The Twit of Inevitability

To nobody's surprise, @Peanutweeter has been taken down. It's easy to understand why he doesn't feel like spending his time and money fighting it, but his post-mortem -- where he basically says, "Hey now, don't blame these corporate lawyers for their knee-jerking! They're just doing their jobs!" -- is, let's generously say, sadly misguided.

"Any contractor willing to work on that Death Star knew the risks."


Update: Someone made an archive of the comics.

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10 Responses:

  1. Jason says:

    Thank you for the kind words on your previous mention of peanutweeter.
    Since the blame I place on whom seems to be misunderstood, I've written a post to hopefully clear the air:

    • Ben Brockert says:

      The obvious answer to your question of "how do these other ones do it" is that they don't choose the convenience of a blogging service that folds like an origami swan on first notice. Had they needed to actually sue someone before your site would go down, perhaps it would still be there.

      • Nick Lamb says:

        In the case of Garfield minus Garfield the real answer is much, much simpler and even more obvious:

        Jim Davis remains in day-to-day control of the Garfield rights, so he gets to say what's allowed, and he likes Garfield minus Garfield.

        If Schulz was alive, and if he thought @Peanuttweeter was funny, there would never have been a DMCA takedown notice served in the first place.

      • Dave says:

        Dysfunctional Family Circus has in fact been taken down several times since 1999.

    • jwz says:

      When someone is doing something that is immoral and probably illegal -- as these corporate attack-lawyers are doing with these sorts of spurious takedown notices, and as these hosting services are doing by complying with them without investigating the circumstances first -- then "but they're just doing their job" is hardly an excuse. Just because someone is paying you to do something immoral and illegal doesn't make it right.

      • Nick Lamb says:

        I'm not interested in the attack dog lawyers. But your position seems rather unfair on the service provider, whose safe harbour protection terminates the moment they make the kind of judgements you're saying are morally required of them. If they guess wrong, they may go out of business.

        My guess would be that your door staff don't fetch you to "investigate" whether a potential customer without photo ID might be of age, if they don't have ID, they can't come in. You don't want to risk losing your license. Inconvenient for them, but if they don't have ID you don't want to take the risk.

        • jwz says:

          Your analogy is stupid and I think you don't understand how DMCA works. A company is under no obligation to obey an invalid DMCA takedown.

          If you cannot morally conduct your business then maybe you shouldn't be conducting that business.

          Tumblr would have been legally in the right were they to say, "This DMCA takedown is bullshit because this is obviously fair use, fuck off." However, most companies fail to take that stand and instead cover their asses by telling the user to file a DMCA counter-notice, at which point they restore the content. Though the Peanutweeter guy chose not to do even that.

          Not particularly interested in arguing about this.

          • Nick Lamb says:

            Like most text on the subject, the EFF is up front about how murky the legal water is. "There are no hard and fast rules for fair use".

            The problem is that even if you are absolutely sure Peanutwitter is the kind of thing supposed to be protected by fair use, it will cost a bunch of money to actually argue that in court, with no certainty of winning because "there are no hard and fast rules".

            You don't want to argue about this, and Tumblr didn't want to go to court over it. Seems like you've more in common than you thought.

    • DFB says:

      You could have claimed parody and satire, and gotten fair use rights, but it would have taken a substantial portion of the next three to seven years of your life, and even then missing a filing deadline could have screwed it up.

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