Monday, May 23, 2011

Dear Desteni Movement...

I have watched you try to scam people for a while now. I have also watched as you filed false DMCA notices and flagged channels down that exposed you for what you are: A cult like organization that is trying to scam money out of people via a pyramid scheme. I have watched as good channels were permanently shut down for the simple reason of exposing you. And I have decided that I won't watch any longer.

As you may have noticed, a lot of the counternotices to your false DMCAs recently filed had MY name on them. That's right, MY name, which is perfectly legal, as I have accepted a co-ownership of the videos you had falsely removed. Falsely removed, because they were covered by the fair use provision. As a bit of a reminder, here is what copyright law has to say about fair use:

17 U.S.C. § 107
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include:
the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
the nature of the copyrighted work;
the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.

You will notice that none of the videos you filed a DMCA claim against were of any commercial interest. The sole purpose of these videos was to critizise and comment on your money making scheme that you so blatantly hide behind your supposed social and environmental program.

Since you had the courtesy to publish my full name on your website after receiving the counternotices (and I have no doubt in my mind that you passed the rest of my details on to your members), I have decided to do a bit more than the friends that have simply tried to expose your scams on YouTube. Your pyramid scheme is illegal in many of the countries you operate in, including the country you operate out of. I may not live in South Africa, but fortunately one can report activities such as yours from outside of your country as well. So I have contacted the Financial Service Board South Africa to report you, and I suggest anyone who got scammed, false DMCAed, doc dropped or otherwise harassed by you do the same.

The website for the FSB:

For residents of South Africa there is a toll free phone number to call:

Fraud and Ethics Hotline: 0800 313 626

For those not residing in South Africa, there is an email:

And to show you I am not kidding around, here is a transcript of the email I wrote:

date Mon, May 23, 2011 at 12:29 PM
subject Desteni movement pyramid scheme

hide details 12:29 PM (1 hour ago)

Dear Sirs,

there is a movement operating out of South Africa that, under the
guise of political and social interests, operates a pyramid scheme
that I believe to be illegal. Their operations by now are
internationally done, but their main location of operation is still in
South Africa, which is also where their website is hosted.

They sell rather dodgy self-exploration online courses, for which you
are supposed to pay a monthly fee of 200 Euro, and give you the option
to earn these courses and additional income by recruiting more people
for these courses. Income generated from these recruits and their
recruits respectively will only be paid to you, if you continue paying
your monthly fee of 200 Euro yourself. To gain a better overview,
please visit their website which clearly shows how their pyramid
scheme is built: Overview of what they claim is the
possible income. Overview of the amounts they
require you to pay. Overview of the "courses" they
offer for these amounts.

The website is registered to the name of

Susan Elizabeth Spies
PO Box 641 Msunduzi
Pietermaritzburg, 3231, ZA

and the listed admin contact is

Andrea Rossouw
P O Box 641 Msunduzi
Pietermaritzburg, 3231, ZA
phone: +08 61378364

Any attempt to expose this pyramid scheme online is met by falsely
filed DMCA notices, people who file counternotices have their privacy
violated by this group making contact details public to all their

I sincerely hope that you will investigate this matter. Should you
require further information, I will gladly provide you with any
details I have so far been able to find out about this group.


Now before anyone whinges about me having "doc dropped" these poor Desteni people, let me tell you that this information is freely available when you check on the whois information for the website mentioned above. It does not take special skills to find this info and they publish these names and addresses themselves, unlike the people they have doc dropped after receiving their details from counternotices to fraudulent DMCA claims.

So there we go, Desteni. I hope you enjoy the attention. Have a nice day!

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