Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


An important reason for the failure of all of the legal actions filled by Team Kimberlin during their campaign of lawfare was their gross misunderstanding of the law—as this Prevarication Du Jour from four years ago today reveals.

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The Cabin Boy™ has tweeted this—Cheddar201602281636ZThe Gentle Reader who has been following Schmalfeldt’s career of cyberfoolishness will not be surprised to find that the Cabin Boy™ is wrong. Here’s the EFF’s take on the Communications Decency Act—

Section 230 says that “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider” (47 U.S.C. § 230). In other words, online intermediaries that host or republish speech are protected against a range of laws that might otherwise be used to hold them legally responsible for what others say and do. The protected intermediaries include not only regular Internet Service Providers (ISPs), but also a range of “interactive computer service providers,” including basically any online service that publishes third-party content.

CDA 230: The Most Important Law Protecting Internet Speech

Here’s what the General Counsel of Automattic, the company that owns WordPress.Com has to say about the value of 47 U.S.C. § 230’s protection afforded to publishers of third-party speech on the Internet—

I think to the extent that it protects speech, you can’t get much more expansive. I think the concept of no third-party liability is good.

You can find that and more concerning WordPress and the Communications Decency act here.

Here’s what the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals thinks—

What §230(c)(1) says is that an online information system must not “be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by” someone else.

Chicago Lawyers’ Committee for Civil Rights Under Law v. Craigslist, 519 F.3d 666, 671 (7th Cir. 2008).

No, the EFF and WordPress.com agree with me. So do lots of federal courts, including the Seventh Circuit Court of Appeals (Wisconsin is in the Seventh Circuit). Of course, the Cabin Boy’s™ misunderstanding of the Communications Decency Act has been pointed out to him before, but he continues to insist that his interpretation overrides the case law. It’s that sort of pigheadedness that will make his loss in LOLsuit VI: The Undiscovered Krendler so expensive.

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BTW, I originally considered titling that post as a Legal LULZ Du Jour, but on second thought it seemed that after so many losses that even Schmalfeldt would understand the protection § 230 offers and that he was now simply lying.

Team Kimberlin Post of the Day


adXzgr8The Cabin Boy™ has another ultimatum published. In it, he threatens to file criminal charges against me under Md. Crim. Law §§ 3-803 and 3-805 and to seek a peace order against me if I do not police the comment section of this blog to his satisfaction. Here’s my understanding of the law as it applies to the situation.

Under the Communications Decency Act (47 U.S.C. § 230), I may not be held responsible for the content of comments submitted by other persons to this blog. Also, under § 230(e)(3), I cannot be subjected to any state prosecution or civil liability for those comments either. Thus, under federal law, someone who believes that comments on this blog are defamatory or harassing or otherwise offensive must take it up with the commenter(s) directly and not with me. If the Cabin Boy™ has a problem with my avatar, he can try to hold me accountable. If his problem is with someone else, he must take it up with him or her. He may not trouble me about it. I’m not obliged to deal with his dispute with a third party.

BTW, The Dreadful Pro-Se Schmalfeldt acknowledged that this is his understanding of the Communications Decency Act in a previous court filing. See Schmalfeldt v. Johnson, et al., Case No. 15-CV-00315-RDB, ECF No. 1 (D.Md. 2015), ¶ 35. Given that Schmalfeldt has admitted that he must take up his complaints against commenters with them and not with me, attempting to hold me responsible for the contents of comments could be construed as an act of bad faith.

Schmalfeldt’s ultimatum threatens criminal charges if I don’t do as he pleases, and he’s demanding that I give him something of value (partial control of this website) that I have no legal obligation to give up. Ironically, he may have violated Md. Crim. Law § 3-704 and § 3-706 .

I do my blogging from Carroll County. If the Cabin Boy™ is stupid enough to want to carry out his threats, he knows how to find the District Court Commissioners Office in Westminster.