Re: XOOM.COM Webmaster (Bruce) censors homeless advocates

Theodore Latham (
Thu, 06 Aug 1998 05:20:44 PDT

Dr. Botello,

    Thank you immensely for you and your entire network's support in 
this matter. You write so eloquently and I'm sure your message is being 
received by these characters at XOOM but I think they are covering up 
something and at any rate, I want to know what it is. So please continue 
to bombard XOOM with e-mails and tell your list-serv members to do 
likewise. I expect a more concise reply from them when they next speak 
and I'll also know what course of action to take. I do however wish the 
National Coalition of Homeless and CSF would offer their support 
likewise. But I'm truyly greatful for the huge amount Tedrico's Page has 
recieved thus far. Keep those e-mails coming to <bruce@XOOM.COM> and 
thanks once again.


Tedrico Latham

Your Informative Homelessness Resource Link!
P.O. Box 514 Rich Square, NC 27869 (252)539-4228

"Blazing Star" <> wrote:
>Subject: XOOM.COM Webmaster (Bruce) censors homeless advocates
>Content-Type: text/plain
>Date: Tue, 04 Aug 1998 21:25:07 PDT
>RE: Tedrico's homeless website
>We believe you have a much higher calling, as a 
>webmaster and internet service provider, to assert 
>and defend the free speech rights of individual 
>Internet users. 
>Perhaps Mr. Latham did violate some term of 
>service or another, in his original agreement with 
>your company, but was this an intentional or 
>inadvertent act on his part? Do you realize how 
>many million trademark and copyright infringements 
>are taking place on the World Wide Web, daily?
>Do you also expect XOOM users to be experts in the 
>law? Not even the experts can keep up with all the 
>revised and statutory law, and case precedent in 
>this complex field.
>Had you discussed your initial concern with Mr. 
>Latham, before pulling the plug, he could have 
>made the necessary modifications to the Tedrico 
>website you deemed necessary, and we would not be 
>here, today, witnessing this horrendous violation 
>of his and our First Amendment rights by your 
>company, as participants in his interactive site. 
>Instead of acting ethically and responsibly, you 
>have acted as judge, jury and executioner before 
>offering Mr. Latham and his colleagues the 
>opportunity to resolve the problem. 
>If a trademark or copyright infringement took 
>place, it could have easily been abated, 
>but you have not shown Mr. Latham or the rest of 
>us the due respect and common courtesy, to discuss 
>and resolve this matter in a reasonable and 
>rational manner.
>It is far more ethical, reasonable and 
>professional for XOOM, to place the issue on the 
>table, and permit Mr. Latham and his associates an 
>opportunity to resolve it, to the satisfaction of 
>your company and the original complainant.  
>If despite the necessary modifications to avoid 
>trademark or copyright infringement take place, 
>the complainant still wants Tedrico's website 
>purged, this is a clear violation of Mr. Latham's 
>and our First Amendment rights.
>For XOOM to execute this hostile purge on behalf 
>of a vindictive complainant is an even greater 
>constitutional violation, but you do not seem to 
>be concerned about these fundamental rights, to 
>Whatever complaint you may have received that led 
>you to censor and purge Tedrico's website, is it 
>not now reasonable for your company, to permit 
>Mr. Latham, to retrieve his webpages for editing 
>and publication, at some other domain? His was 
>indeed the best homeless website, on the entire 
>World Wide Web, because he obviously spent 
>hundreds of hours producing it. 
>Your hostile action is comparable a madman 
>breaking into a Vatican church, to destroy a 
>Michelangelo original because he disagreed with 
>Christianity. Please reconsider your position, and 
>at least permit Mr. Latham to retrieve his work 
>for publication elsewhere.
>Dr. Ruben Botello
>----Original Message Follows----
>Subject: re:
>Date: Tue, 4 Aug 1998 19:29:49 -0800
>From: WebMaster <>
>To: <>,
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>Mr Latham's site was removed because he violated 
>our Terms of Service agreement.
>Many of you have speculated as to what the cause 
>was, and others have made assumptions (including 
>Mr. Latham)... none of which were correct. 
>It should be hard to draw such conclusions when 
>you don't have all the information (and legally, 
>I'm not allowed to give it to you... much to my 
>While I admire the work that many of you are 
>involved with, I must say that I'm quite shocked 
>at the attitude, threats and demands that many of 
>you conveyed to me and to Xoom.
>And to those of you who took a calmer, more 
>inquisitive tone, thank you.
>This was a legal issue, pure and simple.  
>We received a very pointed and direct complaint 
>about a trademark violation, and to keep both Xoom 
>AND Ted Latham out of any possible legal 
>conundrum, we removed the site.
>We only provide notice of removal under specific 
>conditions, and the threat of legal action due to 
>trademark violation is not one of those 
>We're pretty clear about such violations in our 
>Terms of Service agreement, for precisely this 
>While Xoom is very happy to host sites with such 
>noble goals, we cannot and will not allow such 
>thank your for your attention,
>Xoom Webmaster
>Providing current homeless and related
>news, information and announcements
>for nonprofit research and educational
>purposes, pursuant to TITLE 17 USC
>107, at:
> ------------------------------------
>         <> 
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