|'Fake Jewelry' image provided by Reap Paden|
On August 8. 2012, I authored a blog post titled "Surly Amy: Conferences should ban 'fake jewelry'" (now also available here on Youtube and Scribd in the event of another DMCA claim) which contained a picture of a 'Surly-Ramics' necklace [now taken down] which said "This is what a feminist looks like." Apparently, the picture of this necklace led someone, perhaps 'Surly Amy' herself, to file a Digital Millenium Copyright Act claim against me which resulted in the post being reverted to draft status and removed - although I placed the post up once again.
Here is an e-mail I received informing me of the DMCA claim:
This is very interesting considering that the post contained criticism of 'Surly Amy' who I charged with
wanting to censor free speech and free expression. In a podcast episode with Amanda Macrotte, 'Surly Amy' said,
There was this group of, again, very vocal angry troll-like people that did some really awful things to me in real life - that sort of thing that you usually only see online I was actually face to face with. I had people wearing t-shirts saying that they were not a skepchick, people making fake jewelry that I make that said things on it like 'you should be embarrassed.' There's this really crazy undercurrent of othering that I had never experienced before and it was really upsetting and I ended up leaving the event a day early.
We're not asking for anything crazy - just basic rules so that we can say the sort of thing like making fake jewelry and intentionally offending people is not okay nor is grabbing someone's ass. That's it, that's all we're asking for.'Surly Amy,' as one can reasonably infer, wants to ban particular jewelry and t-shirts from conferences -- thus censoring free speech -- because she claims offense. Now, as it seems, blog posts are also problematic and should be censored.
Within the post, I offered some criticism of 'Surly Amy' as follows:
If 'Surly Amy' and others had their way -- according to what 'Surly Amy' said in this podcast and logical conclusions which seem to follow -- conferences would ban others' freedom of expression and speech on grounds of a person claiming offense. I hope this day never comes, but it might just be on its way if people continue to consider 'Surly Amy' as a valid participant in the discussion concerning anti-harassment policies at conferences. Her wanting to restrict which jewelry people wear at conferences, though, should hopefully disqualify her from this discussion. Is this the sort of feminism that is worth wanting? 'Surly Amy,' after all, is not some 'rogue voice' or 'extremist' who has little clout; she is a well-respected and listened to voice within in the feminist atheist community.I don't know if 'Surly Amy' filed the DMCA complaint against me or not, but someone did. Might this person be a fan of 'Surly Amy' or otherwise be someone who doesn't like me? Silencing, it seems, rather than responding, is the weapon of choice for some. I wonder...why instead, if the picture were really the issue, the DMCA claimant send me a communication asking for the removal of the image when they know that a removal of the blog post would also happen. Perhaps that was the intention?
This, though, isn't just a small problem. Aside from exposing the cowardice of people DMCAing me likely because I offered criticism of 'Surly Amy' (this was the removed post), my blog may be taken offline and deleted because of multiple DMCA requests which may be upcoming. The claimant has resorted to unnecessary legal action in what seems to be an attempt to silence me.
This wouldn't be the first time, either, that someone is appearing to use legal threats to remove my blog from the internet. Last year, I received legal threats from a chiropractor's fiancee' following my criticism. I did not expect the same behavior -- and this is even worse -- from skeptics who, I though, are supposed to be charitable and rational...and not in the business of attempting to remove websites or posts on websites they dislike when other means can be had to remove images they may own (if that is even the real issue).
Another person critical of feminist bloggers recently received a DMCA complaint. Might we have been targeted by the same person or persons? Is this just a coincidence?
3 more, too, were served here.