The webcomics blog about webcomics

Submitted Without Comment

Edit to add: From some of the comments below, it appears that I was not sufficiently clear. Mr Felix does represent Todd Goldman. The communication cited is legitimate.

Slightly more than 24 hours ago, the “authors” email (the one at the Contact Us link up there to the right) received the following:

from Andrew.P.Felix@[redacted]
to authors
date Apr 19, 2007 6:10 PM
subject Todd Goldman

Andrew P. Felix, Esq. wrote:
Dear Sir or Madam:

This firm represents Mr. Todd Goldman. I write on behalf of Mr. Goldman regarding certain comments and disparaging remarks that are posted and housed on your website (www.fleen.com).

We have acquired articles posted on your website which contain defaming, derogatory and malicious statements about Mr. Goldman. Therefore, we request that you immediately remove these article from your website, as well as any subsequent articles and/or URL links of this nature regarding Mr. Goldman. Further, the hosting of such statements and/or URL links about Mr. Goldman is actionable defamation and libel that has caused irreversible damage to his character.

Unless we receive written assurance that you have removed these article, as well as any subsequent articles and/or URL links of this nature regarding Mr. Goldman, from your website by the close of business on Friday, April 20, 2007, we will have no other alternative but to take action to seek injunctive and monetary relief against you pursuant to Florida law. Please be advised that we will also seek to recover attorneys’ fees and costs associated with this matter. As time is of the essence, this action must be taken immediately.

This letter is not, nor should it be construed to be, a waiver of any rights or remedies available to Mr. Goldman under federal or state law, whether now existing or hereafter accruing.

PLEASE GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY.

Sincerely,
SHUTTS & BOWEN LLP

/s/Andrew P. Felix

We at Fleen have consulted with attorneys, and they are in contact with Mr Felix to determine specifics as to what material Goldman objects to. We also understand that other websites that have hosted material regarding the Kelly/Goldman affair have received similar letters.

More information as the situation warrants.

Ah, the sign of a good lawyer.

We object to certain things you have said. But we won’t tell you what they are.

I thought you Americans had that freedom of speech thing goin’ on.

Is this thing even real?

Real? Please. As long as we have frivolous lawsuits, tabloids, and Al Sharpton, there is no such thing as freedom of speech.

You ever notice how “we will have no other alternative” is always a lie?

I let people know over at comixpedia. I don’t know what Fleen should do from a legal stand point, but I do hope this actions can be leverage to embarass Mr. Goldman further.

Oh, those suicidal fools.

He must be feeling the heat if he had these letters sent out, eh?

[…] The guys at Fleen report that they’ve received communication from someone claiming to be Todd Goldman’s legal representation. This communication demands that unspecified “defaming, derogatory and malicious statements” about Mr. Goldman be removed from the Fleen website. […]

A suggestion:

Hey, everyone reading this who doesn’t have their hosting located in the USA (mine is located in Claifornia, unfortunately)- Ask Fleen for all files about Goldman and mirror them. Do the same for the rest of the sites under threat.

Then he and his lawyers can go piss up a rope.

Hmmm… Andrew “Drew” P. Felix, is an Associate of the Florida law firm Shutts & Bowen LLP. For what it’s worth – the purported author of your email does exist, apparently if one can believe what one reads on the intertubes these days.

Wikipedia got hit with this, as well:

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Todd_Goldman

And they pretty much rolled over. Under no circumstance should you remove anything, Gary. It’ll only give him positive reinforcement for his poor behavior.

“Dear Mr. Felix, Thank you for having your people contact us. In the future be advised that your people should always contact our people. Please note there is a fee for forwarding service.

Also, please note that our people will contact your people about the defaming, derogatory and malicious statements you made recently regarding content we may or may not have posted on our website regarding Todd Goldman, who may or may not be a vile, despicable, lying, cheating, underhanded, morally bankrupt slime-ball with no sense of civic decency. Please specify what content, if any, your client may or amy not have found offensive. Please do so by the close of business on Friday, April 20, 2007. As time is of the essence, this action must be taken immediately.

Also note, a word of advice, your client may or may not be well known for not paying for “intellectual services”.

I don’t know guys, he looks like one serious motherfucker to me. You best comply and govern yourselves accordingly.

http://www.shutts-law.com/dir_images/attorney/cached_l/8ca98543ba6f6682f72460b3c03bbe82.jpg

I…. have no words.

Why is the world so kerazy?

I’m curious exactly what they have problems with.

Todd Plasticman is serious business!!!!
BTW Todd is a stupid name.

Depending on where the Fleen headquarters or servers are located, just SLAPP him. New York has a particularly strong SLAPP protection clause for silence suits, if I remember correctly.

I just… can’t understand how they think this is a good idea. The clamor over Goldman had actually died down! The matter was essentially seen as settled, and people have moved on. The posts about him here on Fleen – and everywhere else – were just archives on the internet, unlikely to again see much of the light of day.

And now? Now people are going to be up in arms all over again. Dragging wikipedia into it is going to raise even more of a ruckus. This will only result in even more so-called defamation.

I’m not saying the guy doesn’t deserve it, by any means – I’m just astounded at the sheer level of absolute idiocy in this move.

I agree with Ted. Those suicidal FOOLS.

He stole things and got caught. That ruins your rep – not everyone else finding out about it. Oh snap.

How does someone go about finding a lawyer to defend yourself with something like this?

Oops, screwed up the HTML there! One more time!
http://www.thewilliamg.com/fleen.html

Honestly, this suit has no legal merit whatsoever. Fleen reported and critiqued on a news event, much in the same way all editorial news providers do: it was fact-based and substantiated by ongoing events as time went on. Fleen has no legal control over what we say in the comments other than yanking those that are not in keeping with Fleen’s posting policies (e.g.: porn goes here), and the comments are where the real Todd-bashing occurred.

If Fleen is in New York (I could be wrong about this), they are protected from legal gorillas beating their chests by state law specifically designed to keep groundless ceast-and-desist suits from taking up the time and resources of the court. Not to mention the whole Constitution thing… Personally, I feel Wikipedia should be ashamed for caving in so quickly – this suggests that Goldman’s case is valid and set a precedent to run screaming for the hills.

let’s just campaign for truth.

Is the truth libel?

Geez. What a fucker retarded moron jerk.

(Suck it, Goldman.)

Fleen is published by Dumbrella Hosting, LLC. We’re a RI based LLC. The servers live in NYC, and Goldman is in FL. So jurisdiction, should it come to that, might be fun.

I’m betting he just wants to suppress the pedophile memo.

I guess he never learned that SMTP doesn’t have a “withdraw” command.

Awww…Did we hurt your feelings, Mr. Goldman? “[I]rreversible damage to his character” my ass!

The irreversable damage was self-inflicted – he stole, got caught, and he’s complaining that everyone else is at fault? Bull.

Nothing wrong with malicious articles as long as they’re truthful. Not libelous or anything.

Change the offending articles to state that this is your opinion. Radio personalities get away with all sorts of slanderous remarks by stating that it’s their opinion, even though everyone believes it to be true.

You haven’t checked your facts, and you’ve been linking to/from sites that are wrong about the other items besides Shmorky’s picture. That’s why the lawyers were called out on all these sites. it’s great to stoke the fires of controversy, but you, Fleen, have a duty to make sure you’ve got your facts in order, as I learned the hard way. Good luck, this guy’s after deep pockets, not mirror sites – MySpace, Wiki, and the all powerful Fleen.

He’s probably doing this to keep his name on the blogs! Loves the limelight!

Zach,

And it’s still slander, but you get away with it – that sounds fair! Oh, Zach, when are you running for office?

SLAPP doesn’t work for the internet, as it’s reachabe in all 50 states, so jurisdiction may lie in the state of the “defamed”. You may have to denfend yourself in Florida due to this. The web hasn’t been tested on 1st amendment very throughly in cases like this. Your lawyers should find out exactly what the other attorneys are looking for. Or buy a ticket now for Florida! I hear it’s a lovely state…

>>Not to mention the whole Constitution thing…

Just to clear this up… the first amendment protects people from *criminal* wrongdoing (at the federal level, but every state has a similar provision protecting people from state laws making any sort of speech criminal). However, you’re still responsible for what you way in civil law – that is, you can be the target of a lawsuit.

Oh, and Goldman’s a douchebag.

Goldman is such a twat. How on Earth did he think he would get away with ripping off webcomics? Well, guess what, Goldman? The webcomic community ounumbers you and we’re pissed.

DIE GOLDMAN! I agree with vikki. WHAT.A.TWAT. He’s ripping off webcomics and playing the inocence card? DIE! And also as Vikki said: Well, guess what, Goldman? The webcomic community ounumbers you and we’re pissed.

ps: goldman: it’s not defamataion if it’s true.

I think if this letter is real, Mr. Goldman is cherrypicking sites he is sending them to. sites like boingboing and I think juxtapoz reported this online, yet they, to my knowledge have not gotten these letters. So Goldman is targeting bloggers and indie press, or people more likely to not want a legal battle and cave in.

Stick to your guns, don’t let this hack abuse the legal system to get what he wants.

There’s nothing he can do about comments you make online, especially not under Florida law. The internet is not owned by any one person, so any farther action such as that he has taken against you is simply harassment. They have no case, they just hope you don’t know it.

Interestingly enough….the above posters “”Ipso Facto” and “Totally Wrong” are both posting from the same Tampa Bay residential RoadRunner IP address.

According to the Florida Bar:

There are a number of defenses available in a defamation action. Of course, if a statement is true, there can be no action for defamation. Truth is a complete defense. Additionally, if the statement is an expression of an opinion as opposed to a statement of fact, there can be no action for defamation. We do not impose liability in this country for expressions of opinion. However, whether a statement will be deemed to be an expression of opinion as opposed to a statement of fact is not always an easy question to answer. For example, the mere fact that a statement is found in an editorial is not enough to qualify for the opinion privilege if the particular statement contained in the editorial is factual in nature.

There is also a privilege known as neutral reporting. For example, if a newspaper reports on newsworthy statements made about someone, the newspaper is generally protected if it makes a disinterested report of those statements. In some cases, the fact that the statements were made is newsworthy and the newspaper will not be held responsible for the truth of what is actually said.

I think we can all agree that if they attempted a suit against Fleen… they’re going to have a hard time proving they even have a right to sue.

Do I smell a Fleen v. Goldman coming on?

It’d be really interesting to see how the legal battle would come out. Various legal teams from sites pooling together to fight as one… Interesting idea and could set a precedent for future internet battles…

Oh, and Goldman’s an idiot :)

Goldman’s a plagiarizing moron. Although Fleen probably doesn’t have the cash to fight a drag-out court battle, the damage the proceedings of a case like this would do to Goldman’s reputation would hurt him a lot.

Go, Fleen, go!

It’s not defamation if it’s true!

Congratulations on getting linked from BoingBoing!

“GOVERN YOURSELF ACCORDINGLY” ???
What the hell does that mean?

IT’S SCARIER WHEN IT’S IN ALL-CAPS.

You can flat out avoid “libel” and related lawsuits by placing a disclimer page on your site, link at bottom of all pages, that simply states all opinions expressed are merely that, opinions. They can’t, in any court, sue you for libel on a statement of opinion.

Okay, ’cause that sounds an awful lot like lawyerese for “BEHAVE YOURSELF”, which makes me automatically want to make an even bigger stink and do precisely the opposite and rip the governor right off my behavior. They’re already determined to sue me into a smoking hole for a squillion dollars, what’s a squillion+1?

To be honest while I’ve been following the news of this I haven’t really commented until now. There is one thing I don’t understand.

Todd Goldman could put out sexist crap like “Boys are stupid throw rocks at them” and claim Freedom of speech to protect him. Yet if a website reports on the theft that he committed they get hit with a cease and desist? It works both ways.

Todd Goldman is a hack and a moron.

[…] Just when you’d figured he had learned his lesson, artist and confessed plagiarist Todd Goldman pops back into public view for all the wrong reasons. This time, Fleen’s Gary Tyrrell is reporting an email allegedly sent by an attorney representing Goldman, stating… well, read it for yourself: […]

Every student entering the Savannah College of Art and Design is thoroghly educated on the nature of art copyrights and plagiarism laws. If presented with an image eerily similar to your own, you don’t claim ignorance, you say you were inspired by the artist’s style! Any half-descent intro student knows that. If Goldman isn’t smart enough to best the Photo 1 kids, someone should confiscate his paintbrushes.

(Please note, SCAD students dont need to plagiarize because we’re wittier than Todd Goldman.)

You CAN be sued for opinion if you say something that may or may not be factually proven. However, in the case of Squiddy vs Penny Arcade, the thief, (one of penny arcade’s forumers) DID indeed claim “ignorance” when using a character that was nearly identical to Squiddy’s “professor” from “A modest destiny” (Different only in hairstyle and right arm) and won. Perhaps this inspired Mr. Goldman to do the same. If one webcomic can be stolen from with impunity why not another…

With a libel case, Goldman would need to prove three key elements, as he does fall under the category of a public personality.
First, he must prove that the questioned statement is indeed false. Depending on what part of the statements he’s suing over, this is a risky and stupid gambit for him legally. If he’s trying to prove that he didn’t steal something, like, say from Lenore, he’s all in. If he fails to prove that, he loses the libel case, they neatly paves the way for a countersuit from all parties that have claimed they were stolen from.
The second burden of proof is that financial loss has occurred. He’s got a stain on him now with “character damages,” but legally he’s really only entitled to the black and white differences lost. He might have a solid case here, and he might get away with the arguement that he could have made more money than he normally does.
The third burden is saying that Fleen actually had malicious intent when posting something that was damaging to Goldman. That’s really going to be the hard part, because from my perspective, he was just reporting what he felt were valid sources on a news story.

You know, in a way I feel like these lawyers should be told in no uncertain terms to go packing. However, given that everyone in the whole Interwebverse knows that Goldman is an f’ing hack at this point. Only the subhuman suckups with far too much money to waste would bother with his crap at this point in time.

I say take it down. Don’t waste the resources fighting a pointless battle. And I promise, next time I see Todd Goldman, I’ll throw some paint on him, take a picture and call it art. I’ll send you guys a free t-shirt.

You might try contacting the Electronic Frontier Foundation (www.eff.org).

I’m not a lawyer, but I’m a law student. So this is not legal advice. But I can say that truth is an absolute defense to defamation. Making “malicious” and “derogatory” statements do not constitute causes of action for a lawsuit.

[…] Gary, Multimedia, Merch I think that everything I might have said about our current situation has been said by at least one of you; thanks for your support. Rest assured that words are being crafted with fine precision, honed to a razor’s edge, waiting only for the moment that they may be unleashed in a maelstrom of righteous justice. […]

[…] Webcomickers and commentators have received nasty legal-o-grams from Todd Goldman’s lawyers over coverage and comments about the Goldman plagiarism flap. […]

Juxtapoz.com got this same letter from Andrew P. Felix. Not knowing I was not the only one, and since I didn’t want to get my company sued, I unpubished my editorial and subsequent news post on the matter. I did not contact Todd’s lawyer, nor do I intend to. Our content relating to this matter is simply offline.

Libel and defamation of character doesn’t apply if the information that was published is true! As far as I was able to verify (I spent a full workday researching this situation while writing my post), everything I wrote and published was true and corroborated by multiple sources, AND it was confirmed by Mr. Goldman himself via his press release in the days following my editorial.

From what I also understand, according to the Communications Decency Act of 1996, interactive community websites are not liable for comments left by outside parties. We did allow several incredibly harsh comments to be posted in association with our editorial and follow-up news article, but we didn’t write them, so we’re not liable for them.

Nobody is defaming Todd Goldman or causing irreparable damage to his character but himself. If you do bad things, and you get caught, then you need to send a cease and desist letter to yourself…

This is exactly the kind of thing I was talking about in my editorial, some rich clown with a legal team bullying and taking advantage of people who are actually in the right but don’t have the time and/or resources to fight them on the matter.

I wish that I had the time and money to fight this legal battle, I really do, because Goldman’s behavior from start to finish in this matter has been illegal, unethical, immoral and tacky. However, I have better things to do with my time. Our website traffic increased up to 2000% in the days after my editorial was posted, and then it was buried in our site archives by other news. When I got the letter from his lawyer, I thought, “Hm, enough people have seen what I wrote, few people will notice it missing, and to be honest, we’ve benefitted from it as much as we’re going to.” It worked out for us, hopefully it’s working out for Dave Kelly, Fleen, and all others who are standing up for what’s right, and it’s done nothing for Todd Goldman but shine a giant spotlight on what a terrible person he is.

-ert o’hara, Juxtapoz Art & Culture Magazine

Oh sure, blame your lack of freedom of speech on Al Sharpton, commenter. Way to devalue the entire discussion.

I think irreparable damage to Goldman’s character already happened a long time ago.

One other possibly amusing point that has come up in this case.
If in fact, as has been suggested, it is true that Goldman used an image supplied to him by one of his “staff artists”, does that not also tend to indicate that he also lacks enough creativity to come up with his own work anyway?

btw I live in NZ, so to Goldman, his legal team and anyone else who thinks that being rich gives you the right to intimidate people……sucks to be you.

Here’s a fun fact. The Shutts and Bowen (form representing Goldman) website lists intellectual property as a specialty. Specifically,
“We understand that our clients’ intellectual property is often one of their most valuable assets and advise our clients concerning the best means to protect and develop these assets.”

Love it.

As a Florida attorney who has been involved with defamation suits, I can say two things before I comnment:

First, truth is not an absolute defense in Florida to a defamation claim if a true statement is made for the wrong reason; i.e., to cause another person unjustified harm.

Second, speach cannot be enjoined (or as Andrew Parker Felix stated, “we will have no other alternative but to take action to seek injunctive … relief against you pursuant to Florida law.”

Goldman can seek monentary damages, but he cannot seek injuctive releif without he and his attorneys risking paying fees and costs under F.S. 57.105, which should be authorized by the court. (I know most readers did not understand what I wrote, but hopefully Fleen and its attorneys did.)

(More for the attorneys) Curtis Publishing Co. v. Butts and Walker v. AP (same consolidated UI.S. Supremes case) lay an excellent arguement of who is a public and who is a private figure – a central matter in this issue.

‘Nuf legal stuff said: screw the copy-cat. Please do not cave to improper pressure!!!

Er, “firm” representing Goldman. I’ll sue if you don’t fix my comment. Post haste!

I just read my comment. My sincere appologies for the typing errors. I recently had wrist surgery and am re-learning the skill.

I love the “TOTALLY WRONG” comment posts popping up all over the place on places like Fleen. Poor Todd, can’t find anyone in the public sphere to defend him so he has to go out himself and try to convince people that he isn’t a shitbag. Good job… your transparency is laughable. Good luck trying to build some credibility back up.

Hahaha. What a joke Todd Goldman is.

I guess Todd knows a lot plenty about “defaming, derogatory and malicious statements”. Seeing as how that email calling Shmorky a pedo infantilist furry got sent to all and sundry. What a fucking hypocrite crybaby.

[…] An addendum to a story from yesterday: Fleen’s Gary Tyrrell has written me to note that the nastygram he received last Friday from Todd Goldman’s lawyer, objecting to unspecified coverage of Goldman’s theft of concepts and drawings from online comics, is indeed real. And speaking of which… […]

Yo, Coffman-type waffle, how about you govern yourself right back into Goldman’s pocket and leave us out of it, m’kay?

As for Goldman, well, I’m just sick to fucking death of guys like him whining that they’re the victims when they’re caught pulling this kind of shit. I hope he chokes on his own spit, and good riddance.

Check out this wired blog piece on Goldman and look in the comments section, “our friend” Totally Wrong makes another Jack Thompson style sound bite there too anyone notice any others?

You gotta love how a guy can rip off someone elses work, get mocked and made fun of on a public forum, and then threaten to sue for fucking hurting his feeling (or character as they described). Todd has a lot of balls to do what he is doing, if he can’t take shit then don’t dish it out.

Well, considering Goldman was accusing the guy he stole from of being a pedophile, and apparently makes racist shirts mocking people of Asian decent. When emailed about this, he claimed he was going to make more shirts.

I saw this and couldnt keep quiet.

Even when in no way am a network genius, I can fiddle around with certain given tools, such as McAfee IP Tracer, which I used, and found this:

Regarding the IP address from which the mail was allegedly sent:

Received: from smtp.davidandgoliathtees.com (216.199.185.166)

It was traced all the way to Boston, where I presume the hosting servers reside. Oddly enough, the network is registered in Florida.

and when asked about the registrant, it showed this:

Registrant:
DAVID & GOLIATH, INC.
1230 S MYRTLE AVE STE 401
CLEARWATER, FL 33756-3457
US

With this, I can conclude that either A) someone with the skills hacked into the servers and sent the mail, or B) Goldman himself DID sent the mail.

And given his typical answers so far, I wouldn’t doubt it for one moment.

Even if he eventually denied it, the company that hosts the mailing address can be called on to testify, and to provide their records for the day to search for any possible security breaches into the servers. Even more, If the IP address of the PC of Goldman appears in the registry, then he will have a THOUGH time trying to get off the hook with that one.

Addendum: I forgot to say that this information was regarding the mail were Goldman allegedly called Kelly a pedophile. Also, the physical address of the registrant is exactly the same in the Contact link on David & Goliath, so no denying it there either.

One thing is to call someone a thief, or a plagiarist. an entirely different one is to call it a pedophile. The actions, and their consequences to society are very different, and so it must be the punishment for diffamating someone in that way.

[…] I do apologize profusely for not reporting this when it happen on Friday. I’ve been up to my face in assembly code and it ain’t pretty (the code, my face is very pretty). Apparently Fleen has done a much better job of covering this whole Todd Goldman/David Kelly fiasco. So much better that Goldman is suing Fleen for libel. […]

How much do you want to bet that the lawyer is a fraternity brother of Todd ‘the perp’ Goldman?
You can practically smell the cheap beer from here.
Oops. Is this an example of governing myself accordingly? Oh well, F#ck it.

Edit: The original poster has requested that this comment be removed.

This is pretty messed up. And speaking of irrevocably damaging someone’s character, Todd called Dave a pedophile, as in “I paint the works of a pedophile every month, that’s my inspiration.”

So basically, Todd=Douchebag (possibly a terrorist) and he’s in a situation where he is going to get sued by several people at the same time; his solution: send vicious letter, visavis his lawyer, threatening them for calling him out on his douchey (possibly terrorist related) activities. Ass.

The truth must hurt, yet stupidity makes the world go round for this. I wish I knew the legal system as I personally believe this can be torn apart by any decent lawyer. As to the timing of this again couldn’t be worse as now the ” defamation ” can grow some more. Welcome to the power of the internet.

I don’t understand. How can he steal someone else’s work, which can be proven I am sure… call someone in the web comic industry a pedophile..that in it self can be extremely damaging to one’s person, physical as well as emotional… depending on where you live and then turns around and sues for labeling him for what he is. I honestly never heard of Fleen comics before today.. I am a big fan of Penny Arcade and they mentioned this travesty so I followed the link. Perhaps you can counter-sue him for his libelous act of calling you a pediphile.. and sue him for copyright and or plagerism violations…. someone should really take this fight back to him… best of luck to you…

I hope the least that happens is that he loses all credibility, as he should and may already have, and at least realise for himself that stealing, physical, intellectual or otherwise is morally and legally wrong. Is Mr. Goldman so inept that he has to steal off other people to make a product? Ineptitude is being supported by American law and it sickens me.

Memo copy of message left via lawyer contact box at:

http://www.shutts-law.com/index.cfm/fa/attorney.contact/atty/d60f7e1e-d041-4814-aa51-106ad7baed3b/Andrew_P_Felix.cfm

Solicitor Andrew P. Felix,

Attempts by you and your client Tom Goldman to
intimidate operators of Internet web sites which
have correctly and truthfully reported and
documented for all to see and confirm, your client’s
massive and numerous thefts of intellectual
property, constitute the crime of criminal assault,
for which you share equal culpability with your
client as a co-conspirator.

I’m fairly sure, there being two of you involved,
that this also falls under the rather draconian
rules of the Racketeering in Corrupt Organizations
US Federal Statutory Law, as expressed in that
statute’s preface, rules that _begin_ with pre-trial
seizure of all your material wealth.

The Internet as a collective entity historically
also tends not to wait for the slow grinding of the
legal system to punish those who abuse its people or
resources.

You might also remind your client that in stealing
the intellectual property of the Disney corporation,
he has commited an offense against an entitly with
lots more and better legal assistance than your
client can possibly afford, an entity, that, if
sufficiently provoked, could well choose to create a
class action lawsuit against your client’s numerous
acts of theft, thereby bringing the full force of
the copyright penalties for _each_ theft by your
client, to bear against your client.

I’m fairly sure this would result in the depriving
of your client not merely of all profits from his
numerous acts of theft, but of all material
possessions whatever.

Your client, in pursuing a course of criminal
intimidation, also continues to add to the damage he
has already done to his reputation, damage which may
well already suffice to force him to find a career
somewhere outside the lucrative field of
intellectual property theft, what with most art
collectors being morally repelled by the thought of
buying stolen goods.

Verbum sat sapienti.

xanthian.

Xanthian, it’s good to see someone else studying law here. :P

[…] Todd Goldman makes money by stealing other people’s art and calling it his own. Then he threatens web sites that discover and then make note of the theft. Todd Goldman is scum. […]

typical f***ing jew bastard

No no no… you’re all going about this the wrong way.

We should all pick a piece of Goldman’s art, modify it slightly, and mass produce it for our own profit. Then, if/when he comes after us, we can simply cut and paste everything he’s ever said to defend himself right back at him.

We could ever hire the same law firm to defend us against him, so they could just cut and paste as well. They would even save on postage.

When he’s alone, at night, in bed, awake, past midnight, not sleeping, deep in the recesses of his soul… he KNOWS he’s a no-talent hack who steals stuff from talents greater than his own, and he’ll never be able to get by that. He may posture and strut, but he KNOWS.

[…] Gary Our server logs show we’re running about ten times our normal pageviews thanks to the wanging we received; we haven’t had any server troubles, but if you have difficulty getting the site to load, do let us know. Also, apologies to any who’ve sent in items that would have appeared here, but were bumped due to the recent unpleasantness — if they aren’t time-dependent, we’ll do our best to run them. Now, we make with the links, you make with the clicks: […]

Wouldn’t it be nice if all the artists could take a class action copyright infringement suit against them.

Wouldn’t it be nice if all the artists that he plagarized from could take a class action copyright infringement suit against them.

I usually go by the legal precedence “It is not defamation if it is true.”

Sounds like a great plan. After slandering artists he copies as pedophiles, Goldman goes on to threaten libel suits.

As I understand it, freedom of speech is not unlimited in the US. It never was, though it’s certainly more limited now than ever before. The law specifically does not permit written or spoken malicious lies, for example.

Note the two terms `malicious’ and `lies’ in the above. Defaming someone isn’t saying “you suck” on the Internet. However, knowingly and falsely claiming that someone’s business steals ideas from others’ might well be. Saying that you saw them stew and eat three kittens almost certainly is. Well, unless that’s true, in which case … eeew.

The whole issue of where you draw the line on free speech is a hard one, but IMO well applied laws against slander and leibel are on the sensible side of that line. The key word is well applied – when interpreted by an uninteresting or poor judge, things can get dodgy in a hurry.

As far as I know, even if this guy’s work was ruled not to infringe your rights over your work, you’d still be able to reasonably defend a defamation claim by saying you had reasonable grounds to believe what you said was true and that your intentions were to defend your work.

should have contacted the folks at Fleen personally before sending in the lawyers.

I mean be a fscking man about it and tell his side of the story, if there is one.

I mean if have nothing to fear about what people are saying about you on the ‘Net, then you should just let it be what it is ‘Gossip’. Only those that have something to fear about it get the lawyers involved.

http://www.miketyndall.com/todd_goldman/

In case you want to see some work.

Excuse me if this link has been posted.

Waiver:
I did not produce this link and the link is not my original work.

[…] Fleen: They had something, but then had to take it down after a legal threat. […]

screw todd goldman, freedom of speech, especially against complete villains like this chap, shouldnt be censored. censorship is big enough in today’s media as it is the internet is probably the only source of un filtered goings on about, and although you may have to pick through bias and opinion, reliable and dependable sources are easily spotted, such as fleen.com. In my opinion you should ‘ave ‘im. American law suit bullshit has gone way too far when a thief can sue to defend his thieving name. Its hypocrisy at its best and i dont like it :(

…or should i say hypocrisy at its worst..

People, make hard copies of all content about Todd Goldman, including the original Wikipedia version if possible (surely there must be a copy of the original article floating around before they pulled it). That way, it’s easy to present the original copies because of their print dates (provided you actually have the printer stamp the date) to ensure that they are legitimate and not falsified.

Remember, hard copies hold up better in court against digital articles and possible alterations. (If an alteration took place after a hard copy was made, it’s immediately spotted.)

On top of that, Goldman just caused a new shitstorm to land on his front lawn. I hope he’s ready to end up getting slapped with a Cease and Desist from the Civil Judge.

typical f***ing jew bastard

Thanks for giving voice to something I didn’t have the balls to say.

Keep pushing those stereotypes Todd…..

Has anyone considered a boycott of Goldman, his company, and any company that buys his products? A letter writing campaign by concerned consumers to companies that buy Goldman products could go a long way towards making a statement that plagrism is not acceptable.

[…] Reading penny arcade the other day lead me to this fleen post regarding a douche who wants to sue the past away. I vaguely remember their initial posts about his plagiarism, but I guess this guy and Jack can be frivolous lawsuit buddies. […]

Boycott this tool. For the REAL artists and wits.

And don’t give in to his blood sucking lawyers!

Hey, what do you know – TODDGOLDMANISATHIEF.COM is available.

[…] Since this has blown up on the Internet, Goldman’s lawyer has been e-mailing bloggers who are discussing this issue–”We have acquired articles posted on your website which contain defaming, derogatory and malicious statements about Mr. Goldman“–asking them to remove posts from their blogs. But now it looks like his lawyer is apologizing at least to the artists for the rip-offs. […]

[…] I’m sure you’ve seen his shirts. You can find them at Hot Topic. No I don’t mean the cute rabbit with the filthy sayings, that’s created by Jim Benton. No no not throw back retro tv and movies shirts, those are licensed by legitmate companies from the people that own the rights. Todd Goldman is the guy who makes all the dumb  ”David and Goliath” brand t-shirts. Through the power of the interweb, it’s become apparent that Todd has quite a plagariser. Here’s a recent blog about his theivery.  Here is another site dedicated to his theft. Goldman has even made the news of Penny Arcade who are showing quite a number of stolen designs by the “artist”. Goldman has started retaliating by sending cease and desist threats to websites who point out his theft. Juztapoz Magazine and Wikipedia both removed posts about Goldman after receiving emails from his legal team. […]

Hmm… I just had a test on this type of thing last week. For it to be libel it has to be false and, these ar the actual words here, printed with ACTUAL MALICE, meaning that you hav to know, not think but know that the accusations are false.

Hi,
Actually people, problem here is this:
Todd may be a dick and he may tell something that is not truth but the legal system does not have a machine to identify truth. You really need a lot of money, time and wiling to spend it all on a lawsuit to fight and maby win it.
Remmember that you cant sue Todd for being a douchebag. The case he tries to solve with his lawyers is not about acts of plagiatirism or anything that was in the spothlight not long ago. So its not very smart to go red hot angry and writing 200 comments about how he will lose for sure and how he is wrong for sure. The legal system is a very complex and detailed one and you cant simply tell that all the articles about todd will lose 100% in cour or win. It all depends on details in the articles itselve.
As a photographer and a musician ofcourse i hate plagiatirism as such but for fucking sake get it people that it happens everyday and you wont win against someone in court just becouse he copied something.
Also the power of the internet is really very small power, power consisting of 13 yeer olds mostly and people who can manage only to write “i dont know much about stuff but i think that this is wrong”.
Also mirroring articles about todd being a dick wont help the case. Nobody really cares about todd being a dick or whatever. You even dont care, fearsefull commenters becouse the case got silent in a matter of days.
So to be honest i think that the power of the internet is bulshit and you wont help in anyway anybody who might got damaged by goldmans actions.
Want to help? So maby everyone of you send 10 bucks to flee so that they can get an attorney and another 100 to make it up for the time they will lose on the subject.

This is why goldman laughts looking at the internet, he does not fucking care about blog posts or houndred of comments with nothing more than “i support you” kind of stuff. The webcomic readership is not big and when you exclude people who are actually interested in the comic itself and not some interindustrial shit you are left over with people that have too much time on ther hands, kids, people who just are interested in hot stories or just want to comment on something they dont like.

Anyway i really think flees best idea was to get the article offline. As they told they dint lose much becouse it was just a news article, and those get outdated very very fast and are not viewed anymore anyway.

If they would try to fight with goldman i bet that all of you supporting fans would not give a shit about what happens to flee or would not help in any real way.

Spreading the word is really a lausy help. Its like sayin “hey i like, saw this guy? he was being beaten to death with stick by those guys, i saw them, like i dint help him but ill tell everybody, they will know who beated him, fell the power of the internets”

Want to change something?
Get your lasy but off your chair and into the real world and then try doing something usfull.

Aw and in my post i made a mistake and was talking about fleen removing stuff.
I wanted to write Juztapoz Magazine but somehow fucked the sentence.

In my oh so humble opinion, Goldman is nothing more than a pathetic douchebag who has to resort to legal douchebaggery in a vain attempt to prevent people from discussing how much of a douchebag he is. However, in doing so, he is only bringing to attention how much of a douchebag he truly is, and thereby defeating his own purpose. Get angry, take a few deep breaths, then get over it. If you want to do something about it, and I believe it has been mentioned before, boycott anything and everything he has ever, or ever will, produce. Along with that, spread the word. There really isn’t much else you can do, and you can’t blame the websites for taking down the articles. At least until this whole thing has blown over, which it inevitably will. Then it should be posted again, just to piss him off. XD

“The webcomic readership is not big”

Excuse me? One web comic, Dreamland Chronicles, all by itself has over one million readers.

xanthian@well.com

Imagine a comic strip, featuring Jack Thompson and Todd Goldman, our favorite friends, but as their super hero counterparts, “Melodrama Man and Plagiarist boy.” Just a thought. As to Borys Pomianek, your entire post is just silly, because it’s a load of crap. A- the webcomic readership is bloody huge, just like Kent said, and a lot of people do a strange thing called standing up for their ideals. Goldman may just want press coverage, and he’s certainly getting it, but just ignoring him and getting my “lasy but” off my chair and into the real world and then “doing something usfull,” ain’t gonna help. know why? Because a lot of people like ourselves use the internet as a medium to do what we can. By the way, Plagiarist Boy, if you can’t spell better than that, and can’t think of a more inventive name, or write something more intelligent, maybe you should just go eat the heart of a puppy, or some other of your normal activities.

What the FUCK was that about “BIRCH”?

I cant spell better you idiot becouse iam foreign to english. Try spelling right in my language and then well talk.

Also who the FUCK (yes i did repeat my self, sory) are you to call me a plagiarist boy? To what was that related?

Theres nothing silly about my post. It just my observation of the “powerfull” internet “community”.

If you dont get my post then re read it. You dont stand up for your ideals. Your just an idiot who posts. did you even ever create any art work? Since when protecting copyrighted work has become your ideal? Like, yesterday maby?

Now i do create copyrighted work but becouse i also do so instead of just being a consumer of it like propably you i also understand that to stand up and defend something you have to do MORE than just post some trash in the comments of a blog.

Also kind of Borys is my name and Pomianek is my surname. I dint think it up you idiot becouse i dont have to hide naming my self “birch”.

Anyway did you even get half of my post right? yeah you did, sory, you did just read out from it something like “comic fans suck” and that was not my messege.
You actually missed the part that i support the cause and maby dint got that i criticize the suportive mas that also “supports” that way.

I just call posting in comments not supporting but outputing your need to fell like you helpd a good couse.

Being a user of the net, part of the webcomics readership and with artistic education i find tods plagiatirism frustrating BUT iam not such an idiot to declare a “war on plagiatirism” using the all might “blog”.

Anyway my whole point is that “spreading the word” is worth nothing on the net. It does not reach outside the medium.
Yeah you might make todd a symbol of plagiarism but that symbol would be valid only to the small group of people who actually care about such stuff and those that do so on the net.

Also my point to make it maby more clear was that to do something about it you have to take some real action. Not just post on the net. If you want to fight using art then do so, thats usfull.
But to fight using blogs is the most stupid idea ever to have.

I did think that for instance pvponline.com strip about the case was usfull. It had value as an art piece that was commenting on something.

A comment on a blog thou is worth nothing and especially if you lower yourself to thinking that everybody who tries to criticize your “holy” couse is somehow a secret agent of todd.

Anyway just look at what iam trying to show you. Do you really think that a group of people who fights only for what is the hotest topic on *insert blog here* and do so using ever changing nicknames by writing comments like “todd is ugly” can help anything?

Cant you see that you cant harm him that way? That it only helps him make himself a victim of the stupid croud? Dont you get that there are some serious people out there that will ignore the case just becouse it was blown out of proportion by a group of internet fanatics?

Ok reply to “kent”: Sure man, in mere numbers the readership is not so small but still milion is a lausy redership for a free, internationally accesible medium. Its not like it is geting printed in milion copies. The big guys to get good money for theyr work and has quite the readership but the output
And most of them as i said are random people or people who dont have big amount of money that they can use to support any couse or cant vote yet even.

Now the amount of adults that are not working in mcdolands is guite big i am sure but webcomics is not really the last stronghold of the intelectuall.
Its just simple, plain etertainment. Its just comics people.

Trying to fight with something as serious as plagiatirism with blog comments is like fighting with the war in iraq using spiderman comics.

[…] So does this result in a win for confessed plagiarist Todd Goldman? Oh, heavens no. Several websites that have been threatened are refusing to back down, and others are joining the fray. I forget which online personality it was who noted that the Internet treats censorship as damage and routes around it, but whoever it was could certainly have been describing the Goldman meme. The latest to shine a spotlight upon Goldman’s theft of Dave Kelly’s cartoon — and quite possibly many others besides — include The Consumerist’s Lauren Kitsune and Cartoon Brew’s Amid Amidi. Meanwhile, LiveJournal blogger Sirive has started a little meme (see above), which has in turn spread far and wide. […]

Freedom of speech does not cover things like defamation, slander and libel.

otherwise it’s pretty useful.

Isn’t Todd Goldmann same guy who stole this art work?

http://forums.somethingawful.com/showthread.php?s=&threadid=2416213

fuck em, they wanna play hardball….
just keep it up, and add more… the bastard’s digging his own hole, may as well hand him a shovel.

You know, energized posts like this do often cause people to get up off their ‘lazy butts’ and do something. Honestly sir.. if you would tone down your hostility Mr Pomianek, you do make some good points.. Reading the webcomics may not put more money in the artist’s pockets.. .but you are wrong as far as this not getting out of anywhere except the internet. It may not make it to lawyer, courtrooms or politicans per se, but it does get to the target audience of the afore mentioned alleged… see that lawyers,, I said alleged plagerist. That is why he is worried, because enough of this negative publicity will impact what is important.. his bottom line. Reason behind that is, sure teenagers are rebellious, but… they wouldn’t support someone whom is harming that which they hold important to them. So, while this post may not send millions of dollars into these hardworking artists pockets.. but it will hopefully keep the ALLEGED plagerist from getting rich off someone else’s hardwork either, and as an artist, I would expect you to respect that…

Have a great evening.

Sure your point Patrick is good but in practice people will still buy Goldmans shirts becouse they simply want a shirt.
Iam just talking out of experience.
People want a product. Ofcourse 1000 may not buy his shirt but the other 10000 will . And yes that will maby “punish” him but then again it wont add to the harmed peoples pockets. Pockets that have to be full to fight a lawsuit.

Spreading the word is ok but what i criticize is people who post ideas like “spread the word” and post in comments reapeating after everybody that someone is a douchebah.

Saying that something is wrong when you think so is ok with me, it helps to fight stuff but usually when there is also somekind of force that fights it.

I may sound histile becouse i want to maby move some people who just pose stuff without thinking to actually think what they want. Do they want to help or just brag about?

Becouse of my experience with “the audience” i actually lack some respect for the repeating themselves fighting from theyr chairs kind of audience.
I know it may sound harsh but i know a lot of people who just say that something is cool and most of them dont buy it.

Sure that is supporting but what we lack is not people who say that something is good and they support it, we lack people who actually support. Like monetary, with theyr time, knowledge, whatever.

Its harsh but that is how i see it.

[…] Now it appears Goldman has decided to stop the nasty name-calling and sic his lawyers on anyone who dares talk about him or his high-quality, certainly-not-stolen designs. Already a number of Web sites have reportedly received “cease and desistâ€? letters (you can read Fleen’s here) and a few sites have taken down their articles about the affair, including Wired, Juxtapoz and The Beat. Without casting any aspersions on Heidi or Publisher’s Weekly, I find it very disturbing when someone accused of stealing feels they can bully their way out of trouble. […]

I’m reminded of a back-and-forth between Charles Barkley and Tonya Harding in the mid-1990s. Harding called herself “The Charles Barkley of figure skating”, and Sir Charles came back with “At first I wanted to sue her for defamation of character. Then I remembered I don’t have any character.”

[…] We are still waiting on the promised update from Dave Kelly on the Todd Goldman happenings, but one would be remiss not to note that it’s been eleven (11) days since we received our C&D, ten (10) days since our lawyer asked for details as to what content was annoying to Mr Goldman, with zero (0) specifics yet received. […]

yo Borys,

when you say stuff like:

“You dont stand up for your ideals. Your just an idiot who posts. did you even ever create any art work? Since when protecting copyrighted work has become your ideal? Like, yesterday maby?”

It proves that you don’t get it. This person is not an idiot. S/he is a person of IDEALS. Something you can’t seem to identify.

This is not just about copyright. This is about *STEALING*

Most people think STEALING is WRONG. That is an “IDEAL”. Most regular people have have this “IDEAL”. This person you criticize is standing up for this “IDEAL”. S/he is not an idiot. It is you who is acting irrational. Since when was “STEALING” ever okay?

Todd Goldman clearly was STEALING designs and ideas. Exposing such wrong-doing is what responsible people do. Why? Because STEALING is wrong.

The comments you made about the internet and the people who use it are so ridiculous I have to wonder just how old you are. I guess you are one of those “13 year olds mostly” and that explains why you are here?

You are like one of those “denialist”s. Your comments about the internet are so contradictory to what is happening in the real world that I feel sorry for you. The world is changing. I hope it changes so that there is less stealing in our world.

And btw, what language is it that you are most comfortable in? Go ahead and post in a language that you prefer. I’m sure there is a willing person somewhere on the internet generous enough to help translate your arguments for the rest of us (so we can all laugh together!). Wow, translation in hours or minutes? For free? Just a tiny example of how powerful the Internet is. I heard about this from reading a blog unrelated to comics. How did you find out?

Many people have already started doing something about this so don’t you worry. XD

Join the laughter at Todd Goldman as we await an update!

Borys Pomianek your wrong on many counts
1 captialism moves the world so consumers who you mocked due have a lot of power. How? Writing to people that cary his products to complain ie hot topic. If enough people complain it can motivate the company to drop todd’s work (if felt slimy saying todd’s work).
2your remarks about fandom show just how litlle you understand it. I found out about this issue from a online comic and got more info from the web family. One thing about fandom we like to complain which also means word of mouth. Now word of mouth advertising is very important as any retail store and customer service provider could tell you. Mabey because you are from another country you dont understand the concepts but once this hits todd’s wallet he will
3 if you really thing fandom is so weak (and the webcomic comunity is part of that this issue was brought up at a manga convetion) then you are ….lets say gravely mistaken. lets look at what fandom has out
spiderman 3
harry potter 5
ff 3
transfromers
we are a powerfull consumer force that society is paying attention too. now i do agree that just posting is not enough but it is a start. continual posting helps fan the fire, and other can be inspired to do more.

so i encourage every one here to write to hot topic and let them know you will not shop there as long as they carry “his” products.

Your site is perfect!

[…] And finally, as it’s now been officially a month since we were threatened with a lawsuit (or, more precisely, a month since we asked exactly what was actionable in our coverage of the Dave Kelly/Todd Goldman story … that chirping of crickets you hear is all the reply we’ve gotten), we at Fleen are now forced to conclude that Goldman’s lawyer believes there never was anything defamatory in our writing. […]

Yeah, the whole freedom of speech in America is a common misconception. It’s more like, say anything you want, as long as it doesn’t offend anyone. If it does, then we’ll do the American thing and sue your sorry ass. Right here buddy… m|n[._.]n|m

[…] taken me to task when we’ve disagreed, you’ve rallied about when I was warned to Govern Myself Accordingly. If nothing else, I hope you’ve found it true that the comments are open to all and sundry, […]

[…] that’s more than any of the Wikipedia Purge stories, more than the time we were asked to govern ourselves accordingly, more than twice as many as the first big collective poo-fling we had here, near as I can tell the […]

[…] to that last statement, actually. At the height of the Todd Goldman Shitstorm of Aught-Seven, with lawsuit threats a-flying, one poster contacted me with a request that a comment be deleted because he’d submitted it […]

[…] time to govern myself accordingly, since the last time Mr Goldman was reported on in these pages, it took a month to clear up his […]

[…] is a mirror of a site that reported on a prior iteration of art thievery (some four years back) and received a lawyerly communication as a result. Curiously, in conjunction with yet another accusation of Todd Goldman lifting Jess Fink’s […]

[…] quite a number of stolen designs by the “artist”. Goldman has started retaliating by sending cease and desist threats to websites who point out his theft. Juztapoz Magazine and Wikipedia both removed posts about […]

[…] If there’s one thing we at Fleen do, it’s engage in various actions accordingly. […]

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