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Author Topic: Oscar Michelen Statement: Matthew Chan Permanent Protective Order  (Read 5845 times)

Matthew Chan

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Legal Advisor Oscar Michelen Comments On Permanent Protective Order Against Matthew Chan, Founder of Anti-Troll Website, ExtortionLetterInfo.com

I am Matthew Chan's legal adviser on ExtortionLetterInfo.com (ELI) and a frequent contributor to the forums on the site. Since it seems this PPO is now becoming a matter of public discourse, I would like to tell you my position on the matter. I will be representing Matthew along with local Georgia counsel if Matthew decides to appeal the order. When I say "if", I want you to know that we may not appeal. If we choose not to appeal, we will do that not because we think an appeal would be unsuccessful (we are confident of our chances on appeal); or because we agree with the court's decision (we don't); or because we are happy with the outcome (we are not - in fact, we are outraged by the outcome). If we don't appeal, it will because it just isn't worth it.

Long before ELI ever heard of Linda Ellis or the “The Dash”, it was the #1 site on the Internet for information about digital image litigation and how big photo warehouses were abusing the copyright system to force decent folks into paying exorbitant settlement amounts for minor infringements. It expanded to cover numerous other instances of what is known as “copyright trolling”. It was covered in the press and received thousands of visitors each month.

Yes, when we learned of Ms. Ellis' version of copyright enforcement, it caught our attention and we opened a forum on it. But it never amounted to anything other than a very minor part of what we did and discussed on ELI. So if all Matthew has to do to not violate the order is not talk about her anymore (and since it is clear if the posts are read in context that all the "revenge and payback" Matthew talked about was with respect to how she operated her business model and nothing else), so be it.

If we do appeal, it will be because the order stifles free speech in general and future speech on ELI specifically. Matthew was not charged with being boorish or rude or hurtful.  He was not even charged with threatening Ms. Ellis. He was charged with stalking her. Even though he never contacted her or called her or emailed her. He was principally held responsible for the postings made by others. If Internet posts that are not sent to a person and are read voluntarily by that person can amount to stalking, then the Internet may be in big trouble. I could go on about how I feel everything Matthew did is permitted by the First Amendment and Georgia law but I think this letter is long enough already.

I would be glad to discuss this further with you at a mutually convenient time. Thanks for your interest in this issue and your willingness to hear all sides. 

Oscar Michelen

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« Last Edit: March 18, 2013, 09:23:11 PM by Matthew Chan »
I'm a non-lawyer but not legally ignorant either. Under the 1st Amendment, I have the right to post facts & opinions using rhetorical hyperbole, colloquialisms, metaphors, parody, snark, or epithets. Under Section 230 of CDA, I'm only responsible for posts I write, not what others write.

 

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