No, the details of the dispute underlying the lawsuit are not silly


On Monday Techdirt published yet another piece on my lawsuit against Gina, MPAA Freaks Out: Insists That Having To Consider Fair Use Before Filing A DMCA Takedown Would Be Crazy:

Is it really any surprise that the MPAA suddenly took notice of the case after the EFF filed an amicus brief? The MPAA had to step in and argue why it should be allowed to continued to file millions of DMCA takedowns without having to be that careful about bogus takedowns, because actually having to make sure a work is infringing would be too much work. So, the MPAA basically says, “we should be allowed to stifle free speech with no consequence because OMG PIRACY@!@!!” Yes, that’s a paraphrase, but that’s the crux of the MPAA’s argument.

Like most everything else Techdirt has written about the lawsuit, it gets to the heart of the matter. However, like other published reports on the lawsuit, it gives short shrift to the underlying dispute, claiming that it is silly. I’d like to explain why the underlying dispute is not silly at all, but is deadly serious.

I imagine that people unfamiliar with the history of the case might have been thrown off by the fact that it was triggered by Gina’s incredibly immature posting of herself making an obscene gesture to me, but that was simply the way that she learned about the DMCA process; it has nothing to do with the underlying issue.

As I detail in the legal briefs, the underlying issue is that Gina wanted to silence my voice on the Web because she disagrees with what I have to say. She’s not alone in her feelings; I am anathema in natural childbirth circles because I aggressively challenge their attempts to deny the historical and scientific evidence that shows childbirth is and has always been inherently dangerous, modern obstetrics has dramatically reduced both maternal and neonatal mortality, and most of what NCB advocates believe is stuff that they simply made up.

In my efforts I am no different from paleontologists fighting against advocates of intelligent design; no different from climate scientists fighting against those who would deny global warming; and no different than physicians fighting against anti-choice activists claim (erroneously) that abortions cause everything from breast cancer to depression.

Perhaps at first blush the lawsuit appears to be about two women arguing over “women’s stuff.” But this “stuff” is a matter of life and death. On a regular basis I share stories of babies and mothers who have died because women rejected medical science at the behest of natural childbirth advocates. Far from being silly, the underlying dispute is deadly serious.

If someone can abuse the DMCA process to silence me, it opens the way to others using the DMCA process to silence the immunologists, pediatricians and public health professionals who promote vaccination. It opens the way for climate denialists to use the DMCA process to silence the professionals who have warned us about global warming. And it opens the way for anti-choices activists to use the DMCA process to silence the doctors who point out their lies.

This is about something far more serious than the immature gesture of one blogger now immortalized in the Federal Court Files. It’s about protecting those who convey scientific evidence from those who prefer to pretend that scientific evidence doesn’t exist.