By Reza Ganjavi
- Why Usenet is a Useless Dangerous Outdated Technology
Sure, I can give you some advice to the best of my ability but keep in mind I am not a licensed lawyer and have only learned law by growing up with lots of family and friends who were judges and lawyers, by studying it on my own, and by learning on the job when I litigated a large case against a group of guitarists who ganged up on me on the internet and broke several laws which I alleged to be Infringement of Common Law Copyright, Intentional Infliction of Emotional Distress, Intentional Interference with Prospective Economic Advantage, Intentional Misrepresentation, Invasion of Privacy: Appropriation of Name or Likeness, Invasion of Privacy: False Light, Libel, Libel Per Se, Negligent Infliction of Emotional Distress, Negligent Misrepresentation, Trade Libel (Disparagement), Unfair Competition, Civil Conspiracy, and Consumer Fraud and Deceptive Business Practice. I warned these guys to stop their vulgar and illegal actions and remove their fraudulent and violating messages but they didn't and I had no choice but to sue them.
They tried to remain anonymous but through the power of the court I got their names revealed. Along the way I gave them many opportunities to settle the case and a couple of them did so early on, but three not until I was about to file in their state court where jurisdiction would no longer be an issue. Shortly after I filed the suit anonymous cyber stalking became a Federal crime.
I am sorry to hear that you're being victimized on this pathetic guitar newsgroup which has had a history of abuses and conflicts just like any other unmoderated group simply because there are people out there, in all walks of life, who don't respect other people's freedoms, are jealous, vulgar, psychologically empty, lonely, and burdened by comparison and in some cases with histories of being neglected and abused which makes them possess deep rooted frustrations and angers which they find an outlet for on cyberspace by abusing their implied constitutional right to speak anonymously. Unfortunately, competition in artistic circles is common, and highly unintelligent first because comparison is based on measurement and measurement in arts is highly subjective and inaccurate, and secondly, a mind which is burdened by comparison is not free. Unfortunately, our educational systems, in all disciplines including arts, promotes comparison and competition but that's a subject for another paper.
Usenet is useless. Usenet is an old technology which does not have built-in mechanisms that allow for prevention of abuse. It is best avoided specially if you are brave enough to use your real name and you come from outside the framework of academic guitar with its competitions and brutality and people who want to constantly prove they're better than others, and you make no claim whatsoever about your playing, and make some CDs which is appreciated by thousands... The UseNet groups I have known have been dominated by people who are empty or troubled psychologically and want a social life and desire to be respected, to be important, to be somebody on a newsgroup and this can come at the cost of bullying other people and doing so using illegal means which UseNet freely allows because it's a crap of technology which is completely unregulated and prone to very serious abuses. Therefore, if you have a good life, if you have rich friendships, if you are an artist and have a venue for sharing your art with others in the real world, if you're not psychologically so pathetically poor that you need to resort to be somebody on a newsgroup, then it is best to leave unmoderated newsgroups to the animals that dominate it and who do the kinds of things many have been a victim of.
Concrete recommendations would be to:
1) Immediately try to trace the message and inform their ISP if it's obvious who it is and send a notice of preservation to their UseNet service and email provider.
2) You should tell this person to stop this action and remove all their abusive messages immediately.
3) If they don't you can consider legal action which you can ask me again later and discuss with an attorney for formal recommendations.
Write again if you want.
[Look on rezamusic.com for upcoming book on this mega cyber stalking case Reza Ganjavi was a victim of, and how he found and brought the stalkers to justice.]