'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 Organization:
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 Organization:
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.

Filed Under: , , , , , , ,
Companies: knopf publishing, on press inc.

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Comments on “'Attribution Troll' Issues DMCA Notice To Remove Critical Posts From Techdirt, Boing Boing And Popehat”

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R.H. (profile) says:


Why would someone so vilified on the internet actually register his website with his actual physical address and (I assume) phone number? This is what PO Boxes and Google Voice numbers are for. I almost feel sorry for this guy and the rather large number of random things that will be delivered to his residence once this hits Reddit.

art guerrilla (profile) says:

Re: Why?

my google voice number is my real cellyphone number, you insensitive clod ! ! !

i actually have a separate google voice number i signed up for when they first came out, but when i got new cellyphone a while back, sprint works with google that allows you to sync your cellyphone number with an identical google voice number…

in fact, they took a google voice number somebody else had which was my cellyphone number, and gave it to me…

kind of annoying in that it forwards to a couple email accounts, so my tablet jingles when it comes in on on gmail email, then jingles again when it comes into another email, and then does it all over when they go through k9 email…

THEN my phone rings with the message: yep, my phone is the LAST piece of electronics to get a phone message ! ! !

art guerrilla
aka ann archy

Gwiz (profile) says:

“If only a certain “poet” wasn’t such an ass, how much more laughter can we take?”

? 2013 Gwiz All Rights Reserved (plus a few extra “rights” that don’t even really exist) Violators will be drawn and quartered. Void where prohibited. Prohibited where void. Offer not available in NJ, HI or and all Lunar territories. Be kind, please rewind. No refunds and/or exchanges. Allow 2-3 weeks for delivery. Go Red Wings! Author not responsible for any physical and/or psychological damage resulting from misuse of this poem.

out_of_the_blue says:

Ah, just the kind of hissy fit anomaly that Mike and minions enjoy!

So why should I care?

I’ve started a list to pigeon hole Techdirt posts. This one hits the first and biggest:

) Unique anomalies of copyright mis-use and stating that all copyright istherefore bad. A big pigeon hole because almost daily fare. — Can you cite asingle piece in which Mike remarks favorably on copyright?

Transmitte (profile) says:

“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.”

That takes some bally-balls to attempt to order Google around.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

I think he has moved on. Originally he wanted attention through the things he pulled and mostly he tried to troll Twitter. Now he is pushing it to the limit and he seems to be making his piece of art “trying to get punished for misrepresentation in accordance with 512(f).”.

I actually think he will fail this piece of performance art since that part of the law is decisively dorment in the online domain.

Neal says:

Re: 123 Manazanita way

Actually, it’s 126 MANzanita Way, and I see the low bungalow nestled near the mountains, south of San Jose. Quite pretty, nice big lawn, not a bad place. I gather there may be more traffic soon…

Of course, if whoever registered this soon after the original kerfuffle did it to troll someone unconnected (or a rival, or a big critic, or whatever), they played a long game and now is when their plan is going to bear fruits.

Signs4him (profile) says:

Re: 123 Manazanita way

also interesting to note is the phone number listed on the registration is a Houston area code.
He seems to spend a lot of time in Texas. I wrote a blog post about the original incident (which was listed in the DMCA request, I’m proud to be in the company of Popehat & Techdirt) & got a comment that had to of been from Shane, which came from an IP just outside of Houston (my location…which is why I would love to be caught up in a suit if it goes that far, Texas has a great anti-SLAPP statute that could apply)

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: 123 Manazanita way

It could easily be a cell number that simply has a Houston AC. I know a lot of people that used to live somewhere else that never changed their cell number when they moved here. Also I have signed up for voice apps for mobile devices that gave me a number in an area code that I have never been to. So while that is a good indication of where he is, it’s not as reliable as it used to be.

Sheogorath (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

The article talks about Shaun Shane (or whoever he may be) filing false DMCA claims that include the phrase, “I swear, under penalty of perjury, that the information in the notification is accurate, and that I am the copyright owner or am authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.” That’s where this prick’s risk of being found guilty of perjury comes from, the fact that he’s lying on what is, to all intents and purposes, a legal document and knows it.

Anonymous Coward says:

I have reason to believe that Shawn Shane/Mike Miche is a Mr. Francis A Murphy of 6 Oakley Downs Pl in the town of Spring, Texas, 77382-2549. Here’s the White Pages page: http://www.whitepages.com/name/Francis-A-Murphy/Spring-TX/b2q5iaj

For the phone number listed on the GoDaddy registration page, (281) 798-4911, SpyDialer returned a name of Francis and PrivacyStar returned a name of Murphy, Francis. The listed address fits the Texas accent that Mr. Shane so proudly displays in his poetry reading videos, the listed age of 40-44 in the White Pages fits both the middle-aged look as well as the listed year of birth on Mr. Shane’s PoemHunter page (http://www.poemhunter.com/shaun-shane/, 196? – a birthdate in the late 1960s puts Mr. Shane’s age in the late 40s). The area code of both the mobile number listed on Mr. Shane’s/Mr Miche’s GoDaddy registration and the home number listed on the WhitePages listing is the same (281), and the location (Spring, Texas) fits what Signs4him said in post #29 (“I wrote a blog post about the original incident…& got a comment that had to of been from Shane, which came from an IP just outside of Houston”)

Of course there’s a chance that this Francis A Murphy person has absolutely nothing to do with this poem mess going on, but from the research I’ve done I’m pretty sure that this is the Shawn Shane/Mike Mitch/On Press Inc. founder that’s been causing so much trouble.

Anonymous Coward says:

And for the record, a reverse address search on WhitePages for 126 Manazanita Way in Salinas, California, turns up three people living in the residence – an Anne Floyd and a Celest Murphy. Any relation to the Anne Murphy mentioned by Techdirt in an earlier article about On Press? http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130211/20400521946/bizarre-attribution-troll-bullies-twitter-users-into-compliance-with-baseless-legal-threats.shtml

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