Yesterday I invited you to join a crowdsourced investigation led by Marc Randazza. In brief: a scummy site called "Is Anybody Down?", a copy of the departed and unlamented "Is Anybody Up?", posts questionably obtained naked pictures of women with their names and hometowns and often their Facebook pages or phone numbers. The troglodytes who hang out there then favor them with comments like these:
You should really consider buying some tits the miracle grow isn't working babe sorry
Damn, poor girl, her reputation / NAME is dirty for life…. Her childrens children will someday see this ! Hopefully she dont go committing suicide & shit
Did anyone call her? phone work?
As Marc documented in a series of posts, "Is Anybody Down?" had a sleazy relationship with "Takedown Laywer" "David Blade III," who purported to be a lawyer who would help you get your picture off of the site for a few hundred bucks. Marc posted convincing evidence, with which I concurred, supporting the conclusions that (1) "David Blade" is not an attorney, (2) there is no "David Blade," and (3) "David Blade" is most likely Craig Brittain himself, who registered both the "Is Anybody Down?" and "Takedown Lawyer" sites. In other words, it's a wire fraud and extortion scheme.
Hilarity ensued. But now Craig Brittain is angry. Very angry. And in addition to Marc Randazza and your ob'nt servant, he knows exactly who is to blame.
I earn a modest living. I give all of my earnings to my family and to Chance [ed.: that's Chance Trahan, his partner in the site], except for maintenance expenses for this website. Furthermore, I really hate this job and I do not do it for revenge, to hurt people, etc., I do it because Barack Obama is the second worst President in US history (second only to Jimmy Carter). The job market is really screwed up. A talented guy like me is easily worth seven figures or more in a good economy (if Randazza’s worth $2.5 million, I’m worth at least $8 million).
To be fair to Craig Brittain, this isn't much stupider than what I've been seeing on my Twitter feed all day for the past twelve months about politics.
(That quote is part of a screed that Craig posted on "Is Anybody Down?", thoughtfully gathered by our commenters and hosted here. You can go to the site to read it in the original if you must, but I warn you those are some disturbed people.)
In fact, Barack Obama may not bear sole responsibility for Craig Brittain being reduced to making money off of humiliating women for the amusement of the sort of subnormals who aspire to bury women in their crawlspaces. Craig Brittain might face other impediments to those seven figures — for instance, the fact that he's a convicted felon. (Adam discovered through diligent research methods and tipped me to it.) Now, being a convicted felon doesn't make you a bad person, necessarily. People make mistakes. Some convictions are unjust. The system grinds people up, and many criminal laws are totalitarian. I'm just saying — employers are judgmental about felons, and Barack Obama may not be the sole impediment to Craig Brittain not being a millionaire yet.
The Prez might skate for other reasons, too. For one thing, Craig has problems keeping his story straight. That's often an impediment to flourishing. Let's look at some examples.
Who is "David Blade?"
"David Blade" — the "Takedown Lawyer" who offered to get your pic down from Craig's site for a fee — is the hook to this story. Without him, "Is Anybody Down?" would just be another site for Cheeto-and-hand-lotion scented misogynists, and Marc and I might not have noticed.
Who is David? Is David a lawyer? Craig's different different answers. Writing to me, he's claimed that "David Blade" is a real lawyer using a pseudonym to protect his family:
David Blade is an attorney who provides the same sort of services available on websites like dmca.com. Mediated/mitigated takedowns. . . . David Blade operates to remove content on behalf of clients via mediated/mitigated takedown as an independent third party. I have zero desire to remove the content – ideally, posts would never be removed from my website. However, some people go to drastic measures when their pictures are posted. David Blade's services are a safety measure – a provision for people who would hire lawyers or do more drastic things like crime or suicide. . . . The reason for his condition of anonymity is the number of death threats that are associated with our website. He has multiple children and a primary vocation to handle. He doesn't have time to deal with lunatics who endanger his safety and the safety of his family or his business. I used to get tons of death threats and hatemail – which was the reason when Dave offered me a deal, I fully agreed.
"David Blade," using similar diction and the same odd "mitigated takedown/mediated takedown" phraseology from the same IP at the same time, also claims that he's a real lawyer.
In email exchanges with Adam, Craig Brittain's been cagey and refused to commit specifically:
I deny and do not acknowledge anything that you've said to be the truth, and I have not done anything wrong nor criminal. Have a coke and a smile and go fuck yourself.
But the next day, in emails to Marc Randazza, Craig Brittain eventually lost track of his story and said this:
David Blade is actually Eric Chanson.
But wait a minute. Eric Chanson? That's the guy that's he's simultaneously railing about, both at the "Takedown Lawyer" site and the "Is Anybody Down?" site.
Please beware of Eric Chanson who runs several copycat domains and is engaged in cybersquatting. We are currently unable to assist you in removing content from his .net and .org domains that he is using for cybersquatting purposes. These are not the domains of the original owners and thus they cannot comply with removal requests.
The copycat versions of our domain isanybodydown.net and isanybodydown.org are owned by Eric S. Chanson.
Eric Chanson, the Great White Whale of Craig's frustrated rantings — that's who he now claims is the college friend who works with him, who has a family he is protecting, who is a lawyer.
It's not just that he's lost track of his story. He's lost track of his story in a way that doesn't make a lick of sense.
Do People Object To Their Pictures on "Is Anybody Down?", Or Not?
Craig Brittain also can't keep straight whether or not anybody objects to having their names, contact information, and pictures posted for the benefit of the dispirited gruntings of his coterie of losers.
On the one hand, his story is now that everyone consents to being on the site. In his latest screed:
Everyone pictured on this website consented to appear on here. Anything else is total nonsense. They took the pictures themselves. They transmitted them via Fair Use. The submitters agreed to the terms of submission prior to sending them.
To Marc, he says something similar:
You won't find a single claimant against my website (isanybodydown.com). I comply with removal requests sent through proper channels. We haven't had a single complaint since the now-Takedown Hammer service was added.
But wait. This is a new story. Last night, his story to me was that he isn't responsible:
You can think what you want to. Extortion would be if I threatened to release photos of people unless they paid me. I do not engage in extortion. I post photos I receive from submitters, meaning that I am not responsible for their submissions to begin with, and I am simply posting on behalf of the submitters who hold the entirety of the responsibility for their submissions. I reserve the right to remove content for any reason, or no reason at all.
Moreover, contrary to his "we haven't had a single complaint" line to Marc, he told me that I should know that he's doing nothing wrong because he's been "thoroughly investigated." He clarified:
Numerous people claim to have filed reports with the FBI and Police. I have reason to believe that we have been investigated.
Moreover, the entire "Takedown Lawyer" pitch relies on people being unhappy that their picture is on the site:
Hello! I’m the Takedown Lawyer and so far, I’ve had 42 clients come to me to have their pictures and information removed from Is Anybody Down, all of whom were a success!
. . .
I attended college with the administrator of this website. We are on a first name basis and regularly converse.
Our big disagreement is this website – He tells me that he is doing nothing wrong and that the client’s pictures should stay up forever.
I tell him in response that he should be ashamed and should remove all of them.
In response, as a compromise, I’ve agreed to pay to advertise here in order to assist people who are at the point of hiring someone to have their pictures removed from sites like these.
Even now, after he's started to send the "Takedown Lawyer" down the memory hole, he's still running an ad for the "Takedown Hammer" that presupposes that people want their pictures taken down:
Hello. Do you need an experienced team that can help remove content from this website or other websites?
Choose Takedown Hammer.
We have issued over 90 successful removal requests for this website so far and a total of over 500 removals from various internet websites. We are professionals. If you want content removed, Takedown Hammer is the way to go.
Moreover, even though Craig Brittain now claims that everyone on the site "consented" to being there, he's previously run a bounty system to get nudes:
Hello. Due to fan suggestion, we’ve decided to add a bounty system, and some new rules/reiterations of old rules to go with it.
The bounty system will enable you to submit people who you are unable to find nudes of and see if the members of this site can find their nudes for cash.
. . .
As always, submitters accept 100% of the liability for any legal, civil, social, etc. consequences related to their submissions.
Finally, Craig's story just can't be reconciled with the fact that until this story broke his site featured posts ridiculing women for demanding or begging that their pictures be taken down, like those that Adam documented, or the many still available through Google cache.
Once again, Craig Brittain just can't keep his story straight about his site.
I have never scammed or ripped anyone off, nor done anything illegal, nor engaged in anything questionable.
Other than the felony conviction, of course.
What does Craig Brittain Think of Marc Randazza?
Craig Brittain can't keep his story straight about Marc Randazza, either. If you ask him now, he says Marc's a terrible, dishonest person:
Marco Randazza’s claims are false. He has a history of lying, contradicting himself and attempting to extort money via copyright trolling.
Yet Craig's emails with Marc — either in his own name or as "David Blade" — are characterized by relentless attempts to hire Marc and give him money:
First, as "David Blade":
If you are the same Randazza Group that is currently operating on behalf of Bullyville in pursuance of a class action lawsuit against a named Defendant Eric S. Chanson and Blue Mist Media,
He has infringed upon my trademark as well as the trademark of several other website owners who are interested in joining the class action lawsuit.
Please contact me at your earliest convenience.
These clients would like to be represented by your firm against the named Eric S. Chanson and Blue Mist Media and all involved parties.
Then, as Craig Brittain:
TakedownLawyer specifically referred those people to you about Eric Chanson's infringement of the isanybodydown.com name (cybersquatting), so that they can reference isanybodydown.net, isanybodydown.org, pinkmeth.net, pinkmeth.org, 1upem.net, 1upem.org and takemedown.tk as part of your pending class action lawsuit. You want those clients, right?
Because I'll pay you to do it. A lot more than whoever is paying you to chase a Red Herring, snowball-in-hell-case.
What's your number? We'll talk.
So: is Marc terrible, or is he someone awesome that Craig wants to hire? Or did Craig just try to bribe him into silence, fail miserably, and collapse into a pout?
By the way, Craig Brittain also has this to say about Marc Randazza:
He has also in the past attempted to extort Crystal Cox, a self-identified lesbian blogger as well as numerous others.
In evaluating Craig's probity and, well, sanity, consider what Crystal Cox really is.
Craig Brittain's showing himself to be a con man — just not a very good one. He's a con many who is trying, however clumsily, to monetize hatred of women.
This story has legs. More and more lawyers are answering Marc's call for pro bono assistance in dealing with these people. If victims come forward, appropriate referrals can be made to law enforcement. The "David Blade" scam was stupid. It was clumsy. It was mediocre. It was the hook that may transform routine internet dishonesty into a case that will get attention.
I appreciate continuing efforts and contributions to the investigation, and will continue to forward them to Marc and the growing team for appropriate use.
Second Update: I have been terribly remiss in not posing this deathless line from Adam. He offered in an email response to Craig, after Craig threatened to assemble a legal dream team to go after Marc because he "subjected me to emotional, mental and financial distress":
Is Mr. Blade unavailable to represent you?
Another update: I fished this comment out of the spam filter. It comes from the same IP as Craig/David:
He's referring to the art discussed in this post, by the way.
If nothing else, I would like to offer Craig Brittain my very sincere congratulations for taking less than 24 hours to correct his initial impression that my name is "Ken Popehat."