Teri Buhl Threatens To Sue Us And Others; Still Seems Confused About The Law

from the some-free-advice dept

I had kind of thought that after we posted our response to Teri Buhl, who got upset about our original article about her whacko claims that her publicly posted tweets could not be quoted, that the story would hopefully fade away. However, this morning, Jim Romenesko, who allowed Buhl to “respond” to us via his blog, has published another story noting that the thanks he received from Buhl is that she is threatening to sue him. Lovely. Oh yeah, and in her communication with Romenesko, she apparently told him she’s planning to sue us at Techdirt, too (which, by the way, is the first we’ve heard of this):

Today, Buhl is threatening to sue me for using the photo from her Twitter page. She says she owns the image and never gave me or others permission to publish it. She adds that she’s going to file a small claims suit against Mark Bennett and Techdirt for keeping the photo on their sites after being told to take it down.

“I don’t want add you the same list [sic],” she writes. “I’m asking Poynter and Knight to do the same thing today before I file.”

My response to her: “Really, Teri?”

She replied:

yes really Jim – I am going to push it. It’s a matter a principle I am sick of other publications lifting other jurnos ideas, photos, words etc… and printing them on their publications with out permission or proper credit with links etcc. I think it’s an issue that should have been challenged a long time ago. I took the photo I own it etc…

Of course, in our last post on the subject, we suggested that Buhl acquaint herself with fair use rules. It would appear that she has chosen not to do that. We did not “lift” her “ideas, photos, words.” We reported on her actions and statements.

It also appears that she has not familiarized herself with the nature of copyright law, and the fact that small claims courts have no jurisdiction over copyright issues. Not that I should be doing the legal work the lawyer she claims to have contacted failed to do, but 28 USC 1338 notes:

The district courts shall have original jurisdiction of any civil action arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents, plant variety protection, copyrights and trademarks. No State court shall have jurisdiction over any claim for relief arising under any Act of Congress relating to patents, plant variety protection, or copyrights.

This is kind of basic stuff.

Amusingly, just a few weeks ago, we wrote about the Copyright Office exploring the idea of setting up a small claims court for copyright. But, as of right now, it does not exist.

And, even if we ignored that pesky bit of information, we’ve still got the fair use hurdle, which she can’t get past. She claims “I took the photo I own it etc.” Except, it’s not that simple. If she took the photo, she might hold the copyright on certain elements of the photo — but that is not the same as “owning” the entire photo and being able to block any and all uses of it. This is another thing any lawyer would hopefully explain to her. Our use of the photo, to show the key point of contention that led to the story (her claiming via her Twitter profile, incorrectly, that no one could quote her Twitter feed), was clearly for the purpose of reporting on her claims. Suing us, Bennett (a lawyer) or Romenesko would not likely go well for Buhl who seems very focused on bluster, with little legal basis to back it up. We could go through a very, very, very long list of case law and the actual text of copyright law that shows that what we did is absolutely reasonable and protected action, but I guess we’ll save it for this “lawsuit” should it ever actually be filed.

Oh, and one more thing. In the comments on the Romenesko post, she makes this rather incredible statement:

how about this – no one who wrote about this little debate has bothered to call an experienced copyright lawyer and get a comment. I did before I wrote Jim.

This is actually wrong on so many levels. The initial story, involving her original claims, included “experienced copyright lawyer” Marc Randazza noting that her claims were “moronic.” However, for her edification, this morning I reached out to three more “experienced copyright lawyers” who agreed that she doesn’t seem to understand the law, on a whole variety of levels, as we discussed in our response to her many attempts to contact us, and as explained above.

In the meantime, Mark Bennett, who wrote the original post that kicked this whole thing off, has been doing a nice job cataloging the ever-changing legal theories that Buhl keeps tossing out there — none of which have much basis in reality:

  1. That republishing tweets designated “not for publication” can be the basis for a lawsuit.
  2. That she hadn’t written the tweets I republished (“Mark did you fact check my twitter feed to make sure I tweeted what you published?”).
  3. That I libeled her.
  4. That retweeting “protected” tweets can be the basis for a lawsuit (“I think the question is if tweets are protected are they public”).
  5. That republishing her tweets violates her copyright.
  6. That republishing her background photo violates her copyright.

As he notes: “Changing theories is always a good indication that the person threatening a lawsuit has no good reason to sue: if you have a reason to file suit, you know it.”

So, once again, Ms. Buhl might want to think carefully before proceeding with any planned legal action against us or others. Contrary to her stated opinion, these are not unsettled matters, nor is the law in her favor. Similarly, she might want to recognize that, once proven wrong, digging in and making further claims is not a productive course of action. Sometimes it’s okay to admit that you were wrong, and to let it go.

Filed Under: , , , , , , , ,

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Teri Buhl Threatens To Sue Us And Others; Still Seems Confused About The Law”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Grammar!

Correct canonical usage in this case would be “stealing my stoopid” (commonly misspelled with a ‘u’). Use of the plural or insertion an additional letter ‘o’ may be warranted for particularly egregious cases (such as the matter at hand), in which the perpetrator of stoopid has a seemingly infinite supply of same.

Regarding theft of: Stupidity exists only due to post facto analysis of one’s actions by one or more witnesses. Theft of that which will at some point manifest as stupidity must, by definition, come before instantiation, as once instantiated, a stoopid is fully depreciated, and no longer has any actual ownership value, except in a court of law.

In order to steal someone’s stoopid, any potential thief would have to know in advance of instantiation that one possessed stoopid; but since the existence of stoopid can only be ascertained at the moment that its instantiation and energetic depreciation converts it to (valueless) commodity stupidity, there’s no way one can plan to steal stoopid in advance. Ergo it is simply not possible to steal stoopid from someone else — stoopid can only come from within.

Anonymous Coward says:

Teri Buhl seems to exist on this planet for two reasons and two reasons only:

-Free amusement to people who understand the laws that she is attempting to abuse
-A living, breathing example of how important copy editors are. “Jurnos”? “etcc.”? REALLY? And she misuses more ellipses than some Japanese video game characters, to boot!

I thought to be a “jurno” you had to have some basic knowledge of writing. How disappointing it is to be proven wrong in such a way.

mockingbird (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

I did a quick search on twitter, evidently journo (or variant thereof) is not an uncommon abbreviation for journalist.
as language changes, especially via txting and twitter, where words get abbreviated or merged, these terms tend to get adopted. wait a few years and you may see it officially added to a dictionary.
I’m guessing ‘etcc’ is a variation of ‘etc etc’, commonly used when I was much younger, but often changed to simply ‘etc’ a decade or so ago.
maybe as a compromise for ‘etceteras’ …
overall, I’m less inclined to attack someones language as their ideas. it’s the idea that is important.
if it’s valid, it’ll stand up under attack, if not it’ll tend to crumple.
otherwise, attacking language is about as useful as calling someone names.
‘einstien speaks funny’ is a poor argument aimed at his theories. 😉
so.. focus. 🙂

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

  1. yes, ‘journo’ has been around for a long time…
    ‘jurno’, never heard of it, but a poster further down says it is some sort of newspeak…
    whatever, sounds stoopid…

  2. ‘etcc’, never heard of that either… actually ‘etc’ is an abbreviation for ‘et cetera’ (two words), meaning ‘and others’ in latin… (yeah, those two years did pay off!) it is already ‘plural’, in that sense…
  3. if you followed the links provided by someone else previously, buhl is a full blown wackaloon; along the lines of that chick who was suing the guy over taking similar photographs… buhl was REALLY creepy in her stalkerish behavior, and her sockpuppets to ‘defend’ her crazy…
    (apparently, she is incapable of stopping the digging…)

    (i actually emailed the photographer wench, and she IS definitely skull-fucked… she kept on insisting i was the guy who ‘copied’ her precious photos; i just exchanged 2-3 emails telling her she was full of it, and she would send an occasional email afterwards saying something along the lines of ‘i know its you, ryan’ (? i think that was the guy’s name)…
    she is weird in a future-crazy-aunt-in-the-attic way, not weird in the fun-loving, try-anything kind of way…

    art guerrilla
    aka ann archy

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Self control

I was actually waiting for Mike to give her an eloquently worded smackdown like he did the last time someone sent them a legal threat. (I would have included the link if I could find it but it was a few months ago and I couldn’t.) I guess he actually feels sorry for her and decided to go easy on her.

Spaceman Spiff says:

Legal fees?

If this idiot (and that is a modest approximation of her intelligence) realized that what suing for such stuff was going to cost her in paying her “victims'” legal fees, I think she would have another think about the advisability of such suits – but then thinking seems to be beyond her capabilities…

Anonymous Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Legal fees?

I think this may be another of her misunderstandings.

She adds that she’s going to file a small claims suit against Mark Bennett and Techdirt for keeping the photo on their sites after being told to take it down.

One does not use lawyers in Small Claims court, so she has not considered those fees. I think it might take the reality of a lawyer asking for a retainer to file the proper suit to wake her up.

Anonymous Coward says:

I don’t recall the picture that she’s claiming to own, but unless she took a selfie, the copyright on the photo likely belongs to the photographer and he/she is merely licensing the photo to her (or isn’t, and she’s technical infringing, but no one is complaining). Whoever clicks the button is the one that owns the copyright unless some hoops are jumped through to transfer it to someone else.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: mental illness

I doesn’t remind me of mental illness. It reminds me of a petulant spoiled child that pitches a temper tantrum every time she doesn’t get her way. This is behavior that is expected from people like my 5 year old daughter. My wife and I work very hard to not allow that sort of behavior when our daughter exhibits it as she will eventually learn that it gets her nowhere. Unfortunately far too many people are allowed to reach adulthood without learning that lesson. And this is what happens as a result.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: mental illness

So you are saying that ineffective (or the lack of) parenting causes mental illness? And would you then also describe Rupert Murdoch’s tirades as mental illness? What about John MacArthur’s little screeds? Sure they weren’t resorting to threatening people, but they do retain the remnants of a 5 year-old’s temper tantrum because they were not getting their way. (And yes I would say those cases are also a result of a lack of or ineffective parenting as well.)

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 mental illness

So you are saying that ineffective (or the lack of) parenting causes mental illness?

No. I’m saying that effective parenting can reduce the effective of certain kinds of mental illness. There are millions of children raised by ineffective (and worse!) parents who grow up to be normal and healthy. Bad parenting can be a factor in these sorts of things, but it’s not a cause.

And would you then also describe Rupert Murdoch’s tirades as mental illness?

Yes. I’m not familiar with John MacArthur. In general, you find a disproportionate percentage of people with power are mentally ill.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:3 mental illness

John MacArthur is the Harper’s guy.

“children raised by ineffective (and worse!) parents”

If your last name is “Buhl” and you name child “Teri” that alone should count as child abuse or neglect for the years of torment you will inevitably subject them to. Either that or they were obliviously clueless to that fact which would also explain a lot about how her behavior.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: mental illness

Ohai Nina!

It is a long running episode, I finally caved and looked into her other claim to fame. The lawsuit against her.

After the Judge told her to have no contact with the people she is to alleged to have harassed she got pissy with the Judge and then stood in the hallway breathlessly telling the reporters how it was so unfair that she wouldn’t be able to follow up on her underage drinking report that she was contracted to do. Except shes a financial reporter, and picked a bench trial because the media made sure she couldn’t get a fair trial…

She appears to be in a constant delusional state, as I stated below she is moving from funny haha to funny utoh.

G Thompson (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The Dunning-Kruger effect is probably pretty prevalent here Though BPD (Butthurt Personality Disorder) also works

Why people fail to recognize their own incompetence” (PDF) is a pretty good read though for those wanting the Abstract:

Successful negotiation of everyday life would seem to require people to possess insight about deficiencies in their intellectual and social skills. However, people tend to be blissfully unaware of their incompetence. This lack of awareness arises because poor performers are doubly cursed: Their lack of skill deprives them not only of the ability to produce correct responses, but also of the expertise necessary to surmise that they are not producing them. People base their perceptions of performance, in part, on their preconceived notions about their skills. Because these notions often do not correlate with objective performance, they can lead people to make judgments about their performance that have little to do with actual accomplishment.

Anonymous Coward says:

Oh god. I looked at the links in the article, where she was allowed to post her “response” and threatened to sue people. She’s leaving comments folks. Amazing, hilarious comments.

I think I saw one that basically said, “I’m kind of a big deal. So I don’t need to know how to spell or use proper punctuation.” (Note that those two sentences are my interpretation of what was actually written. They are in no way actual sentences written by Teri, who seems to have studied at the same places our very own darryl went to school. Yeah, she writes at the same level as darryl. It’s that bad.)

Josef Anvil (profile) says:


Reading is fundamental. IF Teri had a shred of common sense and ANY ability to comprehend what she reads, THEN all she would have to do is click back ONE single article.

IF she is really that upset, THEN all she has to do is add to the bogus DMCA takedown database. Isn’t that the first step in dealing with copyright infringement online?

Or is she just looking for $150k in statutory damages?

AC Duck says:

ISP record shows TB Lied about FB Posting

According to Teri Buhl’s Arrest Warrant Doc, Tery Buhl claims she didn’t post the underage girl’s sex diary contents on Facebook.
But the warrant shows that the Tasha Moore Facebook Account was logged in by an IP address belonging to Cablevision subscriber Teri Buhl.

The IP address is included in this arrest warrant doc.
(file is pdf without an extension.
If you Google for “Tasha Moore” “Teri Buhl”, you will get the same link)

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Re: ISP record shows TB Lied about FB Posting

FSM forgive me.
An IP address does NOT equal a person.
Without details about her home setup it will be hard to say for certain she is responsible for the posting.
If she does not have wifi setup, it is more likely.
If she has stored passwords for the account, yeah it was her.

And in true failure fashion that doc is not actually redacted. Why do people never learn.

DanZee (profile) says:


She’s just plain crazy. This was all fought in the 1990s when various newspapers sued the Drudge Report because he linked to their stories. And news stories always had a fair use exemption when quoting material that was newsworthy. Someone she thinks the Internet is taking money out of her picket, although like the record companies with piracy, she can’t demonstrate that.

vilain (profile) says:

Streisand Effect in full force

With this topic now throughly exhausted, Ms. Buhl continues to dig herself deeper and deeper into the dark hole of “clueless fool”. If some attorney decides to take her case, I hope the judge slaps the case with sanctions and this woman walks away with her rectum handed to her in a handbasket.

Meanwhile, I’m going to CostCo and buy a pallet of microwave popcorn. Between the Righthaven, Preenda, and this case, I’m throughly entertained.

John85851 (profile) says:

Two points...

1) Everyone should know that people like this will eventually find a sympathetic lawyer (or rather, one who will charge her tons of money to take her case) who will then file the lawsuit on her behalf (again, to make more money), even though he knows it’s a waste of his time and the court’s time.

2) Like any bullying, this is all bluster. If you have a lawsuit to file, especially with so much “evidence”, you file the lawsuit- you don’t go around talking about how someday you’re really going to do it.

That Anonymous Coward (profile) says:

Oh sweet FSM let her name me in one of her imaginary lawsuits.

My life has been a little boring lately, and I could use the sheer joy of tearing her apart loudly and publicly.
I’m not a coward of means, but I might just might have a little good will saved up with some lawyers who would have a field day on a case like this.

Ms. Buhl, you have not heeded my sage advice.
You REALLY REALLY need to STFU, apologize and hope that removing yourself from the internet will prove the old adage correct that absence makes the heart grow fonder.
You claim you know how to do research, yet can’t be bothered to fact check your own claims.
You claim to be a journalist, but have no concept of what covering something looks like.
You claim to have been wronged, but you need to understand your just wrong.

You need to stop, take a deep breath, untwist your panties, and understand you have destroyed ANY credibility you ever might have had. The damage you have done to yourself might be called career ending. I’m guessing its not much of a career as the claim to fame I keep seeing people talking about associated with you was stealing a girls diary and being stupid about it or something. Your not even interesting enough for me to read those stories, your basic failure to understand or accept that your appearing as a raving psycho screaming how everyone but you is wrong borders on not funny haha but funny utoh.

Once again my comments are off the record so by your rules you can’t use them anywhere else. Neener neener.

Your in a canoe without a forward locomotive device, and your drilling holes in the hull. Find a grown up to explain it to you, your wrong and anyone telling you otherwise just wants to watch you fall or have you pay them a nice retainer.

Will says:

Photo copyright infringement

The first five points on the list of insanity seems fair enough to me, but I’m curious about the sixth point.

“6. That republishing her background photo violates her copyright.”

Recently the AFP and Washington Post were found guilty of infringing a photographers copyright by reproducing photos from his twitter account.


I’m assuming similar rules would apply. So my question is how does that case affect the argument she’s putting forth?

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...