Michael Crook Settles With the EFF

Michael CrookMichael Crook Hosted on Zooomr

Update: Was just contacted via IM by Jeff Diehl, the plaintiff in the EFF suit, who pointed out that the suit has not been completely settled yet and that “I can guarantee that the internet public will be extremely surprised and satisfied with the other elements of the settlement. So stay tuned to 10ZenMonkeys.com.

For those who are interested, we are throwing a public party and
fundraiser for EFF at 111 Minna in SF on March 22nd.“

More from Laughing Squid here.

GRIEFERS: Michael Crook’s image runs free – Valleywag Valleywag is reporting that Michael Crook (that internet bully who tricked all of those guys on craigslist with a baited sex ad and then released all of their private information publicly) has settled with the Electronic Frontier Foundation.

The EFF had sued Crook after he sent dozens of sites bogus DMCA takedown notices — primarily of an image of him from Fox News that he did not want up on the internet. You could understand why someone who just ruined many men’s lives wouldn’t want his photo up on the internet of course, but this still didn’t make it right that he sent out these bogus DMCA notices.

As part of the settlement with the EFF, apparently he had to write emails to everyone that he wrote these bogus DMCA takedown notices to and retract them. Crook had sent me multiple DMCA takedown notices for posting his photo on my blog and up at Zooomr.

Here’s the retraction notice he sent to me:

“February 9, 2007

To Whom it May Concern:

This is in regards to a DMCA complaint that was issued to you as the webmaster, OSP, or administrator, in reference to the following URL(s):


It links to a copyrighted photograph located at:


At this time, I would like to withdraw the DMCA complaint, strictly as pertains to the above URL(s), which regard a 2005 appearance on the Fox News Channel.

I request that the content therefore be restored, and the DMCA complaint withdrawn, and would like to at this time apologize for any extra work or problems that this complaint has caused.

I certify that the above information is true and correct to the best of my knowledge, information, and belief, and may be reached via telephone…

Thank you,

Michael Crook”

I’ve left out the part of the email where Crook gives me his phone number, address and email address because I’m worried about retribution coming to the guy and, well, that’s private information best not publicly released.

I hope he learned a lesson though and is remorseful about what he did to those guys on craigslist as well sending out the bogus DMCA notice.

I got another email from his ex-wife after someone had posted her personal address where she lives with his child on my blog asking me to remove that comment that had their address. Unfortunately she seems to be a victim in all of this as well. I removed the comment that had her address in it as well. One of the few comments ever removed from my blog. It was the right thing to do.

Anyways, in all of this it is interesting to see that as bogus as his claim was, that in some cases his notice worked.

Before Crook retracted his claim I had the photo of him that I put up on Flickr deleted without being contacted beforehand to dispute it.

Here’s the email I got from Yahoo over it:

“Dear Thomas Hawk,

We have received a Notice of Infringement from Michael
Crook via the Yahoo! Copyright Team and have removed the
photo “Michael Crook” from your photostream.

Subsequent NOIs filed against your account will result in
further action that may include termination without

Later, after contacting Yahoo, I got an email back from Flickr saying I could put it back up, but at that point it was too late because all of the comments that people left, etc. had all been destroyed. Personally I think they ought to give you 24 hours or something at least before destroying your data.

Anyways, glad to see the EFF win out on this one in the end and hopefully we see less of Michael Crook’s asshole behavior in the future.

More on why I’m pissed at Yahoo over this as well.

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