Thursday, September 26, 2013

Victory Update #2 (Final)

One of the principles upon which I operate this blog is "thou shalt not erase history." As of this morning, I have good reason for violating that policy. I'll explain why below.

The short version of this thing is: We won.

The long version:

The C4SS and S4SS sites are back up.

The DMCA takedown notice has been formally withdrawn.

We've proven (to ourselves especially!) that we can fight and win a battle of this sort using just "the power of the pen" (we made no resort to the state or its laws).

We've taken steps to make it less likely that we'll have to fight such battles in the future, and to make it more likely that we'll win them quickly and convincingly if we do.

And the man who was initially our tormentor? He appears to not only have surrendered, but to have realized the error of several of his ways (certainly the un-wisdom of trying to suppress speech and maybe a little bit about the attitudes that set the whole incident in motion in the first place as well) and to have reversed himself in a monumental manner.

To wit, he has made a substantial (and that is an understatement) financial donation to C4SS. To the best of my knowledge that donation was not solicited, and it certainly wasn't demanded or made a condition of any kind with reference to C4SS's conduct. It seems to be entirely a gesture of good will on his part. At one point earlier in the situation, he referenced "nearly unlimited funds" for legal action against us. Apparently he wasn't bluffing on that.

Even before I found out about the donation, I had been toying with the idea of working to reduce the negative consequences for him if he did indeed withdraw the DMCA takedown notice, etc. My understanding is that he's a young guy, a student, etc. I was young and impulsive/impetuous myself once. He made some mistakes, but if he's willing to correct them, I'm not hell-bent on making him pay for them for the rest of his life.

And of course I am always grateful to those who support the Center.

So, I'm going to be removing his name from my previous KN@PPSTER posts on this subject. It's a small thing, but will presumably mitigate at least some of the "Streisand Effect" in terms of his name being associated with this incident in search engine results and so forth.

I'm looking forward to getting back to normal operations at C4SS. Thanks to everyone who supported the Center -- morally, financially or otherwise -- through this incident!

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