Mommy Blogging

Online Fight Escalates Into Legal Battle Between Birth Bloggers

Gina of The Feminist Breeder, has haters and don’t you forget it, is apparently facing a lawsuit from another birth blogger. Dr. Amy at The Skeptical OB has informed the internet that she has filed against Gina for “unlawfully sent false notices (called “takedown notices”) under the Digital Millenium Copyright Act (DMCA) and for tortious interference with my contracts with webhosts”.

The history of their public online battle was summarized by GOMIBLOGer Viola_Aurea:

OK, so Gina wrote this post about how she’s learned soooooooooo much after being a doula at 20 births.

Dr. Amy responded with this post, basically saying, “If you’ve learned this much after 20, what do you think you’d learn after a few thousand?” It really wasn’t terribly mean, by Dr. Amy standards.

Gina then responded with a photo of herself flipping Dr. Amy the bird, and saying, “I don’t want to leave you without something you can take back to your blog and obsess over, so here’s a picture of me.”

Dr. Amy then wrote about it (and included the photo, which is now gone) in this post.

Gina THEN proceeded to scream “Copyright infringement!!!!” and send Dr. Amy a letter demanding money, which she wrote about in this post. (The letter was originally posted but later deleted.)

Dr. Amy’s husband, who is a very big-deal lawyer, wrote back to Gina and told her she didn’t have a case. Gina then repeatedly filed DMCA takedown notices to Dr. Amy’s host (and then her new one, after she switched hosts), which she detailed here. She also started a legal fund so she could go after Amy. It was VERY clearly an attempt to abuse DMCA in order to shut Amy up. Gina was also encouraging other people to fill out forms saying that Amy had “stolen” (aka quoted, with proper citation) their stories.

Then, Dr. Amy countered with this suit

From what I can sort out (so sorry, so not a lawyer), Dr. Amy’s suit appears to primarily seek to stop Gina from continuing to chase her site off the internet. Dr. Amy states:

I have sued only Gina. I have absolutely no desire to sue anyone else who may have submitted a frivolous DMCA complaint or has given Gina authority to file one on her behalf. However, I will avail myself of any remedies the law accords me, should I deem it necessary.

It is highly likely that I will have to move my site to yet another host. As I have said before, The Skeptical OB will be here next week, next month and next year. Nevertheless, having to move hosts again — thanks to Gina’s malicious attacks — is a burden neither I, nor my readers, should have to undergo.

There doesn’t seem to be any response on TFB at this time. It will be interesting to watch this unfold, and to see what implications it could have for a person’s right to comment on publicly available blog content.


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