Who to Contact to Get Removed

By Gene Quinn
January 18, 2013 is one of those sites on the Internet that is the poster-child for everything wrong with the anonymity of Internet communications. Shrouded in the secrecy provided by the Internet, anonymous cowards become emboldened to say vile things and stoop to ridiculous lows — even publishing pictures of minors and asking the Internet community to vote on whether the minor is a jerk. That is the business is in, and they refuse to remove any profile that has been created regardless of the vile, anonymous comments that have been posted.

An earlier edition of the “REMOVE” page explained:

No one’s profile is ever removed because Jerk is based on searching free open internet searching databases and it’s not possible to remove things from the Internet. You can however use Jerk to manage your reputation and resolve disputes with people who you are in conflict with.

That obviously ridiculous and inaccurate statement of fact and law has been watered down now, but based on what I hear from those who feel aggrieved by suggests that their philosophy seems to continue to be that no one gets removed. almost seems to play the part of victim, suggesting that it is impossible to remove something from their servers. It is certainly possible for to remove a profile.

In order to “manage your reputation” you must sign up for an account. A rather insidious way to gain users, don’t you think?  In the past the only way you could dispute something was to be a paying member of the community, which in my opinion walks the fine line between what is legal and what is an extortion-like tactic.  Based on my knowledge of the law and facts surrounding it strikes me that what they did in the past may well have been a violation of the Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act, which is otherwise known as RICO.

I explained this to’s attorney months ago when they contacted me unhappy about two articles I wrote about  It seems that is receiving numerous DMCA takedown notices and they feel I have mislead the public. Here is my response to Maria Crimi Speth, who represents

Your letter says you expect more of me.  I suppose we are even then. I would expect much more from a member of the bar than the type of self serving and inaccurate letter that you sent to me.

If you read the articles I wrote, which I have to assume you did, you noticed that I said that users can get their copyrighted material taken down by using DMCA notices, which your client is supposed to comply with.  That is an accurate statement of the law.  If the copyrights are owned by those sending the notices then must take down the material or risk liability.  As we both know, if your client feels they are getting inappropriate notices there is a remedy that they can pursue.  I never stated that people should abuse the DMCA takedown process.  I only explained that those with lawful copyrights can rely on such notices, which is of course a correct statement of the law.

You say: “a forum website does not commit copyright infringement just because third parties post content.”  Perhaps you are unfamiliar with how your client operates its website from a technical standpoint.  It seems that photographs are automatically retrieved from Facebook and displayed with a banner that says “add to gallery.”  That retrieval by the code that operates your client’s website is hardly passive, as is required by the forum cases.  Perhaps this would be a case of first impression because I’m sure there is some clever argument you can make, but we both are familiar with the numerous cases of Internet bad actors and how they fair in court on cases of first impression as they relate to copyright law matters and Internet matters more generally. The safe harbor protection seems unlikely to me to apply to your client and how they technically operate their website.

I also find it rather amazing that you castigate me but seem unmoved by the actions of your client.  If and when any litigation is ever initiated, it seems that your client is open for a massive RICO claim. Forcing people to pay to submit a claim or challenge the vile things posted seems to me to be hardly distinguishable from a legal standpoint from the old protection rackets.

We will obviously disagree, and I’m sure you will have some clever response to all of this, which I could respond to and we go back and forth, etc. etc.  Notwithstanding, if you would like to author a guest article in op-ed form I will be happy to post it to You can explain what your client does, how the site works technically, how it is your belief that no laws are being broken and how people just need to suck up and accept the harassment.  Up to you, but I’m happy to provide a forum for you to disagree with me and alert those who have had their copyrighted images misappropriated that they may open themselves up to liability.  Just let me know.

Finally, I would greatly appreciate it if you could give me the name and contact information for your client’s DMCA agent who is registered to receive DMCA notices.  Should I direct folks wishing to provide an appropriate and lawful DMCA takedown notice directly to you and your firm?

Ms. Speth has never responded.  She has not taken me up on the opportunity to explain her client’s rationale in an op-ed article posted to  Furthermore, Ms. Speth has not told me who their DMCA agent is that will accept DMCA Takedown Notices on behalf of  In order for to enjoy any potential immunity from a copyright lawsuit they must have a DMCA agent, so I don’t know why she wouldn’t identify that person or entity.

Since I wrote my initial two articles months ago I continue to get numerous e-mails asking for help.  Some people even assume I am somehow affiliated with or that I have the power to get to stop harassing them.  Unfortunately, I have no such special powers.  I am also not in any way, shape or form affiliated with  I would never represent such an organization.

So what should you do?  Given that Ms. Speth refused to provide me the contact information of the authorized DMCA representative, the best I can recommend is that you contact Ms. Speth and/or her law firm directly.  Her contact information is:

Maria Crimi Speth, Esq.
Jaburg & Wilk, P.C.
3200 N. Central Ave., Suite 2000
Phoenix,  AZ  85012
Phone: 602-248-1000
Fax: 602-248-0522 isn’t the worst website on the Internet by a long shot, but based on what I have been told, have seen for myself and what I know about the law it seems to me that they flagrantly disregard copyright laws. It is important to understand, however, that if you are going to use a DMCA Takedown Notice you should be certain that you are the copyright owner.  If you are in the picture that uses the copyright owner would be the photographer unless you specifically obtained the underlying copyrights by assignment.  So the person who should send the DMCA Takedown Notice is the copyright owner. Alternatively, have the person who took the picture and who owns the copyright assign any and all copyrights to you before you send the DMCA Takedown Notice.  This can easily be achieved by a basic copyright assignment.

The Author

Gene Quinn

Gene Quinn is a Patent Attorney and Editor and President & CEO ofIPWatchdog, Inc.. Gene founded in 1999. Gene is also a principal lecturer in the PLI Patent Bar Review Course and Of Counsel to the law firm of Berenato & White, LLC. Gene’s specialty is in the area of strategic patent consulting, patent application drafting and patent prosecution. He consults with attorneys facing peculiar procedural issues at the Patent Office, advises investors and executives on patent law changes and pending litigation matters, and works with start-up businesses throughout the United States and around the world, primarily dealing with software and computer related innovations. is admitted to practice law in New Hampshire, is a Registered Patent Attorney and is also admitted to practice before the United States Court of Appeals for the Federal Circuit. CLICK HERE to send Gene a message.

Warning & Disclaimer: The pages, articles and comments on 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 as of the time of publication and should not be attributed to the author’s employer, clients or the sponsors of Read more.

Discuss this

There are currently 22 Comments comments.

  1. Anon January 18, 2013 8:01 pm


    My post disappeared – can you check the filter?


  2. patent leather January 19, 2013 12:23 am

    The DMCA is not really my forte, but if is really scraping peoples’ photos from Facebook (I found some posts online claiming this was happening also) and publishing them, then has committed massive copyright infringement. Since willfull copyright infringement carries maximum statutory damages of $150,000 per infringement, then could be liable for a massive amount of money (which would of course put them out of business). I don’t think any of the safe harbors would apply in this case since itself is the copier. While thumbnail images are fair use for search engines, I don’t think the courts would rule the same way for sites involved in cyber-harrassment.

    Maybe someone should put together a class action for all those aggrieved.

  3. Gene Quinn January 19, 2013 12:59 pm

    patent leather-

    I have been talking to attorneys off and on about a class action, but so far haven’t found someone willing to step up. If you know of a firm or attorney let me know. My thought is eventually some prosecutor who wants to make a name for himself/herself will step up on the cyber bullying angle and take them on.



  4. Gene Quinn January 19, 2013 1:00 pm


    I’m sorry, but I can’t find it. If it did get caught in the spam filter I think it may have been purged at midnight.


  5. patent leather January 19, 2013 2:51 pm


    After I posted above I realized a flaw in my logic, that is, copyright statutory damages are only available if registered before the infringment. We should all register the photos we use for Facebook, Linkedin, etc., and then I would welcome sites like to add me to their site so I can sue them for $150,000. As far as a class action, I would love to start something like that myself but as a patent prosecutor I wouldn’t be comfortable dabbling in class actions. If I can think of anyone or anyone at my small firm is interested I’ll shoot you an email. I have a daughter and if one day I saw her photo on a cyber-bullying site I’m sure I would go ballistic. Fortunately I have never been cyber bullied, but I know someone who has and of course it is not pleasant.

  6. Stan E. Delo January 19, 2013 5:13 pm

    Patent Leather-

    Thanks for the info about registration. As I seem to recall registering a copyright is basically pretty much free? I need a new FB photo anyways, and it probably wouldn’t be too difficult for me to make a jerk of myself as far as they are concerned. It would be very fitting to finance my latest project using their proceeds, and I bet it wouldn’t be difficult at all to find contingency representation for a case like this.

  7. patent leather January 20, 2013 12:16 am

    Stan, to register a copyright is only $35 (and a group of photos is $65). Just be sure to take the photo yourself (self timers really come in handy here) otherwise you have the headache of getting the copyright assigned to you by the taker. Also, a simple mug shot may arugably not qualify for copyright protection since there is no creativity involved (if anyone knows a case on this, please chime in) so you may want to use a little creative angles, lighting, background, etc., to make sure it is indeed has the modicum of creativity to be copyrightable.

    Now there’s an idea for an IP lawyer with plenty of free time (perhaps a recent law school grad who is a victim of the lousy job market). Filing copyrights for people on their Facebook, Linkedin, etc., photos. I remember once automatically made a profile about me and copied pages about me including photos (which I found really annoying), but they let me claim my profile and delete it for free (and they aren’t a cyber-bullying site), so c’est la vie.

  8. Ryan January 20, 2013 12:25 am

    Jerk, LLC DMCA Agent

  9. Stan E. Delo January 20, 2013 1:06 am

    Rats! I had changed my name, but when I refreshed the page to correct my message, it reverted back. The self photo is what I planned, featuring my latest project as a background. I was hoping for it to be a surprise for them. :/

  10. Anon January 20, 2013 11:24 am


    My post contained some links (which is why I think it got caught).

    The links were to the whois listing of the Jerk dot com website, as well as a recent Florida District Court case in which the anonymity of the actual website holder was effectively pierced in suit. The registrar was forced to divulge the actual party in interest to the plaintiff and the court.

    Interestingly, I have posted in defense of anonymity on blogs (even defending IANAE, with whom I share very little else), but I do not have an issue with anonymity being broached in this type of legal action. I do see clear first amendment justification for the difference.

  11. Gene Quinn January 21, 2013 3:01 pm


    The Florida case dealt with Do you know which court specifically? I’d love to take a look at the filings.



  12. Anon January 22, 2013 9:59 am


    Caught again – this time with just the case number listing for the CIV matter with a 12 then the dash then 21778.

    Not a J_rk case, just a recent case piercing anonymity of web site ownership (it might be the J-word catching the filter).

  13. Anonymous January 23, 2013 12:46 am


    Can you post the link to the listings of as you mentioned in your comments about the case in Florida against the website. Also do you know how it went?


  14. Anon January 23, 2013 2:36 pm


    However – the filter is rejecting the j_erk word. Cut and paste the link in your browser (the hyperlink will not work), then edit to remove the underscore character.

    The case in Florida ruled against the site owners shrouded in secrecy. Real parties of interest were directed to be revealed to the plaintiff.

  15. Susie January 28, 2013 4:18 pm

    I used a camera and stand to take my photo they have posted. How do I prove/claim copyright violations? I use it for Christmas pictures.

    I have emailed the attorney and will fax as well. I can’t believe we have no rights in this matter. I’ve also filed a complaint with the FTC

  16. Stan E. Delo January 28, 2013 9:56 pm

    Susie- Perhaps the best part is that j-rk and et al might be held responsible for theirt actions, whether thet

  17. Stan E. Delo January 28, 2013 9:57 pm

    Protest- Edit is broken.

  18. Stan E. Delo January 28, 2013 10:12 pm

    Whether they happen to like it or not. As alluded to earlier, it might just be a way to discover things.

  19. anon victim March 21, 2013 3:34 pm

    At the time of writing, the “J” website is down
    Take the opportunity to get your page removed from Google

    go here:
    click “Create a new removal request”
    copy your page URL exactly as found on Google (right click on the search result, “copy link location”)
    click “Continue”
    on the next page, select “Page has been removed or blocked from search engines”
    click “Remove this page”

    It takes a couple of days to process, and it might reappear later, but it worked for me

  20. Anonymous March 21, 2013 9:38 pm

    I’m not sure why this is happening, but I am noticing that has frequently been going down for like 3- 4 days every 2 weeks or so, but then it goes back up. It’s truly disheartening because I get false hope thinking the site is officially down, but then it goes back up. Why is it happening? But Anyways, I don’t understand how law enforcement officials are allowing this site to stay online and fully operate despite the hundreds and hundreds of complaints filed against, they are violating the right to publicity/privacy and engaging in copyright violations as well as engaging harassment of people including children! How is this site legal from any standpoint?

    To check status of, click this link:

    As of now, is down but I am fairly certain that it will be back up and reachable within 1 or 2 days.