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More on Bill Purdy's looming contempt, tips for surviving jail

Previous Politech messages:

"Bill Purdy: 'I'm going to jail over my Washington Post domain'"

"Tips for Bill Purdy on surviving domain-name contempt in jail"


Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 13:33:38 -0700
To: declan@well.com
From: Charlie Oriez <coriez@oriez.org>
Subject: Re: FC: Tips for Bill Purdy on surviving domain-name contempt in jail

why doesn't the court merely order the registrar to turn the domain names 
over to the Washington Post?  Bill Purdy may be willing to go to jail on 
principle, but I doubt that the Network Solutions CEO would be.


Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 15:19:49 -0500
From: "Paul Levy" <PLEVY@citizen.org>
To: <declan@well.com>
Subject: A martyr, but for what?
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Like you, Declan, I hope that Purdy does not suffer the same fate as
Trummel, but I hope that he avoids that fate by pulling back from
refusing to turn over the domain names pending the final outcome of the
litigation including his appeal.

Trummel went to jail over the right to publish certain content on the
Internet -- Purdy says he may be ready to go to jail over the domain
names that he uses to publish his content.  As you know, I have defended
many individuals over domain name issues, but I am not prepared to say
that domain names merit the same sort of personal sacrifices as
censorship of content or compelled identification of confidential

In my opinion, Purdy would be very foolish to risk going to jail over
the web sites.  I do not support, as a general principle, the line that
the judge has drawn, between all domain names embodying a trademark and
those domain names that couple a trademark with a word that plainly
signals that the underlying web site is a critical one.  Still, it is
hard to say that the  judge's line is a vague one, and I do not think
that is can be argued successfully that there is any lack of clarity
about which side of the line the "christian" and "jesus" domain names
are.  And, when his legal position is so close to the edge of the law at
best, particularly in light of the evidence that has been put into the
record in his case -- I have read almost the entire district court
record at this point, and am awaiting a couple more pieces before I make
a final judgment -- I simply do not see the sense in spending time in
jail to promote his legal position on domain names.

Now, if what he seeks is martyrdom to promote his underlying cause --
opposition to the legal right to have abortions -- that is a political
judgment for him to make for himself.  But it is hard to see him as a
martyr for the cause of free speech in the circumstances.

Paul Alan Levy
Public Citizen Litigation Group
1600 - 20th Street, N.W.
Washington, D.C. 20009
(202) 588-1000


Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 19:53:07 -0500
From: William Allen Simpson <wsimpson@greendragon.com>
To: politech@politechbot.com
CC: declan@well.com, wpurdy@attbi.com
Subject: Re: FC: Bill Purdy: "I'm going to jail over my Washington Post domain"

 > From: "William S. Purdy" <wpurdy@attbi.com>
 > Question:  Declan have you ever been to a Federal Prison for Contempt?  Just
 > wondering how bad it will be, and who they put you in with?   Well I will
 > find out on the 4th.  I wonder if you can use email in there?
Well, I've been to jail for contempt, in my more active protest days.

Jail's not much fun, but mostly because it's terribly boring, and the
guards amuse themselves by rousting you out of bed at irregular intervals
to make sure you're always sleep deprived.

Since this should be "civil" contempt (that is, an attempt to make you
do something), as opposed to a "criminal" contempt (that is, to punish you
and for which you are always eligible for a jury trial) they keep you in
the civil section, with mostly child support defaulters, driving without a
license, and such.

No email.  In fact, although they are _supposed_ to allow you writing
and legal materials, in my case they refused to allow my attorney to
bring them to me.

The food is in general not sufficient, and everyone gambles for food
items, such as the next mornings' orange juice.  In my case, I didn't
get beyond the local county jail, and by keeping notes on what was
served, we discovered that the sheriff was embezzelling the food budget.
(I was very active in those days, and helped throw out the sheriff, and
eventually 3 state judges.)

Of course, I didn't stay long because we appealed, and I was released
during the appeal.  Since you appear to be at District level, you have
an "appeal of right" to the Circuit.  Why haven't you appealed?
William Allen Simpson
     Key fingerprint =  17 40 5E 67 15 6F 31 26  DD 0D B9 9B 6A 15 2C 32


[Declan:  Please withhold my name and email address.  If anyone wants to
contact me individually it's ok to give my name and email addy out but I
just don't want it appearing in list archibes]

  I've spent 18 months in Federal Prison for a white-collar crime and spent 6
weeks in Sacramento County Jail awaiting transfer.  Most of the stuff below
is true, but it's not as scary as it sounds.  I was a meager 140 lbs 5'11"
21 year old when I went in and if anyone would be, I was a prime target to
be messed with.  I never had anything bad happen anywhere along the way.

County facilities suck.  They're the bottom of the barrel and your cellmate
will most likey have been picked up for a DUI or been caught burglarizing
someones house.  Unless they think you're a huge threat they'll put you in a
minor threat category and warehouse you with some misc hoodlums.  Don't get
me wrong, they suck, but they're bearable.  After the first three days they
all mesh together.  In short, I'd be willing to do it again if the cause was
right and the court was wrong.

Any federal facility you'd go to would be fine.  The place I was in was a
medium/low facility meaning it housed meduium level security risks and low
level security risks.  There weren't any people that were predatory like the
movies and all in all it was more boring than anything.  There were three
levels of incarceration  below mine: low, minimum, and community release.
Low is still a prison with fences, but minimum has nothing keeping you from
walking (not even running) away except the threat of longer time.  People
there are the most well mannered you'd find because if they're not, they get
thrown into a "real facility".

Now you would most likely go to a "community release" facility also called a
halfway house.  These places make you check out to go to work and give
limited home visits.  When I was in one for my last month they cooked pretty
damed good food and ran the place out of a comnverted apartment complex.
The other people there were 2 doctors, 1 psychiatrist, 1 uy who defrauded a
casino and someone who got caught taking arrowheads off of indian land.
Hardly the rapist preditors you'd see on "Oz".

As Vicki said, there are some rules to abide by.  Don't ask people what
they're in prison for and don't discuss your case.  Don't bitch about how
long you're in for because odds are the guy next to you is doing 10 years
and doesn't have time to listen to someone whine about spending a weekend.
Try not to tell people why you're there, but if it does come out, fellow
prisoners would probably feel pretty good about having someone stand up to
"the man" for something.

Declan has my email address and can put you in contact with me if you want
to discuss it further.  It isn't as bad as it sounds, and it's about time
people started making a stand for the real issues eroding our liberties.

Good luck to you and let us know your mailing address.  We'll all send you
our support.


From: "G. Waleed Kavalec" <greg@kavalec.com>
To: <declan@well.com>
Subject: RE: Bill Purdy: "I'm going to jail over my Washington Post domain"
Date: Sun, 26 Jan 2003 08:51:07 -0600


My humble opinion: Bill is in denial.

"It just seems absurd to me that a Federal Judge tells me it's
ok to have www.TheWashingtonPostSUCKS.com which I do have WITHOUT
any problem, but if I dare to have www.TheWashingtonPostJESUS.com
or www.TheWashingtonPostCHRISTIAN.com then I have to go to Jail."

Am I just psychic?  Or could it really be obvious that anything
connecting a company with something positive will be perceived by the
average browser as sponsored or endorsed by that company, and anything
connecting a company with something negative will NOT be?

Bills positive-association domain names are clearly misleading, and the
judge made the rational call.

   G. Waleed Kavalec
   Rosenberg, TX


Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 17:58:13 -0500
Subject: Re: FC: Tips for Bill Purdy on surviving domain-name contempt in jail
From: Dwight Hines <dwighthines@mindspring.com>
To: <declan@well.com>

I think this is bad advice and would not presume that this would work.  I've
been arrested three different times, over ten years ago, and was honest with
the inmates about being a protester and made a point of asking the different
inmates what they did and did they do it.  I wanted to know how many were
wrongfully arrested.  I asked at least 80 plus inmates and found not a
single one said he was innocent.  Many volunteered that they had done more.
But many were also playing the not guilty card until they got to the court
room door (going for the best possible plea bargain before a jury was

I had no physical threats or harassment at any time from the inmates,
although a couple of the guards were not so nice.

I think when in jail, and I was only in for 3 days at the most, you need to
be as honest as you can.

It's odd, just today I was talking with someone about Nelson Mandela and the
whole time he was in jail, a lot of years, if he had just told the S.
African govt that he would not endorse or use violence, they would have let
him go free.  But he would not do that, he said he would do anything
possible to overthrow them. But, he later went on to be President.

So, not all those in jails are so bad, many have just had bad breaks.   And
some are career criminals.
dh, Florida


Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 14:55:19 -0500 (EST)
From: Joe Robins <jmrobins@oygevalt.org>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
cc: wpurdy@attbi.com
Subject: Re: FC: Bill Purdy: "I'm going to jail over my Washington Post domain"


To begin with, let me say that I am not a lawyer, so my remarks are based
only on what I know, as a lay-person, of trademark law.

I am an ardent defender of free speech rights, but as such, I am aware of
the limitations we must respect in order to protect the rights we deserve.
If we knowingly and willingly violate the laws which regulate speech in
permissible ways (such as copyright and trademark laws), then we invite
upon ourselves harsher laws which will infringe upon our free speech

As I understand it, trademark law is fairly clear about what is and is not
allowed with a company's trademark.  Parodies and protest are permissible,
which is why a domain such as mcdonaldssucks.com or fuckwashingtonpost.com
is permissible.  On the other hand, any use of a trademark in a way which
would make an unknowing third party confuse the offered product or service
with the trademarked service is not permissible.  Thus, a domain such as
washingtonpostspeaks.com, which quite definitely sounds as if it is
supported by the Washington Post, due to its use of the trademarked name,
would not be allowed.  This is the entire point of trademark law, to allow
an entity to control what can and cannot be done (apparently) in its name.

It is quite clear that Mr. Purdy is counting on the popularity of the
companies holding the trademarks to drive traffic to his site.  The value
of the trademarks is the only value that exists in the domain names.
This, in a nutshell, is why he must not be allowed to continue to abuse
these trademarks for his own personal gain.

I would not wish jail upon anyone, but if he continues to flout trademark
law and the judge's order, then he is a criminal, and there is no
injustice in sending him to jail.

-Joe Robins


From: "John K. Taber" <jktaber@tacni.net>
To: <declan@well.com>
Subject: RE: Bill Purdy: "I'm going to jail over my Washington Post domain"
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 15:36:03 -0600

Look at it as a God-sent opportunity to practice Christianity
where needed.

Convince your fellow prisoners that the State should put people
in prison for abortion.

Good luck, and praise the Lord.

John K. Taber


Subject: RE: Bill Purdy: "I'm going to jail over my Washington Post domain"
Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 09:52:21 -0800
From: "McGuire,Michael" <michael.mcguire@gartner.com>
To: <declan@well.com>

Good for Bill. If the allegations are true about his misleading domain 
names linking to pictures of aborted fetuses, he's a fanatic. A lot of 
folks won't like his cause but there's no law against being a fanatic, per se.

I give him credit for taking a stand, making his point and taking the 
punishment, no matter how ill-advised or inappropriate that punishment 
might be. And those of us free-speechers should be supporting him, no 
matter how unappealing we might find the cause for which he's exercising 
his constitutional right.

He's very likely going to mobilize a whole bunch of pro-lifers which I 
suppose that's what he intended.


Date: Fri, 24 Jan 2003 10:50:49 -0700 (MST)
From: Tom Emerson <temerson@cyberitas.com>
Reply-To: Tom Emerson <temerson@cyberitas.com>
To: Declan McCullagh <declan@well.com>
cc: politech@politechbot.com, <wpurdy@attbi.com>
Subject: Re: FC: Bill Purdy: "I'm going to jail over my Washington Post domain"

Ya' all should touch base with G. Gordon Liddy.  I may be mistaken in
thinking that Mr. Liddy has no love for the Washington Post ... wasn't
that the paper that essentially started the process that landed Mr. Liddy
in the Federal Prison?

  - tom e.



Please forward this to Bill but please exclude my E-mail address for a
change on this one.



There is nothing wrong with your message Bill as it is protected under Free
Speech, but your delivery is WRONG. Your delivery method infringes on all
those parties including the Federal Court.

What is wrong with using your own name for the Domain name?

Sorry, looks like you need to sit in jail and think about it.

I was placed in jail and should've never have been so I have experienced
where you are going. While you are not a hardened criminal per se, they will
most likely place you in a minimal prison facility not with axe murderers.

RE: Bill Purdy: "I'm going to jail over my Washington Post domain"

PS - The Washington Post domain belongs to the Washington Post, it is not
"your domain".

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