Sanctioned Revenge Porner Craig Brittain Says That Google Is Nothing But Copyright Infringement

from the good-luck-with-that-theory,-craiggers dept

We already discussed how the disgraced revenge porn guy, Craig Brittain (aka Pustule Nickelback McHitler III), is now trying to get Google to disappear most articles about his FTC settlement. As we noted, in making sure that the public is well aware of what kind of person Brittain is, the FTC wrote up not one, not two, but three separate notices about Brittain’s actions (revenge porn and then setting up a fake lawyer you could pay to “take down” the images you never wanted on his site in the first place).

Back in 2012 Brittain tried to abuse the DMCA to take down earlier criticism (from Popehat). He apparently didn’t learn his lesson when that failed, which explains his recent attempt to do the same — including arguing that the FTC’s own writeups about its settlement with Brittain were infringing.

Over on Twitter, Adam Steinbaugh, one of the people who Brittain sought to censor with the DMCA, told Brittain that he could just send a DMCA notice straight to Steinbaugh or his host, rather than going after Google, leading to a fascinating and totally clueless discussion about how Brittain is really doing this because he thinks it’s unfair that Google gets to build a search index, which he considers infringing. Uh huh, Craig, sure thing.

If you can’t see those images, Brittain says that he’s “not interested” in everyone who wrote about his settlement using “his” “material,” (still not clearly identified, by the way), but rather “Google’s use of the material.” Then he notes: “Google is piggybacking of of content creators, which really means that by default they should be paying for it.”

Even ignoring the sheer… wrongness… of this “legal analysis,” it’s doubly hilarious in that it comes from a guy whose entire claim to “fame” is posting photos of people that are submitted to his website, for which he does not pay anyone for those works — and, rather, tried to get people to pay him to take them down. Irony is a word that apparently Brittain is not acquainted with.

Oh, and I’m especially curious as to how Brittain believes that Google indexing and linking to the FTC’s website is infringing and should be paid for, given that, as a work of the federal government, the FTC’s statements on Craig Brittain are in the public domain.

At that point, I pointed out that he appeared to be ignoring multiple court rulings that have made it clear that Google’s indexing is clearly fair use, at which point it became clear that Brittain had no idea that this issue has been well litigated in the past, and he’s just wrong. First he insists that the courts were “acting improperly” and then asks if any of us “jokers” have written about this Perfect 10 v. Google case that apparently was a totally brand new concept to Brittain:

Perfect 10 certainly has quite a reputation for legal buffoonery when it comes to copyright law. Is Craig Brittain getting ready to take things a step further?

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Companies: google, perfect 10

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Comments on “Sanctioned Revenge Porner Craig Brittain Says That Google Is Nothing But Copyright Infringement”

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PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Display Results By Relevance

It’s actually quite fun in a way. Having these idiotic wrong-headed arguments parroted by politicians and CEOs lend them some kind of credibility in the minds of the less informed, even if they’re obvious wrong and desperate attempts to deflect blame for failure.

When we have someone like this, who not only acted in a completely immoral way but depended on fair use to some degree for his own business, it’s much harder for the layman to ignore how wrong the hypocritical and idiotic arguments are.

He’s obviously an asshole, and one that’s obviously not interested in actually resolving his purported problem (as evidenced by his waving off of Mike telling him exactly how to get content removed from the index easily). Hopefully this helps get across the point that these ideas are ridiculous and they will never work, and although these people will probably continue to act like idiots so long as Google is a successful and cash-rich business, this should help prevent others from getting fooled by the rhetoric.

Adam Steinbaugh (profile) says:

Brittain’s “I’m just interested in holding a big media company like Google accountable” is a facade so that he can try to knock out links critical of him without running the risk that the site’s owners will ever find out. He won’t put his money where his ever-running mouth is.

If he sent a frivolous DMCA notice to me or my host, I’d sue in a heartbeat.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Yeah, I’ve no doubt the reason he went to Google, rather than the individual sites, is he was hoping Google wouldn’t look too deeply into his request, and would just grant it automatically.

Making claims against individual sites, and of course the owners/hosters of those sites are going to examine the claims, and given how utterly, blatantly obvious it is that his claims have nothing to do with people ‘using his stuff without permission’, and everything to do with silencing those reporting on his actions, I don’t imagine those claims would hold up under much scrutiny.

Andrew "K`Tetch" Norton (profile) says:

He was still going on until about 7pm eastern (, going on at Adam, Tim and me.

That’s more than FIVE HOURS after he started, and the tweets mentioned above.
And as far as perfect10 went, he said, and I quote

Specific parts of their claim seem to be valid, they seem to have simply argued them poorly

yeah, poorly is right. The poor thing being their underlying legal theory.

He’s also gone full-Delauter (I kid you not) saying

The mainstream media shouldn’t be able to use anyone’s name/info without written consent

It’s hilarious.

That One Guy (profile) says:

Re: Re:

The mainstream media shouldn’t be able to use anyone’s name/info without written consent

Thus making them even more useless than they already are, as it would be impossible to report on anything that involved someone.

Of course I can totally understand why he would say something like that, as if you had to get permission to report on someone and/or what they’ve done, then it would be trivially easy to simply say ‘No’ anytime someone wanted to report on something that you’d done and didn’t want known or talked about, like say, running a revenge porn site and extortion racket.

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:

“it would be impossible to report on anything that involved someone”

No, it just means that it would be impossible to report on anything in the public interest that involved stating anything negative, embarrassing or incriminating about the subject. Reprinting press releases and writing flattering articles about them would still be OK.

That’s probably his point. If only people weren’t able to know about his scams, criminal behaviour and poorly conceived attempts to cover them up, he’d still have a steady income!

PaulT (profile) says:

Re: Re:

I was thinking – there’s a lack of the usual trolls defending this idiot and attacking Mike as a Google shill for daring to say something positive about them.

I was thinking that perhaps it was because this behaviour is far too obviously wrong, even for them. Perhaps he’s just too busy defending his own actions elsewhere!

miatajim (profile) says:

Morpheus: What is the Matrix? Control. The Matrix is a computer-generated dream world built to keep us under control in order to change a human being into this.

[holds up a Duracell battery]

Neo: No, I don’t believe it. It’s not possible.

Morpheus: I didn’t say it would be easy, Neo. I just said it would be the truth.

Neo: This… this isn’t the Matrix?
Morpheus: No. It is another training program designed to teach you one thing: if you are not one of us, you are one of them.

Morpheus: Throughout human history, we have been dependent on machines to survive. Fate, it seems, is not without a sense of irony.

Morpheus: I imagine that right now, you’re feeling a bit like Alice. Hmm? Tumbling down the rabbit hole?
Neo: You could say that.

Split Personality says:

Craig Brittain, you can tame Google country by country

Google has been tamed successfully in individual countries. Just make sure you have funds for forum shopping.

Case in point, a potentially unflattering Google site. (No, not a site about Craig. It hints at an unnamed Physics teacher someplace in India. In India Google removes things selectively for India viewers)

The site has split personality: full content (Global view, not recommended for Indians – you have been warned!) and view seen from India: India only view suitably censored for Indians (by Order)

Repeat this for a bunch of countries and you have the globe covered. Call it fragmented reality if you will, but that’s what it takes.

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