ASH UK lies to censor criticism: bogus legal claim against critic

by Carl V Phillips

As you know if you read this post from a few days ago, @TobaccoTacticss is one of the most spot-on critics of the lies and other evils of the tobacco control industry.  The anonymous author is also clearly strong supporter of THR.  Thus, it is in the interests of all of us who dare criticize that rich, powerful, and genuinely evil industry to publicize the fact that ASH UK is attempting to censor that feed.  (I.e., please publicize this, write your own blog about it, etc. to whatever extent possible.)

[UPDATE: This is being done.  Enjoy in particular this tweet and the blog it links to.]

@TobaccoTacticss received the a notice from Twitter that several posts had been removed based on this complaint:

== Reported Twitter account: @TobaccoTacticss

== Description of original work: Several copyrighted photographs taken from our flickr account.

== Description of infringement: – Copyrighted image modified to misrepresent our views.
https://twitter.com/TobaccoTacticss/status/420866659708985344
(original image: http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashuk/8740223787/)
– Fake newspaper article including one of our copyrighted images (also infringing the Telegraph’s rights): https://twitter.com/TobaccoTacticss/status/421670854020190209
– Fake book cover including one of our copyrighted images (also infringing Penguin’s rights):
https://twitter.com/TobaccoTacticss/status/420849895096864768
– use of copyrighted image without authorisation
https://twitter.com/TobaccoTacticss/status/420675013914533888

== Reported Tweet URL: https://twitter.com/TobaccoTacticss/status/420866659708985344

== Where does this Tweet link to?: n/a

== Where does this Tweet link to?: I have confirmed that the infringing material is available for download at the linked site as of the submission of this notice.

——-

== 512(f) Acknowledgment: I understand that under 17 U.S.C. § 512(f), I may be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, if I knowingly materially misrepresent that reported material or activity is infringing.

== Good Faith Belief: I have good faith belief that use of the material in the manner complained of is not authorized by the copyright owner, its agent, or the law.

== Authority to Act: The information in this notification is accurate, and I state under penalty of perjury that I am authorized to act on behalf of the copyright owner.

== Signature: Nicolas Chinardet

Note that the links all seem to still work at the time of this writing, though the images have been removed from the tweets.

Let’s hope that the liability statement there gets put into practice.  As you may know, both the UK and the USA (the relevant jurisdiction is probably California, where Twitter is based) have clear exceptions to copyright restrictions that say that copyrighted material can be displayed (within broad bounds) for purposes of parody or critical analysis, both of which @TobaccoTacticss is clearly engaged in.  Thus this complaint is blatantly contrary to the laws to which ASH is appealing.

But more important, think about the ramifications of this:  The tobacco control industry is so desperately worried about anyone criticizing what they are saying that they will take (illegal) legal action to try to stop it.  They realize they are incapable of defending their claims on the merits.  They do not engage in any public debate with their critics (they will talk to a few pet “critics” in stage-managed settings, but pretend that their real critics do not even exist). Censorship is the tactic of someone who has only power, not truth, on their side.

Since we truth-seeking writers really despise censorship on principal — even apart from liking the content of what was censored — here is my contribution to Streisand Effecting this material.  Please join me in that.

As of right now, three of the perfectly legal parody images can be found at http://imgur.com/a/7RTIH, and the original for the fourth deleted image is at http://www.flickr.com/photos/ashuk/11338567545/sizes/l/ but since that might change too, here they are (and the author of the parodies has declared them to be in the public domain, so do not hesitate to copy and repost):

GdVdaWX

kw2pMHY

RJHEckx

XRa1A0L

11338567545_0e9837335a_b

Since wealth and power often triumphs over truth and the rule of law, it seems quite possible that @TobaccoTacticss will be shut down in the near future.  If so, I will be sure to point everyone to wherever it is resurrected.

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12 responses to “ASH UK lies to censor criticism: bogus legal claim against critic

  1. Shameless bunch of Bastards

  2. “== 512(f) Acknowledgment: I understand that under 17 U.S.C. § 512(f), I may be liable for any damages, including costs and attorneys’ fees, if I knowingly materially misrepresent that reported material or activity is infringing.”

    I’m not an attorney, and I don’t know the ins and outs of British law, but if TT can sue them with any real hope of winning I’d say he/she should go for all it’s worth! The beauty of using their own lies to take their money to use to campaign against them is priceless!

    – MJM

  3. “Your pathetic attemp at intimidation has been duly noted. Now buzz off you santimonious twits.” :)

  4. They believe that showing an image of a book cover infringes a publisher’s copyright?

    Blimey. Amazon are in deep, deep trouble!

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  6. Reblogged this on The Flying Vapor and commented:
    #FF @TobaccoTacticss @ALAvsTHR @carlvphillips @CASAAmedia
    Even if I’m just “re-blogging” something, I promised myself I wouldn’t let January pass w/out a post.

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  8. Legal action can be expensive. Maybe we could set up a donation pages to help him take action?

    • Carl V Phillips

      Despite my flippant remark, I have a feeling it will not come to that. Some targeted legal funds are probably a good idea, but I don’t think we have to burn it on this.

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