Blog flamewar winds up in federal court
A Sharon obstetrician yesterday filed suit against an Illinois blogger with whom she's been engaged in an increasingly nasty flamewar over home births.
In her suit, filed in US District Court in Boston, Dr. Amy Tuteur of the Skeptical OB, charges that Gina Crosley-Corcoran, who writes the Feminist Breeder, is abusing a federal online copyright law to try to shut her down.
Tuteur, a former professor at Harvard Medical School, says she uses her blog in part to wage war on proponents of home birthing:
Having seen thousands of births and the serious risks posed to both mother and baby, especially when such births are deliberately performed at home rather than a hospital, Dr. Amy writes for The Skeptical OB to "tell the truth about and expose the lies of self-proclaimed homebirth ‘midwives’, and to protect babies who don’t have to die."
That's drawn the ire of Crosley-Corcoran, who railed against Tuteur and who last month posted a selfie showing her giving Tuteur the finger.
When Tuteur posted a copy of the photo to slice into Crosley-Corcoran (photo since removed), she charges, Crosley-Corcoran sic'ed her lawyer on her, seeking money for using the photo and then, when that didn't work, began using the Digital Millennium Copyright Act to get Tuteur's Web hosts to take her blog site down for allegedly violating her copyright by using a copy of the finger photo.
In a post in which she calls Tuteur a terrorist and compares her to the Westboro Baptist Church, Crosley-Corcoran writes:
She could owe me statutory damages, but because I'm a fair and reasonable human being, my attorney and I felt it was best to discuss a non-monetary settlement with Amy and her lawyer. I’m not looking to be greedy – I simply wanted a resolution. In exchange for me not pursuing the damages, we wanted Amy to agree to stop personally attacking me. It was that simple.
For any reasonable person, this settlement would have been a no-brainer. I was paying her an undeserved kindness by offering her the chance to simply stop badgering me in exchange for the great deal of money that a judge could make her pay me for trying to profit from my copyrighted work.
Then, Tuteur charges, "posts by Crosley-Corcoran on The Feminist Breeder's Facebook page reveal that Crosley-Corcoran has, upon information and belief, been working on a plan to interfere with Dr. Amy's relationship with her website host," by issuing bogus "takedown" claims under the DMCA.
Tuteur seeks an injunction against any lawsuit related to "the Finger Photograph," plus monetary damages.
|Tuteur complaint||668.66 KB|