'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. 

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

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49 Comments
Adam Steinbaugh (profile) says:

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.

Chad Miller says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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).

Androgynous Cowherd says:

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.

haha (user link) says:

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!!!!

Captain Obvious says:

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.

Satirical Takedown Lawyer (user link) says:

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.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

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?

Bill (user link) says:

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

John Doe says:

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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