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Yahoo Deletes Journalist's Pre-Paid Legacy Site After Suicide 403

Posted by Soulskill
from the failing-at-a-last-request dept.
New submitter digitalFlack writes "Apparently Martin Manley has been a popular blogger and newspaper journalist for many years. For his own reasons, no indication of illness, he decided sixty years on this planet was enough. He designed a 40-page website with sections such as: 'Why Suicide?' and 'Why Age 60?.' Martin planned his suicide meticulously, but to manage his legacy, he picked Yahoo. He even pre-paid for five years. After he left this mortal coil on his 60th birthday, Yahoo decided they don't want his traffic, so they took the site down. Sorry, Martin."
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Yahoo Deletes Journalist's Pre-Paid Legacy Site After Suicide

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  • by sinij (911942) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @01:46PM (#44595195) Journal
    Yahoo didn't know he also prepaid lawyers. Or at least lets hope so.

    Yahoo has contractual obligation to provide service, sudden death of a party is a sleazy way to weasel out of a service contract.
    • by alen (225700) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @01:55PM (#44595263)

      Pretty sure suicide is against the tos

    • by alexgieg (948359) <alexgieg@gmail.com> on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:12PM (#44595377) Homepage

      Remember: it's Ya-"let's delete early Internet history because keeping 1TB around is too expensive"-hoo we're talking about.

      Never trust Yahoo. Ever.

    • by ShanghaiBill (739463) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:14PM (#44595393)

      Yahoo has contractual obligation to provide service

      Do they? Have you read the contract? It is possible that the contract has a termination clause in the event of death. It is also quite likely that advocating or promoting suicide is a violation of the terms of service. Contracts have fine print for a reason.

      • by Gaygirlie (1657131) <gaygirlie@hotmaiLIONl.com minus cat> on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:22PM (#44595465) Homepage

        It is also quite likely that advocating or promoting suicide is a violation of the terms of service.

        To be honest, I don't see anything advocating or promoting suicide. I see him explaining his reasonings in rather clear terms and as such I'd classify it as a discussion about suicide. There is a difference between discussion and active advocation and/or promotion.

        • by julesh (229690)

          It is also quite likely that advocating or promoting suicide is a violation of the terms of service.

          To be honest, I don't see anything advocating or promoting suicide. I see him explaining his reasonings in rather clear terms and as such I'd classify it as a discussion about suicide. There is a difference between discussion and active advocation and/or promotion.

          There's a page on the site that outlines a list of possible methods and reasons why you would choose one or the other of them. Sure, it's in the context of how he decided what method to use for himself, but it can be read as instructional for other people, which is a clear violation of Yahoo's ToS.

      • by Grieviant (1598761) * on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:44PM (#44595629)

        Do they? Have you read the contract? It is possible that the contract has a termination clause in the event of death. It is also quite likely that advocating or promoting suicide is a violation of the terms of service. Contracts have fine print for a reason.

        Don't they? Have YOU read the contract? Is it fair to assume that documenting one's own reasons for suicide constitutes promoting it?

        Indeed, contracts do have fine print for a reason. That reason is for high and mighty business thugs such as yourself to be able to dick over little guys without making them aware of it beforehand. It's pretty simple - Yahoo was caught trying to (quietly) weasel out of their responsibilities to avoid backlash for hosting speech that they realized would be unpopular with some people. A spineless move.

    • by julesh (229690) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:35PM (#44595561)

      Yahoo has contractual obligation to provide service, sudden death of a party is a sleazy way to weasel out of a service contract.

      Unless he violates the terms of service.

      10.1 Prohibited Uses
      [...]
      You agree that you will not:
      [...]
      (p) promote or provide instructional information about illegal activities, promote physical harm or injury against any group or individual, or promote any act of cruelty to animals.

      A section of his site was instructions on how to commit suicide, which is an illegal act in many (most?) jurisdictions.

      • Why would suicide be illegal? Where I live it isn't. How could be someone prohibited from suicide save livelong incarceration in a padded cell?

      • by tgv (254536)

        Let's hope Wikipedia is accurate, but it says about the US: "By the early 1990s only two states still listed suicide as a crime, and these have since removed that classification." So that would be a no. And neither did the site promote physical harm or injury against any group or individual, or any act of cruelty to animals, at least, not on the pages I have seen.

        Yahoo has sunk really low.

    • by grahamlee (522375)
      "You agree to indemnify and hold Yahoo! and its subsidiaries, affiliates, officers, agents, co-branders and other partners, and employees, harmless from any claim or demand, including reasonable attorneys' fees, made by any third party due to or arising out of Content you submit, post to or transmit through the Services, your use of the Services, your connection to the Services, your violation of the TOS, or your violation of any rights of another." - http://info.yahoo.com/legal/uk/yahoo/utos/en-gb/details. [yahoo.com]
    • "No Right of Survivorship and Non-Transferability. You agree that your Yahoo! account is non-transferable and any rights to your Yahoo! ID or contents within your account terminate upon your death. Upon receipt of a copy of a death certificate, your account may be terminated and all contents therein permanently deleted."

      Open and shut, IMHO. Yahoo is just following its terms.

    • by slick7 (1703596)

      Yahoo didn't know he also prepaid lawyers. Or at least lets hope so. Yahoo has contractual obligation to provide service, sudden death of a party is a sleazy way to weasel out of a service contract.

      Typical corporate America, take the money, agree to the terms of the contract, then fuck them.

  • He *thought* he had a website up for five years when he died. He'll never know the difference.

    But because geeks always want to fix things ... it seems to me that if he had the website in someone else's name, or even in a lawyer's name, it'd still be up.

    • by Anonymous Coward

      What a strange response, regardless of the reasoning behind Yahoo canceling the service (looks like they're pushing the ToS button). I see this as tantamount to somebody buying a burial plot and funeral services, and being dumped in the wilderness with the justification, "they'll never know, since they're dead!"

      • by roc97007 (608802)

        What a strange response, regardless of the reasoning behind Yahoo canceling the service (looks like they're pushing the ToS button). I see this as tantamount to somebody buying a burial plot and funeral services, and being dumped in the wilderness with the justification, "they'll never know, since they're dead!"

        And you think that doesn't happen [wikipedia.org]?

        I'm not trying to justify what yahoo did -- it was scummy, and I hope they get prosecuted, if there's anyone who would do so. Just pointing out that for him, the important thing is believing up to the moment of death that the arrangements he had made would continue afterwards. Such arrangements are, usually, in a practical manner, for the benefit of people still alive.

        • I'm not trying to justify what yahoo did -- it was scummy, and I hope they get prosecuted

          What for?

          "...any rights to your Yahoo! ID or contents within your account terminate upon your death."

    • We could use your argument to make murder legal as long as the victim does not get to know about it.
  • Fuck Yahoo! (Score:5, Informative)

    by ShaunC (203807) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @01:51PM (#44595233)

    In the meantime, there is a mirror located here [zeroshare.info].

  • by excelsior_gr (969383) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @01:56PM (#44595267)

    Not only was this website paid for, it was obviously part of the deceased's last wishes. If Yahoo has no respect for the law or its customers, it should at least show some respect to a dude's last wish.

    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward

      If the website was in the deceased's name, the contract ended upon that person's death. You are under no obligation to honor a contract to a dead person.

      • If the website was in the deceased's name, the contract ended upon that person's death. You are under no obligation to honor a contract to a dead person.

        They may not have an obligation, legally speaking; but they have the guy's money (so, unless their pricing minions suck, they should be able to make at least a slight profit on the contract) and they sure look like dicks by immediately going against the customer's expressed wishes.

        It is not illegal to exploit absolutely every angle not forbidden by law or contract; but nobody has to like you for it, nor should they.

    • Need to right the release of rights page, read his last line.

      Release of Rights

      I, Martin Manley, being the creator and owner of all information on the site "MartinManleyLifeAndDeath.com", neither hold nor retain any claim or copyright on any part of this web-site. I do not grant these rights to any individual person or entity either in life or upon death. Rather I release all rights to this work - making it public domain. Anyone can do with it whatever they wish.

      Martin Allen Manley

      August 15, 2013.

      • by i.r.id10t (595143)

        See this is why you retain copyright but give a permissive license like creative commons, etc.

    • by evilviper (135110)

      If Yahoo has no respect for the law or its customers, it should at least show some respect to a dude's last wish.

      Actually, Yahoo might be breaking the law by hosting the site. Free speech law goes pretty far in the US, but encouraging suicide, or any other major illegal activity could get them in trouble. I also assume there's something in their TOS that forbids such content, so they're all good.

      And someone's "last wish" isn't legally binding for good reason... Just because you're dying doesn't mean your

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      Why isn't this tagged with the censorship logo?

      Because it's not censorship.

      And the idea that a corporation with shareholders should in some way show compassion, you're cute.

      Yahoo should have considered the negative publicity, proving that pre-paid means nothing after death. More likely they have legal advice that keeping a site which will be cited as a suicide advocate is more expensive in the long term than lost revenue.

      It doesn't matter that the site is a personal opinion and as neutral as it can be whil

  • So where's the mirror? You'd expect someone to mirror this. Even just to investigate a death with unnatural causes, you'd expect the police to want a full copy of the web site?
  • The site is paid for, Yahoo needs to do the right thing and leave the site up. Dead people don't have rights, so the poster who asked about Manley's lawyers is right on the money, hopefully he set up a legal trust to deal with these issues. If Manley had set this up with Japanese hoster they probably wouldn't have thought twice about hosting the site.
    • by mysidia (191772)

      Dead people don't have rights, so the poster who asked about Manley's lawyers is right on the money, hopefully he set up a legal trust to deal with these issues. If Manley had set this up with Japanese hoster they probably wouldn't have thought twice about hosting the site. --

      Yahoo has a policy that they close your account if they die.

      I think setting up a legal trust would involve a level of research and planning not suggested by his choice to simply use Yahoo hosting. Furthermore --- suing Yahoo would

      • Yahoo has a policy that they close your account if they die.

        I assume all bets are off if Yahoo dies. But getting back to the point;

        I think setting up a legal trust would involve a level of research and planning not suggested by his choice to simply use Yahoo hosting.

        Uh, if I understand your terrible use of English... legal trusts, living wills, etc, are fairly common place and any lawyer who specializes in such, and there are many, would have it set up in a jiffy. You're not really sure what you're talking about, are you?

  • There is a novel sized amount of text here.

    • by Trepidity (597)

      Novella-sized, perhaps. If you want a Tolstoy-esque novel by someone who committed suicide, check out Mitchell Heisman's suicidenote.info [suicidenote.info].

      Bonus: check out the chapter titles.

  • uh oh (Score:5, Funny)

    by slashmydots (2189826) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:14PM (#44595397)
    He's gonna haunt the shit out of them now
  • Among many other things, death entails a complete lack of power.

  • by NoMoreMrNiceGuy2 (2989999) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:25PM (#44595493)
    1. Get customers to sign up for 5 year plans of web hosting.
    2. Kill customer, make is look like a suicide.
    3.?
    4. Profit!
  • by rsilvergun (571051) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:26PM (#44595499)
    with the exception of some of the Alzheimer stuff he mentioned every thing he described is treatable, and even a lot of the Alzheimer stuff is. That is, if you have access to the health care. This sounds more like a failing of our society than anything else.
    • by El_Muerte_TDS (592157) <elmuerte.drunksnipers@com> on Saturday August 17, 2013 @03:05PM (#44595757) Homepage

      Why isn't he entitled to decide when he has lived enough? Why does he need valid medical reasons?

      I think you're right, it's a failing of society. Society rather plays for god and decide who lives and who dies.

      (I only hope he performed a clean suicide rather than jumping in front of a train, or something)

    • by b4dc0d3r (1268512)

      with the exception of some of the Alzheimer stuff he mentioned every thing he described is treatable

      That makes me feel bad for the dude. You mean he didn't actually have any reason to off himself? You could have told him that, I'm sure he would have listened to reason in his highly emotional state of mind.

    • by PNutts (199112)

      A guy kills himself based on his own imagination and you think that's a failure of society? I think there are more than enough services available for anything he could dream up.

    • by jsepeta (412566)

      It's his own damned choice to take his life. Not our business to judge.

  • by Joiseybill (788712) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @02:27PM (#44595509)
    I was gonna rant about refunding the estate for the residual value of his contract, and for the 5 year domain registration.. or at least transfer it to his estate.. BUT.. Yahoo's TOS specifically deals with death.
    "No Right of Survivorship and Non-Transferability. You agree that your Yahoo! account is non-transferable and any rights to your Yahoo! ID or contents within your account terminate upon your death. Upon receipt of a copy of a death certificate, your account may be terminated and all contents therein permanently deleted."

    Allegedly, this was in effect for a while.. the page
    http://info.yahoo.com/legal/us/yahoo/utos/utos-173.html [yahoo.com]
    says it was last updated March 16, 2012.
    For a man who made a living with his words, maybe he should have read the TOS ( short by some comparison). Or, maybe like the false 'treasure hunt', he knew Yahoo would cancel his account, and through both methods he gains some post-mortem notoriety. Either way.. I hope he gets some pleasure out of all this attention to his life being generated today.
  • by no-body (127863)
    that Yahoo folks have a problem with themselves in connection with dying, suicide and related things. For sure it's not a money issue to keep the page open.
    Now they have another PR issue and are exposes as jerks.
  • In a follow-up edition of Vogue magazine. Yahoo is toast, with a raspy T.
  • by Culture20 (968837) on Saturday August 17, 2013 @05:41PM (#44596721)
    "They'll shut down my pre-paid legacy account over my dead body!"

Moneyliness is next to Godliness. -- Andries van Dam

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