Article note: For once, "tHiNk oF ThE ChIlDrEn!1!" didn't automatically steamroll opposition.
A federal judge yesterday declared a mistrial in the case against Backpage's founders, ruling that US prosecutors unfairly tainted the jury by focusing too heavily on claims of child sex trafficking in a trial that involved zero charges of child sex trafficking. A new trial will be held.
"'The government, as prosecutors, are held to a higher standard,' said Judge Susan Brnovich from the bench as court opened for what was expected to be the eighth day of the trial. 'Their goal is not to win at any costs, but their goal is to win by the rules,'" according to an Arizona Republic article.
The case against Backpage founders Michael Lacey and James Larkin, plus five Backpage executives and managers, is in US District Court for the District of Arizona. The actual charges are for conspiracy, facilitating prostitution, and money laundering. An order confirming the declaration of mistrial was filed, but Brnovich explained her reasoning orally.
Article note: ...it's really hard not to notice how different the language and norms of discourse around "we appear to be systematically pushing men and boys out" and "we appear to be systematically pushing women and girls out" are.
Article note: I'm always a little conflicted on these.
Adapting proven solutions from the ecosystem as supported first-party solutions is generally a great way to build a platform (look at the _entire FOSS ecosystem_ for an example), and a lot of the things that get absorbed that way _do_ make more sense as system features than little rent-seeking add-ons.
And in this specific case, Apple's prohibition on input mechanisms that also have network access is a reasonable policy given the general toxicity of the modern computing environment (preventing keylogging, captured-client SMS spam, etc.)
But BOY does Apple have an ugly history of treating developers for their platforms as sharecroppers. Appropriation with Sherlock/Karelia Watson, Night Shift/F.luxx, Health/Clue (I know there were some cases in the pre-OS X era but I can't think of them offhand), and usually after having talked to the team making the thing they plan to clone. High mandatory distributor cuts. No side-channels. API and Policy churn that can get products delisted.
It seems like they could at least offer to buy out the things they do that to, it's not like Apple is hurting for cash reserves.