Taking the Filth Factory public

Or at least they’re going to try. Patreon’s lawyers are now running around making ludicrous threats about how they are going to overturn California’s consumer protection laws, Patreon’s own Terms of Use, and the JAMS arbitration rules by shrieking very loudly about how unfair it is for Patreon’s users to make it live up to the terms of its own contract. It’s a bold move, Cotton, and it’s obviously inspired by Patreon’s hope to go public before the markets crash.

When is the Patreon IPO date?

The official date for the Patreon IPO has yet to be announced, but it will become public information once Patreon publicizes their paperwork with the Securities Exchange Commission (SEC). As of February, they maintained a confidential filing to keep investors out of the loop for as long as possible. While it sounds malicious, it’s quite common—particularly during an era of extreme unpredictability in the market and economy alike. 

What investors need to know ahead of the Patreon IPO 

Regardless of what method the company uses to get to market, investors ought to act with caution and ensure they do adequate research before putting money into any company or security. This is called doing your due diligence, and it is truly up to every individual investor to do so.

While a direct listing may seem “easier” to access for retail investors when compared to a traditional IPO, that doesn’t mean that it makes it a guaranteed better investment than other companies.

In regards to Patreon, the platform has seen extensive growth over the past years, and has brought on plenty of new talent to the platform as well. Their loyalty lies with the content creators that call Patreon home, as evidenced by their recent hire of Joe Budden as head of creator equity. In this role, Budden will act as a liaison of sorts between the platform and creators. It shows that Patreon is committed to a just corporate structure that benefits their creators rather than solely uplifting the executive chairs.

You might be wondering what the difference between Patreon and a GoFundMe-type platform is. Honestly, it’s a valid question whether or not you’re an investor. 

Patreon’s market niche lies within their offering of month-to-month subscription services, much like a cable television subscription or other monthly subscription boxes that have gained in popularity as of late. Whereas a GoFundMe centers largely around a one-time donation, Patreon gives fans the opportunity to receive exclusive content for a monthly premium. Exclusive, a word that is usually just for show, holds substantial value on Patreon. 

Creators post content that their fans won’t be able to find anywhere else, things like exclusive podcast episodes, tutorials, or access to merchandise. This adds another layer to Patreon’s appeal for both creators and fans alike. 

Investors would have to be totally crazy to buy into Patreon’s IPO, especially at the obvious peak of the financial bubble. A lot of that “content that their fans won’t be able to find anywhere else” is adult content that very often crosses the line into illegal content. As of March 31, 24 percent of Patreon’s revenue is derived from NSFW content, more than half of which is NSFW games, comics, and animation. These NSFW games are some of Patreon’s top creators, bringing in as much as $98,500 in monthly revenue while blatantly violating the fake “zero tolerance” policy that supposedly bans “rape, incest, and bestiality”. 

8797 Adult Drawing

8381 Adult Cosplay

6821 Adult Other

5130 Adult Comics

4164 Adult Games

3329 Adult Writing

2507 Adult Photography

1810 Adult Animation

1618 Adult Podcasts

_805 Adult Music

_224 Adult Dance & Theater

__99 Adult Magazine

__76 Adult Crafts

Patreon would be a horrible investment, because as soon as the big payment processors take 10 seconds to look at how Patreon put on their little “oh, we’re totally cleaning things up now, yessiree” performance, they’ll see right through the charade. At the end of 2017, when the crackdown supposedly took place, Patreon had under 20,000 NSFW creators bringing in an estimated $2.5 million in monthly revenue. At the end of March 31, 2021, Patreon had 43,761 NSFW creators bringing in an estimated $6 million in revenue. Some crackdown.

In other words, a not-inconsiderable portion of the exclusive content they are advertising can’t be found anywhere else can’t be found anywhere else because it is illegal. And the very worst stuff is what brings in the most money. Innocuous-sounding “games” like “Summertime Saga” and “Wild Life” go well beyond what you likely imagine NSFW game content to be, while other more openly dire creations are even worse than they sound. We’re not talking about Grand Theft Auto or Doom here, and despite being less than one-tenth of the NSFW creators, these obscene so-called games bring in about one-third of the aforementioned $6 million every month for the Filth Factory.

In addition to attempting to keep the full extent of their NSFW content under wraps, the reason Patreon is attempting to keep investors out of the loop is because the Filth Factory doesn’t want to let them know how much investor money has been blown on totally unnecessary litigation expenses, which based on the lawyer’s rants could already be rapidly approaching their entire annual net revenue for 2020. Now, imagine what would have happened if Sargon and all the others who were deplatformed had decided to stand up for their rights for once rather than whining and crying on the sympathy circuit.

Patreon wrongly thought that the Bears were afraid of court and tried to use it to get them out of arbitration. Now they’re doing precisely the opposite by trying to keep the Bears in arbitration, out of court, and off the public record. If you think about it, it shouldn’t be too hard to figure out their motivation.


An interesting idea

Apparently France permits lawsuits against tech companies breaching their own terms of service:

Reporters Without Borders (RSF) has launched a lawsuit against Facebook in France, accusing the social media giant of breaching its own terms of service by allowing hate speech and misinformation to spread on its site.

The media watchdog group took the step to challenge Facebook over what it described as “misleading commercial practices” and a “massive proliferation” of problematic content on the company’s platform.

The legal action focuses on a section of Facebook’s policies that pledge to provide “a safe, secure and error-free environment” for users but RSF argues that hate speech and false information mean that the company is in breach of its own guidelines.

While the lawsuit has been filed in a French court, the group has named Facebook France and Facebook Ireland, as the Irish side manages some of the actions of the French branch.

If a court agrees that Facebook has engaged in “misleading commercial practices”, the company could face a fine of €1.5 million ($1.79 million), which can be increased to 10{3549d4179a0cbfd35266a886b325f66920645bb4445f165578a9e086cbc22d08} of the company’s average annual revenue over a three year period. 

I wonder if there might happen to be any other tech companies operating in the European Union that are engaged in misleading commercial practices that breach its own terms of service by allowing content for which it claims to have “zero tolerance”?


Google wants to fight

Hi Vox Day,

We have reviewed your content and found severe or repeated violations of our Community Guidelines. Because of this, we have removed your channel from YouTube.

We know this is probably very upsetting news, but it’s our job to make sure that YouTube is a safe place for all. If we think a channel severely violates our policies, we take it down to protect other users on the platform – but if you believe we’ve made the wrong call, you can appeal this decision. You’ll find more information about the policy in question and how to submit an appeal below.

What our policy says

 Spam, scams or commercially deceptive content are not allowed on YouTube.

We have permanently removed your channel from YouTube. Going forward, you won’t be able to access, possess, or create any other YouTube channels. 

If you have any further questions, please feel free to reach out to us here.

Sincerely,

The YouTube Team 

And so it begins… Although I have to observe that it is rather a puzzling hill for them to choose to defend. They backed down after posting false claims about the blog, so to make equally false claims about the YouTube channel barely one month later makes me suspect that it’s another low-level SJW abusing his position rather than corporate policy.

However, if they want a fight, then by all means, we will not hesitate to give them one! This is the one skull I’ve long dreamed of adding to my collection. And if you want to help, subscribe to UATV!

The Ride Never Ends.


Legal Legion saves arbitration

Patreon tried to destroy consumer arbitration in America. The Legal Legion stopped them.

This is a little complicated, and obviously I’m not a lawyer, but I’ll try to explain what I am reliably informed by multiple sources has been taking place over the last two months in the Bears vs Patreon arbitrations. Keep in mind that these arbitrations are entirely separate matters from the Patreon vs Bears lawsuit, which has been underway since May in the San Francisco Superior Court.

Like all corporations that mandate arbitration but forbid group action in their terms of use, Patreon blanched at the cost of actually paying for all the arbitrations that its contract with its users requires it to pay. This is normal, and every company that has been hit by mass arbitrations from employees or consumers, from Uber to Doordash, has desperately – and unsuccessfully – tried to get out of paying for the costs that its own lawyers required it to pay when they wrote the contract that was forced upon its users or employees. I’ve written in some detail about the irony of these entirely predictable reactions in Corporate Cancer.

Patreon behaved like all the other corporations before it in trying to evade these obligatory expenses, which is why it filed the lawsuit against the Bears in order to try to stop the arbitrations. That lawsuit is doomed to fail, just like all the other previous corporations’ lawsuits have, which is presumably why Patreon’s lawyers came up with a clever, and very nasty, little legal trick that is based on a little-known California law called 998. It’s complicated, I’d never even heard of it, and I’m still not sure I understand it completely despite reading through it several times, but basically it works like this:

  1. One party makes an offer to declare the second party the winner. This offer is monetary and may or may not include an offer to pay the second party’s legal fees.
  2. If the second party accepts the offer, it’s over. 
  3. If the second party does not accept the offer, the first party has the right to have all of its legal fees and legal costs paid by the second party if the second party does not win an award that is greater than the amount offered by the first party.

It’s a sort of legal ju-jitsu, in which one party’s victory in court or arbitration can be transformed into a massively expensive defeat by a properly calibrated 998 offer. Fortunately, the Legal Legion immediately recognized that the way these offers put the Bears in potential danger of being forced to pay Patreon’s legal costs was an obvious violation of the JAMS rules as well as the California consumer protection laws. So, they objected to the offers and pointed out how the offers were a violation of JAMS policy as well as the law. JAMS agreed and banned the offers, but Patreon objected to the ban, so JAMS said its version of the Supreme Court, which interprets the JAMS rules and sets its official policies, would permit all of the interested parties to make their points about the pros and cons of the ban.

Patreon made its arguments, the Legal Legion presented its arguments, and I’m told that yesterday, the JAMS Supreme Court affirmed the JAMS ban on 998 offers in consumer arbitration, which means that Patreon’s most recent attempt to escape its growing arbitration and legal costs is as dead as all of the previous attempts made by every other corporation that requires arbitration when actually faced with it.

But this victory is arguably more important than the others, because I’m told that Patreon’s 998 tactic, if successful, would have completely eliminated consumer arbitration in California, which is where most US technology corporations are headquartered. So this is not only good news for the Bears, it is good news for America. It is probably not, however, good news for DLive….


Patreon bravely runs away

Patreon changes its Terms of Use again:

Dispute resolution

To summarize: If you have a problem please talk to us. Any disputes with us must be resolved in San Francisco under California law.

We encourage you to contact us if you have an issue. If a dispute does arise out of these terms or in relation to your use of Patreon, then the dispute will be resolved in the federal or state courts located in San Francisco, California. Both parties consent to the exclusive jurisdiction and venue of the San Francisco courts for the purpose of resolving any such dispute.

California law, excluding its conflict of law provisions, governs these terms, all other Patreon policies, and any dispute that arises between you and Patreon.

Translation: they’re losing the consumer arbitrations so badly that they’re running away from arbitration altogether. Compare it to the old terms if you don’t understand what the new language signifies.

The lesson, as always, is this: don’t fuck with the Legal Legion.


If Google wants to dance

They’re practically begging for it now. That’s straight-up defamation and it is completely and utterly untrue. The only entity recording information here is Google themselves.

PLEASE STOP SENDING RED SCREEN SCREENSHOTS. I already have hundreds. 

Then we dance, and ever so beautifully:

Google put up a full page red warning against this page. A warning that it contains malicious software. It did let me through after a couple clicks.

Smells like defamation. This may have been a major miscalculation on some low-level SJWs part that will hand us skulls on a silver platter. First, there are no apps or software on this site. Second, this site is hosted by a Google-owned company. Third, I know what they’re doing and how to prove it to a jury. So, if you’re outside the USA and you know how to take a video of your screen, email me and I will provide you with instructions. We only need one video per country, so if you see your country crossed off, don’t email me.

  • USA
  • UK
  • Brazil
  • Canada
  • Singapore
  • Denmark
  • Hungary
  • Japan
  • Germany
  • France
  • Italy
  • Portugal
  • Spain
  • Sweden
  • Switzerland
  • Slovakia
That should do for starters. For the record, the first observation of this false alert was December 15, 2020 16:54.
UPDATE: They are so screwed. I know exactly what they did, and it was not only retarded, but obvious.
UPDATE: The Legion is on it. Notice the conspicuous lack of URLs that are supposedly causing a problem.
UPDATE: If you’re making a video, stop and think for two seconds about what you are trying to demonstrate for two seconds before you record it. If you go directly from the transparency page to the .com page, you prove NOTHING. You have to go from the transparency page to the country-specific page, because THAT will show the redirect as well as prove the malicious intent and the falsity of the “warning”.
UPDATE: I’m going to test if it’s the post I suspect it is. As you can see below, Google hasn’t specified anything at all.
To: Webmaster of http://voxday.blogspot.com/ ,
Google systems have detected that some downloadable files on your site might contain malware or unwanted software. To protect your site’s visitors, browsers such as Google Chrome now display a warning when users visit or click links to download these files from your site.
Act now to fix this problem and remove the warning:
1 Identify problematic URLs
Check the example URLs in the “Security Issues” page in Search Console. Note that this page displays a list of samples and not an exhaustive list of problematic URLs. Do not click the URLs for risk of infecting yourself with malware. View Examples
2 Scan files hosted on your site with antivirus software
Antivirus software can help identify many types of malicious or unwanted software.
3 Read our Unwanted Software Policy
Make sure all downloadable files from your site comply with the criteria listed in the policy. Files that violate these criteria will be identified as unwanted software. View Policy
4 Request a security review
Only do this once you’re sure your site is free of problematic content. Include any details or documentation that can help us understand the changes made to your site. Request a Review
Here is a sample of URLs from your site where we detected malware:
https://voxday.blogspot[.]com/

Arbitrator rules against Big Bear

Somewhat to our surprise, the arbitrator in Owen’s case ruled that Patreon does have the contractual right it claims to kick anyone off its platform at any time without any reason, regardless of whether the user being kicked off has violated any rules or community guidelines or not. That right to terminate any user at any time at will was the reason he gave for granting Patreon’s request for summary disposition.

The arbitrator also appeared to make the mistake of confusing “terminating the contract” with “deleting the creator page”, but given his very broad grant of permissions to Patreon, I can’t see how that matters. So, this means that Owen’s arbitration is pretty much over.

What does it mean for the metacase and for the hundreds of other ongoing and pending arbitrations? Nothing at all. Arbitrations are arbitrary and they set absolutely no precedent from one proceeding to the next. In fact, even Owen’s arbitrator pointed out in his ruling that Patreon’s attempt to cite other arbitrator’s rulings in his arbitration were not valid and could not be taken into account.

This is not the first tactical loss, and it probably won’t be the last, but neither the tactical wins nor the losses will make any difference as things proceed toward the inevitable end.


Ruh-roh

More and more people are reaching the conclusion that Patreon has landed itself in some very deep doo-doo and are taking steps accordingly:

PATREON AS A PLATFORM IS IN TROUBLE ! (IMPORTANT)

Everyone Patreon is facing a situation that has come to our attention. We’re not really sure what the future holds for our orange logo’d subscription based platform, and honestly it has us worried. We do feel that our current steady income is at risk, so….here’s our statement. XD

With the future being so uncertain, we talked about it through out the following days to come up with an alternative that could help us and YOU to keep your monthly rewards

Since there’s a lot to unpack here, we decided to make a QnA to inform you all of the decisions we have taken as a preventive measure.

What’s interesting is that many, if not most, of these people are not exactly the sort of folks you’d expect to find in the Big Bear fan club, but they can clearly see that the ship is not only infected with Covid-19 and a nasty stomach bug, but is taking on water fast. So, they’re abandoning ship.

I’ve been teeter-totting on whether or not I should stay on Patreon for a while, and this for me is the  kick of the bucket. You’re dead to me. First of all, I’m recognizing all of the red flags here. You’re losing money, you’re in a lawsuit that you’re going to lose. Patreon has always been kind of shady with their creators and it goes to show that they don’t think their creators have rights.

People are getting sick of it. Guys, there’s only so much you can take, at some point you have to jump ship, especially when the ship is sinking into a volcano and everyone on the ship has diarrhea. I don’t want to be covered in hot… to those of you who are giving to my Patreon account, thank you and I’m sorry. I am closing it.


Patreon denied preliminary injunction

From the Superior Court of San Francisco:

2020-07-29 LAW AND MOTION, 302, PREVIOUSLY SUBMITTED ON JUL-13-2020, ORDER TO SHOW CAUSE RE PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION IS TAKEN OFF CALENDAR PURSUANT TO THE ORDER DENYING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION, FILED ON JUL-29-2020. (D302)

2020-07-29 ORDER DENYING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

There was also a hearing in Owen’s arbitration concerning Patreon’s motion for summary judgment today. That ruling won’t be given until next week, but based on what the lawyers have said, I think it is very, very unlikely that the arbitrator isn’t going to permit the arbitration to proceed to the final hearing.

So far, so good. Especially in light of the Commerce Department filing a petition to prevent the social media platforms from performing their little publisher/platform dance to avoid responsibility for their own actions.

The text of the judge’s order denying the injunction and declining to interfere in the 72 arbitrations has been posted publicly and can be read below. It is essentially the tentative ruling plus the judge addressing Patreon’s additional citations; read the whole thing for a good understanding of where the situation stands at this point in the process.

SUPERIOR COURT OF THE STATE OF CALIFORNIA
FOR THE COUNTY OF SAN FRANCISCO

ORDER DENYING PRELIMINARY INJUNCTION

Patreon seeks a preliminary injunction to enjoin defendants “from continuing to pursue improper claims against Patreon in JAMS arbitration,” pending this Court’s consideration and final adjudication of Patreon’s complaint for declaratory judgment. Defendants are individual claimants in 72 pending JAMS arbitration proceedings against Patreon. Patreon claims that those claims are barred by its Terms of Use because they involve nonarbitrable claims. Patreon’s request for a preliminary injunction is denied, for several reasons.

First, Patreon fails to show that it will suffer any irreparable injury or interim harm if an injunction does not issue. JAMS has agreed to determine the threshold jurisdictional issues Patreon raises and will afford Patreon an opportunity to object to its jurisdiction in the course of the arbitration proceedings. If Patreon is correct that Defendants’ claims are not arbitrable or are outside the scope of the parties’ agreements, the arbitrators presumably will rule in its favor on those issues. Merely having to incur expense in order to participate in arbitration proceedings is not irreparable harm.

Second, Patreon fails to show a reasonable likelihood of prevailing on its claims. Even if Patreon were correct that Defendants’ claims are not arbitrable, those issues are for the arbitrator, not the court, to decide. “An arbitration provision’s reference to, or incorporation of, arbitration rules that give the arbitrator the power or responsibility to decide issues of arbitrability may constitute clear and unmistakable evidence the parties intended the arbitrator to decide those issues.” {Aanderud v. Superior Court (2017) 13 Cal.App.5th 880, 892 [arbitration provision’s reference to JAMS rules that assign issues of arbitrability to the arbitrator “evidences the parties’ clear and unmistakable intent to submit issues of arbitrability to the arbitrator”].) Rule 8(b) of the JAMS Streamlined Arbitration Rules provides, “Jurisdictional and arbitrability disputes, including disputes over the formation, existence, validity, interpretation or scope of the agreement under which Arbitration is sought, and who are proper Parties to the Arbitration, shall be submitted to and ruled on by the Arbitrator. The Arbitrator has the authority to determine jurisdiction and arbitrability issues as a preliminary matter.” Indeed, Patreon asserts that a JAMS arbitrator has already ruled in its favor in a similar case. (Reply at 4 n.3.)

Third, California courts rarely grant the extraordinary relief Patreon seeks here: an injunction interfering with an ongoing contractual arbitration proceeding. “Once a dispute is submitted to arbitration, the [California Arbitration Act] contemplates limited, if any, judicial involvement. ‘Typically, those who enter into arbitration agreements expect that their dispute will be resolved without necessity for any contact with the courts. [Citation.] ‘It is the job of the arbitrator, not the court, to resolve all questions needed to determine the controversy.’” {Briggs v. Resolution Remedies (2008) 168 Cal.App.4th 1395, 1400.) That conclusion is “especially true” where, as here, “the arbitration began without the need to seek a court order compelling arbitration.” {Id. at 1401.) As another court has explained, “An arbitration has a life of its own outside the judicial system. The trial court may not step into a case submitted to arbitration and tell the arbitrator what to do and when to do it.” (Titan/Value Equities Group, Inc, v. Superior Court (1994) 29 Cal.App.4th 482, 487-489 [trial court exceeded its jurisdiction when it attempted to remedy arbitration delay by ordering arbitration to proceed under stated conditions subject to reinstatement on trial calendar].)

To be sure, Patreon is correct that this principle is not an inflexible one. However, the cases Patreon cited for the first time at the hearing do not support its position, either because no issue was actually raised or decided on appeal as to the propriety of such injunctive relief, or because they are readily distinguishable on their facts. (See, e.g., Brooks v. AmeriHome Mortgage Company, LLC (2020) 47 Cal.App.5th 624, 629, pet. fo r review filed, No. S261879 (June 9, 2020) [court issued preliminary injunction to enjoin arbitration of PAGA claim, which employer conceded was “nonarbitrable” under controlling authority]; Stasz v. Schwab (2004) 121 Cal.App.4th 420, 426-427, 442 [affirming judgment confirming arbitrator’s award; opinion notes that trial court denied repeated requests to stay arbitration proceedings, but suggests in dicta, citing federal authority, that “[i]f an arbitrator or sponsoring organization mistakenly accepts jurisdiction, a party may either seek judicial relief to enjoin the arbitration or object to jurisdiction in the arbitration proceedings and raise the lack of jurisdiction as a ground for vacating the award”]; Delta Dental Plan v. Banasky (1994) 27 Cal.App.4th 1598, 1602 [affirming summary judgment for dental plan; opinion notes that the AAA advised the parties it would resume the arbitration unless there were a court order staying arbitration]; International Film Investors v. Arbitration Tribunal of Directors Guild (1984) 152 Cal.App.3d 699,704 [dismissing appeal from judgment following trial court’s denial of petition for writ of prohibition seeking to prevent commencement of arbitration proceedings]; N.A.M.E.S. v. Singer (1979) 90 Cal.App.3d 653 [reversing order dismissing petition to confirm arbitration award]; Windsor Mills, Inc. v. Collins & Aikman Corp. (1972) 25 Cal.App.3d 987 [affirming judgment denying petition to compel arbitration and preliminary injunction against arbitration proceedings initiated by seller during pendency of buyer’s action for damages on ground that there was no agreement to arbitrate because buyer was unaware of arbitration provision].)

Briggs is closely analogous. There, the arbitrator stayed an uninsured motorist arbitration pending a determination of the insured’s entitlement to workers’ compensation benefits. The insured sought a petition for writ of mandate, which the trial court denied on its merits. The Court of Appeal affirmed on other grounds, holding that “the trial court lacked the authority to review a discretionary, prehearing order of an arbitrator.” (168 Cal.App.4th at 1397.) As it explained, “the trial court conducted what amounted to a de novo review of an arbitrator’s interlocutory order, something it had no statutory authority to review for any reason.” (Id. at 1401.) Here, Patreon is effectively seeking similar relief: immediate review of JAMS’ interlocutory orders submitting the contested issues to the arbitrators for decision, rather than immediately granting Patreon’s objections to arbitration or its alternative request to issue a blanket stay of the arbitration proceedings pending a ruling on Patreon’s request for coordination of those arbitrations. Under Briggs, the Court lacks authority to review those administrative decisions.

Accordingly, the court DENIES Patreon’s request for a preliminary injunction.

IT IS SO ORDERED.


No anonymous defamation

At least not in California anymore:

Two women who used Twitter to anonymously accuse Justin Bieber of sexual assault may be identified after a judge ruled that the star is allowed to subpoena the social media platform for the info.

Deadline reports that Los Angeles Superior Court Judge Terry Green ruled in Bieber’s favor Thursday, allowing the “Sorry” singer and his attorneys to demand Twitter turn over the identities of these alleged victims.

“We just want to uncover who is behind these two accounts, and it may be the same person,” Bieber’s lawyer, Evan N. Spiegel told the court. He also called the claims “provably false” through eyewitness and photographic evidence.

This would appear to be a very bad time to be someone who posts anonymous written defamation about people on a site operated by a California corporation.