When their comments are deleted, trolls typically complain about “censorship.” But an enterprising troll on Making Light, after having a previous comment disemvoweled, had the following interesting new angle. (Note that his post complaining about disemvoweling was also disemvoweled, but I have re-emvoweled this excerpt as best I could. Just one of the many services we provide.)
If [a] past comment here still keep the copyright [i]n [i]t (according to several experts, including [E]FF) is censoring it by removing vowels and turning it into gibberish is not only rude, it’s downright illegal.
Interestingly, the troll included the EFF as one of the “several experts” on copyright law who agreed with him. That made me curious — what does the EFF actually say about disemvoweling?
I’m upset that a moderator disemvowelled my comments. Is that illegal?
Well, what does the EFF know anyway? Buncha hippies. Hippies who are also lawyers. Hippies who are also lawyers based in San Francisco. Really, does it get any worse than that?
Quite frankly, I think that the safest legal interpretation is that once a troll or spammer deposits their droppings on your forum or blog, it becomes Sacred Text, protected by the full force of US Copyright law, WIPO, and most likely God Herself. Personally, I just hope I’m covered by fair use for daring to excerpt the troll’s comment. And for that matter, for excerpting the EFF. Although I’m somewhat less afraid of the EFF, ’cause you know, hippies — pfft.