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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  1. identicon
    Kevin Carson, 5 Aug 2014 @ 10:32am

    Re: "I sincerely hope Randy Queen keeps going..."

    Unfortunately he's hurting and frightening a very decent person. The entertainment value of Queen's self-destruction just isn't worth it.

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