Here’s a quick update to yesterday’s story about Randy Queen using the DMCA to stifle Escher Girls’ criticism of his art. The Mary Sue reports that Queen has apologized and stood down his threats. He posted a public statement to his Facebook page in which he indicated a period of high stress in his personal life led him to lash out without thinking.

Tumblr has restored the posts in question but the images are still absent. Hopefully they can get put back soon, too, given that their use was well within the bounds of criticism and commentary that have been established as fair use.

It’s good that Queen came to his senses and apologized, rather than continuing to try to double down. (Though speaking more cynically, I wonder if he would have done so if it hadn’t been for the Streisand Effect backlash. Oh well, at least he did the right thing in the end.) Hopefully he can learn from his mistakes—and hopefully everyone else can, too.

Remember, it’s never effective to try to use force to stifle something on the Internet. Doing so will invariably only serve to call attention to it. If you must even try to have something taken down, remember that you catch more flies with honey.

And the rest of us should remember how badly the DMCA’s takedown provision can be misused. Maybe someday we’ll be able to pass a law to patch over the worst abuses.


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