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Tossers

That's a term I picked up as I followed the links around the sordid story of the stolen Instalanche. Thanks to The HundredPercenter for the legwork on the cautionary tale of one 13 year old blogger. This line really chapped my ass though:

"You are a little bastard... You stole an Instalanche, plain and simple."

Considering that Wizbang broke the tsunami video blogging AND the fake hostage story, I'll just refer to the "bloggers in glass houses" line of reasoning...

inigomontoya.jpg

Hello, my name is Inigo Montoya. You stole an Instalanche. Prepare to die!!!


FREE AUSTIN!


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Listed below are links to weblogs that reference Tossers:

» The Wayne Review linked with BloggeRage

» Young Pundit linked with Loser Watch

» Jeff Blogworthy.com linked with Gee Whiz! How did I miss this dust-up?

» Right Thoughts linked with Bullying young bloggers

» Mind of Mog linked with Around The Sphere

» The Laughing Wolf linked with Oh Grow Up People!

» Conservative Revolution linked with Bitches

Comments (32)

I think it's Indigo, not In... (Below threshold)
Regret:

I think it's Indigo, not Inigo, but I like the reference.

I already checked, It's <a... (Below threshold)

I already checked, It's Inigo Montoya.

Best movie ever with Andre ... (Below threshold)
Drew - Dallas, TX:

Best movie ever with Andre the Giant.

- Its kind of hard to run a... (Below threshold)

- Its kind of hard to run a pissing contest with someone who's too young to find their pecker......

Ummm... this might be an ex... (Below threshold)
John:

Ummm... this might be an example of inadvertent differences between British and American dialects.

A "tosser" is a "jack-off".

To "toss off" is Brit for "masturbate", except a little more vulgarly. Is that quite what you had in mind?

Some 19 year old & 24 year ... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

Some 19 year old & 24 year old get mad at a 13 year old for deep-linking.... which is absurd. If they're any kind of men at all, why didn't they just teach the kid what is proper blogging etiquette instead of name-calling in the first place?

They're reactions have been somewhat 'Dan Rather-ish' if you ask me.

Those Blogs for Bush people... (Below threshold)
minnie:

Those Blogs for Bush people should be ashamed of themselves picking on a 13-year-old kid. They're just showing themselves to be overgrown babies.

I read about these jerks la... (Below threshold)
JimK:

I read about these jerks last night and sent some words of support to Austin.

That king jagoff Jordan Golson has tons of material on his site that he did not create. He's nothing more than a bully and a hypocrite.

Actually, I be this kid is ... (Below threshold)

Actually, I be this kid is loving all this attention. And don't think he doesn't know about it either.

be=bet... (Below threshold)

be=bet

I demand to know where you ... (Below threshold)

I demand to know where you got that picture! Prepare to die!

Sigh. I hate this kind of s... (Below threshold)

Sigh. I hate this kind of stuff. I skimmed the page to which Kevin linked, and I came away with the impression that no matter who was wrong first, everybody involved is wrong now. Maybe that's too harsh, but it's just how the situation struck me.

I think that some people — I'm making generalizations here, not speaking about anybody in particular — see blogging as a game, and sometimes they get competitive. Whoever gets the most traffic wins, or something like that. While I do understand this — blogging is a straight and often short path to fame and fortune — I wish it weren't so. I wish we could all just be in this for the fun of it, to share our opinions and make friends and just have a good old time.

I'm getting idealistic. I really need to go to bed.

Jeff, you have some points ... (Below threshold)
JimK:

Jeff, you have some points in there. Too many see this as an attention-whore thing rather than an information-sharing thing. Now, if you are an attention whore, well, good for you, but it's not the reason why *everyone* blogs.

I have been doing this since before it had a name. I made choices long ago that determined my ultimate level of popularity: I am probably as popular as I will ever get, and I am fine with that. I see people fighting and scratching for a link from Glenn or Wizbang or Powerline. I see people talking constantly about their rank in the Ecosystem. Worse, I see popular bloggers actually attack those who disagree with them by using their popularity as proof that they are superior.

How about just sharing your ideas and let the ecosystem (and popularity) take care of itself?

Getting back to the topic at hand...the whole thing was nothing more than two jerks who got jealous that some kid got a link from Glenn. If I had a nickel for every time we broke some stupid piece of news at Moorewatch and the blogosphere linked everyone *but* us, well, I'd have a crapload of nickels. And you know what?

We live. It doesn't hurt, it hasn't made us ill or stolen our money or tried to sleep with our wives. Its just links, man...and pictures that don't belong to the complainers in the first place.

I disagree that all involved are wrong now, though. That kid didn't deserve the attacks from Golson. Not at first, not halfway through and not now.

This whole situation is jus... (Below threshold)
Jo:

This whole situation is just sad.

What I don't understand is if a blogger creates a graphic that he/she doesn't want it to be used elsewhere without receiving credit then why aren't they adding their blogs name and URL to the image they are posting?

The credit would automatically be given whenever someone lifts the image from their site. You can't post a Cox & Forkum cartoon without their graphic signature and URL listed -- because it's part of the cartoon. Seems like it would solve a lot of problems.

I hope Austin's parents will allow him to open his blog again.

Jordan Golson might be a cr... (Below threshold)
Kaltes:

Jordan Golson might be a criminal:

The unauthorized practice of law is a crime. Since Golson made this comment: "This is a blatant copyright violation because it can cause confusion between the two brands." I seriously doubt he is an attorney. Why? Because any lawyer with the slighest bit of intellectual property law knowledge, and even most laypersons who have any interest in IP, could tell you that brand confusion is a trademark issue, not a copyright issue.

Then we have this very troubling comment from Auston's Mother: "I took him out of school today to remove the toy picture after our server contacted me that Jordan Golson was representing Matt Margolis(Blogs for Bush) for copyright infringement. Our server took the picture down immediately and Austin removed any mention of it from his site."

Assuming this is true, it means Jordan Golson claimed to be an attorney, and used that authority to intimidate a web server into unilateraly and immediately disrupting one of its user's web sites. This is wrong on so many levels. Under existing law, a copyright holder must provide a notice to the web server under 17 USC 512 of the infringing item, along with supporting evidence. The alleged infringer then has a legally protected opportunity to rebut the notice and evidence.

Those laws are in place to prevent EXACTLY this kind of ABUSE of the system by someone like Jordan Golson. I am, to put it mildly, disgusted by his actions.

If he is not licensed to practice law, his actions were criminal. If he is a practicing attorney, his actions were unethical. In either case, the stain on his reputation is far too deep to be wiped away with a simple apology.

Here is more evidence backing up the fact that Golson is not only not an attorney, he has no clue when it comes to the law:

#1. "The content may not be mine, but I was authorized to send out that request by Matt."

Acting as an AGENT is legal, but that is not what went on here. According to Austin's mother, the language "representing for copyright infringement" was used. Big Difference.

#2. ""The law really hasn't caught up," says Mr. Golson. "The rule of thumb is you can take stuff as long as you say where you got it from," and as long as you don't sell it, he adds."
http://homepage.mac.com/jlgolson/wsj.html

As an attorney, I can tell all bloggers that this is absolutely wrong. Attribution is absolutely no defense to copyright infringement. Non-commercial use (i.e. 'not selling it') is also infringement. Bloggers should not delude themselves: media establishments pay for the news off of wire services because if they didn't, they would get sued and they would (and have in the past) lose.

Re-stating the underlying FACTS from the news stories is ok (generally), but re-printing articles and taking pictures or video is a clear copyright violation. Blogs have not been sued thus far because they aren't seen as a commercial threat and the perception is that bloggers don't make enough money to be worth the trouble. Do not confuse the lack of lawsuits with a lack of infringement.

Unauthorized Practice of La... (Below threshold)
Kaltes:

Unauthorized Practice of Law

Section 41 of Chapter 221 of the General Laws of Massachusetts:

excerpt:

"Whoever ... holds himself out or represents or advertises himself as having authority or power in behalf of persons who have claims for damages to procure settlements of such claims for damages either to person or property ... shall be punished for a first offence by a fine of not more than one hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than six months, and for a subsequent offence by a fine of not more than five hundred dollars or by imprisonment for not more than one year."

As applied to these facts, assuming Austin's Mother's account was accurate:

Jordan Golson held himself out as having authority or power on behalf of a person (Matt Margolis) who had a claim for damages (copyright infringement) in order to procure a settlement (the removal of the image).

Pretty open-and-shut. Golson's own words, as provided in reprinted emails available here: http://www.hundredpercenter.com/InstaRage.html are damning.

The moral of this story: Don't try to play attorney, folks. Golson probably won't be indicted over this, but don't play russian roulette with laws hoping they won't get enforced. If I was an assistant DA in Mass, Golson might be facing some jail-time. Who knows, maybe someone who knows an assistant DA in Mass will be sufficiently outraged by these events to fire off an email? Unlikely, but possible.

I doubt a jury would have much sympathy for a guy abusing the system to beat up on a 13 year old kid.

Had this been a physical co... (Below threshold)
Bruce:

Had this been a physical confrontation, the cops wouldn't have accepted ANY excuse for two "adults" beating up on a kid, no matter WHAT the provocation. I have removed bookmarks to both sites and intend never to visit them again. My mommy told me not to associate with delinquents.

While the behavior of the a... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

While the behavior of the adults in this episode was horrendous, it does point out a problem that has been increasing among teenagers in recent years. Outright plagarism has become rampant in schools. Students have come to believe that they can use the words and works of others without attribution, and in fact, claim them as their own.

I work for a school district and my wife is a teacher, and I see examples of this every day. I have seen students cut and paste directly off a web site that the teacher had referred them to. Needless to say, she immediately knew where the text came from because she had already seen it.

One of the major causes of this type of behavior is parents. When a student is caught plagarizing, most teachers' policy would be to fail the student on the assignment. However, if they do that, they face a hailstorm of attacks from the parents. Recall the case last year where a science teacher in Kansas failed a large percentage of her students because they blatantly plagarized material during an assignment. The parents went to the school board, and the board told the teacher to change the students grade to passing grades. She resigned rather than violating her own integrity. Ultimately, some else did change the grades.

Is it any wonder that the ethics of our young people have evolved to, "If I don't get caught, I didn't do anything wrong?" As parents, we want our children to have the best, most productive, and happiest lives they can. Sometimes, we lose sight of the bigger issues involved in our zeal to "protect" them.

Sadly, a chance for a great lesson for the boy was missed. The actions of the adults involved shifted attention away from the "plagarism" (I use that term loosely) and onto the stupid remarks made during the discussion. While I would hope that his mother would keep the focus on why his actions were wrong, I suspect the focus moved to sympathizing with the boy and making sure that his self-esteem is propped up. I hope I am wrong.

Steve L.,I read yo... (Below threshold)
Anita:

Steve L.,

I read your post and agree with you 100%. The assumption is Austin purposely took something. That is not quite the story, but at this point it doesn't matter. My son heard me preach daily "give credit where credit is due". Yes, he visited sites, read stories and posted the ones he liked, just like many other bloggers out there. I am perplexed at the comments and to quote Golson "Austin did something he should not have and ignored our request to take it down." Austin lacked the knowledge that Golson apparently has and followed direction when his mistakes were pointed out. According to Matts apology he never intended for Austin to lose his Blog, he just wanted to make sure he was credited. I completely understand this. However, Golson was way out of line and it is now our responsibility as parents to try to turn this unfortunate experience into one of great learning and understanding for Austin. Please understand, I am not making excuses for my son's mistake. He is well aware of how unhappy I am that he missed the link in the first place. He knew what my reaction would be.... when he noticed the link missing he fixed it. The story isn't quite how it was presented by Golson, but someone said, in a post that the story is somewhere in the middle. I can agree with that statement. Austin no longer wants to Blog, write or do anything of the kind right now. You made a reference to me making sure that Austin understands what he did was wrong. Yes, he understands that you cannot make mistakes. He understands that there is a whole world out there that he has to learn about. He understands that if you put yourself out there, you do it with integrity and knowledge. Children are knowledgable, but they do not have the life experiences and complete education to understand all of the ramifications of their mistakes. As for his school, he writes all his own stuff and will definitely know for future reference NEVER to forget anything concerning citing sources, bibliography, copyright etc. Presently, he is trying to focus on the upcoming Florida FCAT. I wanted to add one other thing. I have been in contact with someone who is willing to help Austin start again if Austin wants to (at a later date) He has suggested developing Austin's writing skills and going from there. --Only time will tell how this plays out in my son's life. Thank you for your insightful post and perspective.

Sincerely,
Anita
Austin's Mom

It sounds like this is goin... (Below threshold)

It sounds like this is going to be a fruitful lesson for Austin, and I think his parents are making a good call.

Still, I have to go back to the heart of the matter - which is pride and jealousy. We all share content. We quote each other, we get ideas from each other and we copy something that is really good from each other. Failure to hat-tip is definitely bad form, but it happens all the time.

I cannot count the number of times I've seen basically the same content I generated on my own get major acclaim or even content that someone got from me (attributed) which someone else got from them (attributed) which gets major attention.

We all like to have our egos stroked, but if you are in this for yourself alone, then start copyrighting everything and suing everyone who copies. Or maybe you should start having readers sign a non-disclosure agreement before they enter your site.

No blogger is an island. When we (as a whole) receive acclaim, it benefits all of us. This is indeed the darkest chapter within this community that I've seen so far. Not that there won't be others along very similar lines, as long as egos continue to write blogs.

Anita - I just wanted to co... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

Anita - I just wanted to commend you for how you've handled this entire situation. Seems to me Austin's a pretty darn good kid and you are good folk/parents.

I do hope he returns to blogging in the future.

Anyone who is giving a 19 y... (Below threshold)

Anyone who is giving a 19 yr old trash talk is guilty of the same thing though.

I do not have 6 fingers. I ... (Below threshold)
Rod Stanton:

I do not have 6 fingers. I do have a RUS.

Uhh, RWS? 19 years old is o... (Below threshold)
DaveP.:

Uhh, RWS? 19 years old is old enough to serve in uniform (I have a friend who is 18 and going into Marine Basic in a few months), put on a badge and be a Law Enforcement Officer, get married, be tried as an adult and condemned to punishment as an adult. This is because at 19 years of age you are assumed to be capable of behaving as an adult.

If Jordan is not, that does not protect him from recieving the condemnation of adults. There is a world of difference between one adult jacking up another adult for boorish behavior- what is what's been happening to Jordan- and an adult childishly threatening a 13-year-old.

Anita,It sounds like... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Anita,
It sounds like you have handled the situation correctly. I apologize if it sounded as if I was accusing you of not properly dealing with Austin. I have seen too many parents take the opposite approach and excuse bad behavior (for want of a better term) because the other side did something bad as well. Clearly, you do not fall into that category.

Sparkle - given your theory... (Below threshold)
OneDrummer:

Sparkle - given your theory, we couldn't make fun of Sissy Willis for being an arrogant, condescending hypocrite, now could we? Now, where would that get us?

Well, if Austin violated co... (Below threshold)
Sean:

Well, if Austin violated copyright law, so did Margolis. None of the images he used were his own. He took a previously published "hostage" image and superimposed a previously published toy image. Doesn't make deep linking it right (or wrong, for that matter) but it points out what gigantic hypocrites Margolis and Golson are.

Kaltes: You are a ... (Below threshold)
julie:

Kaltes:

You are a good example of why the public hates lawyers. When you get sworn in? This past December? And already it is time for you to review those pesky Rules of Professional Responsibility.

Austin's parents should be ... (Below threshold)
Chris Josephson:

Austin's parents should be proud they raised such a mature young man. He may only be 13 years old, but he has FAR MORE maturity than the other two.

I do understand one of the others is 'only' 19. But, when I was 19 years old I didn't go around bullying 13 year olds. I don't know any others who did either.

As for the issue that started this whole thing ... 'stealing' a picture that was already 'stolen'!?! Good grief. How petty and hypocritical can some people get?

Julie,#1. and just... (Below threshold)
Kaltes:

Julie,

#1. and just who are you? some law student or layperson with no clue and an opinion?

#2. feel free to point out any thing I said that was wrong, otherwise, shove it

#3. you are a good example of why the public hates trolls

#4. if you had a clue, you would know that the "Rules of Professional Responsibility" and Section 41 of Chapter 221 of the General Laws of Massachusetts are different things.

nice try with those ad hominem attacks, little girl

Kaltes:#1. nope, b... (Below threshold)
julie:

Kaltes:

#1. nope, but now I know what you are.

#2. just about everything.

#3. if calling you out on your less than professional behavior (assuming you are a law student b/c now I now you're not at atty) is trollish, so be it.

#4. I have more than a clue. Give me your bar card number and I'll write your state bar and they can explain it to you.

nice try pretending you have read the RPR.

Julie:#1. I do kno... (Below threshold)
Kaltes:

Julie:

#1. I do know what you are: a stupid bitch who flames people in the comment's sections of blogs. All you know about me is that Im some guy who posted a comment with some legal discussion. You and I both know my comments were rock solid, which is why your pathetic flame was devoid of any substance.

#2. I challenged you to point out what I got wrong and why, and you couldn't. Since you obviously were enraged by my post, you would have refuted anything an everything I said in your quest to put me down. Since you failed to point out a SINGLE ERROR in my comments, this just shows that either (1) I didn't make any, or (2) you were too incompetent to find them.

#3. Don't come trolling and then talk about my behavior. You flamed me and used personal attacks. You are nothing more than a deranged hypocrite. Everything you write is conclusory fallacy.

I don't pass judgment on whether a person is an attorney based on their behavior, because I have met some pretty pathetic attorneys. The BAR exam has no psychological health component, so I suppose it is possible someone like you could have passed it. People who make errors on very basic legal principles, like Jordan Golson did, are a different story. The only reason I am not able to pass any judgment on your legal credentials, Julie, is that your comments are so devoid of substance that you give me nothing to work with.

#4. Sorry, I don't give my bar # to anonymous idiots like you, Julie. You seem to believe that dropping names like "rules of professional responsibility" and knowing the month when many attorneys are sworn in somehow indicates that you have even the slightest expertise. In fact it exposes you for the fraud you are. How? Simple.

- you do not know the state in which I practice

- the nation-wide ABA adopted Model Rules of Professional Responsibility, which are non-binding and unenforceable. the binding, enforceable ethical rules are adopted at the state level and enforced by the state BARs.

- therefore, you have no way of knowing which ethical rules apply to me. you are accusing me of being unethical without even knowing what the applicable rules are!

This unmasks you as a fraud. A know-nothing. You try to cover up the pathetic impossibility of your accusation with innuendo.

What is means is that you have some exposure to lawyers. Maybe you attending a swearing-in this last December? Maybe you have a lawyer relative? Maybe you have a lawyer boyfriend (actually probably ex-boyfriend given your demeanor)? Maybe you work in some menial position in a law office? Maybe you like to sue people, or you get sued (you are flirting with libel even now)? Who knows? Who cares?

#5. The only important, and telling, thing in this exchange, has been my citation of a specific, applicable statute which criminalizes the behavior which Jordan Golson likely committed. You, by contrast, prattle on like an idiot, commenting without substance.

Hide behind your anonymity, little girl. Make your empty, ridiculous threats. Feel free to cite which ethical rule you think I violated. Oh wait, I forgot... you don't even know which of 50 different sets of rules apply to me. lol.

I will do you a huge favor: California. Our ethical rules are called the "Rules of Professional Conduct" NOT the "Rules of Professional Responsibility". I am being so totally nice (not that you deserve it), that I will even link the rules for you:

http://calbar.ca.gov/state/calbar/calbar_generic.jsp?cid=10158&id=1267

I am looking forward to seeing you cite which rules you think I violated.

bahahahahahah!

who am I kidding? we both know you can't. hahahah

run along now, little girl (or perhaps you are a boy? this is the internet after all!)




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