Article by Jay Schmoeker, Twelve High Chicks
Lately there’s been murmurs about how progressive activism is cannibalizing itself. Complaints about “callout culture” and building one’s caché by tearing down others. So I’m writing an article on communities and how they change as they grow or their focus shifts. I wanted to look at what cannabis activism and the cannabis community can expect now and as we get closer to legalization.
Copyright Complaint or Con?
But while I was writing, we received this weird little email.
It contains an awful lot of “ignore this” red flags in just eight lines and one attachment. It’s from an unofficial address for an unknown company. The email didn’t come to our website/domain’s email address. And it came with a Microsoft Word “compliant report” that required a key to access. When that’s opened, it contains three Word files that require editing enabled to view.
An unknown email address sent an unknown attachment that requires changing settings to view. And the spelling and grammatical mistakes? Not professional. But scams aren’t really news, right? If this email ended up in my personal account for my personal website, it would be in the trash in one second.
But I have a responsibility to Twelve High Chicks and its readers to make sure. We have multiple writers, some without professional experience or education in referencing and citing, turning in multiple articles each. Any one of those articles could accidentally include unattributed copyrighted material. So I checked over our recent posts, and concluded that there’s no problem with our current content.
But what about less recent posts? We’ve got years of back posts, so I can’t check everything. Still, while I would expect complaints about our website to come to our website address, the email came to our M.O.M. Cup promo email address. And that address was all over our promotional posts. So I went through our M.O.M. Cup archives and I stillfound nothing untoward.
Then I had a harrowing thought. One that tied back to the point of the other article I’m writing. The cannabis community is made up of people with different belief systems beyond ending prohibition. Obviously not everyone who knows about or reads Twelve High Chicks agrees with all of our focus, ideals, or opinions.
What if, despite no actual copyright infringement, someone didn’t like one of our articles and maliciously reported us to some unknown agency that could act against us? Or the company contacting us is tied to someone with negative intent and they’re going to keep on us until I open that Word document and enable editing, or worse? Could we be in trouble for nothing?