Funmail?

So I've been getting a some nasty mail from people telling me that how dare I delete people (them usually) for copyright violations on their page when I do them all the time. For example, here's a letter to the editor I just received (I've edited it slightly for brevity and clarity):

From: "robert cyr"
Subject: NO MORE ROOM IN HELL V3.0

i think you may have to delete your self from IAM and BME all together, because right now at 1:55am (eastern) on 4/26/01 the Index page for BME has a picture imitating the mastercard "priceless" commercial. and i know your from canada and all, but there's this guy called Ralph Nader (Presidential Candidate), who was, and or is, being sued by mastercard for using the "priceless" motto in one of his campaign adds, the word "priceless" is a trademark of mastercard, and your using it in a context that violates the trademark.OH BUT WAIT YOUR SHANNON 'FUCKING' LARATTE!! [sic] you can do things like that and get away with it because YOUR FUCKING GOD, and NO ONE ELSE BUT YOU is allowed to make a FUCKING MISTAKE!

I don't really give a shit or not if i sound petty, but christ all fucking mighty! when i see you on a weekly basis deleting people from IAM for no REAL reason other then for the purposes of playing god, then you go do something that you'd delete some one else for, it makes me wonder if you made the IAM "community" for other people to exchange ideas, experiences and to make new friends with a common bond, or did you make it to bully people and be some kind of make shift "modded" god, where you rule with an iron fist and then take shots at the people you delete. which might i add is pretty lame, you delete someone, then call them stupid, retarded, homophobic, racist etc in a semi-public forum, and then these people don't have the chance to defend themselves......isn't that defamation of character??? or am i mistaken??

as a "serious" webmaster you should be a little more reasonable, mature, and responsible. If you don't want people being mean in their own forum or anyone else's then don't be a dick in yours, it's pretty simple, but NOOOOOOOOOO thats to much ask from the Rev. Shannon (hahahaha lame ass church, i guess you are REALLY trying to be god, Mike akuri probably killed himself because he woke up one day a realized he ac tually told people he wanted to have the first wedding in the church of "bodmod" then shot himself because he felt so stupid) (like i give a shit if that was distasteful, i'm already deleted) anyway, i just want you to know that you piss me off, enough that i felt i should email you, i'm not the only one that feels this way, i've talked to alot of IAM kids that think you are far to strict and unreasonable, but they are afraid to say anything because you can't handle criticism.

i can think of at least 12 kids that all wonder how you let "lowphat" degrade women, but you delete other people for using a picture they like. they don't understand why some distasteful behavior is tolerated when others are not, me and alot of other people don't know where YOU have drawn the line, all we now is that if WE DON'T OWN IT DON'T USE IT, and that's it! you don't say what we can say, what we should have on our pages, you don't have a GOOD rules of conduct page etc. and then you just delete people, leaving many people confused. either way, you won't change.......... your lame, your canadian, and your gay.

----v1olenc3

OK, first, every single time you upload a picture, it displays the rules about copyright. It's not as if it's some hidden part of the TOS that one could conceivably have missed. In addition, it contains a link which gives you in far more detail what is acceptable and what is not. Any time I've personally used a copyrighted image or text, it has been well within “fair use” and continues to be. Every heard of parody? Ever heard of news reporting? Which means that it's legal. Which means that it's not a problem. I'm not saying I don't make mistakes, but come on — at least understand the basics of the rules if you're going to hassle me about them.

If you don't like that rule on IAM, don't use IAM. Breaking it simply because you don't agree with it isn't going to be successful. It's not really asking a lot that you just come up with your own page content, is it? It's not as if there's a single other host that doesn't have a very similar copyright rule in their TOS. If you get away with it somewhere else, it's simply because the userbase there is larger and you weren't caught, or no one has complained.

As far as the TOS forum, if someone is removed, it will be listed there. Calling it slander is ridiculous. I think anyone reading this email can see that I was particularly kind in that forum if anything. As far as IAM kids that think the site is strict and unreasonable, if you don't like it, go somewhere else. The basic rules here are fairly simple: Don't break the law in such a way that could get IAM sued (and that's what copyright violations can do), and don't harass other IAM members, and don't practice bigotry of any kind.

As far as “lowphat”'s contests being degrading to women, everyone in them enjoys them — If they're getting together having fun, that's their business. It certainly doesn't hurt anybody else. It might seem more offensive to you that he have a wet-t-shirt contest on his page than you using a picture of Marilyn Manson as your background, but one is illegal and the other isn't. Yes, lots of people get away with it on other sites, but that's not a defense that I could use in court. You can argue that lowphat is in poor taste, but you can't argue that the people who hang out on his page are having fun that's not having any negative effect on the rest of the IAM members.

Anyway, I have BBQs at my house — it's not as if I'm unapproachable. If you don't understand why one of the rules is here, or you think it's over-the-top, tell me. You're not going to get deleted for asking a question or making a request.

Wow Shannon, that's really annoying! What is it, 1997 on Geocities? Retroweb is NOT cool!

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