[Update: I believe my case is closed, and thus I am no longer accepting donations. Thanks to everyone who helped me. If you would like to support free speech online please donate to EFF or Public Citizen. Optionally you may also want to read the EFF Legal Guide for Bloggers, Chilling Effects or CyberSLAPP, all of which are great resources.]
So I got the agreement paperwork today for Traffic Power to drop the lawsuit. I am not sure what parts of it I can share, and need to talk with a lawyer about it on that front.
I am unsure how adequately I can guarantee I could comply with it, especially since I believe this offer widened up a bit from what was shared over the phone. Although I think that is somewhat common in legal proceedings, I am not really comfortable with the document as it appears right now.
The hundreds of blog comments, blog posts, emails, forum posts, phone calls, articles, and other forms of communications I have seen or heard tell me that this is an issue that many people care about across the web.
This suit is not about Traffic Power. This suit is not about this blog. This suit is more about free speech, which is the very fabric that holds the web and democracy together. An issue far more important than I could ever pretend to be.
If I do not face this suit, then it is easier for the next person to get trampled. After all the support people have offered I do not think it is the right decision to tuck tail and run, especially since I am still unaware of what specifically is wrong - and never once has there been an attempt to tell me.
Not that I am by any means rich, but I have a bit of money. I know legal stuff can get costly really quickly though. I have been offered some pro bono representation, but I can not guarantee that it will go through, and those lawyers also recommend I hire the services of a commercial lawyer from Las Vegas.
Some of the people who care about this case and want to help with it are better lawyers than money can buy, but I believe they may end up busy juggling other cases and this lawsuit may require a local lawyer as well, at least off the start.
The 20 days are passing quickly, so I have no time to waste. Tomorrow I will try to hire a lawyer (as I have already talked to a few, so I can't imagine it will be hard to get one of them to accept the case if I have enough money, which I think I should - at least to get started).
There are some people who have already helped me a bunch for free. There time and attention is worth money and their help was available only via donations from others.
I am not sure how much people will donate, but if direct donations exceed legal costs for the Traffic Power case the remainder of the donations will be sent to organizations such as EFF and Public Citizen.
If you have more web reach than money a brief mention of what is going on may help more than a direct monetary donation. I don't want people donating if they are in bad financial shape (as I suspect this suit will not ruin my finacial health, especially if a couple of my closer friends donate). I also do not want donations from people who only sorta care about the issue of free speech online.
My quality of life has been greatly enriched by feedback others have gave me, and I don't want that feedback to go away because people are afraid to speak their minds.
If you have some spare cash, and/ or your livelihood or quality of life depends on free speech online please consider donating directly to one of the above listed charities.
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