For years, Paul Hansmeier terrorized internet users through his copyright trolling racket Prenda Law, evading the law through shell companies and fraud, until, finally, he was brought to justice and pleaded guilty last August. Read the rest
The Eastern District of Texas is home to a crooked court that is in the pocket of patent trolls, handing down ludicrous rulings in favor of the trolls, whose "head offices" are tiny, unoccupied offices in empty, dusty office buildings, the rent on which entitles patent trolls to claim that their rights are being infringed in the demense of the Eastern District's terrible judges. Read the rest
Last year the New York Times ran Nazi sympathizer sympathizer article titled, A Voice of Hate in America’s Heartland ("He is the Nazi sympathizer next door, polite and low-key..."). To make well-deserved fun of the Times, IntrepidFox produced a pitch perfect Times video parody, "A Voice of Hate on America's Internet," that sympathizes with Internet trolls. Read the rest
Amanda Marcotte, author of Troll Nation: How The Right Became Trump-Worshipping Monsters Set On Rat-F*cking Liberals, America, and Truth Itself, explained why Trump's followers embrace his lies even when they know they are being lied to:Thread by @AmandaMarcotte: "No one actually believes Jim Acosta did anything wrong. This is one of those situations where conservatives collectively pretend to believe […]"
Image: C-Span Read the rest
Last night Carla and I attended a screening for an upcoming National Geographic documentary called Science Fair, about the International Science and Engineering Fair. It's a terrific movie about smart young scientists from around the world. One thing I learned watching it is that students in Germany pay almost nothing to attend college. Here in the US, students graduate with a debt load that will hurt the quality of their life for decades. What is the US Department of Education doing about it? Actively making it worse, thanks to Betsy DeVos, who oversees the department.
The Trump swamp is a veritable legion of cartoonishly evil supervillians, but the mustache-twirling cackler Betsy DeVos operates on a level that would make a 4chan troll blush. Married to the former CEO of Amway (which paid $56 million to settle a class action for "alleged fraud, racketeering, and operating as an illegal pyramid scheme," she is also sister of Erik Prince, founder of the murderous Blackwater mercenary firm.
This billionaire griefer -- with fleets of private jets and yachts at her command -- has no teaching experience and refuses to visit troubled schools. Instead, she spends her time coming up with outrageous ways to make students' lives financially miserable and fraught with danger. And like the best robot, she doesn't crack a smile when her victims suffer.
DeVos's latest lulz generator is a plan to get around a law that Congress passed in March that forbids federal funds from being used to buy guns for teachers. Read the rest
In late 2017, we learned that patent trolls (especially pharma patent gougers) were paying US Native Indian tribes to act as fronts for them in order to block review and cancellation of bogus patents -- the tribes have a treaty right to "sovereign immunity," which protects them from some forms of litigation. Read the rest
A new report from the Institute For the Future on "state-sponsored trolling" documents the rise and rise of government-backed troll armies who terrorize journalists and opposition figures with seemingly endless waves of individuals who bombard their targets with vile vitriol, from racial slurs to rape threats. Read the rest
Austin's Michael-Scott Earle, last seen around these parts when he filed a trademark on the phrase "Dragon Slayer" for use in fantasy novel trademarks, has found a new depth to plumb: he's filed a trademark on book covers "one or more human or partially human figures underneath, at least one of the figures holding a weapon; and an author's name underneath the figures; wherein the title/series and author's name are depicted in the same or similar coloring." Read the rest
Kenichiro Okamoto, a Japanese blogger and cybercrime consultant, was murdered in a restroom following a lecture he gave in Fukuoka on how to deal with Internet trolls.
From The Washington Post:
About 15 minutes after he concluded his talk, authorities say a man that had trolled and harassed Okamoto online attacked him in a men’s restroom, stabbing him repeatedly in the chest and neck, Asahi Shimbun reported. The man then fled the scene on a bicycle, according to the Japanese newspaper. Okamoto was taken to a hospital, where he was pronounced dead.
Immediately after the stabbing, a post appeared online in which the user wrote, “I am going to go now to my neighborhood police box to voluntarily surrender and take responsibility for my actions,” Mainichi Shimbun reported.
Late Sunday, a man identified as Hidemitsu Matsumoto turned himself in, saying he was “responsible for the murder in Chuo Ward,” the neighborhood where the seminar took place. A bloody knife was reportedly found in his bag, according to Mainichi Shimbun.
On Monday local time, police announced that they had arrested Matsumoto in connection with the killing.
According to Asahi Shimbun, police quoted Matsumoto saying, “I held a grudge against him over Internet (exchanges),” and “I thought I would kill him.”
Image: Kenichiro Okamoto, YouTube Read the rest
Back in May, the romance writing community was rocked by a scandal after author Faleena Hopkins started enforcing a trademark over the common word "COCKY" in the titles of romance novels; I predicted then that there would be some sociopaths who would observe the controversy and decide that it was an inspiration, rather than a warning, and start trying to use trademark to steal other words from writers and their titles. Read the rest
Romance author Faleena Hopkins earned the wrong kind of notoriety when she registered a trademark on the word "cocky" for use in romance novel titles and then began indiscriminately threatening to sue her peers for using this common trope. Read the rest
Over the past 20 years, the world has become a lot more cognizant of the risks of unbalanced copyright, as what was once a way to help creators gain leverage over publishers, studios and labels became a rubric for mass surveillance, unaccountable censorship and monopolism. Read the rest