'Anarcho-Capitalist' Stefan Molyneux Sued For Abusing The DMCA

from the state-violence-in-response-to-state-violence? dept

A few months ago, we wrote about the strange saga of self-described “anarcho-capitalist” Stefan Molyneux more or less admitting that he and a colleague named Michael DeMarco had filed questionable DMCA notices in response to some critical YouTube videos. DeMarco and Molyneux defended the use of the DMCA by arguing that the videos involved doxxing some Molyneux supporters. While that may have been true of some, it did not appear to be the case with one account, from so-called “Tru Shibes,” whose videos were pretty focused on criticizing Molyneux himself. Either way, we found it especially bizarre that someone so against “state violence” of any kind (and who had spoken out against intellectual property entirely) would then resort to abusing government-run copyright law to silence criticism. Even worse, Molyneux flat out admitted (on a Joe Rogan podcast) that he wasn’t using the DMCA for any copyright-related purpose. In that post, I noted that it seemed unlikely to lead to a lawsuit, but Molyneux had probably opened himself up to a DMCA 512(f) claim for “materially misrepresenting” a copyright claim.

Apparently, I underestimated the person behind the Tru Shibes account, because late last week, she sued Molyneux (pdf) with a 512(f) claim, and a defamation claim as well. The plaintiff, who only identifies herself as “J. Raven,” describes in detail the critique videos she had created, challenging some of Molyneux’s statements. But the overall point of the lawsuit is to highlight the (admitted) abuse of the DMCA. The defamation claim is in response to Molyneux implying that Tru Shibes was engaged in doxxing Molyneux supporters. The filing details how Molyneux/DeMarco clearly did not use the DMCA for copyright purposes, but to silence a critic. It further details how even if there was a copyright claim, Tru Shibes’ use was clearly fair use. And that brings us to the 512(f) claim:

On information and belief, Defendants knew that the critique videos did not infringe their copyright when they sent YouTube the takedown notices. Defendants acted in bad faith when they sent the takedown notices, knowingly and materially misrepresenting that they had concluded the critique videos were infringing.

In the alternative, Defendants should have known, if they had acted with reasonable care or diligence, that the critique videos did not infringe Defendants? copyright on the date it sent YouTube its complaints under the DMCA.

Then there’s the defamation claim:

Plaintiff is informed, believes, and thereon alleges that Defendants published false, non-privileged, and defamatory statements regarding Plaintiff with the intent to injure and damage Plaintiff?s reputation and to interfere with and to disrupt Plaintiff?s existing and prospective relationships.

The published statements falsely accused Plaintiff of doxing Defendant Molyneux?s listeners and/or other people.

Plaintiff is informed, believes, and thereon alleges that Defendants expressly attempted to damage Plaintiff?s reputation in order to punish Plaintiff and disrupt and cause damage to her personally and to her Tru Shibes YouTube channel.

Frankly, the defamation claim is pretty weak, and I’d be surprised if that gets anywhere. There could be some argument over whether or not Tru Shibes / J. Raven is a “public figure” (higher standard for defamation), but the fact that she’s producing videos on YouTube probably makes her a public figure for this purpose. That would mean that she would need to show that Molyneux’s statements about the doxxing were done with “actual malice.” It’s not clear that’s the case, as it seems more likely he was just using the doxxing excuse to try to explain why he and DeMarco had used the DMCA.

Where the case is a lot more interesting, of course, is the 512(f) claim. As we’ve discussed repeatedly, 512(f) claims are really difficult, because the courts have interpreted that clause very, very narrowly. However, here you have a case where the person using the DMCA has basically gone out of his way to admit that he’s abusing the DMCA for non-copyright reasons to silence speech he doesn’t like. If this can’t win a 512(f) claim, it would prove pretty conclusively that 512(f) is completely broken and needs to be fixed.

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Comments on “'Anarcho-Capitalist' Stefan Molyneux Sued For Abusing The DMCA”

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32 Comments
Gullible White Cattle (user link) says:

Re: hostile elite

this is not left vs right, GOP vs Dems, Socialism vs liberty. This is war on White people.

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The world is 91% non-White, only 9% White. But non-White colonizers are aggressively advancing their agenda to annihilate gullible Whites, just as Chinese annihilate Tibet.

How long will gullible Whites cuckold for murderous anti-White elite, who suppress our fertility, confiscate our guns, infiltrate/subvert our banks/FBI/CIA, indoctrinate White kids in academia/mass media, plunder White jobs/wages, & butcher White soldiers in bankrupting wars?

“Native” Americans invaded from East Asia. Yellow & Brown races committed 10-times more genocide, slavery, imperialism than Whites. Since Moses, Whites have been victims of Jewish/Crypto-Jewish, Muslim, N.African imperialism, slavery, genocide.

Gullible Whites should reject subversive ideologies- libertarianism, feminism, liberalism- & hostile slanders of racism. Peace to all humanity, but White people must organize to advance their interests, their fertility, their homelands. Spread this message. Reading list: goo.gl/iB777 , goo.gl/htyeq , amazon.com/dp/0759672229 , amazon.com/dp/1410792617

That One Guy (profile) says:

One little detail...

It might come down to the simple question: Was it a DMCA claim, or a copyright claim using the copyright system YT has?

If the first, then yeah, if this isn’t enough to trip the penalty, nothing is. However, if they made the claim not via a DMCA filing, but merely filing through YT’s copyright system, I imagine he’ll be banking on that pretty hard, pushing the idea that using YT’s system doesn’t open him up to the DMCA penalties.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re: One little detail...

Ah, interesting. I’d been under the impression that YT had a separate ‘That’s mine, take it down’ system, where you were able to make a claim regarding copyright, but not actually invoke the DMCA doing so. If it’s actually just one system though, that’s actually a bit of good news.

Anonymous Coward says:

would be good if this was brought to the attention of those in Congress who screwed up the law simply to favor their friends in the entertainment industries. maybe, (i know. almost impossible!) it will shame them enough to do something sensible for a change that actually benefits the very people who voted them into power and that sure as hell weren’t industries!

DS Hazard Dingo says:

From just reading the article It seems to me this isn’t terribly controversial nor hypocritical. But someone who has read about this please correct me.

IF there was in fact a DMCA violation by the person and if the person indeed had been harassing some listeners why not use the tool he’s forced to support to stop them?

If you steal some bread off my porch, I may not be inclined to call the cops over some bread. I may not find hungry people stealing bread worthy of a violent response, which police are liable to employ.

But if you steal my bread but also start stalking my daughter, then yeah, I’ll call the cops for anything I can find, including stealing bread.

If the person actually stole bread, and I say, “Well I wouldn’t have called the cops over just stolen bread, but he did steal bread”, this is in no way an ‘abuse’ of the police. The police claim to care about stolen bread, and claim to protect us from bread thieves.

So the DMCA claims to protect us from ip violations. If Molyneaux would not have been inclined to invoke that protection if not for the alleged harassment it is in no way ‘abuse’ to claim that protection.

From the DMCA’s perspective the only issue can be whether their was IP violation or not. If there was, there was no abuse of DMCA by Mr Molyneaux. If there wasn’t then Molyneaux abused the system. But if there was a violation, the fact that Molyneaux may not have been inclined to invoke the DMCA sans other harassing behavior on the alleged violator isn’t germane.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

You might want to read the article again, since you seem to have missed a very important part:

Even worse, Molyneux flat out admitted (on a Joe Rogan podcast) that he wasn’t using the DMCA for any copyright-related purpose.

He admitted that the DMCA claim he filed had nothing to do with copyright(it’s sole legitimate use), and everything to do with shutting down a critic. That is absolutely an abuse of the system.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

“and everything to do with shutting down a critic”

Nope, that’s a pure invention of yours. Nowhere does he say that the purpose was to shut down a critic; that’s just what you need to believe.

Trushibes critiques weren’t even that good and worse still there were hundreds of them. No one would be threatened by them because they were so obviously the work of someone who 1) Hated Molyneux down to their bones, but didn’t have any good arguments and wasn’t smart enough to understand why. 2) Needed to contrive criticisms that relied entirely upon selected excerpts of videos only, because whole videos would render the critique infantile.

This whole thing is a manufactured controversy. J Raven gets a bronze vagina for her sad little grasp for publicity.

manchildstefbot (profile) says:

Re: Re:

All of your claims as to why the channel in question had DMCAs filed against it are false, so none of your mental masturbation matters and is really just the rationalizations of a confused, indoctrinated mind. You nor any other stefbot has brought forth any evidence to support your claims, and this is the Internet and you’ve had months to do so. This woman, somehow with her videos, stalked his daughter? No. Her videos contained no bullying, no stalking, and easily qualified as fair use. Bottom line is Mollynew’s feelings were hurt upon (finally) becoming aware of it, and he and/or one of his mentally enslaved minions did what they could in order to make the offensive against the Tru Shibes channel, which was proving to be effective in exposing Mollynew’s bad ideas and poor character, look reasonable, provide at least a cover story, or obscure that activity altogether.

Whether Molly committed hypocrisy is irrelevant to the matter at hand. He abused the DMCA, and now he’s getting sued for it, as he should. He’s irresponsible, an Internet bully and troll, and he needs to be disciplined; the World does not revolve around Molly and his precious little feelings, he doesn’t get to retaliate however he pleases anytime someone effectively mocks him, his poor character and bad ideas; mockery isn’t against the law, nor is it bullying. Besides if it were then Molly would be guilty too.

Also Molly has already contracted himself on IP a long time ago and for other reasons. First he claimed, for the longest time, the usual point about IP being inconsequential as regards its consumption and reproduction, then later made an analogy to people partaking in his IP(ie. his videos)while not donating to people taking loves of bread from a store and leaving no money behind, theft (obviously to emotionally manipulate people into donating, though that’s beside the point). This is amongst the Tru Shibes videos by the way.

Stalking daughter: never proven, just another guise to emotionally manipulate and distract people. Otherwise prove it.
By the way:
“It was reported that his neighbors found out about freedomain radio and after one of them found a video of their child on his website, warned all the other neighbors not to associate with him. He has since moved, but hasn’t mentioned any of this to his listeners.”

https://www.freedomofmind.com/Info/infoDet.php?id=715

Can you say “ironic”?

The Ceej (user link) says:

Re: Re:

Thank you for that link… I feel, in the libertarian communities, nobody hears me when I advise to stop promoting Molyneux.

He has several good arguments, but not because he believes them. Because he’s a very good conman who has done his homework.

Your link really helped me to understand I’m not alone in being an FDR-survivor.

DS Hazard Dingo says:

his admission isn't germane to whether IP was violated

The purpose of the DMCA is to stop IP violations. If Molyneux’s IP was violated or not is the only relevant standard from the point of view of the DMCA or it’s supporters. If someone who supports theft, but hasn’t actually stolen, is stolen from themselves, is it not still theft? Which is exactly what IP supporters allege, the idea that copying ideas is theft.

So again, if someone steals bread off my porch, and I’m not inclined to call the cops over just some stolen bread, but then that person starts doing other worse things, it’s not hypocritical, wrong, nor abusive of me to call the cops over stolen bread if the bread was in fact stolen.

The merit of the claim is the only relevant issue. If you think IP theft is wrong then you should support punishment of IP theft.

To not support punishment of IP theft against a person you may find objectionable is however hypocritical.

Judges don’t (yet) say a person is innocent of theft because the victim expressed support of that kind of theft in the past. Or should the law apply only dependent on the state of peoples’ minds?

The legal question is whether there was IP theft or not. That I’m not equipped to judge.

The intellectual integrity question is whether the stalking actually happened and, if so, if it merited the use of force the DMCA represents.

The interesting thing is that it would have been hypocrisy on his part if he had said he did it because his IP was violated. Follow? Then he would be saying it’s ok to violate others’ IP but not mine. This isn’t what he seems to be saying. He’s saying he wanted the (alleged) stalking stopped and the DMCA was the best tool he had available.

oinkquack says:

Re: his admission isn't germane to whether IP was violated

You’ve made some interesting arguments. Whether Molyneux supports the DMCA, or not is irrelevant; all that matters, legally, is whether the DMCA has been violated.

I notice that the complaint form asserts, but hides behind the words “appeared” and “found”, that Molyneux’s content is “offensive”, “inconsistent”, “hypocritical” and “factually incorrect”, but doesn’t demonstrate it and probably will not be called to do so, since it is irrelevant. The purpose is clearly to paint Molyneux as an enemy of the system employed for this case and thereby disadvantage him.

I also often notice in these discussions that the anti-Molyneux group are focussing on TruShibe, but then accusing the pro-Molyneux group of doing so, whereas it is in fact the TruShibe case that is of most value to those who wish to damage Molyneux; they are not interested in the, purportedly more valid, case of damon/FreeDomainDamon. Therefore, this whole shit storm is not about the DMCA and justice, but about damaging Molyneux.

Whether Molyneux’s actions were in-line with his professed principles is a completely separate matter and has no bearing on the legal case. Only people with an emotional need to attack Molyneux would attempt to insert this into a DMCA case.

Even if it is shown that Molyneux/DeMarco misused the DMCA, this does not prove that it was deliberate, malicious, or for the purposes of silencing critics; this is just another assertion of the anti-Molyneux group. That Molyneuc said that it wasn’t about copyright could mean that it was about protecting the identities of members and not about protecting the copyright of his material.

Unfortunately, when you have malcontents on your tail, waiting for you to trip and make a mistake, anything you say, or do will be misinterpreted in the most negative way. Some people just don’t create, or produce anything, they just complain and criticise others.

The Ceej (user link) says:

I find none of this surprising. I’ve known for years that Molyneux was a fraud and a conman.

I used to be fooled by him. He’s good. He’s done his homework on libertarians. He has a good understanding of what we believe…

But, actions speak louder than words, and while I never expected a slip-up this conspicuous, I’m also not surprised. He has, on many occasions, gone on and on about something damning of himself.

Dana Nutter (user link) says:

Sorry to interrupt...

Can’t wait to see this play out and that lying hypocritical conman Holy Moly having to pay out a huge judgement. This suit is the ultimate blowback for his trying to censor someone who was just too good at exposing him for what he really is.

Only an asbolute fool can see what’s going on with him and still take him seriously.

Sadly the videos aren’t able to get much exposure now that they aren’t on YouTube but the whole collection has been copied here. Note that there is no doxxing, harassment of callers, and even if there were it’s no excuse for pointing a gun at a third party like Youtube to force them to remove it.

http://www.dailymotion.com/TruShibes

Anonymous Coward says:

I listened to that podcast, You are full of shit, he said we will leave it up to the lawyers or what ever he didn’t know, if it was true if it was stolen or not,

And I would like to point out that almost every company does the same just go fishing, thats how law works.

Just like suing him this J Raven is fishing…
Stephan is awesome, and I think this J Raven is a silly cunt for suing him.

landoramone says:

moly won hands down

Moly won I read her complaint. She list the party as only being moly and his bandman mike. YouTube is the third party member baby. Then we have Canada and the state of California which is where YouTube is using there jurisdiction. Mike the bandman is removed from the suit because Cali got no jurisdiction on him and he was the one that initiated YouTube take down procedures. Stefan is from Canada and did not perform any actions with YouTube. I predicted. It so you know its true woot woot

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