Like attorneys aren't having enough trouble finding billable hours, the Electronic Frontier Foundation has released a short white paper to help people avoid getting into trouble when they put up a website to attack whatever restaurant messed up their takeout order or clothing store that wouldn't take back a pair of pants bought six months ago without a receipt.
It's the nature of modern man to react to such blantant injustices by putting up a website denouncing the company. In the olden days, you would have been powerless, as a lone consumer, to enact revenge. Well, you could come back at 2 a.m. and superglue their locks, I suppose, but not in the Age of Constant Video Surveillance, you can't.
So what you do is create iTotallyFreakinHatePalaceOfPants.com, in which you expose their history of anti-consumer villainy, hint at suppositions of Third World sweatshop labor, and digitally paint a moustache on their corporate mascot, Peter Pantsman. And what they do is send you, or your service provider, a cease and desist. In the one-in-2,000 situation in which Angry Web Guy has the tenacity and wallet to fight, legal work emerges and the wheels of commerce are greased.
Enter the EFF. Via BoingBoing, we learn that the digital-rights advocacy group has unveiled a primer called Avoiding Gripes About Your Gripe (or Parody) Site. Not a bad starting point for the basement-dwelling crank who really wants to make McDonalds pay for that time his Quarter Pounder was tepid, or the serious objector who wants to, say, take on the recording industry or something. Or the law firm that laid him/her off.