'Attribution Troll' Issues DMCA Notice To Remove Critical Posts From Techdirt, Boing Boing And Popehat
from the must-have-missed-all-the-negative-attention dept
To paraphrase a famous poet, don’t ask for whom the troll trolls, it trolls for thee. To paraphrase another, infamous “poet,” “If only we possessed even a modicum of common sense, we wouldn’t have jabbed the stick back into the quieted hornet’s nest.”
Andy from Torrentfreak brings us the hilarious news that Shaun Shane/On Press Inc has reared its glassy head again via a DMCA notice issued in hopes of removing some highly critical articles from the internet.
Earlier this month TorrentFreak discovered that On Press had filed a DMCA notice with Google against one of our articles, asking the search engine to delist it from the company’s search results. The article was about Twitter copyright complaints but buried away in the comments section was a few paragraphs from Gene Poole, who said the following:
Shane was clearly back, more crazy than ever before – and he wasn’t finished yet. In the same DMCA notice On Press targeted a who’s-who of its critics from earlier in the year.
Perhaps unsurprisingly Techdirt was on the top of the hit list, with Google being ordered to remove a total of 43 URLs that On Press (incorrectly) claimed were infringing copyright, which bizarrely included a URL designed to call up all articles on the site which contained the words “legal” and “threat”.
Adding to the catastrophe, On Press ordered Google to remove the articles written by Rob Beschizza and also Michael Geist, even though the latter was on an unrelated topic. Quite deliciously, mainly because we can’t wait for the Popehat reaction, On Press also ordered Google to censor Ken White’s article.
Yes, Shaun Shane/On Press clearly fails to understand the intrinsic value of keeping a low profile and limiting your harassment to a mixture of Pinterest members and teenage retweeters. Using a clearly bogus DMCA notice to rid the internet of the byproducts of your own misconduct just brings your worst proclivities to the surface again. Every critic On Press tried to censor will be more than happy to add to the negative body of work that currently is the On Press Inc legacy.
As you peruse the URLs On Press attempted to take down here at Techdirt, you’ll notice it tried to cover nearly every base by listing certain tags. One of those is “Knopf Publishing,” which clearly isn’t a tag On Press can screw with. Its multiple accounts still make the false claim that On Press is a “division of Knopf Publishing,” but Knopf itself cleared that issue up when this story first broke.
Speaking of its multiple accounts, here’s a rolling three-page screengrab of nothing but On Press Inc Twitter accounts… and there’s more where that came from.
For an entity so easily moved to inform others about their violations of the Twitter TOS (by posting the unattributed Shaun Shane poem), On Press seems rather unconcerned about its blatant violation of those same rules.
This also isn’t the only DMCA notice On Press has sent. Searching by copyright registration number brings up two pages of other DMCA notices from the “company.” Most target single URLs where the poem has been quoted, but this one is particularly excellent. The URL On Press attempted to nuke is none other than Google’s help page titled “Removing Content from Google.” Fortunately (or unfortunately given the incident under discussion), Google decided to pass on removing this URL.
In fact, every single one of the 91 Techdirt URLs targeted by On Press have been kept alive by Google. Of the 134 URLs targeted, 68% have not been removed. This percentage will likely go even higher once Google finishes its review of the 27 URLs still pending.
Also of note: Shaun Shane finally formally registered his copyright on his book, “A Poem Is Nothing” back on February 22 of this year. (Hat tip to TAC for this info.) Surely this is entirely unrelated to the story blowing up the previous week at places like Boing Boing and Popehat. And entirely unrelated the fact that the stories pointed out that without proper registration, the best Shane could hope to gain from pursuing infringement suits was actual damages, something that would be hard to prove when the only content “threatened” is a print-on-demand book ranked in the low millions at Amazon.
Also of note: Shane, who On Press Inc had previously informed me was “dead,” seems very much alive in his copyright registration.
Copyright Claimant: Shaun Shane, 1964- . Address: 126 Manzanita Way, Salinas, CA, 93908, United States.
Not only that, but nowhere in the registration (or elsewhere at the US Copyright Office site) is there any indication that “On Press Inc” has been assigned control of these rights, lending more credence to the theory that Shaun Shane himself operates the multiple On Press Twitter accounts and is likely behind a majority of the legal threats scattered across the internet under various names.
More evidence exists that Shaun Shane is, in fact, just a pseudonym of a sometimes-Californian who has most likely never been widely celebrated in the New York poetry scene, much less starred in anything directed by John Waters. The reality seems much more banal, which makes the internet flailings much more pathetic. Other information has been gathered during Shane’s short-lived disappearance that lends credence to some of the theories posited in my first post on the subject, but that will remain locked away for the time being. But here’s a small taste of what’s been uncovered. ShaunShane.com was registered shortly after everything blew up. Check out the address of the registrant:
Registrant Name: Mike Miche
Registrant Street: 126 Manzanita Way
Registrant City: Salinas
Registrant State/Province: California
Registrant Postal Code: 93908
Registrant Country: United States
Admin Name: Mike Miche
Admin Street: 126 Manzanita Way
Admin City: Salinas
Admin State/Province: California
Admin Postal Code: 93908
Admin Country: United States
Admin Phone: (281) 798-4911
Shaun Shane is Mike Miche… or at least his roommate, but the alliteration is very hard to ignore.
As it stands now, Shane/Miche/On Press should be expecting nothing less than a steady flow of unattributed poetry over the next few days. Look… it’s already starting.