EFF Sues Michael Crook for Bogus DMCA Claims

Scott Beale says,

EFF has just filed suit against Craigslist copycat scammer Michael Crook for filing bogus DMCA claims. More here: Link.

Laughing Squid, the ISP which Beale runs, is hosting the blog to which these false claims were sent. (disclaimer: I'm one of Scott's happy customers). And here's more about the case from that blog, 10zenmonkeys: Link. Snip:

Social griefing a la Jason Fortuny and Michael Crook may have finally been taken too far.

In September, we published an article about Crook when he mimicked Jason Fortuny by trolling CraigsList and sex-baiting guys into giving him private information which he then revealed on his site (now offline), craigslist-perverts.org. He apparently did not like what we had to say. In a brash and hypocritical (though not at all surprising) move, Crook filed a bullshit DMCA take-down notice with our then-ISP, knowing that the "safe harbor" provision would compel the ISP to take immediate action, even before proof of copyright ownership was examined.

I was personally given an ultimatum to remove the material cited in the notice (a TV screen capture of Crook's appearance on Fox News Channel), or have my account canceled. Needless to say, Crook did not own the rights to the image, and even if he did, there's a little thing called "fair use" in the context of critical commentary.

Appalled that he was able to so easily, and without any onus of proof, jeopardize my standing with my ISP, I immediately set about moving the site to local San Francisco ISP Laughing Squid, owned by my old pal, Scott Beale – his services are more expensive, but I knew Scott would understand and respect free speech at least to the point of asking me for details before threatening to pull the plug on my site.

Read more: Link.

Image courtesy diis.net: The aptly-named Crook, appearing on the Fox network news talk show Hannity and Colmes. He is also known for having created websites such as forsakethetroops.info, opposethetroops.com, and forsakethepolice.info (all of which appear to have been sold). These projects led to much controversy, and did not generate him many new friends among cops, soldiers, or veterans.

This image which is the subject of Crook's phony DMCA claims appears on a number of other websites, including one hosted at aol.com: Link, origin blog: Link. It's also on this Canada-hosted website: Link to image, at redtory blog. There's another copy here, via latestfunny.com.

In all fairness, it's not the most flattering frame from the video, and I can't say I blame the guy for wanting to bully people into removing it from public view.