Pixeleen Mistral Files Legal Response to Venkman’s DMCA Abuses

by Alphaville Herald on 06/02/10 at 6:58 pm

Herald news Idoru pseudonym sacrificed in free speech fight

by Peter Ludlow (aka Urizenus Sklar), Herald Founder

Sometimes we all have to take a stand.  In this case Herald Editrix Pixeleen Mistral, facing an outrageous abuse of the DMCA by Kalel Venkman, has, pursuant to Section 512(c)(1)(C) of the DMCA, filed documents disputing Venkman's claims of copyright infringement on screen shots and snippets of chat from the Justice League Unlimited wiki.  As reported earlier in the Herald, the JLU wiki amassed vast amounts of (often false) information on Second Life denizens, including massive chat logs that were in cases recorded without the consent of the parties involved.  In effect, the JLU was running an enormous surveillance program against Second Life users, and were using the DMCA to try and cover up those abuses to keep the public from understanding the full scope and frightening nature of the abuses.  More troubling still is that much of the material Venkman requested be taken down appeared to implicate the involvement of Linden Lab staff member Plexus Linden in the activities of the JLU.

This can only mean trouble for Venkman.  It is illegal under Title 17, United States Code Section 512(f) to knowingly send faulty DMCA notices, and doing so can result in serious legal liability.  Forexample, there is already established precedent in the Northern District of California (where YouTube is located) holding that when a company knew or should have known that use of copyrighted material is fair use (and therefore, non-infringing), it is a violation of Section512(f) and the DMCA.  As a result of that violation, thecompany responsible paid over $100,000 to the parties affected.

Title 17, Section 107 explicitly says that "the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies… for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright." As I said, Venkman is in trouble.

Some commentators have suggested that Venkman's real interest in filing bogus DMCA notices was to force targeted individuals to reveal their real life identities to Venkman, and this in turn has raised questions about the security and safety of those who do reveal their identities.  I doubt that this is true, or at least I hope it isn't true, but in any case it takes some courage to put oneself at risk, and Pixeleen should be commended.  In general, though, this shows another flaw of the DMCA: It can be used as a tool for the malicious to undermine the privacy of virtual world residents.

As for the identity of Pixeleen's real life typist, Prok was right:  Pixeleen is Mark McCahill.

The text of Pixeleen's response follows.

TypePad Copyright Agent

Six Apart Ltd. 
548 4th Street 
San Francisco, CA 94107 
Fax: 415.344.0829
Email: copyright@typepad.com

February 4, 2010 
Mistaken Removal RE: Ticket #9805: TypePad Terms of Service Violation
Dear TypePad Copyright Agent; 
 Please find attached to this letter a list of material removed by you pursuant to 17
U.S.C. Section 512.  I have a good faith belief that this material was removed or disabled
in error as a result of mistake or misidentification of the material.  I declare that this is
true and accurate under penalty of perjury under the laws of the United States of
 For the purposes of this matter, I consent to the jurisdiction of the Federal District
Court for the judicial district in which I reside. I also consent to service of process
by the person providing notification under Section 512(c)(1)(C) or that person’s agent. 
However, by this letter, I do not waive any other rights, including the ability to pursue an
action for the removal or disabling of access to this material, if wrongful.
 Having complied with the requirements of Section 512(g)(3), I remind you that
you must now replace the blocked or removed material and cease disabling access to it
within fourteen business days of your receipt of this notice.  Please notify me when this
has been done.
 I appreciate your prompt attention to this matter.  If you have any questions about
this notice, please do not hesitate to contact me.

Mark McCahill 

[address and phone number elided]

Email: mark.mccahill@gmail.com



the reproduction of Typepad's letter in the post here:

From the post:

* the image: http://foo.secondlifeherald.com/.a/6a00d8341bf70253ef0128771a194c970c-320pi

From the post:

* the image: http://foo.secondlifeherald.com/.a/6a00d8341bf70253ef012876c304a7970c-popup

* the text:

[disputed chatlog text elided to prevent another Typepad takedown while DMCA dispute continues]

From the post:

* the text starting with:

[disputed chatlog text elided to prevent another Typepad takedown while DMCA dispute continues]

through the last line of the post:

[disputed chatlog text elided to prevent another Typepad takedown while DMCA dispute continues]

From the post:

* the image: http://foo.secondlifeherald.com/.a/6a00d8341bf70253ef0120a7e8d490970b-pi

* the entire table which starts with the item:

[disputed text elided to prevent another Typepad takedown while DMCA dispute continues]

and continues through the end of the post.

From the post:

* the image: http://foo.secondlifeherald.com/.a/6a00d8341bf70253ef012876cabc0e970c-pi

* the text which starts with:

[disputed text elided to prevent another Typepad takedown while DMCA dispute continues]

through the last line of the post:

[disputed text elided to prevent another Typepad takedown while DMCA dispute continues]

115 Responses to “Pixeleen Mistral Files Legal Response to Venkman’s DMCA Abuses”

  1. We

    Feb 18th, 2010

    LL Just confirmed that my suspension for linking to the wiki is legitimate, which sets a precedent that you can be suspended for disclosure that takes place outside of Second Life. I’ve already Abuse reported Kalel for it.

  2. All Seeing Eye

    Feb 18th, 2010

    @We: See: http://wiki.secondlife.com/wiki/Linden_Lab_Official:Someone_in_Second_Life_is_distributing_chat_logs_within_Second_Life_or_on_the_Second_Life_forums.

    You’ll have to go read it because reposting that material is banned. But effectively the LL/SL TOS, by their own published policy, cannot extend beyond their corporate boundaries. This is really constitutional law since a school cannot extend it’s authority beyond it’s borders, neither can a corporation, etc. It violates the premise of Freedom of Speech. So perhaps Lessig needs to be pulled in. LL is dangerously close to getting their asses handed to them in a bad way and it is way overdue. Personally I hold the opinion law enforcement needs to be investigating LL for RICO violations as it is.

  3. We

    Feb 18th, 2010

    Yeah, I in no way reposted any disclosing material within Second Life. By their own rule on the page you linked:

    “Other actions — posting such logs on web pages, emailing them, or printing them out and posting them on utility poles in the “real world” — are all actions beyond the scope of the Second Life Terms of Service.”

    I’m in the clear. However, they suspended me for disclosure for linking to Tux’s wiki (and for linking to the Herald), and I disputed it, then they confirmed that suspension. This means that they set a precedent that says people can be banned for disclosure outside of SL, which means that Kalel Venkman and JLU are susceptible to Abuse Report for their outside of SL disclosure, so AR away.

  4. IntLibber Brautigan

    Feb 19th, 2010

    Turnaround is fair play….

    Everyone whose chat has been copied to the JLU wiki should now file DMCA complaints with Kalel Venkman’s ISP so as to get HIS interwebz services suspended…

  5. All Seeing Eye

    Feb 24th, 2010

    So tomorrow is the 25th. no lawsuit yet?

  6. We

    Feb 24th, 2010

    Well if the letter was sent on the 4th, and they gave 14 business days, then that gave TypePad until today to put them back up. It seems they have not complied to this request, so now what?

  7. All Seeing Eye

    Feb 26th, 2010

  8. Tux Winkler

    Feb 26th, 2010

    XD @ All Seeing Eye

  9. DarkAngel

    Apr 1st, 2010

    Bah Linden Labs Suspending someone who discloses a link that is outside of SecondLife, I thought their policy on this was to contact the third party site about it. As for Linden Lab doing this, It is a virtual world, and The Links could be to anything, For example, you should never post a direct link to the Wiki, But you should Disclose the main website with the forum post on it only with a bunch of others and tell the person what to look at so they dont really accuse you of it.

    I think Khael, and their team, as well as Skills Hak’s CDS, and or network ban systems need to be Forced to disband from SecondLife, and such power should not be given to one person at all like this. this type of stuff tears our community worse apart than even copybotters themselfs, I Find more botters any day than even JLU does on a daily basis I am pretty sure lol, but of course with CDS in the way I cannot abuse report them due to it, which leaves a big whole for future copybot programs and exploits because of this, and certain methods they have over looked, and things that their systems have not detected properly in the past.

  10. Tuomy Boa

    Apr 1st, 2010


    Ive given links to the site frequently in SL and Ive never been suspended, I assume more than just giving a link was involved as you can even link to pirated copy of Windows and all they can do to you is slap your wrist and tell you to stop it.

    90% of the leaked JLU wiki is false information anyway, f.ex. it marks one player who has been banned for a year for hacking peoples paypal accounts using SL as an alt of a Linden…that itself proves that JLU doesnt get any inside information from Linden Labs for their wiki but all information there is rumors and common knoweledge.

    JLU is harmless really, if you dont want to ever meet them, just avoid the 3-4 sandboxes they patrol, all the sims I frequent would just kick “on duty” JLU members off the sim if they started policing there but they seem more than content to harrasing those 3-4 linden owned sandboxes.

  11. geoffrey horner

    Apr 9th, 2010

    this may sound like an insanely simple solution, why has noone notified DC comics that the justice league unlimited in SL is violating their copyrighted work? if DC comics files a DMCA greivance with LL than the JLU in SL would be forced into renaming, and additionally those people that continued using their trademarked, and copyrighted materials, or similar likenesses would simply be banned from SL per the new ToS? it seems to me that from “justice league unlimited” was the name of a TV show that warner bros developed (see wiki for source http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Justice_League_Unlimited ) and was based on characters that DC comics owns, and while looking at the “krypton radio” website, i noticed several av’s that were wearing trademarked and copyrighted costumes that were attempting to appear as if they were authorized by DC comics, and since “fair use” is an arguable concept these days, i doubt that if money was paid for those, or were created for a monetary purpose, then that is arguably not “fair use”.
    in short i guess what i am saying is that someone dressing up in virtual tights, and using the name of a somicbook superhero group never really grew mentally beyond the 3rd grade and now is attempting to bend federal laws into his own purpose, without understanding that he himself has consistently violated the DMCA through his continued use of the likeness that is legally owned in something called “real life” by a corporation that realistically has the ability to throw so many injunctions and so many lawsuits against him that he will be destitute in less than a year just attempting to hire a lawyer that will allow him to speak in court.
    so to kalel venkman, i encourage you to attempt to file a DMCA case against me for stating your name here, as your name is also copyrighted by two different corporations, and is the property of two seperate identities.
    “kalel” which i assume must be an attempt at Kal-el which is also DC property,
    and “venkman” which in and of itself is the property of harold ramis (circa ghostbuster’s fame, and trademarked by hasbro when they released ghostbusters action figures)
    your group JLU violates the intellectual property rights of a coporation. i would advise you, and keep in mind i am not a member of the bar, but i would advise you not to attempt to file frivolous lawsuits, or to make threats, as a few very large ones might be filed against you.

    may you all live in the light, and stay this side of the dirt, until all your days are accounted for.

  12. Judge Joker

    Apr 9th, 2010

    @geoffrey horner

    Many of us have notified DC Comics, Plexus Linden has stated directly to them as shown in the JLU Wiki leak that:

    “The lab has no interest in pursuing them for copyrighted materials, or trademarks owned by others” that’s not to say some lindens are aware of how wrong that situation can be.

    We all understand that for “role play” only it’s perfectly justified to use any and almost all things on your own land, that does not effect the over all brand or promotional aspect use of someones trademark or copyright.

    Many thousands of people role play different copyrighted works but they never effect the copyright & brand of the creator, and always comply with the copyright owners wishes.

    No one minds if they role play superheros on their own land but,

    We care when they use role play as a cover excuse to abuse someones copyright.

    We care when they use role play as a cover excuse to abuse another resident.

    We care when they disobey and subvert an estate owners requests not to spy or use alt accounts or scripts to monitor his simulators.

    We care when they attract those they say they fight against, directly into Second Life with the soul purpose of causing enough mayhem to being the JLU out of hiding.

    We care when they are hypocrites about having their own real life information posted online, as if they have a right to collect it but no one should be able to do the same to them.

    “Which would not have happened if they didn’t step-up”

    We care when they try to enforce a terms of service in the fashion of a back stabbing police force.

    We care when they break the TOS and are constantly not reprimanded by Linden Labs, as we all must endure the Linden wrath.

    We care when they break the TOS under disclosure with scripts calling the data from outside Second Life to avoid punishment.

    We care when they use collected often false information to duplicate and elevate abuse reports of their choosing, above all other residents higher priority needs.

    We care when they collect information and partner it with information on their real lives, and pass that on to 3rd party’s.

    We care when they take on persona of someone who believes themselves above and beyond the law, and expose new residents to that belief.

    We care when they plot behind other residents backs, to empower themselves beyond the sandboxes and the estate managers deluded into believing they have the skills and power another resident does not.

    DC Comics does either not care or not understand how deeply fucked up it will look if this continues to extend far beyond the borders of Second Life, Sl blogs or SL websites.

    And I care and so I will continue to talk about it, not just here but everywhere possible, that I am aware will gain traffic to this issue.

  13. [...] got out of my seat and sought out my friend Kalel Venkman. Kalel and I had recently exchanged real life information when he filed frivolous DMCA takedowns against the Herald and I counter filed to get the materials [...]

  14. [...] Venkman to discuss the fine points of the copyright fair use doctrine and the drawbacks to filing frivolous DMCA takedown notices. Kalel – if could stop by the Queen Mary you can both keep an eye on [...]

  15. [...] against the Herald, but then failed to followup and file an actual copyright infringement complaint after he was given my real life contact information. In light of this I'm a bit surprised that Kalel's group wants to even discuss playing the [...]

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