Court Says That Outing Closeted Gays Through Mass Infringement Lawsuits Not A Big Deal

from the disagree dept

We already, briefly, touched on the recent district court ruling in Massachussetts, in one of Liberty Media's mass infringement cases, covering the tangential legal question of whether or not porn can even be covered by copyright, but the actual legal issues raised in the case are pretty interesting as well.

Marc Randazza, Liberty Media's lawyer on these cases, and I disagree over whether lumping together a bunch of unrelated individuals is proper "joinder." Randazza has argued that many other mass infringement lawyers do this wrong, but his decision to focus on those in a single swarm makes it a more effective argument. In this case, the court certainly bought Marc's argument, and became one of a small number of courts not to throw out most of the Does sued. Though I find it a little disingenuous in that the judge notes a few other cases that have allowed the joinder to stand... but leaves out the many, many cases where all but one of the Does was dismissed from the suit.

One of my issues with this kind of joinder is that the defendants are all unique and may have very different arguments and defenses. It seems inappropriate to lump them all together. The court rejects that, saying that defendants can raise their separate defense later in the case, but that the basic questions of law are identical across the cases.

The bigger issue to me is a different point raised by the defendants in this and many other cases involving gay pornography. For better or worse, one of the fears of many (including myself) is that such cases work even better as a "shakedown" game, because defendants who either are in the closet or are not gay and fear being sued for downloading gay porn are more likely to just pay up to avoid the embarrassment. I raised this issue with Randazza directly, who argues that my argument is actually homophobic, suggesting that there is something wrong with being gay. To be clear: I don't think there's anything at all wrong with being gay, and, in fact, think that those who are gay should be proud and comfortable with that fact. But, I also think one's sexual orientation and preferences are a personal and private matter -- and that bringing them out through a legal process, as part of an effort to put pressure on someone to pay up, is highly questionable (and morally dubious). If someone has made the decision not to "out" themselves, that's their decision.

Unfortunately, the court doesn't buy this argument, and says that the names of defendants should be made public, rather than allowing them to remain anonymous. In fact, the court suggests there's no evidence that Liberty Media intends to use this info to pressure people into paying up:
Unnumbered Doe suggests that Liberty Media sought the public identities of Does 1-38 to coerce pretrial settlements. Unnumbered Doe’s Mot. 7 (“While we cannot know for certain how the Plaintiff intends to proceed . . . the likely course of action is to contact each of the individuals and demand a monetary payment for settlement of the claims in question.”). This allegation is not supported in the motion papers or by Liberty Media’s actions to date. It is purely speculative and not grounds for allowing the moving defendants to proceed anonymously.
I find this part to be the most questionable, seeing as Liberty Media, in the past, has actually been quite active in trying to get people to "settle" to avoid lawsuits -- including its infamous pay us before we even accuse you plan.

Still, the most troubling idea is that the court seems to think that outing someone who does not want to be outed is "mere embarrassment."
Unnumbered Doe further argues that the anonymity of Does 1-38 should be protected because the disclosure of their identities in conjunction with this lawsuit, which involves homosexual pornography, may cause reputational harm and intrusion upon their privacy. Id. Unnumbered Doe asserts that being named as a party to this action amounts to “a public accusation” that the defendants downloaded and viewed homosexual pornography. Id. Doe 15 similarly argues that their public identification in the lawsuit will expose the defendants to “intrusive public scorn.” Doe 15’s Mot. 3.

The potential embarrassment to Does 1-38 of being associated with allegations of infringing hardcore pornography does not constitute an exceptional circumstance that would warrant allowing the defendants to proceed anonymously. As the Superior Court of Massachusetts stated, “mere embarrassment [is] not sufficient to override the strong public interest in disclosure.” Roe, 2011 WL 2342737, at *1. Thus, the potential embarrassment or social stigma that Does 1-38 may face once their identities are released in connection with this lawsuit is not grounds for allowing them to proceed anonymously.
Now, personally, I don't think such a revelation should even be considered "embarrassing," at all. But, I'm not in a position to talk. And, from what we've seen of folks -- especially younger people -- who have had such info exposed against their will to family and friends who might not be accepting, the idea that this is a "mere embarrassment" doesn't seem accurate at all. Such revelations have resulted in suicides. That's not mere embarrassment. Even if we all agree that no one should be embarrassed about their sexual orientation, or even their interest in pornography, to make that decision on those individuals' behalf just seems questionable to me, and fraught with potential trouble.


Reader Comments (rss)

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 8:56am

    "I find this part to be the most questionable, seeing as Liberty Media, in the past, has actually been quite active in trying to get people to "settle" to avoid lawsuits"

    I sort of have a problem with this. The "pre-trial settlement" is a feature of almost every civil matter. You know the "you owe us $500, you can pay us now or see you in court". Since these cases are all civil in nature, should they not have the same options as are available to civil litigants, including attempting to get settlement before trial?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:05am

      Re:

      BTW, I saw you cheating on your wife - you owe me $1000 or I expose you to the world for the scum that you are. I've got some questionable pictures that sort of look like you, but I can't be sure - either way, you'll know if you're guilty or not and we can settle this easily.

      Done!

       

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:29am

      Re:

      I think a lot (though not all) of the animosity toward this strategy here at TD stems from general animosity toward copyright.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:49am

        Re: Re:

        I love people like you that are incapable of debating the actual arguments, so you resort to the weak option of dismissing the position with claims of bias.

        Guess what? bias is universal, ergo not a differentiator.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:56am

          Re: Re: Re:

          Didn't I say that not all of the opposition is based on general animosity toward copyright?

          Not everyone has an equal bias, biased in the same manner, or equally able/unable to think critically about/past that bias. It is a differentiator.

           

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            Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:17am

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            No its not, until the arguments themselves have been eliminated. To attack on the basis of bias first is weak-minded and lazy.

            If you believe he came to faulty conclusion, then target the logic, point to better evidence, and explain your disagreement.

            I understand that's hard--and why very few are up to the intellectual challenge.

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:35am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              Saying you'd rather talk about something else doesn't mean bias is or is not a differentiator. If you choose to believe that nobody comes to conclusions based on some sort of bias until all other possible explanations are eradicated, that's your choice, but it doesn't make it true or false.

              I'm not sure who "he" is in your post.

              The only person I've disagreed with in this little thread is you.

              You seem to have ascribed some views/statements/intent to be that I do not actually hold.

              I understand it's hard not to do that (i.e., not to base your opinions on what I actually say and not your bias and presumptions)--and why very few are up to the intellectual challenge.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 11:53am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                "Saying you'd rather talk about something else" - um, no one did.

                You don't know who "he" was? Sorry, did I really have to say TD?

                "You seem to have ascribed some views... blah blah blah."
                Ah, deflection. Point to something no one did and claim victory! Squirrel!

                And btw, no where in my posts did I claim that bias does not influence conclusions, so not sure why you've headed there. Of course bias influences conclusions. But you cannot have a debate on any topic without eliminating the base arguments first. Once logic and facts have been addressed, only the bias will remain.

                If you cannot agree with that, then there is no more to discuss. If you always look at bias first, I would argue that you will likely continue to be frustrated in any discourse with other individuals because you will never make any headway in understanding their position.

                But I know you know that and likely don't care. It is much easier to dismiss positions you are uncomfortable with claims of clear bias.

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:18pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                  Are you suggesting you *didn't* ascribe the view that "TD came to a faulty conclusion" to me? It certainly seems that way.

                  Please illuminate.

                   

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        weneedhelp (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re:

        You are correct. If the system worked as intended we would not be, but it has been perverted to the point of being a tool to stifle companies that actually innovate, and produce things. Case in point:
        http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20111103/03264716610/nikon-sued-intellectual-ventures-refus ing-to-pay-shakedown-demand.shtml

        A monoply should not be granted to the person that reaches the patent office first.

         

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      DCX2, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:43am

      Re:

      The problem with this is that using merely an IP address for identification leaves some uncertainty as to whether the right person is being accused. If you are innocent, it then becomes cheaper to just settle, rather than going to court to defend yourself. This is why it's called a shakedown.

      Hence why the AC below you accused you of cheating on your wife. It's just the same - he has no real proof, and you might not even have a wife at all. Should you have to choose between paying lawyer's fees to defend yourself in court when you are innocent, or paying a settlement fee when you did nothing wrong?

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:58am

        Re: Re:

        "The problem with this is that using merely an IP address for identification leaves some uncertainty as to whether the right person is being accused. If you are innocent, it then becomes cheaper to just settle, rather than going to court to defend yourself. This is why it's called a shakedown."

        First, this is true of most disputes that go to litigation. There is some dispute regarding what the evidence shows, and it's going to be expensive no matter who is right. That doesn't mean everything's hunky dory, but that doesn't make it a "shakedown" either.

        "It's just the same - he has no real proof, and you might not even have a wife at all"

        That is not the same. Some proof, that might not be 100% irrefutable, is not the same as no proof whatsoever.

         

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          Josh in CharlotteNC (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 8:48pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          First, this is true of most disputes that go to litigation. There is some dispute regarding what the evidence shows, and it's going to be expensive no matter who is right. That doesn't mean everything's hunky dory, but that doesn't make it a "shakedown" either.

          It's a shakedown not necessarily just because the cost to prove one's innocence is so high, but also because the potential of failing to prove one's innocence is so outrageous, and that the offense is so incredibly minor.

          For nearly every infringement case we refer to, the retail price of whatever was allegedly infringed upon is under $20 (the price of a movie on DVD), and in some cases, under $1 (a song purchased through iTunes).

          The cost to settle? $2000-$3000.

          Yet costs to defend oneself with a lawyer can easily go to ten thousand dollars even on a simple case. That's a 500-10,000 times difference to the offense.

          And the cost if you defend yourself and can't convince the judge or jury that you're innocent, even if the evidence is so flimsy the average internet commenter (not a high bar) can poke dozens of holes in it? Well, that can go up to $150,000 - or 7500-150,000 times the offense.

          That is just absurd. Bring the costs in line with the offense, where even at the worst a guilty verdict ends up being a $200 for downloading a movie, and we'll talk. Until then, those costs are completely unreasonable.

           

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    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 8:59am

    Agree/Disagree

    "Even if we all agree that no one should be embarrassed about their sexual orientation, or even their interest in pornography, to make that decision on those individuals' behalf just seems questionable to me, and fraught with potential trouble."

    I actually disagree w/your reasoning, but end up agreeing with the conclusion. If you're gay and you're named in a lawsuit validly, I don't think you have the right under the law to hide your name because some anciliary part of the proceeding might point to you're being gay. I get that it can be embarrasing (though I don't think it should be), and I get that it can potentially create hardship (which sucks), but I don't think you have this protection under the law.

    Now, here's why I think this case SHOULD keep those names anonymous: the evidence linking specific people to the accusations are ostensibly (unless I missed something) IP addresses. This is bullshit, and sexual orientation IS a touchy enough subject that implications of homosexuality or any other type of sexual proclivity which are UNTRUE can create the same hardship as before AND WAY WAY more. Without truly solid evidence that ties the people to the actual infringement, anonymity should be given until guilt is decided....

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:18am

      Re: Agree/Disagree

      And, if the person who "owns" the IP address is also a self-proclaimed homosexual, does that strengthen the case against them circumstantially? And would that be anywhere near legal?

       

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      vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:37am

      Re: Agree/Disagree

      "This is bullshit, and sexual orientation IS a touchy enough subject that implications of homosexuality or any other type of sexual proclivity which are UNTRUE can create the same hardship as before AND WAY WAY more."

      Why is it OK to create hardship for people who are gay but choose not to disclose their orientation, if the same hardship isn't OK for those who are heterosexual? Don't give me bullshit about the hardship being worse without backing it up otherwise it just sounds like homophobic rhetoric: Oh noes, you've got some gay on you, the horror. Newsflash, being falsely labelled as gay incurs at most as much hardship as actually being gay, unless the person falsely labelled also suffers as a result of their own homophobia.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:45am

        Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

        Ugh, in your rush to vilify, you missed my point, possibly in part because I didn't make it as clear as I could. It's not the homosexual part of being falsely accused that creates extra hardship, it's the "falsely" part. If you're accused of being gay in public and outted, it can absolutely create severe problems, granted. But in most cases, you're going to have SOME kind of like-minded community to go to. How many closeted homosexuals are COMPLETELY closeted? It's admittedly just a guess, based on anecdotal experience, but I'm guessing it's not an enormous percentage.

        Now, if you're falsely accused of being homosexual, you obviously WON'T have that community to fall back on as you're not actually gay, while simultaneously facing potential hardship from your actual communities because of the undue revelation. It can, CAN, be harder.

        Jesus, I mean I'm pretty sure I made it clear in my original post that I don't think there's anything wrong with being gay and that the fact that folks have to face hardship for such is a travesty. Is it now fucking impossible to in any way say something that isn't "woe is the gay community and fuck everyone else" without getting lambasted as "homophobic"?

         

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          vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:23am

          Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

          Ugh, in your rush to sound not homophobic, you missed my point, possibly in part because you didn't leave time to think.

          'It's not the homosexual part of being falsely accused that creates extra hardship, it's the "falsely" part.'

          What extra hardship does being falsely accused create? You discount your own examples when you admit that they don't apply to everyone, whether gay or not. I've known I'm gay for over a decade and I'm not part of a community. Many people who are part of gay communities don't even recognise bisexual as a valid orientation. Given that my family don't know that I'm bisexual, their ignorance may remain forever if I never have a relationship with a man, or even if I have a relationship with a trans woman. As a bisexual person myself I can assure you it would have been easy to stay wholly closeted for life.

          "Now, if you're falsely accused of being homosexual, you obviously WON'T have that community to fall back on as you're not actually gay, while simultaneously facing potential hardship from your actual communities because of the undue revelation. It can, CAN, be harder."

          Bullshit. Plain and simple. A gay person can suffer exactly as much hardship as a straight person from the same communities. Your logic is weak here and relies on your own supposition that heterosexuals are more likely to suffer hardship despite the fact that the only difference for gay people is your own idea of having other communities to turn to, which would of course preclude the idea of continuing to deny they are gay. Here's a novel idea, why don't falsely accused heterosexuals turn to gay communities for support? I hear some of them even include bisexuals or heterosexual transgendered people, so I don't see why they couldn't include cisgendered straight people who have been falsely accused.

          "I'm pretty sure I made it clear in my original post that I don't think there's anything wrong with being gay"

          If all that mattered about racism was that you denied you were racist then I'm pretty sure that racism would be solved in American politics by now. I'm glad that I live in an age where the majority of people don't seem to want to throw people in jail for being gay, much like I am glad I live in an age where women in my country are allowed to vote. However, just like the fight for woman's rights isn't just a history lesson, homophobia is something that exists even in the most subtle of forms. You're not Rick Perry by a long shot, which is a good thing, but not the end of it.

           

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            Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

            Sigh, it's so very hard to explain things to people who are clearly looking for controversy. I mean, come on, this isn't that tough, Viva.

            "I've known I'm gay for over a decade and I'm not part of a community. Many people who are part of gay communities don't even recognise bisexual as a valid orientation."

            I don't want to make this personal, but you're telling me that as a bisexual man you have NO contacts from other folks in that community? REALLY!!?? I spent several years living blocks from Chicago's largest homosexual community and I have to say that one of the most admirable aspects of that community is the way they come together (no pun intended) and support one another. This idea that every/most homosexual or bisexual is some kind of lone wolf out there is just unbelievable.

            "Bullshit. Plain and simple. A gay person can suffer exactly as much hardship as a straight person from the same communities."

            I'm not understanding why this is so difficult for you to get. These communities exist in many/most areas. Now, I'm dealing from the standpoint of a major metropolitan and largely progressive city, so I can see that I may be coming from an ignorant standpoint with less populated areas of the country, but come on. This wasn't even an attack on homosexuality, for Liberache's sake. All I was saying was that with loose evidence in a trial where sexual orientation can become an issue, keep EVERYONE anonymous until verdict. Why you're getting all fucking bent out of shape is beyond me.

            "You're not Rick Perry by a long shot, which is a good thing, but not the end of it."

            Oh, go screw yourself. Honestly, if you think I'm some kind of vague almost-enemy of homosexuals, you're more ignorant than the homophobes you're raging against. Go fight a real enemy, dumbass....

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:40pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

              DH, I normally like you so I'm going to be as polite as possible but I don't think you "get it."

              If you're gay and you're named in a lawsuit validly, I don't think you have the right under the law to hide your name because some anciliary part of the proceeding might point to you're being gay.

              Here are some reasons that even a "real gay" might want to keep their identity anonymous in such a case:

              In most states you can still be fired from your job based on your sexuality.
              People are still regularly murdered based on their sexuality.
              People are still regularly brutalized based on their sexuality.
              The police have been openly hostile to the gay community.
              Religiously affiliated organization (even those who are more accepting of homosexuals) will often ostracize people who view "those types of films."

              That said, my questions is, why wouldn't we allow the case to proceed anonymously? Or at least keep the records sealed while it is in litigation. Why the rush to get these names into the public record when their is clearly the potential for extreme hardship. Also, based on the use of an IP address, what happens when a religious family receives a letter in the mail that confirms their suspicions that their teenage son is gay?

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:46pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                I see you explain better further down that you think the case should remain anonymous until better evidence is shown. However, I still wonder why their names should ever be made public, considering the nature of the accusation and the long term consequences it could have on their ability to find a job, rent an apartment, etc.

                Sometimes I think that people forget that sexual orientation is not a federally protected class. Any protections afforded to people based on sexuality are still only at the state level.

                 

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                Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 1:23pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                "Here are some reasons that even a "real gay" might want to keep their identity anonymous in such a case:"

                AAAAAAAHHHHHH! Are you guys CRAZY!!?!?!? I didn't say that I thought only straight people wrongly accused should remain anonymous. I said EVERYONE should be kept anonymous, INCLUDING potential straight people wrongly accused, because the damned evidence is IP address flimsy bullshit.

                Jesus H. Christ, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here. I NEVER SINGLED OUT GAY PEOPLE TO BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY THAN STRAIGHT PEOPLE. I said that, in cases where sexuality becomes discoverable, keep EVERYONE anonymous.

                Holy hell, you have no idea how frustrating this is to someone who is 100% behind equal rights for homosexuls, honestly....

                 

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                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 1:54pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                  "Jesus H. Christ, I feel like I'm taking crazy pills here."

                  I get that feeling often around here.

                   

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                  Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2011 @ 1:44pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                  Ok, a little late on the follow up but now I feel like I'm taking crazy pills. Didn't you write this:

                  If you're gay and you're named in a lawsuit validly, I don't think you have the right under the law to hide your name because some anciliary part of the proceeding might point to you're being gay. I get that it can be embarrasing (though I don't think it should be), and I get that it can potentially create hardship (which sucks), but I don't think you have this protection under the law.

                  and also this:

                  Without truly solid evidence that ties the people to the actual infringement, anonymity should be given until guilt is decided.

                  Why should someone be outed as gay in a civil proceeding, regardless of guilt, when it isn't really material to the law being violated?

                  Perhaps you meant: If you're gay and you're named in a lawsuit validly, I don't think you CURRENTLY have the right under the law to hide your name because some ancillary part of the proceeding might point to you're being gay.

                  If that was the case perhaps you can understand how people misunderstood your meaning. Also: I NEVER SINGLED OUT GAY PEOPLE TO BE TREATED DIFFERENTLY THAN STRAIGHT PEOPLE.

                  I never claimed you thought people should be treated differently, so maybe calm the fuck down. Recognize for a second that you can't really comprehend the challenges of being a gay person. I assure you I appreciate your support (as well as the support of anyone else in the straight community) but it can be difficult to talk about and understand these types of issues, especially when one side of the debate (while understanding) doesn't really understand what it is like to be gay (and actually deal with the bullshit that entails on a day to day basis.)

                  Ultimately my feelings on the subject come down to this: Civil proceedings that involve information we would normally consider private (and that includes a lot more than sexuality) should probably be at least partially sealed regardless of the outcome of the case. At the very least, there should be some type of legal recourse for a defendant to at least attempt to convince a judge to keep some information about of the public record. As it stands I believe all civil proceedings are completely public unless they involve children or the judge grants a special order, I think we should have a law which gives specific types of information a defendant can request be kept from the public record.

                   

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              vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 1:12pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

              "I don't want to make this personal, but you're telling me that as a bisexual man you have NO contacts from other folks in that community? REALLY!!??"

              I said I'm not part of any community, not that I've not had contact (although that has been extremely minimal and limited to the past year). One of the benefits of being bisexual is you can stay closeted all your life with relatively minimal effort. Which was kind of my point.

              "This idea that every/most homosexual or bisexual is some kind of lone wolf out there is just unbelievable."

              Perhaps because you made it up?

              "All I was saying was that with loose evidence in a trial where sexual orientation can become an issue, keep EVERYONE anonymous until verdict. Why you're getting all fucking bent out of shape is beyond me."

              If that had been all you'd said then I wouldn't have had anything to say except 'that's a good idea'. I think it was the part where you claimed more hardship was suffered if the accused wasn't actually gay and used that as a reason behind your idea, implying that gay people suffering hardship wasn't reason enough.

              "Oh, go screw yourself."

              I so want to make an anal sex dildo joke here, but it might raise the tone too sharply for comfortable reading.

               

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                Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 1:15pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                "I so want to make an anal sex dildo joke here, but it might raise the tone too sharply for comfortable reading."

                No, Viva! Common ground, my friend. I've been resisting the urge to crack jokes as well (failed, with the Liberache's sake thing), so have at it. Please! Humor cures all ills and is universal language!

                 

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        sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:52am

        Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

        Please argue with one of my correspondents. That's what he wrote to me when he found out that he is a victim of a copyright trolling fraud:

        "My private life, is now on the Internet [..] I have had the worst few days of my life and have been contemplating all options including suicide."

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:57am

          Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

          ""My private life, is now on the Internet [..] I have had the worst few days of my life and have been contemplating all options including suicide.""

          Then your correspondent needs serious help, not a trip to fantasy land where no one will ever say anything mean to him/her. Suicide is a serious, SERIOUS issue, but it's ultimately an issue w/the person willing to commit it....

           

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            Onnala (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:41pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

            It sounds like you haven't had to deal with relentless bullying and unreasoning hate to your person that others have had to deal with.

             

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            sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

            DH, I respect your opinion very much, an agree with you in most cases, but don't be black-and-white: having suicidal mood does not automatically imply mental illness. I know many normal men who were pretty close...

            I wanted to underline that threatening with publicity in connection with porno may cause a serious stress, up to suicidal thoughts. Randazza knows that, though he tries to downplay the power of the weapon he uses to extort ransoms.

            According to my observations, the settlement rate in "Hurt Locker" cases is relatively low, straight porno - higher, and gay porno is the highest. This statistics shows that the fear to be associated with gay porno is real, it is not just "mere embarrassment" regardless of what judges, gay right activists, homophobes, cat bloggers etc. say.

             

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          vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:30am

          Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

          'Please argue with one of my correspondents. That's what he wrote to me when he found out that he is a victim of a copyright trolling fraud:

          "My private life, is now on the Internet [..] I have had the worst few days of my life and have been contemplating all options including suicide."'


          I am sorry to hear that and hope he gets through the ordeal OK. I am not sure what I would have to argue about with someone in such a situation.

           

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            sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:01pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

            > I am not sure what I would have to argue about with someone in such a situation.

            Sorry, I somehow misread your comment... I have no idea why I said "please argue". It was before I had lunch :)

             

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:44am

      Re: Agree/Disagree

      I agree that an IP address should not imply guilt. I do not agree that gays should get any special priveleges. Being gay entitles you to exactly the same rights straight people get, no more and no less.

       

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        Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:48am

        Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

        "I agree that an IP address should not imply guilt. I do not agree that gays should get any special priveleges. Being gay entitles you to exactly the same rights straight people get, no more and no less."

        That's true, but we grant privelage under the law to folks when the law concerns certain categories, such as race, sexual orientation, and religion, etc. See "hate crimes" for an example. In this instance, I think extra caution with the lack of solid evidence should be due to anonymity prior to judgement. I'm not sure what the argument against such anonymity might be....

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:56am

          Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

          Those are protections and not privelegess but I understand your point. When it comes to crimes and courts I don't see any of those protections applying. Why should any class of people get priveleges or protections over another?

           

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            Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:00am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

            "When it comes to crimes and courts I don't see any of those protections applying."

            Well, I'm not sure that's true either. Aren't victims of sex-crimes or gender-based harrasement allowed to remain anonymous during certain proceedings?

            Again, for me, it's not granting protection to any class of people. It's granting protection to a class of CASE, in this instance involving sexual orientation. Gay OR straight, keep the names anonmyous given that the evidence linking them to the crime is insubstantial at best....

             

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              Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:08am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

              I see what you are saying and would agree that this applies to all cases where the IP address is the sole basis of the accusation not just gay porn.

               

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        vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:50am

        Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

        "Being gay entitles you to exactly the same rights straight people get, no more and no less."

        I guess you don't support gay marriage then.

         

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          Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:53am

          Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

          ""Being gay entitles you to exactly the same rights straight people get, no more and no less."

          I guess you don't support gay marriage then."

          Seriously, what the hell is your problem that you see that comment as being AGAINST gay marriage? He said gays should get all the same rights as straights, which would INCLUDE marriage!

          Seriously, do you need a hug or something?

           

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            vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:41am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

            "Seriously, what the hell is your problem that you see that comment as being AGAINST gay marriage? He said gays should get all the same rights as straights, which would INCLUDE marriage!"

            Seriously?!?! What the hell is your problem that you fail logic AND sarcasm at the same time!!?

            Uh, to repeat, having exactly the same rights as straight people would mean that gay people could not get married to their same sex partners. Sorry for commenting on what the person actually said rather than divining what they meant by ignoring words like 'exactly' and 'no more and no less'.

            "Seriously, do you need a hug or something?"

            I'd say I need a punch, but I wouldn't want the attempt to emasculate you.

             

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              Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:51am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

              This is pathetic. Stop trying to paint yourself as some kind of martyr. Absolutely nobody here was opposing gay marriage - you are just reading that into their statements because you want a fight.

               

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              Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 11:09am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

              "Uh, to repeat, having exactly the same rights as straight people would mean that gay people could not get married to their same sex partners. Sorry for commenting on what the person actually said rather than divining what they meant by ignoring words like 'exactly' and 'no more and no less'."

              -_-

              Really? That's how you interpreted what the original commentor said? You, sir, are in serious need of a quelude and possibly a lobotomy, because it's so entirely clear what that commentor meant that your manufactured outrage doesn't impress anyone.

              "I'd say I need a punch, but I wouldn't want the attempt to emasculate you."

              Is this another vague reference to me being some kind of a homophobic frat boy? Better look over your shoulder, goofball, there might be a whole world out to get you or something....

               

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                vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 11:46am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                "Really? That's how you interpreted what the original commentor said? You, sir, are in serious need of a quelude and possibly a lobotomy, because it's so entirely clear what that commentor meant that your manufactured outrage doesn't impress anyone."

                Interpreted? It's commentary on the literal implications of what they actually said, prompted by their choice to emphasise the exactness of the rights gay people are entitled to and the irony of implying gay people are claiming special privileges when many people see heterosexuality to be a privilege in itself. Oh, and to adapt the tagline of a feminist blogger: I'm not outraged; I'm contemptuous.

                "Is this another vague reference to me being some kind of a homophobic frat boy? Better look over your shoulder, goofball, there might be a whole world out to get you or something...."

                Uh, no, it was a reference to asking if I needed a hug. I take it back, don't punch me! I need a hug! I'm just so emotionally vulnerable and everything I type is a result of secretly being a care-bear.

                 

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                  Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 11:54am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                  "Uh, no, it was a reference to asking if I needed a hug. I take it back, don't punch me! I need a hug! I'm just so emotionally vulnerable and everything I type is a result of secretly being a care-bear."

                  Honestly....yeah, it kinda sounds like that.

                   

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          Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:54am

          Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

          "Being gay entitles you to exactly the same rights straight people get, no more and no less."

          I guess you don't support gay marriage then.


          Umm... read that back to yourself a few times, viva...

           

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            vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:46am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

            "Umm... read that back to yourself a few times, viva..."

            Geez, make me explain it why don't you.

            If marriage is legally defined as between a man and a woman then a same sex couple, though afforded exactly the same rights as all the legally married heterosexual couples, would not be allowed to marry. It was a commentary on how adding 'exactly' and 'no more and no less' doesn't necessarily make things any fairer.

             

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              Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:50am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

              Oh don't be a jackass Viva. Everyone knows that's NOT what was meant by saying that gay people should have the same rights as straight people. You are just looking for an argument by playing semantics.

               

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                vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 11:10am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                "Oh don't be a jackass Viva. Everyone knows that's NOT what was meant by saying that gay people should have the same rights as straight people."

                Everyone knows that when someone uses gay as a pejorative, they don't mean to insult gay people. It's not their fault that they're making a literal comparison to being gay, because, you know, they don't think about what they're saying. You can't blame people for not thinking. Apparently, you're not even allowed to point out their mistakes without being called a jackass.

                "You are just looking for an argument by playing semantics."

                Technically, I'm making an argument by commenting on semantics. I think the issue here is people disagreeing or believing the argument irrelevant. Personally, this seems as good a time as any to point out the fallacy of treating everyone the same under the guise of equality.

                 

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                  Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 11:12am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                  Oh give it up. Seriously: GIVE IT UP. This is ridiculous. A commenter was clearly advocating gay rights, and you are trying to turn it around on them because they chose to say "same" instead of "equal"? And now you are comparing that to the use of "gay" as a pejorative?

                  I say it again: Pathetic. And quit being a jackass. And I'll add: get over yourself. You aren't some visionary freedom fighter educating us all - you are a whiny kid trying to start a fight so you can feel like an ideologue.

                   

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                    Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 11:35am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                    Ah HA! Marcus, you disagreed with a bisexual person, so clearly you're Hitler! We've found you, you son of a bitch!

                     

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                    vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 11:57am

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                    "Oh give it up. Seriously: GIVE IT UP. This is ridiculous. A commenter was clearly advocating gay rights"

                    If "I do not agree that gays should get any special priveleges." in response to the idea that outing people is wrong because it may cause hardship is clearly advocating gay rights then I'd hate to see the clearly homophobic position.

                    "I say it again: Pathetic. And quit being a jackass. And I'll add: get over yourself. You aren't some visionary freedom fighter educating us all - you are a whiny kid trying to start a fight so you can feel like an ideologue."

                    Yeah, well... you're a whiny kid with cooties! Long live Che Guevara!

                     

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                      Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:02pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                      I do not agree that gays should get any special priveleges."

                      Yes. This times a million. Why should they? I do believe in rights being expanded - I believe in same-sex marriage, most certainly. But I do not belief in extending separate rights to gay people - are you saying you do? How do they prove they are gay? Do you have to apply for Gay Status? Do you have to fuck in front of a judge?

                      That's ridiculous. Rights should be expanded, yes - but not pursuant on having a particular sexual orientation.

                       

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                        Dark Helmet (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:23pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                        Honestly, this is just stupid. Here you have a thread in which not one single insensitive "gay joke" was made, the article and comments were specifically siding with sensitivity over homosexuality, and someone with a PHD in PC feels the need to shit all over it.

                         

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                          Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:50pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                          Viva is making all the gays look bad.

                          Please viva, for my sake, stop being an asshole.

                           

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                            vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:53pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                            "Viva is making all the gays look bad."

                            Why, did they elect me their leader?

                             

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                              Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

                              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                              Why, did they elect me their leader?

                              You certainly deliver speeches as if you think they did.

                               

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                        vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:52pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                        "But I do not belief in extending separate rights to gay people - are you saying you do?"

                        Not really, as you point out in another post, single rights can usually be defined in a sufficiently inclusive way to ensure equality. However, absence of rights can also create inequality. A white cisgendered straight able bodied male in the UK is de facto privileged because he is unlikely to suffer from many problems that plague the rest of the population. Whether rape is illegal may not have an impact on his safety. Whether women get paid less may not impact his financial situation. Whether the bank has wheel chair access may not impact him. And so on. Thus, in this case, where sexual orientation is not likely to be an issue if you're heterosexual, while disclosure may be a right afforded to heterosexuals as well as gay people, it is only gay people who are likely to directly benefit. I'm all for straight people not wanting to be outed as straight. I'd be surprised if there are any though.

                        "How do they prove they are gay? Do you have to apply for Gay Status? Do you have to fuck in front of a judge?"

                        See above, re: disclosure of orientation. You shouldn't need to apply for gay status to be afforded the protection of your personal information, as the same right should be afforded to straight people, should they choose to use it.

                        The commenter who mentioned special privileges was implying that protection from disclosure of sexual orientation was a special gay privilege. If they'd argued that hey, perhaps no one should be outed as porn users regardless of sexual orientation, then that would make more sense.

                         

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                          Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

                          Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                          I have no idea what you are even talking about anymore. Go back to your sexuality studies class or wherever it is that you learned all this blustery rhetoric. I will continue to live a life where I accept everyone's sexuality without stressing out over every sentence I speak lest my word choice step on a semantic landmine.

                           

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                            vivaelamor (profile), Nov 5th, 2011 @ 6:42pm

                            Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                            "I will continue to live a life where I accept everyone's sexuality without stressing out over every sentence I speak lest my word choice step on a semantic landmine."

                            Because becoming less ignorant is so painful that a landmine is an apt analogy. Oh no! My vocabulary lost its slurs in the enlightenment. I mean explosion.

                            Seriously though, you act like I'm judging you. Frankly, I couldn't care less what you say as long as you understand what you're saying. If I'm not in the target audience for what you're saying and you're confident that everyone who is thinks enough like you to avoid confusion then more power to you. I'm not out to label people as homophobic or anything else, I'm trying to get people to understand why what they say may give me cause for concern. Whether my concern means anything is their choice.

                             

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                  Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 11:44am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                  And the more I think about it, I don't agree with your semantics anyway.

                  Gay people SHOULD have SAME rights, not equal-but-different rights. I don't believe in gay marriage - I believe in same-sex marriage: as in, any two adults should be able to get married regardless of sex and regardless of any statement of orientation.

                  Are you saying that gay couples should have to prove they are gay in order to get the right to marry?

                   

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                    vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:31pm

                    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                    "Gay people SHOULD have SAME rights, not equal-but-different rights. I don't believe in gay marriage - I believe in same-sex marriage: as in, any two adults should be able to get married regardless of sex and regardless of any statement of orientation."

                    Yay. You've started thinking and lo and behold, you're right. Where possible, rights should be equal by virtue of being the same. In the case of marriage, sameness is only an issue from a historical perspective (which is actually quite relevant as that is pretty much the definition of conservatism). Having the same rights does not mean those rights are equal. What you see as pointless semantics, I see as the actual reasoning people use against same sex marriage when they say that marriage is defined as being between a man and a woman. Civil partnerships with the same benefits offer more equality than having the same right to traditional marriage.

                    The issue also applies to new rights, after all, it was selective application of marriage that defined it as is considered traditional now. For example, I'm currently quite healthy and fit. Giving someone a right to the same healthcare I currently use, if that person is less fortunate, isn't equality.

                    "Are you saying that gay couples should have to prove they are gay in order to get the right to marry?"

                    Yes, I'm totally not backing down from... wait, I didn't say or imply that.

                     

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                      Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:48pm

                      Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                      Well congrats, Viva. It took you all afternoon, but you have finally acknowledged what we were all saying all along. Did you get it out of your system? Can you sleep soundly now, knowing you convinced a bunch of people who already believed in gay rights to say so several more times in order to shut you up? What a victory! Next time, maybe you can take on some people who actually disagree with you, instead of picking meaningless fights.

                       

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                        vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 1:33pm

                        Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Agree/Disagree

                        "convinced a bunch of people who already believed in gay rights to say so several more times"

                        The issue isn't one of belief, but understanding. I never questioned your belief in gay rights. I still question the anonymous coward's belief, but was too busy responding to your indignation over my interpretation of what they said to see if they replied. I still don't see how what they said, taken in context of what they were replying to, can be seen in any way as supportive of gay rights. It'd be quite unlike, but not entirely unlike, a guy claiming that women's shelters were a special privilege and that women should have exactly the same rights, no more and no less, than men.

                        But of course, I'm just someone who likes typing pointlessly, not someone trying to explain an actual observation. At this point I give up either way, for today at least.

                         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:02am

    Quick, someonone find something to 'out' the judge on ...

    I'm sure it would be "mere embarrassment" if we couldn't figure out when he was going to stop beating his wife...

    Or that he had Murdered a girl in 1990....

     

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    Chris ODonnell (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:12am

    I wonder if Liberty could be found liable (either criminally or civilly) if a gay person outed because of this case commits suicide due to the fallout of being outed?

     

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      MrWilson, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:29am

      Re:

      I strongly doubt it. Lori Drew "cyberbullied" Megan Meier to the point of suicide but she was still acquitted. Such a case due to a supposedly legitimate lawsuit would have less of a chance. You'd have to show the lawsuit was filed with the intent of having the defendant commit suicide and it's still iffy there since suicide is voluntary in nature.

       

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        That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 5th, 2011 @ 7:41pm

        Re: Re:

        While the Lori Drew case was stretching to use a law in a new and special way to get the sad excuse for a parent, Randazza has publicly stated that an "expert" (whom he refuses to name) told him the odds of suicides happening was next to nonexistent.
        Given the shaky ground that is "IP Gathering" technology false positives are quite possible. Being able to get the right person from just the IP address is impossible. And I think to show the intent was to extract payments to avoid having the account holder publicly labeled as gay might be enough. See while if your "caught" downloading straight porn you might face some dirty looks from the church types in your town, if your accused of watching gay porn there is a much greater chance your life is in jeopardy.

        No one wants to admit in this wonderful society we have people who seek out gay people and beat them (sometimes to death), or leave them to die tied to a fence, or cripple them for life. Its sort of like charging someone with murder, then saying oopsie wrong person but someone feels they just bought their way out and shoots them anyways. The charges being made have possible outcomes that are not unknown and to put someones life on the line based on IP Gathering technology run by a company with a direct financial interest in the outcome... yeah not looking good.
        Add to that Randazzas remarks about interviewing EVERYONE within Wifi range of your home asking if they downloaded the gay porn your accused of downloading. He is stacking the deck in a despicable way to win money from people who have an internet account. Guilty of this "horrible" crime or not would you want this lawyer running around telling the neighbors you might be gay? How soon till he hits that open minded neighbor who thinks all gays are pedophiles.
        My world, welcome to it.
        Until you've had people show up on the lawn and have a prayer meeting to "save" you, you really can not understand the fear many gay people live in if their lives are exposed like that.

         

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          Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2011 @ 1:58pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          ^ This.

          I wrote some comments above and DH got super pissy with me. I tried to explain why people react so strongly when there is even a perceived slight to gay people, well here is a better answer.

          It is hard to explain to a straight person who has never felt that their life might be in jeopardy while they are out in public. I've only had one of those moments, but let me tell you, it makes you think differently about your own rights, freedoms, etc.

           

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:16am

    With this I don't really have a problem, although it can be embarrassing and cause trouble that is life, now if people want to play on that field they should be prepared for the consequences I will not feel sorry for those lawyers if they get murdered by someone on the streets.

    If I ever receive one of those letters I just laugh and flip them. In court or elsewhere.

     

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    Not an Electronic Rodent (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:20am

    more obvious or too obvious?

    From what I understand about US law, the question that sprang to mind is "What happens if the defendant is in the armed forces?" Is it still "just embarrassment" then?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:23am

      Re: more obvious or too obvious?

      Present day, no, because DADT was repealed. Prior to the repeal, that would have been an interesting question.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:24am

        Re: Re: more obvious or too obvious?

        Rather, present day there's no difference just because they're in the armed forces.

         

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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 5th, 2011 @ 7:42pm

      Re: more obvious or too obvious?

      IIRC one of the smaller trolls enjoyed sending letters to people in the military because they could threaten to contact commanding officers... he got paid everytime.

       

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    Atkray (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:21am

    So if a private citizen "outs" someone it is a hate crime but when attorneys do it it is ok?

    'splain that one to me Lucy.

     

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    knighttoday (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:25am

    Courts and Liberty

    To me this is just another example of 'gay bashing' and greed (in the case of Liberty). The judge in this case is acting as though there is some homophobia inside them as cannot see any damage created by outing. Who, in this day and age, does not realize the harm in that? The answer is only those with their head in the sand or operating from fear.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:33am

    "Though I find it a little disingenuous in that the judge notes a few other cases that have allowed the joinder to stand... but leaves out the many, many cases where all but one of the Does was dismissed from the suit."

    Are there really more judges buying the misjoinder argument than accepting this kind of joinder? I know the District of Columbia cases I've seen seem to buy this kind of joinder, and there are lots of cases proceeding there.

     

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    vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:44am

    Weasel.

    "I raised this issue with Randazza directly, who argues that my argument is actually homophobic, suggesting that there is something wrong with being gay. "

    Marc Randazza makes me unkind to weasels in describing him.

     

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      sophisticatedjanedoe (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 12:56pm

      Re: Weasel.

      Exactly. That's what I said in my post a month ago:

      "I used to compare trolls to insects and worms, but seeing those tiny organisms living their lives, having their important little places in the universe, I’m embarrassed for being so mean to those insects and worms; it is unfair to compare these living, loving creatures to unnatural, greedy and sleazy ones – Sperlein, Steele, Siegel, Dunlap, Stone, Ford and scores of other trolls"

       

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      Ronald J Riley (profile), Nov 23rd, 2011 @ 11:59am

      Re: Weasel.

      "Marc Randazza makes me unkind to weasels in describing him."

      I actually agree with Mike Masnick that even today being publicly named is likely to have severe consequences for some people and while I am generally opposed to sealing court cases this is most certainly a case were it is warranted.

      I disagree with vivaelamor's assertion that Randazza is a weasel. Randazza has a long history of doing good works related to First Amendment issues. Even if that was not the case, all attorneys are hired mercenaries. Advocating for their client is the essence of what makes our legal system function. While it is far from perfect, as far as I can tell it works better than the systems which proceeded it and I see nothing which has the potential to do a better job.

      The single biggest problem with our legal system that it favors those with deep pockets. But that is also a problem with all aspects of human institutions.

      The solution is public policy which prevents wealth from becoming too concentrated, something which is undermining our whole society. It should not remove the incentive to work hard.

      At this point the only solution I see as being effective is to change to publicly funded elections and not allow with strict regulation and banning of large contributors.

      If every politician had to run their campaign on a fixed amount from the government it would level the playing field. Any candidate who was caught using other funds should be banned from holding any office for life.

      Politicians retirement and current income should be pegged and adjustable based on overall economic performance. This would encourage working towards long term prosperity rather than for short term gain.

       

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    Chuck Norris' Enemy (deceased) (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 9:58am

    Who is gay at this IP?

    Of course, with the accusation on nothing more than an IP address the owner is accused of downloading gay porn, ergo accused of being gay/bi. If the owner didn't dl the flick then I am sure he would go looking for who did...who may be his 13-year-old closeted son.

     

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    fogbugzd (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:03am

    I think this is a case of the judge having made up his mind already. He is going to find a way to discount any facts or reality if it contradicts what he has already decided to do.

     

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    Manly Steve, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:28am

    I'm not gay and didn't download the gay porn. Maybe my boyfriend did, but not me.

     

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    Snow, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:40am

    clementi case

    Regarding using a lawsuit to legally out someone and maybe encourage them to capitulate to your will, this exact issue just came up re the trail of Dharun Ravi. He was the roommate of Rutger's student Tyler Clementi, whom Ravi webcasted fooling around with someone else and who then, humiliated at being outed, leaped off the GW Bridge. Naturally Ravi's lawyers want the name of the guy Clementi was fooling around with. As HuffPo (link below) recently reported:

    "The judge reiterated his ruling of six months ago that Ravi, his lawyer and his lawyer's investigator should be given the name and birthdate of the man who had the encounter with Clementi – but with the caveat that they not give that information to anyone else.

    "Prosecutors objected to the disclosure requirement last month and asked the judge to reconsider.

    "On Thursday, the man, identified in court papers only as M.B., was represented in court by Richard Pompelio, a victims' rights lawyer who argued that his right to privacy outweighs Ravi's need to have information to defend himself.

    "Ravi's lawyer, Steven Altman, contended that the name of the man – who is considered a victim and a witness in the case – is necessary for his client, even though the man has said he does not want to speak with defense lawyers.

    "'If you were standing where I am, wouldn't you want to learn what was in the mind of T.C.?'" he asked the judge. 'And what did M.B. know, what was he told, what wasn't he told? Who is he? Where is he from? Wouldn't you want to proceed to try to get that information?'

    "Pompelio argued that media exposure would harm M.B.

    "'Once they find out who he is, they find out his face,' he said. 'As the defendant knows, he has family and a web of relationships that are impacted by anything that happens to him. If his name gets out, it's out and it's out forever.'

    "After court, Pompelio said he would not disclose any information about his client, including his age or occupation.

    "The judge said he was sensitive to M.B.'s right to privacy but believes Ravi should know who his accuser is.

    "'He'll never be stigmatized by any person who's thoughtful, balanced and fair,' the judge said."

    While I think the judge found a Solomanic way of settling the issue, his attitude is clearly insane given that the trial is about a person so fearful of stigmatization that he killed himself. It's not the thoughtful, balanced and fair people that homosexuals fear. It's the guys who think, as one said to me in an unguarded moment at a party, "Gay bashing isn't a sport. It's a way of life." And its the Republicans and supposed Christians who would criminalize homosexuality and deny homosexuals the rights due all Americans.

    http://www.huffingtonpost.com/2011/10/20/dharun-ravis-trial-date-s_n_1022032.html

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 1:59pm

      Re: clementi case

      The alternative, that a criminal defendant not be able to obtain all evidence needed to defend himself, including the constitutional right to confront his accuser, is worse, in my view.

       

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        That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 5th, 2011 @ 9:24am

        Re: Re: clementi case

        His accuser is the state not the person they seek the details of.

        This defendant created video of what he did and left his own timeline. Then he tried to cover it up.

        Now it matters what this other person can testify to, you know the other person the defendant webcast for others having a romantic encounter with someone who later committed suicide attributed to this invasion of privacy.
        So the defense wants to pick apart this persons life that little extra bit, because the webcast wasn't enough. Maybe they are hoping they can spin up some drama and shift the blame to the dead kid or his date...

         

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:42am

    In theory, if homosexuals are to have the same rights as everyone else, then someone being "outed" as gay should have the same consequences as being "outed" as straight, which is to say none at all. While there can be considerable embarrassment and repercussions from buying porn in general depending on the circumstances, there should be none solely from buying homosexual porn.

    In theory. Obviously reality is different.

     

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      vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:57am

      Re:

      "In theory, if homosexuals are to have the same rights as everyone else"

      Just because some people have put me on a nitpicking roll, same rights != equal rights. But I agree with the sentiment, in an world without homophobia there would be no reason to treat any orientation as more sensitive information.

       

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        Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 2:12pm

        Re: Re:

        my comment below was meant to reply to you.

        if "same rights != equal rights", I think you're using a peculiar definition of either "same" or "equal."

         

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          vivaelamor (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 8:35pm

          Re: Re: Re:

          'if "same rights != equal rights", I think you're using a peculiar definition of either "same" or "equal."'

          Equal and same are quite distinct. Having the same rights implies that they are little different, which may not always be fair. Having equal rights implies fairness. If I have the same rights as someone with different circumstances then our rights may not be equal.

          In the case of marriage, same sex couples have the same right to traditional marriage as everyone else. Civil partnerships don't provide the same right, yet they are more equal. Changing traditional marriage to include same sex couples is even more equal. It's a nit pick except when someone precludes 'the same' with 'exactly', in which case they are beyond dicey semantics. Fair rights may be the same for everyone, but that doesn't mean the same rights for everyone are always fair. Hence equal being a better word.

           

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            Marcus Carab (profile), Nov 4th, 2011 @ 10:52pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re:

            Except changing traditional marriage to include same-sex couples DOES represent "same" rights - because anyone can marry someone of the same sex. I still really don't understand why you are harping on this "equal" thing because, as I said before, unless you are stating that people have to prove they are gay in order to marry someone of the same sex, then ANYONE can do it, and thus it is SAME rights. Your equal-but-different notion is actually really weird, since for that to be possible it would require people to "choose" a set of rights - the "straight rights" or the "gay rights". That's a terrible concept.

             

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              vivaelamor (profile), Nov 5th, 2011 @ 6:18pm

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

              'Your equal-but-different notion is actually really weird, since for that to be possible it would require people to "choose" a set of rights - the "straight rights" or the "gay rights"'

              There is no 'equal but different' notion. I pointed out that having the same rights doesn't necessarily fulfil the needs of equality. It's not a complicated concept:

              Traditional marriage = same rights

              Civil partnerships = equal but different rights (what you seem to think I support)

              Redefining traditional marriage = same AND equal rights (what I actually support)

              The right to not be harassed doesn't come under gay rights, it comes under everyone's rights. It's just gay people are more likely to be harassed so the measures taken to enforce those rights may not be the same. Equality isn't about treating everyone the same, it's about treating them fairly.

              I brought it up because of a commenter emphasising their opinion that everyone should have 'exactly the same rights, no more and no less', which on its own does nothing to ensure equality, especially when the existing rights are not equal. Further, in the context of their assertion that a measure to avoid to hardship is somehow a special privilege above those who aren't subject to that hardship it seemed kind of, you know, not very supportive. In fact it seemed kinda the opposite.

              But hey, it seems that challenging apparent ignorance and potential subtle homophobia falls foul of homophobia phobia. I guess unless someone prefixes their comments by addressing me as a fag then anything I say in response will be considered too darn PC.

               

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                Anonymous Coward, Nov 7th, 2011 @ 2:06pm

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

                The best comparison I can think of is: white men and black men had the "same" right to vote (back in the day) as long as they had land and could read. Of course, since most black men didn't own land and we're not allowed an education the rights were not really equal.

                Viva might be taking this a little too seriously but I understand his point. It is like the people who want to make abortion illegal, not by overturning Roe v Wade but by giving fertilized eggs human rights. They could easily still call themselves pro-Choice. You have the choice to murder a person or not, the consequence of which is jail time. (Just to be clear, I'm pro-Abortion. Not pro-Choice, pro-Abortion, I think we need more of them to reduce the world population ... joking)

                 

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 2:00pm

    "same rights != equal rights"

    ???

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 4:49pm

    I can't believe how many people here and Randazza above are so dishonest as to argue that pointing out the rampant homophobic behavior prevalent in mainstream culture is somehow itself homophobic.

     

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 5:54pm

    I'm tempted to set up a couple bots to troll for Liberty Media gay porn just so they can catch me, name me, and realize I'm not gay just so I can sue for defamation. After all, I can provide a long line of witnesses to prove that. Trolling the trolls!

     

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    Rekrul, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 6:22pm

    Unnumbered Doe suggests that Liberty Media sought the public identities of Does 1-38 to coerce pretrial settlements. Unnumbered Doe’s Mot. 7 (“While we cannot know for certain how the Plaintiff intends to proceed . . . the likely course of action is to contact each of the individuals and demand a monetary payment for settlement of the claims in question.”). This allegation is not supported in the motion papers or by Liberty Media’s actions to date. It is purely speculative and not grounds for allowing the moving defendants to proceed anonymously.

    If the judge allows them to have the names, I wonder what kind of spin he'd try to put on it, when Liberty Media immediately drops the lawsuits and sends all the Does settlement letters.

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 4th, 2011 @ 8:14pm

      Re:

      This judge is 71 yo, but most importantly, he is clueless about the subject he is judging. Shame...

      Simeone should educate judge if it is not to late), but as for Randaza, he is a vermin and must be exterminated.

       

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 5th, 2011 @ 12:48am

    Oh HAI....
    This Judge seems to be unaware of the terms of Randazza's current round of "settlement" letters.

    "Although we have only caught you stealing one movie, it is our intent to forensically examine every single hard drive and other electronic storage device in the gouse, and to depose all members of the household. Thus far, I have yet to find and intellectual property thief who only steals on movie. In any event, I very much doubt that someone who stole Down on the Farm only stole that movie and not many other adult entertainment films."

    "If you challenge jurisdiction, you will either fail in your attempt or you will find your victory to be very pyrrhic."

    And let us not forget about his public statements of harassing everyone in your neighborhood as well to get his man.
    https://torrentfreak.com/are-you-guilty-if-pirates-use-your-internet-lawyer-says-yes-110806/

    Does anyone have any illusions that this is much more than extortion dressed up nicely?
    I mean he has gone out of his way to highlight his "wins" but not the terms of those wins.
    He "won" $250,000. He scared a college kid into taking a settlement for about $25,000 in total to be paid over time and the $250,000 number would be knocked down as long as he is never naughty again and makes his payments on time.

    This is a matter of trying to scare people, and to threaten them if they challenge the improper methods used in bringing this case in court seems like something someone should look into. I'm sure the words are chosen carefully to pass the legal smell test, but now put your self into the shoes of someone without a legal education.

    Now Randazza has taken to sending out forms to get people to waive being served in the suits and to just settle. Funny the cases still don't name the people but the form letter says they have been named... huh.

    Oh and lets not forget the new cases for LMH/Randazza that were severed in FL down to 1 doe each, and motions being quickly filed to try and protect some default judgement demands.

    @Rekrul - Randazza does not drop the cases even after he has the names. The cases only seem to be dropped once a Judge says its been open for way more than 4 months put up or shut up.

    And remember Randazza is of the belief that because your name is on the account you need to pay. That WiFi can't be hacked and even if it happened its still your fault to pay. Isn't the law meant to punish the lawbreaker not someone only indirectly involved? But then an IP address can never tell you who was using it, and the tech being used to capture these IP addresses can be fooled. But then none of the cases ever goes into court where the "evidence" can be shown to be unreliable.

    But then accusing someones 15 yr old of downloading porn and demanding $3000 from the parent will never have a bad result for the 15 yr old. Nope... never happen.

    And do remember that these cases have an effect, one of the trolls out there has been removing police officers, famous people, elected people from his lists... because those are good reasons to unequally apply the law.

     

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