Why Did ISPs Take Down Ronald Riley's Sites?

from the make-sure-you-have-a-good-ISP dept

Paul Alan Levy writes "In a new post, I consider the Dozier-Riley controversy from a different angle. Some ISPs knuckled under to Dozier's threats of trademark claims, while others stood up to him (or tried to do so). Consumers who are considering purchasing web hosting services should consider the host's record on free speech issues. I also discuss whether the CDA should be amended to provide immunity against trademark claims. "

Levy raises some excellent points. I, too, was troubled by various ISPs caving in to Dozier's complaints, when it seemed clear that there was little real legal basis for them. While I had pointed out that the ISPs should be protected by Section 230 safe harbors, Levy mentions that Dozier is relying on the fact that Section 230 exempts "intellectual property" claims, which is a loophole that Dozier is exploiting. Levy points out, as we have plenty of times in the past, that trademarks really shouldn't be considered "intellectual property" any way. They don't stem from the same part of the constitution, and they are designed to do totally different things. Trademark is really about consumer protection in protecting a buyer from being tricked into buying Bob's Cola believing he is buying Coca-Cola. It's not about "property" at all. And, of course, copyright has its own safe harbors as found in the DMCA. The fact that trademark is somehow left out seems like an accidental loophole that will hopefully be closed shortly. Still, it's troublesome that Dozier was able to get so many ISPs to shut down Riley's websites over highly questionable claims. I may dislike Riley quite a bit (and while he had been silent since the lawsuit, he showed up again last Friday in full form, insulting me repeatedly, and never even acknowledging that I've been defending his position in this lawsuit), but I will stand by his legal right to post his obnoxious websites.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous of Course, Oct 8th, 2008 @ 3:17pm

    Riley? No, really!

    "... he showed up again last Friday in full form, insulting me repeatedly, and never even acknowledging that I've been defending his position in this lawsuit)..."

    You're the enemy, Mike. In every way you must
    be proven wrong. Your defense of his position is
    obviously subterfuge. Riley won't fall for your
    clever trap.

    Actually I don't believe he thinks about it that much.
    Riley seems more like the emotional type.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Trevlac, Oct 8th, 2008 @ 3:27pm

    RJR will most definitely see this as a clever ruse to gain his trust or, failing that, get him to leave you alone. And while I'm sure we both (and most of your other readers) wish upon the aft-mentioned, there will most likely be a scathing comment. However, I sense a sincerity in your words, maybe because you could have easily railed him for it knowing you'd get the same results or maybe because I know you're a person with strong beliefs who stands up for them regardless of who they represent. After all, how can you exclude someone of a right just because you dislike them? Exactly.

    And in this same way, I defend RJR as well. He may not be the most likable of fellows but his rights are important too and the injustice of exploiting this obvious loophole must make him feel horrible.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    Evil Mike, Oct 8th, 2008 @ 4:01pm

    Re: Riley? No, really!

    Hey man,
    It's very articulate of you, in being able to type a response. And the correct spelling is nice as well...

    However, rather than expressing only opinions, could you perhaps bring some fact or logical analysis to the discourse?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 8th, 2008 @ 6:41pm

    hosting

    I used to be the admin of a hosting company and the way I understood it at the time is that, if we hosted something that conflicted with DMCA (not sure if that is applicable here or not) and we received a DMCA takedown notice we were protected by the Safeharbor clauses only if we followed the takedown notice. I think there was some sort of obligation for the customer to respond to the notice, but I know that if we completely ignored the notice we would no longer have safeharbor.

    I could be completely off base though.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Oct 8th, 2008 @ 10:56pm

    Re: hosting

    I used to be the admin of a hosting company and the way I understood it at the time is that, if we hosted something that conflicted with DMCA (not sure if that is applicable here or not) and we received a DMCA takedown notice we were protected by the Safeharbor clauses only if we followed the takedown notice.

    DMCA is for copyright. There's no copyright claim here.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  6.  
    identicon
    Arnold Kempler, Oct 14th, 2008 @ 10:15pm

    defending Ronald J. Riley

    Mike - since you are so concerned about defending Ronald J. Riley, why not defend Bin Laden while you're at it? I can't believe an intelligent individual like yourself would stoop so low as to defend this cyber-maniac.

    Riley has chosen to badger people, organizations and corporations to the point of sheer indecency. Did you really think that his cyper-venom wouldn't come back to haunt him one day? The Dozier case is not an isolated incident for Riley - he's been a cyber-menace for 10 years and is finally suffering the consequences.

    Why should any ISP take a chance on being dragged into a lawsuit with Riley? They probably read the hate-mongering on his websites and decided that he wasn't worth the risk.

    This is not some noble cause that you are fighting for - so please don't fool yourself or pat yourself on the back for defending someone who brags about his fraudulent credentials and takes money from the unsuspecting public.

    In the event that an ISP is scared-off by an attorney who is suing a legitimate entity, you're zest and zeal for the defending free expression will be well-placed. In this case, you're wasting your time and intelligence by defending a cyper-roach.

    I hope every ISP cancels every Riley website - because the world will be a better place and no one will miss Ronald J. Riley's lies and innuendo.

    Please don't defend him anymore - it's sickening.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This