by Henry Charles Mishkoff
"Taubman Sucks!" (the Book)|
"Taubman concedes that Mishkoff is 'free to shout "Taubman Sucks!" from the rooftops.' Essentially, this is what he has done in his domain name. The rooftops of our past have evolved into the Internet domain names of our present. We find that the domain name is a type of public expression, no different in scope than a billboard or a pulpit, and Mishkoff has a First Amendment right to express his opinion about Taubman."
The sheer adventure, the tilting at windmills, the refusal to bend under enormous pressure, and the ultimate exhilarating victory combine to make it a story too good to read only in choppy serialization on the Web. It's a story that demands to be read while you're curled up in bed with a plate of cookies and a cup of hot chocolate which, unless you're extraordinarily attached to your computer, is an activity best performed with a book.
The TaubmanSucks case holds undeniable appeal as a "David-and-Goliath" story, but its significance runs much deeper than that. As the first case of its kind to reach the US Court of Appeals, it explicitly affirmed that the First Amendment right of free speech extends to the Internet, handily trumping commercial interests. Web geeks see the case as a victory of technology over big business; marketing types (such as Seth Godin) see it as a cautionary tale for the conduct of business under the microscope of the electronic age. The common thread is that everyone sees it as a story that needs to be told.
With his experience as a college-radio broadcaster and his background as a professional musician, Mishkoff is comfortable "on stage"; he's personable, media-savvy, and gives an engaging interview. And as a Web celebrity, a popular blogger, and a tireless self-promoter, Mishkoff will not only be an asset in traditional media outlets, he'll be able to ensure that "Taubman Sucks!" gets the Internet exposure that it deserves.
As the quotation that introduces this section indicates, the United States Court of Appeals declared that Mishkoff has the right to shout "Taubman Sucks!" from the rooftops. To Mishkoff, it's much more than a right. It's an obligation. And now, the significance of the TaubmanSucks case impels Mishkoff to take full advantage of that obligation by shouting "Taubman Sucks!" from the cover of a best-selling book.
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