Friends, thanks for the outpouring of support. I’m pretty upset here. Actually I’m really upset. Fact is, for all my joking, I really love Apple products and, until now, or even still now I guess, I really love Apple as a company. Sounds silly, I know, but I’m one of those nuts who wears an “I visited the Mothership” T-shirt and feels a kind of kinship with the company. So this hurts. I mean I know it’s just business and these are just legal assholes doing their job. But still. It feels personal.
To answer some of your questions:
Q. “Can’t you just delete the three posts they’re complaining about?”
A. From what I’m told (yeah, I talked to a lawyer), simply erasing the posts isn’t enough. Retraction or apology could appease a plaintiff in some cases but it isn’t a valid form of defense. It’s only enough if they agree it’s enough. They have to accept it as part of a settlement, in other words. But in this case there’s a complicating factor, which is this: They won’t tell me which three posts they’re talking about. I’ve asked. They say they’re not ready to disclose that and that in fact there may be more than three, but the three they’ve mentioned are just the first ones they’ve spotted in a cursory search. My sense is they’re not really upset about any particular posts, but just view them as a way to get leverage and push me toward a settlement on unfavorable terms.
Q. “Can’t you countersue?”
A. Yes. I can. Anyone can sue anyone. Right now it wouldn’t be countersuing since they haven’t actually sued me. It’s all just talk. Scare-the-shit-out-of-you talk, to be sure. But just talk. The other issue is that hiring a lawyer would cost me a fortune. I’ve already paid a shitload just for the consultation and retainer. And you know that if they really want to play rough Apple will just drag this out forever and run up the tab. Another thing to consider is that I’m just one guy, with a job and a family and plenty of other things to worry about; on their side they could easily put two legal douchebags (or five, or twelve, or whatever) to work on this full-time and do nothing but make my life difficult. Just hiring a lawyer to respond to their letters has been a huge and expensive pain in my ass.
Q. “You should get EFF to represent you.”
A. I tried, but at first they ignored me and then when I persisted I was told that EFF doesn’t appreciate some of the shit I’ve said about them in the past, because I’ve been pretty critical of them. I said okay, maybe you don’t like what I’ve written about you, but surely you’ll defend my right to say it, won’t you? Their response: “We only help people we like. Good luck.” Click. Dial tone.