back to article Tesla says California's Autopilot action violates its free speech rights

It may have taken more than a year, but Tesla has finally responded to the California Department of Motor Vehicles allegations that it misrepresented Autopilot's capabilities, arguing that it's free to do so under the US Constitution.  In a document [PDF] filed with California's Office of Administrative Hearings last week …

  1. The Man Who Fell To Earth Silver badge
    FAIL

    According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

    So Tesla's position is that lying in advertising is protected speech even if it is fraud. Good to know.

    1. Joe W Silver badge

      Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

      That's the state of, eh, "the states"... from the outside it sort of sounds like he could get away with it.

      1. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        If the courts upheld that view then for example the FDA would no longer be able to regulate claims drugmakers make or require them to notify potential users of that drug of side effects. That's sort of a "be careful what you wish for" thing because while sociopaths like Musk would probably support that it would totally destroy the drug market - because no one is going to trust drugmakers if they can make claims without any standards for those claims being true, or tell you about any side effects they know about.

        Musk has taken a page of Trump's playbook the last couple years, and has his lawyers make cases they know have no chance, just because he wants the publicity of being seen to "fight the system". Because "the system" according to Trump and Musk is biased against white male billionaires, of course!

        1. steviebuk Silver badge

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          But also, as Michael Cohen found out and now tells people, its what Trump does to people who he knows can't afford it. Just ties them up in court, in litigation with delay tactics hoping they'll just give up and admit defeat.

          Wouldn't surprise me if Musk did the same. Over the years Musk has more increasingly become a cunt.

          1. aerogems Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            Xitler has always been a cunt. Even when he was still a media darling, if someone was quoted in the press about their Tesla being in an accident, he'd go to all the trouble of tracking down the logs for that person's specific car and try to find something in there to discredit them with on Xitter. I remember that always rubbing me the wrong way and making me uneasy about the guy. Not just because it's a dick move, but the fact that Tesla has that kind of real-time telemetry about cars made me more than a little uneasy.

            1. Matthew "The Worst Writer on the Internet" Saroff

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              When you characterize Elon Musk as a, "Cunt." you are being unfair to vaginas everywhere.

              1. pantsu
                Joke

                Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                It's impossible to describe him as a c**t : there's no warmth or depth to him.

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                  Might explain his hair, though.

                  :)

                2. CountCadaver Silver badge

                  Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                  Elmo isnt a cunt........a cunt has a use

              2. Anonymous Coward
                Anonymous Coward

                Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                "When you characterize Elon Musk as a, "Cunt." you are being unfair to vaginas everywhere."

                Does have misogynist overtones I'd agree, even though we're equally generous with insulting terms from the male anatomy like dickhead or scrote. Aresehole is non specific, but has been diminished by over use.

                Perhaps we need a new term for somebody who's a complete, unadulterated "whatever". What about a "musk"? That Elon bloke is a f***ing musk if ever I saw one!

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                  Oh, new words! Cool!

                  Kinda like we did with santorum.

                2. steviebuk Silver badge

                  Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                  I still prefer to say cunt as its strong, appears to shock people and so on. However, I'm not a cunt with it, if I know its not appropriate to say in a place, it gets converted to 2868. We've used that term at work for years, since 2014 I think, because one day we got a bollocking for saying cunt too much, which, I guess, was fare enough.

                  Its also great when I have to give people pin numbers, if I don't like them, it gets set to 2868. I maybe the only one left who knows what it means, but it still makes me giggle.

            2. Ian Johnston Silver badge

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              Remember when an American journalist (NYT?) reported rather less-than impressive mileage from a review Tesla in mid-winter, and mentioned that a technical support person had advised her to warm the batteries to extend the range? Even though the advice was perfectly good, Musk sacked that adviser. He's a bastard.

              1. MrDamage Silver badge

                Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                Not to mention the time he just decided to cancel the pre-order of a tech blogger who commented on how poorly run one of the launch events was.

                https://www.theguardian.com/technology/2016/feb/03/elon-musk-blogger-tesla-motors-model-x

                1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

                  Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                  shows he has a special department to target the free speech of others.

              2. aerogems Silver badge

                Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                Xitler is known for rage firing people. He's in a bad mood, someone walks past his field of view, and is thus fired. All the more reason Tesla and SpaceX workers should unionize and make sure that their contracts state they can only be fired for cause. And not 'cause they happened to be walking by when Xitler was in a bad mood.

                1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                  Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                  Seriously though, why does "the land of the free" not have a law against unfair dismissal, like a grown up, adult, country?

                  Even here in the Tory-run progressing-towards-the-far-right UK, employers can't just fire people for no reason without opening themselves up to a very expensive tribunal, and damages.

                  1. CountCadaver Silver badge

                    Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                    Apparently fire at will was something the govt of our now enobled foreign secretary's govt wanted to implement, they tried with workfare (and apparently sunak's lot are having attempt #2)

                    1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                      Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                      Probably one of the reasons certain factions are so keen to undermine the ECHR on the grounds of stopping the quantum immigrants who are simultaneously seeking asylum / taking our jobs / living off benefits / stealing our women / etc. etc., but in reality just want to remove rights from the citizens in order to enrich themselves without consequence.

                  2. aerogems Silver badge

                    Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                    I live here and I have no clue. There are some people who are raised on a steady diet of conspiratorial conservative talk radio who legitimately believe that being able to fire people at will is a good thing because it lets companies fire the flotsam that accretes over time. Except, if that were true, why do these same people complain about the human flotsam in a company? It's also not like these people just say, "Sure thing, here's my address to send my things," if a Xitler-like boss comes along and fires them because they don't like the color of their shoelaces or something. They get pissed off same as anyone else, maybe more than average.

                    I think the great philosopher of our time, George Carlin, put it well when he said, "It's a great country, but it's a strange culture!"

                    1. trindflo Silver badge

                      It's a great country

                      It is the land of opportunity. Positive and Negative.

                    2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

                      Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                      Perhaps you havent realised it, but in America, the media is the propaganda mouthpiece of big business.

                      THere are many stereotypes portrayed, but often rich people are so fucking wonderful. THey are always giving money away to orphans etc. Everybody always smiles at work, they never complain because their boss is so fucking wonderful.

                    3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

                      Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                      Great at what exactly ?

                  3. MachDiamond Silver badge

                    Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                    "Seriously though, why does "the land of the free" not have a law against unfair dismissal,"

                    The US does and doesn't. Each state formulates their own employment laws with some Federal laws that supersede them (discrimination and such). In most places, you work "at will" so you can be dismissed or quit. Even with this, it's not too hard to open a case if you've been sacked and either get your job back (why would you?) or be compensated.

                    I had a manufacturing company for many years and was taught by my mentors to be very careful about hiring and firing. I was told that if I wanted to let an employee go, I should document everything and also give them warnings or I could be on the hook for a lawsuit or back wages. Sadly, dismissing People of Color tends to lead to the most lawsuits so one is advised to tread most carefully there.

                  4. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

                    Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                    Havent you learnt ?

                    The more someone repeats something the more you can be sure its not true and the actual truth is probably the opposite.

                    There are many exaokes in our world...

                    advertising, companies have to lie abou their product. Nobody needs to advertise that breathing air is good.

                    Democratic republic, eg NK and all them democratic republics in Africa.

              3. Stuart Castle Silver badge

                Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                It is actually good advice. The chemical reactions tend to be more efficient when the temperature is near what would be comfortable for us. As part of an old job, I used to loan equipment with rechargable batteries to students (Cameras, Mics, that sort of thing). All of our equipment had removable rechargable batteries and while we did ensure every battery was fully charged before it went out, we did find students reporting that the battery didn't last as long when it was cold. They didn't say that, but we did notice when it was cold, they complained the battery wasn't lasting as long.

                So, we started advising them to keep the batteries warm, perhaps wrapping them up in something warm when in the field. The complaints largely disappeared. Well, until the batteries wore out.

                1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                  "So, we started advising them to keep the batteries warm, perhaps wrapping them up in something warm when in the field."

                  I put camera batteries in my pocket where they will be warmed by my body. A coat pocket doesn't work as well since it can be insulated from me as well as the outside so the battery won't be warmed up.

              4. CountCadaver Silver badge

                Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                As spitting image put it "I've never met a nice South African"

            3. This post has been deleted by its author

          2. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            I rather think California has enough wherewithal (lawyers, guns, money, etc.) to survive being tRumped/Muskratted.

          3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            Over the years Musk has more increasingly become a cunt.

            Is that the case, or has it just become more publicly apparent?

            1. Lurko

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              "Over the years Musk has more increasingly become a cunt....Is that the case, or has it just become more publicly apparent?"

              I think the former. And that begs the question, what is this august forum's view on whether members want this trend of increasing bell-endishness to continue? Whilst unlucky for those caught up in it, it's excellent entertainment, especially when viewed from a far off land. So from a purely selfish point of view I'm thinking let it continue, Musk has every right to flush himself down a toilet of his own creation.

              1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

                Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                It's entertainment, because we are on the edges of our seats, biting our nails, waiting for the eventual comeuppance. It's remarkable that it has taken this long so far, but Americans do tend to stretch out series long after they have stopped being entertaining.

              2. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

                Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                He always was, problem is too many people have been brainwashed by corporate america and their propaganda branch the media, and unfortunately it took them a long time to wake up.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          "If the courts upheld that view then for example the FDA would no longer be able to regulate claims drugmakers make or require them to notify potential users of that drug of side effects."

          It would also allow vitamin/supplement makers to advertise anecdotal claims about their products. Myths such as vitamin C curing a cold and certain preparations being great for healthy joints. With marijuana being legalized, there are some fantastic claims regarding CBD and other derivatives being amazing cures for all sorts of things. None of that can be used in advertising as there is no solid research to back up those claims. At least not in the US to the standard that would be required.

          1. jmch Silver badge
            Happy

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            To be fair, the reason there is little research on weed as medication is that research on it was banned for decades. Actual research being done since it was allowed back up many of the claims of therapeutic use of marijuana, particularly in pain relief and appetite enhancement* in chemo patients...

            Like we need decades of clinical research to tell us that weed gives you the munchies!

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              "To be fair, the reason there is little research on weed as medication is that research on it was banned for decades."

              Absolutely and why somebody saying that research done years ago proves XYZ. It won't have been done in the US and many other countries for the reason that there would have been no way to get permission to research therapeutic applications. If you wanted to "prove" that MJ causes dementia, you may have had a chance at being granted a license, but a very slim chance.

              I see some truth in a few of the anecdotal claims, but I know some are false, at least in my case. It's useless on me for back spasms, I only got stupid with a painful back and no benefit I could tell. If those remedies are valid claims, it shouldn't be hard to prove them out with proper trials.

            2. Someone Else Silver badge

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              Not sure I agree. I recall back in the 70's that there was all kinds of "research" going on about it...whose goal was to confirm the gubb'mint's Official Stated Position that Maryjane was Bad...BAAAD!. Certain authors* would periodically churn out some paper or another that claimed to confirm the ill-affects of demon weed. Then others would come out and point out the obvious flaws (and these were legion, IIRC) of said studies.

              So it wasn't so much that there weren't any studies, but rather that the "studies" that there were were patently shit. (So I reflexively take all the new studies, both pro- and anti-weed, with at least a shakerful of salt.)

              *There was one particular asshat who seem to have garnered the attention of Playboy at the time. Can't remember his name -- not sure why that is, but -- I do recall the clear enjoyment the editors of Playboy used to take ripping his drivel to shreds. (Naturally, I only read the magazine for the articles....)

          2. Yes Me Silver badge
            Angel

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            As far as I can tell, it would also allow me to sell the Brooklyn Bridge a few more times, too. (It's guaranteed to stop your Tesla from falling in the river, even on Autopilot.)

            1. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              Once he wins (*cough*), the next iteration of Tesla's marketing guff will begin thusly:

              Autopilot is a technology we've engineered based on a message received from highly intelligent little furry creatures from Alpha Centauri. It keeps you in your lane with the aid of a pair of invisible pink unicorns who ride just ahead of your front bumper, telepathically guiding our unique custard-based microelectronics. It leaves you free to engage in the sex acts of your choice with the partner of your choice while behind the wheel (or the glove box). If you're clever enough, you might find the button which launches your Tesla into heliocentric orbit, with aphelion somewhere in the asteroid belt. Good hunting!

              No, thanks.

              1. MachDiamond Silver badge

                Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

                "custard-based microelectronics"

                So all of the processing is done in YouSpace?

          3. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            Didn't Herbal Life do just that?

            I seem to recall that US advertising is generally a free for all with the truth being the first victim. However, regulation means that companies can be held liable for their claims. This is what leads to the schizonphrenic world that is at the same time paranoid about what the FDA might say about the publication of trial data and the massive advertising campaigns for drugs once they've been approved.

            Generally unlimited liability tops free speech and the current case against Purdue and the Sackler family may reassert this.

          4. dkjd

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            You could start selling Carbolic Smoke Balls again

          5. Not Yb Bronze badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            Supplement makers in the US have pretty free rein to market their products however they like, as long as they include a disclaimer about the FDA not approving the claims they make.

            In particular, those claims you mention about "certain preparations being great for healthy joints" can be advertised provided the disclaimer is, too.

            US supplement market is almost entirely unregulated, including "this supplement contains what it claims it does". (That one does get enforced occasionally, but not often.)

            1. CountCadaver Silver badge

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              From seeing US commercials there is so much Trumpian waffle implying in strong terms it can cure your floppy pork sword, grow back your hair, sort your shot back/knees etc, improve your eyesight only to be buttressed by a disclaimer denying what they just claimed it can do....

              Little wonder "reality" tv is so popular in the USA...I often wonder what a panel discussion featuring Marshall McLuhan and Philip K. Dick would have made of "reality" tv, I'm sure Dick would have had a field day picking it apart

      2. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        That's the state of, eh, "the states"

        No, it really isn't. 2.5 centuries of US jurisprudence firmly establish that the government can restrict expression in certain limited circumstances, and commercial fraud is definitely one of those.

        it sort of sounds like he could get away with it

        Not on First Amendment grounds.

        Whinging about the First Amendment is Musk's go-to move. It hasn't worked well for him so far.

        1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          Why is it that people who like to harp on about free speech are always the first to try to restrict what others say about them, usually through expensive legal actions.

          1. Charlie Clark Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            Because do what I say not what I do is part of the pathology of narcisists. They really don't think the rules they propagate apply to them.

          2. captain veg Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            Free speech is expensive.

            -A.

    2. Rikki Tikki

      Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

      And Musk also appears to be insisting that pointing out Tesla was lying is not "free speech" and should thus be restricted.

      What Musk will make of this article, I wonder: https://www.businessinsider.com/tesla-cybertruck-safety-guideless-missile-experts-say-2023-12?amp

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        "What Musk will make of this article, I wonder:"

        The article tells of the problems to peds with the CT's lack of crumple zones, but that same issue doesn't bode well for the driver and passengers either. If the truck comes to a sudden stop, the passengers and their internal organs are still going forward and will suffer. So will buildings, lamp posts, fire hydrants, etc. The energy embodied in the truck won't be dissipated as quickly so if the driver accidentally smashes the accelerator, they are going to make it further into the shop in front of them.

        1. Orv Silver badge

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          It'll be fine for the driver and passengers in the Cybertruck if they hit a car, because the Cybertruck will cannibalize the crumple zones of the other vehicle. It will go less well if they hit a brick wall or other immovable object.

          1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            You got that wrong. Cybertruck also has no crumplezones itself. Anyone in a Cybertruck front on crash will basically be lucky to come out a quadraplegic.

        2. Tom Paine

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          I'm still waiting for enlightenment on how that literal clown car is road legal, even in the wild and woolly US. Surely they *have* some form of mandatory testing and type approval system that requires crumple zones along with airbags, non-impaley steering wheels, bans Boadacia-style whirly knives on the wheel hubs and so on?

          1. Stork

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            I had the impression that IF TRUCK => NOT MUCH APPLIES

            1. Mark #255
              Coat

              NOT MUCH APPLES

              I misread your post as "not much apples", and briefly worried that there was, along with "rizz", another neologism that had passed me by

          2. sabroni Silver badge
            WTF?

            Re: Surely they *have* some form of mandatory testing

            Aww, bless. The only country in the world that thinks school massacres are just a part of life and you expect them to care about vehicle safety?

          3. Orv Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            If he can get the gross weight over 8,500 pounds, then it's officially a Heavy Duty Vehicle and most of the safety rules that apply to Light Duty Vehicles go away.

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              "If he can get the gross weight over 8,500 pounds, then it's officially a Heavy Duty Vehicle"

              Gubbmint is already carving out additional weight allowances in the US for electric semi trucks due to the added weight of the batteries. Totally bonkers since the weight limits are in place to keep the motorways from crumbling even faster and to keep bridges doing bridge stuff rather than creating new fish habitats.

              Big heavy vehicles do take some getting used to since they aren't as nimble or as good at stopping as a passenger vehicle. Building one for public consumption that accelerates like stink is a bit of a problem.

          4. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            Like all federal authorities in America its all bullshit.

          5. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            Americans are so busy being racist - they will accept any lie if its sold by an American.

      2. DS999 Silver badge

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        And Musk also appears to be insisting that pointing out Tesla was lying is not "free speech" and should thus be restricted

        Musk only believes in free speech he agrees with. Anything he disagrees with he's more than happy to restrict, despite his pronouncements. If someone does a study on Twitter and reports on its hate speech, he sues them and wants them silenced. Someone posts about Tesla crashes he sues them and wants them silenced. Someone posts the location of his private plane from publicly available information on Twitter he revokes their account to silence them. He's a massive hypocrite!

      3. Stork

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        At least it’s reassuring it will be classified as an HGV in Europe, with the restrictions that gives.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          And in the UK (probably the same in the EU) you'd need a C1 (goods vehicle) licence to drive one.

          And hopefully it will remain that way, so the knuckle dragging cretins the CT was designed for won't be able to get one without finding a way to permanently move to the US. I'm sure they'd fit certain aspects of US culture.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge
          FAIL

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          "At least it’s reassuring it will be classified as an HGV in Europe, with the restrictions that gives."

          Don't worry too much. It could be a solid decade before CT is officially on sale in Europe, if then.

    3. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

      Your title says it all and is true of every U.S. corporation and the very tall ladder of grifters below them.

    4. mistersaxon

      Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

      Since when was a corporation covered by the first amendment? Corporations can’t talk!

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

      2. Arthur the cat Silver badge

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        Since when was a corporation covered by the first amendment?

        Since they became incorporated in the US. Incorporation makes them "a legal person"(*).

        Corporations can’t talk!

        Speech isn't just talking. Burning a flag has been ruled an act of speech, for example.

        (*) IANAL and all that, but that's what incorporation is all about – making the company a "person" that can be sued rather than having to sue the partners/owners.

        1. Ideasource Bronze badge

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          Yeah "speech" is whatever the current politics of the day declare and therefore meaningless as a term due to lack of consistency.

          And it can't be physically measured and accountability consistently held to that measure, and so it's all just a bunch of b******* people made up to game each other for various advantage or preference.

          Social and legal definitions might carry weight of consequence but they are just whims forced on to unwilling participants through campaigned intimidation.

          No different then being forced to pretend pharaoh is a God or else be targeted for suffering at the hands of an other.

          Or to receive a demand to pretend that humans are really birds or else someone(s) is going to get you.

          1. Someone Else Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            "The Earth is flat, I tell you!"

            1. MachDiamond Silver badge

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              "The Earth is flat, I tell you!"

              Yeah, I'd keep that to yourself unless you are applying for a job with the Flat Earth Society. Everybody else will discount anything you say afterwords.

              1. johnrobyclayton

                The Earth is flat

                According to the small angle theorem, the Earth is flat in every sufficiently small area.

                Its Math

                1. Anonymous Coward
                  Anonymous Coward

                  Re: The Earth is flat

                  Maths.

                  1. StewartWhite
                    Joke

                    Re: The Earth is flat

                    Mathematics (actually trigonometry) FTFY

                    I hereby claim my prize for "These go up to eleven" scale pedantry in a Register comment.

                2. MachDiamond Silver badge

                  Re: The Earth is flat

                  "the Earth is flat in every sufficiently small area."

                  Looked at fractally, it also has an infinite coastline. Ok, effectively infinite.

            2. captain veg Silver badge

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              > "The Earth is flat, I tell you!"

              It is. Locally.

              -A.

          2. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            " Yeah "speech" is whatever the current politics of the day declare and therefore meaningless as a term due to lack of consistency."

            At the time the Freedom of Speech was enshrined as part of the US Constitution as an amendment, speech was either one's voice or the written word. There was no way to record and replay audio. Courts over the years have broadened the meaning of many words in old laws to keep the laws relevant in modern times while also keeping with the spirit of what was originally intended.

            1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              Yeh all men are created equal, jutst ask how equal the nataives and non white were.

        2. glibduck

          Re: Incorporation makes them "a legal person"

          Can they be sentenced to death too?

          1. Arthur the cat Silver badge

            Re: Incorporation makes them "a legal person"

            Can they be sentenced to death too?

            Not in the UK or EU, the death penalty has been abolished.

            Other jurisdictions, yes I've often wondered about that.

      3. jonathan keith

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        I think the Bill Moyers line "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one" is relevant.

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          >I think the Bill Moyers line "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one" is relevant.

          I believe New York are currently trying to do that to the Trump Cartel...

          1. midgepad

            Re: New York

            They do not say TrumpCo may not conduct business. Execution of a sort.

            They only say TrumpCo may not conduct business in NY. Banishment. Or exorcism.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          "I think the Bill Moyers line "I'll believe corporations are people when Texas executes one" is relevant."

          Thats sort of thing is long overdue. There's been far too much "too big to fail" going on that has been used as the excuse for allowing some corporations (and their execs) to continue living.

        3. John McCallum

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          I think New York is about to will that do?

        4. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          One should be careful what you wish for, because if they are found not to be equivalent to a person legally, then they also can't be taxed.

          1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            Corporations pay corporation tax. People pay income tax. If the group of people doing business and holding onto the money isn't a corporation, then it is a group of people with money, that is subject to income taxes. In most places, income tax is at a higher rate than corporation tax (and in the US, for the amounts of money that corporations deal with, it would appear to be 37% vs 21%). Go for it, I'd love to see Musk's corporations all discorporated and him having to pay the equivalent taxes at a much higher rate. The same goes for all the others, such as Bezos, Zuckerberg, Trump, et al.

        5. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          Corporations are gods and ceos are the high priest in america.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            "Corporations are gods and ceos are the high priest in america."

            Good thing I'm a radical atheist.

            1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

              Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

              Perhaps you are but if you most people here are very much brainwashed into worshipping ceos. Just look bad mouth or point out how useless all ceos are, and everybody cries about it.

      4. Androgynous Cupboard Silver badge

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        I was going to agree until I stumbled upon https://en.m.wikipedia.org/wiki/Citizens_United_v._Federal_Election_Commission. it seems there is some legal precedent for this, which to this non-American feels slightly insane.

      5. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        I like your thinking, but any designated spokesdroid for the corporation is just a natural person exercising its 1st amendment rights, and being paid for it. So even if you restrict it to natural persons, you end up having a hard time making the exception stick.

        All the little loopholes which, in hindsight, were far better off closed when drafting a constitution, now making a very profitable living for lawyers everywhere.

    5. Flak

      Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

      Must have taken a leaf out of the Orange Blimp's playbook.

      Say what you like with impunity, thanks to the First Amendment.

      No consequences at all - except for a few people who believed Autopilot meant what the word implies - and some dead or injured people (drivers and innocent third parties) who were in the wrong place at the wrong time.

      Unbelievable!

    6. anothercynic Silver badge

      Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

      Dear Tesla, freedom of speech does not equal freedom from consequences. That's what the DMV (and actually the DoT and FTSB) is for... making sure you don't bullshit people and get them killed.

      Sorry Tesla, you're wasting money you should spend on fixing your labour relations, your quality control and your 'Autopilot' instead.

      1. Stoneshop

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        Fully agree with your comment, except for the 'Sorry'.

      2. Ideasource Bronze badge

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        Well actually freedom requires a lack of artificial/targeted consequence as a prerequisite.

        That's what freedom is.

        The elephant in the room is that freedom isn't real and can never be except for an individual living in isolation with only physics itself to prevent for consequence naturally.

        There is no such thing as freedom in any social body.

        Only by disassociating to become individuals can freedom be grasped.

        Hence the common obsession with land ownership

        If you have enough land that no one can see what you're doing to complain then you might one day be free.

        However, if anybody else is aware that you're there, and create threat to interfere now freedom has been suspended until you can eliminate the interference if ever.

        Always found it darkly amusing to see philosophical paradoxes and impossibilities are referenced in law to be protected even though what they demand protection of never existed.

        1. AndrueC Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          We should have the freedom to do anything we want as long as it doesn't interfere with another individual's rights to do as they want.

          Therein lies the complexity ;)

          1. Ideasource Bronze badge

            Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

            That's a obvious paradox.

            And so all attempts to apply will fail.

            Which is useful within a ploy of purposeful confusion designed to give a false semblance of consistency to what is really just a wild card to be interpreted anyway that is convenient to the power entrenched at the moment.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          "Well actually freedom requires a lack of artificial/targeted consequence as a prerequisite."

          From the song "Anarchy Burger" by The Vandals

          "America stands for freedom, but if you think you're free, try walking into a deli and urinating on the cheese"

          "Anarchy Burger, hold the government"

          ...

        3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

          Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

          Bullshit.

          Australia is many times more free than USA.

          For example freedom from regular gun massacres, free healthcare, freedom from unqualified job dismissal.

      3. Lurko

        Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

        "That's what the DMV (and actually the DoT and FTSB) is for... "

        Yeah, but look at how Boeing and NTSB got all cozy in approving the Cyber737. That didn't go so well.

        I'm sure Musko has been looking at how to buy all the necessary regulators and politicians.

    7. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

      Doh! He is just following the example of his boss, Donald J Trump.

      Everything that the former POTUS says and does is apparently protected by the 1st amendment even if leads to thousands of death threats on the people he (allegedly) defames.

      Trump is a bully and a coward. That was shown very well yesterday after days of saying "I will take the stand", he chickens out.

      Elon is just the same. Giving everyone stick but does not like it when people push back.

      Not a Tesla keeper... You don't really own them as Elon can brick it at any time and for any reason.

      Ok Tesla/Musk cult... get downvoting.

      1. Anonymous Coward
        Anonymous Coward

        Re: get downvoting.

        Soz bud, I hate him but red rag to a bull I'm afraid!

    8. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: According to Musk, fraud is protected under the 1st Amendment

      I think his rebuttal comprises, "I'm saying that I'm telling the truth, so you can't take me to court to establish whether I'm telling the truth."

      Unfortunately for him, he is not the final arbiter of his own truthfulness...

  2. nautica Silver badge
    Stop

    So...Musk is arguing that he is free to do so (lying; that he misrepresented Autopilot's capabilities) under the US Constitution; that his right to free speech is being violated.

    Tesla also claims that the DMV has no right to prosecute it for false advertising of Autopilot's capabilities because it knew perfectly well how the company had been describing it...(translation: you've known all along I've been lying and that I do that for a living. Therefore it's perfectly legal).

    And, folks, he wants these actions to be dropped with prejudice, meaning they can never be brought again. Nice try, Mush.

    This is what happens when you have a Liar-In-Chief of the United States; the 'leader of the free world' who should also be its moral leader, act absolutely and precisely this same way.

    -------------------------------------------------------------------

    Maya Angelou--"When a person tells you who they are, believe them the first time."

    1. Snake Silver badge

      RE: arguing for free speech

      It's the irony of American greed. "Corporations are people too", and can complain when they feel their First Amendment rights are being "violated" because they were caught in a lie, but they should *have* the right to lie because it is 'free speech'.

      But then create NDA's and TOS's that remove a customer's right to free and open speech [against said corporation], and this should be binding even if (a), the agreement is so long winded that no one actually reads it, and (b) it is an illegal restriction of rights none the less.

      But, as long as our Lord Robber-Baron is well fed, how dare the peons complain??

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: RE: arguing for free speech

        "but they should *have* the right to lie because it is 'free speech'."

        Ehhhhhh,

        There's a vast gulf of vacuum between holding a contrary opinion and lying.

        1. Ideasource Bronze badge

          Re: RE: arguing for free speech

          It's not lying if you believe it at the moment that you were saying it. What a person was thinking after or before that moment is irrelevant.

          1. MachDiamond Silver badge

            Re: RE: arguing for free speech

            "It's not lying if you believe it at the moment that you were saying it. What a person was thinking after or before that moment is irrelevant."

            That takes us into the realm of politics and politicians but mostly a whole lot of incompetence. For a corporate executive to not be lying yet say something that others would consider a lie is massive incompetence and for a publicly traded company, they shouldn't be allowed in management.

          2. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

            Re: RE: arguing for free speech

            Delusion: false beliefs due to incorrect inference about external reality. (DSM-IV)

            People who are deluded are not telling the truth. They are telling their inference of reality based on a cognitive error.

            So you can choose to disqualify yourself from a position of responsibility in a corporate structure by through incompetence, or mental illness, however faithfully you might believe the lie.

          3. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

            Re: RE: arguing for free speech

            LIke a typical american, you think YOU or THEy get to define what TRUTH or LYING means. Its not whether the person believes what they say its what the actual real world judges to be true.

      2. Someone Else Silver badge

        Re: RE: arguing for free speech

        But then create NDA's and TOS's that remove a customer's right to free and open speech [...]

        Like this one, Snake! Goes right to the heart of the hypocrisy of the Fatass Free Speech Movement currently being spearheaded by His Muskiness and t'pineapple.

        One Rule for me, another for thee!

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "Tesla also claims that the DMV has no right to prosecute it for false advertising of Autopilot's capabilities because it knew perfectly well how the company had been describing it."

      Tesla has provided the State of California with written affidavits that Autopilot is and will remain in the near future, a level 2 driver assistance system. The State is now going after them for advertising and marketing it differently from that document. The time delay is typical government. If they go after a company early, they get vilified as being on a witch hunt. It takes a certain body count and call for them to "do something®" before they take action.

  3. aerogems Silver badge
    Thumb Down

    All the more reason

    This is just all the more reason it needs to be firmly enshrined in law that only meat sack humans have first amendment rights. Since a free press is explicitly called out in the US Constitution, that is the one and only exception. Tesla, Microsoft, Xitter, Costco, BNSF, Walmart... fictional entities that only exist on paper and in the collective imaginations of meat sack humans, do not have any rights whatsoever. They exist at our pleasure and can be taken out back and shot at any time if they step out of line, including the government coming along, forcibly removing the entire leadership under whose watch bad things happened, bringing the company into compliance with the law, and then turning it over to a new set of leaders with instructions to do better. Rinse and repeat as needed, or just wind down operations if it's determined that there is no feasible way for the company to operate and comply with applicable regulations.

    I suppose if one day someone creates a sentient AI we'll have to consider whether to revise this policy, but that's a problem for if and when it happens.

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Re: All the more reason

      It's already in the U.S. Constitution. The Commerce Clause:

      The Commerce Clause refers to Article 1, Section 8, Clause 3 of the U.S. Constitution, which gives Congress the power “to regulate commerce with foreign nations, among states, and with the Indian tribes.”

      There are NO exceptions. None. Those words are the entirety of the law. Many people WANT exceptions and many have been unfortunately given, but Congress has full power to do as it pleases regarding commerce.

      1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

        Re: All the more reason

        First rule of US constitutional law: If you invoke the Commerce Clause, you're probably wrong.

        1. BobTheIntern

          Re: All the more reason

          Given that the U.S. federal judiciary has decided a whole raft of case law on the basis of the Commerce Clause, it seems this "first rule" you've plucked out of the thin air in close proximity to your own posterior is far more likely to be "probably wrong".

          1. Zippy´s Sausage Factory
            Devil

            Re: All the more reason

            I'm guessing that "first rule" applies more often to law students than we'd think. It's probably the law degree year one equivalent of a newble programmer falling in love with GOTO.

      2. midgepad

        Re: All the more reason

        IANAL, but that doesn't seem to say "within each State".

        1. Stoneshop
          FAIL

          Re: All the more reason

          So, the Tesli sold in California are manufactured within California, and those sold in New Hamster are manufactured there?

          And the Self-Driving software installed on Texan Tesli is actually written in Texas with no part copied to, or from other states?

          There appears to be an aspect of interstate commerce in play here.

          The lies about the capabilities of the software don't stop at any particular state line either, but that probably doesn't count as commerce.

          1. Benegesserict Cumbersomberbatch Silver badge

            Re: All the more reason

            I think that if you're Roman, they're Teslæ, and if you're Greek, they're Teslata (or maybe Τεσλατα). I think the Greek is classier, which probably means his Muskiness would go for the Latin.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: All the more reason

          "IANAL, but that doesn't seem to say "within each State"."

          There is a distinction between intra-state commerce and inter-state commerce. States are generally left to establish laws that apply within their own state as long as the effect isn't too restrictive or puts somebody in jeopardy for doing something that's legal in the state they come from. If somebody buys a strong ale from a craft brewing company in one state, another state can't prohibit them bringing it with them for personal consumption if that state has a lower limit for what's considered an ale and what might be defined as malt liquor. It's a tax thing.

    2. doublelayer Silver badge

      Re: All the more reason

      "This is just all the more reason it needs to be firmly enshrined in law that only meat sack humans have first amendment rights."

      This doesn't seem to be a reason to make that restriction at all, since the case is about fraud. If a particular human makes the same claim as part of an advertisement, it should still be fraud and they should still be punished for doing it. Thus, since it is unrelated to the free speech terms, it doesn't make a good argument about them in either direction.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: All the more reason

        I'm just tired of idiots making "but muh freedumb" and "freeze peach" arguments. Particularly conservative idiots, but they don't have an absolute monopoly on it. If we make it absolutely crystal clear in law that fictional entities are not entitled to any rights, on account of them, you know, not being real, we kneecap arguments like this where it seems clear either Xitler is overruling the lawyers and forcing them to write this ridiculous argument, or is only hiring fellow kool-aid drinkers from the Federalist Society list of approved law firms.

        1. Someone Else Silver badge
          Happy

          Re: All the more reason

          "freeze peach"

          Love.

          It.

    3. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

      Re: All the more reason

      We have something called "commercial speech". Which applies to speech or writing made on behalf of an entity intent on earning revenue and/or making a profit. It is less protected than individuals' free speech. And it takes the government's interests in regulating said entity into account.

      So, it's off to the courts we go.

      1. aerogems Silver badge

        Re: All the more reason

        Something like, "our reelection campaign funds are looking a little low... give us money or we'll regulate you into the stone age!" Is that what you mean by "takes government's interests in regulating said entity into account"?

    4. steviebuk Silver badge

      Re: All the more reason

      I can't not read Xitter as Exeter

      :)

      From now on, X will be know as Exeter. When that takes off, we can both claim credit :)

      1. Stratman

        Re: All the more reason

        I can't not pronounce the X more like 'sh'. It seems more appropriate too.

        1. BobTheIntern

          Re: All the more reason

          Congratulations! You have won the Internet today. Take a bow!

        2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

          Re: All the more reason

          In English, it's more usually pronounced as a Z, which is what I see it as. Thankfully (for once!), the US gave us Brits the word "zit" for a puss filled lump, usually on the face, which fits just as neatly as using the Chinese SH sound for it.

        3. Cheshire Cat
          Go

          Re: All the more reason

          That's the pronounciation rules for Chinese PInyin.

          In pinying, Xitter would be indeed be pronounced She - ter (same as "Xi Junping" is pronounced "She june ping")

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: All the more reason

        "From now on, X will be know as Exeter. When that takes off, we can both claim credit :)"

        You can only be granted credit if you can get it included in the next edition of "The Meaning of Liff".

        1. Stoneshop
          Thumb Up

          Re: All the more reason

          the next edition of "The Meaning of Liff".

          which should have the good fortune to fall through a timewarp into a past some three decades back from now, and then there's the matter to get it back here again.

      3. sabroni Silver badge
        Happy

        Re: I can't not read Xitter as Exeter

        I can't not not read Xitter as not Exeter!

        1. Anonymous Coward
          Anonymous Coward

          Re: I can't not read Xitter as Exeter

          Xitter, the social media platform created after too much zider...

    5. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: All the more reason

      "This is just all the more reason it needs to be firmly enshrined in law that only meat sack humans have first amendment rights."

      I don't have a problem with corporations having 1st Amendment rights as long as those behind the statements (the Board, C-level execs) become sever-ably liable for those statements. Not only can the corporation suffer consequences, so can those behind it or can be shown that they should have reasonably been aware. The out for Tesla's board would be to throw Elon under the bus to save their own skins from fines and prison cells. Big rewards should come with big risks.

    6. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: All the more reason

      "or just wind down operations if it's determined that there is no feasible way for the company to operate and comply with applicable regulations."

      Whilst I agree with the sentiment, there's also the other side of the coin to consider. What happens if there's a bat-shit crazy President in charge, especially with one or both houses in his/her pocket?

  4. Howard Sway Silver badge

    Introducing the new supersonic flying TeslaAero!

    Max speed 4000 mph, runs on water, can travel 8000 miles on half a pint, control it with the inbuilt Psychic Mind Interface or let our AI pilot take the strain! Buy now and get a free InfiniteBeer dispenser!

    * No returns accepted, we can claim whatever we like, it's free speech right?

    1. sev.monster

      Re: Introducing the new supersonic flying TeslaAero!

      Give me the money to buy one, and I'll let you have it after I crank out a few hundred beers. Promise.

  5. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    I promise to pay $140k for a Model X

    Until I decide not to.

  6. Lee D Silver badge

    Do corporations even get the right to free speech?

    1. ecofeco Silver badge

      Corporations have no rights, yet have been unfortunately granted the fiction of having some.

      1. Paul Hovnanian Silver badge

        Corporations are groups of owners, associating together (constitutionally protected) for the purpose of conducting business. So that group (with First Amendment rights) may elect to have the officers of their corporations speak on their behalf as necessary to conduct business.

        1. Lee D Silver badge

          Not from what I just read.

          https://constitution.findlaw.com/amendment1/freedom-of-speech-for-corporations.html

          Also:

          "Under the first prong of the test, certain commercial speech is not entitled to protection; the informational function of advertising is the First Amendment concern and if an advertisement does not accurately inform the public about lawful activity, it can be suppressed."

          Whoops.

        2. MachDiamond Silver badge

          "Corporations are groups of owners, associating together (constitutionally protected) for the purpose of conducting business. So that group (with First Amendment rights) may elect to have the officers of their corporations speak on their behalf as necessary to conduct business."

          I don't think that is doctrine, but I find it a good interpretation.

  7. Kev99 Silver badge

    Yup. Just like yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theater is protected speech. [Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)]

    1. Michael Wojcik Silver badge

      Second rule of US constitutional law: If you use the phrase "'fire' in a crowded theater", you're probably wrong.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      "Yup. Just like yelling "fire" in a crowded movie theater is protected speech. [Brandenburg v. Ohio, 395 U.S. 444 (1969)]"

      I once yelled "movie" in a fire house and suffered no consequences. (I'm not kidding. We were a silly bunch)

  8. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    And to think…

    People actually buy and invest with this Musk guy.

    (Replace Musk with Trump if you prefer, both are valid in this case)

  9. StrangerHereMyself Silver badge

    Lies

    Lies or misrepresentation doesn't fall under the First Amendment. Elon must be smoking pot again to think he can get away with this.

    1. pantsu
      Trollface

      Re: Lies

      And, if he is, he should pass on the contact details of his supplier as it's apparently proper-banging gear.

  10. MadDrFrank

    Quote from Terry Pratchett - Going Postal

    “There is always a choice."

    "You mean I could choose certain death?"

    "A choice nevertheless, or perhaps an alternative. You see I believe in freedom. Not many people do, although they will of course protest otherwise. And no practical definition of freedom would be complete without the freedom to take the consequences. Indeed, it is the freedom upon which all the others are based.”

    1. Ace2 Silver badge

      Re: Quote from Terry Pratchett - Going Postal

      Which TP book should one read first?

      1. Ken Hagan Gold badge

        Re: Quote from Terry Pratchett - Going Postal

        Equal Rites (possibly followed by Wyrd Sisters).

        The two earlier books are fine, but you can start with this one without losing much context. Chronological order is a fine principle, but not a binding one.

        1. jmch Silver badge

          Re: Quote from Terry Pratchett - Going Postal

          "Chronological order is a fine principle, but not a binding one"

          Definitely this, but there are some sub-series within the whole series that it works best to work through in order.

          "Equal Rites (possibly followed by Wyrd Sisters)."

          One of my personal favourites, especially if you have a passing knowledge of Shakespeare. Another good starting point is "Guards, Guards", following on with the other City Watch books. Personally I started off with, IIRC, Unseen Academicals, got hooked, and went through the whole series in publishing order, which also works well if you have the reading stamina for 30+ books!!

          1. CrazyOldCatMan Silver badge

            Re: Quote from Terry Pratchett - Going Postal

            if you have the reading stamina for 30+ books

            AKA "my normal monthly reading rate" (sometimes it's higher - like when I'm on annual leave. Because of multitudes of pets, we don't actually go away..)

          2. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

            Re: Quote from Terry Pratchett - Going Postal

            "the whole series in publishing order"

            I generally find that works best most long series of books. It's simple, it's how the author wrote them, and saves the arguments with purists and "super fans" who insist on the whatever order they personally have decided is best. And it's nice to be "surprised" when you come across a story that is a sequel or prequel of one you've already read :-) Prequels especially, because they often expand on and sometimes assume you've read, the chronologically later stories.

      2. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: Quote from Terry Pratchett - Going Postal

        "Which TP book should one read first?"

        I read Going Postal first and that sucked me in so much that I had to read them all. Start at the beginning and work forward. Sir Terry honed his story telling over the years even though the early books are still very good tales. I'd also stick with the Canon first and then get into the apocrypha.

      3. breakfast Silver badge

        Re: Quote from Terry Pratchett - Going Postal

        This is always a contraversial discussion but most people agree that the early Discworld books are leaning more heavily on satirising genre works, most of which are little-read now (I think TP could end up like a modern Cervantes, his work far outliving the genre he satirised) whereas as they go on they become more stories set in the world, although they are usually satirising something familiar.

        My recommendation is Guards! Guards! but between that, Small Gods, Wyrd Sisters, Mort and Pyramids is probably a matter of taste - read the backs and see what appeals to you.

        The nice thing about his work is that fundamentally you're not going to go wrong.

      4. wub
        Thumb Up

        Re: Quote from Terry Pratchett - Going Postal

        Sir Terry said the order wasn't important (but it is in a few cases).

        This time of year, I'd read Hogfather - something I do every December or so. Or I watch the live action video version.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge
          Thumb Up

          Re: Quote from Terry Pratchett - Going Postal

          "Or I watch the live action video version."

          I'll add a thumbs up for watching Hogfather. I could be a bit biased as Michelle Dockery playing Susan Sto Helit doesn't get old for me. She's very pretty.

  11. s. pam Silver badge
    FAIL

    You have the right to die Muskyboy

    I'm 1,000% certain that the suffering families of those who believe the undisputable facts over the misrepresentation will look to him like a Bond villain and support more censoring of them, not less!

  12. Ramis101

    Musk Response

    I suppose the next response will be Musk telling his Tesla customers to go fuck themselves too, he's such a good debater

    1. Anonymous Coward
      Anonymous Coward

      Re: Musk Response

      Give it time, give it time. He's becoming as deranged as Trump.

      1. This post has been deleted by its author

    2. graeme leggett Silver badge

      Re: Musk Response

      Debate? He's a master at it.

  13. Anonymous Coward
    Anonymous Coward

    Snake oil salesmen are rubbing there hands with glee.

  14. naive

    Volkswagen should have had these brilliant lawyers in 2015

    "The fact we are prosecuted due to publishing the results of fraudulent tests, setup to make our vehicles meet legal pollution standards, is limiting our freedom of speech".

    Would have saved them billions.

    The judge probably will dismiss this case, they have better things to do.

    1. Someone Else Silver badge

      Re: Volkswagen should have had these brilliant lawyers in 2015

      Wouldn't work..they're German, and Germany does not have US-style 1st amendment.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: Volkswagen should have had these brilliant lawyers in 2015

      "The judge probably will dismiss this case, they have better things to do."

      Elon could also try the Sovereign Citizen gambit too. I can't believe how many times those people get off with just a caution on the court TV shows when they should be locked up in padded cells for an eon or three.

      1. renniks

        Re: Volkswagen should have had these brilliant lawyers in 2015

        Plenty of vids where those 'sovereign citizen' dicks get a sharp dose of reality

        1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

          Re: Volkswagen should have had these brilliant lawyers in 2015

          Ah yes, the old "free man on the land in gaol".

  15. teebie

    If you throw enough shit at a wall...

    then hopefully someone will consider disbarring you for having shitty hands.

  16. Strahd Ivarius Silver badge
    Coat

    Next challenge for EM

    Under 2nd Amendment, all Tesla will now be equipped with a Gauss auto-cannon, and you can't sue me

  17. FirstTangoInParis Bronze badge

    They do it over there but they don’t do it here …. (Ooh fashion)

    Meanwhile over in the UK, the Advertising Standards Agency will go after companies if the statements in an ad are even slightly misleading, such as recent actions against Lufthansa and Etihad for not substantiating claims about environmental sustainability. If Musk comes over here with his ads, he won’t stand a chance.

    It’s a shame politicians over here don’t come under the ASA, that would fix a lot of issues for us.

    1. AndrueC Silver badge
      Meh

      Re: They do it over there but they don’t do it here …. (Ooh fashion)

      However the ASA has no legal powers and is presiding over a collection of voluntary agreements. They can refer particular cases to another body that has legal power (eg; Ofcom) which may or may not then decide to act based on its own rules.

      That the ASA works at all is more of a complement to the business environment in the UK than an expression of its power.

      I'd also argue - based on 'Fibre broadband' - that the ASA are no paragons of good sense.

      1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

        Re: They do it over there but they don’t do it here …. (Ooh fashion)

        "That the ASA works at all is more of a complement to the business environment in the UK than an expression of its power."

        And like other "voluntary" regulators, it's worth remembering that they came in existence because the Government said "regulate yourself to our satisfaction, or we WILL do it for you",

        I still remember when the Press Complaints Commission was set up and what lead to that, and then the very serious government threats in the early 20-teens as it was seen to be failing and the more robust Independent Press Standards Organisation being formed to stave off actual Government regulation, which scared the shit out of the press and it's owners. It's still not perfect, but probably still better all around than Government getting involved in that sort of regulation.

    2. MachDiamond Silver badge

      Re: They do it over there but they don’t do it here …. (Ooh fashion)

      "If Musk comes over here with his ads, he won’t stand a chance."

      The laughs are on you. Tesla doesn't advertise.

      1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

        Re: They do it over there but they don’t do it here …. (Ooh fashion)

        But they do, they have an army of sock puppets and otherss who invent stories for them.

        Elon learnt well from the vitamin industry, they have books written by nobodies inventing stories about vitamins curing everything...so the vitamin bottle itseld doesnt have to claim anything.

        1. MachDiamond Silver badge

          Re: They do it over there but they don’t do it here …. (Ooh fashion)

          "so the vitamin bottle itseld doesnt have to claim anything."

          The vitamin bottle can't claim anything or they'd have to go through proper clinical trials and publish the results. I expect that wouldn't be a good idea as the invented stories from "disinterested" parties are so much better.

          I should have said that Tesla doesn't do 'traditional advertising' as in running ads in various places. They might on Twitter since it would be a handy way for Elon to shovel money from Tesla into the barren cupboards of X.

    3. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

      Re: They do it over there but they don’t do it here …. (Ooh fashion)

      If Musk comes over here with his ads, he won’t stand a chance.

      Oh no, he'll get told "don't run that ad campaign again in the same form" six months after it has finished.

      The ASA have fewer teeth than the front row of a Rolling Stones concert.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        Re: They do it over there but they don’t do it here …. (Ooh fashion)

        "The ASA have fewer teeth than the front row of a Rolling Stones concert."

        One could also say fewer remaining brain cells than those ON the stage.

  18. A. Coatsworth Silver badge
    Facepalm

    Timeline of a genius

    > Muh freedom of expression!

    > Muh freedom of expression!

    > You can't say that about me, I WILL SUE YOU

    > Muh freedom of expression!

  19. gauge symmetry

    Three Words

    Safe And Effective

    1. Tom Paine

      Re: Three Words

      Clear and obvious...

      1. sabroni Silver badge

        Re: Three Words

        I love you!

  20. Groo The Wanderer Silver badge

    Look, Elon, you don't to spout off about "free speech" while your customers are DYING in accidents!

    1. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

      Dead people cant sue.

      1. MachDiamond Silver badge

        "Dead people cant sue."

        Hmm, nobody has told that to the US court system.

  21. Kevin McMurtrie Silver badge
  22. BPontius

    Trump's playbook

    This sounds like Musk is taking legal advice from Trump and his legal team. Don't think Musk has any better grip on the Constitution than Trump or reality for that matter. EV and hybrid sales are flat anyways. Despite President Biden's push.

  23. MikesInAK

    Unorignal

    So in the last two weeks, the supreme court takes up the constitutionality of administrative judges, and trump tries to use the first amendment defense for witness intimidation.

    It's like they were watching the news while trying to figure out a defense.

  24. Tom Paine
    WTF?

    Has Elon ever considered...

    ...entering this year's Mr Mad competition? I gather the incumbent is busy dealing with a particularly stubborn bloater.

    1. renniks

      Re: Has Elon ever considered...

      He's certainly madder than Mad Jack McMad, last years winner!

      1. Elongated Muskrat Silver badge

        Re: Has Elon ever considered...

        Upvoted for the MacAdder reference. The most dangerous man to wear a skirt in Europe.

    2. PB90210 Bronze badge

      Re: Has Elon ever considered...

      He's already in the running for The Last Leg's 'Dick of the Year'

      https://twitter.com/TheLastLeg/status/1733252764648542663

      (he only made 2nd place, a mere 'ballbag', last year... just ahead of someone called Liz Truss)

      1. PB90210 Bronze badge

        Re: Has Elon ever considered...

        Unfortunately he's followed Xitter's fortunes and been devalued this year, only making third place this time

  25. CowHorseFrog Silver badge

    Why would anyone trust Musk for anything after that ?

    How dumb do you have to be too buy a car from a guy who argues lying is more important than truth.

  26. imanidiot Silver badge

    Well there's the whole problem isn't it?

    "Tesla's truthful and non-misleading speech"

    That remains to be seen.

  27. Johnb89

    Money and Lawyers

    Many of the comments ascribe these things to Musk, but I suggest that he merely gives high level instructions to his legal team to take these various things to court, or sue the bastards or whatever.

    It turns out that there are lawyers out there that will park whatever ethics they might have... for money. Perhaps lots of money. But these lawsuits take time to put together and follow through and these are the people making up spurious arguments, trying to find loopholes, writing biased user agreements and so on because money.

    One would think that a proper lawyer would have ethics of some sort, but reality suggests not always.

    1. John Brown (no body) Silver badge

      Re: Money and Lawyers

      "One would think that a proper lawyer would have ethics of some sort, but reality suggests not always."

      And any "canny" lawyer will be demanding payment up front in fear they may not be paid if they don't win.

  28. Cruachan

    Does the fact that they've now recalled 2m Teslas in the US to fix issues with Autopilot also violate their right to free speech?

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