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

Header Data

From: Black Unicorn <unicorn@access.digex.net>
To: cyber1@io.org (Cyber City)
Message Hash: 8e10d02a6974ef57ead1672bf2826d4fcd4c5ab1d9a46601eb46885279dcbf2a
Message ID: <199405261638.AA23173@access3.digex.net>
Reply To: <Pine.3.89.9405261102.A4118-0100000@io.org>
UTC Datetime: 1994-05-26 16:38:31 UTC
Raw Date: Thu, 26 May 94 09:38:31 PDT

Raw message

From: Black Unicorn <unicorn@access.digex.net>
Date: Thu, 26 May 94 09:38:31 PDT
To: cyber1@io.org (Cyber City)
Subject: Re: Unicorn vs. tmp@netcom
In-Reply-To: <Pine.3.89.9405261102.A4118-0100000@io.org>
Message-ID: <199405261638.AA23173@access3.digex.net>
MIME-Version: 1.0
Content-Type: text/plain

Cyber City scripsit
> Recently Black Unicorn posted that he had sued tmp@netcom, and settled
> out of court.  A couple of messages followed which were supportive of
> his action.  The text below is a rebuke to Unicorn.  I post it in the
> hope that it will provide dimension to the debate.
> To Black Unicorn:

[Dog story clipped]

> 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 find it interesting that your rebuke is based mostly on your own 
personal reluctance to use the courts.  Who exactly do you speak of to when 
you refer to "the rest of us."

You propose that I resort next time to what.... arbitration?

> 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.

You seem to think it was merely the post that caused me to resort to the 
courts.  It was not.  Had it remained in Usenet I never would have cared 

>        "I spoke to a Federal Court of Appeals Judge who I have known for
>         a number of years to try and poke some holes in the suit on
>         substantive merits."
> Despite your protestation, "I also don't like to be a bully", it seems
> to me that your pursuit of this case was predicated on your ability to
> be a bully and an insider. 

This is often the case with lawsuit and any human endeavor.  I'm sorry 
everyone isn't on equal ground in the world.  I personally prefer the 
ability to resort to a civil system of litigation than to have some 
highly institutionalized, standardized, process that could only be 
provided by big government.  At what price equality?

> Like your colleagues Cantor and Seigel, you
> emitted flamebait and then pretended offense at the inevitable flames.

Cantor and Seigel?  Please.  Again, even if one asks to be rebuked, this 
is no excuse for defamation.

> You taunted tmp@netcom about his illness, reminding him at least three
> times in one message to take his medicine.  Nice behaviour for a person
> who supposedly believes in privacy.  It seems to me that you sized up
> tmp@netcom as a person who could not fight back due to his illness, and
> then you provoked him in order to establish grounds for your suit.

I never knew him to be truly ill.  The "please keep up with your 
medication" comments are common in Usenet and hardly indictive of any 
factual belief.  If indeed he is on medication it is news to me, and you 
are the individual who has compromised his privacy.

It would be an easy matter for me to expose his identity, his work, his 
finances, I have and will not.

> I
> believe that your case, which is apparently based upon testimony from
> your friends, could not have succeeded in court.  But it didn't have to,
> did it?  You only had to find someone who was ill, and then kick him
> while he was down.

Your wrong on the first count, right on the second, and as I said before, 
I never had a basis to make the judgement that you outline in the third.

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

No, it is a Shakesphere quote from Henry VI, (Part 2).  This oft 
misquoted tidbit is taken out of context to be a serious suggestion.  In 
fact the character who utters it is a Nilhilist intended to be laughed at 
for his impractical and poorly thought out theories.  Note that this 
quote comes right after a similar humor:

"I will make it a felony to drink small beer."

> 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.

What does this have to do with my suit?

> I think there is a role to be played by lawyers in the future of the
> net. The net does not like litigation, because it interferes with the
> free flow of information. 

Where the free flow of information damages, it is an easy policy to 
insure ones self with flawless, no cost, total liability insurance.  It's 
called a secure anonymous remailer.

> But it does like protocols, which are seen to
> enhance the flow of information.  Lawyers, by their training and
> practice, are especially good at formulating workable protocols.  If we
> had a protocol governing the use of network resources by sick or abusive
> users, your conflict with tmp@netcom might not have transpired, or else
> a solution might have been easily achieved.

I concur, and I outlined said protocol.  I pointed to Julf.  In the 
absence of such protocol I will act to protect my interests by what 
means are available.

[Time wasteing litigation comment deleted]

I don't find it was a waste of my time or my effort.

> --
> Alex Brock

-uni- (Dark)

073BB885A786F666 nemo repente fuit turpissimus - potestas scientiae in usu est
6E6D4506F6EDBC17 quaere verum ad infinitum, loquitur sub rosa    -    wichtig!