After litigating against him for more than a year, I'll say he's a class act. He may be representing a client you find objectionable, but lawyers are not their clients. He's got a job to do, and he's doing it.
If you look at your first photo, Farenthold is the sponsor of the current federal Anti-SLAPP bill, and if you go to the fourth guy in that photo, that's Steve Cohen (D - TN) who was the first one to sponsor federal Anti-SLAPP legislation.
That quote makes me respect Lessig a lot. I've alway thought highly of him since he published a piece criticizing himself for losing Eldred v. Ashcroft. (http://www.legalaffairs.org/issues/March-April-2004/story_lessig_marapr04.msp)
I greatly respect his self-reflection and his humility in the face of a loss.
Another issue I didn't like in it -- trademark registrations need not be renewed for at least 10 years.
Under our current law, they expire if not renewed in 5 years. Since most businesses fail within 3 years, this gives a business ample time to get off the ground, time to fail, and time to sell off its assets, including its trademark -- or to succeed and renew.
Trademark trolling is not all that common, so it isn't on the level of horrifying (as some of the copyright and patent changes are). But still, it shows a theme of maximizing IP and not considering the practical implications of it.
There is some authority suggesting your view might be right. See Hinton v. Mainlands of Tamarac, 611 F.Supp. 494 (1985) (https://scholar.google.com/scholar_case?case=3210050263880336874&hl=en&as_sdt=6&as_vis= 1&oi=scholarr)
But, a later case seems to focus it more. Fermata v. Champions Golf Club, 712 F.Supp. 1257 (1989) (http://www.leagle.com/decision/19891969712FSupp1257_11784.xml/FERMATA%20INTERN.%20MELODIES%20v.%20C HAMPIONS%20GOLF%20CLUB)
The dispute between Twitter and Twitpic is at the TTAB. A TTAB proceeding is a limited proceeding over a trademark registration. Therefore, the issues are limited, making the costs also a bit more limited than full blown litigation.
Nevertheless, during TTAB disputes, the parties will sometimes also at least discuss or mediate other potential disputes. Think of the TTAB proceeding as a low-risk place to have a skirmish, but sometimes you let that skirmish inform your decisions about how you'll handle other possible disputes.
So, Twitpic may not be shutting down over the trademark issue - but the trademark fight is where the other issues got negotiated to this point.
And if the NFL team's mark was removed, it wouldn't mean Snyder had to change the name of the team, it would just mean that anyone else, were they so inclined, would be able to use the term in football commerce at that point (although, not the logo, or other trademarked identifiers for the team).
All it would mean is that Snyder would lose his registration, which would cost him some presumptions in litigation, and some international priority rights. But, he would still have a common law trademark.
I suspect that not too many people are actually "afraid" and that they are just being dishonest, because they do not want to moderate. So, they put on the cheshire smile and say "oh, I would act responsibly, but if I did, I would lose my 230 protection."
I really can't see how anyone could have trouble understanding that very simple language in 230.
Well, PaulT, you might not like a pretty vast body of law in the United States and all other legal systems I've studied. Third party liability, contributory liability, vicarious liability, are all theories that are alive and well. I'd be pleased to direct you to resources on that, if you're interested.
Further, you seem to be ok with that concept -- you just draw the line at the wall (or website) owner being liable only after a court order. I'm not arguing for liability prior to a court order. I'm arguing that the website owner should get the choice - once put on notice - of either defending the content or complying with a takedown request (with appropriate safeguards and blowback for bogus complaints).
So you would say liability should attach to the wall owner never?
Including if the aggrieved party is willing to clean the graffiti off himself, but the wall owner says "nah, I like it there" -- or "well, I might not have written it, but so many people come by to see it, that it has actually improved my property values, so I am leaving it."
Should the wall owner be automatically or immediately liable? I say no. However, I see no reason why the wall owner should be able to reap the benefits of the content without enjoying the responsibility for it as well. That responsibility should not attach immediately, nor should the system have "clean the wall" as its default. But, if a party has a legitimate legal grievance, is willing to bear the cost of cleaning the wall, and asks the wall owner for permission to do so, then the wall owner should either have to permit it, or make the words his own.
The reflexive desire to protect Section 230, in its current form, at all costs, borders on irrational.