is what their software did, and encryption schema are a dima a dozen.

Douglas Keachie

"Data is county's but data schema is AtPac's. Diaz gave the competitor the schema...bad news."

If data schema is barb wired around County's data, and the County owns the property, and their is no other way to reach the data other than cutting the barb wire, then the County is justified in cutting through the wire to get to their property, especially if AtPAC GAVE THEM THE WIRE CUTTERS (key).

Douglas Keachie

"I am not aware of the details of how the county's data was returned to them, or how it was contractually supposed to be returned to them."

Since when did the County authorize a give-a-way of the data in the first place?

Barry Pruett

If as you say the County's data was not given to them, the proper remedy by Diaz was a court order or an injunction...NOT GIVE AWAY YOUR COMPETITORS TRADE SECRETS. There are laws that we need to follow, and Diaz and the County have broken quite a few since this thing began.

Keachie...you are really clueless. You should leave the "rhetoric" up to Pelline.

Douglas Keachie

Did AtPAC ever tell Diaz in writing that the use of the key would cause their secrets to be revealed?

Is it not the fault of AtPAC for designing the system so that the only way to retrieve the data that belongs to the County in the first place, is to reveal their secrets?

That's like a thief hiding stuff near their private parts, and then screaming "foul' when they are searched.

Pruett, stick to the law, software is obviously not your strong point.

BTW, yes indeed I do hope this is helping the E & O insurance company which now has a vested interest in this. If nothing else, it's great sand in the air, but I suspect it is far more than that.

Barry Pruett

The proper remedy by Diaz was a court order or an injunction...NOT GIVE AWAY YOUR COMPETITORS TRADE SECRETS. You are a fool.

Dixon Cruickshank

I have to agree with Barry, you don't seem to have a clue as what the issue even is, or how the issue was handled. You need to go read some of the depo transcripts - Barale is good - that will give you a good overview - otherwise you are looking very foolish here.

An anology, in your old class - if you provided one student with the path that another student used to solve a problem is that fair to the student that figured it out? Its kinda that simple, the problem doesn't belong to student A but the actual pathway does - thats why they call it Intellectual Property

Dixon Cruickshank

On another note, I wouldn't hold alot of hope out for E & O insurance to bail you out. Read the name of it, at this point there so far has not been any indication of an omission or an error - I don't think they cover Error's in judgement that were well thought out by multiple players. Thats why Premeditated Murder is treated differently than Involuntary Manslaughter, same result, different paths to get there.

Douglas Keachie

Barry, you are an unelectable person. Try moving down to Placer County.

Douglas Keachie

Using "Intellectual Property" as barb wire around the County's and the Citizens' private property, in hopes of financial gain is virtual highway robbery, and claiming foul when AtPAC PROVIDED the County with the key to get at the County's property, just because using that key also busted every strap on AtPAC's corset, is as I described before, like a thief who hid a purloined steak in his Jockeys, and then protested as the cops removed it.

"Don't touch me THERE!" has no place in this courtroom. AtPAC set themselves up for wardrobe failure.

Barry Pruett

Keachie: Instead of reciting the same rhetoric...please address this comment.

"If as you say the County's data was not given to them, the proper remedy by Diaz was a court order or an injunction...NOT GIVE AWAY YOUR COMPETITORS TRADE SECRETS. There are laws that we need to follow, and Diaz and the County have broken quite a few since this thing began."

Why did the County not simply follow the law?

Douglas Keachie

By the way, you repeated a mistake, in both blogs, so it is time I call attention to it:

“If as you say the County’s data was not given to them, the proper remedy by Diaz was a court order or an injunction…NOT GIVE AWAY YOUR COMPETITORS TRADE SECRETS.”

the last line should have been written as:

“and not permit a competitor to your current firm, AtPAC, to have access to AtPAC’s trade secrets.”

You’d better get that straight, should you be advising anyone in this case.

The County is a government entity, and does not have “competitors.”

Now to your question about "following the law."

As far as I am concerned, the County did follow the law.

They were given a key to get at their data, and access to AtPAC's data schema. They did the logical thing, when time is of the essence.

They used the key.

They got access to their data. They had help making a quick and complete transfer of data within 8 hours. This is where it does get a bit murky. Did the other firm simply make a complete copy of one hard drive, and then pry the data loose from the data schema elsewhere, or were they able to make a complete on the spot extraction? That could be tested by giving their techs access to a different data set in the identical schema. Of course we'd have to trust AtPAC to give the different sample data set in that identical schema.

Would their competitor learn very much by seeing their setup? Probably not. The county maintains records of what, several hundred types of documents? The fields (tags or key words, in common parlance) for each would be similar, with last name first name and document number and type being at the head of the list. Each document might have needs for more than one lname, fname, as in buyer, seller, lender, title company, parcel number, defendant, plaintiff, date fields by the score, offense, arresting agency, and so on.

One damn good reason for not having AtPAC do the transfer is that they would have control over just what was transferred, and it would be impossible to prove that they had left anything out, if they chose to. Why do that? AtPAC might be trying t put the fear of data run amuck in the rest of their clients, by handing back Nevada County all of their data, all in ASCii, but in random order.

If they had the stuff stored with a code for each document that was created by AtPAC to identify each document, they could technically leave that code out, they made it, it was theirs. They would have met the legal requirement of "returning the data," but would have really messed up the County for months and possibly years.

By having the other firm do it, and having it done once, into the new firm's preferred format, time and money and headaches are avoided.

Deep in the heart of all this Barry, are things called relational databases, which can be constructed in many, many different ways, but which are far more complex than simple encryption. They are used to make quick and compact on the fly representations of lots of data, and they are very tricky, yet very elegant. The new firm, by looking at and doing a quick test or two with the AtPAC relational database, would then be able to most efficiently effect a transfer of data into the new firm's data schema.

I got called out by our host here for explaining encryption. If he was a systems analyst, and I think I read he was, relational databases are his bread and butter, and he can explain them to you. I cut my baby teeth in computing using dBase II on a Victor 9000, and still have the very machine to prove it.

Barry Pruett

I will keep this very simple. Placer County Recorder switched software providers in 2010. Instead of giving out trade secrets, violating copyright laws, and breaching a contract and as is customary in the industry, the old vendor gave Placer their data in flat files in the format requested by new vendor.

You have no idea what you are talking about.

Todd Juvinall

Keachie is clueless, don't waste your time.

Dixon Cruickshank

Mr Keachie there was never some adversarial postion taken by AtPac. They offered to provide the county and the new vendor all the files - without their proprietarty code- for less than or a max of 15K.

The county then told them - THEY would extract the data without them. They had access to this data for 10 yrs - no secret code needed.

They then found or decided they couldn't or didn't want to do it - THEN gave AS the access - still telling AtPac they were doing it - lie. per the Depo

Big difference between the county pulling their own data and a competitor pulling it - otherwise they would have no need to lie to AtPac about who was actually doing it - thats the crux of the suit

There was a server session that last 5 days BTW ( Depo), not sure why this is so hard for you to see the point of the suit - honest its baffling

Michael Anderson

Why is everyone in italics all of a sudden? Curious.

George wrote: "I am not aware of the details of how the county's data was returned to them, or how it was contractually supposed to be returned to them."

And of course, this is the crux of the case. We are all on pins and needles. Still too much crucial info. yet to be revealed.

Please stand by.

John Galt

The data content may be the County's but NOT the manner (schema) that defined how the data was stored, what fields were indexed, what tables were linked, etc. That design info does NOT belong to the County. That information is AtPac's proprietary intellectual property.

So we can dispense/ignore with the "It's the County's Data" rhetoric, because AtPac's suit IS NOT about the data, it's about the intellectual property that processes and retrieves the data.

Ultimately, the Jury will be asking themselves? If the Diaz, the IT Dept, Aptitude, and the county's legal dept all thought they were operating legally, why were they behaving in a covert and deceitful manner ? Their answer will be bad news for Diaz and his cohorts.

I'm betting that Diaz will take the 5th and will REFUSE to answer any questions during his deposition.

Too bad, because I really would like to hear Diaz explain why he misled the Supervisors to approve the indemnification of Aptitude. I really want to here is explanation on why it was appropriate for him to protect Aptitude from any legal claims instead of THE CITIZENS OF NEVADA COUNTY. I want to hear him explain his motivation.

Douglas Keachie

"I will keep this very simple. Placer County Recorder switched software providers in 2010. Instead of giving out trade secrets, violating copyright laws, and breaching a contract and as is customary in the industry, the old vendor gave Placer their data in flat files in the format requested by new vendor.

You have no idea what you are talking about."


According to Michael Anderson, in Pelline's blog, this is false information.

Can you provide a link that shows otherwise, and a cost associated with the transfer, if any? If they did it for free for Placer, as your post implies, then why didn't they do it for free, for Nevada County?

BTW, please quit falsely accusing me of having access to AtPAC's source code.

Douglas Keachie

"The data content may be the County's but NOT the manner (schema) that defined how the data was stored, what fields were indexed, what tables were linked, etc. That design info does NOT belong to the County. That information is AtPac's proprietary intellectual property."


Actually, a great deal of that data was derived from the County's original documents, and AtPAC would have had very little or no say over what fields were to be preserved or not. They would have had to consult with the County to determine what the County considered to be important about the County's information, to generate indexes and key fields, used to link the tables in the relational database structure. It had to have been a joint project, and ownership of any data schema would have been co-mingled.

Well George, a couple of years back you implied a severe deficiency of knowledge in this poster, how's payback feel?

John Galt

It's immaterial whether or not "great deal" of the AtPac data was derived from the County's original documents. The point is that that ownership of the content within AtPac does not also mean ownership of the schema behind how the data is organized or the programming routines that manage the data.

For example, ownership of data in Excel, does not entitle the user to the routines that Excel uses to create the interface, etc.

Regardless, in my view, Diaz's biggest fault is his hoodwinking the Supervisors into immunizing Aptitude from any legal responsiblity.

Just why did our NEVADA COUNTY clerk recorder volunteer to help out some company IN FLORIDA (i.e. Aptitude). If Diaz had not done that (or if the BOS had actually been supervising,) Aptitude would be the one incurring $350,000+ in legal fees, NOT you, me, and the rest of us in Nevada County.

Initially, Diaz just made a blunder by selecting Aptitude without ensuring they could legally migrate the data from AtPac. That could have just been a $15,000 mistake (or less.) The REAL CRIMINAL mistake is Diaz's intentional tricking the tax payers (and the county employees who have/will lost their jobs over this) into pay for Diaz's mistake (now at least $350,000).

This is why I predict Diaz will take the 5th and not testify.

Bo Reardon

Some people don't care about intellectual property... http://www.theunion.com/article/20050521/NEWS/105210133

The Union May 21 2005 "a North San Juan man was arrested and cited by police this week on suspicion of filming "Star Wars Episode III at Grass Valley's Del Oro Theatre.

Douglas Keachie, who said he is a longtime fan who has taken aerial photographs of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas' famed Skywalker Ranch, was cited during the 3:15 p.m. Thursday showing of the "Star Wars" finale. His digital camera and the memory card used to take the pictures were confiscated during Keachie's arrest"

John Galt

Thanks Bo, I must have been on one my RV trips then...I don't remember reading that report.

Do you know if Mr. Kreachie was convicted?...or did the DA drop the charges?

This helps me understand why it seems so difficult to communicate the importance of intellectual property rights with the Mr. Kreachie.

Jack McClure

The important thing to note is that the BOS's aren't saying a thing. Why? It's a CYA thing. The details aren't as important as the incredible amount of money that is being spent...our money. The claim that they can't say anything because the are limited from doing so by the Brown Act. My suggestion is, don't meet in secret session. Let us know what's going on. Let's face the facts, they work for us. Once everything comes to light, and it will, let's recall all the Supervisors and Greg Diaz. Then let's petition the government to get rid of the whole motley crew starting with the County CEO, County Council and all the rest who were involved in this scandalous affair. Who's with me?

Barry Pruett

Jack: You are not the first person to make such suggestion.

Keachie: I confess that you are apparently an "Intellectual Property" expert. LOL.

Dixon Cruickshank

This getting exciting, I need to go read the depo Russ posted. Hope I can find it

Paul Emery


This is reaching a new low. Background checks on blog posters! Talk about going after the messenger.

Dixon Cruickshank

Huh? what did George do now

not sure what your even referring too

Paul Emery

George didn't do anything. He has convinced me that he is not interested in going after the messenger so I was just alerting him of the new low achieved by contributers to this site. Does this mean we're subject to background checks if we write in this blog?

"Douglas Keachie, who said he is a longtime fan who has taken aerial photographs of "Star Wars" creator George Lucas' famed Skywalker Ranch, was cited during the 3:15 p.m. Thursday showing of the "Star Wars" finale. His digital camera and the memory card used to take the pictures were confiscated during Keachie's arrest"

posted by Bo Reardon

George Rebane

Paul, I'm also a bit confused about your accusation of "a new low" and "background checks".

If I follw this discussion correctly, Mr Keachie has been very dismissive of the alleged intellectual property violations in this case, as if they mattered not a whit regardless of how the court winds up ruling.

He has successfully resisted what to me appear as very reasoned and valid arguments pointing out to him how IP does matter, how IP theft can be damaging, and, if the Aptitude contract award was above board, then how the county could have satisfied all of its concerns without the alleged violations of the law.

Mr Reardon's citing of the public record (he did not have to do any midnight gum shoeing for this information) re Mr Keachie reveals a factor that may explain away his resistance to viewing the ownership of IP as sacrosanct in our country. (Empires have been built on such legal holy of holies, Microsoft comes to mind.)

So I am puzzled as to how this relevant revelation of an apparent long-held value of Mr Keachie's is in any sense a "low", new or old. Indeed it may have resolved a conundrum and successfully terminated a fruitless debate with him.

Paul Emery

So George if I read you right it's ok to do background checks of contributors to your blog and reveal informations that discredits an individuals character therefore his opinion on the subject if it's one that you disagree with. Mr. Keachie's alleged history has nothing top do with the subject at hand or the merits of his arguments. Why don't you not consider that going after the messenger?

George Rebane

Had Mr Reardon brought up that some commenter in this thread was once arrested for public drunkedness or marital cruelty, then yes, that would be a gratuitous attempt to discredit the commenter on the basis that has nothing to do with the Diaz case.

However, since the case directly revolves around the disposition of intellectual property, then anything in a commenter's past - especially in the public record - that would shed light on how that commenter is disposed toward the notion of intellectual property, then according to my lights introducing that matter of unembellished fact into this forum is NOT "going after the messenger". It informs and illuminates the debate.

Paul Emery

But George it did involve somebody taking the time to search into his background to find this. Does that mean then it's fair game to research into the background of anyone who writes in this blog to search for information that may discredit an individual therefore his opinion. I recall a recent thread where the credibility of one of your regulars was questioned when it came to taking advantage of government bailouts of failed real estate ventures. These are your very words.

"SteveE – I believe it is possible to critically discuss the ideas and proposals of an alleged hypocrite without being diverted to continually indicting and prosecuting the so accused. Todd’s views of government involvement in our lives stand on their own, and their merit can be debated without bringing in any iniquities with which you judge him to be still burdened. This would push the peanut along a bit more than the constant recounting of your past charges - unless, of course, you have nothing to contribute to the idea itself............"

I don't get your differentiation.

George Rebane

OK, try this. SteveE did relate an aspect of Todd's past that he considered was relevant to Todd's arguments. Nobody took SteveE to task on that allegation. But then SteveE, as he has done on numerous other occasions, repeated the same retort again, and again, and again, and again, ... . This gave rise to my response to him. And if Mr Reardon were to now fasten on interminably recalling Mr Keachies brush with the law on intellectual property theft without building on any argument in the debate, then I would have the same reservation about such tactic as I did with SteveE.

BTW, the two cases are also materially different since Todd Juvenall did nothing illegal, nor did SteveE accuse him of that. It was SteveE's continuing imposition of his own interpretation of the ethics involved in his allegations of Mr Jubenall's actions. In the case of Mr Keachie, his transgression was a matter violating a law that was witnessed and for which he was sanctioned by local authorities.

If you still don't get the differentiation, then it may be a matter of the way our two brains are hardwired as I discussed in a recent post.

Todd Juvinall

I find it interesting but not unusual for Paul, a liberal, to use a totally unrelated example as a defense of Keachie. There is no record of me breaking the law or being arrested yet he uses keachies arrest as an equal treatment. Amazing!

Douglas Keachie

As a teacher I was under the impression that Fair Usage (a section of the Copyright Code), of materials that are copyrighted for classroom use only, was an acceptable practice. Turns out the MPAA got a law passed that says the theater owner himself can object to the use of cameras in the theater. That's what I was arrested for, NOT a copyright violation. I did not know this aspect of the law was in existence at that time. Neither did the Grass Valley police. I believe that it has since been resinded. I was never tried, never convicted, and most importantly, my camera was returned to me with the images intact.

The intention of the MPAA was to catch someone trying to make a video copy of of the film for resale. The Sony 717 STILL camera had limited video capabilities, and I had neither batteries sufficient nor chip storage sufficient, on me, to do the job. In fact I have never owned enough chips and batteries to do the job.* I was taking stills, experimentally, and most did not come out very well. I have never shot video or stills in a motion picture theater before, and was curious to see what I could get.

The MPAA had offered bounties to the theater owners and their employees to catch folks making professional illegal copies. The were also very anxious to get it out on the wires, ASAP. A reporter was sent up from the Bay Area immediately, and scooped The Union. So instead of genuine video pirates, they wound up with me, an old semi retired computer and photography teacher, but it did give me my 15 seconds of fame, and that's kinda nice. As for disrepecting copyrights for commercial purposes, not so. I've figured that the reward that went to the ushers involved may have helped pay for college books, and that Getz, th theater owner, used his share to paint the mural.

Please check out www.flickr.com/photos/keachie to get some idea of the range of imaging that I do, and note, that I do mark my own stuff copyrighted, for commercial uses. For private Tuse I pretty much give it away. I shot twelve hundred motorcyclists at the Christmas Toy Run, and only three people were interested enough to contact me for original files, yet many, many of those images are in circulation on Facebook and elsewhere, making people smile.

In this situation, AtPAC is not smiling. They'll get over it, and rethink their pricing structures, and software improvments, and maybe they won't be losing customers, including Placer County, who apparently bailed ahead of Nevada County.


And if I were to plan to pirate such a video, I would have had a team, including a midget with a Darth Vader helmet on his head, and twin video cameras for eyes, and at least 5 people, surrounding the midget, each with a mic, picking up sound, to get it right. With everyone in costume, nobody would have been the wiser, but I disgress, and only dreamed this scheme up after the most bizaar afternoon of my life. BTW, within 3 weeks, Flickr was listing over 70,000 StarWars stills, none of them got busted, AFAIK.

Paul Emery

The conversation is about the standards that George allows for participants in his blog and has nothing to do with either argument in the subject of this thread which I have no opinion on. It seems that George condones and rewards background checks into the personal histories of those who participate if they come up with favorable information to discredit someone who has a contrary opinion to his. Did anyone check to see if Mr Keachie was ever convicted? Gee, I thought you're innocent until proven guilty. That should have at least been checked out by the inquisitor before being used. Todd, ypu might recall I was opposed to the Enos diggs into your past which I thought were inappropriate.

So I must say to those who offer contrary opinions in this place beware, you're being checked out and it's not big brother.

Todd Juvinall

Oh please!

Douglas Keachie

Oh, and I've never lost money in Real Estate, and especially not someone else's money, and especially not money up the Wazuli.

Todd Juvinall

Me either, you have a wazuli? I say I have never been arrested for stealing a movie (or anything) from our local theater so you have now been exposed for a crook apparently. You should shut up while you are behind.

John Galt

A long time ago there was a saying...If you can't take it, don't dish it out.

I must say that in reading Kreachie's comments above, he's certainly been dishing the rhetoric about.

e.g. "Well George.... how's payback feel?" at 10:30am last Monday

e.g. "...you are an unelectable person. Try moving down to Placer County" at 10:13 am Easter Sunday.

IMHO for someone to post remarks like these and then cry foul over a factual and relevant news report seems ridiculous.

Furthermore, it's hardly a "background check" to refer to news item that's only 6 years old and and widely read at the time.

Todd Juvinall

If that is a background check according to Paul, then I suppose any reference to anything posted in a newspaper about anyone would be considered a background check. I would suggest Paul's radio program would become irrelevant to the listeners if he only allowed tales of the future.

Douglas Keachie

John Galt, you will notice that Pruett called me a fool, which is false, and I merely called him an unelectable person, which is true, so far. Likewise with George, my responses are mild in comparison to the attacks that provoked them. And no, Todd, I have no Wazuli, and you have no Lazuli Lane, and the bank has no money. You want to go out on that?

Also Johnny, do you have a real name of John Galt, or are you just too wrapped up in Ayn Rand to come out from under her skirts?

I did not cry foul over the news reports. In fact I expanded on what little the paper printed, quite significantly IMHO. I see you failed to find evidence that I was tried and convicted of anything. Do you need more time? I am a very patient person.

Back to business. So far the encouragement of the suit against the County by the Tea Party members here has cost this County how much money? Are Tea Party members exempt from paying taxes on issues stemming from suits against the government? Don't the rest of us wind up paying for it anyway?

Douglas Keachie

"Furthermore, it's hardly a "background check" to refer to news item that's only 6 years old and and widely read at the time."

Which means of course the money Bush spent and deferred paying for until Obama was elected is still a hot ticket item and worthy of public discussion, as are the actions of bankers and brokers of the time, who fueled that housing bubble, and led perfectly honest men like Juvinall to the slaughter. That is all very current and timely, no?

Douglas Keachie

At the time, Lucas had mentioned that a Creative Commons license should exist for the material, which would have left only Getz as the bad guy, preventing fans from going ahead with the capture process, and he has since expanded on that concept as follows, which has resulted in some amazing parodies:

George Lucas Lets Fans Edit Star Wars… Sorta

In honor of the 30th anniversary of the first Star Wars film, Lucasfilm has launched a mash-up service allowing fans to take images and clips from all six Star Wars movies and combine them with their own content. Hosted by StarWars.com, the service also lets you post your mash-ups to the site YouTube-style and comment on other people’s mash-ups. All very Web 2.0, George Lucas, and we are almost impressed with your willingness to allow the masses to express their creativity through parody.

However, before you go out and start ripping your copy of Return of the Jedi to do some “creative” editing with Princess Leia in that slave girl outfit (you naughty reader, you), there are some rather severe caveats. Lucasfilm isn’t really actually licensing its content. Instead, they are allowing you to license your content to them, and then letting you use its content on its site. According to the Star Wars MashUps terms of service, users must give Lucas “perpetual and irrevocable, exclusive, royalty free, worldwide license in all rights, titles and interests of every kind and nature now or hereafter known in the Star Wars Mashup Film”. In return, subscribers get “a non-exclusive, non-transferable, revocable, limited right and license to access and use the Star Wars Supplied Materials solely for the purpose of mixing the Star Wars Supplied Materials with Your Posted Material (as such term is defined below) in order to create a Star Wars Mashup Film solely for the purpose of posting your submitted Star Wars Mashup Film on the Site.” Not a very equitable deal, but far more than many other film companies are willing to offer.

This kind of thing has been going on informally for years, and this merely set up a formal structure and a nice platform to have your work recognized on. Still haven't found tried and convicted, have you, and Juvinall carefully put in "apparently" when almost calling me Richard Nixon. Obviously Todd does not have the courage of his convictions to go out on a limb and spend yet more time in court.

Todd Juvinall

Keachie the movie taker doth protest too much. Still, neither Galt nor I can compete with your arrest record. LOL.

Douglas Keachie

"Me either" If you had meant to say, "me neither," which would be apparently false AFAIOGK, why didn't you do so?

I'm so glad to see that George has a new system that automatically shifts one into preview mode, when one hits "post" without doing a preview. Of course it also deletes an entire post, if one is not careful.

I'm also glad that what happened six years ago is considered current and relevant, and I'm sure we can extend that all the way back to Gramm shepherding through Congress the bill that set up the mortgage debacle that trapped poor innocent and honest men like Todd Juvinall. It also means that Bush's delayed funding of his Whack-a-Terrorist activities is also newsworthy today.

Todd Juvinall

Gramm has nothing to do with anything you are simply a desperate arrested liberal in denial. George has no mechanism to deny a post, you are simply a leftwingnut whiner caught with his hand in the cookie jar. Accept the fact you were caught doing an illegal act, fess up, man up ans top trying to divert to another. But, I must say, your denials do give us all a good laugh.

Paul Emery

This whole thing started when I noted that this was an example of going after the messenger rather than the message, something George said he was opposed to. Now apparently the messengers are the message so have at it guys. It's ok to look back just don't stare.

Todd Juvinall

Paul, from your posts here it appears to me you are looking for a way to get George off your station. I had hoped you were not going to be intimidated by the leftwingnuts. BTW, when you use a specific person in your example to criticize, what do you think you are doing? You are too smart to think we are that dumb.

Douglas Keachie

I haven't ever walked away from a property I owned in bankruptcy. Would you like a full photographic spread, aerials and land panoramas, and complete documentation? Keep it up Gramm denier. www.wazulilazuli.com is merely $10 away, and you'd better buy up all variations, quick!

Todd Juvinall

I have never walked away on a bankruptcy either. You? You need to travel down to the Grass Valley Police Station and check out your old room. Nostalgia.

Douglas Keachie

"I have never walked away on a bankruptcy either. You?"

Nope, never been in one either, and never had any debts cancelled that way. And you?"

Todd Juvinall

No, and have you ever been arrested?

Douglas Keachie

Once, and how's your driving these days?

John Galt

Mr. Kreachie, I read your summary of your star wars episode. I accept your declaration that you were NOT "tried or convicted" for that offense. I don't really know or care to know whether you plea bargained out of this, or any other details of your arrest.

And I accept that you were not trying to film the entire movie.

Still your episode is illustrative of the different mind-sets between the LEFT and the RIGHT. Out of those 70,000 images you reported were on the web, I doubt any were taken by 60 year-old conservatives.

As far as I'm concerned, your "star wars" experience only matters in the context of this debate on the importance of Intellectual Property rights. Clearly you have strong views on this...which are quite opposite from the conservatives who have commented on this blog thread.

At any rate, within 7 months we'll all be able to watch the trial of The Diaz Debacle and see how well the County's $350,000+ was spent....and marvel at how much Greg Diaz saved the citizens by switching from AtPac to Aptitude.

Paul Emery

I find this forum occasionally stimulating and was only offering my observation of the rules of behavior that I thought did not include going after the personal history of those providing information or participating . I stood corrected after George corresponded to me when I questioned his using the opinion of Donald Feith as a talking point, Here's George's response.

"The usual tack of going after someone as a persona that bears little on what is now being said is a staid approach which I have addressed just recently in these comment threads."

With that clarification stated what difference does does DK's movie bust make in the argument ?

I thought I was serving as an alerter in this situation.

Douglas Keachie

Juvinall: "I have never walked away on a bankruptcy either. You?"

Keachie: "Nope, never been in one either, and never had any debts cancelled that way. And you?"

Juvinall: "No, and have you ever been arrested?"


Now Keachie's question is, what is Juvinall saying "no" to here?

Is he saying he has never been involved in what most people consider bankruptcy?

Is he saying he had never had any debts cancelled as a result of such a bankruptcy involvement?

Oh was he answering his dogs request for a walk, and accidentally typed it as well? We'll never know until he makes a complete statement to the subject at hand, instead of a one word response, now will we?

Douglas Keachie

"I doubt any were taken by 60 year-old conservatives. "

And I rather doubt there were very many 60 year old conservatives around then who went to the movies, or even knew how to use a digital camera, or who would find such an exercise of Fair Usage rights of any interest. If you wish to keep this up, I will be happy to give a complete lecture on Copyrights and the Fair Usage Clauses, and Creative Commons licensing. How about returning to AtPAC's wardrobe malfunction?

Paul Emery

Or someone else researches the question. It has been established that the personal history of anyone that posts on this blog is fair game since the integrity of the writer is integral with the message.

John Galt

Fair enough Doug, I concede that your age is an irrelevant reference of mine.

Your digital / photography prowess is not disputed.

I guess the point is that even if there is some loophole that permits/permitted recording a movie in a theatre, you're the only person that I know (until perhaps now) that "feels" it was okay to do so. I don't think it's all that BIG of a deal, but it's illustrative. I doubt one in thousand conservatives would "perceive" that it was okay to do that.

It's okay to disagree on IP rights. Clearly you have a strong and uncommon view about it. (Uncommon on this blog anyway.)

Todd Juvinall

I think Keachie has got it finally. I have never had a bankruptcy. Amazing how someone with self importance in the educational field can be so dense. Regarding a comment about driving, perhaps Keachie can tell us all what he thinks he knows? I am all ears. Paul seems to be stuck on an old LP track, he keeps repeating the same thing over and over regarding someones history. George left Steve E's relentless comments on me on the threads and I never complained. It is quite different now Paul? You are defensing a person arrested for a crime the Movie Industry says is fine-able for $250,000 and arrest by the FBI! So defend the once stated post of a news story and give it equal weight to the many posts by Enos, but remember, it is a foolish position.

Paul Emery

You entirely miss the point Todd but whatever. So then for the purposes of this comment thread I suggest that everyone who has ever ripped a CD or DVD or used unauthorized or second hand software recuse themselves from further discussion on this matter. It is only consistent with the rules stated that negate D. Keachie's opinion.

Douglas Keachie

OK Todd, I'll just go look that up again in the County Recorder's Office, and see just exactly it was that I was looking at that had your name, a Lazuli Lane address, and a lot of stuff about a bank. Could it possibly be that not you, but rather a legal entity that you or friends created and controlled, is mentioned in those papers?

Are you willing to completely deny any connection with any bankruptcy proceedings involving a house on Lazuli Lane? Maybe I have mispelled that (Zazuli Lane)? If so, I do apologize.

Douglas Keachie

Nope, I have indeed spelled it right.


Maybe bankruptcy is not quite the same as defaulting on a loan. You know if you hadn't already insulted me quite a bit elsewhere, I never would have bothered to do the initial search.

Douglas Keachie

Oh bother!

The link doesn't work, so you'll just have to do the search in Google manually:

"Todd Juvinall" "Lazuli Lane"

Douglas Keachie

"I guess the point is that even if there is some loophole that permits/permitted recording a movie in a theatre, you're the only person that I know (until perhaps now) that "feels" it was okay to do so. I don't think it's all that BIG of a deal, but it's illustrative. I doubt one in thousand conservatives would "perceive" that it was okay to do that. "

Is that why there are so few rtwing caricatures of Obama using copyrighted news photos?

The "Fair Usage Doctrine" allows teachers and professors of all stripes across the country to use commercial materials, in limited ways. Look it up sometime, it's very educational.

Douglas Keachie

Don't forget the little old lady in Orange County and her composite image of the chimps and Obama. Do you think she really took either picture?

Todd Juvinall

Just admit you were arrested for doing a crime and stop trying to justify. There is a MPAA task force as we speak in China rooting out scofflaws like you filming Hollywood movies in theaters and then trying to make money. What is so hard about admitting your crime? The ATPAC suit stuff is something I am not really following. If you, a person arrested for the same kind of crime, tries to defend the County position,you have to expect what you get just as you have. You have insulted Barry Pruett for doing due diligence in trying to protect the taxpayer and you insult him on his like minded friends turf. Then you claim I have a bankruptcy and something about a car trying to impugn my integrity. Well, you have failed on every count except for your own arrest. I have lived here all my life and I have friends and foes. You have decided to be my foe. That is your loss.

Douglas Keachie

Well Todd, you have failed to educate yourself about legal usage by educators of copyrighted materials, and I doubt you have any interest in doing so, as it would trash the point you are trying so desperately to make...why is that so hard for you to admit?

I really don't have to spend any time impugning your integrity. You do that well enough on your own.

John Galt

Mr. Kreachie, you have communicated your point. It's very evident.

And it's quite clear that your perspective (I'll even call it legal for the sake of argument) holds a much different value for Intellectual Property than most of the other readers here.

Also if you had hope to persuade these readers that recanting a published news report in our local paper is equivalent to your attempt to reveal some arcane personal information from the county records...you are mistaken.

Though I refuse to follow your google link, in a way I'm glad you sent it. It's a monument to a way of thinking that I find contorted, irrational, extremist.

And any potential reader that had even a hint of sympathy for your perspective, will now arrive at the proper conclusion.

Douglas Keachie

Barry Pruett has done a fine job of aiding and abetting a company that is trying to fleece the County of $350,000 dollars. Now that's very Tea Party Patriot Special of him, and you for encouraging him.

Todd Juvinall

Keachie, go away to your ilk over at the liars blog.

Dixon Cruickshank

Personally I could give a rats ass about somebody takeing pictures in a theater, nor about a foreclosure - so both of you just STFU - its fricken boring.

Paul - Georges point was well made about the IP stance and it was revelent and on topic but minor at best - you tried and did made it a big deal - as all the FUE and Enos stuff speaks for itself

Can we get back on topic - I just wasted 10 fricken minutes on this crap and I WANT IT BACK

John Galt

Mr. Kreachie, If you had hired a local attorney to defend you in you in the matter that you were arrested for, I would not consider that attorney to necessarily share your love of illegally recording movies in Theatres.

You see, attorneys are professionals who are hired for legal matters. Mr. Pruett was engaged by a local business (AtPac) to prevent Aptitude from destroying AtPac's business (and the jobs of their employees) by illegally utilizing AtPac intellectual assets. Mr. Pruett was defending a local tax paying business and their tax paying employees.

New readers should know that Mr. Pruett left AtPac's engagement in early 2010 (I did a "backgound check" on this using The Union online--hope that's okay with you.) Long before the County incurred even the first $100,000 in legal fees.

Having now been fully educated on your tortured views on intellectual property rights, I can well imagine your views on a citizen's right to seek redress of grievances upon our esteemed government (i.e. Greg Diaz).

For new readers, let me explain that the principal defendant in this case would have been Aptitude -- NOT US (the citizens of nevada county) had Greg Diaz not conspired with Aptitude to deceive the Stupifiers into granting IMMUNITY (via indemnification) to the vendor FROM FLORIDA (Aptitude).

This legal cost falls principally on Greg Diaz, and secondarily on the county staff and the county Stupifiers that ratified Diaz's proposal.

Douglas Keachie

I see, Hiding Behind the Behind of Ayn Rand, the newspaper's casual article is more to believed than data stored at the County Recorder's Office. How much of the National Enquirer do rate as highly? Is that a Monument to Your Highly Sought After Way of Thinking? Good Luck, Rosebud! Happy slip-sliding away in 2012!

Todd Juvinall

Galt, excellent synopsis! I would say that Keachie will never get it though. He has an ax to grind.

Paul, you are a smart guy, what do you think of Galt's analysis?

Paul Emery

There are several things in John Gaults discourse I have questions about
1, "Mr. Pruett was engaged by a local business (AtPac) to prevent Aptitude from destroying AtPac's business (and the jobs of their employees) by illegally utilizing AtPac intellectual assets. Mr. Pruett was defending a local tax paying business and their tax paying employees.

I don't know this to be specifically true that Mr Pruett was employed specifically for that purpose or whether he was hired as general council. Perhaps he can verify that himself.

2. "For new readers, let me explain that the principal defendant in this case would have been Aptitude -- NOT US (the citizens of nevada county) had Greg Diaz not conspired with Aptitude to deceive the Stupifiers into granting IMMUNITY (via indemnification) to the vendor FROM FLORIDA (Aptitude)."

This implies a conclusion that is speculative at least and possibly libelous. This concludes that an illegal act was done. As of today Mr Diaz has not been charged or accused by any legal authority of committing an illegal act (deceiving implies lying for a purpose which is illegal when it affects public policy). This lawsuit is a civil action and does not make criminal accusations. There may be determinations however that neglect or incompetence led to damages. Remember, OJ was found guilty in a civil suit of wrongful death but was innocent of criminal accusations. That's just the way it is.

3. Assigning legal costs is useless because they are paid by the general fund and not an individual office.

You need to be careful when you make accusations of an illegal conspiracy by a public official without there being criminal charges or an investigation.

I have no opinion personally about this case. This is why we have a legal system

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