Boy I hope this is the right forum for this. Please forgive me if it’s not. I’m literally shaking right now. I’m sorry that this will be so long-winded.
So, I run a review/research blog in which I look at old television recordings, broadcasts, and so on. I’ve taken great pains to make sure that everything I do is within the law, fair use, and so on. I take copyright law seriously and strive to never break it. I use pictures and my writing, but never video clips, and I state in my information page that I do not and will not make copies of videos for sale or trade, nor will I post videos online. I’m very, very clear about that.That WOULD be breaking copyright law, and I won’t do it. It would be illegal, and to knowingly break that law, I feel, would be a sin.
Here’s my problem. Sometime back, I wrote an article on a certain cable broadcast, and some months later, I received an email from a guy stating his dad recorded the same program for him, but it was accidentally erased, and he wanted a copy of mine, as his dad later passed away and it brought back memories. I politely told him that I was sorry for his loss, but I just don’t make copies. I thought that was the end of it.
He later sent me another email, reiterating what he said before, but this time basically telling me (in not so many words) that he was more deserving of it than me. He essentially said I was dangling it in front of him for fun, which was never the case. This email actually made me pretty angry, as if my response the first time (not to mention the rules on my site, which he had to have seen, as they’re right by my email info) wasn’t good enough. I ignored this email and marked him as spam. This all occurred several months ago. I hadn’t heard from him since, and again I thought that was the end of the matter.
Well, apparently the spam didn’t “take,” because just tonight I received another message from him. Now, he’s threatening to kill himself if I don’t send it to him, so painful are the memories of his father that I guess I’m somehow destroying. The rational part of me says this is just a ploy (a ridiculous one at that), but on the other hand, I keep thinking, “well, what if this guy really IS that disturbed?”
But then, the guy apparently has a website with a bunch of television recordings he puts on DVD for trade. I can’t remember if he sent me the link or if it’s something I stumbled upon. Either way, that’s a HUGE red flag.
Nevertheless, I’m incredibly distraught by this. I’m also furious that I’ve been put in this situation; this is a fun hobby that I enjoy writing about - how did something progress to this level? I don’t know if the guy is just bluffing, if he’s seriously that depressed, or what. I feel like I’m between a rock and a hard place, no matter what I do will be a sin (provided the guy is telling the truth and actually is suicidal). Obviously the guy is a little off no matter what if he’s lying to this degree to get a copy of something, but then, what if…? I just don’t know. Rationally, this sounds like a “oh give me a break” situation, but then, I keep second-guessing myself.
He sent me his address, and he lives nowhere near me. I really think my best course of action is to contact the police in his area. I called my brother, and that was his suggestion as well.
Please, any advice you can offer would be much appreciated.(And Prayers! Please, Pray for this guy! )