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Patreon Faces New Legal Peril Under California Law

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Patreon has lost several high profile creators including Sam Harris, Dave Rubin, and Jordan Peterson due to Patreon’s decision to begin censoring creators for ideological reasons.

The belief is that Patreon can ban anyone they want to. Is this true under California law?

Private companies can do whatever they want,” is an old canard repeated by people who aren’t lawyers or aren’t very good lawyers. But a new legal remedy is available under California’s arbitration law, especially with the adoption of SB-707.

There’s an economic relationship between Creators and their Backers.

Patreon, by banning a Creator, disrupts the economic relationship between Creator and Backer. In legal terms this is called tortious interference with a business relationship.

Backers can demand to have the disruption of this relationship sent to arbitration.

Patreon, under California law, must pay the arbitration fees in advance. These fees can be upward of $10,000 per case.

If 500 backers demanded arbitration, Patreon would need to put up five million dollars in advance in filing fees alone. Legal fees will ramp those fees up by a factor of ten.

And judges are enforcing the law strictly:

DoorDash Ordered to Pay $9.5M to Arbitrate 5,000 Labor Disputes:

SAN FRANCISCO (CN) – Rejecting claims that the legal process it forced on workers is unfair, a federal judge Monday ordered food-delivery service DoorDash to pay $9.5 million in arbitration fees for 5,010 delivery drivers’ labor demands against the company.

“You’re going to pay that money,” U.S. District Judge William Alsup said in court. “You don’t want to pay millions of dollars, but that’s what you bargained to do and you’re going to do it.”

Patreon has tried writing itself out of this legal requirement with amended Terms of Service, which took effect on January 3, 2020:

You may not bring a claim against us for suspending or terminating another person’s account, and you agree you will not bring such a claim. If you try to bring such a claim, you are responsible for the damages caused, including attorneys fees and costs.

This provision is unlawful and unenforceable, because Patreon demands all users abide by JAMS Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures:

If a dispute does arise out of these terms or related to your use of Patreon, and it cannot be resolved after you talk with us, then it must be resolved by arbitration. This arbitration must be administered by JAMS under the JAMS Streamlined Arbitration Rules and Procedures, except as expressly provided below. Judgment on the arbitration entered in any court with jurisdiction. Arbitrations may only take place on an individual basis. No class arbitrations or other other grouping of parties is allowed. By agreeing to these terms you are waiving your right to trial by jury or to participate in a class action or representative proceeding; we are also waiving these rights.

Under California law, a consumer cannot be forced to pay costs and fees under a mandatory arbitration clause. California law is clear:

For matters involving consumers, the consumer is only required to pay $250. See JAMS Policy on Consumer Arbitrations Pursuant to Pre-Dispute Clauses. For matters based on a clause or agreement that is required as a condition of employment, the employee is only required to pay $400. See JAMS Policy on Employment Arbitrations, Minimum Standards of Fairness.

In other words, if Patreon bans a Creator, and the Backers want to file arbitration claims, Patreon will have to be millions of dollars of fees.

As one law firm specialization in arbitration law notes:

SB 707 applies to employment or consumer arbitration agreements and requires that the drafting party pay any fees and costs that might be due before the arbitration can proceed within 30 days after the due date. The failure by the drafting party to pay will mean that the drafting party is in material breach of the arbitration agreement, is in default of the arbitration and will waive its right to compel arbitration

There is no exception to this law, and Patreon cannot draft its way out of California law with a Terms of Service update. Again, California law provides:

With respect to the cost of the arbitration, when a consumer initiates arbitration against the company, the only fee required to be paid by the consumer is $250, which is approximately equivalent to current Court filing fees. All other costs must be borne by the company, including any remaining JAMS Case Management Fee and all professional fees for the arbitrator’s services. When the company is the claiming party initiating an arbitration against the consumer, the company will be required to pay all costs associated with the arbitration.

Patreon may win on the grounds that its Terms of Service as of January 2020 apply to all creators banned in 2020 or beyond. It’s unlikely they will, because courts look unfavorably on parties who demand arbitration while seeking to opt-out of rules they don’t like.

My best guess is that if a Creator or Backer sued Patreon to have the fee-shifting provision struck from the Terms of Service, then that party would prevail.

Any Patreon creator banned before 2020 will have favorable procedural rules, and Backers bringing claims will not be required to pay more than $250.

The same rules would also apply to PayPal and other companies with mandatory arbitration provisions.

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Culture

Will Mushrooms Save Humanity?

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Are “magic mushrooms” for filthy hippies who have checked out of life, or is there more to the story? Fantastic Fungi suggests the answer is yes in a wide-ranging documentary on psilocybin.

Loaded with mainstream, normie voices like Michael Pollan (as opposed to say Eckhart Tolle), Fantastic Fungi succeeds as a documentary for skeptics.

All plant medicine faces intense discrimination and bias, with claims ranging that medicine like psilocybin and ayahuasca are “demonic” or will “send you on a bad trip,” despite a lack of scientific evidence that supervised, responsible use of plant medicine has few downsides and updates that include

  • advanced creativity
  • freedom from alcoholism and opioid addiction
  • higher ability to empathize with others and love more

Microdosing psilocybin has been used by names you’d recognize yet never expect, and indeed many people are shocked to learn that I have a decade-long experience with 5-MeO-DMT, ayahuasca, and psilocybin.

The stereotype of course is that people use plant medicine to check out of reality, when in fact the proper use of psilocybin enhances your ability to experience reality.

People wrongly believe that using plant medicine puts your physical body on a spiritual journey, inverting the truth, which is that your spiritual body in on a journey in your physical one.

We are spiritual beings having a human experience.” – Pierre Teilhard de Chardin

Fantastic Fungi will be enjoyable watch whether you are experienced in these matters or remain a skeptic. To those who are skeptical, grab a cup of coffee or beer (totally not drugs unlike the stuff other people use) and learn about the magic underneath your feet and within your heart.

You can watch Fantastic Fungi here on iTunes.

 

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Culture

Bill Clinton on Jeffrey Epstein Island, Victim Claims

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Former President Bill Clinton was seen with two women on Jeffrey Epstein’s “pedophile island,” according to Virgina Roberts.

In newly unsealed documents, Virgina Roberts directly implicated Clinton in an April, 2011 interview. (You can read her full interview here at this link.)

The relevant except says:

When you say you you asked him why is Bill Clinton here, where was here?

Roberts: On the island.

JS: When you were present with Jeffrey Epstein and Bill Clinton on the island, who else was there?

Roberts: Ghislaine, Emmy, and there was two young girls that I could identify. I never really knew them well anyways. It was just 2 girls from New York.

JS: And were all of you staying at Jeffrey’s house on the island including Bill Clinton?

Roberts: That’s correct.

He had about 4 or 5 different villas on his island separate from the main house, and we all stayed in the villas.

JS: Were sexual orgies a regular occurrences at the island of Jeffrey’s house? Roberts: Yes.

 

 

Bill Clinton is directly implicated by an eyewitness in the Jeffrey Epstein sex trafficking ring.

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Culture

Jim Jordan Sells Out Conservatives to Big Tech (Read the Confidential Memo in Full)

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Labelled “Confidential,” the Jim Jordan Memo is something you’re not supposed to see.

Cernovich Media has obtained this Memo and is posted it in full.

Read the Jim Jordan Antitrust Memo here:

Highlights of Jim Jordan’s Antitrust Memo

  • The Memo gives Republican talking points needed to defend Google, Apple, Amazon, and Facebook.
  • The Jim Jordan Memo is clear. Zero antitrust action against Apple, Google, or Amazon will be supported by the GOP, and the memo is loaded with talking points defending Big Tech’s monopoly power.
  • “Even if this hearing suggests that Google, Amazon, Apple, or Facebook have acted unlawfully, that would not necessarily mean underlying antitrust law needs an overhaul.”

Watch my Video Report of the Jim Jordan Antitrust Memo here:

 

 

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