In an earlier post, I mentioned that this blog’s Best Buddy Bill Schmalfeldt attempted to reveal the identity of Paul Krendler, the anonymous blogger behind the Thinking Man’s Zombie (TMZ) blog. His method was filing a lawsuit that barely mentioned Paul Krendler at all, but might have given Schmalfeldt the ability to force websites to give identifying information about Paul to Schmalfeldt. Ultimately that lawsuit was dropped, but that doesn’t keep Paul out of danger.
Paul had previously sold rights to WJJ Hoge over a blog post still available at TMZ. Paul didn’t sell the entire copyright, just the book and e-book publishing rights. WJJ Hoge has filed a copyright infringement lawsuit again Schmalfeldt, which includes the use of that specific post in a book Schmalfeldt was selling, among 123 other infringements.
The first step in a copyright suit is determining that the person claiming copyright actually has that copyright. This means that Hoge will have to prove to the courts satisfaction that he does have those rights. That’s a big win for Paul. Notice it isn’t to Schmalfeldt’s satisfaction, but to the courts. It is quite possible, even likely, that Hoge will be able to do so without ever having to show an agreement to Schmalfeldt. If Hoge manages to convince the court that he has the rights, then Schmalfeldt will have no remedy there.
But Schmalfeldt didn’t have to give up. Schmalfeldt files counterclaims again Hoge and also against two previously uninvolved parties. One of those parties is Paul. Along with filing his Answer and Counterclaims, Schmalfeldt also file a motion for a hearing to force Twitter and WordPress to reveal the identifying information about Paul.
So Paul is not safe from exposure. There are avenues he can take to remain safe, but the wheels are now in motion.