A few thoughts.

It seems like everyone is posting their thoughts, so why not.  Here are some of mine.

1. On Boasting

To boast grandly is to set yourself for a grand fall.  As I’ve stated, I’m in Alabama, so I know a good boast when I hears it.  And I’m hearing it loud and clear at a certain blog I won’t link to that is run by this blog’s Best Buddy Bill Schmalfeldt.  In particular he has taken great umbrage to a post at Hogewash!.  In it, WJJ Hoge threatened laughter.  But one wouldn’t want to sink to the level of Hoge, right?

And then, there’s the matter of something I learned the previous evening. The reason why Hoge has been silent on the lawsuit. Something his pet toad “Paul Krendler” either doesn’t understand or doesn’t know because he scoffed at my generous offer to let him out of the case.

Bill Schmalfeldt on his blog

This boast is mistaken on two fronts.  One, that Best Buddy knows why Hoge is being silent.  Two, that Paul Krendler is in any way involved in the Copyright issues of the lawsuit in question.  At best, he is a disinterested third party who may be called at some point as a witness.  Paul did not file an infringement lawsuit against Best Buddy.  In fact, Paul only has to worry about the stuff filed in the counterclaims.  And the counterclaims, specifically against Paul, are weak.

But that’s where Best Buddy’s boasts go even more off the rails.  Reading his writings he’s already claiming victory.  He’s so sure that he’s won that he even made this so called “generous offer” to Krendler to drop the lawsuit.  Here is what Best Buddy needed to make good on the offer.

1. His real name, address, etc.

2. A copy of the signed agreement he made with Hoge selling partial rights to his blog post.

3. A promise to refrain from further defamatory, libelous comments.

4. An apology to my wife for the filthy things he wrote about her.

Bill Schmalfeldt on his blog

This is hardly a generous offer.  To make it, Best Buddy must assume that Paul is an idiot.  That would be a mistake.  I don’t think that is a mistake, I think this is a planned piece of his litigation strategy.  He’s trying to look like he’s willing to settle.  But Paul has no reason to assume that Best Buddy will follow through on his word.  (It doesn’t matter, the offer has been rescinded.) And like the smart man Paul seems to be, he soundly refused the offer.

But let’s parse the offer anyway.  On the first part of the offer, why would Paul ever willingly give up his identity?  Even if Best Buddy follows through on his word and drops Paul from the lawsuit, which would be an interesting concept, Paul would have provided Best Buddy with everything he needs for another lawsuit in the future.  Or when Best Buddy crosses the line with someone else who sues him, which is very close to have happen at the moment.  A fact that I know he is completely clueless about.  So let’s say Best Buddy did drop Paul from the lawsuit, when this person in the wings does their thing, Best Buddy could counterclaim and add Paul back.  In other words, Paul gets nothing out of the deal.

As for the rest, they are even sillier.  If Best Buddy is right and Hoge’s suit is seconds away from being dismissed, then the agreement between Paul and Hoge is meaningless.  If Best Buddy is wrong, then the agreement has nothing to do with Best Buddy.  The first step of an infringement suit is ensuring that the claimed infringement occurred to copyrighted works and the person bringing suit is the person who holds the copyright.  That is between Hoge and the Judge, and has nothing to do with Paul or Best Buddy.  As Best Buddy likes to claim, it has yet to be determined if Paul did write defamatory or libelous comments.  An agreement to this would be meaningless, as if Paul doesn’t believe he’s libeled Best Buddy, he wouldn’t change it at all.  As for the apology, I find that laughable on its face, considering the things Best Buddy wrote about Hoge’s wife that he’s yet to apologize for, and what Paul wrote was a parody of that post.

Best Buddy wasn’t negotiating in good faith, nor was he attempting to truly negotiate at all.  And that may be his biggest mistake and why his recent boasting is a ride for failure.  Best Buddy knows almost nothing about Paul.  I’m not claiming to have inside information into the man behind the pseudonym, but this doxing, which may well be inevitable, is a potential bombshell.  Only not on who Best Buddy thinks.

Paul may be a malnourished teenager living in his mother’s dank basement with cheese curl powder on his face.  In that case, Best Buddy most likely will be right, and it will be devastating to Paul.  Or Paul could be a wealthy owner of a business, with lawyers on retainer for days.  That would be devastating to Best Buddy.  I suspect Paul is somewhere between these two extremes, and that makes it even tricker.  Best Buddy has no idea what Paul’s resources are, and once he finds out it will be too late to do anything but deal with the fallout.

That’s not wise.  I’ve always been told that in legal issues, never ask a question you don’t already know the answer too.  Best Buddy has no idea what the answer to the question he’s asked will be.  Claiming victory before Paul is even known, much less responded to the counterclaims is gutsy, but not smart. Paul said it best in the heavily edited comments on his own blog.

2. On Bill Schmalfeldt

I’ve had a change of heart on the issue of Bill Schmalfeldt, so I’m going to man up about it and do what I should.  I am going to apologize.

Bill, I don’t believe I’ve ever mentioned your Parkinson’s.  I also don’t believe I’ve ever mocked you for it, at least not intentionally.  I haven’t scrubbed through every comment I’ve ever made concerning you, so it is quite possible that I did without realizing it.  For example, I know I’ve called you Cabin Boy, but at the time I thought you chose that name for yourself.  I may have used a phrase someone else used to make fun of your Parkinson’s without realizing it was about your condition.  I don’t think so, but I’ll admit it may have happened.

What I did do is not fully understand the seriousness of the condition, and for that I apologize in complete honesty and sincerity.

Bill, you are not innocent in this affair.  I don’t appreciate the blackmail attempt you made on me here at my own blog.  I think other things, such as the blackmail attempt you currently have on Perfect Tommy and how you handled other doxes have been proper or above board, no mater how you attempt to spin them in your mind.

But what I didn’t really understand is what Parkinson’s had done to you.  I now cringe at the comments on various blogs making fun of you for not having a life.  I understand how angry you must be at Hoge and others.  I now see that your life IS the internet.  You practically do live in a virtual world.  And I can honestly see that from your perspective, the world you thought you controlled has been polluted by the people you rail against.

I’m not going to participate in that any longer.

That’s not to say I trust you, Bill.  That’s to say I have a new respect for your condition.  I fully understand what this could lead to.  I could be inviting the same amount of pollution into my virtual world as you found in yours.  That’s okay, I can take it.  But after reading an eloquent post by another Alabama Blogger that I have shamefully lost the link to, I feel I owe you that.  You commented on the post, so if you would, I’d love for you to leave me the link in comments.

Before you do, and in case (as I think to be true) several other commenters here will know the post I’m talking about, that is not me saying I agree with everything in the post.  I don’t.  I think it is one sided and doesn’t treat your actions with the truth as to the damage you have also done to others.  But it brought home some points that have lead me to this.

As such, I give you my word that I will do my best not to belittle you.  I offer no such promises to your ideas or words.  I don’t suddenly like you, but I can and will show enough respect that I won’t intentionally belittle you as a person.  And, at my discretion, I’ll attempt to moderate others comments here.

I also won’t ban you from posting comments, but I will hold your comments to my rules because this is my bandwidth.  All comments here are moderated, so feel free to let me know when something is private and I won’t publish the comment.

This may be a weak offering to you.  By offering it to you, I may loose the readership I’ve gained so you’ll just be talking to me.  I can live with that too.  I’ve been blogging for decades about stuff I care about that no one else does, so I can return to that in a heartbeat.  But this is the best I can offer you.

3. On blogfare

I enjoy a good heated discussion.  So on one hand, blogfare is fun.  But when blogfare spills over into lawsuits, that’s silly.  I’ve not been harassed to any great degree, so I’m not sure what I’d do if a blogfare opponent stepped over the line.  I’m sure I have a line where I’ll do like others did.  I hope that line is never crossed.  But come on folks, it’s blogfare.  It’s not all there is to life.  Took another ride on the motorcycle today, and this post was bouncing around inside my head.  And I had to force myself to remember that blogfare isn’t that important.  Instead of looking at the sites I was passing, I was thinking about this and that’s just wrong.  Be present in your moments as they come.  This isn’t everything.  This isn’t even real life.  It’s a fun distraction, but that’s all it should be.

Doom Clock Journalism

So I discovered a vicious and vile scam that was perpetrated on me.  Following in the footsteps of the great Investigative Journalist and this blogs Best Buddy Bill Schmalfeldt, I used aggressive journalism to get to the truth.

First I contacted the two people responsible for the scam and gave them a Doom Clock of 15 minutes to answer my questions, or else.  Only one of the two, I hate to admit that I didn’t have much hope of convincing since the or else was a complete doxing of his arse and he’d already been doxed.  But the other has tried to hide his identity for far too long.  So I figured he’d fold first.  I was wrong.

It seems that @PalatinePundit was the weak link in the scam.  He folded to my doom clock like a wet tee shirt contest and I quickly saw everything.  After leaving my sweaty palm happy place, the other scammer, Paul Krendel, just mocked me.

So I did the research. I have the story.  And I will follow through with my doom clock.  So here is the scam and the doxing, in that order.

The Scam

Here’s how the scam went down.  Paul and PP pulled a complete and total falsity on the internet.  It started when PP posted the following on twitter:

Screenshot 2014-06-03 16.38.10Paul then kicked into action and started posting and convincing others to post on their blogs that PP lost his job and to speculate that it was because of this blog’s Best Buddy, Bill Schmalfeldt. That’s when I noticed it. Clearly this blog’s Best Buddy saw it too and, in a now memory holed post on his blog, detailed the horrific experience he had getting a well justified peace order against the scammer, PP.

Then yesterday, PP posts this on his twitter feed:Screenshot 2014-06-03 16.49.51

Now I’m starting to smell a rat.  And by rat, I mean a scam.  So I doom clocked both Paul and PP to admit to the scam and Paul refused.  But my doom clock demands worked with PP and he told me everything.  And by doom clock, I mean I politely asked and he politely answered.

So here’s the scam.  PP knew on Friday that when he made that twit about losing his job, he would also be starting a new job on Monday.  In other words, PP never missed a single day of work, he just changed employers!  The dastardly scam!  Paul was in the know as well, and he made his post for the sole purpose of poking the bear, which by bear I mean this blog’s Best Buddy Bill Schmalfeldt.

This blog’s Best Buddy Bill Schmalfeldt even tried to argue that he wasn’t involved with PP losing his job. But no one would listen because the scam was already in place and in full swing.

And I was harmed by this scam!  How, you ask?  Simple.  I made a post about the questionable seeking of a peace order by this blog’s Best Buddy Bill Schmalfeldt. That blog post started a horrible upward spiral of page views and visitors that CONTINUES TO THIS DAY!  I mean, I’m actually starting to make money off this blog for the first time ever, and it’s all because of this scam.  And it is supposed to just be a hobby!  I’m ANGRY! Plus, this blog’s Best Buddy Bill Schmalfeldt got a boo boo and an atomic wedgie, all because of THIS SCAM!  Where is the justice in that?

Now since PP gave up the goods to my Doom Clock Demand, by which I mean I asked nicely and he answered nicely, I have forgiven PP for his involvement in this scam.  Because I’m human and don’t have to stoop to the level of WJJ Hoge and his evil band of Pink Skittles.  No, I am human, so I will forgive PP for his role.  But PP better not bring me into any more of discontinued fuckery.

But Paul I do not forgive.  I gave him the Doom Clock Demand and he mocked me, by which I mean I didn’t contact him at all and he has no idea what’s coming next. And that’s why I went to the trouble to Dox him.

The Doxing

Yes, I did it.  You better believe I did.  I took a page right out of this blog’s Best Buddy Bill Schmalfeldt playbook and I doxed the scammer.  Now follow along close, it gets involved.

PP posted his twit on Friday.  On Saturday I went and got lost, by which I mean I took my motorcycle for an epic ride with other bikers.  But all day I felt I was being pulled back into this mess.  Now I know why.  First, take a look at this picture: slenderbike
That’s a picture I took at one of the first stops of the day.  Since I’m an Aggressive Investigative Journalist, I’ll disclose that my bike is not in that picture.  But that doesn’t matter, we have a doxing going on.  Do you see anything wrong with that picture?  I didn’t at first either. But through my Aggressive Investigative Journalist skills, I managed to figure out the truth!  Look at this close up of the very far bike in this picture:slenderbikecropSee it now?  Creepy.  But what’s even creepier is that it shows up in every picture I took on the ride!  See!Slenderharbor Slenderbike2

That’s just creepy.  I mean, what is that thing?  As a true Investigative Journalist I must admit my bike IS in that last picture.  But it doesn’t matter, on with the doxing!  I did a little research by first tracing Paul’s various IP addresses, since he’s commented on this blog several times.  And that’s when I noticed that on that Saturday, several of his IP addresses were just a single digit off of MY IP addresses.  In other words, Paul was following me and his cell phone was on the SAME NETWORK AS MINE!

Looking at the rest of the IP addresses, and they jump around ALL OVER THE PLACE.  He once posted to my blog from Singapore!  Then just minutes later from London.  The man GETS THE FUCK AROUND!

So let’s do the math.

  1. Paul was near me on the ride and posted to my blog from the SAME CELL TOWER I was using.
  2. These pictures show the same “thing” following me around on the same day
  3. Paul moves as if he can transport ALL OVER THE WORLD

The math is simple.  1+2+3= PAUL KRENDLER IS SLENDERMAN!

God, I bet this blog’s Best Buddy Bill Schmalfeldt is happy he dropped that lawsuit!  And it’s something he should think about in his response to the WJJ Hoge Copyright Infringment lawsuit.  I mean, if Hoge is willing to get into a contractual agreement with Slenderman, Hoge is capable of just about anything.

And that, Ladies and Gentlemen, is how you do Doom Clock Journalism RIGHT!!!!11!!!!

 

An Update and more on Doxing.

Late last night I posted about Doxing.  The lawsuit I surmised was at least partially about doxing Paul Krendler is dead.  You can read Judge Blake’s order in full on Hogewash!  Rereading the post, it is clear that I got caught up in a specific case about Doxing and didn’t really explain the issue of why Doxing is good or bad.

Ultimately Doxing is about exposing personally identifiable information about a person or persons on the Internet.  Sometimes, as in the case of White Hat Doxing, the intention is to embarrass someone who is doing rude, crude and socially unacceptable things on the internet to shaming.  For example, say an upstanding member of society is secretly also trying to host revenge porn, that might be viewed by some as White Hat Doxing.

But White Hat and Black Hat Doxing is all about putting sensitive and private information about a person out to as large an audience as possible.  Some claim it is for journalistic endeavors, but I have worked in the news business on and off for nearly 20 years, and I can’t recall any local or national station or paper revealing a newsworthy subject’s home address, work address, phone numbers, spouse’s work numbers, children’s names and more unless it directly and indisputably supported the story.  Usually “legitimate” news sources are much more circumspect about such sensitive information.

For example, A is accused of murdering B in B’s south side home.  That gives plenty of details and there is no need to reveal the exact address.  It might be mentioned that A was employed at B’s Computer Design Firm “X”, but the phone number is irrelevant.

To make a data dump of all this personal information is really not something real journalists would do.  It would undermine their authority and respectability.  And threatening to Dox someone, or reveal entire family personal data, to obtain a comment would make future sources even less likely to come forward.  So I don’t buy the concept that Doxing could ever serve real journalistic aims.

Instead, Doxing is designed not to be a journalist, but to be a harasser.  It is the most vile type of harassment I can think of, since the intention is not for the person Doxing to actively harass, but to know that there is a minority of people who will start to harass the individuals exposed.  I’m not saying a journalist wouldn’t gather all the information I’m talking about.  They do.  But they don’t publish any more than is required to tell the story.

A great real world example of what I’m talking about is the George Zimmerman case.  News media around the country knew exactly where Zimmerman lived.  They didn’t publish it, because his home address wasn’t relevant to the case.  Actress Roseanne Barr thought it was a vital bit of information, and tweeted the address to her followers.  Barr is well known as an anti-gun activist, and needless to say a minority of her followers took it upon themselves to call up and harass the Zimmermans, including threats of violence.  The Zimmermans had to flee their home as a result.  A lawsuit in that case has been filed.

I don’t think anyone could argue that Barr acted in good faith as a journalist in tweeting that information.  I think it is reasonable to assume that she released that information with the hope that her followers would do exactly what they did.  I won’t go into the morality of a anti-gun violence advocate using threats of violence against a family.  Even if you find George Zimmerman repulsive, there is no need to bring his innocent parents to the point of death threats and threats of violence.

This is why the Society of Profession Journalists have, in the code of ethics, an entire section entitled Minimize Harm.  The gist of the section is basically don’t be an asshole.  The fact that you know something doesn’t make it newsworthy or relevant.  Journalist are expected to handle subjects with dignity and care.  That’s not to say that aren’t supposed to tell the truth, but they don’t have to tell ever tiny tidbit of truth.

If Doxing were the journalistic norm, imagine what every news story would read like.  Bob Smith is suspected of Murder by the Morgan County Sheriffs Department.  Smith is 6’4″ tall, weighs 320 pounds and has dark curly hair.  Smith suffers from alcoholism, narcotics addiction and gambling addiction.  Smith lives in a white and yellow rancher found at 123 Main Street.  He is employed by Madison Metal Works which is located at 456 1st Street and can be reached at 123-555-4242.  He is married to Jane Smith, who is 5’8″, weighs 136 pounds and has long blonde hair. Their home phone number is 123-456-7890.  Mrs. Smith is currently employed at the 401(c)3 charity Godly Overtures of Fatherhood.  Their number is 123-555-6969.  They have two children, Heather, 10, and Rebecca, 8.  The children attend school at Yuck Fu Elementary school.  Heather, who is 4’9″ and has wavy black hair, plays softball for the Yuck Fu Ninjas while Rebecca attends dance class at Jillian’s School of Dance studying Tap and Hip Hop.  The murder took place….

I think you get the picture.

Journalists don’t do that.  Because it causes harm.  First, Bob hasn’t been convicted of anything, yet.  So revealing all this information is willfully putting his family at risk and under scrutiny for something they are not accused of doing.  Journalist would never identify children who were not central to the story, and even then most likely wouldn’t considering their age.  This just isn’t how journalist operate.

So I guess it is safe to say I don’t hold with the argument that doxing someone is a journalistic endeavor and is instead a form of social shaming at best and outright harassment at worse.  And people who engage in this activity should be ashamed of themselves.

 

On the issue of Doxing, with update!

Ever heard of Doxing?  If not, then you are a blessed soul transversing the internets.  According to the Urban Dictionary, Doxing is:

Doxing is a technique of tracing someone or gather information about an individual using sources on the internet. Its name is derived from “Documents” or “Docx”. Doxing method is based purely on the ability of the hacker to recognize valuable information about his target and use this information to his benefit. It is also based around the idea that, “The more you know about your target, the easier it will be to find his or her flaws”

More often than not, when someone is doxing, they are attempting to discover an anonymous internet user’s real life identity.  There are white hat doxers, who go after the real life identity of people who cause harm on the internet.  One example would be the work of Adam Steinbaugh who doxes those who put up revenge porn websites.  Steinbaugh has helped women who have had their private pictures posted on revenge porn websites file lawsuits against the sites and the people behind them.

There are also black hat doxers.  These people attempt to dox people for harassment and terror.  Or to file frivolous lawsuits against them, to harass them.  In these situations, the doxers are out to hurt their targets, revealing their real identity, home address, spouses, kids and any other shameful proclivity they may have.  Sometimes it is for revenge.  Sometimes it is for spite.  Sometimes, its for Bill Schmalfeldt.

If you’ve never heard of Bill Schmalfeldt (BS), again count yourself lucky.  I find BS to be a hack writer who has delusions of grandeur.  He calls himself a “investigative journalist” and considers doxing targets and their entire family as part of that job.  He has written some truly vile things about other people, all as a way to get revenge on them for their insults and alleged harassment.  I will warn you now that the following example is truly vile and disturbing.  The link I’m about to share is not from a site BS controls, because BS memory holed (deleted) the entire thing.  I’ll talk more about the site I’m sending you to in a minute, but for now here is an example of BS’s literary expertise.

For those of you smart enough not to follow that link, BS has a long running problem with WJJ Hoge who runs the Hogewash! blog.  This is a fictional work designed to defame Hoge, but includes his wife and son in some very vile and disgusting ways.

The person behind that site is Paul Krendler, a anonymous blogger who started by writing a parodies of BS’s work.  Paul first work was a parody of that very post of BS’s.  The parody is far funnier, but more vile and disgusting than the original.

BS wasn’t very happy with that parody.  So unhappy that back in April, when he was on a spree of writing and self publishing books to ebook and publish on demand resellers almost daily, he decided that the post was a fine example of “right wing nuts” real feelings about him that he copied the post, almost in total, in his book.  According to Paul, BS copied 79% of his post and that 79% was 80% of the chapter.  The other 20% included his rational for using so much of the post.  Since I have not read the book, I have to rely on Paul’s report of what the book said.

  1. In my opinion, you stole my work. You may think otherwise, but you are wrong, and a court will agree.
  2. Worse than stealing my work, you stripped the context.  It was parody, clearly identified as parody, parody of your own work, but that didn’t paint you correctly as the victim, did it? So you stripped that context out like the spineless coward you are.
  3. Even then I might have let it slide, but you know you violated the copyright.  You said so right on page 5.  You as much as dared me to come get you.  So, I found a way to make it happen.

Side note.  This quote from Paul’s blog is used with permission.

What did Paul do to make that happen?  He sold the book and e-book rights to WJJ Hoge.  Why would he do this?  Because Paul wanted to remain anonymous.  As is his right.

I’m not going to pretend insider knowledge of how the rights were sold.  It isn’t any of my business.  But since WJJ Hoge has an extensive back ground in the music business, which entire revenue is based off the appropriate selling and trading of copyright, I’m more than willing to assume Hoge knew what he was doing when he purchased the rights.

Why did WJJ Hoge want to purchase those rights?  I don’t know.  My guess is that the original post that Paul’s parody was based on was a collection of vile and vicious lies hidden as fiction.  Hoge may have wanted revenge.  Hoge may have wanted to help a fellow blogger protect his copyright.  I don’t know.  What I do have information and belief is that WJJ Hoge purchased those rights.

This did not sit well with BS.  It sat even less with BS when Hoge exercised his newly acquired rights to file a DCMA takedown notice of BS’s book containing the copyright infringement.  BS refuses to believe that the rights were actually sold.  So does this investigative journalist investigate?  No, he makes demands.  Threatening demands.  In fact, according to several captured tweets (the accounts have sense been canceled) he accused Paul of fraud and his only way out of of this fraud is to produce the contract for his review.

Unfortunately for BS, Paul is well aware of his rights and knows that he is under no obligation to provide BS with a copy of the contract.  BS wasn’t a party to the private contract and had no right to see what the contract said.  Did his lack of rights stop him from threatening?  Nope.  He doubled down on the threats.

I can’t imagine that BS is so stupid that he can’t realize he has no right to that information without filing a lawsuit.  So the only reason that I can see that he was threatening to get the contract was he wanted to find out the name Paul used to sign away the rights.  In other words, BS was attempting to dox.

Unfortunately for BS, it is quite possible that Paul signed away the rights without revealing in the contract who he really is.  It happens all the time in the business world.  A great example is when Disney was buying up land for Disney World in Florida.  Disney lawyer Robert Foster, under the pseudonym of Robert Price started the buying spree so as to not inflate the price of the land.  I’ve no reason not to believe that Paul and Hoge weren’t smart enough to do something similar.

BS is outraged.  Paul isn’t bulging and Hoge is laughing.  Now it is of even greater importance to BS to find out who this Paul fellow really is.  Since BS was already under a restraining order to not contact Hoge, a restraining order that was extended six months because of BS’s inability to abide by it, BS decides to first bring pressure on Hoge through his wife, buy sending an email to her.  BS denies that he sent it, and I might be willing to give him the benefit of the doubt… except that Hoge has some pretty compelling evidence on his site about why BS either sent it, or knows who did.

Side Note: In Maryland, where the “restraining order” was issued, they are called Peace Orders.  I chose to use the term restraining order because that is more familiar to more people.

Of course, Hoge did write a DMCA takedown notice on the book containing Paul’s post (or at least 79% of Paul’s post.)  This was not the first time a DMCA takedown notice was used by someone to take down a book by BS.  But from what I can tell (and trust me, I’m not in the inner loop of this issue, but an interested onlooker) it was the first time that BS filed a DMCA counter claim.  (If anyone knows I’m wrong, I’ll update this.)

A brief explanation of DMCA takedown notices are needed here, for those unaware.  DMCA stands for the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.  One of the aspects of the act is the ability to submit a DCMA takedown notice.  It is intended to inform large distributers of other peoples copyrighted works about infringements.  Think Amazon.  Think Web Hosting Providers.  They don’t vet every webpage or ebook on their sites, they assume if a publisher asks them to distribute it, the publisher has all the rights squared away.  When someone gets a DMCA takedown notice, they “take down” the allegedly infringing material.  Sending a DCMA takedown is serious business.  But it doesn’t stop there, if the creator of a work thinks the DMCA takedown notice was filed incorrectly, then the original complainant has 14 days to file a copyright infringement lawsuit against the creator, otherwise the distributor will return the work to distribution.

Again, I believe that BS filed the counterclaim because he was attempting to dox Paul.  Once BS filed the counterclaim to the DMCA takedown, if Hoge was to defend his rights he would have to take it to court.  There was no other way to do it.  BS had called the bluff, and I truly believe he thought he would never see a lawsuit.

The next step in the dox was for BS himself to file a lawsuit.  And he did so on May 20, 2014.  In this suit, which didn’t get fully filed until May 27th, 2014 because of how the Federal Courts work, BS alleges a laundry lists of things against ten Defendants.  Hoge is, of course, one of the Defendants.  But what was interesting to me was the final defendant on the list.  Paul.

As far as I know, Hoge was the first to publish the lawsuit on his website. Reading it was entertaining, and not for the reasons that BS would want.  The lawsuit is full of problems.  Since the lawsuit is brand new, and BS has time to amend, I’ll refrain from commenting on anything that I see wrong with the complaint.  And I can’t point out anything wrong with the defendant’s responses since none have been filed.  In fact, at this point, BS hasn’t gotten permission to issue summons, the lawsuit is still under review by a judge to see if it will go forward.

Concerning the issue at hand in this point is the rather flimsy accusations that it makes against Paul.  There are three direct accusations against Paul in the lawsuit.  I’ll cover each one, and why they are so flimsy.

In paragraph 59, BS recounts a series of comments on a post at Hogwash!  Paul made a comment to that post, in which he says:

It looks like the question has been answered on point below, but I must say I am feeling absolutely zero risk regarding the blog post which led to the DMCA takedown.

There is an electronic agreement between myself and our host, and it was a value-for-value exchange. I can also say that, almost purely for spite, my proceeds from the deal were donated to the National Parkinson’s Foundation.

There is not a single doubt in my mind that both John and I are safely protected by that agreement.

And besides the actual material terms of the deal, I got something more, which is only of value to me.

I’m feeling fully armored right about now. There’s not a single thing false about that takedown.

Let him come.

Side note: This is the copyrighted work of Paul.  I used it without permission since it is now in a public document filed with a federal court.  Although I suspect I would have been granted permission had I asked.

At no point in the surrounding paragraphs does it explain why this comment is defamatory or libel.  In fact, the only time BS is mentioned in the comment is in the phrase “Let him come.”  This hardly sets Paul up for defamation and libel.

A short bit later, BS makes another accusation at Paul in paragraph 61.  This time it was a tweet.  Paragraph 61 is reproduced below.

On Mother’s Day, May 4, 2014, knowing that Defendant Heather was using a photograph of Plaintiff’s deceased mother as his avatar, Defendant Krendler tweeted to Defendant Heather and Defendant Hoge, “I’m looking for a special (avatar) for Mother’s Day – Any Suggestions?”

A reminder that Krendler is Paul Krendler, who I’ve been referring to as Paul.  Again, nothing about that tweet is defamatory of libelous.  My guess is that he is attempting to show intentional infliction of emotional distress against Paul, but that is a far reach.  BS isn’t named, BS’s mother isn’t named.  Besides, libel law has clearly and for a long time stated that you can’t libel the dead, and the living can’t use Emotional Distress as an attempt to get around that law.  As such, the tweet is absolutely protected speech.

Again at paragraph 67, BS has a new accusation against Paul.

Defendant Krendler response to all above, “I respectfully disagree. He’s a poopstain that needs to be shoved back up that arsehole.”

Again, this isn’t libel. To be libel, you need to have an untrue statement of fact.  There is no untrue statement of fact in that tweet, unless BS honestly believes that a reasonable person will actually believe that Paul is saying that BS is a literal poopstain.  Since it is a far flung fantasy that a human being can possibly be a poopstain, this is clearly an opinion.  Opinions are absolutely protected by the First Amendment.  I’ve already shared my opinion that BS is quite a poor writer.  That’s an opinion, not a fact.  It is not libelous.  BS has no action here.

The only other mention of Paul in the complaint is the fact that he had sold rights to Hoge.  That’s not actionable either, since it is perfectly legal to sell your copyrights to other people.

In other words, Paul has no business being a defendant in this lawsuit, and I firmly believe that of all the defendants named in the suit, Paul will quickly get a dismissal with sanctions.  (I also think that most everyone else will get swift dismissal and most with sanctions, but that’s beside the point.)

I also believe that BS believes he was wronged, and that’s why he filed this lawsuit.  But I firmly believe that the only reason that BS included Paul, with such weak and obviously not libelous accusations was for the chance to dox Paul.

After filing a lawsuit and getting it approved, the next step would be for the judge to authorize BS to issue summons.  But BS doesn’t know who Paul is.  Since Paul isn’t a party to the suit until he is summoned, BS needs to get permission from the court to try and figure out who he is so he can be summoned.  The court will most likely grant permission.  Which means that BS will be able to force IP addresses from any internet service that Paul has used, including Hogewash!, Twitter and WordPress.  Once he has the IP addresses that Paul used to access those sites, BS can force the ISPs that own those IP addresses to give him the client information associated with the addresses.  In other words, Paul will be doxed.

There are a few problems with that theory.  Paul may be quite the internet wiz, and only accesses those site through various means that will disguise his real IP address and the information BS will receive will lead him nowhere.  Paul may also waive the need to summon, and through a lawyer remain anonymous as well.  There are several other avenues Paul can use to remain anonymous, but I’m sure he’s aware of them, and why give more away?

But the plot thickens.  BS posted a letter on another website saying he was withdrawing the lawsuit.  This happened on May 22, 2014.  That letter requesting the withdrawal of the lawsuit was entered into the case on May 28, 2014.  It is currently unclear if that is enough to quash the lawsuit.

Why would BS attempt to withdraw the lawsuit?  I choose to believe his reason in the letter, foul as it is, that his health would suffer if he moved forward.  Perhaps he realized the whopper of a job it will be to answer ten defendants answers to the complaint.  Under the rules of Federal Court, there are timelines BS would have to maintain to prevent an automatic judgement on those answers.  Then there will be, without a doubt, ten well written motions to dismiss with sanctions.  BS couldn’t afford to miss the timeline on any of those, or the case would quickly fall apart.  Assuming he got past all that, and Discovery begins, BS would be answering, with timelines again, questions from all ten defendants.  As you can see, this could quickly snowball.  Defendants can discuss the case with each other, and they can time their responses such that they overlap.  The stress would be enormous, so I choose to believe that his health really did drive his decision to attempt and stop the lawsuit.

Whatever the reason, one of the fallouts of this will be that BS will not be able to dox Paul via this lawsuit, it would seem.  But there is a new wrinkle to consider.

Remember I said that BS filed a DMCA counterclaim to Hoge’s DMCA takedown notice?  After BS filed his lawsuit, and admittedly after he mailed his request to withdraw said suit, Hoge filed a copyright infringement lawsuit of his own against BS. Paul isn’t completely out of the woods yet.  I believe Hoge intends to move forward with his suit.  At some point, Hoge will have to prove he owns the rights to Paul’s post.  I guess we will see how well Hoge and Paul protected Paul’s identity at that time.

But until then, BS’s attempt to dox Paul has failed at every turn.

UPDATE:  As of today, May 29th, 2014, BS’s lawsuit against Hoge, Paul and 8 other defendants has been dismissed without prejudice.  That gives BS the ability to file again.  With the Hoge suit still ongoing, it would behoove BS to at least wait until after that.