(edit at the end – holy shit!)
Some of my readers may know that I am a fan of Ken White of Popehat. How can I not love a man who is so passionate about free speech, and who takes pains to share his love with the world by writing witty and easily understood pieces on different First Amendment cases–to say nothing of firing up the powerful Popehat signal in order to find pro bono or low cost, yet good quality and professional, representation for those who cannot afford it?
So, I read his blog regularly, with interest and profound enjoyment. A type of post that never fails to make me wince, though, is the one advising anyone dealing with the cops, the feds, or anyone investigating you, to shut. the. fuck. up.
Given recent developments within the romance reading community (i.e., Ellora’s Cave suing Dear Author and Jane Litte for reporting stuff that’s on the public domain and posting commentary based on them), I’ve been very interested on what both parties are doing.
Jane, who is not only a lawyer by profession but a very smart person, has done this: on the day she was served, she tweeted links to the facts backing up her post, and basically told EC to “come at her, sis.” Since then, she’s posted on the blog to notify readers of the lawsuit, then an update on attaining legal representation (go, Marc Randazza!) and lastly another post to inform her readers that there had been a temporary hearing where the judge had not granted the injunction but requested that both parties come back for a more thorough hearing later on.
After that? She’s been silent on the issue.
As well she might, because in the joint motion for continuance submitted to the court, it states:
In the interim, all parties agree that neither they, nor anyone under their direct control, shall post on the Internet any comments specifically and directly related to the factual allegations that form the basis of Ellora’s Cave defamation complaint; further, they agree not to comment online, directly or indirectly, on the allegations that form the basis of the defamation complaint. Nothing herein shall prohibit Plaintiffs from responding to defamatory posts or re-posts made by third parties related to the issues raised in this litigation.
Tina Engler/Jaid Black of Ellora’s cave, on the other hand…
Among other things *cough twitter cough* TE/JB made an appearance at The Passive Voice’s re-post of Courtney Milan’s confidentiality clauses post (which is a must read for everyone, by the by, involved with Ellora’s Cave or not).
Please note: EC may not have sued an author (yet) but they’ve sued other people, at least twice that I recall.
After people who were not particularly impressed by what she had to say responded in a…less than conciliatory manner, lets say, TE/JB came back with this witticism:
Please note that while the first comment was made before the motion for continuance, the second was made after five in the afternoon on the day.
Mind you, I do not believe TE/JB is in direct violation of the motion, but she totally is violating the First Law of Lawsuits: shut. the. fuck. up.
(I will not even touch any of the allegations of civil rights activism or defense of freedom of speech TE/JB makes–you all be the judge.)
The first rule of holes, I have heard somewhere, is to stop digging.
Tine Engler/Jaid Black has yet to master this simple rule, as she continues to engage online on the topic of whether Dear Author and Jane Litte defamed Ellora’s Cave with her The Curious Case of Ellora’s Cave post.
This morning, TE/JB posted a fairly long screed on her jaidblack.com blog. I will not link to it, but if you must check it out, it’s titled “For the silenced victims.” Then again, it may be gone come Monday, because her lawyer is likely to wake up and have a whole herd of cows. So here are the screenshots, which you can click on to embiggen (sorry, between her horrendous color choices, and the font type and size, it’s very hard on the eyes)