AS I SEE IT - 11/20/2001:
Fun and Games with Subpoenas from the PTC
Happy Thanksgiving weekend to all of you...
Just in case readers thought that what PWBTS and the associated Wrestling Fans Against Censorship were doing vis-a-vis the action of L. Brent Bozell and his Parents Television Council wasn't being taken seriously; I received a subpoena on November 14th from Robert Sparks, Jr., one of the legal team representing the Parents Television Council, calling on me to produce certain information in the discovery phase of World Wrestling Federation, Inc. vs. Parents Television Council et.al.
While this subpoena was merely a mandated request for information, and not a call to testify...it was certainly an interesting item to get delivered to your front door.
Let's take a look at what they asked for:
1) PRODUCE ALL DOCUMENTS CONCERNING REGISTRATION OF OWNERSHIP OF THE WEBSITE 'PRO WRESTLINGS BETWEEN THE SHEETS', AND ALL DOCUMENTS CONCERNING PAYMENT FOR THE REGISTRATION OF THE DOMAIN NAME.
2) PRODUCE ALL DOCUMENTS GOVERNING THE OPERATION OF THE PWBTS WEBSITE, INCLUDING ANY CONTRACTS WITH THE SERVER OR ANY OTHER ENTITY INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO DNS HOSTMASTER, STEPWEB, INC. INTERNIC 2000 ADAMOVSKY.COM, AND/OR NETWORK SOLUTIONS."
All the information in the first request is easily available by doing a WHOIS on our domain name. All of the information in the second could be obtained from the parties mentioned in it.
As best I can guess, from the questions listed in the subpoena, it would appear that L. Brent Bozell's lawyers were trying to find (as you'll see again below) some sort of sinister tie between PWBTS and the World Wrestling Federation.
The WWFE-PTC lawsuit is still in a stage of discovery by the defendant and plaintiff, which explains the limited amount of news available on it in recent months. My "documents" are apparently part of this discovery.
"3) IDENTIFY EACH AND EVERY PERSON WHO IS RESPONSIBLE FOR THE CREATION AND MAINTENANCE OF OR WHO HAS CONTRIBUTED CONTENT TO THE PWBTS WEBSITE."
Sounds like they're going fishing here. Along with Fritz Capp, I may be one of the handful on PWBTS who has discussed the PTC in columns or news over the last two years.
All PWBTS needs is for its reporters/columnists who range in location from New Zealand to the UK to the States to be getting subpoenas from L. Brent Bozell's legal team, just so they can pile up billable hours.
"4) PRODUCE ALL DOCUMENTS CONCERNING ANY COPYRIGHTS HELD BY THE WEBSITE OR ITS OWNERS.
5) PRODUCE ALL DOCUMENTS CONCERNING ANY COMMUNICATIONS BETWEEN PWBTS
AND/OR ITS OWNERS, AND WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION ENTERTAINMENT, VINCENT K. MCMAHON, LINDA E. MCMAHON, ANY WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION WRESTLER AND ANY OF THEIR EMPLOYEES, AGENTS OR ATTORNEYS; INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO ANY CONTRACTS, LETTERS, E-MAILS, OR PERMISSION TO USE COPYRIGHTED MATERIALS."
Unlike many websites, we don't use multimedia or have a WOW section (read: stolen WWF Diva/Wrestling Vixxxens pictures); so I've never had to deal with copyright issues since I assumed ownership of PWBTS.com in December 2000.
Any copyrights on behalf of PWBTS itself may have been filed prior to that date, would have been filed for by Fritz Capp, when he founded the site. But that's another matter altogether.
However, that's all they'll find. I can guarantee them that there won't find some deep, secret, conspiracy that proves that PWBTS is a copyrighted entity of World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc., Titan Sports, or anyone or anything related to them.
Sorry, Mr. Bozell, but Vince McMahon doesn't pay my bills...do my work...type my columns...do my webmastering...or do anything but take my time and money for RAW, Smackdown, the occasional live show or taping in Philadelphia, and monthly PPVs.
This leads into...
"6) PRODUCE ALL DOCUMENTS CONCERNING ANY FINANCIAL SUPPORT RECEIVED FROM WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION ENTERTAINMENT, VINCENT K. MCMAHON, LINDA E. MCMAHON, ANY WORLD WRESTLING FEDERATION WRESTLER, AND ANY OF THEIR EMPLOYEES, AGENTS OR ATTORNEYS. FINANCIAL SUPPORT INCLUDES, BUT IS NOT LIMITED TO DIRECT PAYMENTS TO PWBTS OR PAYMENT OF ANY EXPENSES OF PWBTS BY THESE PERSONS."
I've never so much as received a comp ticket or free pay-per-view from Vince McMahon or anyone who works for, or has worked for World Wrestling Federation Entertainment in my entire earthly life. Forget any "financial support". Forget any "payment of expenses".
But in the spirit of full and complete legal disclosure, I guess I should mention that I did go to two or three Super Bowl parties at the house of WWF ring announcer Tony Chimel about six years ago; and chowed down at those. I imagine L. Brent Bozell's legal team will excuse me if I don't remember the dollar value of the nachos and dip I consumed.
Lord knows there have been times when I wished someone else was paying the bills since I took over PWBTS.
But I can say safely that PWBTS.com has not received one penny of financial support; including direct payment or payment of expenses, by any individual acting on behalf of World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. in its existence.
If this, as I can only assume it was, some sort of attempt to show that what we've done over the last two years is spawned by a McMahon-generated conspiracy to combat the efforts of the Parents Television Council... then L. Brent Bozell wasted the billable hours of his legal team, the time of the process server, and my time as well in responding to it.
No doubt, when Jerry McDevitt and the WWF's legal team get to read this, which I imagine they will as part of the discovery process... it'll give them the biggest laugh that they've had in quite some time.
"7) PRODUCE ALL DOCUMENTS CREATED, PRODUCED, OR EDITED BY YOU CONCERNING PARENTS TELEVISION COUNCIL, PARENTS TELEVISION COUNCIL, INC, AND L. BRENT BOZELL III, INCLUDING BUT NOT LIMITED TO WEB PAGES, E-MAILS, OR LETTERS."
All the PTC legal team needed to do was to go to PWBTS.com or Wrestling Fans Against Censorship at http://wfac.cjb.net. Every thing I've ever written regarding the PTC and their allies is there for the world to see. Given that they've read what we've said in the past, I'm quite sure they are well aware of that fact.
But there's no log of deep, conspiratorial e-mails written in the middle of the night to Vincent K. McMahon. Not even any to Linda.
Sorry to disappoint anyone...including the PTC's lawyers.
Apparently it escapes the Parents Television Council that the majority of Americans would simply like to enjoy our wrestling (and other forms of entertainment); without self-appointed moralists going after the advertisers of that programming like attack dogs, and trying to prevent us from doing that according to our own moral sensibilities.
It isn't just a matter of a group trying to point out that some television shows have content that (in their opinion) is not suitable for children. Few, if any, of us would object to that. Anyone has the right under the First Amendment to express such viewpoints.
But parents want the ultimate right to make those decisions for their children whether or not such programs are to be viewed. Adults want the right to make those decisions for themselves.
The Parents Television Council and their allies have sought over the last three years to prevent us from even having the option to make such choices for ourselves by trying to remove such programming altogether; through various tactics of corporate terrorism, representing themselves to be something that they are not...a group representing the majority, or even a significant minority... of Americans.
But the PTC and their allies can be assured of one thing: those of us who oppose their actions have not been bought and sold by any corporate entity, including World Wrestling Federation Entertainment, Inc. Our views come straight from our own hearts and minds, and our desire to enjoy the artform of professional wrestling.
Despite the best efforts of the PTC, we will continue to do so.
Until next time...
Take a moment and appreciate the real-life heroes and victims of September 11,
and to give them your help in the following ways:
Dusty Rhodes is making available various pieces of memorabilia from his career, with a portion of the proceeds going to the American Red Cross/September 11 efforts.
The memorabilia can be bid upon at the URLs below:
A 1976 NWA Wrestler of the Year Trophy at this URL.
A signed 1981 Dusty Rhodes Tour jacket at this URL.
A signed match-worn WWF tights at this URL.
A signed 1975 NWA match-worn cowboy vest at this URL.
A joint benefit show of New England independent promotions, with talent from NWA-New England, Chaotic Wrestling, Yankee Pro Wrestling, Southcoast Wrestling, Primal Conflict Wrestling will be held on November 18 at the Elks Hall in Billerica, MA with a 4:00 pm belltime.
100% of the proceeds are to go to the American Red Cross. For information on this show, you can go to their official site here.
Combat Zone Wrestling has designed a special t-shirt, with proceeds going to September 11th relief efforts. You can purchase this t-shirt at CZW events, call (856) 848-5070, or contact CZW at email@example.com.
For those who prefer to donate directly to charitable organizations:
You can go to any one of the many organizations listed at Helping.org.
You can donate directly to the September 11th Fund, administered by the New York United Way via this URL.
You can donate to the New York City Police Foundation Heroes Fund, the officially recognized charitable organization of the NYPD via this URL.
You can donate to the New York Firefighters 9-11 Disaster Relief Fund, administered by the International Association of Fire Fighters via this URL.
(If you have comments or questions, I can be reached by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org)