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The Courts Your Rights Online

UK Court Order Served Over Twitter, To Anonymous User Posing As Another 205

Posted by timothy
from the summon-our-powers-of-indignation dept.
SpuriousLogic spotted this story on the BBC, from which he excerpts: "The High Court has given permission for an injunction to be served via social-networking site Twitter. The order is to be served against an unknown Twitter user who anonymously posts to the site using the same name as a right-wing political blogger. The order demands the anonymous Twitter user reveal their identity and stop posing as Donal Blaney, who blogs at a site called Blaney's Blarney. The order says the Twitter user is breaching the copyright of Mr. Blaney. He told BBC News that the content being posted to Twitter in his name was 'mildly objectionable.' Mr. Blaney turned to Twitter to serve the injunction rather than go through the potentially lengthy process of contacting Twitter headquarters in California and asking it to deal with the matter. UK law states that an injunction does not have to be served in person and can be delivered by several different means including fax or e-mail."
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UK Court Order Served Over Twitter, To Anonymous User Posing As Another

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  • by Seriousity (1441391) <{Seriousity} {at} {live.com}> on Friday October 02, 2009 @02:33AM (#29614321)
    Time for me to delete my social networking accounts methinks, it's lost all the glitter and sparkle as my eyes have been gradually opened to the loss of privacy they effect and the risk of identity theft they engender. I've watched facebook degenerate into an oozing fest of self indulgence and crappy quizzes about peoples aura/star sign/some other mystic crap or how good they are in bed, and too many of my friends now use it to grandly announce every mundane detail of their life to the world as if they're some sort of celebrity and we're all supposed to be deeply concerned about them cutting their pinky finger or enraptured by their new haircut, etc etc. A friend related similar sentiments to me earlier today, saying people were using it as if it were twitter.

    What concerns me the most is the loss of privacy entailed in having an account with any of these sites, knowing that cops and employers can pull up all this info instantly... it's a worry. Enough ranting for me, I'm going to delete my facebook account and my twitter account (which I created once and used never :P)
  • by Animaether (411575) on Friday October 02, 2009 @02:54AM (#29614413) Journal

    for all intensive purposes

    *twitch*
    http://www.urbandictionary.com/define.php?term=intensive+purposes [urbandictionary.com]
    THAT out of the way...

    There's a bit of a difference between your case of the real James Bond and Ian Fleming's James Bond. The real James Bond wasn't a spy, and Ian Fleming certainly wasn't trying to pass of the books' character James Bond as if they were the real James Bond-the-spy.
    The real james bond was an ornithologist, says wikipedia with some citation to lord knows whether it's a credible source, but whatever.

    This Donal Blaney chap, however, is complaining that somebody else posting under the name Donal Blaney is actually trying to pass themselves off as being this particular Donal Blaney chap... using not only his name, but his picture, his actual blog's name, etc.

    Whether or not he has a case will be up to the courts to decide anyway, but I do believe he's got -a- point.. even if it's not a very sharp one, given that twitter does usually look into these things to make sure celebrities get to use their own name if a fan or foe set up a twitter account with that celebrity's name and was posing as them.
    ( not too sure what they do if it's really just an account from somebody else with the same name and they do -not- pose as the celebrity; I should hope they'd tell the celeb to go take a hike and open a new account under a different name. )

  • by gzipped_tar (1151931) on Friday October 02, 2009 @02:57AM (#29614421) Journal

    Time for me to delete my social networking accounts methinks

    You can't. It's cursed.

    I mean, do you honestly believe you are allowed to do that in the first place? As today's business best practice is to bury terms like "we retain the right of owing your data for as long as we are pleased, even if after you 'delete' your account" in the crap known as "the License Agreement", prepare to fight through legal obstacles and win a Pyrrhic victory at the cost of a kidney and a liver before you can really delete all your social-networking accounts, if for some reason you can win at all.

  • by petes_PoV (912422) on Friday October 02, 2009 @03:03AM (#29614445)
    ... enforcing is another.

    If the target of this injunction is anonymous, how can the writ be enforced? If he (or she) decides to ignore it, there seems very little that the server can do. It sounds to me like there is a good chance that the law will be shown to be an ass in this case.

  • by draco664 (960985) on Friday October 02, 2009 @03:12AM (#29614465)

    I've watched facebook degenerate into an oozing fest of self indulgence and crappy quizzes about peoples aura/star sign/some other mystic crap or how good they are in bed, and too many of my friends now use it to grandly announce every mundane detail of their life to the world as if they're some sort of celebrity and we're all supposed to be deeply concerned about them cutting their pinky finger or enraptured by their new haircut, etc etc.

    A great many people think that their lives are far more important and eventful than those of others, without making the mental leap to realise that other people think the same about their own.

  • by lordharsha (1101875) on Friday October 02, 2009 @03:46AM (#29614565)

    Um, 2 things:
    1. If he's posting anonymously, how is he using a name (I've quite possibly missed something, being as it is that I don't use twitter)?
    2. More importantly, what if said anonymous person has the same name as Donal Blaney?

  • by argent (18001) <peter AT slashdo ... taronga DOT com> on Friday October 02, 2009 @03:53AM (#29614583) Homepage Journal

    Time for me to delete my social networking accounts methinks, it's lost all the glitter and sparkle

    It ever had any?

  • by lazy_playboy (236084) on Friday October 02, 2009 @04:10AM (#29614657)

    "Modding down to bury an inconvenient truth doesn't change that truth but does make you look foolish"

    Modding is anonymous, no one looks like anything.

  • Re:Jurisdiction? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by martin-boundary (547041) on Friday October 02, 2009 @04:20AM (#29614693)
    Those can also be one-way. For example, the US can make Britain extradite random British citizens to be tried in the US for alleged crimes comitted anywhere in the world, but Britain cannot make the US extradite a US citizen to face a British court. Apples and oranges.
  • Re:Jurisdiction? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) on Friday October 02, 2009 @04:24AM (#29614707)
    Free Gary McKinnon?
  • by Homburg (213427) on Friday October 02, 2009 @04:42AM (#29614751) Homepage

    The copyright assertion on the photo makes sense, but name of the blog can't be copyrighted. It's possible that he's claiming the name of his blog as a trademark, or, under the UK law for unregistered trademarks, "passing off." I would have thought you would have to actually be engaging in trade to make such a claim, and I don't think a blog qualifies; but I may be wrong about UK trademark law.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 02, 2009 @04:57AM (#29614793)

    Dont delete them. I create accounts just so that no one else can use my identity on there, but never use more than the cursory first update that says I am Online. Some of my friends think I am a luddite who can't use new trends of social networking, but I am happy with email.

    Ashraya

  • Re:Sued? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by vegiVamp (518171) on Friday October 02, 2009 @05:13AM (#29614837) Homepage
    Aren't they called "twits" ?
  • Re:Copyright? (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Psyborgue (699890) on Friday October 02, 2009 @05:36AM (#29614897) Homepage Journal
    Yes, but that's not what the article implies. It says he was posing as Donal Blarney, not copying his work. All in all I think Donal is doing this not to get something removed from the internet, but for attention, and to portray himself as some sort of martyr/avatar of justice who stands up against the legions of internet ruffians. He's more or less an attention seeking troll and I think we all play a part in the guilt of feeding him. Take a look at his blog and tell me he doesn't strike you as the sort of person who would do that.
  • Re:publicity stunt (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 02, 2009 @08:00AM (#29615315)

    Oh come on, blaneysblarney has 10 posts for pete's sake. That's like serving an injunction after finding a picture of you someone had scribbled on a beermat. Do you have any real work to do?

  • Re:Sued? (Score:1, Insightful)

    by Dishevel (1105119) * on Friday October 02, 2009 @10:11AM (#29616383)
    Best reply to a shithead reply ever. Your original post was wrong and in your second post you did nothing but admit it and thank the GP. In the process you were able to point out that he was a fully complete and operational douche. Great job. Now if we can just get you to do it to the other 800,000 /.'ers that act this ...

E = MC ** 2 +- 3db

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