Playboy Decides Not To Appeal Silly Boing Boing Lawsuit In The Most Petulant Manner Possible

from the nice-one-guys dept

Well that all happened remarkably quickly. In November, we wrote about Playboy filing a particularly ridiculous lawsuit against the blog Boing Boing for linking to (but not hosting) an Imgur collection and YouTube video highlighting basically all Playboy centerfold images. Boing Boing explained to the court in January that linking is not infringement and the judge dismissed the case in February. And while the court left it open for Playboy to file an amended complaint, it also made it clear that Playboy had basically no chance of winning the case.

So it should be of little surprise that the case is now officially over, with Playboy releasing an impressively silly statement to Cyrus Farivar over at Ars Technica:

Playboy's dispute with Boing Boing is about one party (Boing Boing) willfully profiting from infringement upon the intellectual property of another party (Playboy). This is not David vs. Goliath, it is not about the first amendment and it is not an attack about linking. It is about preventing a party from driving its profits off of piracy.

Despite being informed that it was promoting infringement, Boing Boing has left up its post to try to make even more money. It is unfortunate that a site that has at times created original content is fighting so hard for a right to profit from infringing content.

Boing Boing has argued to the court that it should not be legally responsible for making money off of content it knows to be infringing as long as Boing Boing is not the original infringer. That is not editorial integrity. It is not ethical journalism. It is supporting and contributing to piracy and content creators should not tolerate it.

Although we are not refiling an amended complaint at this time, we will continue to vigorously enforce our intellectual property rights against infringement.

John Vlautin / Corporate Communications
Playboy Enterprises

Okay, so notice there's a whole bunch of pure nonsense before admitting the company won't make things worse (and certainly throw away money) on filing an amended complaint. What's quite incredible is just how... wrong nearly everything is that Playboy says. It's fairly obvious that John Vlautin is not a lawyer and basically knows fuck all about copyright or free speech. Indeed, he's basically been an entertainment industry flack for his career, doing PR/communications for record labels and Live Nation, as well as his own firm, which apparently now represents Playboy.

Anyway, let's be clear: having an old blog post linking offsite is hardly "willfully profiting from infringement." Indeed, the court ruled that what Boing Boing was doing was not infringement. That Vlautin ignores all that just makes him look like a petulant sore loser. And, yes, sorry John, but suing a website for what it legally posted is very much a First Amendment issue. And, remember, John, you work for a company, Playboy, which has historically been a strong First Amendment supporter. Hell, the Hugh Hefner Foundation still gives out First Amendment Awards each year. And, in the past, those awards have included people like copyright scholar Pam Samuelson and EFF co-founder John Perry Barlow (who was a vocal critic of copyright laws and how they are used to censor speech).

Also, it's amusing that Vlautin is mocking Boing Boing's arguments in court (which he totally misrepresents) when Boing Boing won. If the argument was so absurd, why did the court rule against Playboy and why is Playboy not filing an amended complaint? Playboy lost, and the company should know better than to employ a PR flack who doesn't know what he's talking about in sending out petulant statements that reflect exceptionally poorly on the company.


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  • icon
    Stephen T. Stone (profile), 8 Mar 2018 @ 4:14pm

    Wait.

    Playboy is still relevant in modern culture?

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 8 Mar 2018 @ 4:49pm

    out_of_the_blue wrong again? Wow, color me shocked!

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

    • icon
      orbitalinsertion (profile), 8 Mar 2018 @ 6:56pm

      Re:

      marked as insightful or something, for incessantly goading another troll.

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

      • identicon
        Canuck, 9 Mar 2018 @ 6:42am

        Re: Re:

        Blueballs deserves whatever he gets.

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

      • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2018 @ 7:54am

        Re: Re: like everyone else who's ever tried to tamp down the...

        Thanks for the effort but you will fail like everyone else who's ever tried to tamp down the uncivil one-liner idiots here, and particularly those who keep repeating that screen name four years after last actual use. It's some compulsion that I don't understand, so fascinating in itself....

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

    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2018 @ 7:49am

      Re:Hey, thanks for keeping the now-unused-four-years screen name

      Hey, thanks for keeping the now-unused-four-years screen name at top of Techdirt's tiny little mind where belongs, "AC"! None more hated or feared. Traumatizing Techdirt weenies since 2009. You embiggen the legend, informing anyone new.

      Decided to NOT comment on this last night, but since 3 now solely on screen name, sheesh! How can I not point up silliness *unique* to Techdirt?

      Anyhoo, YOU are wrong! Actually, NO position taken. Here's the gist of what I wrote on this case:

      First piece:
      > Cheap advertising. Got Mighty Techdirt to resurrect the "Playboy" name.

      2nd piece:
      > However, the tests are difficult to meet in the strictest reading. I think this is too complex and tricky for a mere judge, when the actual problem is that BB is getting money by linking; it should be put to a jury, and I'd bet ya half a peach BB would not win.

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

  • icon
    That One Guy (profile), 8 Mar 2018 @ 7:39pm

    Impressive, for all the wrong reasons

    I thought children were good at throwing tantrums, but this guy has certainly got them beat.

    Between filing a lawsuit that was dismissed at the outset, and now this individual acting like a petulant child claiming that he didn't really want the thing he was told he couldn't have(and despite what the judge said he was totally right, honest), Playboy really needs to start sacking people and hiring individuals that don't just waste money and make them look even worse.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2018 @ 4:05am

    Note that both Ars Technica and Techdirt are also `making money' off of the non-ingringing Boing Boing post by reporting on it but they are not getting sued. Playboy even helps Ars Technica in this endeavour by supplying content. They should, by their own definition of `profiting from infringing content' sue both.
    Or even better, stop being so afraid about everything and do some work.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2018 @ 6:25am

    Playboy's dispute with Boing Boing is about one party (Playboy) willfully profiting from the objectification of women. This is not David vs. Goliath, it is not about the first amendment and it is not an attack about linking. It is about preventing a party from driving its profits off of the objectification of women.

    Despite being informed that it was promoting the objectification of women, Playboy has left up its post to try to make even more money. It is unfortunate that a site that has at times created original content is fighting so hard for a right to profit from the objectification of women.

    Playboy has argued to the court that it should not be legally responsible for making money off of content it knows to be objectifying women as long as Playboy is not the only culprit. That is not editorial integrity. It is not ethical journalism. It is supporting and contributing to the objectification of women and content creators should not tolerate it.

    Although we are not refiling an amended complaint at this time, we will continue to vigorously enforce our right to objectify women.

    John Vlautin / Corporate Communications Playboy Enterprises

    There. In honor of International Women's Day, I've fixed your statement for you.

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

  • icon
    Oblate (profile), 9 Mar 2018 @ 7:25am

    Is that really the list we want?

    Where is the list of links to all of the Playboy articles? I thought that was why everyone reads it...

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

  • identicon
    Vic, 9 Mar 2018 @ 7:31am

    How about evidences?

    Why didn't Playboy present precise calculation of exactly HOW MUCH DID BOING-BOING PROFITED from that? It must have been unimagibable millions of $ if that warranted the lawsuit!

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

  • icon
    Jeffrey Nonken (profile), 9 Mar 2018 @ 8:22am

    Hmmm. Playboy is butthurt... There's a sex joke in there somewhere, but I got nothin'.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2018 @ 11:51am

    "willfully profiting from infringement"

    Considering "the court ruled that what Boing Boing was doing was not infringement", I'd kind of like to see Boing Boing sue Playboy now, for defamation. Put the shoe on the other foot, so to speak.

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

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 9 Mar 2018 @ 7:04pm

    There once was an out of the blue
    Who hated the process of due
    Each film that he'd paid
    Was DMCAed
    And shoved up his ass with a screw

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

  • identicon
    guest, 12 Mar 2018 @ 10:15am

    MALPRACTICE

    Playboy just got scammed by a lawyer who collected huge fees for a suit he knew he could never win.

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


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