Don McPherson is a court reporter, and that’s a tough job. Court reporters are regularly threatened in all sorts of ways for their coverage. But McPherson recently discovered there’s a way to mess with him that he’d never heard of before — using the laws of other countries.
McPherson, a Canadian citizen, hosts a blog, Eye on Comics, with an American company. He wrote a piece about Hogan Scott Courrier, another Canadian citizen who stole someone’s art off the Internet for his store signage, lost a court case over it, and has simply ignored it, refusing to pay the artist his court-ordered monetary award or stop using the artwork.
This is what Courrier actually had the cojones to send to the hosting site of McPherson’s blog:
My name is Hogan Courrier, owner of Geeks Galore Computer Center. It seems Don MacPherson from Eye on Comics, hosted at your hosting facility is using my name and business name on his website without my permission. He is also acting in a slanderous and libel way with regards to my personal information. I would ask if you can have him remove my information and business information from his website.
I have a good faith belief that the items or materials listed below are not authorized by law for use by the above named domain name owner or their agents and therefore infringes the copyright owner’s rights. I hereby demand that you act expeditiously to remove or disable access to the material or items claimed to be infringing.
Allegedly infringing items or materials: Using my personal name and business information in a negative way without consent.
This ended well, fortunately: the hosting service won’t act unless they receive a court order to do so, and it’s unlikely Courrier will be able to walk into a court with his story and have a judge take him remotely seriously. But it illustrates the danger of laws like the DMCA, how they can reach into other countries and raises a disturbing question of whether this has happened before.
(Image courtesy Mecredis on Flickr)