1994-05-26 - Re: Unicorn vs. tmp@netcom

Header Data

From: “Perry E. Metzger” <perry@imsi.com>
To: Cyber City <cyber1@io.org>
Message Hash: 198aa7a1f55519e2ffcd63f5c7365a3a27475a202ae3e59d44f7d26b60b830e2
Message ID: <9405261536.AA06013@snark.imsi.com>
Reply To: <Pine.3.89.9405261102.A4118-0100000@io.org>
UTC Datetime: 1994-05-26 15:36:34 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 26 May 94 08:36:34 PDT

Raw message

From: "Perry E. Metzger" <perry@imsi.com>
Date: Thu, 26 May 94 08:36:34 PDT
To: Cyber City <cyber1@io.org>
Subject: Re: Unicorn vs. tmp@netcom
In-Reply-To: <Pine.3.89.9405261102.A4118-0100000@io.org>
Message-ID: <9405261536.AA06013@snark.imsi.com>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Cyber City says:
> Likewise, when you were tested recently by net abuse, you went for
> relief to your master, the government.  This is what distinguishes you
> from the rest of us.

I would say that this is foolish. He went to the legal system rather
than engaging in vigilatism.

I myself am an anarchist. However, absent privately operated courts
and private enforcement systems for me to bring suit under, I conduct
my legal affairs via the only available court system. (To the extent
that is possible I include language about arbitration in my contracts
so that problems can be handled in what passes for a private court
system today -- binding arbitration -- but this is not always

> We might react against the abuse (or we might not), but I think that
> none of us - or at least a very few - would have gone to court for
> relief.

Thats because few of us would have a large amount at stake. "Black
Unicorn" claimed to have a large sum of money at risk because of the
stupidity in question. If one has a lot of money at risk one becomes
defensive of it. Thats the only way one ends up keeping one's money.
People who don't defend their money soon lose all of it. There is
nothing dishonorable about going to court to defend one's property and
capital. I might have found "Black Unicorn"s actions distasteful had
he been going to court claiming something I find distasteful, but I
see nothing wrong with suits such as the one he threatened.

> Was it Rousseau who said, "First, we kill all the lawyers"?

No, my ignorant friend, it was Shakespeare.

> The cost of a lawsuit in the U.S. today can easily be over $100,000.
> The cost of a contract murder is said to be $10,000-$50,000.
> Consider the economics.

The cost of a lawsuit can be anything from $20 to millions of dollars.
It all depends on what the lawsuit is about and who is running it,
doesn't it?  The cost of a murder is irrelevant to the discussion.
Indeed, so is the cost of a lawsuit. "Black Unicorn" was not in a
position to produce a less expensive court system to sue in.

Should he have censored himself to avoid being illegitimately attacked
by Detweiler? Should he have permitted his livelyhood to be threatened
on the premise that Detweiler can't afford a lawyer? "Black Unicorn"
had few reasonable choices in the matter and took what appears, to me,
to be a quite reasonable approach.