Pressing On With "On Press, Inc."

Humor, Law

Yesterday I discussed the strange case of "On Press, Inc.", a name used to make feckless and frequently incoherent threats against people who quoted "poet" "Shaun Shane."

Investigation results to date suggest that the "On Press, Inc." staffed by illiterates and making stupid threats is not — repeat not — the California corporation of that name. Moreover, though evidence suggests that the people using that name are in Texas, there is no record of such a corporation in Texas. Doing business under a false representation of corporate status is illegal in almost every jurisdiction.

On Twitter, I have repeatedly asked the threat accounts of "On Press, Inc." to identify the state in which they are incorporated, or identify the attorney representing them. I've received only misspelled abuse in response.

Yesterday I wrote an email address an apparent representative of "On Press, Inc." had used to leave a comment elsewhere. I've received no response. Here's the email:

Dear "On Press, Inc.":

I am a former federal prosecutor, a member of the First Amendment Lawyers Association, and a blogger at www.Popehat.com on issues including free speech, bogus legal threats, and online fraud.

I have been following your legal threats and insults regarding poems by "Shaun Shane." I have written about your threats already, and will be writing more. I have some questions.

1. Is "On Press, Inc." actually a corporation? If so in what state is it incorporated?

2. Is "On Press, Inc." represented by an attorney in connection with your threats, or in connection with your claims to the copyright in the work of "Shaun Shane"? If so, who is that lawyer?

3. Will you share any documentation showing that "On Press, Inc." is the holder of the "Shaun Shane" copyright?

4. Who — that is, what human being — is operating the various "On Press, Inc." twitter accounts and making these threats?

5. Did "On Press, Inc." leave the comments by "Tammy" and "Michael Bradshaw" described in this post? http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20130217/18381022008/attribution-troll-press-inc-now-50-less-troll-like-also-not-yelling-people-sells-more-books.shtml

6. Did anyone from "On Press, Inc." call TechDirt pretending to be an attorney?

7. [Question redacted for strategic reasons]

8. Are you willing to discuss these issues?

Thanks,

Ken White
www.popehat.com

Meanwhile, unless trolls are impersonating them, "On Press, Inc." continues to use Twitter to threaten and insult. It appears that someone at "On Press, Inc." is attempting — to the best of their just precious ability — to make it appear they have a robust team conversing amongst themselves. Tim Cushing has collected some of the tweets illuminating the bizarre result.

Meanwhile, check out the #ShaunShane hashtag to observe attempts to write non-copyright-violating poetry.

Edited to add: in the comments, Corporal Lint finds a way to make Shaun Shane's poetry more palatable:

Translated by computer into Italian, then into French, then back into English, then into Urdu, then back into English, then into Azerbaijani, and then back to English again, it becomes evocative almost haunting:

We are
more careful
when it comes
to our language
if it can
be made ​​with glass,
we know that

Last 5 posts by Ken White

30 Comments

30 Comments

  1. John Ammon  •  Feb 21, 2013 @11:31 am

    I think some people have a hard time comprehending the internet and people around them. That thread of tweets was like living in a crazy person's brain… DO NOT WANT

  2. mojo  •  Feb 21, 2013 @11:42 am

    "Is there actually a real, human 'poet' named Shaun Shane, or is he a sock-puppet too?"

  3. Matt G  •  Feb 21, 2013 @11:44 am

    Why is anyone paying any attention to this? At best, they're trolls. At worst, they're some sort of 419/copyscammer. The sentence construction makes it pretty obvious that English is not their first language, so even if you figured out who they were it's unlikely they'd be legally reachable anyway. Ignore them and they'll go away.

  4. Dan  •  Feb 21, 2013 @11:56 am

    We all know that "misspelled abuse" is the best kind.

  5. Kat  •  Feb 21, 2013 @12:08 pm

    This is gonna be good.

  6. Roscoe  •  Feb 21, 2013 @12:20 pm

    A poem:

    I wish my tongue were made of glass.

    No more demands that I kiss someone's ass.

    Do you think it needed a misspelled word or two? Anyway, I await my very own cease and desist letter.

  7. Blah  •  Feb 21, 2013 @12:28 pm

    I wish Tim Cushing would do a writeup on that linked Storify article. It's fascinating but I'm afraid if I focus too long on it to try to figure out who is saying what to whom I'll end up as a gibbering lunatic banging my head against a wall somewhere.

  8. Evan  •  Feb 21, 2013 @12:29 pm

    if only
    the law
    were made
    of glass

    how broken
    it would be
    under all
    the baseless
    threats

  9. John Ammon  •  Feb 21, 2013 @12:42 pm

    At least if they start babbling about Illuminati and CIA, we know who's responsible ;)

  10. Ancel De Lambert  •  Feb 21, 2013 @12:57 pm

    None of your questions were written in iambic pentameter? Ken, I am disappoint.

  11. Jim Perry  •  Feb 21, 2013 @1:35 pm

    Interesting article, I have been following this since it popped up on techdirt originally. I just could not resist tweeting something to the #shaunshane hashtage, and a few minutes later, I recieved some strange tweets from @mjs_ose (Trolls on Patrol). Looking at the account(the tweets made ZERO sense), he has a few other identical tweets in the last hour or so to people who have used the #shaunshane hashtag. Just FYI for you I reckon, I do love a mystery. Go Ken, go!

  12. Kevin  •  Feb 21, 2013 @2:29 pm

    Well I guess the multiple-personality thing is kind of tipping the scales a bit on the whole C/S/T game.

  13. corporal lint  •  Feb 21, 2013 @2:33 pm

    Translated by computer into Italian, then into French, then back into English, then into Urdu, then back into English, then into Azerbaijani, and then back to English again, it becomes evocative almost haunting:

    We are
    more careful
    when it comes
    to our language
    if it can
    be made ​​with glass,
    we know that

  14. John Ammon  •  Feb 21, 2013 @2:35 pm

    @corporal lint – well done sir!

  15. Captain Obvious  •  Feb 21, 2013 @3:19 pm

    Anyone posting to #shaunshane on twitter is bound to get a hilarious response. Mine below. Twiitter bot . .. . .

    Trolls on Patrol‏@mjs_ose

    @Captien_Obvious You hunting? We're hunting too. Thanks for being easy prey

  16. Joe Pullen  •  Feb 21, 2013 @3:34 pm

    @Matt G – because it's funny and we're bored.

  17. Jim Perry  •  Feb 21, 2013 @3:46 pm

    Same replies I got!

  18. Namey McNonamey  •  Feb 21, 2013 @3:56 pm

    Entities called "On Press, Inc." are filed in California, Illinois, Michigan, and Ohio.

  19. Jacob  •  Feb 21, 2013 @4:24 pm

    What's going on with that twitter account called takedownlawyer that they are tweeting at? Was that just some Popehat fan who set it up as a joke? Or are C&C with the angels now? jk that would be too much to hope

  20. G Thompson  •  Feb 21, 2013 @11:39 pm

    Now that you have Texas you might want to look into the Lancto (ne Murphy) family of Dickinson (Texas) who are highly related to one Anne Murphy who is/was one of the instigators sending threatening comments via Facebook in November 2012 (evidenced here with comments on another account http://www.facebook.com/jennysookieit )

    Also on FB an Alexandria Hopewell states she also 'works' for On Press Inc and sends similar comments about Shaun's poetry – seems her real name (???) is Tammy Marshal (found via avatar photo analysis/matching) – No clue where she lives

  21. Grandy  •  Feb 22, 2013 @7:08 am

    One of those people in that twitter conversation said "i don't even look at their profiles anymore there so ridiculous".

    Are we ridiculous? Or is it our profiles? Wait, what the fuck is he talking about re: "profiles"?

    That's a win tweet. Maybe I should add profiles for us.

  22. Jacob  •  Feb 22, 2013 @1:19 pm

    This guy is like the internet Candyman. Look in the mirror and tweet the poem, and a troll will appear. I'm tempted to tweet it myself. Hell, why not, here I go.

  23. Jacob  •  Feb 22, 2013 @1:21 pm

    just did it with the tag #comeatmebro

  24. Jacob  •  Feb 22, 2013 @1:23 pm

    What's hilarious is that he seems to think that office workers in a high-rise workplace would be tweeting at each other as their primary means of chatting, not using internal email or something.

  25. Jacob  •  Feb 22, 2013 @1:36 pm

    12 mins… Here's the 3 rapid replies I recieved, from an account called "Trolls on Patrol (mjs_ose):

    @Jayseki You hunting.We're hunting too. Thanks for being easy prey

    @Jayseki (124) Here's your number in the Moron of the Day Lottery. check back later you might just win!

    @Jayseki and oh, by the way. So brave of you to hide behind some egg,lol.

  26. Jacob  •  Feb 22, 2013 @1:41 pm

    Anyone have a lower # in the Moron of the Day Lottery? I want to win – I guess the prize must be a moron a day for life, or cash equivalent…?

    (Ken, sorry for the multiple posts, you may consolidate them if you want, no probs here)

  27. Jacob  •  Feb 22, 2013 @3:19 pm

    I don't know if it's because of this, but when I tweeted at him:

    "@mjs_ose Thats all I get? You didn't even tell me to take it down or provide attribution! Jeez you're getting lazy… #trolls #censors #bs"

    He then deleted his tweets to me.

  28. apauld  •  Feb 23, 2013 @3:39 pm

    Asked a question on td, then realized the law folks here might give a better answer. The 'Book Description' part of amazons page for Shane's book now states, in part, "Cushing encouraged followers of his blog to come to this page and post fake reviews as well and click the "we found this helpful" button on Cushing's fake review so it would appear at the top." Seeing how Tim didn't actually do that, would this be a statement that could put Shane/On Press Inc. in legal trouble?

  29. Tim Cushing  •  Feb 23, 2013 @8:04 pm

    As apauld asks, is this rant-as-supposed-book-description a problem (not for me, of course)?

    Here's the link: http://www.amazon.com/Poem-Is-Nothing-Shaun-Shane/dp/1467522619/ref=cm_cmu_up_thanks_hdr

    And here's the full text if you don't feel like clicking through. (Personally, I find it hilarious in its inaccuracies. And misspellings. And general pissed-offness.)[Line breaks added by ME so your eyes don't start vomiting blood halfway through.]

    All reviews of this book on this Amazon posting ( with the exception of those with the Amazon certified purchase – which means the reviewer actually purchased the book they are reviewing) are the result of a Tim Cushing. Cushing was recently caught for copyright infringement and plagiarism of Shanes work and posting it on the internet. And is currently in the process of being prosecuted for it by both Federal and State law enforcement agencies . Some of Shane's work is posted on quite a few webpages ( where Cushing stole Shane's work) and so can be seen without having read this book Though only a handful of Poems from this collection are included in any of the websites where Shane's work is posted.

    Cushing, was discovered by a Copyright Infringement Watch Group for plagiarizing Shane's work , who then forwarded Cushing illegal posts to Shane's Publisher On Press Inc. On Press then contacted Cushing to state that he could not use Shane's work and his actions were illegal and unethical.

    Cushing, a self described " techy" who has a crude and amateurish blog on a site called Tech dirt. Then responded to On Press with a link where he tauntingly said he had just posted a fake review of Shane's book ( you will see Tim Cushing's review here) then Cushing went on his blog and posted what can only be described as a disturbing rant against Shane and On Press solely for having defending their copyright. Then Cushing encouraged followers of his blog to come to this page and post fake reviews as well and click the "we found this helpful" button on Cushing's fake review so it would appear at the top.

    To substantiate this fact you will notice, none of the disparaging reviews have the certified purchaser associated with them meaning the didn't buy the book to have been able to review it in the first place . And also notice, that all the these disparaging reviews are all grouped around the same time. None of these fake reviewers have read the book and have only come here, in what can only be described as disturbing (For who writes fake reviews unless the are emotionally disturbed) purpose of wanting to harm Shane. We do not have to explain to sane, mature and rational people how disturbing that truly is.

    Again note that none of the disparaging reviews have the certification that they have purchased the book.

  30. Jacob  •  Feb 24, 2013 @12:02 am

    Out of idle curiosity, I wonder if someone could buy the book, leave a certified review, then cancel the purchase. Not that I would ever consider doing that.