panties in a wad

I received this email from this guy, subject line: Legal Action

Content of Email: Dear Webmaster
This demand applies to all of your DBA’s and all Internet search engine search results including Google, Bing, Lycos and the like.
You were never given permission to use my name and if you continue using my name, legal action will be taken against you.
Todd B.
(ok, so I can’t use his whole name here because of legal stuff and things probably)

My first thought, was who the hell is the person and what is he talking about, so I wrote him back. Apparently he left a comment or someone with his name, left a comment on my accutane journal and his panties all got in a wad that I was using his name, like he could be the only Todd out there or something. My second thought, was oh shit, is it Todd from way back when – but no, that Todd doesn’t talk to me anymore.

He wrote me back and sent me a link to check out on bing
See accutane journal sexy magick: (again not the real link but you get the gist, potential liablity issues here)

Oh, his name is clearly on this page: (no legal issues here, this is my page) but when you follow the link associated with Todd B, it goes to this page: and there is no Todd B there listed as far as I can tell and I wrote this guy back to that fact.  Also told him that just writing me and being nice would have been a much easier way to handle this then threating me…
because honestly, threatening me has just open up a whole can of worms on his part, while I can’t use his name on this post or his email address, I can tell you what happened and give you some information about the law:
In the United States, fortunately, the law has been written to protect bloggers and other “interactive computer service providers” against libel torts for material that they did not write themselves. This was codified into law by Section 230 of the Communications Decency Act of 1996, which said “No provider or user of an interactive computer service shall be treated as the publisher or speaker of any information provided by another information content provider.”

In short, the law prevents someone from suing yourself for comments made by a user of your site. No one can treat you as if you were the speaker just because you unwittingly provided the platform for the libel. This protection applies even if you edit the comments, so long as you do not change the meaning or otherwise add libelous statements yourself, and is expanded to other torts that might stem from a libel suit including negligent misrepresentation and emotional distress among others. (more information about the law and commenters on blogsbloggers are protected! and more information here: Blogger Law


 So he wrote back:  I never wrote a comment in your journal. Please remove my name immediately. My name has been hijacked and used all over the top search engines on the Internet. This is my primary path to recourse and restoring accurate Internet search results of my affiliations and accomplishments.
Not a thank you in sight. I’ll remove his comments with his name on it, not an issue, sounds kind of like a jerk anyways but I did write him back and let him know he can’t threaten legal action against me for comment left by someone else…
and now..I will be posting a Comment Policy on my blog just in case another person gets their panties all in a wad