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

from the I-DON'T-MIND-PERJURING-MYSELF-MULTIPLE-TIMES dept

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

KIND OF WORK: book

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.

ORIGINAL URLS:
https://fassure.com/mybook


ALLEGEDLY INFRINGING URLS:
https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150728/12010131782/all-ways-dmca-takedown-process-can-be-responsibly-used-these-are-none-them.shtml
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.
TIM CUSHING
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.

Reader Comments

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  • icon
    Ninja (profile), 12 Aug 2015 @ 7:13am

    So the conclusion we reach after reading this article is that Tim is awesome and trolls the trolls. And the guy (Sean) is as stupid as somebody can be without being in Darwin Awards.

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

  • icon
    GMacGuffin (profile), 12 Aug 2015 @ 8:47am

    Bio? I vote Tombstone

    The quotes from other writers (i.e., notorious censorious asshats) about Cushing are too precious for just a bio. Total validation of mission success in 55 words. The entire blurb deserves a place on his tombstone.

    Made my morning anyway.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 8:58am

    > Every year we set up hundreds of structures to protect residences, rental real estate, investments and retirement plans.

    We can set up tarps to protect your house or condo from sun AND rain. Usually our clients only need these once a year, but we can schedule more frequent installations on request.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:08am

    "Tim writes like a whining little bitch…" - Tom Forrest

    Ahh yes, I remember that fine piece of work, a true masterpiece.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:16am

    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.

    That's a clear RED flag.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:19am

    Ummm, am I reading this right, or does the Chilling Effects notice (https://www.chillingeffects.org/notices/11027192#) say the sender sent the notice on August 1st, yet it was received on July 31st?

    Can't be!

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

  • identicon
    David, 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:29am

    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.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:40am

      Re: To be fair

      but not using 3rd party validation could mae your site vulnerable to takeover, because the ppl visiting dont know if it is just a random self signed cert (mitm)

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

      • identicon
        David, 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:49am

        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.

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

  • icon
    383bigblock (profile), 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:29am

    We need them all Tim

    There needs to be an ongoing running list of all of the stellar references for Tim and other on Techdirt.

    "Tim writes like a whining little bitch…" - Tom Forrest, I just love that. That's a classic child-like response supposedly coming from other adults.

    You can just smell the defeat in his words.

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

  • icon
    Mason Wheeler (profile), 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:41am

    Now, I know the DMCA takedown notice's "under penalty of perjury" affirmation is notoriously weak, but isn't this specific case one that would clear the bar? Fraudulently claiming to own the copyright on material?

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 11:02am

      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.

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

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 2:04pm

      Re:

      Probably, assuming Techdirt can find a DA willing to "waste his time" on pressing criminal charges (perjury is a criminal offense which requires a willing district attorney).

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

  • identicon
    David, 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:43am

    Counter-claim

    After Googling a few paragraphs of his "book excerpts", it appears to be highly plagiarized. I think there's several people around the internet that could file DCMA notices with Squarespace (where he appears to be hosted) and get his site shut down.

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

  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:47am

    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.

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

    • icon
      Sheogorath (profile), 12 Aug 2015 @ 11:34am

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

      Is "Federal Assurance Services" code for Fetal Alcohol Syndrome?
      Ableism much? Check your privilege!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:54am

    Bio quote

    I think it's better with a bit more quoting: "Malcontent. ... I hope everyone ... understands the danger out there ... and protects themselves accordingly."

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 9:55am

    "from the I-DON'T-MIND-PERJURING-MYSELF-MULTIPLE-TIMES dept"

    Has anyone, even once, ever been charged with perjury in relation to a DMCA claim?

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

  • icon
    The Infamous Joe (profile), 12 Aug 2015 @ 10:02am

    Dat G+ page

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

  • icon
    wshuff (profile), 12 Aug 2015 @ 10:27am

    The Instagram picture of the little kid surrounded by all the pinups is a bit disturbing.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 11:07am

    Sean Gjerde inmate 19253-097

    He posts his inmate number on his "business" web site. Is that intended to instill confidence?

    Sean Gjerde inmate 19253-097 CBA 217467
    Lawyer, Felon, Victim of the Federal Justice System and the California State Bar.
    http://fassure.com/message-from-spg

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

  • identicon
    Sunhawk, 12 Aug 2015 @ 12:20pm

    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)

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

  • identicon
    Lord Binky, 12 Aug 2015 @ 1:18pm

    HA! You guys, that wasn't registration number, that was a phone number. Now who has egg on their face?!

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 1:36pm

    >>>>We can protect your hard-earned assets better than anyone else.


    translation: We're going to steal your credit card details and bank info, withdraw as much cash as we possibly can, as quickly as we can and then stick it in a foreign bank account.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 1:42pm

    Sean, if you're reading this, you should 'trademark' the color orange since thats basically the color of your sweaty wrinkled face. I'm not saying you're some sort of paedophile (your website did that for me pretty well), but if there was a show called Pedophile Island, you'd be a shoe-in for series 1 2 and 3.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 12 Aug 2015 @ 5:49pm

    I think we found out_of_the_blue!

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

  • identicon
    GEMont, 13 Aug 2015 @ 4:07pm

    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.

    ---

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

  • identicon
    Henry Pooter, 14 Aug 2015 @ 5:16am

    "wealthy foreigners"

    I believe that's how those people like to be described.

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


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