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….

The doctrine of unconscionability

Just a little light reading that has occupied a few members of the Legion of late:

“The doctrine of unconscionability ‘ “ ‘refers to “ ‘an absence of meaningful choice on the part of one of the parties together with contract terms which are unreasonably favorable to the other party.’ ” ’ ” ’  [Citations.]  There is both a procedural and substantive aspect of unconscionability; the former focuses on ‘oppression’ or ‘surprise’ due to unequal bargaining power, the latter on ‘overly harsh’ or ‘one-sided’ results.  [Citation.]

‘ “Both procedural and substantive unconscionability must be present for the court to refuse to enforce a contract under the doctrine of unconscionability although ‘ “they need not be present in the same degree.” ’  [Citation.]  Essentially the court applies a sliding scale to the determination:  ‘ “[T]he more substantively oppressive the contract term, the less evidence of procedural unconscionability is required to come to the conclusion that the term is unenforceable, and vice versa.” ’ ” ’  [Citation.]  Absent conflicting evidence, the trial court’s unconscionability determination is a question of law subject to de novo review.  [Citations.]”  (Ramos v. Superior Court (2018) 28 Cal.App.5th 1042, 1063 (Ramos); see also Armendariz v. Foundation Health Psychcare Services, Inc. (2000) 24 Cal.4th 83, 113–114 (Armendariz).)

Everything up to now has just been prelude. The Death Star is now fully operational. If you’re both a Rubble Bouncer and a Replatformer, be ready for the green light.

UPDATE: You will know things are well underway when Patreon revises its TOS again and removes the restrictions it inserted on December 20th before February 6th.

Speaking of hunting trolls

A word of advice: emailing us nothing but a link to a video and saying “this video is in violation” is entirely useless. If you want to help, then please put in the work that will actually reduce the workload of others.

This is what a proper copyright violation report looks like:

1. Copyright Infringement Notification
What is the issue?

 Copyright infringement (Someone copied my creation)

2. Copyright infringement – Who is affected?

 My company, organization, or client

3. Videos to be removed

URL of allegedly infringing video to be removed:

Describe the work allegedly infringed:
∗ The YouTube URL of my original video: 

∗ Where does the content appear?

Where does your work appear in the targeted video?
Where does it appear in your source video?

Note that without the timestamps from BOTH the original and the violating video, the lawyers cannot submit the copyright infringement notification. So, if you’re not going to provide that, there is no point in providing anything.

I understand people are simply trying to help. But the key word there is “trying”, as it is vital to understand that actual help requires REDUCING the burden upon others, not INCREASING it. Which is why just bringing something to someone’s attention cannot reasonably be described as helping.

No despair nancies

If you’re going to be a despair nancy, just go away now. Take that weak, worrisome “I just fear bad things will happen to people who are braver than me” bullshit to Hell from whence it came. You are literally worse than useless. If you were truly concerned, you’d be praying for them in silence, you wouldn’t be issuing what could quite reasonably be seen as implicit threats in public.

Understand this is a hard and fast rule. If you are a demoralizer, if you are a black-piller, you WILL be banned. Period. And I don’t give an airborne rodent’s posterior if your fear is genuine. In fact, that would be all the more reason to banish you from our midst.

WE are not given a spirit of fear. If YOU are, then obviously you are not us.

If you can’t steel yourself and find the courage to stand in the ranks without flinching, then we neither need nor want you at our sides.

A Presidential candidate meets the Dread Ilk

Scooter Downey@TrueLegendFilms
Is this a real @marwilliamson tweet?

Marianne Williamson@marwilliamson
Not only is it NOT a real Marianne Williamson tweet; it is particularly distressing because it is made to look as though it is.

Scooter Downey@TrueLegendFilms
That’s good to know! Follow up: are you a witch?

Benjamin Franklin@benFranklin2018
I also saw this old one floating around – can you confirm or deny whether this is real or not?

Marianne Williamson@marwilliamson

Benjamin Franklin@benFranklin2018
ok, thank you, it seemed a little counter to the overall love message.

I can’t help but notice that Ms Williamson rather conspicuously did NOT deny being a witch….

Round two: fired

The leader of the AH:Q backers’ class-action claim against Indiegogo has just informed me that their joint demand for arbitration has been sent off to both the arbitrator and Indiegogo’s VP/General Counsel. As per their recent research, they have added a claim of tortious interference by Indiegogo in the separate agreement between the campaign backers and Arkhaven.

If you are a backer of the AH:Q campaign on Indiegogo but are not one of the 195 class-action claimants – please don’t even THINK about asking if you are one of them, as if you have to ask, then you are not a part of it – you can still file your own demand for arbitration and the lawyers handling the class action have prepared a package that will help you do so. Note that it will cost $250 to file the claim, but that plus the cost of sending two registered mailings will be the full extent of your expenses, as stated in the Indiegogo Terms of Use.

If you are interested in filing your own demand, but have not already contacted me about doing so, please feel free to email me and I will pass your email on to the relevant parties.