Tag Archives: john dozier

Dozier Internet Law and the language of violence

Considering the pattern unethical, if sometimes hilarious, things to come out of Dozier Internet Law, references to killing shouldn’t surprise me. But they still do:

From John W. Dozier, Jr’s personal blog:

Dozier Internet Law continues to monitor and evaluate developments in the law of the web. Right now it looks like the laws and decisions are continuing to catch up with the “Wild West” mentality that is so prevalent among the “scofflaws” of the web. It’s good to remember that some pioneers get arrows in their backs, I guess.

I’ve previously analyzed Dozier’s nuisance lawsuits as a form of violence at Dreaming 5GW, which led to a reply by curtis at Phatic Communion, but I believe John’s words are the first that include reference to direct, life-altering bodily harm.

Weirdly, in an earlier piece, Dozier defined “sadists” bloggers as those who are the first to recommend physical violence. Granted, John didn’t recommend physical violence yet… “I guess.”

Dozier in the News

Three stories on Dozier Internet Law. In both cases I won’t link to any Dozier properties, per their terms of use. (I apologize for the inconvenience this might case.)

The first is to note that Dozier has a new spam (bulk marketing) website out, hosted by Vator.tv. The lack of originality is striking, even for an online properties. At random, I chose one of the lines of text from the page:

company in 1994, when there were reportedly less than 1,000 websites in the

searched for it in quotes, and sure enough, came back from a google for Dozier’s homepage.

The second story consists of John Dozier’s latest blog post. As Greg of Public Citizen commented privately to me, John must really hate bloggers. Here’s an excerpt from his post:

[Journalists] are being lumped in with the bloggers in legislation before Congress that would create a bar to requiring the disclosure of confidential sources. And the bill is likely to fail, frankly, based on the inability of the journalists to explain to Congress how to draw a line between real journalists and the blogosphere. On the one hand, Congress is ready to protect confidential sources for journalists. On the other hand, extending such a privilege to the blogosphere (which by definition includes the mobosphere of miscreants and scofflaws) is unpalatable to Congress….

Why is including bloggers such a big deal? Because bloggers will publish information that is defamatory or otherwise inappropriate or illegal, and do so with claimed false attribution to a third party, and then claim privilege when asked the source. Check out the Dozier Internet Law Blogger Defamation Issues for more insight on blogger defamation.

Certainly John’s concern about innacurate journalism is valid — regardless of the medium. Just last night, TMZ broke another story of deceptive reporting by CNN. And I imagine that I would disagree with Greg of PubCit about how much legal protection reporters should have in protecting sources. Still, I am wondering what definition of the blogosphere he is using…

The last story is inspired by a pre-posting discussion I had with Brendan of I Hate Linux. I gave Brendan the link to the Dozier blog post, and he replied that I may be violating Dozier’s term of use by even privately sharing the link. I answered that I wasn’t sure. So John Dozier… may people mention the URLs of your posts to each other in private, or is that discouraged, too?

Dozier Internet Law, PC: Give us seven million dollars. Stop laughing.

Dozier Internet Law, PC, those legal beagles in charge of the Cuppy’s Coffee and DirectBuy catastrophes, didn’t start there.

Thanks to dEarth / dx, I learned about their attempt to get seven million dollars from a website for criticizing “Manchester Who’s Who.”

From the article that inspired the lawsuit:

She asked, “Will you be using your membership for networking or credibility?”

I explained that I would probably be using it for both. “Being I high school drop-out, I have always had to struggle with public opinion on my credibility…”

$7,000,000. Hahaha. That’s even better that “Bull,” “Cyber Lawyer,” or “Super Lawyer.”

God bless you, John “$7,000,000” Dozier. You bring the smile to the face of everyone you threaten.

"Scofflaw Bloggers:" The Dozier Taxonomy of Wicked Netizens

Dozier Internet Law is a “cyber law firm”that specializes in litigation related to the internet. For background, see the Cuppy’s Coffee and DirectBuy case studies. However, as “cyber lawyers” the guys at Dozier clearly pay a lot of attention to the internet, as well.

While John Dozier has a blog, he rarely updates it. Instead, he appears to use his company’s website to pen “news” entries. John’s last message allowed us to link to it. The current one, titled “Scofflaw Bloggers,” does not have such a “yes you may link to this page” notice. Therefore, links throughout this post to not go to any of John’s websites, out of respect for him, but rather other sources of information about the company.

“Scofflaw Bloggers” provides a taxonomy of “persona[e] and motivation[s]” that have “arisen and infiltrated the mainstream blogosphere” since CDA SS 230. The post appears to be in reaction to criticism of Dozier from internet news sources (Ars Technica, Boing Boing, Patry, Esq, Public Citizen, Slashdot, Turkewitz, Esq, etc.). The ten types, a brief quote from Dozier’s descriptions, the qualities described, and a commentary as to whether they fit me are included below.

Are you a scofflaw blogger? Take the test by googling Dozier Scofflaw Bloggers and find out …

  • Name: Mis-Leader

    Description: “This blogger has a hidden agenda, but he just makes it sound like he is a totally objective commentator.”

    Qualities:

    • Protects his advertisers
    • Has conflict of interest
    • Appears authoritative

    Does it fit tdaxp?: I’d like to think this blog appears to be respectable, but I have no advertisers and have only received a couple of books and a couple interesting rl conversations out of it.

  • Name: Criminal

    Description: “Career criminals, no less”

    Qualities:

    • $0.5M/year pay-offs
    • Guard dogs surround compound
    • Highly effective operational plan

    Does it fit tdaxp?: I eat Ramen way too often to earn six figures, or to have a compound,

  • Name: Bankrupt

    Description: “This is usually not a smart guy”

    Qualities:

    • No money
    • No assets
    • No prospects for work

    Does it fit tdaxp?: I have to say, the very qualities which make me not a “criminal” appear to make me “bankrupt.” (I hope I am a smart guy, however.)

  • Name: Sadist

    Description: “most likely to be the one that starts recommending direct physical violence against the exeutives of a company”

    Qualities:

    • Escalates attacks rapidly
    • Uses his real name
    • Enjoys inflicting pain

    Does it fit tdaxp?: Well, I am in my fifth year of graduate school, but that would make me a masochist, not a sadist. I blog pseudo-anonymously and haven’t recommended direct physical violence yet, however, so this doesn’t quite conform

  • Name: Rookie

    Description: “just kids having fun as the hormones kick in”

    Qualities:

    • Mimic adult conversation
    • Spell “ROI” as “RIO”
    • Can be utterly immature

    Does it fit tdaxp?: I like to use big words and misspell short ones, but I’m rarely charged with immaturity. No only 2 for 3 (hopefully!)

  • Name: Nerd

    Description: “scared to talk with a girl”

    Qualities:

    • no principles involved
    • posts are intelligent and have face validity
    • cowers once identified

    Does it fit tdaxp?: Hmmm… certainly this blog looks smart, but tends to a coherent aesthetic-politico-religious framework (the old tagline of tdaxp was “Beauty, Victory, God”). I guess the test will be if tdaxp folds up shop once someone calls me a nerd. (I’ve kept going through death threats, but those are adreneline-boosting, I guess.)

  • Name: Alien

    Description: “from overseas”

    Qualities:

    • Non US- resident
    • Works with criminals
    • Sometimes nabbed by the FBI in Turkey

    Does it fit tdaxp?: I’m an American, don’t know anyone with guard dogs surrounding his compound, have no plans of visiting Turkey, and no plans of evading the FBI there.

  • Name: Druggie

    Description: “during the day this blogger is a normal guy”

    Qualities:

    • Suffers from amnesia
    • Substance abuser
    • “Hooks up” on the net

    Does it fit tdaxp?: I don’t rember forgetting (but then how would I??), drink modesty (but isn’t that how it starts??) and already hooked up with my knife (but what I convert to a polygamic faith??)

  • Name: Pickpocket

    Description: “enjoys attacking defenseless people”

    Qualities:

    • Steals copyrighted material
    • Extracts revenues from ads
    • Uses meta tags

    Does it fit tdaxp?: “Pickpocket” appears to be a combination of “Criminal” and Sadist,” making both necessary conditions for pickpockethood.

  • Name:Wacko

    Description: “Most sophisticated business people immediately view the post as a ‘nut case'”

    Qualities:

    • Begins with fair criticism
    • Invests time into he criticism
    • Multiple web properties

    Does it fit tdaxp?: Well.. maybe

    I have multiple web properties. Besides tdaxp, my South Dakota focused news aggregator is covering the story, and using blospirit’s point-and-click interface I began Dozier Internet Lawsuits to try to keep tabs on the company. (I only have two posts, because I would like any record to be even-handed, and I’ve been able to identify only one Dozier victory and many defeats.) Additionally, I use del.icio.us social bookmarks, so there’s that, too.

    I have spent time on this. Part of the reason is that I dislike censorship, and another (less noble) is that I have empty time I want to fill. (Now, for example, I am riding with my wife on I-80 through scenic if empty western Illinois.)

    My criticism has been fair. Again, check out my description of the DirectBuy case, and the earlier Franchise Time article on Cuppy’s Coffee. While I have more pointed possibilities as well, such as questioning the motive Dozier attorney Donald Morris or Dozier’s history of disrespecting online privacy, I immediately received positive feedback on both topics.

I think John Dozier called me a Wacko.

Can anyone at Dozier confirm that?

How not to handle negative feedback: A preliminary case study of Dozier Internet Law

! ! This is a developing news story. Facts are subject to change without notice ! !

Dozier Internet Law, “cyber trail lawyers,” is a law firm founded by John W. Dozier, Jr. in Virginia. They were prominently featured in an excellent article by Franchise Times reporter Julie Bennet. Bennet’s article discussed mysterious tactics that Dozier uses, and the backlash it geneates. Indeed, Julie article is titled “Attacks from the blogosphere: What Cuppy’s learned the hard way” because Cuppy’s problems started because of Dozier’s mishandling of their case.

In spite of being aware of the “finesse, strategy, and tactics” required when operating with online journals and news magazines, Cuppy’s Coffee Company was forced to higher a P.R. firm to undo the damage cased by Dozier Internet Law.

Recently, Dozier was hired by DirectBuy to deal with negative feedback on three websites: Infomercial Blog, Infomercial Ratings, and Infomercial Scams. Dozier, on behalf of DirectBuy, send a copyrighted cease-and-desist letter (excerpts, full text, original pdf) that was challenged by Public Citizen, the public advocacy group founded by Ralph Nader.

Failures have a way of repeating themselves, and again Dozier is harming its clients reputation. This time, though, Dozier Internet Law finds itself being discussed, as well. The top ten search results for the firm include Slashdot‘s influent post, “How not to write a cease-and-desist letter,” critical legal analysis from New York Personal Injury Blog, strategic analysis from Dreaming Fifth Generation War, and two results from tdaxp (one on letter-writer Donald Morris and another describing DirectBuy/Dozier’s actions as a strategic lawsuit against public participation).

Overnight, Dozier responded with two letters. One is written to Eric Turkewitz. After apparently plagiarizing original research done on this blog by Curtis Weeks, John Dozier writes:

Unfortunately, the subject on which you have been blogging is a matter of first impression in the US, but your inappropriate insults demean you and our profession. Accident lawyers should stay out of copyright infringement cases, particularly if one is just trying to generate more business by getting a higher Google ranking to sign up more accident victims. That wouldn’t be your motivation, of course. Feel free to call me to discuss the matter.

The other, written to Greg Beck of Public Citizen’s “Consumer Law and Policy Blog” and available online (http://www.cybertriallawyer.com/dozier-internet-law), reads in part:

Let’s consider the problem. Today someone checking out a business will do a search and the results will include references to the company being a “scam”. The potential customer goes to the scam site and is presented with advertising from competitors either through banner ads or pay per click ads (adsense from Google is a prime example). The website owner generates income when the ads are presented or clicked on, and diverts the business to a competitor. The content is often created by the website itself or its associates and cohorts, and with your advice as to how to cover up the tracks of the poster these sites can assure anonymity and protect themselves by claiming the posts came from third parties and the site is immune from liability pursuant to Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act. Some (most?) of these sites are extortion rackets. Businesses are told to pay protection fees, often in excess of $10,000 each month, in order for the posts to be removed and also, of course, to make sure that future negative posts stop. Once these payments are made the negative comments disappear, and for some odd reason no one ever has anything negative to say about the company on that site anymore. This is no different than running a protection racket. “Pay us a fee each month”, some of these sites demand, “and bad things won’t happen to you again”.

Yet, for some reason, despite claiming that you do not accept corporate contributions, these types of businesses are defended by you and your organization, and of course it is easy for these businesses to contribute to your organization. Some link directly to your contribution page and encourage payments of money directly to Public Citizen. Kind of like advertising through affiliate marketers, don’t you think? No wonder you claim that these “scam” sites are operating within the legal bounds of the law. No wonder you claim that even posts of the site owner are protected from liability, even in the face of unequivocally clear law that owner generated content is not covered by the immunity provisions of the Communications Decency Act. Many of these sites trade off of creating and/or publishing defamatory content, which is unlawful content, and some are violating criminal laws by running extortion rackets. You should not be supporting these practices.

It’s hard to know what to make of this. Is Dozier charging DirectBuy for these letters? If so, what legal purpose do they serve? If not, does Dozier believing a P.R. role does not distract from its litigious role? Is Dozier Internet Law in any way increasing DirectBuy’s legal risk by personally attacking attorneys, or is it acting like a good-faith caretaker for DirectBuy reputation by such inflamatory statements?

I don’t know what is going on. My assumption is that John Dozier (who likes to brag about the number of conferences he attends — see his letter to Eric) is a “people person,” which means that he has little control over displaying his emotions. When he’s happy or sociable, this is a good thing — everyone likes to see someone who is so happy he can’t contain himself, or so sociable that he bounces from conference room to conference room. But (and I am just guessing here) when he is angry or ticked off, he can’t control that, either. Which explains why (without a good reason and wit plenty of malice) he can attack Public Citizen and Eric Turcowitz so viciously, so publicly, and so vilely against his client’s interest.

If you would have told me I would feel sorry for DirectBuy so quickly after first covering this story, I would have laughed. Direct Buy creates spam web sites, has been criticized by , Channel 12 News in Arizona, Team 5 in Boston, WCBS in New York, CTV in Canada, and many blogs and web sites besides, and that’s before the avalanche of criticism they received from intimidating Infomercial Scams.

But it’s clear that their law firm is no good. If their experience is like Cuppy Coffee‘s, they just googled for a lawyer and found Dozier Internet Law. They found a lawyer who is better at destroying his client’s, and his, reputation than in actually making things better.

Too bad.