Does anyone remember Hunter Moore, creator of IsAnyoneUp and the most hated man on the internet for a good swath of last year? His site, before he took it down in April, encouraged young people to submit naked photos of themselves or their friends. The photos were posted publicly along with screengrabs of Facebook pages and real names.
At least one copycat site has popped up: the extremely NSFW IsAnybodyDown.com. In some ways the site feels even more nefarious than its predecessor because of its semi-official takedown policy. The site links to a “Takedown Lawyer” who promises to get any photos removed from the site for somewhere between $200 and $300.
It so happens that this lawyer is a friend of the site’s owner and publicly admits to using a pseudonym to offer his services. Something seems suspicious here….
Marc Randazza, editor of the Legal Satyricon and a noted First Amendment lawyer (and counsel to ATL), explains why he thinks David Blade III, aka the “Takedown Lawyer” and supposed friend to Isanybodydown, may not be a lawyer at all:
I didn’t find one.
Hmmm…. 100% success rate on this site. Lets dig deeper:
Hmm, that seems awfully coincidental.
We have the same name on the domain name registration, a “New York lawyer” who is not actually listed in the directory of attorneys in New York, and a 100% success rate when people “hire” this “lawyer” by sending him $250 through PayPal.
OK, that’s definitely bizarre. IsAnybodyDown is already disturbing on its own — even more so than IsAnyoneUp was. Because, to Hunter Moore’s credit, at least he was and is upfront about his demented ethos. (FWIW, the new site tags its posts with “isanyoneup,” so the imitation is pretty obvious.)
In this new site’s case, the operators are not only gross; they are also shadowy. This point was emphasized when Randazza finally got in touch with Blade, who says he uses a pseudonym, operating “anonymously in order to protect myself and my family.” The full exchange, posted here, is nuts. Randazza dares Blade to give him any proof that he’s a real attorney (before he tries to find a plaintiff and go after the site in court, “motherf**ker”). Blade bobs, weaves, and then accuses Randazza of extortion and harassment.
Here’s the core of how Blade explains himself:
Rule 7.1(h) is specifically pursuant to case law. I do not engage in case law, civil law, or trial law using TakedownLawyer.com.
I solely engage in mitigated/mediated takedowns, which are not considered to be a legal service, on behalf of clients of TakedownLawyer.com.
The reference to my legal credentials is solely for credibility. If, for example, you were to build a website called “MowingLawyer.com”, Where you engaged in yard services for clients, you would be under the same rules.
Trust that I have a much better understanding of the laws in New York State than you ever will.
Oooooh snap! Well, I’m not sure Mr. Blade knows what he’s gotten himself into. Randazza is aggressively pursuing this story — he’s already posted several updates today. It sounds like we may be heading toward a Oatmeal v. Charles Carreon-style showdown. I imagine someone is going to come out of it covered in tar and feathers (or in possession of a drawing of his mother romancing a large bear). We can’t wait to see what happens next.
Take Down “David Blade, Attorney at Law” and Isanybodydown.com — Who’s with me? [Legal Satyricon]
Email correspondence betwen Marc Randazza and David Blade [Legal Satyricon]