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<nettime> Can chain stores form a class action suit against me?
Nathan Hactivist on Fri, 18 Apr 2003 08:54:15 +0200 (CEST)


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<nettime> Can chain stores form a class action suit against me?


The Corporation Wins Again

http://www.re-code.com

we are still doing interviews and still have videos available
press {AT} re-code.com

Today was a very difficult day for us at re-code.com.
We have decided to heed the warnings of our lawyer and have closed up much
of the shop - but not without a media frenzy.
We have not yet calculated our traffic from today but at any given time
during business hours there were 300+ people on re-code.com
This has smashed our record last friday which saw 90,000 hits in one hour
alone. Today was worse.

7:50 AM EST I did a small spot on a talk radio show in Illinois. It went
alright but I didn't get a chance to make any anti-clear channel commentary
(the station - like most - was owned by the media giant Clear Channel). It
was one of those crazy shock jock twenty something morning shows.

that was how it started
then we get this email which we later confirmed to be true

"Bad news. Kellogg's just found out, and are PISSED. I am serious. You will
be hearing from their lawyers soon. (Said lawyers actually watched your
video on my computer, right after the Wal-Mart business lawyers contacted
them.)"

then this

"Their head legal guy actually sat at my computer to watch the video.
Copy-Right infringement is what I overheard. You mention their product, show
it being stolen and how, and make derogatory remarks about it, in the
video."

and later this from the same Kellogg's employee

"FYI: about ten more higher-ups came and wanted to see the video since my
last email. They are pissed off..."

This was occurring while I was speaking to a reporter on the phone that had
just spoken to Wal Mart reps who claimed to have arrested "several youth"
that are in custody now who were using the re-code.com to steal goods. The
reporter doubted the claims as did I. But still a bit scary.

At this point I am getting quite scared - I mean my group the CDL
(hactivist.com) has not been very clean itself in the past several years.

We called our lawyer who on our behalf called the Wal Mart attorney on the
cease and desist letter.

Our lawyer said that the woman was laughing and seemed to generally "get"
the humor of the site, but she also said she was the only one who felt that
way and that the case was not in her hands anymore. She had also heard the
rumors of the alleged "youth" that were arrested but didn't believe it. She
then started rattling off my name, address, occupation, etc. She said to
"let Nathan know we know who he is and where he is." I still don't know how
this was all tracked down.

At the same time another friend was receiving strange and perplexingly
involved and detailed phone calls. Much digging was being done by someone on
the side of the big W. Scary tactics were in place. Hate mail was rolling
in. The media machine was rolling.

The lawyer for Wal Mart confirmed that Wal Mart was now working with
Kellogg's as well as a number of other corporations that she could not
reveal the identity of.

Our lawyer asked if any local, state, or federal legal officials had been
commented and she said she was unable to respond to that.

I began to clean my room at this point - I am still in the process as we
speak.

We talked with DOD.net who was running our site and they didn't think their
machines running re-code.com (2 boxes each on separate T1's mirroring the
site and a separate machine somewhere else running the video file) could
hold out much longer. We were clogged most of the day actually and had real
difficulty in even updating information.

Articles appeared on the front pages of MSNBC.com, and WIRED.com as well as
in print all over the country.
Over 40 papers for sure. Then the TV stations came calling, Florida,
California, Texas, Illinois, Arkansas, ....

BBC World called and we did an interview with them about what was happening.
They said everyone there loved the site.

It got scary very quickly and we were advised by our lawyer that "unless our
art is about a legal battle" we should dismantle the site.
our lawyer is great and we trust him. We had gotten way more press than we
were hoping for and Wal Mart was proving themselves to be exactly what we
had been claiming all along - a tyrant and a bully.

We gave in. Scare tactics worked. We are scared. I am 26 and I don't want to
go to jail, pay a fine, or worse - keep alive and manage a UPC database for
any extended amount of time.

We have also removed the collective Carbon Defense League from the web.

I wish we could have been stronger. We are going to try to continue to work
on this situation but it was in our best interest to take down the service
for now.

I wonder if others might see how simple it is to do what we did and
replicate it?

We are still doing interviews, it is now after midnight and I have been
trying to take a bath since 8am - time to get to it.

Please read our new announcement on the front page of re-code.com.

Help us document the news footage and print press. Help us use this story to
create a scandal.

I thank everyone for their interest and support. Now help us work to build a
document of the scare tactics of these corporations.

We will be publishing our email correspondences in the next few days which
consists of both supportive and abusive commentary.
We will also have up soon PDFs of the places we found carrying news
articles.

thanks
nathan hactivist

gone fishin'


Re-Code.com is brought to you by Carbon Defense League and Conglomco.org.
Smile!
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