Justin du Coeur (jducoeur) wrote,
Justin du Coeur

I utterly cannot understand how some people think...

... the immediate case being "JonMon" (warning: this link appears to be full of intentional hyperbole), AKA Jon Monsarrat. Who apparently was a co-founder of Turbine Games, as he brags about at *considerable* length from what I can find online, including some weirdly inappropriate places. However, Turbine itself seems to mention him relatively little.

Until last week, I'd had no idea who this guy was -- and then he went and sued a considerable fraction of the davis_square community (including several folks I know, and some mutual friends of people here), apparently because he believes that he was slandered by them. (ETA: Links to gists get auto-embedded in LJ? When did that happen?) This despite the fact that the "offense" appears to have consisted largely of reposting and linking to publicly-available news, and commenting in the resulting threads -- in many cases, comments that said little or nothing about him personally.

I am *totally* not a lawyer, but the lawsuit seems rather specious to me, and I don't like the smell of it. This is a man who one presumes is rather wealthy (from having founded a major game publisher), suing a large number of people who are not, on what appear to be weak grounds. In my personal opinion, that feels like bullying. But of course, the direct effect of this suit (especially its preposterous breadth) is that many people like me now know far more about the background and history than we ever wanted to, having now been motivated to look into it. I wouldn't have paid any attention to him if he hadn't started suing friends of mine. The sheer apparent irrationality of the suit surprises me.

I always like to ask questions to foment conversation, so: does this lawsuit seem to you to have merit? Would you be inclined to contribute to the legal defense fund that I hope will be set up to contest it? How much is it probably going to wind up costing him, per-defendant? (And what is the fact of his filing this suit likely to do to his reputation?) Is he likely to keep suing everyone who mentions him online? Would it be appropriate to start an Internet Meme of mentioning him and pointing back to his lawsuit? (Which is, after all, a public document, so it is hard to see how he could sue over that.) I confess some curiosity about how this mindset works.

And yes, I'm curious about whether he will decide to sue me over this post of personal impression of his public actions. It says something about the chilling effects of blanket lawsuits like this that I did have to think carefully about whether to even post my personal thoughts. But I have the resources to defend myself, I'm a founding member of the EFF (and I have a deep dislike of all forms of bullying), so it doesn't seem like I should be intimidated by him...

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