Flutterby™! : the range of my domain

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the range of my domain

2006-01-13 17:21:59.853176+00 by Dan Lyke 7 comments

You may remember that a while back I got a claim of ownership for Flutterby.com. I recently got follow-up email, the first was moderately conciliatory, but they got a little more belligerent, asking that I remove that thread. The legal threats haven't come yet, but I've a feeling they will, and he's basing his claims on two things:

  1. That I had no right to publish the threats emails he sent me.
  2. That I'm violating his privacy rights by allowing the personal information in that thread to remain on the web.

Ignoring the thorny "right to privacy" legal question [grin], if any of y'all have legal references off the top of your head on those two topics, drop it in here. I know there's good support for both publishing one end of a letter, especially when that letter is a claim, and republishing information available elsewhere... well... the Cryptome folks have pushed the limits of that, but decisions I can use should I have to give an info packet to lawyers would be handy.

So far I've refused. My rationale is that until I trust that he's not a threat to the web in general it's important to have identifying information so that other people who may be threatened see that others are standing up to him.

[ related topics: Privacy Flutterby Meta Law Civil Liberties ]

comments in ascending chronological order (reverse):

#Comment Re: made: 2006-01-13 20:08:25.901276+00 by: mvandewettering

As usual, the usual "I am not a lawyer" disclaimer applies.

Regarding the second claim, that you are violating his privacy rights by publishing personal information about him, that seems, on the face of it rather absurd. When one registers a domain and is asked to supply an address, there is no expectation of privacy: the resulting application is registering an address under which business is conducted. Since this information was given out by the applicant himself, it seems absurd to suggest that this information represents any private information.

I don't know much about the law regarding the first issue, but it might be fun to register your defense at chillingeffects.org/input.cgi

I suspect you could already file under "Documenting your Domain Defense".

#Comment Re: made: 2006-01-13 21:10:58.354459+00 by: ziffle

Well... you can't copyright a 'term' - the term flutterby has already been trademarked by several people, but not by him , and nothing to do with a blog. As I said last year you should file a trademark application and trademark the term now as a blog.

I would ignore him. If his book takes off sue him for using your website name without your permission. He owes you for the publicity! I suggest you sell shares in the lawsuit and let the flutterby community contribute money for the purpose of winning the lawsuit.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-01-13 21:32:46.539544+00 by: topspin

I don't know if he's somehow making his email into a copyright issue, but he can't get far unless he registered it before he sent it.

I further note his previous response said "The next time you hear from me if will be through them" (his attorney) yet, I'm assuming, he contacted you instead of an attorney? Given that, I would suggest he's blowing smoke and/or baiting you to post one of his new emails, which I'm betting he's asked you not to post or somesuch..... and I wouldn't.

I note the domain in question seems to have expired and before expiration it seems to have been put under a "privacy protection service" offered by the registrar. I guess that's his beef?

Either way, I'm getting lots more noise than signal from his claims.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-01-13 22:09:33.010959+00 by: Dan Lyke

Yeah, I've asked Meuon to go back and edit out the mailing address (if I do it I turn the comments portion of Flutterby into a publication rather than a service and possibly incur all sorts of legal issues, per the Prodigy decision way back when), I believe that the domain in question is still registered to him, he's just decided to take it private. The latest message to me indicates that that is, in fact, a friend's address, so I'd imagine that there's pressure there.

Overall I get the feeling of someone who's not in sync with the world, who kind of knows what he wants to accomplish but isn't socially or technically adjusted enough to figure out what's going on. So I kind of feel sorry for the guy, on the other hand I'm loathe to blink because this is not just about something I've put a lot of heart and energy into, it's also about general principles in what happens to the net and the world around me.

#Comment Re: made: 2006-01-14 05:07:50.22933+00 by: meuon

Good insight: "not socially or technically adjusted" - but that doesn't mean a lot of legal BS (and expenses) can't be generated before a techno-IP savvy judge thwacks him. But my normal position is: Until something is filed against you, it's all background noise.

Anything I get in e-mail, even with the 39 lines of legal mumbo-jumbo about private person to person communications, is.. well.. mine and subject to public ridicule. His domain registration and other information is PUBLIC information. If he's so concerned about it, he must have things to hide, and people with things to hide don't scare me.

#Comment A fine place for threats made: 2006-01-16 10:54:45.742097+00 by: None really


#Comment Re: made: 2006-01-17 14:40:06.065494+00 by: OnceShy

My understanding is that email, like regular mail, once received then becomes the property of the recipient who is free to do with the mail whatever they wish, including the publication of all content regardless of privacy issues. While the sender may object, once the mail is sent it is no longer the property of the sender.