It is a seminal moment in every sex blogger’s life when she gets threatened with her first lawsuit. Unfortunately, I was not privy to the ancient proverb: “If you fuck a lawyer, he will fuck you.”
A week had passed since my last communication with Jake, and I never expected to hear from him again, until receiving a shocking e-mail from him, confirming that he had found my blog and threatening me with a lawsuit. Not for defamation or invasion of privacy, but for copyright infringement, because the e-mails of his that I posted were his intellectual property. Yes, he is that desperate. The form of his e-mail was as shocking as its content.
“I was going to leave this ridiculous, self-indulgent email alone because it really is not worth my time, but recent events have unfortunately forced me to address it.”
He opened up with this disclaimer of sorts. Then, he had the nerve to go on for two entire paragraphs responding to my e-mail, which I thought was too ridiculous and self-indulgent to warrant response. Oh, I get it, you want to distance yourself from the frivolity, while engaging in it and having the last word. Pathetic. At least I own what I write. He pretends he was forced to respond. Yes, I suppose my words are compelling.
“You manage to write an awful lot with out saying much of anything, and certainly nothing intelligent.”
My e-mail was intended to be explanatory, not profound. My intention certainly wasn’t to showcase my intelligence or impress him; I thought we were beyond that point. In fact, when I sent the initial e-mail explaining why I was upset with him, I made a point of not proofreading it, so it was authentic rather than composed. This seems to be the most appropriate form for e-mails with emotional import. I know I wrote many words in my last e-mail without saying anything at all. That is why, in my blog post, I refer to it as my “contentless e-mail.” No need to state the obvious in a derogatory way. The entire point of the e-mail was that I didn’t understand why he would be receptive to hearing from me and while I wanted to be given a chance to explain, I wasn’t not comfortable talking to him if he planned to continue talking to me as he had been. I thought I made it clear that I wouldn’t continue to engage him if he persisted in demeaning me and invalidating everything I said. His responding to me by saying how unintelligent and self-indulgent I am, only reaffirms why I refused to share much with him in the first place. He maintains conditions that would elicit any self-respecting woman to be abstinent in her communications with him. I took not hearing back from him to mean that he was not willing to communicate with me on my terms. So be it.
“Do you even know what you’re saying? Half the words you use, you clearly don’t understand… I could go on and on, but it’s an exercise in futility.”
He attempts to demonstrate my lack of intelligence by nitpicking at the words I use, incorrectly accusing me of misuse (he asks, sarcastically, whether I’ve ever looked “semantic” up), and taking portions of two sentences out of context, comparing them in such a manner as to introduce a logical inconsistency. You can understand why I stopped interacting with this guy. If his lecturing me on word usage is an exercise in futility, my responding to him would only dignify his pettiness. Like, really, we dated for two months and just broke up over hurt feelings and sexual incompatibilities and he is going to school me on the form of my writing? Is he for fucking serious?
Sure, sometimes I make mistakes. When I posted our e-mail correspondence, I realized that once I said “later” instead of “latter” and once I said “mislead” instead of “misled.” Similarly, once he said “in regards” instead of “in regard.” If I sent him back grammatical corrections, ignoring the content of what he said entirely, it would show that I was a trifling person who could not be taken seriously. Furthermore, it would probably indicate that I had few legitimate points to make, given my exclusive focus on structural detail. I get that his plan was to invalidate everything I said by questioning my acuity in conveying my thoughts; all he did was undermine his own credibility.
“[Y]ou are the one who replied to my thoughtful email responding to your concerns with ‘ick.’ But of course, you were going to write a conciliatory email later. Assuming that were even true, it would only highlight your grotesque impulsiveness. Your lack of ability or desire to exercise even the smallest amounts of self-control and will-power is one of your most unattractive qualities.”
The object of his petty critique in this paragraph is timestamps, specifically how long you have to wait to respond to an e-mail before your response is considered valid. I don’t make this stuff up.
Nothing impulsive about the manner in which I sent my e-mails. But probably something impulsive or, at least cowardly, about dismissing a girl, who you’ve been dating for two months, based on one sentence, the content of which you obviously don’t understand because you haven’t given her a chance to explain.
Does he realize that his 5-point e-mail, no matter how well thought-out, has an offensive tone? It was only “thoughtful” in terms of being “characterized by careful reasoned thinking,” certainly not in terms of being “given to or chosen or made with heedful anticipation of the needs and wants of others” (Merriam-Webster Online).
“My email, on the other hand, was well thought out — I waited hours before sending it — and I can assure you, I meant every word of it. I still feel the exact same way.”
When I sent him these e-mails, I was unaware that I was entering a “whose e-mail is better” pissing contest. In case you are as interested in trivial details as he is, I sent my one sentence e-mail a few hours after reading his 5-point e-mail and he sent his mean, dismissive e-mail a few hours after reading my one sentence e-mail. But you are not, so I should say that this time stamp issue is utter nonsense, especially considering that his previous complaint about me was that I often take what he says, “let it simmer… then explode.”
Obviously nothing I can do will please this guy. No amount of time I wait to before communicating with him will be the correct amount of time. As everything he says about me is negative, I take it with a grain of salt. If he actually believed these things about me, after dating me for two months, it would only highlight his poor judgment in spending so much time with me. Besides not believing what he accuses me of because it’s universally negative, I don’t believe it because most of his accusations are counter to what every body else thinks of me. When a biased individual claims outlandish things, it is not convincing. I would buy his “let it simmer” argument because it is inline with what people have said about me in the past, but never have I ever, in any relational context, been accused of “impulsivity,” nor of lacking “self-control” or “will-power.” Particularly absurd considering my summer of excessive sexual self-control. Most people believe I am overly measured and calculated, as is he; they wish I could be more spontaneous and less analytical.
He makes it seem as if these alleged qualities have consistently emerged in my interactions with him, just as if my letting his words simmer and assuming the worst interpretation was a regular occurrence. Where was he the past two months? Has he no perspective? Everything was going fine between us. Well, even. I assure you.
“None of this was worth emailing you over, except that now I find out, after all your indignance at my not ‘trusting’ you, that you are a fucking liar.”
Yes, again, I get it: I am not worth communicating with, yet you continue to communicate with me. Bitch: yes. Liar: no.
“I’ve known about [indefenseofgettingoff.com] for quite some time (it doesn’t take a genius to Google “Adam smallest ever”). I quickly tired of your oversensitive, oversexed, psychobabble, but started checking regularly after you issued the thinly veiled threat in your email that I would become blog fodder.”
A couple of things are strange about this. First of all, he makes it seem as if there were something secretive or covert about my blog, as if I withheld the URL from him. If I had a problem with him reading my blog, I wouldn’t have made him aware of its existence in the first place; I don’t tease people. In fact, I would have preferred that he asked me for the link directly, instead of snooping around for it. It doesn’t take a genius to realize that sometimes the most effective way to get what you want is to ask for it. I figured he never asked because he didn’t want to appear too interested, not because he would have rather not known. That notwithstanding, I wasn’t going to be forthcoming if he wasn’t.
The whole timeline issue is positively bizarre. His whole “don’t think I read this, I don’t, it’s garbage, but you’ve forced me to keep abreast” shtick is as transparent as his “these e-mails are not worth addressing, but I am going to dissect every word you use” shtick. When he insulted my blog, surely he didn’t know that I could tell exactly when he started reading it: while we were still dating. This makes me wonder: would he really keep dating me if he thought my blog were garbage? Either the answer is no, in which case he is misrepresenting his past assessment based on his current feelings, or the answer is yes, in which case he dates girls he does not respect; neither possibility bodes well for him. And calling a sex blog “oversexed,” is that even intended as an insult? It is practically tautologous. Self-evident, at least.
Lastly, it is strange that he refers to my insinuation that he is to become blog fodder as a “thinly veiled threat.” It was neither intended to be thinly veiled nor a threat. Is he narcissistic enough to think that my writing is for him? That I disclosed personal details about him as punishment? The purpose of my blog is two-fold: to archive my experiences and to entertain my friends. If I wanted to punish him, I would continue to harass him. All I wanted to do was expose the situation and be done with it. Make it impersonal. Disown it. I didn’t so much as critique him on my blog. Prior to this legal nonsense, all I did was publish our e-mail exchanges, word-for-word. He already read the e-mails (he wrote half of them, himself!), so there was nothing threatening beyond their initial existence and content (which he was half responsible for). Moving them to another forum only added levity to a train wreck, which was over, as far as I was concerned.
“Now, I’m sure you’ll recall that you promised me you were no longer writing your blog and that I had no cause to be concerned that I would ever become a subject. I guess you make exceptions when the story is really good? When the guy is an asshole? When you want to impress your friends? So much for being trustworthy.”
Ha ha, um, who does this guy think he is? I did not participate in a pinky swear or a pact, regarding his being the subject of my writing or otherwise. I like how he flatters himself by implying his story is really good. And, yes, when someone is an asshole that gives me moral license to be insensitive in return. I feel less morally accountable to him than to some stranger on the street.
“I’m going to try to make this as clear as possible: when you publish my emails in their entirety on you blog, you are violating federal Copyright Law. It doesn’t matter that you call me “Jake,” and it doesn’t matter that I sent the emails to you. My words are my intellectual property and they are protected by copyright law the instant I write them. Maybe you should check out Salinger v. Random House, Inc., 811 F.2d 90 (2d Cir. 1987) for bedtime reading. The internet is not your playground. There are rules. Our last and only communication will be an email from you, no later than Friday the 29th, notifying me that you have taken the entire “Fling Flung” series off of your blog. I don’t want things to have to go any further than that.”
And there you have it: a legal threat. Included with it some patronizing words about what the internet is for. Thanks, internet police. I’ll add your legal reading to my summer reading list and be sure to get back to you by the arbitrary date you’ve chosen to intimidate me with.
Half of the problem here seems to be that this guy has no idea how to argue with a woman. His “legal training” has totally clouded his reason. He uses convoluted phrases such as “no cause to be concerned” and belabors irrelevant issues in a failed attempt to undermine my credibility. He certainly knows how to antagonize and alienate someone, while diluting the purported point of his current communication.
Kitchen sinking: one of the cardinal sins in relationship communication and one of the first signs of contempt. Problems don’t get solved when you indiscriminately dump complaints about everything you dislike about a person and every way in which they’ve slighted you. Stick to problem-specific behavior if you want to ensure reception. All his e-mail amounted to was a laundry list of negative adjectives, with a threat and directive tagged on. As if he is some kind of authority figure with jurisdiction over me, derived from his dexterity in citing my shortcomings and a cliché legal precedent. When people go out of their way to make me feel inferior, I generally don’t turn to them for guidance.
The sad thing is, I think he assumed I would comply. Never have I ever been accused of being too agreeable.
I responded with this scathing e-mail:
I knew that you found my blog before you told me. How? Google Analytics and WordPress give me information about how people locate my blog. When I posted the first 3 parts, I checked out my “site stats.” I discovered that within the past thirty days, but not the past week, someone had located my blog twice using the search term “adam smallest ever.” This past weekend I asked the only other person it could have plausibly been whether she searched using that term (she was with me two weekends ago when Adam visited). She denied, confirming my suspicion that it was you. As of today, the search term has moved from the “within the past thirty days” section to the “within the past ninety days” section, indicating that you found my blog approximately 31-34 days ago. I had initially assumed that you found it after we stopped talking. Now the reality sets in that you perused it before “the conversation” and maybe before that time we had great sex.
Speaking of issues of trust, I’m not sure why you wouldn’t have just asked me for the name of my blog, instead of doing detective work. It is also curious that you didn’t mention finding it, during “the conversation” or otherwise, given that your opinion of my blog seems to bear on the issues that were at hand. You kept seeing me/communicating with me after finding it, so I’m not I’m not convinced I believe your assessment of it.
Also concerning trust, I have no obligation/commitment of any kind to you. As you can see, plainly, from looking at the dates on my blog, before last week I had not written on it for over three months. This spans the entire time that we were seeing each other. I told you that I hadn’t blogged recently, which is factual. I also expressed that I didn’t intend to continue blogging or to blog about you. This was true given the circumstances; the circumstances between us have clearly changed. As has my orientation with respect to sex in general. I do not blog about partners I respect, in a way that would embarrass or hurt them. This applies to people like my ex boyfriend (whom I touch upon but only in a way that makes me look unfavorable) and friends (whom I largely omit). While you were still someone I naively respected, you were not blog material. I should mention, though, that you never expressed reservations about being blogged about. You didn’t express your orientation with respect to public disclosure either way. That is irrelevant, at this point, though. Life circumstances change and with them my guidelines for my behavior change (as somebody extremely rigid, it might be hard for you to understand this). If you read anything on my blog about my hooking up with people casually since we’ve dated, it is not because I mislead you about my activities or sexual aspirations while we were dating. Maybe I’m a bitch, but I’m not a liar (nor most of the other things you ascribe to me). At the time I had no idea how you were going to treat me and that you would vie to be just another penis. Silly me, I thought you were a person. I promised you nothing; I merely stated facts and conveyed expections. Thinking that you are somehow entitled to never be talked about badly is as naïve as thinking that people don’t change or that people are meant for one another.
I’m not going to get into some pissing contest about writing style, accuracy, or whose e-mails are better thought-out/less impulsive. I, too, stand by what I said (and for an exhaustive elaboration, you can read part 4 on my blog). My conciliatory e-mail would have in no way contradicted my one-sentence e-mail; it would not have been a confirmation of impulsivity, but hesitance. If you weren’t so rash as to toss me aside before allowing me to elaborate, you would already know this.
I’m not sure why you keep insulting me. This does nothing other than make you look bad. Makes me think, “Thank you for dumping me after only two months; I have escaped relatively unscathed!” Good thing your fear of rejection has prevented you from subjecting more than a few women to your spite. I don’t give a fuck what you think about my blog (nor my intelligence, vocabulary, coherence, self-regulation, or anything else you choose to insult). Why? Because you are not someone whose opinion I value or respect. Because I have legions of people (a select few whose opinions I care about) that hold my blog in high esteem. You can mock my appreciation for social approval all you want. Enjoy being a socially-awkward, curmudgeon who only has a few friends (whom he never sees), has only been with a few women, and doesn’t even talk to his own family. It must be nice being so “self-sufficient” and “unbeholden” to anybody.
Funny that you go out of your way to belittle my e-mail, assuring me that it is not worth your time, only to harp on it for two paragraphs (focusing on the most trivial details). People don’t usually continue to engage me when they claim that what I say is valueless and unintelligent, reducing it to self-indulgence. Very mature of you to dictate how our communication will unfold from now on (you’ve been dictating the communication for weeks), considering you are the one who engaged me with provocative prompts.
You know as well as I do that your e-mail isn’t about any legitimate legal claim. If it were, you wouldn’t go on and on about irrelevant issues. I get it: I’ve hurt/insulted you and this is the only power you think you have left. You chose to add intimidation to the belittlement that I apparently haven’t fallen for. There is nothing in this for you except the sadistic pleasure you derive from antagonizing me. You have no intent to publish your “intellectual property” yourself, nor could my postings in any way damage your reputation, considering they do not include defining characteristics beyond ubiquities such as your age.
I doubt you are going to launch a lawsuit over some petty lover’s squabble; it would ruin you personally and professionally. To think that you would risk having this exposed in the public eye is laughable, especially coming from a guy who allegedly hates being in the spotlight. I have close friends who are professional bloggers for very popular websites; you don’t want to deal with the potential exposure any more than I want to deal with the potential litigation.
That said, I will consult with lawyers about the intellectual property issue. There is no way in hell I am removing the series in its entirety, though, as only a small portion of series is your writing. You certainly have no legitimate grounds for a defamation/invasion of privacy suit (at least, the precedents are not in your favor), so I have no worries about my material. My biggest concern is what a jerk I managed to entangle myself with.
I think you are a little bitch who has seldom dealt with rejection and doesn’t know how to handle it beyond lashing out. I will no longer respond to your e-mails, except as they directly pertain to legal matters. I can’t believe it has come to this. You truly are the biggest asshole I have ever fucked; past sexual partners have read my blog and, thus far, none has ever been a big enough pussy to threaten me. This behavior is infantile; it would be like my posting something embarrassing about you on your facebook page to avenge your dumping me. I’m not continuing to hurt you in any way; you are seeking out contact with me. Stop causing trouble for trouble’s sake. Stop trying to sabotage/interfere with my life. Get over it.
My counter-threat must have scared him, because his tone suddenly and drastically changed:
“Look, we’ve both said a lot of insensitive, demeaning things to each other. I don’t agree with much of what you said in the previous email, and you probably don’t agree with much of what I say in mine. The reality is, we probably just don’t like each other very much.”
True, but the insensitive things I said were relevant to the topic. On discreet issues. Not global. The ways in which you’ve insulted me were unnecessary and uncalled for. Moreover, your criticism of me invalidated everything I said, making it as questionable as an unfalsifiable theory.
Nope, not liking you very much does not represent how I ever felt about you; before our extended internet discussion, I liked you very much, and in between then and the legal threat, the only word that could have described how I felt about you is “ambivalent.”
“I could continue the pissing match, but I think at this point, things have spiraled out of control. It really never should have gotten this bad and I think we are both somewhat to blame.”
Ever since I insinuated that I might not want to continue dating you, you’ve been cold, callous, and downright cruel. I’m not going to pretend that we are even close to equal in our culpability. You are approximately 90% to blame, and the legal threat tips it even further in your direction.
“I think I do have good reason to be surprised about my appearance on your blog. I did believe you and rely on you when you said that you were done writing, and that you wouldn’t write about me specifically. That being said, things do change and things have gotten more … interesting … between us since you said that.”
Nice that he’s conceded that I’m not a fucking liar. I’ll buy his explanation; it is plausible that someone who has only been involved with a few other women in his entire lifetime would be naïve as to how circumstances change between people. Maybe he doesn’t even understand the benefit of not burning bridges. This whole situation seems like it would have never happened with someone more experienced. After a while you learn that ends aren’t about “winning,” but minimizing damage.
“I want to let you know that I have kept our correspondence in virtual confidence, revealing only snippets of it to the closest of my friends. We are completely different in that regard, and I understand that the blog is an important outlet for you.”
Oh yes, I care so much what your absent friends think of me. To think of the embarrassment I would suffer from having people I have never met and will never meet know that I am hard to get off. How could I live with myself? I would feel so violated!
You know what: it would serve you well to share your life with more people, especially considering your relative lack of experience. When I have guy troubles, I consult many people, men included. It gives me perspective: something you sorely lack. Of course, from what you’ve told me about them, your friends are probably fairly homogenous; you might get more of a self-serving bias than most people do when they consult their friends.
I do like how he describes my blog as an “outlet.” I think of it more as a dumping ground.
“Furthermore, you have no idea how much I appreciate your concealing my name.”
Niccce ass kissing.
The purpose of my blog is not to fuck over men. Duh.
“It may seem illogical, but my position with regards to copyright law is sound, and I’ve consulted other attorneys about this.”
Never said you were wrong about copyright law; just that you are an asshole for making a personal matter into a legal one. You’ve consulted other attorneys about this? Oh, wow. As an attorney you must have access to boundless legal resources, while I must be destitute as just another Jewish girl who lives in New York City.
“I do regret that I threatened you about this. It was wrong, especially considering my legal training, but I feel very backed into a corner at this point.”
Ohh, that’s so sweet. Now that you realize you have no options, you have regrets. This is the first half apology I’ve ever received from you. And you still insist that you feel “backed into a corner,” implying that you are the victim.
“You’re right that I have no desire to bring anything like this ‘public’ — you know I’m a very private person.”
That’s right, bitch. GKF: Not a woman to be fucked with.
“I don’t want to say that it’s something I will definitely do, but it is an option that I might have to explore, unfortunately. I really, really don’t want it to come to that.”
Stop pretending you have no agency and that I have “forced” you into this precarious position. You got yourself there. And you have the option of dropping the issue and moving on like a normal person.
“I’m not asking you to take down your entire post. You are, of course, entitled to write about your experience, paraphrase me, and even use small portions of my emails in your blog and that’s perfectly okay.”
Gee, thanks for telling me what I am allowed to do. Incidentally, I am also allowed to fucking read, so I have a very good idea of my legal rights. It’s so thoughtful that you’ve partially retreated now that you know I am not a pushover and I will stand my ground. I told you on our third date that I am “difficult.” I don’t know whom you thought you were dealing with. If you want to tell me how to format my blog post so it is in compliance with federal copyright law, then surely you wouldn’t object to my correctly attributing your quotations. Oh, wait, this is about your whims, not legality. I almost forgot.
“That was the risk I ran, and I accept that.”
And you keep running the “risk” every time you send me these now infamous e-mails. This legal threat has done nothing but draw attention to you.
“But I think you cross a legal and moral line when you publish entire emails of mine. Especially considering who I am and my feelings about privacy. I feel like this is one of the worst things that can be done to me.”
Legal line: maybe. Moral line: nope. You obliterated that when you told me I was a child whom no one would ever take seriously. Your feelings? Wah, wah, wah. Stop being so dramatic. I didn’t even do anything to you. You are just embarrassed that your misbehavior has gone public. That you are a laughingstock, anonymous or not. That no one would ever take you seriously if they knew. Oh, the irony.
“We’re probably beyond the point of forgiveness or anything like that. I imagine neither of us expect it or need it.”
Forgiveness? Oh, I’m sorry, did I miss your apology? And no, I do not need it. Because I don’t give a fuck what you think of me. Because you have no relevance to my self-concept. Because I am not so vain as to indiscriminately seek social approval. Too little, too late.
“All I’m asking is that you modify your blog slightly. I don’t think this is too much to ask.”
Yes, it is too much to ask. But I want to dispose of you swiftly and entirely except for the paper trails. At this point, this is almost a moot point, though: The day I posted parts 1-3, after a three-month hiatus, I got 114 hits on my blog, and the day I posted part 4, I got 82 hits. Most days I only get 20ish hits, so I assume most of these readers subscribe to my RSS feed and already read my posts about you.
“It might be interfering with your life to some extent, but, for better or worse, our lives were loosely intertwined for a period of two months and I ask that you please do what you can not to interfere with mine.”
For worse, only. I got nothing out of the two months we spent together except for some good sex, which I’ve since been informed was not good. The only “life lesson” I learned was about federal copyright law, something that will hopefully never be relevant to me again and will in no way benefit my dating future. I cannot believe you’ve monopolized yet another month of my time with this nonsense. A one-month fall-out for a two-month quasi-relationship: absurd. The only thing I could possibly ever want from you is a hate fuck. Pretty sure you wouldn’t go for that.
You’re welcome; it was so super to do business with you. Thanks for giving me a real story to include on my relatively drama-free blog.
Isn’t it lovely that in the internet age we no longer have to send e-mails directly to people? He will read the conclusion to our quasi-relationship spectacular at the same time as you, readers. I wrote this nearly a week ago and “still week the exact same way.” Ahahaha, smugness.
Dear Mr. Douche W. Bagg, J.D.,
Isn’t it convenient how the tone of your e-mails switched from threatening and patronizing to deferential and reasonable the second you wanted something from me—the second you realized I am not a pushover and will not blindly obey your domineering demands. I never claimed your position with regard to copyright law is illegitimate. Let’s be clear, though: This is about inconveniencing me to avenge me for inadvertently violating you, not about copyright infringement or exercising your rights. Unless this is actually about the principle of things, and you are some doctrinaire/moral crusader fighting to restore rights without utilitarian implications, in which case you are adolescent in your idealism instead of immature in your vindictiveness. As one of my friends sarcastically said, “If he was really worried about copyright issues, he would be hassling you about falsely attributing his works of art to some anonymous name. He should be demanding that you use his real name so he can reap the rewards of the journalistic goodwill that must be coming his way after producing such masterpiece emails, right?”
Any impact my blog has on you is imagined or self-imposed: You do not intend to profit from the material I published, no one you know will ever read my blog, and if they do, they won’t know the story is about you because there are no identifying details. Your insinuation that I interfered with your life by anonymously posting your e-mails is absurd; you sought out my blog yourself, without my permission. Then, in your own words, you “started checking regularly.” If my blog is interfering with your life, it is because you are fixated on it, not because the posts have any empirical effect on you. It isn’t as if I even directed you to my blog, drudging up details from the not-so past.
Ha ha, how precious: You think I care about your “feelings about privacy,” or your feelings, at all. You cannot appeal to me by referring to your feelings, concepts like forgiveness and morality, and definitely not by getting up on your high horse to tell me that you have kept our correspondence in “virtual confidence.” If you have, good for you; it is only because you have few friends and are not as comfortable with yourself as I am with myself; not because of any regard you have for my feelings or reputation. When you treat me as you did, you rescind your right to moral recourse. My writing about you has nothing to do with the fact that we are no longer seeing each other and everything to do with how you treated me. Perhaps after reading my blog you misguidedly think this is par for the course with Genie; it is not. I don’t want to call my blog a compendium of “worst of” experiences (some are positive experiences), but let’s just say that only remarkable stories make it; you turned yourself into a legend. What a fucking joke that you would mention the prospect of forgiveness. Such a concept surely isn’t applicable when one has not so much as apologized for what he’s done (other than for threatening me with legal action). I gave you ample opportunity to apologize over the past few weeks (and I was willing to accept an apology, if sincere, and move on); you chose to escalate things. Matters between us were most likely reparable before your threats and repeated hostility.
Maybe you thought you could intimidate me by invoking your “legal training,” including a citation in your e-mail, and prescribing how and when I am to respond to you. Maybe you thought you had already broken me down with your continual references to my intellectual deficits. Fortunately, as your contentions have become less and less credible and I no longer have personal stake in your opinion of me or that which I produce, I couldn’t care less in what capacity you derogate me; your mistreatment of me only serves to make you look foolish and desperate. Despite having no formal training, I am perfectly capable of conducting research on the internet, finding relevant documents, comprehending what I’ve read, and applying the concepts to my situation. As to avoid relying on your biased imperatives, dictating what I am allowed to post, over the past few days I have read numerous documents on the doctrine of fair use, as well as case law that is more applicable to my situation (because of its non-commercial nature) than the one case you sent me. I forwarded my analysis of the situation, according to the four tenets of fair use, to three lawyers, one of whom specializes in intellectual property.
All three agreed that once I alter the format of my postings slightly, to make my writing “transformative,” the fair use analysis will weigh heavily in my favor. All you will have on me is the right to first publication, but “The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.” 17 U.S.C.A. § 107 (OMG, I know how to read, too!) My use of your writing is non-commercial, my writing will constitute commentary/criticism and thus be considered “transformative,” your work is factual and uncreative (except for the one sentence about meeting a pornj unicorn), I will use no more of your work than is necessary for achieving my aim of commenting/criticizing (and I know there is no word limit, so don’t try to fuck with me), and, most importantly, your e-mails have no market value so I am not altering their potential market or value by posting them.
The deranged thing about your requesting that I remove your e-mails from my blog is that it actually behooves you to have them posted in their entirety in their intended context. That way they speak for themselves and their interpretation is not directed by my evaluation. If you really stand by what you say, you should have no problem letting your thoughts be known, whether or not they are attributed to you.
My threat of exposure was not an empty one. When I consulted my professional blogger friend about this situation, she confirmed, “That’s a [ ] article waiting to happen. And I will pitch it.” [ ] loves stories about sex blogs and other sex scandals. Not only will you become a laughingstock if this goes public, but the second it is posted on a website with 4+ million views (far more than my blog), I will be offered a book deal. I’m sure you don’t want that to happen. Although, maybe then you will be given a legitimate reason to sue me. I will not go out of my way to fuck you over; you don’t deserve that much of my energy. But I will, by no means, protest if you are publicly humiliated. One consequence of your exposure (besides professional debasement) will be that no woman will ever go near you, knowing that you threatened a past lover with a lawsuit (and after only two months; normally it takes two years to build up that kind of animosity). This, in combination with the fact that you don’t talk to your family (and don’t respect your mother), will not bode well for you (except that the latter could allay fears over a potential, bitter custody battle).
Before I detailed my relatively favorable legal situation, one of my lawyer friends concluded: “This guy will NEVER sue you in federal court over this. And if he did, I would happily take part in the three ring circus that would follow… It would just never get that far unless this guy was a complete maniac that wants to be known for this, which he is not.” Agreed. Highly doubtful that you would volunteer to go down in your alma mater’s hall o’ shame, as yet another distinguished grad-cum-internet celebrity. Forgetting the legal hassle that would ensue with minimal potential gain.
I altered my posts slightly because I never want to fucking hear from you again (unless you want a hate fuck). I will no longer accept request for your trifling favors. And I make no guarantees about keeping my posts in their current form.
You cannot appease me with one reasonable e-mail after a shit storm of petty nastiness. You will always be scum to me: the only man to stoop as low as you did, a self-righteous little prick, a pedant. And you said weren’t a douche for a lawyer!
Speaking of which, what kind of lawyer are you? You seem to have totally self-destructed over the past week. My lawyer mom raised me with two, companion concepts: 1) Don’t put anything in writing that could embarrass you later on, and 2) Get others to provide their verbal agreements in writing. Despite knowing that I displayed your e-mails and claiming to be vehemently opposed to such conduct, you have offered me progressively more embarrassing and outrageous material. Are you playing to the internet masses? Your last two e-mails were golden; I will not agree to keep them private. I owe you nothing—not a shred of human decency to match your malice. You should have thought about that before treating me as you did. It isn’t as if I didn’t give you ample opportunity to reform.
A special thanks goes out to my lawyer friends, their lawyer friends, and my blogger friends for their generous help and candor.
I will leave you with a quotation in response to the question “Is sex blogging consensual?“:
“I don’t think this is specific to sex blogging; frankly, I think it’s an issue dealt with whenever one chooses to write about their personal life (and, by extension, the other people in that life)… [P]lacing emphasis on the concept of consent specifically as related to sex blogging, and not other forms of personal blogging, simply reinforces the idea that sex is dirty, secret, and behavior worthy of stigma. Which, frankly, isn’t helpful (and, in my experience, is the exact sort of idea that most sex blogging attempts to break down, by normalizing sexuality)”
-Lux Alptraum, Posted on Jezebel on 06/10/10