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The Implosion Of Debbie Schlussel* [Updated]

10 May 2010 @ 17:49

UPDATE at 2346…

I received the following e-mail at 2156 this evening:

From: Debbie Schlussel
Subject: CEASE & DESIST Notice – Unauthorized Use of Copyrighted Photo . . .

This is a demand letter, as well as a cease and desist notice. It has come to my attention that you have posted on your webpage a copyrighted photo of me, to which I own all rights and licenses. I don’t recall you asking me permission to post that photo, nor would I have granted it. Please remove it immediately, as you are in violation of my exclusive copyright to that photo. Whether or not you distorted the original image does not give you the right to use it and still constitutes a copyright violation, which I will not hesitate to pursue in court. You may think you are a lawyer, but I represent people in these matters, and the use of a copyrighted photo for your site does NOT constitute fair use.

Please e-mail and let me know that you have complied or I will take further action, including but not limited to getting WordPress to remove the entire page, which they typically do, when notified of copyright violations, and perhaps your entire webpage for violating WordPress’ terms of use. Please also cease and desist all future use of this photo.

Thank you for your prompt compliance with this request. Please make yourself familiar with copyright law, which in this case–should you continue to use the photo on your site and not remove it–can garner up to $250,000 in damages per each instance.

Debbie Schlussel

I have replaced the photo below.  Here is my reply to Mzz. Schlussel:

Please be advised that I have removed the photo from my site. I believe my posting of the satirized version of the original picture was perfectly legal to use. I have not removed it because of your request, but, rather,

have decided that it is more appropriate to display the non-copyrighted photo I have obtained of the inside of your skull.

Robert ‘Bob’ Belvedere
Non-Mentally Ill Blogger

It is always a sad thing to witness a fellow human being mentally cave-in on themselves.  It strikes harder when it is one of your own.

UPDATE on 11 May 2010 at 0757…

Living up to the Mission Statement listed on his blog’s masthead, Riding Roughshod Over The Asinine And Idiotic, Stogie tramples Debbie Demento underfoot.



Over at Saberpoint, Stogie has been tracking the Charles Johnsonification of Debbie Schlussel, who at one time was one of the feistiest voices on the right:

…Her criticisms quickly become insulting, ad hominem, potentially libelous attacks wherein she demonizes the conservative who has attracted her wrath. Taking a page from the Left, Debby seeks not to correct erring conservatives, but to destroy them completely.

She even threatened Stogie for using a copyrighted picture of her [he was, in my opinion, covered by the Fair Use doctrine].  Being ever the gentleman, he did take the photo down.  I’m sure, however, she will not be happy with photo he ended-up using [good for you SC].

In a third posting, Stogie sums-up the situation exactly:

…Why is she hostile and attacking of so many who used to be her allies and friends? Only her shrink knows for sure (and Debbie, if you don’t have one, get the yellow pages out and find one. Fast.)

Debbie Schlussel’s strange behavior continues to puzzle. She acts, not like a person who wants to succeed, but someone who wants to fail. She is burning bridges faster than a retreating army, destroying all prior goodwill towards her and turning former allies into enemies.

In other words, Debbie has become Charles Johnson in drag.

It’s so disheartening.

Non-copyrighted photo of the inside of Debbie Schlussel’s skull.


* Alternative title: When Good Cons Go Bad!

  1. 11 May 2010 @ 00:42 00:42

    Bob, Debbie is so full of piss and vinegar if you use her ancient, flattering photo of her when she was young, thin and pretty. With all her threats, she is yet to do anything about Radioactive Liberty, who has the same photo posted (with insulting captions) for over four years now.

    Over four years, and the big bad attorney is yet to do a damn thing about it!

    Also, what does she know about copyright anyway? If you read the Lawrence Auster article, it was very clear she didn’t have a clue when arguing that World Net Daily had “plagiarized” Little Green Footballs.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      11 May 2010 @ 07:25 07:25

      I decided to pull down the pciture because I didn’t want to potentially have to deal with the Word Press folks if she decided to raise a stink with them. I know little about their attitude and I don’t need that fight right now. And, actually, thinking about it as I lay in bed last night, I think this frees me up to have some Photoshop fun. I may start a new feature: The Delusional Debbie Pic Of The Day. Although, I do have some qualms about making sport of the mentally ill.

      Reading her About page, one does get the sense that she is an ego maniac.

      If she’s a lawyer, she’s a damn poor one, as you say, because I’ve read better legal letters from convicts.

  2. 11 May 2010 @ 11:21 11:21

    Whether or not you distorted the original image does not give you the right to use it and still constitutes a copyright violation, which I will not hesitate to pursue in court.

    This is incredibly inaccurate. It depends on (among other things) the degree of “distortion” and the reasons for it. Satire is always covered under fair use, as are criticisms and de minimus uses (e.g. quoting part of a newspaper article). Arguably, a photo could fall under any of them.

    On a side note, “distortion” is only used with rights of attribution and integrity, which don’t apply to a digitised photograph (at least not in America; that’s different in Europe).

    Furthermore, the subject of a photo does not automatically get the copyright to it; the photographer does. She only would own the copyright to a photo of herself if she contracted with the person taking it. So while she may own the copyright in that particular photo (which would be difficult to tell), she doesn’t own the copyright to every photo of her out there.

    Now, I’m a patent person and only took copyright law when I took an international IP course, so take this all with a grain of salt (and other caveats).

    You may think you are a lawyer, but I represent people in these matters,

    If she’s an attorney, why not close the letter with “Esquire” or “Attorney at Law” and then her law license number? Nothing against pro se litigation (or even pro se nasty-grams), but at least do it right. If she’s not an attorney, why is she representing people in these matters?

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      11 May 2010 @ 14:28 14:28

      1) It didn’t smell right to me. In the early 1990’s, I had to have my lawyer at the time issue a C&D to another band that was using the same name as ours in order to protect the servicemark we had on it. This one seemed like it was copied from a copy or a copy of a real one.

      2) Thank you for confirming my understanding about satire, specifically, and Fair Use, generally.

      3) She claims she has the copyright on the photo and she seems very concerned about protecting said copyright if it does, indeed, reside with her. Why then does the copy of the photo on her website not contain a copyright statement? If I were so very concerned, I would add this defacement to the photo in such a way as to make it obvious when it was removed or cut out.

      4) She represents herself as a lawyer, but offers no proof that she is. Is she hiding the fact, perhaps, that she never passed the Bar [and, in her case, any bar]? Or, passed it, and later was severely disciplined?

      5) You are now the official Legal Counsel to TCOTS: I talked with Mrs. B. and we want to put you on a bourbon retainer. Name your brand.

      6) Thanks for the pro [Sonny] bono advice and counsel.

  3. 11 May 2010 @ 18:21 18:21

    Good comments from Roxanne. Another thing: if the photo is “copyrighted” why isn’t it marked as such, as in “Copyright 2002, Debbie Schlussel, All Rights Reserved,” along with the copyright symbol? Why are there so many sites on the net using that photo without the required attribution and comment, “Used by permission”?

    Methinks Debbie Demento is full of it.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      11 May 2010 @ 18:50 18:50

      What she’s full of, I don’t want to know…or see.

  4. 11 May 2010 @ 18:58 18:58

    Bob, you write some entertaining stuff, but this is right up there! I got a belly laugh out of the photo swap.

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      11 May 2010 @ 20:15 20:15

      Thanks. There will be more Phun Photos to come!

  5. beepbeam permalink
    17 May 2010 @ 23:29 23:29

    Hey, “bob”, you neo-Nazis love being in the ideological bed with your fellow Jew-hating muslim brothers, huh? You better brush up on sharia law and the koran to see what your muslim brothers have in store for you and yours when your alliance is finished being useful.

  6. John Doe permalink
    18 May 2010 @ 08:39 08:39

    As a real lawyer, I don’t know squat about fair use etc. (most lawyers know squat about copyrite law–it’s a specialty), but I do know that Virginia (and I assume most states) have laws forbidding the use of a person’s name or image for marketing purposes. The face on the Folger’s coffee can is an example where a guy was awarded millions for unauthorized use of his likeness.

    Code of Virginia § 8.01-40(A) provides that if any person’s name, portrait or picture is used “for advertising purposes or for the purposes of trade,” without first obtaining the individual’s written consent, such person may sue and recover damages from the person, firm, or corporation so using the name “for any injuries sustained by reason of such use.” John Riggins of Redskins fame successfully sued his ex-wife for using his name without his permission when she sold the ex-marital home and advertised it as the former home of R. John Riggins.

    I don’t think the above applies even remotely to your case, but it’s good info to know. My blog earns no money so I am safe. Once you start earning income from your blog, you should be aware of that law.

    John Doe

    • bobbelvedere permalink*
      18 May 2010 @ 08:49 08:49

      Thanks, John. One of the reasons I feel secure in my position is that I do not earn any monies from this site. And what I am engaging in is satire and parody.

      I decided not to risk her creating trouble for me with Word Press because that’s a pain in the arse I just don’t need right now – too much already on my plate. But, as you can see with my subsequent postings on Mzzzzzz. Schlussel, I’m using different weapons now.

      There’s a good reason copyright law is a specialty: it’s so damn hard to interpret it. I discovered that years ago when I was copyrighting my music and lyrics [trademarking is just as bad].

      PS: Love your e-mail address.

  7. dar permalink
    24 May 2010 @ 13:54 13:54

    Loved the new photo.


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