Thursday, September 08, 2005

Tom Dunkel Is Mad As Hell And He's Not Going to Take it Any More

Named plaintiff Tom Dunkel’s nose is out of joint because our blog ran the complete text of his email exchange with me yesterday. In a new “private” message -- cc’d to ASJA’s Jim Morrison -- Dunkel calls me a “lowlife.” I shared the note with my wife and children. They said, “Tell us something new.”

Seriously, Dunkel should direct his outrage where it belongs. I don’t know the guy; never met him. I’m sure he doesn’t beat dogs or anything.

But this isn’t about my and his sterling characters. It’s about the fact that Dunkel and his fellow named plaintiffs, who are supposed to be representing a class, now know full well that they’re signing off on a bad, corrupt, fatally flawed settlement, which not only codifies the defendants’ decades-long piracy of writers’ rights, but also brazenly expands on that piracy by the novel and unconstitutional vehicle of a prospective “license by default,” and, to boot, shortchanges them to the tune of tens of millions, hundreds of millions, or possibly even billions of dollars.

Yesterday, on the virtual eve of the deadline for class members to object or opt out, Dunkel sends me an unsolicited email arguing that I should lay off on my criticism of the named plaintiffs because … because … because … why? Because “I’m aware” of the settlement’s unspecified shortcomings, but “for reasons I'll not go into here, I'd prefer to see the agreement approved.”

In one fell swoop, Dunkel has dumped into my lap confirmation of dissension within the named plaintiffs’ ranks, as well as a direct illustration of the self-serving arrogance by which they conceal vital information about the settlement. These guys apparently really believe that the dismissive assurance that they’d “prefer to see the agreement approved” is good enough.

Well, I “would prefer” to see the agreement disapproved. And I do not need Tom Dunkel’s permission to post his dumb email to my blog, any more than President Bush has the right to airbrush his press conference transcripts.


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