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The Mormon Curtain & Copyright Threats
 
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From Infymus at The Mormon Curtain [x-posted with permission]:

 

Recently the Mormon Discussions board was taken down by a DMCA action by a Mormon claiming ownership of an image that was hot linked (displayed on the forum by hot linking). The MDB host pulled the DNS entry at the ISP level effectively wiping MDB off the map for several days.

It appears that a new kind of website warfare has been created. If you cannot silence the critics, then use legal means to bring them down. This very reminiscent of Scientology.

Recently two persons who go by "Joseph" and "Mahonri" who are brothers have taken it upon themselves to enforce copyright on both the Mormon Discussions and Ex-Mormon Forum boards. If they see copyright issues, they immediately report those issues to the copyright holder, thus putting either board in jeopardy. These two individuals were neither assigned nor asked to do this; they have taken it upon themselves to "police" the boards. This is a warning shot out to all Ex-Mormon or recovery boards, be aware that this kind of action is now being used routinely by the critics of the critics, the apologists and some very unscrupulous individuals who believe it is their duty to do so.

To protect the Ex-Mormon Forums, the "IMG" tag allowing inline hot linking of images has been completely disabled. The Moderators are also cracking down further on any material that falls outside of "fair use".

This morning I received a threatening email from a person calling himself "Mahonri Moriancumer" that he would be bringing legal action against me for material posted on the Mormon Curtain. He did not state what material it was that failed "Fair Use". Obviously Mahonri - who I banned from the Ex-Mormon Forums - is now pushing it to a new level of website policing.

So, are you the person to contact on mormoncurtain.com issues? The legal agent for service of process? Let me know so I can prepare for future activity concerning the site. Defending it can be very expensive, especially when the person who challenges your use has the backing of unlimited lawyers, funds and/or time on their hands and a legal background.
I have contacted my attorney and a couple of very close Ex-Mormon friends who are attorneys. For the moment there will be some reorganization of material on the Mormon Curtain. The Mormon Curtain is being reorganized under the direction of legal counsel. You may notice some pages are missing while they are being reformatted.

I am fully prepared to challenge anyone who brings copyright claims against the Mormon Curtain. I am also prepared to sue to the fullest extent possible should the claim be unjustified.

This is most likely just sabre-rattling.  This "Mahonri Moriancumer" likely has no standing to bring a lawsuit. This alert has already been made at the Mormon Discussions board.

 

Nevertheless, all posters should familiarize themselves with Fair Use Copyright so 1) You nor 2) Jeff/PostMo, et.al. get in trouble.  I don't know if you're familiar with Righthaven and their antics... but my dear friend, Pam, over at Pam's House Blend ended up settling with those weasels to the tune of several thousand dollars.  It has taken several suits ending up in court for the justice system to recognize that Righthaven is full of hot air... and some folks have lost nearly everything.

 

And do NOT hotlink photos!

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The above post is merely the experience, observation and perspective of a NeverMo, offered in support of the members of PostMormon.org


“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” aka: “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” — “The Handmaid’s Tale” ...Margaret Atwood


“Nearly 7 billion people on the planet, hurting one person’s feelings really isn’t a big deal. You’ll find other friends. Better ones that won’t try to force feed you pig shit.” — General Smith

 

 
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I think the community would do well to look at the history of other cults with litigious reputations. As the Mormon cult becomes smaller and feels more threatened, the organization will become more legally antagonistic (not just these yahoo's taking it upon themselves to threaten lawsuits, but the actual COJCOLDS organization itself) .  

 

When dealing with litigious cults, side stepping prolonged legal fights and instead focusing on getting viral content out to the public has been very effective.

 

If this continues, cross posting the unique content that is on some of these sites would be in order. That gives a site operator the option of folding up shop, instead of trying to waste money on legal pissing contests. It also protects against these bogus take down requests by ensuring the material is available elsewhere. If every site is set up under a different LLC or non-profit (a small sum of money compared to fighting a lawsuit), the personal risk of running a mirror is greatly mitigated.

 

Further precautions include setting up in separate countries, with local hosting providers. Local hosting providers are usually not so quick to yank a site when some random person complains about it. Large hosting solution providers will yank your site for the smallest of complaints (i.e. don't host with GoDaddy). Mirroring each other's content (which should be released under a copyleft license to make this easier) makes it difficult to silence free speech with frivolous lawsuits and bogus DMCA takedown requests. Once viral on reddit, youtube, facebook-- it would be impossible. The assmunches would quickly figure out that their supposed "unlimited" legal resources are in actuality, quite limited.

 

 
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I had this issue come up a couple months ago. I got a letter in the mail that threatened a lawsuit because some copyrighted material was hotlinked.  I pushed back and told the person that it was his responsibility to point out specifically what material. He said, no, it's not his job.  I said fine, sue me, because I know that any attorney is going to tell you, dude you have to point out specifically where the offense is, otherwise they don't know what to rectify.  Finally he pointed out which images he claimed violated his copyrights. I deleted those images. End of issue.  That's how I plan on handling it from here on out.  I don't see it as anything to worry about.  Anyone can make threats.  Most threats are meaningless.

 

 

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I would be interested in knowing the nature of the violating photos (or other materials).  

 

Were they images of individuals?  Church leaders?   

 
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LeftGood:

I would be interested in knowing the nature of the violating photos (or other materials).  

 

Were they images of individuals?  Church leaders?   

Me too. What were they pretending to be upset with... other than our very existence? 

 

Can you still copy and paste parts of posted material? Are links okay? And what exactly is a "hotlink photo"? 

 

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In my case, the offending images were two images from a photographer's website.   They were posted in a thread about the "I'm a Mormon" ads where someone discovered that a photographer that was the subject of one of the ads has some pretty provocative images on his personal website where he showcases his work.  Somehow the powers that be in Salt Lake caught wind of this and pulled his ad.  Basically, he was embarrassed and shamed by the thread and wanted to make us pay in some way.

 

 

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ClearThoughts:

 

Can you still copy and paste parts of posted material? Are links okay? And what exactly is a "hotlink photo"? 

 

I'm not as tech savvy as many [most?] here, but I'm going to try this:

 

When you "hotlink" a photo, you're posting a pic that is actually stored on a separate website and, everytime that photo loads, it pulls bandwidth from the original site, or host.  Doing so can cost the site owner more money.  It's one of the major faux pas of 'netiquette.

 

Actually -- and Jeff, etc., please feel free to confirm/refute -- I don't believe the ExpressionEngine editor used here even allows for hotlinking as, in order to post a photo here, they are "attached" as in you have to load them directly onto the PostMormon server from your hard drive.

 

Links that lead directly to a source are OK... Cutting & pasting an entire article is NOT!   That's what the "Fair Use" link above talks about:  You're free to cite individual points and even entire paragraphs to emphasize YOUR point in a thread... all the better if you can provide a link directly to a source.  I protect myself -- and you can, too -- by avoiding ANY cites/quotes/links from this list of newspapers "represented" by the Righthaven snakes.

 

Most of them are weeklies... But the "big" dailies involved are The Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Denver Post, and The Salt Lake Tribune.  I don't even go to their websites.

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The above post is merely the experience, observation and perspective of a NeverMo, offered in support of the members of PostMormon.org


“Nolite te bastardes carborundorum” aka: “Don’t let the bastards grind you down.” — “The Handmaid’s Tale” ...Margaret Atwood


“Nearly 7 billion people on the planet, hurting one person’s feelings really isn’t a big deal. You’ll find other friends. Better ones that won’t try to force feed you pig shit.” — General Smith

 

 
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GraciesDaddy:

 

Actually -- and Jeff, etc., please feel free to confirm/refute -- I don't believe the ExpressionEngine editor used here even allows for hotlinking as, in order to post a photo here, they are "attached" as in you have to load them directly onto the PostMormon server from your hard drive.

 

We can hot link images, which is not unusual.  You're correct that the default mode of ExpressionEngine is no hot linking of images.  I changed it so we could.  Until it becomes an issue I don't see a need to go back to the default mode.  People are hotlinking all over the Internet. I think trying to prevent the practice is futile.  It's like trying to disable the copy function on all copy machines because some people might reproduce copyrighted material. I'll deal with specific issues as the come up, by deleting anything that is shown by an owner of a copyright to be in violation.  I'm not going to delete something when someone who doesn't own the copyright complains, unless they can show they're officially representing the owner.  I'm not going to be bullied by troublemakers.  For those who missed my earlier post, here's a copy of it (it's not copyrighted ):

 

--------------------------------- 

 

I had this issue come up a couple months ago. I got a letter in the mail that threatened a lawsuit because some copyrighted material was hotlinked.  I pushed back and told the person that it was his responsibility to point out specifically what material. He said, no, it's not his job.  I said fine, sue me, because I know that any attorney is going to tell you, dude you have to point out specifically where the offense is, otherwise they don't know what to rectify.  Finally he pointed out which images he claimed violated his copyrights. I deleted those images. End of issue.  That's how I plan on handling it from here on out.  I don't see it as anything to worry about.  Anyone can make threats.  Most threats are meaningless. 

 

 

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Thanks for the warning. So far no such threats have been brought against LifeAfterMormonism.net, but it's good to be aware that this is happening elsewhere.
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ClearThoughts:

 

Can you still copy and paste parts of posted material? Are links okay? And what exactly is a "hotlink photo"? 

GraciesDaddy:

 

I'm not as tech savvy as many [most?] here, but I'm going to try this:

 

When you "hotlink" a photo, you're posting a pic that is actually stored on a separate website and, everytime that photo loads, it pulls bandwidth from the original site, or host.  Doing so can cost the site owner more money.  It's one of the major faux pas of 'netiquette.

 

Actually -- and Jeff, etc., please feel free to confirm/refute -- I don't believe the ExpressionEngine editor used here even allows for hotlinking as, in order to post a photo here, they are "attached" as in you have to load them directly onto the PostMormon server from your hard drive.

 

Links that lead directly to a source are OK... Cutting & pasting an entire article is NOT!   That's what the "Fair Use" link above talks about:  You're free to cite individual points and even entire paragraphs to emphasize YOUR point in a thread... all the better if you can provide a link directly to a source.  I protect myself -- and you can, too -- by avoiding ANY cites/quotes/links from this list of newspapers "represented" by the Righthaven snakes.

 

Most of them are weeklies... But the "big" dailies involved are The Las Vegas Review-Journal, the Denver Post, and The Salt Lake Tribune.  I don't even go to their websites.

 

 

Thanks for the info GraciesDaddy and Jeff.

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