Saturday, May 26, 2007 by Dave Winer.
Observation: "At least it's over."
Creativity is coming back in new ways. I, and UserLand, were under a cloud from 1992 until 2007. It's amazing how much we got done, considering. The cloud is now gone. This morning, I felt like the stack has been popped back to much brighter days. We'll see if this holds up.
My small Web 2.0 dividend now appears reasonably safe. Another way of looking at it is that I got back a good chunk of the cash I put into Web 2.0.
Yesterday's post was entitled "community" for a very good reason. As I went into the mediation, I remembered how genuinely happy people seemed to be when the deal with VeriSign came out. I couldn't understand why, usually people seemed to resent my success. And weblogs.com seemed a particular lightning rod for grief. Now, a couple of years later it's more clear. I had a much bigger reservoir of goodwill than I was aware of.
Another bit of information. While the threat of a defamation suit was hanging over me, I heard from a number of bloggers who had been similarly threatened, and caved. This was understandable, but disheartening. I felt in yesterday's negotiation that I was not just looking out for my own interests, but also trying to create a precedent for bloggers in the future. You may not have to cave under a threat of a lawsuit, although I understand that there are good reasons people do it. However, before making a decision, look in your homeowner's insurance policy, if you have one. Many of them cover defamation judgments, believe it or not.
Most of the terms of the settlement are confidential, but otherwise I did not agree to limit what I say publicly, or remove or modify any posts. In some ways I knew Russo pretty well, and I was pretty sure he wasn't misleading me in the past about his respect for the First Amendment, and as it turns out, that belief was correct.