Last week, our lawyers at the Electronic Frontier Foundation sent a reply to Bird, the scooter company, which had sent us an intimidating letter seeking to censor this post on Bird conversion kits, which let you unlock the hundreds of Bird scooters that are auctioned off by cities after Bird fails to claim them from their impound lots.
Having been publicly dragged, Bird has issued a traditional corporate nonpology:
"Bird celebrates freedom in many ways—freedom from traffic [and] congestion as well as freedom of speech," the company said. "In the quest for curbing illegal activities related to our vehicles, our legal team overstretched and sent a takedown request related to the issue to a member of the media. This was our mistake and we apologize to Cory Doctorow."
Here's a rough translation, with notes:
1. We are so groovy!
2. We accidentally formulated a laughable legal theory and sent it to a journalist. Who among us has never done something like that.
3. We're not going to come right out and claim that motherboard swaps are a violation of Section 1201 of the DMCA, but we're sure gonna imply it!
tldr: "We're sorry you're angry at us."
While this apology is better than a threat, it raises more questions than it answers, like "Would it be OK to threaten someone who wasn't a journalist?" and "Which illegal activity, precisely, are you referring to?"