So Sue Me.

This outing thing is really getting out of hand.

I have been made aware that Ann Bartow considers the comments I made here and here to be defamatory, and she’s asked Jill for my mailing address so that the First Amendment specialist she planned to consult could contact me.

Well, unless I apologize. Though for what, I’m not entirely sure. Because she’s not asking me for an apology, she’s asking Jill to tell me that she wants an apology.

She’s asking Jill, mind you, because she refuses to contact me directly, even though Jill has made it clear that she does not want to be the go-between. This is the same way she informed me that she’d figured out who I was.

And she has. Congratulations, Ann, you guessed right. You know who I am, and where I work. And you’ve been very clear that you don’t like pseudonymity, and you’ve been just as clear that you don’t care for me. You’ve also made it clear that you’re not above threatening to out people you don’t care for when you’re angry. So, what’s your next move?

You could sue me. Of course, as my Civil Procedure professor used to say, “You can always sue. The question is, Can you win?”

So you file suit. Now you have to serve me in another state, which presents certain practical problems since you don’t know my home address. You could try to serve me at work, but security doesn’t let just anybody into the building. This *is* post-9/11 New York, after all, and we’re within spitting distance of a landmark.

Let’s say you get me served. Fine. Then we have the whole in personam jurisdiction issue, because I’ll assume, for shits and giggles, that you’ve filed in a South Carolina court.

Then you have to get over the hurdle of surviving a motion to dismiss, which, let’s just say, you can expect.

And if that happens? Then we get to discovery. Which goes both ways, as I’m sure you know. Anything relevant to your claims, and my defenses, and your damages, will be up for grabs here.

Discovery over, we’ll have dispositive motions, negotiations, the works. Possibly trial.

And what do you hope to recover after all that? A few bucks? A little vindication? Any victory you might have would be singularly Pyrrhic, I would imagine. Your reputation will suffer more from a suit than it would from my comments.

All at a cost of thousands of dollars in legal fees and costs on both sides. More likely tens of thousands of dollars.

And all because you couldn’t leave well enough alone and had to find out who I was. Because it’s pseudonymity that you find so appalling, that you think can be abused.

Bra fucking va, Ann.


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110 comments for “So Sue Me.

  1. October 20, 2006 at 10:16 am

    This is absurd. I don’t know if she’s planning on doing the same to me, but if she is, it will turn me into a pauper who has nothing but a credit card upon which to charge about $15k in retainer fees.

    Corporations do this sort of thing to silence critics: SLAP lawsuits.

  2. October 20, 2006 at 10:21 am

    I’m so sorry you both have faced this kind of harrassment. Let your readers know what we can do! We can’t let this kind of thing be used to intimidate you.

  3. Rachel
    October 20, 2006 at 10:28 am

    Someone will most likely offer to defend you pro bono over this. If I was out of law school, i’d do it. As it is, try the Happy Feminist maybe?

  4. October 20, 2006 at 10:30 am

    I’m no lawyer, but what I understand of the notion of libel (at least here in northern canuckistan), I fail to see how your statements could be construed as “libelous” or “defamatory”.

    Of course, that doesn’t make the threat of lawsuit itself anything less of a nuisance.

  5. oudemia
    October 20, 2006 at 10:32 am

    So she thinks she has been defamed because you speculate that she could have discovered your name through databases not accessible to the general public? Isn’t that a given? Not that that is what she did, but rather that, as a lawyer, she has access to such things?
    Good gravy. Not only motion-to-dismiss I think. Dismissed with prejudice.

  6. October 20, 2006 at 10:35 am

    I see nothing wrong with using real names or pseudonyms, it is up to the user and what ever they feel the most comfortable with. Will using a real name inhibit what one says on the internet? Not likely, it doesn’t stop me on my blog, and now that this Ann Bartow knows who you are Zuzu, is it stopping you from saying what you feel and think? Not by a long shot.

    Sure, for some people pseudonyms offer a false sense of security, and they may feel more empowered to say certain things that they would ordinarily not say, but the internet in general gives people that sense of empowerment.

    Pseudonymity or not, you should not be threatened in such ways. You know you have support here Zuzu.

  7. Betsy
    October 20, 2006 at 10:40 am

    I’m *so* confused as to how anything in those two posts could be considered defamatory. I mean, I’m really confused. Nothing in those posts seemed remotely offensive. Far stinkier mud gets flung about the internets millions of times a day, with no one threatening to sue. Could anyone explain, or would that jeopardize your possible future defense?

  8. zuzu
    October 20, 2006 at 10:46 am

    I don’t know, either, Betsy, because she didn’t attempt to contact me and tell me what the problem was.

    and now that this Ann Bartow knows who you are Zuzu, is it stopping you from saying what you feel and think? Not by a long shot.

    Don’t be so sure.

  9. October 20, 2006 at 10:48 am

    Gee, I am awfully flattered to have been named as potential legal counsel — and I do defend defamation cases from time to time.

    It’s a little unclear what the alleged defamation is — that Ann let you know through others that she found out who you are or your speculation that she has access to some database that others do not? It seems to me that if this is just a misunderstanding, it would be fairly easy to clear up.

    I have always had a friendly blog-relationship with Ann. Ann figured out who I am and let me know via email. She figured it out because I clicked on her site from the “visitor stats” on my site. She then saw the hit from my firm’s computer. It was then just a matter of her looking at my firm’s website, and it was easy to tell from the attorney bios which lawyer was the Happy Feminist. I interpreted Ann’s email to me as a friendly reminder to be more careful about guarding my anonymity.

  10. October 20, 2006 at 10:58 am

    I’m coming a little late to this party but I think it’s a little odd that someone would invest the time and energy to forage around for people’s real identity. It’s got a slight tinge of creepy stalker. I’m no legal expert, but if she sues, I hope you counter sue for harrassment.

  11. Stu
    October 20, 2006 at 11:13 am

    It’s obvious that she doesn’t actually want to _sue_ you…she just wants some justification when she finally just outs you. So people can say “well, at least she didn’t sue [zuzu], which she totally could have done!”

  12. JennyBobDole
    October 20, 2006 at 11:17 am

    Zuzu, If it comes down to it, I’m happy to help out as a litigation para to whomever you retain. Let me know.

  13. piny
    October 20, 2006 at 11:17 am

    Brava, zuzu.

  14. Name Required
    October 20, 2006 at 11:18 am

    Obsessed with pseudonymity 1

    Obsessed with pseudonymity 2

    Obsessed with pseudonymity 3

    obsessed some more at Sadly, No

    more at Sadly No

    Ann Bartow, Our Data, Ourselves: Privacy, Propertization and Gender, 34 U.S.F.H. REV. 633, 633 (2000). “Cyberspace has become fertile ground for the harvesting of consumer data, and
    consumers have very little ability to keep their personal information private, especially online.”

    See generally Ann Bartow, Our Data, Ourselves: Privacy, ropertizartion and Gender, 34 U.S.F. L. REV. 633 (2003) (discussing how commodification of information and woman intersects in many ways).

  15. Gabriel Malor
    October 20, 2006 at 11:20 am

    I agree with Kevin. How creepy is it that people sit around trying to figure out who pseudonymous bloggers are. I wonder, is that a common activity?

  16. October 20, 2006 at 11:32 am

    I am having an increasingly hard time interpreting any of this as “friendly.” Friendly warning; like, “bad things happen. just saying. over and over and over. by the way, I REALLY DON’T LIKE what you just said. oh, and i know who you are. don’t shoot the messenger, though. just…bad things happen, sometimes.” There are words for people who do this; “friend” isn’t one of them.

    so, wait, did she SERIOUSLY serve you with papers, or is this all just creepy secondhand wankage so far? Not that i wouldn’t take it seriously, of course, but um. i mean to even hint-threaten to sue *you* of all people…

    is she, like, just totally losing her shit?

    fuck, am i gonna be slapped with a libel suit just for asking that? It was a question. Not an assertion. Really I have no idea about how much shit she has, or, had to begin with.

  17. October 20, 2006 at 11:33 am

    Wow, how creepy and bizarre.

  18. October 20, 2006 at 11:37 am

    Am I going to get sued for calling Ann a stalker and a weirdo?

  19. October 20, 2006 at 11:38 am
  20. October 20, 2006 at 11:39 am

    Belledame, my comment was limited to my own interactions with Ann. I wasn’t commenting on what’s going on between Ann and Zuzu, and Ann and Bitch Lab, because I am not sure I fully get what’s going on in either of those two scenarios.

  21. Laila
    October 20, 2006 at 11:43 am

    That’s just weird. What would she sue you for? What kind of defamation?

    Are you sure it was a threat? Because it’s a crazy kind of threat, and it would make more sense if it really was a misunderstanding. I hope it was, for your sake and for hers.

  22. Em
    October 20, 2006 at 11:45 am

    Because she’s not asking me for an apology, she’s asking Jill to tell me that she wants an apology.

    She’s asking Jill, mind you, because she refuses to contact me directly, even though Jill has made it clear that she does not want to be the go-between. This is the same way she informed me that she’d figured out who I was.

    How old is she? Five?

  23. Gabriel Malor
    October 20, 2006 at 11:47 am

    Hey Em, you should watch out. The threat-happy blogger “could” sue you for that: she’s 6.

  24. October 20, 2006 at 12:02 pm

    If there is anything we can do zuzu, let us know!

  25. thegirlfrommarz
    October 20, 2006 at 12:11 pm

    Zuzu, this is nuts. I don’t see how anything you said could be construed as libel – and I’m from the UK, where we famously have some of the most punitive libel laws in the world.

    I’d be very sorry if you felt you had to censor yourself because of this. A bit of rough and tumble of whether pseudonymity is a good thing makes for an interesting debate. A libel lawsuit stifles any kind of debate. Surely this could be sorted out without a kneejerk rush to the offices of Sue, Grabbit & Run?

  26. Kim
    October 20, 2006 at 12:12 pm

    This is ridiculous: what about those comments was defamatory? If anyone should be complaining, it should be the bloggers whose identifications she’s digging up. Wtf?

  27. Karolena
    October 20, 2006 at 1:06 pm

    Ann Bartow is shooting herself in the foot by revealing herself as creepy and abusive.

    If she does file a lawsuit, it is clearly for the purpose of harassment only; no law professor could seriously think that what you said was defamation.

  28. October 20, 2006 at 1:10 pm

    you know, going back to what Sailorman said in the other thread (viz: “shunning”); well, maybe not punitively then? but as per “censorship,” I note that the pattern of what -usually- seems to get Ann’s knickers in a twist is if someone, like, disagrees with her.

    so, you know, there’s a very simple way to avoid -that,- at least…

  29. October 20, 2006 at 1:10 pm

    Ann figured out who I am and let me know via email. She figured it out because I clicked on her site from the “visitor stats” on my site. She then saw the hit from my firm’s computer. It was then just a matter of her looking at my firm’s website, and it was easy to tell from the attorney bios which lawyer was the Happy Feminist. I interpreted Ann’s email to me as a friendly reminder to be more careful about guarding my anonymity.

    That’s not exactly a direct way of finding out, and frankly, it feels less like a warning and more like an “a-ha!”

    I’m really not impressed, and frankly, I am bewildered as to what’s defamatory.

  30. piny
    October 20, 2006 at 1:19 pm

    That’s not exactly a direct way of finding out, and frankly, it feels less like a warning and more like an “a-ha!”

    Yeah, that’d be my take on behavior like this. I don’t see it as a friendly warning. I feel threatened. It’s not like, “Be careful out there!” It’s like, “Nice little blog you got here…be a shame if something were to happen to it.” Like, thanks, mister, but aren’t you forgetting your suitcase?

    But I think not everyone interprets it that way, so in general I wouldn’t interpret it as a threat on purpose.

  31. October 20, 2006 at 1:24 pm

    “I don’t see it as a friendly warning. I feel threatened. It’s not like, “Be careful out there!” It’s like, “Nice little blog you got here…be a shame if something were to happen to it.” Like, thanks, mister, but aren’t you forgetting your suitcase?” Exactly! Brilliant!

  32. October 20, 2006 at 1:50 pm

    Hi, my name is Heidi Parsons and I’m a blogger.

    I hope, now that people know my name, they will finally honor my crackpot theories and half-assed opinions with the gravitas they deserve, and abandon the cynicism, suspcicon and caution with which I was faced back in my pseudonymous days.

    seriously, how fucked up is this?

  33. October 20, 2006 at 1:51 pm

    “suspicion”
    how fucked up is my spelling?

  34. Sally
    October 20, 2006 at 2:05 pm

    You know what’s funny? She’s the best argument against her own position. I mean, she blogs under her real name and is completely open about her work affiliations, and here she is acting in ways that seem, frankly, a tad unhinged. Also, she clearly has a whole hell of a lot of time on her hands. If I were her employer, I would be seriously concerned both that she was losing it and that she was possibly neglecting her work so she could spend a lot of time hunting down the real life identities of various bloggers. (And no, I’m not suggesting that anyone contact her employer, but there are a million ways that they might find this out.) Clearly, the threat of publicity and of having her actions traced back to her isn’t deterring her in any way.

  35. October 20, 2006 at 2:17 pm

    Ann figured out who I am and let me know via email. She figured it out because I clicked on her site from the “visitor stats” on my site. She then saw the hit from my firm’s computer. It was then just a matter of her looking at my firm’s website, and it was easy to tell from the attorney bios which lawyer was the Happy Feminist. I interpreted Ann’s email to me as a friendly reminder to be more careful about guarding my anonymity.

    And that’s Right-click on the link, Copy Link Location, and then Paste the URL into the address bar. Poof, no referrers.

    And if you really want to have a little fun with Ann here (who no doubt would out Silence Dogood, Polly Baker, and Richard Saunders), try out the Refspoof extension for firefox.

  36. October 20, 2006 at 2:26 pm

    How the hell could your comments be construed as “defamatory”? Jeebus, I’ve been out of law school for a long time, and I don’t recall any case based on so little . . . nay, based on nothing . . . withstanding even the initial back-and-forth of lawyers’ letters.

    This is yet another instance of the Flying Monkey Syndrome run amok.

  37. October 20, 2006 at 2:31 pm

    Ooh! What court will she file in? That will be cool. I want to make sure and attend any hearings in South Carolina, sadly I imagine there will be only one. Just be sure to hire local counsel. Judges can do some home-cooking down here. I wonder who she would hire?

  38. Jeff in Texas
    October 20, 2006 at 2:35 pm

    Nothing in those comments constitutes libel under US law. Access to databases not available to the general public? Like, Westlaw, arguably? Yeah, she got slandered all to hell with that one.

    I really wouldn’t sweat a freak like that.

  39. QrazyQat
    October 20, 2006 at 2:48 pm

    How old is she? Five?

    At least 8 — you usually have to go to school for a couple years to get that way; 5-year-olds just hit you when you play with toys they want for themselves. You’ve got to be carefully taught.

    I vote for creepazoid, BTW; very odd.

    ps. it’s very easy to find out who I am, so no points for anyone doing it. :)

  40. October 20, 2006 at 2:53 pm

    If I were her employer, I would be seriously concerned both that she was losing it and that she was possibly neglecting her work so she could spend a lot of time hunting down the real life identities of various bloggers.

    I have no doubt that her employer is fully aware of her online activities. Maybe not all of the particulars, but she could chalk it up to legal research. I wouldn’t be surprised if that is her subject.

  41. ilyka
    October 20, 2006 at 2:56 pm

    And that’s Right-click on the link, Copy Link Location, and then Paste the URL into the address bar. Poof, no referrers.

    Can’t back you up enough on that–NEVER click from your Sitemeter or, if you can help it, via a work connection. Also. And.

  42. October 20, 2006 at 3:13 pm

    I generally don’t like bloggers who use real names (Marshall, Greenwald, and Cole being the few exceptions), and have never understood the wingnut’s hatred for fake names. I honestly think it has a stifling quality to it, so that they can reach-out and punish the people they disagree with. Even these oddball threats clearly fit into that category. I think that’s utterly despicable. But I’ve never seen fake names as being hiding, but rather a fun thing; making us bigger than life. Celebrities are allowed to have fake names, so why can’t we?

    Thus said, it would be a disservice to both Mr. and Mrs. Biobrain for me to toss aside my given name, so don’t hate me too much for betraying my own policy.

  43. eris
    October 20, 2006 at 3:25 pm

    Hmm, an anagram for Ann Bartow is “ban rat now.” Or is that defamatory?

    Did I mention that she eats worms?

  44. October 20, 2006 at 3:33 pm

    yeah, Michelle Malkin’s a paragon of honesty, fair dealing, and civility, as we all know.

  45. neil
    October 20, 2006 at 3:48 pm

    Another good thing to use for privacy is the Firefox extension NoScript.

  46. Raging Moderate
    October 20, 2006 at 4:31 pm

    As this site seems to be lousy with lawyers (not that they are lousy lawyers, mind you) I have a question:

    If lawyers have access to databases that aren’t available to the general public, would using those databases for purposes that are not related to their work (like looking up zuzu’s information) be some kind of trangression or professional miconduct?

    I know a cop who was suspended for using police resources to track down info about his ex-wife’s new boyfriend. Can this happen to lawyers, too?

  47. October 20, 2006 at 4:42 pm

    Zuzu, what’s her beef with you, besides the pseudonymity? (If you feel like sharing.) Is it really just that you disagreed with her about Go Fug Yourself?

    Why is it so hard for her to understand why someone might want to use a pseudonym?

    She obviously knows full well that she has no valid defamation claim. It’s a threat, and zuzu has implied that she has censored herself because of that threat. This will probably offend someone, but oh well: What a bitch.

  48. Kuz
    October 20, 2006 at 4:46 pm

    Reminds me of a movie…
    KAFFEE

    (continuing)
    And if the MTD is denied, I’ll file a motion in liminee seeking to obtain evidentiary ruling in advance, and after that I’m gonna file against pre-trial confinement, and you’re gonna spend an entire summer going blind on paperwork because a Signalman Second Class bought and smoked a dime bag of oregano.

  49. October 20, 2006 at 4:51 pm

    Oh. I read this post & comments before I read that zuzu is taking a blog break. This nonsense makes me feel really sad. And pissed off.

  50. Sally
    October 20, 2006 at 4:52 pm

    I have no doubt that her employer is fully aware of her online activities. Maybe not all of the particulars, but she could chalk it up to legal research.

    Yeah, that’s probably true, but it leads to a different interpretation. AB’s argument is that pseudonymity is bad because it gives people license to do things for which they would be held responsible if they were posting under their real names. But even posting under her real name, AB is pretty much immune from consequences. She can behave like a batshit loon and not worry about losing her job. The bothersome effect of pseudynimity is that it gives the rest of us the privilege that AB takes for granted. And that’s the real problem: not that it gives others impunity, but that it creates a situation where impunity ceases to be her special privilege.

  51. October 20, 2006 at 4:53 pm

    I can’t speak for zuzu, but the links someone else provided do suggest a pattern of her freaking out at something no one else can tell what it is she’s freaking out about exactly. in a number of different contexts, and with a number of different people. the business on “Sadly No!” for instance; someone writes a piece excoriating an absolutely vile piece of crap (it was discussed here too as well i think, wrt the Duke case); casual reference to David Horowitz who owns the rag in question as “D-Ho;” Ann shows up and mildly objects to the term as racist and sexist. so far, well, whatever about that, but people do say such things; and the SN crowd responds i guess flippantly for her tastes; next thing it’s gone on and on and she’s devoted several threads to the affair on her own blog, at one point writing about “shaking with anger” (over this? dude).

    and then there was this:

    http://parrotline.blogspot.com/2006_05_01_parrotline_archive.html

    (scroll down to the bottom).

    the “‘bag” thing.

    again, it’s not about the content; it’s the way she reacts when people, like, don’t take her seriously enough for her tastes, or something. disagree, basically, over something she evidently feels very very strongly about (i.e. use of the term ‘bags, “Go Fug Yourself,” anonymity of course, and…). and reacts and reacts and reacts and…

  52. October 20, 2006 at 4:54 pm

    > And that’s the real problem: not that it gives others impunity, but that it creates a situation where impunity ceases to be her special privilege.

    Bingo.

  53. ilyka
    October 20, 2006 at 4:55 pm

    The bothersome effect of pseudynimity is that it gives the rest of us the privilege that AB takes for granted. And that’s the real problem: not that it gives others impunity, but that it creates a situation where impunity ceases to be her special privilege.

    Thank you. Thank you, thank you, thank you. That is exactly the problem. Now here’s hoping she can find it in her heart to see it.

  54. October 20, 2006 at 4:57 pm

    And by the way, just in general:

    The fact that a given person is blogging under hir real name proves that sie doesn’t -also- use a sockpuppet to say other sorts of things…how?

  55. piny
    October 20, 2006 at 4:59 pm

    The fact that a given person is blogging under hir real name proves that sie doesn’t -also- use a sockpuppet to say other sorts of things…how?

    I know! It’s not like I can’t be Piny B. McFresh and also piny, p!ny, and pinette all over the place, you know?

  56. October 20, 2006 at 5:01 pm

    From one of those earlier thrashes:

    http://www.sadlyno.com/archives/002542.html

    >Kathleen said,
    April 5, 2006 at 21:00

    just wow. that rant from Ann Barstow was pretty amazing. In a way I am sad that I missed the whole prior comment thread.

    I really wish I could understand what she was talking about. Really. There is so much anger there, that I feel like there has to be a point.

    D-Ho and his crack den is offensive because references to “crack” and “ho” are always improperly used when discussing a story involving racial issues, even if you are using them to refer to racist white guys?

    My favorite part was how she was so angry her fingers were shaking and she couldn’t type correctly.>

    bottom line, I think: it doesn’t have to make sense. not to anyone else, anyway.

  57. craig
    October 20, 2006 at 5:04 pm

    There are important things going on in the world.

  58. October 20, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    Craig, this IS important to the people involved, and to other bloggers.

  59. October 20, 2006 at 5:07 pm

    Great. That comment’s not one of them, though.

    This IS important; this is about chilling of free speech. Contribute something relevant or, you know. Use your imagination, really.

  60. piny
    October 20, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    As A*n the lawyer and zuzu the lawyer well know, few things are more important to the victim of a frivolous lawsuit than the freaking lawsuit. It’s generally a painful, exhausting time and money suck, which is why it’s an effective threat so much of the time.

  61. October 20, 2006 at 5:09 pm

    slip.

    oh, yeah, and aren’t you the one who was all upset because “we” are so cowardly we can’t even risk our full names? and so the Revolution will never come? do you know in the mood i was in i actually came close to taking it seriously. then i read it again, and now i’m reading you here, and: yeah. dude, you really have no idea what brave -is- if you can read this whole thing and that’s the conclusion you come to. or, well, much of anything else. thanks, really, but no. just: no.

  62. Ellen
    October 20, 2006 at 5:10 pm

    Huh. Another disappointing foray into rigid tolerance/elitism/my-status-makes-me-more-important-than-you and how-dare-you-question-my-intellectual-piety, brought to you by someone (AB) who would purport to be a shining example of “a strong woman.” Strong women, in my opinion, don’t have whiny ass titty baby hissy fits because someone doesn’t act obeisantly prostrate when the almighty law professora presents her pompous ass. If she were really the paragon of feminism she promotes herself as, she’d know when to give it a rest.

    But, apparently her ego is all she’s got, and discretion is not her calling card.

    Zuzu, don’t let the woman harrass you. She’s a two-penny blight on open discussion, and ignoring her is the best remedy.

    And HELL NO I am not in the least bit intimidated. My opinion is she is a fluffy twat. Can you see the pleading? “Whereas, she called me a ‘fluffy twat’ and pierced my oh-so-sensitve thin skin, she must be found culpable!!!”

    Basta.

  63. October 20, 2006 at 5:12 pm

    I mean, really, what, like Habeas Corpus being fed into the shredder? uh fuck YEAH that’s important. and you know what -really- sucks? when a supposedly liberal/left/however she styles herself -feminist lawyer- not only doesn’t help but CONTRIBUTES to that McCarthy-esque vibe that’s a comin’ down the pipe.

    and i swear to god the next person who even -tries- to argue that it’d all be fixed if we’d all just use our real names, really! i’m going to whip out the heavy-duty blowtorch.

  64. ilyka
    October 20, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    It’s not like I can’t be Piny B. McFresh and also piny, p!ny, and pinette all over the place, you know?

    I would just like to add how much I enjoyed Piny! Pini! Piné!’s 1996 release, House of Music. Some good stuff there, if vaguely defamatory in places.

  65. October 20, 2006 at 5:14 pm

    Repeat after me:

    “Are you now, or have you ever been…”

    fuck this nonsense. yeah, back then too: clearly the problem would’ve been fixed if those screenwriters and so on who eventually got some work writing under a pen name, had “come out.” Finish the job of ruining their lives.

    What part of “blame the victim” do you not understand?

  66. October 20, 2006 at 5:41 pm

    This Ann Bartow person appears to be awful.

    Good luck zuzu.

  67. October 20, 2006 at 6:02 pm

    Hope Ann is happy with this.

    If she doesn’t want to suffer professional consequences for what she says online, she should have thought about a pseudonym.

  68. October 20, 2006 at 6:13 pm

    !!!

  69. piny
    October 20, 2006 at 6:21 pm

    I would just like to add how much I enjoyed Piny! Pini! Piné!’s 1996 release, House of Music. Some good stuff there, if vaguely defamatory in places.

    I am not only suing you, I am banning you, screening you, firing you, outing you as lesbian and gay and bisexual and transsexual and also a communist with psoriasis and halitosis and herpes who’s currently having an affair with an underage staffer who’s both transsexual and your illegitimate child, and Fed-Exing an exploding horse’s head–I mean, a subpoena–to your home address. Which I totally know.

  70. October 20, 2006 at 6:24 pm

    AB complained about my anonymity in comments once, then apparently suggested to others that communication received from me where I outed myself to her personally (via e-mail) was threatening. You just cannot win. It was the single most depressing thing that has happened to me on the internet. To find out after the fact that someone was claiming to others that I or someone related to my blog was actually threatening someone. It was both ludicrous and deeply distressing.

  71. piny
    October 20, 2006 at 6:30 pm

    And it’s not like I have anything against you, Ilyka, but you really need to understand that it’s just not safe to get “Baby Doll” stuck in someone’s head like that.

  72. October 20, 2006 at 6:32 pm

    If lawyers have access to databases that aren’t available to the general public, would using those databases for purposes that are not related to their work (like looking up zuzu’s information) be some kind of trangression or professional miconduct?

    In a word, yes. Databases using information from certain sources (e.g. credit headers) such as Lexis Nexis and ChoicePoint must be accessed in accordance with one of the UDPA’s permitted uses. When you use these databases, the user specifies the “permitted use” of the information to be obtained in the search.

    However, if Bartow were indeed planning litigation against Zuzu, her use of the database would be permitted, in particular if she were using the database to obtain Zuzu’s home address to fascilitate the service of process.

    I’d also imagine she’d have to file suit in the jurisdiction in which Zuzu resides, or in the appropriate federal jurisdiction. It would appear to be a stretch, though, to say that Bartow has a litigable cause of action.

  73. October 20, 2006 at 6:41 pm

    belledame222,

    What you missed about that Kathleen situation at Sadly, No! is that the argument continued over at Ann Bartow’s place (with the majority of the posters trying to reasonably engage her) as opposed to the free-for-all at Sadly, No. Kathleen clicked over and made some reasonably arguments, only to be given the (paraphrase) “you might was to be careful blogging anonymously and I know who you are and where you work” speech. Of course, people went crazy over that, but the evidence was deleted when Ann deleted the thread in the interest of (paraphrase) “protecting people’s identity.”

    It was during the later argument over phrases that use the term “bag” at the end, where anonmymous posters were again excoriated. I contacted her personally under my real name to explain why I was anonymous, but not anymore with her, and to reiterate my arguments. I then find out later that she is essentially defaming me to other people, implying that I might actually disrupt her life in some way. I was physically sick when I learned that. She does not play fair. She does not engage in debate in good faith. She is incredibly brittle and alluded to this post at Parrotline (mentioned above) as potentially libelous. I note that the post involves an “Ann Bartow is so hypersensitive…: contest.

  74. October 20, 2006 at 6:42 pm

    of course, if she were PLANNING litigation against zuzu, it’d have to be for something that happened BEFORE what’s apparently crawled up her ass and died here. that is…that…zuzu…said…she…might have been using the database to gather information.

    PP: she said you’d -threatened- her?

    so, if i say it -appears- to me like the woman’s cheese has slid off her cracker, is that a threat? libel? is she gonna bring in the dairy industry for a class action defamation lawsuit? “blessed are the cheesemakers!”

    seriously, what branch of “feminism” IS this? Decompensation Feminism?

  75. October 20, 2006 at 6:45 pm

    PP: oh, you know, I did see that kind of wack follow-up at her spot. where she was all like, well, tsk, that blogger was -very unpleasant- and though it is -totally not my doing- her workplace was revealed! to me! (and to the entire blogosphere? for a while? did i read that right?) well, let this be a warning to you all! it’s a daaaaangerous world out there! no one is safe! least of all people who say UNPLEASANT things to Me! (completely coincidentally). Behave accordingly!

    With “allies” like this, who needs enemas?

  76. Ursula L
    October 20, 2006 at 6:50 pm

    For heaven’s sake!

    How do we know that AB isn’t using a pseudonym? If you want to cause harm with a pseudonym, picking one that sounds like a real name is a good way to start.

    An obvious and admitted pseudonym that is used consistently throughout the internet is honest. Claiming to use your real name, with no way for others to prove that it is or isn’t your real name, adds no moral advantage.

  77. matttbastard
    October 20, 2006 at 6:58 pm

    However, if Bartow were indeed planning litigation against Zuzu, her use of the database would be permitted, in particular if she were using the database to obtain Zuzu’s home address to fascilitate the service of process.

    Which makes me wonder if the (empty) threat of (frivolous) litigation was tendered to justify using the database to obtain Zuzu’s personal info.

    CYA all the way, babee.

  78. October 20, 2006 at 7:02 pm

    I only found out through the grapevine about her claims. I can’t say anythign more than that, other than I have all the e-mails ever exchanged between us and none of them are threatening. Obviously, as someone marinated in patrirachy (as Twisty says, I am a dude, after all), I can’t claim that every word out of my mouth is sweetness and light to any and every individual, but I can claim that I never, ever threatened her, nor would I even want to be perceived as threatening to anyone, even if by accident. This was something that was never, ever brought to my attention directly, and was only discovered when my comments on Fem Law Profs stopped appearing- even comments that were of the “great post I totally agree, here’s another example” sort.

    Let me regale you with some of the horribleness from Parrotline (I already linked to the whole thread, lest someone think I am eliding comments:

    Ann Bartow is so hypersensitive that she was offended by this post before I even wrote it.
    Bas-O-Matic | 05.03.06 – 9:00 pm | #

    Ann Bartow is so hypersensitive, she fears that the word ‘offensive’ might be offensive to the Offensivo people of Offensivoland, Madagascar.
    Assparrot | Homepage | 05.03.06 – 9:31 pm | #

    Ann Bartow is so hypersensitive that she finds this post insensitive to the hypersensitive community.
    Snag | 05.03.06 – 9:48 pm | #

    Hey, I didn’t start the conversation. I’m pretty sorry I ever thought “Pinko Punko” was anything but the jerk he/she obviously is and wasted any time in conversation. And I don’t want to be around you folks either. You just like to insult people from behind pseudonyms. May you reap what you sow.
    Ann Bartow | Homepage | 05.03.06 – 10:05 pm | #

    Ann, the format here is to start out with the construction, ‘Ann Bartow is so hypersensitive …’ followed by a witty joke about about just how hypersensitive you are.

    Please stick with the program. We’ll let you off with a warning this time.
    Assparrot | Homepage | 05.03.06 – 10:36 pm | #

    No personal attacks people. The jokey hyperbolic stylings of the contest are one thing. It is just teasing. Some of the other stuff is out of bounds.
    Pinko Punko | Homepage | 05.04.06 – 12:17 am | #

    Ann Bartow is so hypersensitive, she detects earthquakes of 0.0 on the Richter scale.
    Pinko Punko | Homepage | 05.04.06 – 2:31 am | #

  79. October 20, 2006 at 7:06 pm

    That is a truly glorious exchange, i must say.

  80. October 20, 2006 at 7:08 pm

    as per litigation -before-: on what grounds, for fuck’s sake? Snarking at her about “go fug yourself?” Yeah, that’ll stand up well.

  81. October 20, 2006 at 7:09 pm

    The other thing I find massively depressing is that I, and many that I know, never decided to completely ignore her based on some of the whack stuff that happens with her. She covers a lot of important issues, and is very thoughtful about a lot of things. We never went scorched earth policy with her, and as mad as we would get, there was an effort there not to burn all bridges. I mean people are rallying to zuzu, and are getting emotional, but we can come back from that- but to do so requires fair and clear-headedness and a desire for dialogue. There does not seem to be that from AB. She will inevitably claim victimhood, both real or imagined. She uses that to dismiss tens of reasonable comments and focus on a few unreasonable ones. This is not arguing in good faith. This is the definition of emu.

  82. October 20, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    i guess it’s a good thing that AB -does- have the political affiliations i -think- she does (i.e. not aligned with the current administration); if she got her nose out of joint out of o i don’t know implied harm against Fearless Leader instead of just her own best beloved self, mebbe some folks could be on our/their way to Gitmo by now. Right? According to the recent bullshit legislation signed, sealed, delivered; and say, Ann, it sure it a good thing that you’re looking out for us; sure is great that you have PRIORITIES.

  83. October 20, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    bd222- that was a taste of the comments, some are missing, but it was the level of game we were playing, mostly teasing. For example, nobody thinks AB needs to wear SPF5000 sunscreen to go outside. It was more an excuse for us to be hyperbolic as I explained to her in an e-mail.

  84. October 20, 2006 at 7:11 pm

    Emu?

  85. October 20, 2006 at 7:12 pm

    what? oh, no, i read the whole thing. i thought it was hilarious. -she’s- hilarious. i mean, creepy as fuck, but also hilarious.

  86. Quaker
    October 20, 2006 at 7:13 pm

    “Annie M., Annie M.”

    Seriously, what part of “Public Figure” (You know, “actual malice” or “reckless disregard” with a “Clear and Convincing” standard…. See New York Times Co. v. Sullivan) does she not understand. Ed Baker probably tought us both First Amendment Law, but I guess Annie slept through that class.

    So, here’s the deal. In order to prevail, even after all of those procedural hurdles you point out, she still needs to prove by a “Clear and Convincing” standart that you had “Actual Malice”, knowledge that statements are false or in reckless disregard of the truth, and that doing so in the “internets” damaged her. That’s a pretty tall order, doubt she stands a chance.

    On the other hand, she might try to prove that she isn’t a “Public Figure” by proving that she didn’t engage in “purposeful activity amounting to a thrusting of h[er] personality into the “vortex” of an important public controversy.”

    Or, of course, she might have troble with this in her past:

    Presentation entitled, “Trademarks of Privilege: Naming Rights and the Physical Public Domain,” at the IP/Gender: The Unmapped Connections Conference held at American University’s Washington College of Law in Washington, DC on March 24, 2006.

    Presentation entitled, “Open Access and the Digital Divide,” at the Open Access Publishing and the Future of Legal Scholarship Symposium held at the Lewis & Clark Law School in Portland, OR on March 10, 2006.

    Panel Speaker on Panel II at “The Evolution of the Open Source Model: To Live Saving Drugs and Beyond” symposium held at Temple University’s Beasley School of Law in Philadelphia, PA on February 10, 2006.

    Panel Speaker at Defamation and Privacy Section Program entitled, “Tracked, Profiled, and Identified: Privacy and the Linkage of Data to Individuals,” at the AALS 2006 Annual Meeting held in Washington, DC on January 6, 2006.

    Presentation entitled, “Creativity on the Internet: The Blogs that Ate Chicago” at the Creative Processes and the Public Domain Conference held at the John Marshall Law School Center for Intellectual Property Law, in Chicago, Illinois on November 18, 2005.

    Presentation of work-in-progress, “Fair Use and the Fairer Sex: Gender, Feminism and Copyright Law,” at the Fourth Penn-Temple-Wharton Colloquium in Philadelphia, PA held on November 11 and 12, 2005.

    Presentation of work-in-progress, “Fair Use and the Fairer Sex: Gender, Feminism and Copyright Law,” at the Second Annual Property, Citizenship, and Social Entrepreneurism Meeting in Washington, DC held on November 4 and 5, 2005.

    Panel Speaker on panel entitled “Law in Virtual Worlds,” at the State of Play III: Social Revolutions Conference, held at New York Law School in New York, NY held on October 7 and 8, 2005.

    Plenary Presentation entitled, “Trademarks of Privilege: Naming Rights and the Physical Public Domain,” at the Fifth Annual Intellectual Property Scholars Conference, held at Cardozo School of Law in New York, NY on August 11 and 12, 2005.

    Panel Chair and Moderator, “Southern Fried Feminism,” at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools 2005 Annual Meeting in Hilton Head, South Carolina on July 17, 2005.

    Presentation entitled, “Fair Use and the Fairer Sex: A Gendered Story of Copyright Law,” at the “IP/Gender: The Unmapped Connections” Conference at the American University Washington College of Law in Washington, DC on April 15, 2005.

    Presentation entitled, “World Wide Women,” at the “W(h)ither the Middleman: The Role and Future of Intermediaries in the Information Age” Symposium at the Michigan State University College of Law in East Lansing, Michigan on April 8 and 9, 2005.

    Presentation entitled, “The Hegemony of the Copyright Treatise,” at the “Where IP Meets IT: Technology and the Law” Symposium at the University of Pittsburgh School of Law, in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on March 18, 2005.

    Presentation entitled, “Property Without Metes or Bounds,” at the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and Humanities 2005 Annual Meeting in Austin, Texas on March 11 and 12, 2005.

    Presentation entitled, “Secondary Copyright Infringement Liability and Internet Censorship,” at the Secondary Liability Under the Copyright Act Symposium held by the Salmon P. Chase College of Law, Northern Kentucky University, in Cincinnati, Ohio on February 5, 2005.

    Presentation entitled, “The Conflicts Between Intellectual Property and Voting Core Values,” at the E-Lection Symposium held by the John Marshall Law School Center for Information Technology and Privacy Law, in Chicago, Illinois on October 1, 2004.

    Presentation entitled “The Hegemony of the Copyright Treatise” at the Intellectual Property Scholars Works In Progress Colloquium held at the Boston University School of Law in Boston, Massachusetts on September 10 – 11, 2004.

    Presentation entitled, “Bureaucratic Corporate Governance and Intellectual Property” as part of the panel “Accountability in Bureaucracies: Agency Problems and Proposed Solutions” at the Southeastern Association of Law Schools 2004 Annual Meeting in Kiawah Island, South Carolina on August 2, 2004.

    Presentations entitled “Property Without Metes or Bounds” (on the “Property as Information” panel) and “Privacy and Civil Disobedience in Cyberspace” (on the “Privacy, Information and Speech” panel), both given at the 2004 Annual Meeting of the Law and Society Association in Chicago, Illinois on May 27-30, 2004.

    Co-Leader of Workshop on Privacy Activism (with Daniel Solove), at the Electronic Privacy Information Center’s conference, “Freedom 2.0, Distributed Democracy: Dialogue for a Connected World” held in Washington, DC on May 22-24, 2004.

    Presentation entitled “Some Dumb Girl Syndrome: Challenging, Subverting and Embracing Stereotypes of Female Attorneys,” at the William and Mary Marshall-Wythe School of Law’s “Symposium to Explore Attrition of Women from the Legal Profession” held in Williamsburg, Virginia on April 16, 2004.

    Presentation entitled, “Gendered Confusion and Trademark Law” at the American University Washington College of Law, as a featured speak at a conference, “IP/Gender: The Unmapped Connections,” held in Washington, D.C. on April 1 & 2, 2004.

    Presentation entitled, “The Fairness of Bright Lines” at the Michigan State University – DCL College of Law as part of conference, Intellectual Property, Sustainable Development and Endangered Species: Understanding the Dynamics of the Information Ecosystem held in East Lansing, Michigan on March 26 & 27, 2004.

    Roundtable Speaker addressing “Information Freedom and the Ubiquity of the Internet, Computers, and Code” at the Internet Commons Congress held at the University of Maryland’s Shady Grove Campus in Rockville, Maryland on March 24, 2004.

    Invited Commentator on a paper-in-progress by Professor Steven Hetcher of the Vanderbilt University Law School that examined how social norms that approve of on-line file copying and sharing may be at the heart of the inability to deter mass-scale copyright infringement, at a conference entitled “Federal Regulation and the Cultural Landscape” hosted by Vanderbilt’s Curb Center for Art, Enterprise and Public Policy held in Nashville, Tennessee on March 19, 2004.

    Presentation entitled “Where Angels Fear to Tread: The Intersection of Copyrights, Trademarks and Organized Religions” at the Association for the Study of Law, Culture and the Humanities 2004 Annual Meeting at the University of Connecticut in Hartford, Connecticut on March 12 & 13, 2004.

    Doubt she stands a chance, she might as well stay home.

  87. October 20, 2006 at 7:19 pm

    btw, i know this was largely missed in the exciting flamewar between Amanda and me yesterday, but the whole reason she brought that up in the first place was because i challenged her, AB that is, on this anonymity business. she’d had -nothing- to do with that thrash; as far as i know she hadn’t even been reading it. yet she dragged it out like some kind of “exhibit A” of my Badness, you know. which, if she’d been a pal of Amanda’s or had any at all dog in that fight, or if the discussion between AB and me up till that point had had -anything- to do with that, maybe her bringing it up would’ve been something else. As it was…and particularly in the context of what she kept saying about how, watch what you say, watch what you say…well, it’s all still up there at Stone Court. i haven’t the energy to go and fetch back the whole exchange.

  88. October 20, 2006 at 7:26 pm

    I’m going through it now.

    Emu- check 3B! Basically, since all insults are offensive, we tried to come up with a new one, and emus are funny things.

  89. October 20, 2006 at 7:28 pm

    o, gotcha, i think. yes. yes, they are.

  90. CANonymous
    October 20, 2006 at 7:51 pm

    Emu- check 3B! Basically, since all insults are offensive, we tried to come up with a new one, and emus are funny things.

    I’m a Canadian, so frankly, I don’t care about youse guys anymore (you’re all nuts). But I was around when Ann Bartow first reared her ugly keyboard against Pinko Punko, and believe you me, she’s a psycho. If she has any power at all, she has to be stopped.

  91. October 20, 2006 at 7:53 pm

    You know what makes me feel good? Even though it seems that you and Amanda were about ready to juice up the flamethrowers, there was still a discussion. It may have gone over the cliff, but you climbed back up the cliff. That never happens with AB. You can’t come back, because with her, you never were there to begin with. You don’t count and your arguments are nothing, unless you are a law professor blogging under your own name, but not Ann Althouse, the original Queen Emu.

  92. October 20, 2006 at 8:03 pm

    I allude to AB rightly tossing AA into the pot for ridiculousness.

  93. Love to Laugh
    October 20, 2006 at 8:13 pm

    Shades of Paul Deignan vs. Bitch Phd.

    Whatever happened with the lawsuit Paul threatened?

    Haha.

  94. October 20, 2006 at 8:53 pm

    97: thank you. yeh, exactly. i mean, whatever other beef i had with Amanda or vice-versa, it certainly never would’ve occured to me that she’d ever pull something like…well, what AB is now saying she’d never do either. so we’re all happy, cue swelling music and sunset, yah?

    “Annie M”

    that took me a second. heh.

  95. October 20, 2006 at 9:20 pm

    It’s really astonishing – Althouse clearly sees herself as a cut above, but noblesse doesn’t oblige anything at all.

    It astonishes me that the privileged don’t even pretend to think they’re above leveraging their privilege.

    Edith Wharton would really be enjoying this.

  96. palamedes
    October 20, 2006 at 9:45 pm

    Zuzu;

    This is a tempest in a teapot. If she is so foolish as to make a big to-do over the comments you cited, God help whoever really gives her a smackdown to remember.

    And bit by bit, she only nibbles away at any self-valued reputation she has on the web by continuing this situation.

    Tbogg went through this recently, and the revealer had his threat made, pretty much, well, impotent. Never saw the joker after his first series of threats.

    Hang on zuzu, and go get that couch we talked about to give you something small to look forward to. This miscreant’s just desserts will be your long-term pleasure.

  97. October 20, 2006 at 10:21 pm

    not Althouse this time. Bartow. Althouse is the one with the tit fetish, and Bartow is the one with the tort fetish. I kid, I kid! she’s not litigous at all, she’s said so herself, if it’s good enough for zuzu and BL it’s good enough for me; anyone up for some tennis?

  98. October 20, 2006 at 10:28 pm

    It’s love-love all around- OK, I feel better-

  99. piny
    October 20, 2006 at 10:52 pm

    Whatever happened with the lawsuit Paul threatened?

    It crawled back up his ass and died.

  100. October 21, 2006 at 12:02 am

    I’m with Antiprincess’ earlier comment on this one. (PS — You guys rock for having comment threads so deep we actually have to link back to them in the same thread,)

    My name is Charles Smith. According to Jill’s earlier link, there are over 23,000 of us in the United States. Sue me.

    Solidarity with you, zuzu, amidst the blogosphere-freak-show. I saw in a post above this that you are taking a break. Here’s hoping all goes well for ya.

  101. Dixon Robertson
    October 21, 2006 at 10:11 pm

    I meant to type,
    Whoa, there, young lady. what’s so funny about South Carolina courts?

  102. isaac
    October 22, 2006 at 11:36 pm

    rawr! catfight!

Comments are closed.