Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sounds Like Some Penguin Publishing Lawyers Scared the Hell Out of Joshua Brown

He writes:

Earlier this week I wrote a satirical post in which I attempted to discuss the release of Nassim Nicholas Taleb's new book "Antifragile" in a fun and clever way by parodying some of the excerpts that had appeared elsewhere. I have since been informed that both the author and the publisher had a concern that there may have been people who actually believed these fake passages I wrote were actual quotes from the book.
By making the quotes as ridiculous as possible, I had thought it would have been obvious to anyone that they were fake and meant in jest. In case that was not clear, I would like to explicitly state now that the quotes from my parody were 100% fake and did not come from "Antifragile", which I had not even read yet at the time of posting.
I have removed them from my site after speaking with Penguin, I hope that this satisfies all involved. I do not wish for there to be any further confusion and I'm sorry if there may have been in the first place, it was surely not what was intended. 
I wish Mr. Taleb success with his book.


  1. You should stand up to the copyright trolls. It's clearly fair use and you shouldn't let yourself be pushed around by them.

  2. I wish the ACLU (is there a libertarian version of them?) needs to be all up in this shit.

    Our government is. OUT. OF. CONTROL!

    1. The Institute for Justice is about as close as it gets. But their focus is on employment and making a living related litigation.

      It would be impossible to defend against all the evils of government and even with an army of lawyers at your disposal you would still only be resisting the state itself (as through the arm of the state, the courts).

      That said, I respect their determination and mission and wish them the best of luck.

  3. Our ACLU is the Institute for Justice. Check them out

  4. Interesting post given Wenzel's view on IP. Is he admiring Taleb's use of the law? Or is he suggesting this is improper use of the law as Difster suggests, much like the people who claim government is good if "our" people are running it?

  5. This is a clear-cut 1st amendment issue, and parody is 100% protected under established law. All the author needed to do was post a "these are a parody" disclaimer. He caved really quickly on a typical lawyer bumrush. For more thoroughly enjoyable reads on lawyers evicerating other lawyers for acting like thugs, see Ken White at and Marc Randazza at They regularly send word out to help people being bullied by out-of-control lawyers.

  6. EPJ clearly could not have lost on copyright grounds -- if one ignores the cost of litigation. Despite being in the right, it's perfectly understandable to preserve capital for other battles, with a strategic retreat.