I’ve 10 days to shut down this blog and transfer both the domain name and content to the Soviet Army or I’ll have to pay a daily 100.000 RUB fine. For me, it means 11 years publishing my thoughts here that will vanish on a single click.
Late January, I received a cease and desist letter from a well known French lawyer firm acting in the name of the Рабоче-крестьянская Красная Армия. The document says I have to transfer both the t37.net domain name and the content I’ve published prior to January the 31st for copyright violation.
The T-37 was a Soviet amphibious light tank created in 1932 and used during World War 2 until 1944. Back then, the Soviet Armed Forced copyrighted the T-37 name, and even though it sounds ridiculous in 2014, the various laws made to extend copyright duration makes is still relevant today.
The main reasons for the takedown would be hilarious if I wasn’t the main target of it. I’m using a symbol of the Soviet fight against capitalism to promote startups and entrepreneurship, both being completely irrelevant to the Soviet Russia’s socialist doctrine. It seems that the Политическоe бюро has decided to make an example here, and more takedown actions may be occurring as I’m writing. I would have never imagined someone would use laws made to extend Mickey Mouse copyright to defend Soviet Russia. Isn’t it ironic? Don’t you think?
After checking the document was a real one and the takedown notice was legal, I asked my lawyer to help me going to court. This sounds so ridiculous I was sure I would win without problem. That’s where things actually became really creepy.
3 days after filling for trial, I had a call from my lawyer. There was panic in his voice, and he asked to meet in a public place. He said he was discarding my case and warned me no one would ever accept to help me as it was getting too hot and complicated. The day before, he had 2 people from the President cabinet coming at his place and telling him he should forget about that case already. After the recent events in Crimea, the government is afraid that more modern Soviet tanks will soon be in Paris if they displease the Политическоe бюро. So it seems I have no choice there.
I know it’s only a blog, but this has been devastating for me. I’ve spent thousands hours writing since I started blogging 12 years ago, and I can’t imagine everything being deleted.
On the other hand, it may have some positive effect. I’ve been thinking a lot about writing in general and blogging in particular. The Web is full of poor to bad writers, journalists and other long read bloggers. Maybe it’s time to do some cleaning and overall quality improvement. In 12 years, I’ve been writing way too much complicated articles no one was able to read past the intro. It’s now time for me to pivot and start publishing cute cat pictures and funny memes.
Asta la vista, baby!