January 25, 2008

Hitler still up to his old tricks:


I told you about this letter, right? You don’t have to read it, I will summarize it afterwards. Lazy loaf.





A more succinct version: “You took some pictures from my website and put them on yours, therefore you owe me 0.15 million dollars.”

The entry it regards was quickly stripped of the offending materials and I have not yet devised suitable replacements for them all. I made plans, but actually doing the act was soon sickening. I’ll possibly tell you if it ever happens. The offending materials consisted of a comic page, a comic cover and youtube frame all depicting the exact same character drawings arranged in different ways among seriously lousy 3D computer graphic backgrounds, and seen exactly as I found them, except for one whose background I altered (which they noticed, pog bless them). My point being that the whole thing’s an overpromoted ugly hackwork and true.

When I first saw the note on the evening of October 5, 2007, I spoke, aloud “well it’s about time.” I’m not one of those “ha ha, I’ve been banned from 37 forums THIS WEEK” people who gloats about being an antisocial gadshmap (I wish I would have gotten banished more often, back in the days, so I’d have stopped trying sooner), but one does wonder after a while if anybody is paying attention.

Almost right away I came up with some nonsense to say here, but was terribly paranoid about the whole thing and so kept it to myself. Fortunately, it’s totally the normal for me to mix new content with things I did years ago, so October is pretty timely. I am not convinced it’s possible to do time travel, but I believe I may be time travel.


I think with the facts that Capt’n Eli is a small operation and that I included Hitlerish imagery, the response is not surprising. While I could substitute the mustache-swastika-less Not Hitler from the Super NES port of Wolfenstein 3D, I think the intent would still be obvious, but if it wasn’t obvious it wouldn’t make sense. I could also replace Hitler with “call apogee say aardwolf” but that also wouldn’t make sense and would still have the ah… plaintiff’s drawing in it, and I certainly don’t want to fiddle about when people are threatening to take $149,837 I don’t have over a totally justified complaint. Yet I think if they obtained that money they could turn out a far higher quality product. If I had that money I could pay off my annoyances and turn out a higher quality product myself, making dumb comics fast enough that I wouldn’t have to write about silly things in the interim periods and thus this never would have happened. Stupid Eli.

I believe a lot of the trouble is that people on the internet have been largely desensitized against Hitler, to such an extent that I couldn’t imagine anyone – first of all, with gainful employment – bothering with my nonsense, and secondarily, having a legitimately off reaction, of such intensity, to the insertion of Cap’t Holocaust with other non-hitlery subjects. I thought it would be best to remove the thing altogether until I could devise of entirely generic and/or Hitler-free subject matter which still work with my own general complaints, which I think are valid. And I did that. I told you I did!

I suppose it was wrong to try and work out my annoyance at Maine, off brand soft drinks and web-comics all at the same time. If it’d been a picture of Richard Burton or Stockard Channing I could claim to feel wronged, but there aren’t any in Doom2 so the joke doesn’t work.

But that’s what this is about. It was quickly obvious to me that not the art theft, the thing they’re demanding money for, but what my friends up north are really mad about is the hitlerly of the second paragraph and, I suspect, even more just that I made fun of their soda, their website and their mediocre comics. And yes probably their state, too, knowing what I know about the people in that area. And many other areas. Otherwise, why would they care? The only other alternative is that they’re just nasty people, because clearly I have no power and no reputation which would give my words any great weight in a serious situation. They don’t really expect to get one hundred fifty thousand dollars from me, they just want people to stop talking spackle about Capten Eli and their precious “down east.” Evidently the irony of making crazy threats at being associated with naxis is lost on them.

Gah, no wonder the Wannawaf bofo didn’t want to sell that stuff.

You wouldn’t sue me JUST for copying a picture and putting it on a webpage any more than you would if I’d taped it to the front door of my house. That is not the first step (verily, you must climb four to reach the door). Yet this is the only real charge. Otherwise, the note implies that merely saving an image to my hard drive is a crime, and I must assume 90+% of internet users have been guilty of that at one time or another. Maybe it will come about that browser caches themselves are illegal. We already have a good amount of online video set so that it can only be viewed streamed. Oh well. As long as I can keep downloading roms, it shouldn’t be too much trouble. I wouldn’t be terribly surprised if the ope whose “kingdom hearts plot” guide I insulted a paragraph from came after me now.

I’m not angry at Jay Piscopo, the author. Not for this. Not that much. Because, for one thing, I don’t think it was his idea. I think maybe he found my entroid, and showed it to one of the shipyard brewers and said


“Lookie here! Capt’n Eli, the e-pit-o-me of wholesome, the toast of Down East, hero to children worldwide in my mind, before a wall of hitlers! That’s not cool, man!”

“I’ll take care of it.”

It bothered me, sure, it bothered me a lot, but I came closer to crying when the ridiculous october weather here required me to rereinstall and rereuninstall my fan in the same day.

If I could go back and do things differently, would I? Certainly. I wish I had made Hitler be smoking a joint so the lawyer could inform me of the dangers of drug abuse. Or I wish I had titled the entry “Capt’n Eli is a crackhead” or “Jay P’scopo is a sobbing talentless trainwreck of a man” just to see that printed on the letter. Although neither of those things can conclusively be proven as true merely by the evidence available. And that would have made writing the return letter slightly more awkward. But oh, I wrote it. It wasn’t exactly groveling, but I think it gave in on more points than it should have. Every word is true, though. Words themselves cannot be lies, can they? I should have said every statement is true.


re: cease and desist demand
unauthorized use of copyrighted materials

Dear Sinclair Law Offices:

I am deeply troubled that my website entry was found to be offensive,
particularly by your clients, to such an extent that they would seek
legal action. I immediately complied with the demand to remove the
infringing materials, from all possible places. My goal is always to
amuse myself and potential others; never do I embark upon quests of
simple hate, so anything which appears to be such is most unwelcome at
bimshwel.com.

Though not seeking to excuse myself, I will say that the employment of
the Hitler image was intended solely to be ridiculous, as many popular
media have rendered the sight of him in recent years. The swastika was
to be thought of as incidental as the mustache, though in retrospect I
fully understand how someone could think otherwise. I myself have been
most dissatisfied with the lack of accountability among cruel and
rambunctious persons on the internet.

Please accept this letter as an assurance that the matter has been dealt
with in the requested manner.

Your humble servant,
Brendalyndalyn Cunninkhom

“Regardless of legality, I still think you’re a creepy and scary person for taking such threatening actions over the equivelant of having a hat and glasses drawn on your re-election poster.” is just one of several things I reluctantly removed before the final version. I’m glad the word “rambunctious” survived.

“Brendalyndalyn Cunninkhom” was the name those people or that person pulled from the public who-is database of internet domain registrants and then placed within doubting quotation marks in the letter which was sent to me but not addressed to me. Rather, the letter was addressed to my parental persons, whose credit card I used. Who owns the credit card is only relevant if you’re trying to make trouble. As I see it, this gang think I’m some stupid dumb kid and they thought they were going to get me punished in a domestic fashion with this business, and even if I had I wouldn’t want to think I let them have such satisfaction, believed I it within my power to control that. I’m not even convinced the “Sinclair Law Offices” exist.

I don’t have a credit card. Neither does my considerably more self-sufficient brother Eeple, but that didn’t impede some thug from breaching his myspace page and registering a credit card in his name. I’m sure it’s printed somewhere in the seven mile myspace privacy policy that they let people do that. It will probably happen to me, too, but at least when it does I’ll have a pretty good idea where the name was gotten from. Also, I like to think whoever sends a bill to me will notice it’s kind of wrong.

The vagueness of the dedication “dear sinclair law offices” is my fault, sort of. Unable to decipher the signature on the letter –and who signs a letter, especially an angry one, “sincerely by,” anyway?– I decided to seek out the law offices’ website to find a name that looked similar to the signature. Curiously, the office seemed to specialize in medical malpractice cases. The web page opened with a big five point internet font “INJURED?” I guess that also extends to hurt feelings, though that was not among one of the numerous injuries mentioned on the front page. “Bedsores,” however, shew up three times, and apparently you can sue your bed. And then I realized “oh, this is a DIFFERENT Sinclair law offices!” It has come to my attention that there are like 800 lawyers named “Sinclair,” most of them in Florida. And so I just searched for the address, which is either “harborview properties” or the center of a road, depending on whether I believe google’s text or map search more. So I’m either being harassed by a seriously small time operation or it simply does not exist. Yeh, they want $150,000 so they can stop renting space and pay someone to make a website for them.

If Eli and the Shipyard Brewers had followed Popeye and the Happy Co.’s examples, I would have just made fun of their copyright notices and we’d never have had this problem. Or I could have linked to DUDE, IT’S SHIPYARD and cried myself to sleep. This is what comedy is in Maine. It’s also in Mp4 format. I’m never one to say “get with the times,” but mice all-whitey, use a quicker imbedded video format. This is a couple boozos talking about boze, not mc escher the movie.

If I could give advice to you: don’t reuse pictures from other people’s websites, don’t insert Hitler into them, and most certainly do not link to the original website if you do the other two things. The only reason I did that was because I wanted people to see the scary, minimum effort, totally unnecessary Flash welcome. That these thugs found me means someone did, and I’m always glad to know people are clicking my links.



7 Responses
  1. 1
    3:19 pm, January 26, 2008

    Mxy sez:

    What’s the internet coming to? No one ever got sued in the old days of antisocial gadshmapery.

  2. 2
    7:21 am, January 27, 2008

    Unbreakable comb sez:

    Since adventure was indeed delivered (if perhaps that of the “mis” variety) as a result of the update in question, I would venture to say that the title thereof was most prescient indeed.

    Also, I think you should have included a copy of your own “similarly themed” comic in the envelope, just to show there aren’t any hard feelings.

  3. 3
    4:10 pm, January 27, 2008

    Elfibrax sez:

    at Mxy:
    And they don’t appreciate Max Adventure, either. I have had my fill of these crumbums!

    at Unbreakable comb:
    If that comic existed I’d show it to everyone. The cover doesn’t really stand on it’s own.

  4. 4
    6:54 pm, January 27, 2008

    Unrakable foam sez:

    In that event, you might want to print it out on a sturdy, folding card. In any case, I seem to recall it being quite the hit among test audiences. I laughed my stupid arse off at it, for one. The bird was especially droll.

  5. 5
    9:13 pm, January 28, 2008

    Elfibrax sez:

    Oh… good? I laughed too, but I often do that to distract myself from how horrible something is. I suppose that’s the point in a case like this. And you are correct, my mission is not complete until someone involved at the other end has observed a replacement for the infringing works.

  6. 6
    6:14 pm, January 29, 2008

    Yamamanama sez:

    Photocopy some Monopoly money.

    “HA HA HA, you didn’t specify which currency.”

  7. 7
    5:02 am, January 30, 2008

    Rinslid sez:

    Be realistic. They could tell I used copies, and I don’t think there would be enough actual 500s in twenty boxes. We’re talking Game of Life money here.

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Sorry, the comment form is apologizing at this time. Which probably means I got tired of deleting robot comments off this post. It is unfortunate, but generally very few actual people have anything to say to me.

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