Convicted Fraudster Follows Bogus DMCA Takedowns With Bogus DMCA Takedown Targeting Techdirt Post About His Bogus Takedowns


It appears convicted mortgage fraudster Sean Gjerde is going to follow glass-tongued poet Shaun Shane (and his print-on-demand “publishing company,” On Press Inc.) into the annals of DMCA abuse.

On July 31st, Techdirt published a list of abusive/ignorant DMCA requests. Included was one from Sean Gjerde, who is apparently acting as his own reputation management firm. His attempts to rid the internet of mentions of his fraud conviction involve him cutting-and-pasting articles about it (including an FBI press release) into a “novel” he’s “writing” about the the incident, and then claiming the articles he copied/pasted are part of his “original” work — somehow retroactively making all of these pre-existing articles now infringing.

Gjerde apparently still has plenty of stupid left in him

Copyright claim #1


DESCRIPTION: Excerpt from my book Grace Under Pressure which I have already paid to register with the Trademark Office 1-2601933851. I put it up on my website, with the notice clear it is copyrighted and is a work of fiction for a book I plan on releasing.



Let’s break this all down.

  1. The registration number is bogus. Copyright registration numbers look like this: SRu001135625
  2. Gjerde has nothing registered (or pending registration) at the US Copyright Office, either under his name or “Grace Under Pressure.”
  3. Perhaps this is because Gjerde insisted on registering his copyright with the US Patent & Trademark Office.
  4. The US Patent & Trademark Office has nothing for Sean Gjerde or “Grace Under Pressure.”

It appears Gjerde was moved to write a small post at a site linked to his business venture, Federal Assurance Services, warning probably no one at all that people like me (well, exactly me) are infringing on his nonexistent rights.

I recently was the victim of a copyright infringer. As many of you already know I am currently writing a book entitled Grace Under Pressure. In my book in which excerpts have been copyrighted (1-2601933851) I was actually copied by a malcontent who proceeded to post my book and its excerpts on his blog and went on a big rant against me. This malcontent who I do not know nor care to know violated my copyright. Luckily for me I know my rights and do intend to enforce them. But I hope everyone who reads my blog understands the danger out there on the web and protects themselves accordingly.

This quote will be added to my bio.

Techdirt contributor 2010-present

Here’s what other writers are saying about Tim Cushing!

“Malcontent.” – Sean Gjerde, Grace Under Pressure (unpublished manuscript)
“Seriously deranged… an immature idiot….” – Shaun Shane/On Press Inc.
“Tim writes like a whining little bitch…” – Tom Forrest, friend of “Internet Lawyer” Charles Carreon
“Nasty little Kremlin troll…” – John Schindler, 20 Committee

Now, the link to Gjerde’s business site throws up warnings about security certificates, so proceed at your own risk.

If this were Gjerde’s personal blog, it would be a problem but not a dealbreaker. But considering it ostensibly leads to his business website, it’s a big issue. Especially when his business claims to do all of this:

With over 15 years of real-life experience and over 1,000 clients, we are a leading and respected service company. We are the fiercest advocates for our clients. We can protect your hard-earned assets better than anyone else. Every year we set up hundreds of structures to protect residences, rental real estate, investments and retirement plans. Our clients include officers and directors of Fortune 500 companies; celebrities; Internet entrepreneurs; high-profile real estate developers, builders and investors; physicians; wealthy foreigners; small business owners; attorneys, accountants and financial advisors; and many other individuals facing financial adversity or seeking privacy for their holdings. You will find us to be not only knowledgeable and confident, but also friendly and personable. We take a no-nonsense approach to our work. With our guidance you will find this subject easy to understand and implement. We are not a law firm, but we are experts with degrees in taxation, international business planning and law.

So, the company claims to value security and privacy and yet runs an unsecured site that claims to be secured.

The business has basically no web presence beyond its own site, which is strange for an entity claiming “15 years of real-life experience.” The company’s website and Facebook page will show up first in search results, but there’s nothing else out there that gives its existence any weight, like business registration records, articles/press releases about the company or anything else that might indicate human beings outside of its confines have ever heard of it. Its “office” is apparently a “Mail & More” in an Elk Grove, CA strip mall.

The domain was registered in April… of this year, which doesn’t really shore up the longevity claims. Even if the “15 years” is the combined experience of Gjerde’s partners, you’d think a “leading and respected” company with a finger on several privacy/security issues would raise a bit more than the company’s own website in search results.

Gjerde’s “reputation repair” master plan that isn’t worthy of either half of that portmanteau. Why deal with the repercussions of your actions when you can simply paste news stories and press releases about your conviction into a mess of words on your personal website and then claim to “own” them by virtue of their inclusion into a novel that’s likely to never be published?

To Sean Gjerde, this plan of action makes sense. To the rest of us, it looks like the desperate flailings of someone who doesn’t understand the internet or any of the intellectual property he insists on invoking and discussing.

If the pattern holds, another bogus DMCA takedown request will be forthcoming.

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Companies: federal assurance services

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Comments on “Convicted Fraudster Follows Bogus DMCA Takedowns With Bogus DMCA Takedown Targeting Techdirt Post About His Bogus Takedowns”

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David says:

To be fair

A self-signed certificate does not mean the site is not secure. It only means that you don’t have third-party validation the certificate legitimately belongs to the site.

It appears to be a valid Squarespace certificate, and he’s incorrectly using a private domain name hosted by a squarespace hosted server.

David says:

Re: Re: To be fair

Agreed, unless you checked the fingerprint or otherwise pinned the certificate for the site (admittedly, something that the general public likely wouldn’t know to do).

However, the certificate is valid for Squarespace, and properly signed by a trusted CA, and the IP resolves to some of Squarespaces IP space.

So, in this case, your information is encrypted and secure from prying eyes, but just not as automatically validated by your browser.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

The line of the law reads like this:

(vi) A statement that the information in the notification is accurate, and under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.

I suppose he could claim that his “book” makes him the owner of an exclusive right, but I don’t think that argument would hold up. The problem, of course, is getting a prosecutor to prosecute. Maybe they’d be more inclined to do so based on his prior criminal conviction which also involved lying on documents, though.

Roger Strong (profile) says:

Is "Federal Assurance Services" code for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?

Notwithstanding the mail drop-box in California, and notwithstanding that the website makes it crystal clear that they’re in the business of selling legal advice in California, the company website claims:

All documents created are subject to the laws of Engaland and Wales. We are not a California law firm and will not under any circumstances give you legal advice under California law.

“All documents created” would obviously include their DMCA takedown notices. Under “Engaland” and Wales law. Nice.

The Infamous Joe (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Dat G+ page

I suppose it’s perfectly fine to post whatever scantily clad women (or men!) one wants on one’s social networks– but I think it’s a bit foolish to then link those same sites at the bottom of one’s business page.

For that reason alone he fails, even without all the history of his prior foolishness.

Sunhawk says:

Actually… isn’t *he* infringing on someone’s copyright? After all, those articles **were** written by various people and were original works…

Also, he claims to do business in California – I wonder what Cali’s anti-SLAPP laws might do if he actually tries to bring things to court?

(I don’t expect him to try that, though – he’s whining like a little bitch. And no, that’s clear protected opinion, Mr. Sean Gjerde)

GEMont (profile) says:

Dee Emm See Hey!

I think the simple fact that people like this can utilize the DMCA takedown system, without even the slightest possibility of repercussion, is more than adequate evidence that the system itself is entirely without merit, and lacking even the smallest amount of actual usage oversight or misuse punishment.

In fact, it more and more appears to be something devised specifically by and for people exactly like Monsieur Sean Gjerde and specifically for the purposes he has utilized it for – to cool free speech, facilitate crime and intimidate victims and the general public at large.

The entire DMCA takedown process should be eliminated ASAP, as a tool that perpetuates and supports criminals and criminal activities which harm the public.

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