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Censorship Your Rights Online

EFF Forces DMCA Abuser to Apologize 222

destinyland writes "The EFF just announced victory over a serial abuser of DMCA copyright notices. To set an example, their settlement required Michael Crook to record a video apology to the entire internet for interfering with free speech. He's also required to withdraw every bogus DMCA notice, and refrain from future bogus notices, never contest the original image again, and take a remedial class on copyright law. He'd attempted to use flaws in the DMCA to censor an embarrassing picture of himself that he just didn't want appearing online — but instead the whole thing backfired."
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EFF Forces DMCA Abuser to Apologize

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  • That's it? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by omeomi ( 675045 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:42PM (#18356677) Homepage
    He'd attempted to use flaws in the DMCA to censor an embarrassing picture of himself that he just didn't want appearing online

    That's it? They finally get a serial abuser of the DMCA to apologize, and it's just some guy with a nudie picture that he didn't want people to see? How about getting an **AA or something to apologize for *really* infringing on free speech/expression?
  • Oh, the irony... (Score:3, Insightful)

    by imemyself ( 757318 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @08:43PM (#18356683)
    Isn't it ironic - not only that a very large number of people will see his picture because he was an &^*hole, but also that the site that he apparently tried to have taken down, is offline (presumably due to the /. effect or because it was linked to by other sites).
  • by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:00PM (#18356819)
    Helpful hint; try using < and > instead of [ and ] in your tags.
  • by ProfessionalCookie ( 673314 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:00PM (#18356825) Journal
    For anyone who missed the original article it's all about this image [edified.org] which is not owned by Michael.

    It's not even that bad...hehe.
  • Okay...? (Score:2, Insightful)

    by rmckeethen ( 130580 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @09:39PM (#18357149)

    Humm, well, OK then -- Michael Crook says he's sorry. I'm just so thrilledto have this new information. I guess this is a victory for some website having to do with monkeys, and FOX News is somewhere in there too. Gee, well, huh. So there it is then. All right. Swell. Thanks.

    On second thought, can I have back the five minutes of my life I just wasted watching this apology?

  • by aero2600-5 ( 797736 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @11:19PM (#18357809)
    "Once the precedent is established.."

    This case was not decided by a judge. It was settled out of court.

    I may be wrong, but I'm fairly certain that there is no legal precedent set when someone settles.

  • by putaro ( 235078 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @11:31PM (#18357895) Journal
    Start showing up at Congresscritters' doors with a dump truck full of money. Seriously. The MPAA and RIAA have been lobbying, hard, to get this stuff in place to protect their little industry. And it is a *little* industry. The record industry, as a whole, grossed about $40 billion last year. In contrast, IBM had revenue of $91 billion dollars in 2005. Yet these little schmucks have managed to screw up the whole computing and consumer electronics industry with their nonsense. Why? Because they were much more effective at lobbying.
  • by JayAEU ( 33022 ) on Wednesday March 14, 2007 @11:49PM (#18357983)
    Has anybody actually read what he says in his blog?

    Taken from http://www.michaelcrook.org/thedmcacase.html [michaelcrook.org], where he's talking about this (http://www.michaelcrook.org/extrafiles/crook.jpg) screenshot of his:

    "And hey, I rather like this screenshot. It makes me look like Hitler and shit. Cool beans-- it was exactly the statement I was trying to make."

    I'm still sitting here with my jaw hanging down after having read this! I think not only should he be sent to a basic lesson of copyright law, but also to a history lesson focussing on WW2!
  • Apologetic (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Sloppy ( 14984 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @12:47AM (#18358321) Homepage Journal
    From here [michaelcrook.org]:

    In total, this case had to have cost the EFF at least $46,000 in attorney's fees and costs, whereas all I will have spent after the copyright courses is $215.00. Sometimes, not being wealthy rocks. Not being wealthy sucks when you're at the strip club, and down to your last $20 just when the girl is willing to "do a little more".

    It's good to see that he has learned his lesson, instead of revelling in the destruction caused by the inefficiencies of the legal system.

    What a seriously evil asshole.

  • Wrong (Score:2, Insightful)

    by zoomshorts ( 137587 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @02:02AM (#18358715)
    "Whoever creates a work owns the copyright, unless the creator signs away the copyright (in the case of work for hire, etc.) So if I take a picture of you, your dog, even Michael Crook, I own the copyright on that image." IF I am a public figure, I have no right or expectation to privacyy. Should I not be a public figure, or person of note, Then I OWN MY IMAGE and you need a release to publish.

    This is NOT rocket science.. If I appear in public, that changes the outcome.
  • by ArsenneLupin ( 766289 ) on Thursday March 15, 2007 @03:05AM (#18358949)

    How to repeal it?
    You do as Michael Crook did: send out lotsa bogus takedown notices, preferably to those ISPs that obey them without blinking an eye.

    With one difference: you don't get caught. So don't send them out about content related to you, or from an e-mail address that is traceable back to you.

    If lots of people started doing this, ISPs would get the hint that maybe, just maybe, they should examine a copyright claim before acting on it.

If you suspect a man, don't employ him.