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Crook’s Apology to the Internet

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In a sweeping court enforced statement to the internet Michael Crook apologies to the internet for abusing the DMCA.

While this probably would not have been done to a major corporation, the issues with copyright continue on unabated, the EFF and 10ZenMonkies have gotten an admission from one of the internet’s more notorious personalities. The reputation that Mike has on the internet (for those that follow the darker seamier sides of the internet) is not a positive one, and is generally held in disregard.

In a Reputation 1.0 world, his rating is at the bottom end of the 10 point scale of 1. But this case is well worth noting, in that the events took place in public, and have ended in the same realm. It is doubtful that many would have given a public apology, even under court order. On the EFF site (10ZenMonkies was down at the time of writing)

"Crook’s legal threats interfered with legitimate debate about his controversial online behavior," said EFF Staff Attorney Jason Schultz. "Public figures must not be allowed to use bogus copyright claims to squelch speech."

In addition to withdrawing current complaints against Diehl and every other target of his takedown campaign and taking a copyright law course, Crook has also agreed to limit any future DMCA notices to works authored or photographed by himself or his wife, or where the copyright was specifically assigned to him. All future notices must also include a link to EFF information on his case, as well as the settlement agreement. Crook has also recorded a video statement to apologize and publicize the dangers of abusing copyright law.

"We’re pleased that Crook has taken responsibility for his egregious behavior," said EFF Staff Attorney Corynne McSherry. "Hopefully, this will set a precedent to prevent future abuse of the law by those who dislike online news-reporting and criticism." Source: EFF

You can watch the apology to the internet here http://blip.tv/file/169553

Overall though it makes the final close of an interesting case all the more interesting in that the outcome was more public than the original case. So for folks thinking of abusing the DMCA, this final court ordered mandate for a public apology on the internet might make people think twice before they submit a bogus DMCA claim.

Additional information can be found at BoingBoing, 10ZenMonkies, and on the EFF web site here and here.

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Crook’s Apology to the Internet
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About Dan Morrill
Dan Morrill runs Techwag, a site all about his views on social media, education, technology, and some of the more interesting things that happen on the internet. He works at CityU of Seattle as the Program Director for the Computer Science, Information Systems and Information Security educational programs. WebProNews Writer
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