The Watts-Godfrey Dispute, In Conclusion

Certainly the world should have learned by this time that theologians make a mess of everything they touch, including even religion. Yet, in the United States, they are still allowed, against all reason and experience, to have their say in a great variety of important matters, and everywhere they go they leave their sempiternal trail of folly and confusion.


Godfrey should have remembered that Mencken was, as usual, right, and, thus, should not have taken Watts‘s CC License with any seriousness whatsoever and should not have expected Watts to understand the concept of Fair Use, or to have even the slightest bit of common decency.
Godfrey should have remembered his blog was hosted in America, where ignorance of the law is no excuse, and should have remembered that there is a nonzero chance an email from WordPress may have direct relevance to him.
Godfrey should have understood the nature of Gmail Conversation View.
Godfrey should not have falsely stated

You appear to have been shy about telling anyone up front that you were the one responsible for the deactivation of my blog until I chose to publish here the DMCA notice (forwarded to me at my request AFTER the blog was shut down)

— Only THEN did you come out and admit you were the one responsible and then you tried defend yourself by laying all the blame on me.

Watts shouldn’t have been a theologian. This might have reduced his chances of making a mess of everything he touched.
Watts should have remembered his CC license and the concept of Fair Use before thinking of filing a DMCA notice regarding Godfrey‘s copying of his blogpost.
Watts should have contacted Godfrey before the time he filed his DMCA notice to Automattic.
Watts should have understood that hardly anyone ever reads emails from WordPress.
Watts should have understood that WordPress might not necessarily make it perfectly clear to a blogger that WordPress made a post “private” because they considered it to infringe upon another’s copyright.
Watts should have understood that there was a nonzero chance that WordPress might metaphorically kill flies with nuclear weapons (that is, totally shut down a blog for one post a theologian declared copyright-infringing).
Watts should have remembered that Mencken was, as usual, right, and not have forged an email.
Watts should have completely followed the First Rule of Holes.
Watts shouldn’t have made or should have removed the Freudian slip in
Watts shouldn’t have removed his blog’s CC license.
Watts shouldn’t have joked about shutting down people’s blogs on Twitter after claiming to regret that Godfrey suffered the loss of his blog.
Watts should have admitted his email forgery when it was discovered and have given us the exact time it was forged to further knowledge regarding the facts of the dispute.

Author: pithom

An atheist with an interest in the history of the ancient Near East. Author of the Against Jebel al-Lawz Wordpress blog.

4 thoughts on “The Watts-Godfrey Dispute, In Conclusion”

  1. Hi, I don’t understand the reason why you say “Godfrey should not have falsely stated …” and so on. Do you refer to the fact that Godfrey received the DMCA notice in due time but overlooked it? Or something else? Are you suggesting that he lied about not having received the notice yet? Thanks

    1. As demonstrated by my timeline, Watts was not “shy about telling anyone up front that [Watts was] the one responsible for the deactivation of [Godfrey‘s] blog until [Godfrey] chose to publish [on McGrath’s blog] the DMCA notice”. Watts‘s first post on the matter was published before Godfrey posted the DMCA notice on McGrath’s blog.

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