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White House Petition Seeks Take Down of Jerk.com

By Gene Quinn on January 30, 2013

The White House website explains that it is the right of the people to petition the government, a right that is guaranteed by the First Amendment of the United States Constitution. Of course, the idea of petitioning the President is not something that is new, but the ability to use the Internet to create an online petition that may be considered and responded to by the Federal Government is indeed quite new. Not surprisingly, the Obama Administration, known for savvy use of the Internet both in governance and campaigning, pioneered this unique approach to making government reachable by the masses.

With this in mind, last week, a petition was created to petition the White House to take down the website Jerk.com. To date the petition has unfortunately not received many votes. Earlier today I was the 28th e-signer of the petition. My guess is that this is due to lack of publicity more so than anything else. Once people learn of the petition my guess is that the signatures will accumulate quickly, but will there be enough time to reach the 100,000 signature threshold by February 22, 2013?

The first order of business, however, is to get the required 150 signatures so that the petition will be searchable on WhiteHouse.gov.  To view and/or sign the petition visit We the People.

Why are 100,000 signatures required? you may recall that recently the White House responded to a rather ridiculous petition asking the President to fund the building of a Death Star. See Knowing When You Have to Much Time on Your Hands. At that time the number of signatures required to provoke a response by the Administration was 25,000. After being asked to respond to such a ridiculous petition the number of signatures required for an Administration response was raised to 100,000. It will be an unfortunate tragedy if the Jerk.com petition achieves 25,000 signatures but falls short of the 100,000 signatures required for an official response.

The petition itself is simple. It says:

Jerk.com is a website where they post a PERSONAL picture of someone (taken without owners permission from Facebook usually) and let people post ANONYMOUS malicious slander about that person.

There are thousands upon thousands of complaints about this website and how they use people’s copyrighted material without permission. Some of the victims are even minors.

The company keeps in hiding, changing domains and locations of their “business”. The last known attorney for jerk.com is Maria Crimi Speth. The last known owners are John Fanning, Louis Lardas, Sonia M. Lardas. Take down jerk.com and the jerks who run it!

I have no illusions about the success of this petition. The petition, even if it achieves 100,000 signatures, will fail. President Obama does not have the authority to remove a website from the Internet, or otherwise punish a company or webhost. What he does have is control of the United States Department of Justice, and it is certainly conceivable that if this petition receives enough attention and is viewed by someone within the Administration that the President could direct the Department of Justice to open an investigation. That would be a fantastic outcome in my opinion, so obtaining the 100,000 signatures should not be viewed as a waste of time or futile.

We have followed the evolution of Jerk.com here at IPWatchdog. For more please see our most recent article Jerk.com: Who to Contact to Get Removed.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a patent attorney and the founder of IPWatchdog.com. He is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course, which helps aspiring patent attorneys and patent agents prepare themselves to pass the patent bar exam.

Gene’s particular specialty as a patent attorney is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He has worked with independent inventors and start-up businesses in a variety of different technology fields, but specializes in software, systems and electronics.

is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney licensed to practice before the United States Patent Office and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit.

Gene is a graduate of Franklin Pierce Law Center and holds both a J.D. and an LL.M. Prior to law school he graduated from Rutgers University with a B.S. in Electrical Engineering.

You can contact Gene via e-mail.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on IPWatchdog.com do not constitute legal advice, nor do they create any attorney-client relationship. The articles published express the personal opinion and views of the author and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of IPWatchdog.com. Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 3 Comments comments.

  1. Stan E. Delo January 31, 2013 2:16 pm

    Hi Gene-

    Registering and voting only took about two minutes, so I really hope others will take the initiative to go after these guys and their very ugly agenda. Even if the initiative doesn’t garner enough votes to be officially accepted, at least it will be a wake up call for the Jerks and the FCC and the judiciary. The president has two young daughters, so surely he can understand what cyber bullying can cause to happen. There have been several cases where young folks have committed suicide as a result of cyber bullying, which is simply not acceptable by any stretch of the First Amendment rights dialog. The rights to free speech come with responsibilities in my opinion, such that the person speaking is held accountable for their actions. If I were to say that Blind Dogma happens to be a complete buffoon and should have his ticket to practice law summarily revoked, I think I could probably expect the delivery of a certified mailing to my address very shortly.

    But of course none of that is true, so why would I want to say something like that in the first place? I have no idea of who he is, or where he lives and practices, nor should I need to know that unless I happen to need his expertise some day. (Just say No to litigation!)

    Best wishes,
    Stan~

  2. John Brewington December 19, 2013 8:59 am

    I have been investigating attorney Maria Crimi Speth and her client Ripoff Report for years. She has a couple kids of her own and one has to wonder how she would feel if they were on some website. Not a threat merely an observation. The sword you wield is the sword that will cut you.

  3. Michael Roberts December 19, 2013 5:35 pm

    Here here! Maria Speth alleged that I sent her a death threat, presumably as a means to gain an advantage over me in her client’s failed lawsuit against me. Her client was another notorious website, Ripoff Report.

    Now watch as the trolls wield their poison penned diatribe…..

    Respectfully submitted,
    With my kindest regards,
    Michael Roberts
    Internet Victim’s Advocate, Forensic Analyst and Litigation Support Consultant
    Licensed Private Investigator # 3589109
    Journalist # A 10450 LAPC
    http://www.rexxfield.com