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.