This action might not be possible to undo. Are you sure you want to continue?
considering that this case is 15 months old. Talk about fair weather frenzy!
Consider this question: Can a librarian walk into a book store or a publisher’s warehouse and
lift the books she wants to put on the library shelves without paying for them? Of course not.
Libraries pay for the books on their shelves. Or they ask the publisher or author to donate books.
Ms. Shell has her published books on library shelves by both of these methods.
Then why doesn’t the Internet Archive pay for the Intellectual Property it acquires? or ask
the author to donate it? Why does it just ‘lift’ a web site, and take it to its library home and then
give it away to anyone who wants it? Is there an Internet exception to stealing just because it’s
“only” copyrighted digital property? No, as Napster and others have found out differently.
Ms. Shell recently did an audit of copyright cases between 2000 and 2007 in the
U.S.District Court for the District of Colorado. Did you know that music companies and film
companies file suits against John Doe defendants when they don’t know the names of copyright
infringers so they can conduct discovery to learn their names and then sue them? These John
Does are doing things like, downloading music from the Internet, playing music in their retail
stores and bars without paying ASCAP or BMI license fees or downloading movies or television
programs without paying, or playing them in their retail locations.
It becomes clear that the rules of the Internet, which all these passionate people are trying
to teach us, are being proven wrong in court at every turn. In that context, we understand the
passion of the IGeeks1. They copy web site content all the time. Some web authors don’t care,
some do. But. . .now that it looks like they got caught with their hands in the digital cookie jar,
they don’t want to be held responsible. So they blame the victim. And ATTACK the victim by
trying to scare her away with all kinds of threatening, harassing and abusive technical tricks
causing harm to her business and her property.
Ms. Shell is simply taking the next logical step. She is an author of copyrighted literary
works which are displayed on the Internet. If the music industry and the movie industry are
protected on the internet by copyright law, then it stands to reason, so is the author or publisher
of online literary works. If the software industry can license it’s copyrighted property with a
shrinkwrap, clickwrap or browsewrap agreement, so can the author of online digital literary
works. One thing is certain, no court has ever found that there is an Internet exception to
copyright or contract law or any other legal principle for that matter.
So expand your tunnel vision, IGeeks. Lift those crazed, glazed eyes away from the glow
of your ‘puter screens and pay attention and think. This lawsuit isn’t about spiders. It’s not about
searching, finding or indexing or linking. It’s about copying, storing, displaying and distributing
without permission. It won’t hurt Google or any other of those valuable search engines out there
who are NOT copying. We LIKE the search engines. We use them. We are on them. They are
valuable. If you gotta get your panties in a knot, get it right. Otherwise you just look stupid and
We realize this logic might be too taxing for the Internet technoIgeeksquad, as evidenced
by the following comments which came into Ms. Shell’s email:
m1ss1ontomars , in a truly unprecedented [ahem] BOLD and DARING anonymous manner,
posts an hysterical “the sky is falling” rumor on digg.com, “The Internet Archive is being sued
by a Colorado woman for spidering her site.2
Then, we have the unparalleled legal genius of firstname.lastname@example.org who bravely identified
himself [cough, cough - NOT] before instructing Ms. Shell, “If you put something into the public
domain by posting it on the internet, guess what. It's going to get copied.”3
Sender Russ Nelson tries to prove his literary prowess when he alleges, “You are a moron. Trust
me on this one.”4
And Alex Jordan thoughtfully wrote a condescending missive to Ms. Shell: “I'm writing these
lines in order to explain to you how the world-wide-web works.”5 he goes on to say,
“Archive.org is also a search engine, with the added twist that it keeps old versions of the pages
it indexes. It is a non-for-profit organization,6 with a very noble purpose: to preserve the history
FACT: There is no mention of “spidering” in the counterclaim by Ms. Shell. She is
counter-suing (this means Internet Archive sued HER first) Internet Archive for ‘copying’ and
‘storing’ and ‘displaying’ her web site which is registered with the copyright office. “Spidering’
and “copying,” etc are DIFFERENT acts. Take a reading comprehension course, Bozo.
FACT: The Internet is NOT public domain, dumbass, any more than selling a book in a
bookstore or putting it on the shelves of a library places the book in public domain. She must
EXPRESSLY put something into the public domain. She did the express opposite. HINT: Tell
us, Einstein, why do copy machines at Kinkos have copyright notices on them? Ding, ding, ding,
. . .because Kinko’s was SUED for copyright infringement and LOST. As for COPYING. . . there
is NO Internet exception to the copyright law. Read it. . .here.
FACT: Ms. Shell will admit to possessing an IQ “slightly” above the moron level, but
she is content to let her adversaries and other ilk underestimate her. As far as ‘trusting’ someone
she doesn’t know. . .Why on earth? How stupid is this?
FACT: Gee, thanks, sonny boy, but Ms. Shell has been on the Internet since 1992.
BEFORE WYSIWYG, when only gopher and .txt sites were available from only universities and
Prodigy or Compuserve were the ONLY online providers. BEFORE AOL, Yahoo! and Google
and chat rooms. And BEFORE Internet Archive. You trying to teach your gramma to suck eggs?
Now, do you care to read a lecture about how COPYRIGHT works? Google THAT and learn.
The laws of the real world DO apply to the Internet.
FACT: Ms. Shell is running a non-profit, too. Has been since 1997. The only difference
is that Internet Archive has banks upon banks of computers, megagigaquads of technology and
booku bucks/donations to keep it running as well as a multimillionaire founder and backer, and
Internet Archive stole her Intellectual Property without permission. Can Ms. Shell compete
against that with a five year old Sony VAIO, no paid staff, no technology that she doesn’t buy
and can’t afford, and no funding except the meager amount she can raise through her web site.
of what has become the worlds [sic] main cultural vehicle.” Then he gives this veiled threat . . .
“I just hope that your site won't come under the attack of hackers, since it is mainly people who
understand and are involved in Internet technology who are offended by your litigation.”7 We
gotta give him credit, at least he had the stones to give his name.
You wouldn’t believe how many people offered the “If you don't want to be on record, just
follow the robots.txt standard” advice.8
And is THIS from the intelligentsia? Sean Cohen writes from a college email. “Your lawsuit is a
joke And people are laughing at you because of.”9 And another from an Arizona college email
address by Joe Roback who contributed his exceptionally persuasive debating skills with, “you
are a stupid whore.” He even spelled it right. Then we have steve hunter (no caps, can’t find the
shift key) articulating his Scientology conspiracy theory10 so succinctly, “ahahahahhahaha what a
retard.” That did it for us. . .we are convinced in the face of this overwhelmingly keen logic.
And then we have the mercenaries seeking the reward for reporting copyright infringement by
Who is screwing whom, here?
FACT: Perhaps they do, but this is not a case about Internet technology, it is a case
about Copyright law. As expertly versed as these [ahem] people are about Internet technology,
they are obviously completely ignorant about real world copyright law. And still, they blather
about the Internet which is totally irrelevant. Get a grip, IGeeks. You don’t control everything on
the Internet. Ms. Shell isn’t messing with your technology, why are YOU messing with her
copyrights and her web site? How rude!
FACT: Ms. Shell has no objection to ‘spidering’. She wants her web site to be included
in the search engines. She objects to copying the content without her permission. She also takes
the position that under copyright law, it is not HER duty to tell others not to copy, it is the duty of
the copier to get her permission first. So far, that position has been upheld in every court in this
country. And since the copyright office accepts registration applications for web sites, and since
there is no web site exception to copyright protections, she may be right. If you don’t like the
law, change it, but don’t attack Ms. Shell for seeking the protection of the law as it exists today.
FACT: Ms. Shell will consider the source. . .and the motives, then file it appropriately.
Frankly, she’s doing some laughing at you, herself, because your emotions are overriding the
already limited intellect that has been exhibited and MANY of the comments offered are so
ridiculous as to defy contemplation.
FACT: Sorry to disappoint. Ms. Shell is not being backed by the Church of
Scientology. . .but she will accept donations should any be offered.
turning in Google.11
Some readers are courteous, a trait which is always appreciated.
FamilyRights.email@example.com wrote: “I am however very concerned about your
lawsuit against archive.org. You are suing an organization that's only purpose is to archive the
history of the internet.”12
And Benjamin Schwartz, thinking that he was being so clever, exposed the true depths of his
ignorance when he commented, “Hi. I visited your website and my computer saved a copy into
its cache automatically,”13 He also wanted to know, “How do I pay you?”14
Ben Ford Secretary Washington, State University Linux Users Group overreacts and misstates
when he writes, “The result of a win on your part would be that search engines would be litigated
FACT: Google’s form of displaying a web site is different than Internet Archive’s, and
is considered by the courts to be fair use. Unlike Google, Internet Archive copies, takes and
stores web sites in its vast computer banks in three countries. In Ms. Shell’s case, 87 different
versions of her web site. Google indexes your site and when someone searches and clicks on the
link that Google brings up, it goes to your site to get a copy - only if it is still available on the
Internet. It does not store anyone’s web sites on its computers. Don’t you know ANYTHING
about how the Internet works? You should have read the copyright law and studied the case law.
Sorry you exposed your ignorance and stupidity so publicly. But it IS good for a giggle. . .hee hee
hee. Suzanne sez: And for those of you who want to argue with me about this, in view of the fact
that the credibility of the other comments has been so dismally low, I’m not inclined to credit any
accuracy to your arguments about Google.
FACT: HOLD everything, Internet Archive sued Ms. Shell first. Ms. Shell has no
objection to Brewster Kahle’s vision for Internet Archive. It is interesting, but noble? A matter of
opinion. She does object to the way he implements it, especially since it infringes her copyright.
He has expressly REFUSED to seek prior permission from copyright owners, preferring to take
what he wants without asking and without telling. Ms. Shell never even knew Internet Archive
existed until she discovered her web site on it in December, 2005. By then, Internet Archive had
stolen and archived 87 versions of her web site from 1998 to 2005 without her permission. From
where we sit, Internet Archive’s purpose is to archive the Internet without paying for the
property it archives. Internet Archive seems to think it is above the law when it comes to other
people’s property. Is that OK with you?
FACT: DUH. . .caching in temporary memory on your computer for viewing is
considered by the courts to be fair use. . .she never alleged infringement for viewing on a
FACT: You may send donations or prepayments for copying via the Paypal donation
button on this site or from this link. If you all TRULY believe in the Internet Archive vision,
perhaps YOU’LL pay for what it stole from her so the suit can be dropped? Nah. . .y’all just like
the tempest in a teapot controversy.
out of existence”15 and then prophesies, “of course, the real result is that regardless of how right
you feel that you are, you cannot win.”16
Oh. . .and the macho cheap shots, like from Mark, anonymously of course, “I'm a professional
web designer and I just had to email to let you know. You need to shoot your web designer,17
this is one of the WORST sites I have ever seen. My company charges $249 for a site analysis
and I have gotten pretty good with them. Right off the bat, I would rate your site a 15 out of
100. It's that bad.”18
And more egotistical cheap shots by Jim Beem, “Your site (http://www.profane-justice.org/)
makes me sick and I feel stabbing pain in my head when looking on its front page.”19 and Joseph
Cole, “Your website design, SUCKS”20 and Jacob Smith, “I'd also recommend that you take a
look at some HTML tutorials21 and make your site, good. Because it's currently full of fail. I look
forward to your response!” - coincidentally none of these fine gentlemen offered web design
services to this non-profit. . .do we see a pattern here?
FACT: Hellooo! Did you read the lawsuit? We don’t think so! This lawsuit isn’t about
search engines, Mr. LinuxUsersGroup Secretary. It’s about copyright e.g Copying, displaying,
distributing, NOT searching finding and indexing. And YOU have a college education? Didn’t
anyone teach you critical thinking and research skills?!! Does anyone need more proof that a
college education is highly overrated?
FACT: Win or not, that remains to be seen. However, Ms. Shell sincerely thanks all
commentators and contributors to this discussion. She believes that your generous outpouring of
information and comments will be useful in bolstering her claims against Internet Archive.
Wow, this is quite an overreaction. Dude, grandiose remarks do not increase your
credibility, except to those easily influenced by empty posturing.
FACT: Ms. Shell is operating a non-profit on less than a shoestring budget without any
help from anyone. She’s happy to accept tax deductible donations of web design services. Are
you offering? Nah. . .that would mean taking your foot out of your mouth and walking the walk.
You prefer a nasty put down, rather than a helping hand. She’s not trying to win awards, just get
a message out. If you don’t like it, by all means, please, don’t visit here. (Sound of toilet
RES IPSA LOQUITUR: Well, duh, moron. . .then don’t look at it. sheesh!
Ibid. (W hispered translation to IGeek: That means refer to the footnote before this one)
FACT: Ms. Shell is too busy doing her real job without any help, helping families, and
with her lawsuit, to invest any time in HTML tutorials. It’s easy to criticize, how about offering
help? Nah. . .because they really don’t mean the criticism to be constructive, they mean it to be
Here’s a NICE one from Jack Thompson (yeah, sure that’s his real name) who wrote that he
would represent me as a lawyer, adding, “And will kill your kids afterwards, and rape them in the
ass.” Nasty, sick, abusive, scary bunch of people, these Igeeks.
Since it is evident that most IGeeks are not able to moderate their passions appropriately, nor
practice common courtesy (using ‘this is how its done on the Internet’ excuse), nor reason
logically, nor consider other points of view objectively, nor even pretend to be open minded, and
are afraid to identify themselves so they can be safely abusive in their anonymity, there is no
point in any debate. Ms. Shell will simply agree to disagree.
© 2007 Suzanne Shell. Copyright terms at www.profane-justice.org.
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