Randy Queen Keeps Digging: Issues DMCA Takedown On Blog Post About Him Issuing DMCA Takedowns

from the really-dude? dept

Oh, Randy Queen. If you don’t recall, on Monday morning we wrote about him sending some questionable DMCA takedown requests to Tumblr, concerning the Escher Girls Tumblr account, which had posted some of his comic illustrations. Queen, the author of the Darkchylde comic, apparently did not take too kindly to Escher Girls highlighting his work. That is, perhaps, because the Escher Girls Tumblr is all about highlighting ridiculous portrayals of women in pop culture. As we noted, the original works appeared to be a perfect example of fair use — a concept Queen apparently is unfamiliar with. Escher Girls wrote about his takedowns in a surprisingly even-handed fashion, just informing readers what was going on, but also noting it had no desire to “feud” with him.

In response, Queen sent a ridiculous email threatening a bogus defamation claim based on his bizarre (and, well, very very wrong) belief that copyright gives him the right to “protect the perception” of his work.

Believe it or not, that wasn’t enough for Queen. Escher Girls creator Ami Angelwings informs us that he’s now also sent a DMCA takedown on the original Escher Girls story about his DMCA takedowns. Tumblr hasn’t taken the original down, but did (for unknown reasons) remove all of the reblogged versions of the Escher Girls post. The last URL in the image below was that Escher Girls post:

At this point, Queen is actually playing with legal fire. While you could make the argument that Queen was just clueless about fair use with his original takedowns, with the takedown on the article about his takedowns he has to know that it contains nothing that is covered by his own copyright. He’s blatantly abusing the DMCA to silence a critic. We’ve covered the mostly useless 512(f) provision of the DMCA before, but Queen might want to pay attention to it, because it lets the victims of truly abusive DMCA notices sue for damages and attorneys fees. And Queen has just made it pretty damn clear that he is abusing the process to try to silence a critic.

Meanwhile, Popehat has the details of yet another email that Queen sent to Escher Girls, in which he tries out yet another insane legal theory: that this is all “harassment”:

So, at this point it becomes harassment.

Instead of simply removing the content you do not have the right to electronically distribute, you wish to persist in character assassination, and alleged abuse of copyright claims via armchair lawyers.

Let?s say I take someone?s old copyrighted photography and ?corrected? it for them, as well as posted disparaging comments to circulate along with what may be someone?s first exposure to the work. Guess what? I don?t have the right to do that, it?s not my content. And based on the comments in this thread, it?s an easy argument to make that it is damaging.

There are people and animals suffering and dying in the world, and real human rights issues in certain countries, and this is what you take issue with? Art nearly two decades old? I think there are greater causes to champion with the limited time and energy we are given on this Earth.

For anyone this may apply to ? instead of taking shots at art someone did many years ago while they were still learning ? which are no longer representative of their current art style or direction for their character ? I encourage you to spend your time, energy, and courage on creating your own comics, and then make the necessary personal sacrifices to bring them to the world.

If you think you can do better work, or have more success with it ? I encourage you to do so. I promise I will never attack anything you create, and would only wish you only love and happiness.

Since you enjoy posting private emails, and needlessly escalating matters, I’m sure this will be next, and would again ask you to please stop.

I am sure there are more positive uses of both of our time.

Sincerely,
~ R

Right. So the filing of false DMCA takedown notices and bogus legal threats is not the harassment? Telling the world (in pretty damn even-handed tones) what Queen did is harassment? Queen really ought to speak to a lawyer (and maybe someone with more than two minute’s experience on the internet). Also, once again, Queen seems to have no idea what fair use means.

Randy Queen’s version of copyright is as imaginary and as improbable as the female characters he draws.

And to then jump to, as Popehat calls it, “there-are-children-starving-in-Fuckistan arguments” just adds to the layers of ridiculousness. Just a few days ago, I mentioned that one of the most ridiculous and trollish arguments is to say because you’re not doing something about “totally unrelated problem” you have no right to do something about the thing you’re actually addressing.

At this point, Randy Queen appears to be approaching Charles Carreon-levels of absurdity, and we can only offer the same advice we suggested to him (and which an appeals court recently offered to Team Prenda): stop digging.

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Comments on “Randy Queen Keeps Digging: Issues DMCA Takedown On Blog Post About Him Issuing DMCA Takedowns”

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56 Comments
TexasAndroid (profile) says:

Re: How long, how long...

Not to say that his actions up to this point have been smart, but that would take the stupidity to a new level. So far he’s been attacking someone who 1) doesn’t particularly want to fight back, and 2) has been going out of her way to take the high road in the whole thing.

Going after TechDirt (or better yet PopeHat) would bring directly into the fight some of the people on the internet most guaranteed to fight back, and fight back hard. About the only internet personality/entity worse to go after would be Randazza. 🙂

John Fenderson (profile) says:

Re: Re: How long, how long...

Although Ami did call for help from Popehat and got a pledge of assistance from him — so she’s not exactly an easy mark. Also, her comments make it clear that she has a very solid understanding of the legal landscape and issues. So doubly not an easy mark.

Ami doesn’t want a fight, but she has a very respectable army and solid tactical knowledge. She’s walking softly and carrying a big stick.

Anonymous Coward says:

“I promise I will never attack anything you create, and would only wish you only love and happiness.”

Well there is that thing you recently did to the creativity on her blog(tumbler) in which you hit her with a DMCA take down notice , where’s the love dude? where’s this creative compassion you speak of?

Anonymous Coward says:

I detected a little bit of this.

Moral high ground fallacy – in which one assumes a “holier-than-thou” attitude in an attempt to make oneself look good to win an argument.

This one particularly infuriates me to no end because I see it pop up ALL the time.

Fallacy of relative privation – dismissing an argument due to the existence of more important, but unrelated, problems in the world.

Anonymous Coward says:

For anyone this may apply to – instead of taking shots at art someone did many years ago while they were still learning – which are no longer representative of their current art style or direction for their character

Maybe instead of attacking her with bogus DMCA notices , and simply going to her and asking that she let you offer the same incite on her blog maybe through a Q&A this pulic shaming could have been avoided.

Chosen Reject (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Said the kettle to the pot:

There are people and animals suffering and dying in the world, and real human rights issues in certain countries, and this is what you take issue with? Someone showing and commenting on pictures that are nearly two decades old? I think there are greater causes to champion with the limited time and energy we are given on this Earth.

Anonymous Coward says:

In really ought to be noted in all of this that this appears to be Randy Queen’s current website:

http://www.darkchylde.com/

I use the term “current” rather loosely. The “news” page hasn’t been updated since 2012, with most of the ‘recent’ news being about some figurine of the character. The “shop” link goes to a non-existent ebay store. The downloads link does appear to link to a means of purchasing digital copies of the series, which is short to say the least.

In short, he’s hardly particularly active as an artist as best I can tell. It’s not even clear to me that he’s still actively working as an artist. Webcomics that ended a year ago have released more material, more recently than he has.

Kevin Carson (user link) says:

Streisand Effect past tipping point

Yesterday Queen’s website was at the top of Google search results, and Techdirt’s negative coverage was listed at No. 4.

Today Queen’s personal site is down to number four, after three negative links including Techdirt’s and Popehat’s coverage, and the number five result is the Escher Girls post about his actions (despite his efforts to suppress it).

The Streisand Effect exponential growth curve is on the second half of the chessboard now, and Queen has dug himself so far into the Earth’s mantle only dogs can hear him.

Anonymous Coward says:

I believe this is Queen’s idea of trying to intimate the little guy (Ami Angelwings in this case) without having to actually spend the money to do the lawyer thing. He appears to me to be big on ego and little in common sense that tells you leave well enough alone.

I seriously doubt he’s gonna go after Techdirt nor Popehat as that is way out of his league.

In the process of doing this he is showing his character or rather his character faults. No one has to point them out as he is displaying them for all to see.

I would suggest Mr. Queen roll in his horns while he still has them. The next step is gonna hurt.

DogBreath says:

Randy, Randy, Randy.

There are people and animals suffering and dying in the world, and real human rights issues in certain countries, and this is what you take issue with? Art nearly two decades old? I think there are greater causes to champion with the limited time and energy we are given on this Earth.

For anyone this may apply to – instead of taking shots at art someone did many years ago while they were still learning – which are no longer representative of their current art style or direction for their character – I encourage you to spend your time, energy, and courage on creating your own comics, and then make the necessary personal sacrifices to bring them to the world.

I don’t know how he wanted to come off sounding, but I read this in Chris Crocker voice.

Although, it would be just as good in Seth Green voice.

Anonymous Coward says:

There are also greater causes Randy Queen could apply himself to rather than trying bully a small site. Evidently Randy has no sense of what is important by his own words. In the scope of problems he mentions are looming, why is he wasting time with this? Isn’t it time he puts on his hero suit and goes and takes care of them?

Or is it the problems mentioned in passing are just a red herring?

Lurker Keith says:

The Function of Art in Society

Isn’t the entire purpose of Art to encourage public conversations? There’s an entire FIELD dedicated to Art Criticism.

Every artist ought to know that once their work is out there, people are going to comment on it. That’s Pro Art 101. Pro Art 201 is that not everyone is going to like it.

This has gone from Copyright/ DMCA abuse to a SLAPP Suit pretty quickly.

If he keeps going, I think he’ll have traded a shovel for acids to eat away the ground he thinks he’s standing on faster.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: He sounds depressed

That would not be a surprise. He’s basically a has been artist. He had a flare of success in the mid to late 90s with Darkchylde, and then basically nothing. Darkchylde was a relatively short lived series, and he hasn’t really done anything after. Around 2007 there was talk of a movie, which fizzled out a few years ago. Around 2008 he was apparently supposed to work on a new series named Starfall, which apparently never managed more than a preview. He made a deviantart account in 2010, which at a glance contains substantially the same material he has in his gallery on his site, which is the same old stuff from Darkchylde. The deviantart account also hasn’t been updated since 2010, and as I said above, his website not since 2012. The closest he got to producing something was a release of a couple collections of Darkchylde in 2011.

In short, for a guy supposedly famous for being an artist/comic creator, he has paltry output, and even that was basically more than a decade ago. In the grand scheme of the global comics industry, he’s a complete nobody that doesn’t even warrant a page on wikipedia for himself.

Given all that, it’s little surprise he might be depressed.

Anonymous Coward says:

Let’s say I take someone’s old copyrighted photography and ‘corrected’ it for them, as well as posted disparaging comments to circulate along with what may be someone’s first exposure to the work. Guess what? I don’t have the right to do that, it’s not my content.

Well he clearly has no idea about Fair Use, as the above could be described both as a critique of the work, and as transformative.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: "...he's now apologized."

Well, sort of – he never actually said, “I’m sorry.” He made excuses for having been a dick. He thanked people who may have helped him overcome his inclinations to asshattery. He never said, “Sorry, Ami – put the pics back up and carry on as tho’ I’d never been a DMCA-abusing schmuck.”

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