There’s something very deep here – and it’s part of that ongoing story  about the guy that started the entrap-a-perv thing on Craigslist.  Apparently,  this monkey is pretty good at gaming the system – he figured out how to fake up  DMCA notices (those are the Digital Millennium Copyright Act forms that tell  your ISP that you’re doing things like posting pirated MP3s or Spiderman 2 clips  – which means that your ISP has to notify you that you either take it down or  they yank your site).
Well, he retaliated against the people who were outing him for outing  others – and now the EFF has filed suit against him for those fraudulent DMCA  notices he sent out … viz this from Xeni at bOINGbOING:

EFF has just filed suit against Craigslist copycat scammer Michael Crook for filing bogus DMCA claims. More here: Link

Laughing Squid, the ISP which Beale runs, is hosting the blog to which these false claims were sent.

This web of charges, counter-charges and ratfucking is getting very very tangled – and points to  how messy the future is going to be until we can get these processes streamlined  and understood by people … which all feeds back into the whole notion of  identity.

Once again, the question arises as to whether or not the future of the internet is going to have to change from the anonymous present … the problem once again is that anonymity on the net has the lure of unaccountability.  Like a virtual game of "Ding-Dong Ditch" – you ring someone’s doorbell and then dash away in the night to chortle in the bushes as they vainly, plaintively shout "Hello? Is anybody there?" into the night. 

So Crook has dumped on the people who dumped on him for piercing somebody else’s anonymity.  I’m not sure where this is all going, but I have the feeling that we’re all going to need a scorecard to keep track of all the players by the time this is done…

"This is yet another case of someone intentionally misusing copyright law to try to shut down legitimate debate on an issue of public interest," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "Crook certainly doesn’t own the copyright to the news footage — Fox News does. Furthermore, a still shot of that footage, used as part of a commentary on the controversy surrounding him, is clearly a fair use. It’s hypocritical for such an outspoken figure like Crook to attack other speakers just because they disagree with him."

Because of Crook’s misuse of the DMCA, Diehl was forced to switch web-hosting companies in order to continue publish the photo. But even then, Crook sent another bogus DMCA notice to the new hosting company, and Diehl had to remove the photo for a second time.

There are provisions on the books protecting speech, even under some pretty extreme circumstances, when said speech has to do with matters of public concern.  Even in the public section (read:government) which has a fairly defensible interest in keeping certain facts secret, the right to blow the whistle on crimes, bad behavior & general fuckery is fairly well recognized, if not always well protected. 

Here’s some interesting language and precedential case law on the subject:

evaluating the First Amendment rights of a public employee, Athe threshold inquiry is whether the
statements at issue substantially address a matter of public
concern.@ Roe v. City and County of San Francisco,
109 F.3d 578, 584 (9th Cir. 1997) (emphasis added); Johnson
v. Multnomah County, Oregon
, 48 F.3d 420, 422 (9th Cir.
1995). Public employee speech is Aof public concern@ if it helps citizens Ato make informed decisions about the
operation of their government.
@ Pool v. Vanrheen, 297 F.3d 899, 906 (9th
Cir. 2002.) Speech by public employees
is not of public concern when the speech Adeals
with individual personnel disputes and grievances and when the information
would be of no relevance to the public
evaluation of the performance of governmental agencies.
@ Roe, 109 F.3d at 585 (emphasis added). A critical inquiry is whether Athe employee spoke in order to bring
wrongdoing to light or merely to further some purely private interest.@ Havekost v.Dept. Of The Navy, 925 F.2d 316, 318 (9th Cir. 1991.) Whether an employee=s
speech addresses a matter of public concern must be determined by the Acontent, form and context of a given
statement, as revealed by the whole record.@ Connick v. Myers, 461


138, 147-148, 103 S.Ct. 1684, 1690. The
one of law for the courts
Roe, 109 F.3d at 584 (emphasis

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