We’re not afraid to admit that we love Judge Marilyn Hall Patel’s biting wit — and her tortured metaphors. (We’re gonna miss her when she goes senior this fall.)
In her Tuesday ruling blocking RealNetworks from selling its DVD-copying software, she had a few that are worthy of mention:
In addressing whether or not RealNetworks has a fair-use defense, she commented that “Real’s persistence in arguing this point is both bumptious and futile.” Yes, she called RealNetworks and its Wilson Sonsini lawyers bumptious. (In case you forgot all those SAT words, it means “Crudely or loudly assertive; pushy.”)
In the reaching-for-a-metaphor event, Patel played on RealNetworks’ codename for the software: Vegas. It had been given that nickname because the goofy slogan “What happens in Vegas stays in Vegas” was meant to show that the software wouldn’t be spreading pirated copies of DVDs.
Patel writes: “if what happened in Vegas really did stay in Vegas, this might have been a different case. But it is what it is. Once the distributive nature of the copying process takes hold, like the spread of gossip after a weekend in Vegas, what’s done cannot be undone.”
Especially if said gossip is about some extraordinarily bumptious behavior, we imagine.
— Zusha Elinson