I was referring more to the seemingly uncoordinated efforts that Sony has sometimes undertaken - it makes a lot more sense if random employees and execs are running around filing what they think instead of that crazy idea of coordination.
I seem to recall a couple cases where one part of Sony issued take-downs on content uploaded by another part of Sony (*I could be thinking of a different company... memory's failing quick lately)
The claim that the rally was a religious gathering and not connected to the Huckabee campaign reportedly fell apart because he had listed the rally as a campaign expense on his records. Interestingly, despite Huckabee's claim that it was not a campaign event, that it was so will allow him to use his campaign's warchest to pay off the settlement.
If it's a campaign expense, and ruled as a part of his campaign, would he not then be able to counter-claim that it is therefore covered under the blanket licencing he most likely had?
And thus comes to an end a politician's campaign infringing on copyright and trying to invoke religion to get out of it. Thy kingdom come...to a settlement with an 80s band, apparently.
If we're going to throw a bit of bible in there, I think the more appropriate one would be:
Do not be deceived: God is not mocked, for whatever one sows, that will he also reap.
I'll meet you part way - even most of the way - because you do have a point that has been somewhat lost in this.
You're right in that there's nothing wrong with getting help funding a lawsuit. There have been many instances (even celebrated here) where the EFF has been able to help or where the Popehat signal goes out and some pro-bono help has been offered - all because the individual couldn't afford their due day in court.
You're also right in that a legal complaint was lodged by Hogan, due process was followed, and the end verdict was in Hogan's favor. Money is due Hogan from Gawker as a result, pending all the fun with appeals etc. Theil himself had nothing to do with the jury's verdict - it was all the lawyers, the arguments, and maybe even evidence. (that last part was indented to be be somewhat sarcastic for the sarcasm-impaired)
If Hogan needed help funding his efforts to seek legal recourse over a complaint, then he certainly wasn't wrong to accept said help.
We can quibble over the validity of Hogan's complaint, and if what Gawker did could be construed as an act of journalism of the lowest order (mistyped that as "oder"... almost left it like that). There's certainly enough weirdness in other aspects of this specific case to muddy the waters.
Where this comes back to for me - and where we may just have to agree to disagree - is not with Hogan, his suit, or the merits of one side or another. The main issue for me is with Theil and his behaviour.
I have not seen anywhere where Hogan sought help because he couldn't afford his due legal recourse. (Though I'm open to evidence that that was the case) I have seen where Theil has gone out of his way to find people with a beef with Gawker and support them - not because their case was good or their cause just, but because they had a beef with Gawker good enough to drag them into court.
It's the ruin-by-proxy and the precedent that it sets that has me concerned.
If it was just Hogan vs Gawker, I might go along with you. The problem is that this is signaling - if you have the money and can rustle up a mob then it's perfectly ok to go all scorched earth against a publication.
Will it still be ok if Rush Limbaugh funds every lawsuit he can stir up against the NY Times until they declare bankruptcy?
Would it still be ok if Duffy funds (well ... assuming he could) every lawsuit he could stir up against TechDirt and/or Popehat?
So when some billionaire funds enough lawsuits to put TechDirt in bankruptcy, because they were upset/hurt by what their coverage did to poor Prenda, you'll also cheer about how TechDirt deserves what it got?
Gawker is many things, and they earned their reputation one horrid post at a time - but it's this sort of mob-run pitchforks-and-torches retribution that has me worried.
Sure, this time it cut down someone few are happy to see go away ... but what about next time? You know, the point Mike was trying to make?
Never mind the question of if Lifehacker or IO9 should be spared the wrath earned by Denton and those most like him.
Never mind the question of what this is signaling as "ok".
You forgot the part where: * the target to close the pop-up and/or video is small enough to make a marksman sweat bullets, and * the content jumps around like an over-caffeinated toddler because the ads are taking their sweet time loading in.
Instead of engaging in this particular battle, I've taken a different road - one many have taken, and many more are likely to take up.
I just won't go.
When the obtrusive ad pops up, takes over my screen, etc. - I just leave. If I see it enough, I stop following any links there (or leave the second I know where that damned Bit.ly link from twitter goes).
Done. Money/links/attention going to your smarter competitors.
Wouldn't it be nice if there were a single presidential candidate who actually understood this particular issue?
Hell, I'd settle for someone willing to admit that they don't understand... even better would be one that recognized that they don't understand, are getting some bad advice, and hired a more competent adviser.