Law & Virulent Nationalism: The Saga Continues

Some of Vox Day’s supporters (OK two of them) have appointed the blog as the newspaper of record on science-fiction’s most No Awarded author/editor/publisher. In particular I’ve been asked to ‘retract’ this post: https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2020/06/16/vox-days-replatforming-backfires/ but neither of them appear to have read this subsequent post: https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2020/07/14/meanwhile-in-law-virulent-nationalism/

The excitement in Day’s camp is that the tentative ruling made by the judge earlier in July (see my second post) has now been confirmed. The order denying the preliminary injunction against Owen Benjamin’s supporters attempting multiple arbitration cases against Patreon has been confirmed[1]. This isn’t much of a change since my July 14 post aside from it being less tentative and the judge has given their reasoning

The judge gives three reasons for denying the preliminary injunction:

  1. “Patreon fails to show that it will suffer any irreparable injury or interim harm if an injunction does not issue”
  2. “Patreon fails to show a reasonable likelihood of prevailing on its claims.” [the claims here being the court case rather than the arbitration]
  3. “California courts rarely grant the extraordinary relief Patreon seeks here: an injunction interfering with an ongoing contractual proceeding.”

The three reasons given have their own reasoning but they each rest on the same principle: Patreon hasn’t let the arbitration body JAMS make their own decisions on some of these questions yet.

As I said back on July 14:

“Suffice to say, that’s at least a minor win for the bad-guy’s team (not that Patreon are exactly good but they aren’t actively wishing we were all dead). Leading their case is Marc Randazza a controversial lawyer who is associated with far-right disinformation outlet InfoWars. Whatever Randazza’s ideological stance might be, he is not without some legal talent.”

https://camestrosfelapton.wordpress.com/2020/07/14/meanwhile-in-law-virulent-nationalism/

I’ll keep watching!


[1] https://webapps.sftc.org/ci/CaseInfo.dll?CaseNum=CGC20584586

10 thoughts on “Law & Virulent Nationalism: The Saga Continues

  1. Arbitration is a bad deal for the public, intentionally so. It isn’t there to give people a streamlined process to address grievances. It’s there to act as a barrier to relief that courts might provide. Regardless of the parties involved, if people have discovered a way to subvert mandatory arbitration, that’s all to the good. Let it terrify the corporations who demand that people agree to arbitration but don’t realize or don’t expect how much they will have to pay to the arbitration agencies if people fully take advantage of those mandatory agreements.

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      1. While I agree 100% with that sentiment regarding the main goal of arbitration, the average American will never get their day in court, because they can’t remotely afford it: a run-of-the-mill attorney in the US charges nearly US$400 dollars an hour (as of a couple of years ago). Half of Americans don’t have the funds to handle a single unexpected $400 expense.

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      2. Arbitration is meant to head off class-action suits. Granted, those mostly make money for the lawyers, but they still provide some incentive for companies to behave themselves.

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  2. This is what they did on the Vic case — celebrate any ruling on a technical procedure that doesn’t close the case as a giant victory. One difference with this case is that Benjamin has a lawyer who knows what he’s doing, kind of, and has financial backers in right wing media to fund that lawyer rather than just crowd-sourcing. So it is possible that Patreon will do some sort of settlement that they are hoping for in arbitration. But it sets a very bad precedent for Patreon in dealing with other screaming situations, so they may equally just play it out into court. Benjamin has to count on Patreon either wanting to make it go away quickly, or that his backers are willing to stick it out for a very lengthy process that could take several years, which they may not do even if their costs are being paid for by Benjamin’s backers.

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    1. How long are the RW backers willing to stick it out, and how much money are they willing to fork over are I think the relevant points.

      I have a feeling Patreon is willing to go the distance on this one, just to try to win to make sure no one else does this. It would be to their ultimate benefit to win and they’ve probably got battalions* of lawyers on the payroll ready to be deployed. If it goes to arbitration*, then Patreon probably gets an easy win.

      But the RW backers are liable to get tired of caring about randos suing a (fairly obscure) internet company over arbitration rules vis a vis an unfunny comedian. They have an election to steal run, Facebook to pay off, Sinclair editorials to write, Overton Window to be shoved… and big money of any political persuasion likes arbitration a whole lot and doesn’t want the precedent of the “little guy” being able to get out of it.

      * The intarwebs suggest for the collective noun: Disputation, Eloquence, Escheat, Greed, Huddle, Quarrel. I think this is a Disputation of Lawyers.

      ** which I think the judge really wants them to — get both sides out of cluttering up his court docket get off my lawn a pox on both your houses.

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      1. Agreed, Patreon would want to stomp this down hard to make sure it never happens again. They already changed their terms of service to make it more difficult. See also: SCO vs. IBM.

        On the other hand, yes, arbitration is a horrible solution to a horrible problem, and generally leans things towards the corporations even more than the courts would (assuming people could actually afford the courts).

        This is a bit of a ‘pox on both your houses’ scenario in general, but I think most people would be leaning to Patreon’s side even if they wish Patreon were a better company, just because the other side winning would have such unfortunate consequences.

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