Dr. Stacy Makhnevich was a NYC dentist (billing herself as the "Classical Singer Dentist of New York") who made use of a bizarre form provided by a company called "Medical Justice." Her patients were expected to sign this form, through which they assigned copyright in all their reviews of the dental practice and the doctor to the doctor herself, enabling her to use copyright notices to censor any criticism of her that appeared online. Robert Lee was an unhappy patient who posted a one-star Yelp review in 2010, and subsequently ended up embroiled in litigation against Makhnevich -- a lawsuit that would have likely settled the question of the legality of Medical Justice's adhesion contracts.
But Medical Justice left Makhnevich to fight the claim on her own, and she has subsequently disappeared. It seems she is no longer practicing dentistry, and her lawyers can't locate her and have asked to shut down the case.
“Defendant Makhnevich has closed its business in New York, has closed its offices, and has not made herself available to respond to this matter,” wrote Makhnevich’s lawyers on June 25. At that time, they hadn’t communicated with Makhnevich in three months, and that communication had been through her assistant.
“We brought this lawsuit to make sure she stopped and to point out to other dentists that they couldn't do this,” said Levy in an interview with Ars. “We thought Medical Justice would step in to defend her. Instead, they walked away from it and left her holding the bag. And now she’s left her lawyers holding the bag.”
Levy is seeking to get Lee back the money he was overcharged and to have notice sent to Makhnevich’s other patients that the contracts they signed don’t prevent them from writing reviews. He’s also seeking to get legal fees paid for; it cost $3,000 to serve Makhnevich, he noted.
Dentist who used copyright to silence her patients is on the run [Joe Mullin/Ars Technica]
(Image: Reeve 12265, a Creative Commons Attribution (2.0) image from 27337026@N03's photostream)
Kirby Ferguson, who created the remarkable Everything is a Remix series, has a new podcast hosted by the Recreate Coalition called Copy This and he hosted me on the debut episode (MP3) where we talked about copying, creativity, artists, and the future of the internet (as you might expect!).
James Cawley is a 50 year old Elvis impersonator from Ticonderoga, NY; his friend William Ware Theiss was costume-designer for the original Star Trek series, and left Cawley the blueprints for the original Star Trek Enterprise sets in his will — so Cawley rented out a 13,000 sqft shuttered supermarket and built an exquisite replica […]
In much of the world, copyright ends 50 years after the creator’s death, in some of the rest of the world, it ends 70 years after the creator’s death; in the USA, things have stopped going into the public domain until 2019 (unless America decides to retroactively extend copyright…again!).
The Black Friday Mac Bundle 2.0 is one of the Boing Boing Store’s best-selling Mac bundles yet, and it’s about to come to an end. If you don’t get your copy now, here’s what you’ll be missing:This bundle comes packing 9 top-rated Mac apps in one package, at the hugely discounted price of just $23.99. […]
The Boing Boing Store’s Gift Guide is full of ideas for pretty much anyone in your life like hipster ice cub trays, Xbox controllers, Halo Boards, and even diamond necklaces. As always, all products in the Boing Boing Store come at great discounts, too. Shop by price bucket starting at under $20. Under $20:Bloxx Jumbo Ice Trays […]
Unlike traditional lighters, the SaberLight features an electronic plasma beam that’s both rechargeable and butane-free. This sleek lighter is even approved by TSA, so you’ll never be stuck buying lighters you’ll just have to throw away partially used. For some people, like me, this is a pretty big game-changer. The SaberLight’s beam is actually both hotter and cleaner […]