An Apology From Michael Crook

The internet’s most despised villain, Michael Crook, apologizes to everyone he’s harassed with false DMCA takedown notices.

These bloggers and webmasters were critical of him for posing as a young girl looking for casual sex on Criags List, collecting the responses, and making the private info public.

Read the full article on 10 Zen Monkeys.

Some of you may remember Michael Crook. Michael Crook was the asshole who baited a bunch of guys on craigslist with a sex ad and then tricked them, obtained their personal information and then posted it on the internet. In the process he ruined the lives of many men. Unfortunately.

About the time Crook was pursuing his “sport” of ruining other’s lives I came across a photo of him from an appearance on Fox TV. To further endear you to Crook, reportedly he was on Fox TV to talk about, among other things, his denial of the Holocaust.

I used a screen capture from this broadcast (fair use) in conjunction with a critical post about Crook.

Subsequently Michael Crook sent bogus DMCA takedown notices to me, to Zooomr where I posted a copy of his photo, to both Zooomr and my upstream providers and to Yahoo where I had another copy on my Flickr account.

He also sent his takedown notices to many other people as well. In fact, pretty much any place that posted his photo he tried to use the DMCA to bully sites into removing his image. For the most part it didn’t work. Although Yahoo did remove not only his image, but went above and beyond and also removed my free speech commentary as well as the comments of a number of individuals critical of Michael Crook. I did an interview with 10 Zen Monkey’s about this censorship from Yahoo but that’s another story.

The positive outcome of all of this bad behavior by Michael Crook is that the EFF (yep, the good guys) decided to get involved and helped Jeff Diehl (owner of the 10 Zen Monkey’s website) file a lawsuit against Michael Crook for his abuse of the DMCA.

That lawsuit has now been settled and perhaps the best outcome from that lawsuit is the video above. In the video above Michael Crook apologizes for his nasty abuse of the DMCA. He also grants Diehl full ownership over the video made.

On the one hand you want to feel sorry for Crook. I actually do feel sorry for him in some ways. He obviously screwed over a lot of people and some of them want to retaliate against him. I had to remove one of the few comments in the history of my blog when someone posted the address of his wife (who is separated from him) and daughter.

I don’t entirely understand cruelty in this world. I still think Michael Crook is an asshole and don’t find his apology all that convincing. More like words read from a scripted speech done under duress. I hope though that he does take this incident to heart and in the end express some legitimate remorse for the behavior that he pursued.

Thanks to Henrik, Kent Bye, and Eric Costello for pointing this video out to me.

Loading Facebook Comments ...
13 comments on “An Apology From Michael Crook
  1. Daniel says:

    What an ass that guy is..he doesn’t look sorry at all. He’s not the prettiest of people either but I guess that ain’t illegal.

  2. Jake says:

    I had to remove one of the few comments in the history of my blog

    Don’t you mean, “I had to censor one of the comments.”

    Funny it’s only censorship when it happens to you.

    jakerome

  3. LeggNet says:

    “…it’s only censorship when it happens to you”

    Censorship is the removal of information in an attempt to control free speech.

    Thomas deleting a comment because it contained personal information that could lead to the harassment and/or possible endangerment of an innocent (albeit related) child is not censorship in my book.

  4. Diego says:

    What’s with the guy’s little Hitler mustache?

  5. The reason his apology isn’t convincing is that it isn’t sincere. Check out the coverage of this story on boing boing. http://www.boingboing.net/2007/03/14/michael_crook_apolog.html

    Also check out his youtube message http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=RWVJG7lr6UE

    and his website advocating the formal removal of fair use rights

    http://www.stopfairuse.info/

  6. Syzygy says:

    He looks like he took a few jabs to the right eye eh?

  7. Jake says:

    TH knows what I’m talking about.

  8. Anonymous says:

    I still think spammers are the most vile form of life on the Internet, far worse than this vermin. Oh yeah, and +1 to jakerome; doesn’t feel like censorship when it’s you at the controls, and neither Y! nor flickr are free speech services so you should give the crying about them a rest.

  9. Anonymous says:

    seriously jakerome, if you’re going to pull a flickr fight over to this arena, at least compare apples to apples.

    Thomas Hawk is saying that he ‘censored’ someone to preserve others from being hurt (namely an innocent ex-wife and child). and you’re comparing this to thomas’ rant on NIPSA and his Michael Crook essay being torn down?

    while I agree that Thomas seems to be frothing too hard about being NIPSA’d since it is in fact reversible and they’ve admitted it’s not a perfect system (not so with what they did to his Michael Crook essay, which I agree with his position on): comparing censorship of something that can only cause harm to what TH is complaining about is making a mountain out of a molehill.

  10. Jake says:

    hey anonymous, TH can fight his own fights. But let’s clear a few things up.

    1) I did not “pull a Flickr fight over.”

    2)I’m not comparing anything besides the language used.

    My point, and TH understands this perfectly, is that “censorship” is a loaded term, used to elicit a specific type of reaction. Sometimes it’s called for, and sometimes it isn’t. I claim no moral equivalence, I was just pointing out TH’s cleverness at using the term “censorship” anytime Flickr/Yahoo removes or hides his stuff, but he carefully describes & justifies his own removal of information without using the loaded term.

    So let me summarize: I never claimed that what TH did was wrong, I was just pointing out how he never uses the term “censor” to describe his own conduct. To read any more into it than that is to presume things that I didn’t write.

  11. Anonymous says:

    Crook looks like those cavemen in the car insurance ads.

  12. Crook is a loser says:

    What a pathetic loser. I feel sorry for his mother. imagine spawning such a waste of life. No wonder his child was taken from him. That will be the best thing that happens to that child.

    I pray that someday a crazed vietnam vet takes him out.

  13. Paul says:

    so what if that is what he did. any perv trolling the net looking for little girls needs to have their lives ruined…. Chris Hanson and Dateline NBC do it all the time :)