I just received this threatening email from Rex Bruce of LACDA, the "Los Angeles Center for Digital Art"
From: Rex Bruce
Subject: Disinfotainment post, possible lawsuit
May 30, 2007
Please delete the “Disinfotainment” article regarding myself, our
center and its practices from your blog. It is not accurate. Should
you not remove it I will seek assistance through our lawyers. I will
make a legal case against you, obtain a cease and desist order and
will sue you for damages and legal costs. As well, any criminal
charges which may be involved will also be reported and pursued.
This post will also be reflected as “abuse” to its respective host(s)
who will be contacted and be held liable as allowed to the extent of
applicable law. They may proceed against you with those remedies
available to them in the interests of their protection.
Please respond within 48 hours.
Los Angeles Center For Digital Art
107 West Fifth Street
Los Angeles, CA 90013
And my response, sent via email:
I will not remove the article. I notified you of this article via email the day it was published, almost a year ago. It is too late to complain now.
Note: your email, and all further correspondence, will be posted to my weblog. Your attempt to suppress this article will only draw more attention to it.
Oh how many times have I heard this story before? It is the pathetic war cry of internet flamers and bullies, “you’ll be hearing from my attorney!” And of course nothing will ever happen because the guy doesn’t even have an attorney. This sort of hollow threat inspired the internet neologism “cartooney,” denoting the imaginary attorney the flamer thinks he will hire to prosecute his lawsuit.
And it’s obvious he has no attorney, no Member of the Bar would take such a ridiculous case, they would all universally advise Rex to just forget about it. Furthermore, if he had actually consulted an attorney before sending a threatening email, he would have received legal advice not to make those threats, which could be considered barratry, a criminal misdemeanor in California.
But I know how this scenario will play out, I’ve been through this before. Rex Bruce will attempt to shut down my website by sending a threatening email to my ISP’s abuse desk. It won’t work. Perhaps then he will actually consult a real attorney, who will advise him that he has no grounds for a lawsuit, I have committed no criminal acts and no civil torts. Even if he does manage to retain a lawyer licensed to practice in Iowa and he files a lawsuit in my jurisdiction (very unlikely) the best he can achieve is a Pyrrhic Victory.
So let me offer you some friendly advice, Rex. You are digging yourself into a deep hole. Stop digging, you’re only getting in deeper. Your only winning strategy is to walk away.