Folks may know about my battle with the Masada2000 hate site and someone who may or may not be called Neil Pomper. It appears that in a feeble attempt at revenge, Pomper has created a site that purports to be my own and which ridicules me–again feebly and sophomorically. Lots of potty mouth talk, a little pornographic language and the like. The site originally posted two images of me including one with my young son. It also uses first person language that might allow someone to actually believe the site was mine. An intellectual property attorney has told me that what this jackass has done is legally actionable.
I sent a Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) notice to Blogger.com demanding that they remove the image, which they did quite promptly. However, they refused to take the site down with this lame defense:
Regarding your defamation and trademark allegation, Blogger.com and Blogspot.com are US sites regulated by US law. Blogger is a provider of content creation tools, not a mediator of that content. We allow our users to create blogs, but we don’t make any claims about the content of these pages. Given these facts, and pursuant with section 230(c) of the Communications Decency Act, Blogger does not remove allegedly defamatory, libelous, or slanderous material from Blogger.com or BlogSpot.com. If a contact email address is listed on the blog, we recommend you working directly with the author to have the content in question removed or changed.
Regarding contacting the blogger, the only e mail address provided at the site is a fake e mail address in my name (of course).
I would like to ask supporters of this blog to do two things. First, visit the blog and click on the Blog Flag link at the very top of the main page. This link will report that you found the material on the site objectionable. If enough people flag the site it will come to the attention of Blogger staff which monitor the site more intensively. Also, please consider logging a complaint with Blogger that they are hosting a site which both impersonates, defames and slanders me. Tell them how disappointed you are that Blogger supports such hate speech. Tell them you’ll be letting your readers know what you think of Blogger. Frankly, I don’t know why anyone would want to blog at Blogger.com except that it’s free. But people do and perhaps if enough other people tell them they’re behaving like asses they might take some action.
And if anyone knows an intellectual property attorney who might take on a pro bono case to sue the ass off this guy and to vigorously protest Blogger’s malfeasance, please let me know. A good lawyer is the only force that’s likely to move Blogger to act in this circumstance. Like most corporations, they take the path of least resistance.
UPDATE: Brad Stone, a NYT reporter, just interviewed me for a piece he’s writing for the weekend paper on blog etiquette. It’s a follow up on the blogger death threat story, in which a high tech executive, Tim O’Reilly proposed a voluntary civility code that would attempt to both restrain over the top invective in blog comment threads and empower bloggers to maintain civility in their threads by moderating comments that violate speech standards.
Brad had read about my blog Blogger.com impersonator/pornographer/defamer and wanted to use me as an example of someone who’s been negatively impacted by blogosphere incivility. Look for the story this weekend. I hope I’m make it into the story.