It was only a matter of time. Conrunner Ryan Kopf, whose suit against blogger Trae Dorn was dismissed in Iowa for lack of jurisdiction, has refilled it in Illinois. Dorn announced the development at Nerd & Tie on July 5 and has posted a copy of the new lawsuit here.
Kopf is suing in response to a pair of Nerd & Tie articles published last summer. As File 770 explained in January:
- “Ryan Kopf’s Anime California Harasses, Threatens Maid Cafe Operators After They Refuse To Sign Over Ownership” reported allegations that Kopf’s company engaged in unscrupulous business practices.
- “AnimeCon.org CEO Ryan Kopf Allegedly Attacks Vendor During MetaCon 2015” reported that Kopf’s effort to remove a vendor selling bootleg merchandise turned into a physical confrontation (a story picked up by File 770 in “Rough Justice at Meta Con”). Kopf allegedly punched vendor David Silvieus, a fight ensued, and one of Kopf’s friends claims to have physically subdued Silvieus.
In both suits, Kopf has denied the allegations made about him.
Aside from Iowa, there are three places that may be considered proper. Wisconsin and Indiana are places the defendants live. However I don’t do business in either state. That leaves Illinois, a place where they have done business. We’re now suing them in Illinois, a jurisdiction that should be proper and equally fair for everyone, as all the parties have done business in Illinois.
Why am I suing them?
Because you can’t just make stuff up online without repercussion. The things they’ve written, which, again, were usually untrue, turned away business from the conventions. If you go around telling people “Blank is a bad person,” often enough, they’re going to start taking your word. But that’s not fair to Blank.
It’s really really easy to make stuff up on the internet.
I own the moon.
Christopher Sturz, a Nerd & Tie co-creator and contributor (aka Pher Sturz) has also been named as a defendant in the suit. Dorn writes, “It should be noted that Pher was added to that suit solely because of posts made on his personal Facebook page in support of me.”
The lawsuit describes those remarks as follows:
On or about January 6, 2016, the Defendant Sturz posted on his Face book that the Plaintiff is “a rapist.” He also suggested that the Plaintiff should pay him in “ball lickings.”
Kopf is asking for $50,000 in actual damages to his business, and $50,000 in actual damages for the defamatory statements, plus punitive damages, costs, and a court order for the defendants to remove their statements from the internet.
Dorn was able to crowdfund his defense against the Iowa suit. He’s launched another GoFundMe campaign to defray the costs of the Illinois suit.
The appeal has raised $460 of its $6,000 goal as of this writing.