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Parody Twitter Accounts, Hot Water, And Lawsuit Settlement

     
5:34 pm on Sep 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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We've all seen them: Parody twitter accounts. Some are really very funny, and others are simply mock public figures in a humourless way, and others can be quite unpleasant. When it's quite obviously a parody, it seems that a lawsuit may not go anywhere, and, in the USA, a recent case was settled out-of-court, in favour of the owner of the parody twitter account.

This week, the case was settled. On Wednesday, the city of Peoria announced it had agreed to pay $125,000. The city said it believed that it would have ultimately won in court but decided to settle because it would have cost several times that amount to continue the litigation. Parody Twitter Accounts, Hot Water, And Lawsuit Settlement [nytimes.com]
5:56 pm on Sept 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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He had his house raided, and he was arrested for "impersonating a public official". Applying that to someone who parodied a public official on twitter seems to be a fairly clear abuse of power.

What was the judge thinking? Issuing the warrants does not seem right: [arstechnica.com...]
11:12 pm on Sept 7, 2015 (gmt 0)

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This is the USA.

Judges don't think, that's why everyone can sue anyone.

I had to pay a contract tech writer once that hadn't written anything after multiple weeks. We told him what we wanted and the time frame to get something, even a mock up of the layout. After multiple weeks we got nothing so we refused the pay. The judge didn't see it that way and we ended up paying for his unused time.

Like I said, the judges DON'T think as nobody thought we'd lose the case.

I was stunned.

The writers reputation took a hit, hopefully others didn't get burned like we did.
9:00 pm on Sept 8, 2015 (gmt 0)

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On the other hand, what was the parody user thinking? He used the handle @peoriamayor, used a picture of the real mayor, and linked to the real city website.

Imagine a parody site called @applesupport with an Apple logo and a link to the Apple support site.

The warrant, arrest, battering down the door is ridiculous and not excusing that, but the guy was also an idiot.