This episode of Blognet first appeared six years ago today.
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NARRATOR: Ladies and gentlemen, the story you are about to hear is true. The names have been changed to protect the innocent.
MUSIC: Up, then under …
NARRATOR: You’re a Detective Sergeant. You’re assigned to Internet Detail. A serial copyright thief has been using the work of bloggers without permission. Recently, he has been subject to copyright takedown notices, but he is attempting to get his infringement republished. Your job … get the facts.
MUSIC: Up then under …
ANNOUNCER: Blognet … the documented drama of an actual crime. For the next few minutes, in cooperation with the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department, you will travel step by step on the side of the good guys through an actual case transcribed from official files. From beginning to end. From crime to punishment. Blognet is the story of the good guys in action.
MUSIC: Up and out.
SOUND: Footsteps in hallway.
FRIDAY: It was Thursday, May 15th. It was a foggy morning in Westminster with rain in the forecast. We were working the day watch out of Internet Detail. My partner’s Liz Smith. The boss is Twitter Town Sheriff, W. J. J. Hoge. My name’s Friday. It was 7:52 am when I got to Room S-140. Internet Detail.
SOUND: Door opens. Footsteps across room. Chair pulled out. Computer boot tone.
SOUND: Door opens a second time.
SMITH: Hey, Joe, you beat me into work for a change.
FRIDAY: Not by much.
SOUND: Footsteps across room. Chair pulled out. Computer boot tone.
FRIDAY: It looks like things were pretty quiet overnight.
SMITH: I could use a quiet day for once.
FRIDAY: Yeah. So could …
SOUND: Telephone rings once. Receiver picked up.
SMITH: Internet Detail. Detective Smith. … Good Morning. … Really? … When did it start? … But there was nothing before that? … I thought that account was down. … Oh, OK. … No, we’ll definitely check that out. Thanks for the tip. … Goodbye.
SOUND: Receiver hung up.
FRIDAY: What was that?
SMITH: One of my sources. She called to let me know that Parvocampus in on a roll again this morning. On Twitter.
FRIDAY: What’s he on about this time?
SMITH: Those books he published that were taken down for copyright violations.
FRIDAY: Well, we probably ought to keep an eye on him, just in case. Meanwhile, I’ll make the coffee this morning if you’ll fetch it when it’s done dripping.
SMITH: Sure. Cream and sugar as usual.
FRIDAY: Fine, but today I’ve got the feeling I’m gonna want something stronger.
MUSIC: Stinger and under.
FRIDAY: Liz took on the surveillance of Parvocampus’s Twitter timeline. By midmorning she was also following his blogging at Pain-in-the-Ass-Ombudsman.
SMITH: Hey, Joe. It looks like Parvocampus has filed DMCA counter notices on those copyright claims against those books.
FRIDAY: He has the right to do that, but it doesn’t seem very smart.
SMITH: Yeah. He lifted whole blog posts without permission.
FRIDAY: Uh huh. You know, he’s been doing that all along. Those weren’t the first DMCA notice he’s he been hit with. I wonder how many other times he has used whole posts without permission?
SMITH: We’ve got backups of his blog posts and tweets going back over several months, at least since that problem with the family from Texas. We could run a search against those backups to see how many times he’s infringed the bloggers he’s counter noticing.
FRIDAY: That’s a good idea. Why don’t you run down the tweets. I’ll take the blog posts. Meanwhile, keep Parvocampus’s feeds up on your second monitor.
Liz and I set to work. Scrolling through months of poorly written blog posts is not the part of this job that can be exciting, but it’s the sort of thing that is usually most productive.
SMITH: Joe, it looks like Parvocampus is on his blog daring the bloggers he ripped off to sue him.
FRIDAY: I wouldn’t do that if I were him.
SMITH: Neither would I. You should see the stuff I’m turning up here.
FRIDAY: If it’s anything like what what I’ve found, there’s a huge infringement case lurking in the wings for Parvocampus. This is the wrong pot for him to be stirring.
FRIDAY: I’m just finishing with posts by the Maryland blogger that he screencapped either in full or almost completely and used in his posts. Since last August, he’s used them in at least four of the website he operated: Old Uncle Braggart, Lard of Satire, Fly The Wrong Radio, and Pain-in-the-Ass-Ombudsman. There’re at least 52 instances of such screencaps.
SMITH: I’ll see your 52 and raise you 15.
FRIDAY: Is that so?
SMITH: Yeah. I’ve got 67 of those sorts of screencaps that I’ve found under 9 different Twitter handles he’s used over the same period. I haven’t gone back past August yet.
FRIDAY: 67 plus 52. That’s 119 copyright violations.
SMITH: (Low whistle.) Wow! Even with low-ball statutory damages, that’s serious money.
FRIDAY: OK, let’s wrap this up and get reports out to the bloggers.
SMITH: Do we need to interpret any of this data?
FRIDAY: No. Just the facts, ma’am.
MUSIC: Up and under.
NARRATOR: On May 15th, a report with information concerning Parvocampus’s apparent copyright violations was forwarded to one of the bloggers whose material had been infringed. In a moment, the significance of that report.
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NARRATOR: The report documents over 120 examples of Parvocampus’s use of the blogger’s copyrighted material. Statutory damages for such violations can be $750 for each violation. If a violation qualifies for enhanced statutory damages the amount per violation may be as much as $150,000 each.
MUSIC: Theme up and under.
ANNOUNCER: You have just heard Blognet, a series of authentic cases from official files. Technical advice comes from the office of the Twitter Town Sheriff’s Department.
MUSIC: Theme up to music out.
ANNOUNCER: Blognet is a work of fiction. Anyone who thinks it’s about him should read Proverbs 28:1.
This is LBS, the Lickspittle Broadcasting System.
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The Grouch’s failure to respect copyrights resulted in his buddy Timberland having to move one of his websites offshore/