So my day started rather interestingly enough - with receiving a cease and desist letter from convention organizer Ryan Kopf. Ryan Kopf, who runs "Chrono, LC" (the company behind the conventions Anime Zap, QC Anime-zing!, Anime-SPARK!, AniMinneapolis, Meta Con, Con Alt Delete, and Anime Midwest), was the subject of a bit of controversy this summer - and I wrote a fairly lengthy blog post about how I plan on never going to one of his events.
The C&D claims I have been attempting to defame Mr. Kopf, and lists a number of webpages where I have allegedly done this. On that list are several articles I've writen but also (and quite puzzlingly) my old LiveJournal profile (?) and several Rip Off Reports I did not write nor do I think I have even read. This letter, from Attorney Salar Atrizadeh, was clearly sent to scare me, but here's the thing...
I'm not scared.
Defamation, be it through slander or libel, requires the statements made to be false. This is not my first rodeo, and I'm not a dumb person. When I write things on my website I make sure that everything I say is true. Not only that, but I make sure I can prove it's true.
In my post I make sure it's explicitly stated that Kopf hasn't been convicted of any crime, and while I express an opinion on that matter, there is no denying the police report I linked to as genuine. Retrieving a clean copy would be quite easy, as it's a public record. Secondly, when I allege that Kopf has staffers as young as fourteen, I can back that up too -- by just showing the statements made by a (then) fourteen year old that they staff a Kopf convention (here's the about section from when I wrote my first post and their current "about" section).
And, of course, I have copies of all personal correspondence I reference as well.
Frankly, when I wrote that, I had a lot more information on Mr. Kopf - but I didn't want to make statements I couldn't back up for this very reason. I have verified some of it since then, but I don't see the point. What I've already said is bad enough, and I don't need to say more. If Mr. Kopf chooses to file any frivolous legal action against me, he has no chance of winning.
Especially since I don't think this Attorney is all that committed to Mr. Kopf. This letter is full of references to Wisconsin State law. Wisconsin is a state that neither I, Mr. Kopf nor my web hosting provider are located in. It's even more confusing when you realize they then proceeded to mail me the letter to my Indiana address. So I'm in Indiana, Kopf is in Iowa, his lawyer is in California, and my web host in North Carolina... but again, this letter is full of references to Wisconsin.
Where I haven't lived since 2010.
The ironic thing is that this Cease and Desist letter does nothing more than draw more attention to my previous article, as would any further legal action. The Steisand effect is a funny thing.
She cites two federal laws and a precedant ruled on in Wisconsin to read for reference (that case being enforced on federal statute at the district level but originating in Wisconsin). I wouldn't base your dissent on your misconception of the law. Her cited cases are solid. Your own defense may be sound too but I would actually read the cases she references before you make fun of her and let your guard down. I'm sure this isn't her first rodeo either. In fact, if she's practicing torts and trusts law she probably made a career off suing starving internet artists.
You keep misgendering the lawyer. Salar Atrizadeh is a guy.
What I referred to was their continued reference of Wisconsin Statutes Annotated in the second and fourth paragraphs, which refers to Wisconsin Defamation law specifically. That's what I was making fun of.
I'm not a lawyer, so I don't want to comment on the caselaw and federal law specifically referenced (although I have read Newspapers v Breier), but if you think my guard is anywhere near down, you don't know me too well.
If Kopf is smart, he'll let things stop here. He tried to scare me and it didn't work - further action on his part only can lead to a larger Streisand effect. I'm not anyone famous or important, but if what he's worried about is losing professional credibility, litigious attacks on his critics (who only posted factual information) can only hurt him.
I ran the Anime Midwest Cosplay Contest/Masquerade in 2012, and Ryan was rude and unhelpful to myself and my staff. I intend on retrieving the police report so I can know for myself.
I'm thanking you because to me, you're telling rapists like him you aren't afraid. Sexual assault and abuse too often goes unreported, and the perpetrators are never called out or brought to justice. Maybe your intent had nothing to do with this, but it means a lot that someone is willing to laugh in the face of Ryan after what he did.
Well, my goal was to say that regardless of whether the sexual assault allegations are true, his events should be avoided (that whole 14 year old staffer thing is a big deal for me).
I'm inclined to believe the allegations are true of course, but people were already talking about that (heck, way more people have seen that Tumblr post than have ever read my blog entries about Kopf).
And as I've said before, it's kind of depressing that I have to be thanked for having basic human decency :p
Ryan has been banned from at least one Midwest con for inappropriate behavior around a girl. I know voice actors that say they don't like going to his events because he's a sleaze ball. The fact he runs a dating site is SO disturbing. I don't even live in the area, but his reputation extends to both coasts.
I just noticed... His lawyer is in BEVERLY HILLS?! Why the fuck would you hire a BEVERLY HILLS lawyer if you're 1) not rich, 2) don't live in Beverly Hills, 3) not a fucking moron? Also: https://encyclopediadramatica.es/Ryan_Kopf
His lawyer is one that does a lot of online stuff and cut and paste C&Ds.
And apparently my blog is now a webcomic? The blog is "The Life of the Traegorn" because I'm Traegorn (or, as it's less awkward to call me, Trae). My webcomics are UnCONventional (unconventional-comic.com) and The Chronicles of Crosarth (crosarth.com)