Parte the first:
Parte the second:I don't know if you've ever seen the Did Glenn Beck Rape and Murder a Young Girl in 1990 website, but it's fairly amusing. It's a political satire of the style of argument Glenn Beck likes to engage in, which involves requiring that someone prove a negative ("prove you didn't do X") and making claims in the form of an interrogative ("Hey, I'm just asking questions here. I'm not saying he did this. What's wrong with asking questions?").
Well now Beck is trying to kill the site by making a formal complaint (PDF) to an international internet governing body, the World Intellectual Property Organization. He wants the domain name taken away from the person who registered it.
Why would he do that rather than file, say, a libel suit? Because he knows he would lose a libel suit. He is a public figure and the site is clearly satirical. Under precedents like Falwell v Flynt, it is virtually impossible to win such a suit. The attorney for the site owner, Marc Randazza, has filed a response brief (PDF) that is hilarious in its attack on Beck's thin-skinned and legally dubious argument. For instance, on the notion that someone might think the site was serious or that it was affiliated with Beck himself, he responds:
There is no indication that the Respondent has intentionally attempted to confuse anyone searching for Mr. Beck's own website, nor that anyone was unintentionally confused - even initially. Only an abject imbecile could believe that the domain name would have any connection to the Complainant.We are not here because the domain name could cause confusion. We do not have a declaration from the president of the international association of imbeciles that his members are blankly staring at the Respondent's website wondering "where did all the race baiting content go?" We are here because Mr. Beck wants Respondent's website shut down. He wants it shut down because Respondent's website makes a poignant and accurate satirical critique of Mr. Beck by parodying Beck's very rhetorical style. Beck's skin is too thin to take the criticism, so he wants the site down. Beck is represented by a learned and respected legal team. Accordingly, it is beyond doubt that his counsel advised him that under the First Amendment to the United States' Constitution, no action in a U.S. Court would be successful. Accordingly, Beck is attempting to use this transnational body to circumvent and subvert the Respondent's constitutional rights.
I thought Mark Randazza, the attorney for the owner of the "Did Glenn Beck rape and murder a girl in 1990?" website, made a great argument with his initial response to Beck's attempts to censor the website through an international tribunal. But he emailed me today with a link to another filing (PDF) he made that is pure genius. He begins by quoting Beck criticizing liberals for trying to have legal issues removed from American jurisdiction and taken to the international level:
Let me tell you something. When you can't win with the people, you bump it up to the courts. When you can't win with the courts, you bump it up to the international level.And by golly, that's exactly what Beck did. Randazza then notes that the UDRP, the process by which such complaints are resolved, does sometimes "render decisions that make First Amendment champions cringe" but that are in line with the laws of other nations. He then quotes Beck criticizing Harold Koh by arguing that he "wants to subordinate the American Constitution to foreign and international rules. We see that in his attack on First Amendment free speech principles, which he finds opprobrious."
And quotes Beck declaring, "Once we sign our rights over to international law, the Constitution is officially dead." So in light of this, Randazza has come up with a brilliant stipulation that will, he's certain, be agreeable to Beck: Both sides should agree that the standard for judgment in the case under the UDRP should be the First Amendment of the U.S. Constitution.
I love this attorney. Love him, love him, love him!
Gorgeous. I hope there'll be plenty more like this. I'll keep you all posted.