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.


Patreon ups the ante

Because it is being methodically and systematically trounced in arbitration, Patreon has resorted to the unusual – if not to say entirely insane – tactic of threatening to file lawsuits against its users who have done nothing more than follow the rules imposed upon them unilaterally by Patreon.

This appears to be a desperation move that was inspired by the complete failure of their lawyers to consolidate, coordinate, or otherwise group the parties in order to avoid the inevitable expenses of scores of simultaneous arbitrations by the users they had wronged.

Of course, as I’ve previously pointed out, every attack creates an opening, and the opening they’ve created here can only be described as comprehensive. For you see, in addition to the deceptive practices they’ve already committed, and in addition to their attempts to remove the consumer protection laws from their creators, Patreon is now attempting to strip consumer protections from all of their users, creators and patrons alike. At this point, every move they make only serves to create new vulnerabilities.

In this case, if they actually follow through on their current posturing and start serving their users, what this will do is allow the Legal Legion to move any lawsuit filed in a state court to Federal court, then file counterclaims that include one or more class actions on behalf of a) all of Patreon’s creators as well as b) all of Patreon’s users.

If necessary, we will also be setting up a legal defense fund, not to pay for the Legion’s services, but to demonstrate that the Patreon users being attacked by Patreon will be protected in the extremely unlikely event that a lunatic Federal judge decides that Patreon has somehow been damaged by its users legitimately exercising the rights imposed upon them by Patreon.

Of course, literally all of the relevant law and case law, both state and Federal, points to this being either a) Patreon attempting to commit suicide by law, or b) Patreon’s lawyers desperately trying to convince Patreon to keep writing them the checks that it shouldn’t have written in the first place. This legal “strategy”, to the extent that one can call it that, is so obviously futile that if you’re financially dependent upon Patreon in any way, I would not count on it being around in 12 months.

#crushing #delendaest


The heat is on

Patreon lays off 30 people:

Creative platform Patreon  has laid off 30 employees, which is 13{de336c7190f620554615b98f51c6a13b1cc922a472176e2638084251692035b3} of its workforce, TechCrunch has learned.

“It is unclear how long this economic uncertainty will last and therefore, to prepare accordingly, we have made the difficult decision to part ways with 13{de336c7190f620554615b98f51c6a13b1cc922a472176e2638084251692035b3} of Patreon’s workforce,” a Patreon spokesperson said in a statement to TechCrunch. “This decision was not made lightly and consisted of several other factors beyond the financial ones.”

Several other factors indeed…. Snicker-snack.


Email alert

If you are a Replatformer with an account created BEFORE December 19, 2019 and you wish to put a certain company on 30-day notice concerning their recent deceptive practices and contractual breaches, as required by the law, please be on the lookout for an email with DECEPTIVE PRACTICES NOTICE in the subject.

The email contains a link to a file with instructions. All that is required is providing some basic information, then sending an email to the address contained in the file. If you have an SG2 account and you follow me, you can directly access the file from there. Please respond quickly to the email, as the more who object, the more likely it is that the deceptive practices will come to an end.

Eligible VFM should take part in The Noticing.

UPDATE: About half the emails went out today. The other half will go out tomorrow.


What did I tell you?

Did I not say that Patreon was going to change its terms of use again before the end of February?

From: The Patreon team
Subject: Updates to our policies
Date: 16 January 2020

As part of our ongoing commitment to privacy and to comply with the California Consumer Privacy Act (“CCPA”), we are updating our Privacy Policy. We are also taking this opportunity to update our Terms of Use and Benefit Guidelines.

Now how could I know that? Here is another prediction. They will change them again before the end of March….