Court Tells Ex-Wife Of Husband Who Killed Himself To Use Copyright To Delete Anything He Ever Wrote Online

from the that's-not-what-copyright-is-for dept

Last week, we wrote about the unfortunate situation, in which it appeared that a lawyer representing Dina Mackney was claiming copyright on her ex-husband's suicide note (in which he says many unkind things about his ex-wife) and demanding the content be removed. Since then, we've found a lot more of the details of what happened, and discovered a lot of additional content that Mackney's lawyer has been able to remove from the internet with the help of a judge -- who not only gave the ex-wife full control over her ex-husband's "intangible assets" but further directed her to seek to delete all sorts of content from the internet. Now, I should note up front a few things: there may be reasonable claims from the lawyer concerning the privacy of the children (and possibly others) involved. Furthermore, having read through way too many details in this case, it should be noted that Chris Mackney does not come off as the most credible narrator of his own situation. This certainly makes the situation difficult on a variety of levels. That said, it is still immensely troubling to think about the kind of precedent this sets, and how it clearly sets up copyright as a tool for censorship, not just of a suicide note, but of all sorts of online activity. Furthermore, we've been careful in the documents that we're posting to leave out things that are more private in nature (which go beyond some of the claims in the suicide note), instead focusing solely on the legal issues here.

It appears that, back in March, a judge put Dina Mackney in charge of Chris Mackney's estate. Given the rancorous divorce proceedings and the eventual suicide, this doesn't seem even remotely appropriate. Then, around the same time, a judge in a Virginia court basically issued a court order telling Dina Mackney to go ahead and seek to use those powers to basically censor a whole bunch of what Chris Mackney had to say online.
ORDERED AND DECREED that Petitioner shall have the legal authority to take any reasonable action necessary to access, remove and destroy any web postings, to require that websites be taken down and/or otherwise dispose of intangible property including but not limited to information that the deceased has posted online on any website or social media account including, but not limited to material located at the following domain names:
After that is a long list of domain names, including various blogs that have discussed the Chris Mackney story, but also a broad swath of other sites, including all of Google (specifically calling out Google Docs and Google Drive -- where Mackney had posted many documents, including news articles that he believed supported his position), Facebook (where Mackney had originally posted his intent to commit suicide), Scribd, Reddit, Wikipedia and many more. Some of the links include sites where Mackney had previously commented on blog stories or other discussion groups.

The order goes on to basically tell Dina Mackney that she can seek to delete all evidence of her husband existing online at all:
... and to wind down and remove any website posts or other online activity by the decedent at such time and in such direction as the Administrator may deem appropriate, it being the intent that this Order shall apply to any online activity by the decedent during his lifetime.
Again, even while being conscious of the legitimate privacy concerns raised by the situation, this is immensely troubling on multiple levels. First, the idea here is clearly to use copyright as a tool to delete Chris Mackney's online existence entirely. And, indeed, while the lawyer raises other arguments (including privacy and defamation), the letters (and I've seen about half a dozen at this point) all lead with the copyright claim, citing the DMCA's notice-and-takedown provisions. Here's one example.

Second, while some of the reposted content may raise certain issues, the content that Mackney himself posted to various sites clearly is not infringing. When he posted it to those sites, he almost certainly granted those sites a perpetual license to post that content. To after-the-fact claim copyright on it is bizarre and ridiculous. For much of the other content, Mackney himself clearly was granting an implicit license for the content to be shared (and sometimes shared widely). There may be legitimate reasons why that content should not be shared, but copyright infringement is clearly not one of those -- and that's what it's being used for here, not just for the content that may legitimately go too far from a privacy standpoint, but for everything Chris Mackney has ever posted online.

It's difficult to see how that's appropriate in any situation, even if we were dealing with a loving widow after decades of a happy marriage, let alone the opposing partner in a bitter divorce battle (no matter whose arguments in the divorce made more sense). The situation here is certainly messy, but using copyright to basically try to delete Chris Mackney's entire online presence appears to be a massive overreach of copyright law.





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  1.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:26am

    Sounds like the Judge may have a personal interest in this woman.

     

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  2.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:29am

    Just Bizarre...

    Unfortunately, until someone stands up to this nonsense, she will charge forward on her mission to delete her husband's life. How vindictive and childish.

     

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  3.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:29am

    Mike - I can't read the Document Cloud stuff. It says I need to log in first.

     

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  4.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:30am

    "has been able to remove from the internet"

    Wet dream of many ... doubt it is possible.

     

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  5.  
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    Michael, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:33am

    I hope some of those sites challenge this when they get requests to take down content.

    A lot of that looks like things that Chris Mackney himself would not have had a legal leg to stand on trying to get it taken down.

     

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  6.  
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    Anonymous Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:33am

    Good News

    This is good news because now we can get a judge to declare anyone's copyright null and void. I suggest he start on Disney next, and then work his way across the MAFIAA's membership roster. If he moves with alacrity, we could have public domain back by next week.

     

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  7.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:35am

    This is very troubling, in that it is retrospective withdrawal of legal copies. If this is taken as a precedent, it means that permissions granted under copyright can be withdrawn at a latter date.

     

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  8.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:37am

    Uh oh, you used Chris Mackney's name in your article. That's a violation of Dina Mackney's copyright. She's going to call the copyright police on you now.

     

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  9.  
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    Wallyb132 (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:37am

    Clarify

    Is the court that issued the order a state court or federal court? the article isn't clear on that.

    I would think that if its a state court then the order wouldn't be binding outside of that state.

     

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  10.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:39am

    Documents available...

    Just realized I'd left the documents set on private when this post went up. They're now available. So you can see the judge's ruling and the DMCA takedown notice.

     

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  11.  
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    Roger Strong (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:39am

    One of the most disturbing things I've had to do is remove the online presence of a coworker and friend who passed away.

    Remove him from the company web site. Remove his domain login. Remove his email account. Remove his phone extension. Remove his voice mail account. Remove his information from his PC. Remove him from various other online accounts and services. It was like I was killing off the remaining part of him, and burying the traces that he ever existed.

    To do it maliciously - or even merely without an appropriate reason - seems unspeakably evil.

     

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  12.  
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    Mike Masnick (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:39am

    Re: Clarify

    Is the court that issued the order a state court or federal court? the article isn't clear on that.


    It's a state court. The documents are now embedded under the article.

     

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  13.  
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    Michael, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:41am

    Re: Good News

    Actually, he just declared all of the legal copies null and void. This is a bit more like Disney being bought out and the new owners demanding all DVD's be returned or destroyed.

     

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  14.  
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    Michael, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:43am

    Re: Re: Clarify

    Virginia.

    Great, another state on my s**t list - it can go right next to New Jersey.

     

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  15.  
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    mcinsand, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:45am

    I can't help but wonder...

    Please tell me that I'm misunderstanding something and that there is some barrier of rationality that would prevent Ms. Mackney et all from disturbing Techdirt over articles like this. The court does seem to be setting a dangerous precedent for squelching potentially-displeasing dialogue. Read something you don't like about you or your family? Claim copyright and get a court-approved order to force undesired communications to disappear.

     

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  16.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:52am

    Re:

    To do it maliciously - or even merely without an appropriate reason - seems unspeakably evil.

    And that's what is pretty galling about this situation. While there could be points in this particular situation where some of Chris' speach could and maybe should be removed, like for purposes of legal privacy, defamation, or even simple decency.

    Instead a completely different person (and one that almost definitely has a specific, and possibly dishonest agenda) is given full rights to request the removal of all of Chris's speech and expression regardless of the reason? I can really feel the 'progress of the arts' right there. Again copyright is being used for a purpose completely separated from its intent.

     

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  17.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 10:57am

    This is the kind of censorship "right to be forgotten" proponents want to get away with regardless of the circumstances. It is the equivalent of an author's estate being able to force the destruction of all publicly available copies of an author's work, including those published with the author's consent.

     

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  18.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:00am

    Second, while some of the reposted content may raise certain issues, the content that Mackney himself posted to various sites clearly is not infringing. When he posted it to those sites, he almost certainly granted those sites a perpetual license to post that content. To after-the-fact claim copyright on it is bizarre and ridiculous. For much of the other content, Mackney himself clearly was granting an implicit license for the content to be shared (and sometimes shared widely). There may be legitimate reasons why that content should not be shared, but copyright infringement is clearly not one of those -- and that's what it's being used for here, not just for the content that may legitimately go too far from a privacy standpoint, but for everything Chris Mackney has ever posted online.

    The problem with your argument is that the licenses were revocable and were in fact revoked. But you'll just whine about everything, won't you?

     

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  19.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:03am

    ***To promote the Progress of Science and useful Arts***, by securing for limited Times to Authors and Inventors the exclusive Right to their respective Writings and Discoveries;

     

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  20.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:12am

    Court orders

    How much leeway does a court have in compelling parties not involved in a case to follow certain orders, even when those orders are contrary to the rights those third parties would normally enjoy? Can a judge in some Podunk jurisdiction order the whole world to take down certain content without each person being afforded the right to act as a defendant?

     

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  21.  
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    That One Guy (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 11:42am

    I was fairly neutral in this case, not quite sure how accurate the ex's claims were about how terrible a person the wife was, but given she's essentially trying to wipe away his existence online, remove any evidence that he ever even existed there, I'd say the evidence that she really is as bad as he claimed are becoming more and more probable.

    I mean how spiteful, how petty, do you have to be to want to completely eliminate any evidence of a person from the net once they're dead? To completely destroy any trace of them so that they might as well have never existed?

    That, to me, is not the kind of actions a decent person would even consider, so by her own actions she seems to be doing nothing more than validating any claims he might have made against her and her nature.

     

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  22.  
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    Chris ODonnell (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:01pm

    My wife has a friend that committed suicide last year. His Facebook account is still there. It's more than a little creepy to see him on the friend list on my wife's wall. Death and online identity is still a huge unanswered question, and I imagine we'll see a lot more stuff like this case before we figure out how to handle it.

     

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  23.  
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    Applesauce, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:01pm

    Re: Court orders

    Did anyone show up in court to oppose this, or did the wife win by default because her dead ex-husband failed to show?

     

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  24.  
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    David, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:08pm

    That's what copyright terms are about.

    As long as he did not explicitly disinherit her in a legally binding manner, copyright for his works have likely passed on to her. Any continuing publication (and a web server is essentially creating new copies) is up to her unless they have a binding signed contract to show. "Terms of service" don't really count since she apparently does not want to have the service continue.

    This is a side effect of inheritable copyright. But frankly, this kind of "he/she never would have wanted that" effect is present for basically any kind of inheritance between people who have turned into enemies.

     

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  25.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:10pm

    Re: Re: Court orders

    … did the wife win by default because her dead ex-husband failed to show?

    Notice was never served upon the ex.

     

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  26.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:16pm

    Re: That's what copyright terms are about.

    … a web server is essentially creating new copies…

    “Copy”, in the context of copyright, is a term of art.

    There's a good argument that mere transient display is not multiplying copies.

     

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  27.  
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    Doug (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:27pm

    Did Judge say or suggest copyright?

    Mike said, "First, the idea here is clearly to use copyright as a tool to delete Chris Mackney's online existence entirely."

    I don't see where the judge suggests copyright is the tool to use. Is that spelled out anywhere. The judge gave Dina the legal power to do what she wants, and she and her lawyer may have chosen copyright as their tool, but the judge didn't really say or imply that, or did I miss that detail.

    It seems Dina and her lawyer are the ones that got the coypright ball rolling, no?

     

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  28.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:38pm

    Re: That's what copyright terms are about.

    The degree to which terms of service are binding is open to debate, but remember that we're talking about a license to reproduce rather than an outright transfer of copyright. That could be enough to make the difference between binding and non-binding adhesive terms.

    If Linus Torvalds were to die, should all the various distributions of Linux cease to be distributed at the say so of his heirs? If Cory Doctorow were to die, should people no longer be able to share his works? It makes no sense to attach the enforceability of such terms to the existence of a signature. As with online forums, the authors' desire to publish is unambiguous and should not be revoked after the fact.

     

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  29.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:39pm

    Re: Did Judge say or suggest copyright?

    Under which legal doctrine other than copyright do you think Chris Mackney's wife would have the right to take down "any online activity by the decedent during his lifetime"?

     

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  30.  
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    DCL, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:42pm

    Re: Did Judge say or suggest copyright?

    Could the judge really be suggesting to use defamation (libel/slander) laws instead and the wife's lawyer just taking the closest thing on the self"

    I see defamation as the more valid way to take this stuff down but that is the harder path to prove (and the defendant is deceased) ... and I don't know if defamation laws are only monetary rewards or if they allow removal of offending content.

     

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  31.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:53pm

    Re: Re: That's what copyright terms are about.

    license to reproduce

    The 17 U.S.C. §106(1) reproduction right uses the term “copies” which are defined in 17 U.S.C. § 101
    “Copies” are material objects, other than phonorecords, in which a work is fixed by any method now known or later developed, and from which the work can be perceived, reproduced, or otherwise communicated, either directly or with the aid of a machine or device. The term “copies” includes the material object, other than a phonorecord, in which the work is first fixed.

    The reasoning of MAI v Peak has been heavily criticized, and there is significant doubt whether the operator of a web server fixes multiplied “copies”.

     

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  32.  
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    Michael, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:56pm

    Re: Did Judge say or suggest copyright?

    That's a pretty good point. The decree from the judge just says that she can take any reasonable action to remove content from those sites. He could mean that she has the right to gain access to the accounts and use whatever means they have available in them to remove or change the content (remove his Facebook posts).

    It will really come down to whether or not any of the companies challenge the DMCA takedowns being issued to determine if they fall under the "reasonable measures" she can use. I would tend to think they amount to copyfraud, but I wouldn't imagine she is going to get much of a challenge.

     

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  33.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 12:59pm

    from Rubaiyat of Omar Khayyam translated by Edward FitzGerald

    "The Moving Finger writes: and, having writ,
    Moves on: nor all thy Piety nor Wit
    Shall lure it back to cancel half a Line,
    Nor all thy Tears wash out a Word of it."


    Should be taken to heart by all who would alter history, especially when it is on the Internet.

     

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  34.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 1:00pm

    Re:

    "The problem with your argument is that the licenses were revocable and were in fact revoked."

    You know, just because you make an assertion doesn't make it true.

     

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  35.  
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    A. Smith, May 2nd, 2014 @ 1:05pm

    Re: Clarify

    Looks like a state court, so the only jurisdiction is in Virginia.

     

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  36.  
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    madasahatter (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 1:08pm

    Legal question.

    Probate courts are state courts not federal courts. The DMCA is a federal statute and thus a state probate court does not have jurisdiction.

     

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  37.  
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    Doug (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 1:14pm

    Re: Re: Did Judge say or suggest copyright?

    Yes, that's my point, in general and specifically in response to AC's and DCL's replies. Restating Michael: "Reasonable action" could just mean that she has the legal right to log into his accounts and have them deleted via the site's standard procedures. Or if she can't log in, to contact the site's administrators saying she represents her dead ex-husband and would like them removed. Anything he could have done easily by himself.

    It seems possible to me that the judge might find the use of copyright takedown notices to be *unreasonable*.

     

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  38.  
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    quawonk, May 2nd, 2014 @ 2:44pm

    Well, come to think of it, she was the primary inspiration for the letter.

     

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  39.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 4:47pm

    Re: Re:

    Unspeakably evil. I think you have that right.

    A note to Ms. Mackney, and I mean this with all due respect, I hope the internet destroys your entire fucking life.

     

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  40.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 5:23pm

    and the idiot judge who 'decreed' she could do all this, just because she wants to hide what he said about her and he isn't around now to back up his statements is who? more than anything, it sounds like yet another case where the person trying the case/making the ruling has less knowledge of the internet than an idiot and is making himself look a complete plum because of it!!

     

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  41.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 5:47pm

    Re:

    average_joe just hates it when due process is enforced.

     

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  42.  
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    R.H. (profile), May 2nd, 2014 @ 6:33pm

    Re:

    Facebook Statement of Rights and Responsibilities Part 2 Sub-Section 1 states:
    For content that is covered by intellectual property rights, like photos and videos (IP content), you specifically give us the following permission, subject to your privacy and application settings: you grant us a non-exclusive, transferable, sub-licensable, royalty-free, worldwide license to use any IP content that you post on or in connection with Facebook (IP License). This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it. [emphasis mine]

    If anyone else shared his suicide note post, Facebook retains a license to use it until everyone else who has shared it deletes it. This is only part of what you sign away to Facebook in return for using their services.

     

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  43.  
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    David, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:36pm

    Re: Re: Good News

    If we have a bankruptcy, a new owner will often be in the position to be able to ditch old obligations.

    DRM means that the equivalent of "new owners demanding all DVD's be returned or destroyed" is now available for a number of media.

     

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  44.  
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    David, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:40pm

    Re:

    If this is taken as a precedent, it means that permissions granted under copyright can be withdrawn at a latter date.

    Have you been living under a rock? What do you think retroactive copyright extensions are? If you bought a record in the sixties, you were granted the right to freely copy and distribute it now or even considerably earlier.

    This right has been withdrawn since then.

     

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  45.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 7:50pm

    The legal system is extremely broken. There is no justice except the justice the people create.

     

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  46.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 2nd, 2014 @ 8:37pm

    Re:

    Exactly. So how is this being used 'to promote the progress'. More like 'to stifle speech'. This is an unconstitutional use of IP laws. But of course, IP extremists have never cared about the constitution.

     

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  47.  
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    That Anonymous Coward (profile), May 3rd, 2014 @ 12:49am

    I think while the copyright claims need to be looked at, I think much more looking needs to be done into this case and a review of the Judges involvement.
    The Judge has obviously overstepped the authority granted the office, and one should be curious who the Judge appointed to argue for the rights of the decedent.

    To give power to the opposition without any testimony from the other side would seem like a gross miscarriage of justice. Even if every word he said was false, something the court couldn't really hear without representation for BOTH sides, giving her the power to wipe away every trace of his speech is chilling.

     

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  48.  
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    OrganizedThoughtCrime (profile), May 3rd, 2014 @ 2:27am

    Re: Re:

    "This is only part of what you sign away to Facebook in return for using their services."

    ...and yet some people still insist that these services are free. Sad.

     

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  49.  
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    G Thompson (profile), May 3rd, 2014 @ 3:15am

    Re:

    Actually thats bullshit, and not just bullshit but totally unmitigated uneducated idiotic bullshit!

    Those licenses are and cannot be revoked other than by the actual licensee and NOT by his estate for the purpose of desecration (what other word is there) to remove fully and with malice all history of the persons absolute existence and ideas on content that is absolutely not contextual to the action at hand.

    In fact his actual descendants (children) would have an absolute case against there mother (even now) for removing there fathers thoughts and actual online being and therefore denying them the absolute right to know whom he was.

    This doesn't stop specific information from being removed, but that specificity has to be weighed against the absolute human right to be immortalized by your thoughts and actions no matter what those thoughts/actions are. For the mother to even attempt this malicious and ego driven action means she has major psychological issues and gives reasonable suspicion that the children might be at risk of psychological or other abuse. The triggers are all there.

    She isn't just desecrating the memory of their father, she is removing him from ever existing in the first place in all ways shapes and form.

     

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  50.  
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    G Thompson (profile), May 3rd, 2014 @ 3:24am

    Re:

    I think she is misinterpreting this other Rubáiyát of Omar Khayyám's

    Ah love! could you and I with Him conspire
    To grasp this sorry scheme of Things entire
    Would we not shatter it to bits - and then
    Re-mould it nearer to the Heart's Desire


    Re-moulding doesn't mean Deleting and rewriting!

    PS: amazed someone else actually knows of Omar's works! awesome

     

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  51.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2014 @ 7:29am

    Re: Re:

    Those licenses … cannot be revoked other than by the actual licensee

    Licensee? Did you mean licensor?

    licensee [dictionary.law.com]
    n. a person given a license by the government or under private agreement.

    See also: license licensor

     

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  52.  
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    Deirdre, May 3rd, 2014 @ 7:48am

    Appointment of Administrator

    Given the rancorous divorce proceedings and the eventual suicide, this doesn't seem even remotely appropriate.


    I'm not going to go looking around on this but it appears that the husband died intestate. Had he left a will then the person he named would be administrator of his estate unless they declined or were unable to perform the functions required.

    If the divorce was not final she was still his next of kin and would be appointed without question. If the divorce was final and she had custody of his children who would then be considered next of kin, she would be appointed executrix to protect their interests, if any, in the estate. If no one else was interested then she could have been appointed because she was the only one who asked.

    Take away: Make a will and update it when your life changes.

     

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  53.  
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    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2014 @ 9:21am

    Re: Re:

    This IP License ends when you delete your IP content or your account unless your content has been shared with others, and they have not deleted it.

    That is saying if you share something, you are permitting others to hold a copy, and deleting your account will not delete the copies you have permitted. That is nothing sinister, just the legalese to say that Facebook will not delete copies you have permitted others to have when your account is deleted.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  54.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 3rd, 2014 @ 9:45am

    Re: Re: Re:

    … copies…


    I notice that Facebook uses the “IP content”, while you're using the term copies. That provokes a question—

    Are the copies at issue “computer programs”?
    A “computer program” is a set of statements or instructions to be used directly or indirectly in a computer in order to bring about a certain result.

    Are the copies used by Facebook computer programs?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  55.  
    icon
    Sean Kurth (profile), May 3rd, 2014 @ 7:19pm

    Streisand Effect!

    Streisand Effect at work again! God, when do these lawyer types ever learn...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  56.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, May 4th, 2014 @ 5:27pm

    Re: Re: Re: Did Judge say or suggest copyright?

    In short, this entire blog post could have been prevented by having a law student read the judge's order.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  57.  
    icon
    T (profile), May 4th, 2014 @ 5:59pm

    Re: That's what copyright terms are about.

    "'Terms of service' don't really count since she apparently does not want to have the service continue."

    Every competently written Terms of Service includes in one clause (call it A) a grant of perpetual license to display the posted content on the site, and in the Termination clause a statement listing many clauses that will survive any termination of the agreement that includes clause A. So, yes, armchair lawyer, the Terms of Service do "count" very much, because they probably provided that the man himself could not have used copyright to get his own posted content removed, so anyone who inherits his copyrights could not either.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  58.  
    icon
    T (profile), May 4th, 2014 @ 6:03pm

    Re: Re: Did Judge say or suggest copyright?

    The judge isn't suggesting any particular means by which to remove content posted by the deceased. He's simply granted her the legal cover under which she can act to remove content in any way that he could. The judge cannot give her rights to remove his content that he himself did not have.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  59.  
    icon
    T (profile), May 4th, 2014 @ 6:30pm

    Re: Did Judge say or suggest copyright?

    It is no doubt her lawyers that came up with the copyright tactic. Any competent law firm would know any sites on which he posted were likely granted (by him, under the Terms of Service in effect when he posted) perpetual and irrevocable licenses to display to visitors his posted content. If you read their DMCA take-down letter to GoDaddy, they follow the copyright ownership rationale required by DMCA with irrelevant (to a DMCA-takedown request) plaints about invasion of privacy, defamation, the safety and privacy of the minor children, the legitimate concerns of the public, etc. They even complain that her holy name is used without her permission!

    They're simply throwing everything at the wall in the hope that something will "stick", where "stick" does NOT mean stand up in court, but simply work to win *voluntary* compliance with the request. That's all they're hoping for, as that's all they're legally entitled to. The sites may well comply not because they're not sure they'd win in court, but because they simply don't care enough about the content posted by this one user to pay even one lawyer to fight it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  60.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, May 6th, 2014 @ 7:51am

    Re:

    Remove him from the company web site. Remove his domain login. Remove his email account. Remove his phone extension. Remove his voice mail account. Remove his information from his PC. Remove him from various other online accounts and services. It was like I was killing off the remaining part of him, and burying the traces that he ever existed.

    It makes no sense to continue the fiction that the man is alive or still working for the company when he is not. In my company, when someone leaves, this is what we do because that person isn't available any more to attend our customers. However, a comment in the company blog, or even an entire post to wish the person well, often follows when someone decides to leave for another position elsewhere. I'm sure your coworker received a memorial writeup somewhere in the company blog or social media. That's appropriate. Well, I hope he did.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  61.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, May 6th, 2014 @ 8:01am

    Re:

    Status update: "X___ has sadly passed away."

    Just make it clear he's not with us any more so people don't go trying to get in touch with him. I mean, who handles the account when someone passes away? It'd be appropriate to make a memorial page but to leave the guy's online litter lying around... why would you do that? It's like refusing to tidy up his room or give away his clothes because getting rid of his physical stuff means he never existed, or something.

    It might be hard to do it at the time (imagine doing it for a baby, as happened to a friend of mine), but life goes on and sooner or later you have to let go.

    Are we trying to immortalize ourselves digitally, like the ancient Egyptians did by making mummies? It seems like a weird thing to do, but if that's your intent I can understand it.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  62.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, May 6th, 2014 @ 8:07am

    Re: That's what copyright terms are about.

    Copyright should not be inheritable, period. Should the copyright holder pass on, their works should go straight to the public domain. However, any agreement with publishers should stand so their estate can benefit from any revenues, etc.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  63.  
    identicon
    Pragmatic, May 6th, 2014 @ 8:10am

    Re: Appointment of Administrator

    What Deirdre said. As I said before, people don't think straight when they're stressed so it's likely this didn't occur to him. However, she is right. Make a will if your life changes so you don't end up losing more when you're dead than you did when alive.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  64.  
    identicon
    jill mitchell, Jun 23rd, 2014 @ 3:17pm

    Re: Documents available...

    please contact me about Chris I can provide you with substantive documentation that will establish him as being a highly credible victim of abuse. I understand that the his hyper intense focus can be interpreted as being uncredible, but in fact that hyper focus is a classic symptom of PTSD and other panic and terror related disorders. The fact that his ex, rather than his brother Jeff was designated as the executor of his "estate" is beyond ludicrious. I wonder if Jeff even knew about her effort before the court proceeding. To be sure, Chris was the worst example i've run across in terms of the constant, unrelenting attacks by his ex wife and father in law (ie: felon). I've saved all his writings to give to his kids when they are of age. thanks

    Please contact me.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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