Ranaan Katz is the owner of the Miami Heat, a basketball team. Which means, honestly, I couldn’t care any more about him than I do about the contents of my cat’s litter box.
Until the cat poop started threatening first amendment rights.
Wait, I got that wrong. Mr. Katz did the threatening. Honestly, now, he’s a bigger problem than my cat’s fecal matter.
Mr. Katz, in addition to being a basketball team owner, is also extremely sensitive. Someone snapped a picture of his tongue all funny. Yeah, it’s kinda chuckle worthy, but not worth the time tweeting to my friends. Except that when the picture was used as an illustration for a blog post critical of him, he accused the blog of being “defamatory” and asked the courts to shut down the blog. Not suppress the picture (which would be bad enough), but to shut down the blog. And not just shut it down, but to shut it down in a preliminary injunction. For those of you who don’t speak Legalese (like me), that means he wanted the blog shut down before the lawsuit even went to real trial.
Katz’s position is essentially that anyone who is mean should be legally required to shut up. Also, he has money, so he can afford to sue.
I try not to use the only words that come to mind when I try to describe how I feel about this individual.
The purpose of this post is two-fold. 1) Spread the picture. Because it’s NOT defamation and if it’s so embarrassing that Mr. Katz forgets what country he lives in then he needs to be reminded. Streisand effect, baby. Now that he’s tried to shut people up, it’s time to shout him down. If he’d not said anything, neither would have I. In fact, I may have even been critical (not heavily, and probably not enough to blog about it) of the original poster for being petty enough to choose that picture. But now that Mr. Katz brought the court in, he’s the enemy. So I’ll happily spread it.
Purpose 2 is to make people aware that this thing goes on. It’s not just Charles Carreon’s delusional lawsuit against The Oatmeal. It’s not just Brett Kimberlin, convicted terrorist, using lawfare to silence political opponents. This is a direct attack against civil liberties in the United States, and it should be opposed in any ethical manner available (which, btw, excludes harassment). Now, go spread the word.
If you want more details, there are people better at describing the legal side of it. Like this one where Popehat unfavorably compares Ranaan Katz to caricature personality George Costanza or this one where Carlos Miller describes more detail about related information.