'Revenge Porn' Site Owners Escalate Their Failure, Going From Bogus DMCA Notices To Bogus Legal Threats

from the we're-going-to-need-a-bigger-FAILboat dept

Apparently, Chance Trahan and Craig Brittain of "revenge porn" site Is Anybody Down are still busily working on their shovel-ready project "Digging Our Own Internet Graves." When we checked in last time, the living proof that two heads are sometimes much, much worse than one had just served up a bogus DMCA notice in a weak effort to censor criticism.

Needless to say, the criticism hasn't ceased and nothing has been taken down. In fact, the boys have moved past the DMCA process and have moved on to completely bogus legal threats to us here at Techdirt, and a number of other sites as well. As described by Popehat, who has received an identical threat, it appears that Trahan and Brittain have decided to dive right into the always-entertaining "bumptious legal threat" arena.
Craig and Chance are now resorting to legal threats. One of them — probably Craig — has left two identical threats here, as well as at Adam's blog, on Wikipedia, and on a satirical video by Captain Obvious:
"Be advised that these actions, your slander and screen shots can and will be used as key factors should a case be pursued against you. Your posting, advertising, marketing, dissipating and otherwise disseminating the slanderous materials constitute actionable violations of Mr. Trahan and Mr Brittain's rights of privacy and publicity."
Adam refers to Adam Steinbaugh, who has been recapping the ongoing Is Anybody Down saga at his blog. This same "legal notice" has also been "served" to Is Anybody Down's Wikipedia page, which ironically enough is already slated for deletion. (Oh, and the Captain Obvious video is worth a watch, along with an earlier video dealing with infamous legal threatener, Charles Carreon.) [Oh, and remind me to start a tumblr called "Slander and Screen Shots" when I get some free time.]

Now, what did I say about starting a war of words with someone who knows way more words than you do? Ken at Popehat tears apart this latest missive from the overmatched duo, so that we don't have to:
This is a notably, remarkably stupid comment, even for an Internet Lawyer. First, slander is verbal; libel is written. Second, "be advised" is a reliable tell of an empty threat. Third, nobody is "marketing" anything; that sounds like an attempt to fabricate a copyright claim. All criticisms are non-commercial, making all quotes and screenshots fair use. Fourth, you gravel-knuckled troglodyte, you mean disseminating, not dissipating, and that word's already in the sentence. Fifth, Trahan and Brittain have no privacy or publicity rights to be free of criticism or satire, however popular that approach is to would-be censors.
This ongoing battle has all the hallmarks of a popcorn-worthy event (and it appears we now have a front row seat). On one side, you have respected and intelligent legal minds. On the other, two lugs who thought they could smarm their way into some easy money, only to find themselves neck-deep in a self-made hole. It appears their constant shouts for "MOAR SHOVEL!" very possibly won't be silenced until the dirt is well over their heads. 


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
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    sehlat (profile), Nov 13th, 2012 @ 2:47pm

    What they're burying themselves in isn't dirt.

    That term is reserved for porn. What they're burying themselves in is generally associated with bulls or horses.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 2:51pm

    Are they seriously talking about privacy rights and publicity rights? Now that's irony given the nature of their business model.

     

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  •  
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    Adam Steinbaugh (profile), Nov 13th, 2012 @ 2:52pm

    I emailed Chance...

    I emailed Chance Trahan and Craig Brittain to offer to correct any statement on my blog that they could point out was inaccurate (and note that I wasn't going to be cowed by legal threats dispatched from a void of legal understanding).

    Chance replied:

    "Thanks, I can now use this as proof as well that you are in turn harassing us. Thanks for replying. I knew you would."

    Sigh.

     

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    •  
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      vegetaman (profile), Nov 13th, 2012 @ 4:21pm

      Slightly modified yet appropriate movie quote time...

      They keep using those words... I do not think they mean what they think they mean.

       

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        Bergman (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:12am

        Re: Slightly modified yet appropriate movie quote time...

        So does Techdirt. This entire page is verbal; It's made of words, after all. Slander is ORAL. Libel is written. BOTH are verbal unless the defamer used pictograms or cartoons instead of words.

         

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      Shadow Dragon (profile), Nov 13th, 2012 @ 5:41pm

      Re: I emailed Chance...

      Don't they realized they'll be laughed out of court?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 7:08pm

      Re: I emailed Chance...

      Yes, everyone knows that a single email, to people who have posted legal threats at you, is harassment.

      I think the site is run by someone who once watched a lawyer on TV.

       

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    Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:13pm

    That's strange. I've never seen "harassment" defined as "responding to baseless legal threats" before. Those boys must be working from their own proprietary dictionary.

     

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    Glen, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

    I'm gonna get some flavored popcorn out for this one.

     

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    identicon
    Joshua Jones, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:24pm

    About time

    Finally! A post about dirt.

     

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  •  
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    Zos (profile), Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:35pm

    Lol, but tell us how you really feel. :P

     

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    loaderboy (profile), Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:36pm

    They need....

    qualified legal counsel. Can someone forward Charles Carreons' Email address?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Amz, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:52pm

    This streisand effect is working for them

    Think about the amount of free publicity you are giving them. Are they really going to damage their reputations? It's a revenge porn site for pete's sake.

    If I were them, I would make more and more outrageous threats and claims until you stopped paying attention.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 4:26pm

      Re: This streisand effect is working for them

      I worry if this might be the case, no one cares about naked unattractive people on the internet, people do care about drawn-out drama. If the point is to get more eyeballs on the poor victims on their site, I'm worried their temper-tantrum might be succeeding.

       

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      Chad Miller, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 4:48pm

      Re: This streisand effect is working for them

      You might want to follow some of those links. IANAL, but the people coming after these guys ARE and they seem to all agree that some degree of seriously illegal activity is going on. Marc Randazza in particular is offering pro bono counsel to anyone featured on the IsAnybodyDown site.

       

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    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 3:53pm

    Man please tell me you and especially Marc R are going to legally nuke these lowlifes?

     

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      Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 4:28pm

      Re:

      If they get a hundred dollar fine and are told to take down their site, I'll be amazed.

      Not because I don't think they haven't done anything illegal, it's just our justice system has a very odd sense of humor when it comes to how heinous some crimes are (downloading a song = 5 million dollar fine and probation for life, taking pictures with no context from victims who are extorted to have them removed = can't be any worse than littering).

       

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    Androgynous Cowherd, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 4:11pm

    Fourth, you gravel-knuckled troglodyte, you mean disseminating, not dissipating, and that word's already in the sentence.


    He probably was thinking of "dispersing", which, like "dissipating", starts with a "dis", has a "p" in the middle, and ends with "ing" and which, unlike "dissipating", would actually fit in with the others, meaning-wise.

     

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    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Nov 13th, 2012 @ 4:51pm

    If they bought the Rightshaven domain name, hired Charles Carreon to represent them, and post about the whole thing on The Oatmeal, it would be the perfect storm...

     

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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 13th, 2012 @ 5:06pm

    *munches on popcorn*
    This is entertainment.

    I wonder if Craig's parents are happy their son is so successful. Who knew living in a basement could lead to such fame.

     

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      Shadow Dragon (profile), Nov 13th, 2012 @ 5:36pm

      Re:

      I doubt It.

       

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Nov 13th, 2012 @ 5:50pm

      Re:

      "That's my son. *sniff* The secondhand pornographer. And extortionist."

       

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        That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 13th, 2012 @ 7:32pm

        Re: Re:

        Well dad is ex-military so I gotta wonder why he allows this in his home. Given the nature of his current work, one wonders if he understands that hits on his name are going to start spitting out what his kids been doing.

        Its not like the boy is overly smart, I had a dossier 2 hours before anyone else mentioned it on Randazza's blog. Seems genius had managed to piss off some Anons previously... why is it they never learn?

        Turnabout being fair play I was surprised that no one setup a website featuring his pics and videos from his cam whore days yet. People have them, the net never forgets, and this genius would be in the same boat as his victims.

        He seemed really angry when the court records were posted, I gotta think his cam whore ads would get a better response.

         

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  •  
    identicon
    haha, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:11am

    none

    Boy, you sure do have them pinned. Yeah right. This is the most useless biased garbage ever written about these two on the internet to date. And you're facts are all wrong, so I guess they're not facts at all then are they? I wouldn't post screenshots if I was you, because if you were half as smart as you pretend to be, then you would see that the dirt is only being shoveled on you in return. Its ovary though because Chance and Craig are not alone in this fight and you're obviously boy winning, you just keep spreading their word for them. And Marc Randazza isn't a real lawyer, expect to hear from the authorities on that one! Anyone else wantto play because I've got ammunition for sloop of you. Keep up the god work, iad fans love this!!!!

     

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:38am

      Re: none

      Ammunition? Blanks, every shot so far.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 12:42am

      Re: none

      "I'll get you my pretty, and your little dog too!"

       

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      Capitalist Lion Tamer (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 3:27am

      Re: none

      Oh, and emind me to set up a Pinterest board called "Its Ovary" when I get some free time.

       

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      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 5:14am

      Re: none

      "boy winning"? "ovary"

      Is there a "porn" setting for auto-correct or something?

       

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      Jeff (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 6:18am

      Re: none

      This is hilarious! If this doesn't win this week's funniest comment... we are doomed! ;-)

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Captain Obvious, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:42am

      Re: none

      @Techdirt

      Thanks for the referral to my videos I'm glad you found them entertaining and informative.

      @none

      Boy you must be smokin some good stuff there buddy because you have no idea how silly you sound.

      “I wouldn't post screenshots if I was you,”

      Really? Why not? OMG it’s it’s – screen shots. Your understanding of the law = fail.

      “Chance and Craig are not alone in this fight”

      Oohhh the mysterious army of yet unnamed big wig lawyers and other important peoples. Wonder if they come from the same place as David Blade you know 1-800-IMA-FAKE

      “And Marc Randazza isn't a real lawyer, expect to hear from the authorities on that one!”

      Uh yeah like David Blade is a real lawyer.

       

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      Cory of PC (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 7:58am

      Re: none

      You know, I could rip this apart and make fun of it, but I won't. Seriously, this alone has enough fuel to make a ton of comments. I could see some things that I love to rip into and they aren't the odd words.

      A bit of advice: if you want people to take you seriously, get your facts right and try to spell check!

       

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    •  
      icon
      Dirkmaster (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 8:58am

      Re: none

      Grow
      1) Up
      2) A brain

       

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    •  
      icon
      Adam Steinbaugh (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 9:56am

      Re: none

      "King me!"

      "Chance, this is chess."

       

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      identicon
      Satirical Takedown Lawyer, Nov 14th, 2012 @ 10:31am

      Re: none

      As the (satirical mockery of the) lawyer involved in this case, let me give you a piece of advice Chance/Craig. Keep comments like this coming. Other lawyers might tell you to shut up and keep quiet, but I promise you, the best thing you can do right now is to be as noisy as possible. Because this right here is gold.

       

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    •  
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      That Anonymous Coward (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 6:01pm

      Re: none

      So Chance do you still do cam shows?
      I mean a little gay for pay never hurt anyone's reputation.

      But then your reputation is pretty much in the shitter right now. You understand that they can use your IP address to tie this post back to you and your other little fledgling site right?

      And the fact you run around making baseless legal threats will not help your case 1 bit. I look forward to you screaming how its unfair when your facing charges of extortion and anything else they can find to level at you.

      So is the construction and lockpick companies yours or daddies?

       

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    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 10:14am

    "...slander is verbal; libel is written."

    Even I knew that, and I'm a moron in a hurry.

     

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    another mike (profile), Nov 14th, 2012 @ 10:49am

    gravel-knuckled troglodyte

    That would be a great name for a band.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Bill, Nov 17th, 2012 @ 4:43pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    @None, Marc isn't a real lawyer? I bet the legal buttrape you're about to take, or, I mean Chance Trahan and Craig Brittain are about to take won't feel like real buttrape. He sure is famous and making some big money for being not real. The only thing that's not real about all of this is consent from the victims, but you'll see that first hand really soon - like anyone other than you tow turds talk about IAD anyway

     

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    identicon
    John Doe, Nov 18th, 2012 @ 6:46pm

    Other Similar Sites

    There's another site out there with initials PM, I don't want to give the exact link obviously. They seem to be much more malicious and do their very best to contact the girls' friends and family. Their overseas webhost probably won't do anything about them and they probably hid their identity well. The girls could use the DMCA to at least get their results removed from Google though (if they took the photos themselves).

    If the owner is ever unmasked, I suspect he won't sleep very well at night. He's screwed over a lot of women.

     

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    identicon
    John Doe, Nov 18th, 2012 @ 6:53pm

    Other Similar Sites

    It's ironic that the admin on that site I mentioned heavily censors the comments. He can censor all he wants but he's the one who will need to sleep with one eye open from now on. He's screwed over quite a few women in a serious way. He'll never rest with a clean conscience.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Captain Obvious, Dec 29th, 2012 @ 9:03am

    Well their stupidity never ends. Today I received a takedown request from YouTube because of - wait for it - privacy issues. I'm responding to YouTube who I am confident will keep the video in place after they read my response. The irony of their pathetic attempt is well - obvious.

     

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


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