This page is my own quiet little rant, just for Mr. Paul Andrew Mitchell, BA, MS, blah blah. This web page is an exercise of my right of freedom of speech, and one wherein I can say anything I wish. I can even say that I think that the entity that I understand to be Paul Andrew Mitchell is a dork, because I really do.

So I was surfing the net a few years ago and I came across a couple of links to something called "The Federal Zone" (purportedly copyrighted name used within the limitations of fair use as a reference, and such purported copyright allowed, without waiver of rights, without refute for simplicity in this document), and I stuck 'em in my bookmarks file. The links have since gone dead, but that still didn't keep this guy from apparently including me in his huge lawsuit, or something that looks like one, wherein I understand that he purports that over two million copies of a document that he states he wrote and copyrighted were distributed, perhaps with modifications, without payment to him, and wherein it appears that he wants to collect damages to the tune of almost a cool US $60 million. Meanwhile, I've never seen a copy of this purported lawsuit or his supposed written complaint against some 500 parties. Now, correct me if I'm wrong, but I don't think that I can be sued and not notified; if I can, then maybe I'll dream up a little suit against Mr. Mitchell and even award myself damages and then pop up one day to collect.

Oh, but he's promised everyone amnesty if -- get this -- we go out and buy a copy of his book as well as remove this link. Hmmm... Let's see, here... So, if I go and link to a book, I suddenly have to buy it? In fact, if I've ever seen the book, I have to buy it? I don't think it quite works that way...

Now, it seems to me that I have not actually done anything to infringe on his copyright; after all, I simply had a couple of links that pointed to another location that may or may not have infringed on his copyright. It is not a copyright violation for me to have on my site *any* link pointer, whether it be to a great book at a place like Amazon or to a picture of me (yes, anyone is welcome to link to this picture and I promise to never come after you and complain about copyright; it's taking a copy of the picture and using it for yourself which might raise an eyebrow) or even a pointer to a bootleg copy of my picture (sure, go ahead and link to it; *you* didn't do anything wrong by hanging up a big sign in the web pointing to someone else's crime).

So you'll notice that, in his letters, he points out a few pages at the Software Publishers Association, including In that page, the SPA appears to reference the US Code (and even provides a link, though the text noted is not found anywhere in their page) regarding "Contributory Infringement", stating that anyone who knows or should know that s/he is contributing to the infringement of the author's copyright can also be held liable. They then go on to provide examples, including "linking to FTP sites where software may be unlawfully obtained".

Let's take this apart for a moment. So someone (let's say, for example, "me") who knows or should have known about infringement and links to an FTP site is a bad guy. But Mr. Mitchell makes the specific statement that "many Internet users throughout the world were completely unaware that all copies of "The Federal Zone" extant on the Internet were stolen and then modified", so it seems that he certainly understands that there could be a time when one couldn't "have known or should have known". And as soon as this example person, in this case, heard about the copyright problem with The Federal Zone, he checked the two links that he had and found them to be dead -- and so they weren't links "to FTP sites where software may be unlawfully obtained". So I still don't see why this whole mess applies to "me".

Hey, wait a minute... I think I see an opportunity here... I'll contact all criminals whose prosecution included eyewitness testimony of their actions, get them to copyright their actions, and then force the courts to remove such testimony from the record or face copyright infringement penalties. Yeah, that's it!

Is this making any sense yet? I am asserting my right to use the words "federal" and "zone" and "fed" and even "Federal", "Zone", and "Fed" any way I wish, as long as I don't claim that some work which might be called "The Federal Zone" is mine. So, therefore, I officially and completely disavow any claim to "The Federal Zone" or, for that matter, anything else that Mr. Paul Andrew Mitchell has said that he has written -- including his lawsuit (oops -- can I mention that on my own private web page?).

Check back here some other day for more; I'll have links (gasp!) to copies of his email or any other documents I can find -- and maybe even to a copy of the Zone itself, if I can find one!

First, we have the original letter, minus a couple of pages; then we have a followup letter as if the first weren't funny enough. (Both were copies sent to me, since Mr. Mitchell didn't bother to send to me at all, via my callwave fax number and then processed with my way cool script for web viewing.)

This just in! Right here we have a list of all of the domains which he's apparently suing. Gee, I wonder how many acquaintances I can find in there :-) Meanwhile, who thinks that he'll have any luck suing such organizations as,,,,,,,,,,,, much less all of the little guys? What a riot!