On 29 June 1997, Sanborn wrote to Postmaster@thorn.net:
Your subscriber email@example.com aka William J. Brown (though he is registered on your system under a false female name) continues to use your service to send libelous and harassing messages about me around the globe. I have previously asked you to have him stop. Please instruct him to stop. Mr. Brown also continues to offer for sale on his website a translation of Gil Wolman's "L'Anti-concepte" of which I am the author and copyright holder. I have also previously asked you to have him cease and desist. I am being lead to conclude that you complicit with Mr. Brown's defamatory and illegal activities. Please see the recent posting below to FRAMEWORKS film discussion list and my response.
The following day, Anthony Spina at Thorn.Net sent us a copy of the memo he sent to Matthew Silvey, presumably his boss. It said this:
Dear Mr. Sanborn,
The views of our subscribers are neither condoned nor disapproved. It is our business to supply subscribers with reliable access to the Internet. As long as our subscribers obey the Laws governing our Country and the Internet Thorn Communications makes it a policy not to restrict content.
As far as your copyright issue, this should be taken up directly with whom you believe to be in violation of such copyrights.
Thank you for your time and we hope that you understand our position which has just recently been upheld by the Supreme Court in a 7 to 2 decision against the CDA.
When NOT BORED! gleefully posted Spina's letter to the Frameworks listserv, Sanborn responded as follows on 1 July 1997:
While I have yet to receive any such email from Mr. Spina, let me affirm that I did in fact attempt to have Mr. Brown cease and desist from his illegal and defamatory activities by writing at least some of what was attributed to me. I am not in the habit of making posts to this or any other list in order "to get a rise out of people" as Mr. Brown has qualified his own motives in making the slanderous and untruthful posts he has made to this list. In choosing to respond, I should have restricted my remarks to pointing out the hypocrisy of Mr. Brown's attempt to call me to order by calling me a tattletale. For as Mr. Brown, the employeee of a law firm, says, quoting Bob Dylan during his off hours, you have to stay honest when you live outside the law. Mr. Brown has physically threatened me--a threat I did not return--then within a minute or two threatened to call the police if I did not leave his presence. He has also threatened legal action against me and contacted my email provider as I previously mentioned. I find these actions in contradiction with his calling me to account about "outlaw" status. I should have allowed Mr. Brown's erratic and provocative behavior to speak for itself.
I regret having subjected the other members of frameworks to this petty squabble to the extent of my last post. Since this is an open list, it is possible for someone such as Mr. Brown to disrupt it with personal motives. I regret having not held to my original intention of making a single response to Mr. Brown's original post.
So far I have yet to receive any such email from Mr. Spina. But coming from an individual who has both defamed me with lies and physically threatened me while at the same time threatening to call the police, I can at this point only judge it the product of a deranged mind.
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