Monday, May 7, 2007

Regarding Fake ID's

The last few days have had some interesting things occur in the life of my little blog here. First, I've had an amazing amount of readers referred here by a link from facebook. Then, realizing that someone had the lack of forsight to use their real name on a fake ID and had found my blog from my posting, as I do, of their fake ID with text about the confiscation of the ID. I removed their last name from the posting in a gesture of good faith.

See, I collect the fake ID's by confiscating them from underage people who attempt to buy alcohol. I've been informed that I'm required to do this. I don't mind because frankly, our bar is for adults, and not a NYU undergrad hangout. My bar has not had a problem with underage drinking, only other bars that my bar's owner also owns. I have never knowingly served a minor, and never will. Enough of my friends work in the service industry in the neighborhood that if I don't confiscate the ID's, I'm putting their jobs and livelihoods at risk.

I seem to be making an amazing amount of enemies from doing this. Sadly, they don't realize that their real enemy is probably the community board that is cracking down on underage drinking in the East Village, and the Liquor Board that would revoke our license to serve beer legally if we too didn't do everything in our power to stop underage drinkers from obtaining beer at our bars.

Why people would use their real names to make a fake ID?
The obvious advantage is that their credit cards then function as backup identification. The amazingly obvious drawback is that their name is on the illegal piece of identification.

When I went to college, at freshman orientation, we were given a lecture by the Boston Police about the consequences of our actions. If we were caught with a Fake ID, our drivers license would be suspended in our home state, and we would suffer penalty from the University, and legal action from the state of Massachusetts.

Perhaps NYU freshman aren't informed with the same zest that I was. Perhaps the idea of actions having consequences hasn't been ingrained in their minds yet. College is about learning, developing a capacity for critical thought, and sometimes professional training. Education in general is also a method of socializing individuals to society. I should hope that the admission standards of NYU would be enough that the students would be at least mildly socialized to common laws and basic ethical arguments.

The choices you make in life will always carry consequences, some good, some bad, some extreme, some minor, some avoidable- with interaction comes vulnerability to the reaction of others. The justice system, whose laws you can choose to break, might also protect you from the consequences of breaking those laws, but only if you admit those laws are broken first. You could face a choice. You can engage that system while considering, is the admission of my initial breaking of the law going to cause more extreme consequences than my attempt to protect myself? or you can try to talk to the person who you threatened by breaking the law or you can let the consequences play out.

The differences between being a minor and being underage

A minor is under 18, an underage drinker is under 21. The advantage of being a minor is that you can have all records sealed at 18 of any mis-doings in your youth. The disadvantage of being 18 -21 is that you are an adult, and while that does not include being able to purchase alcohol until you are 21, you are considered responsible for your actions.

What has happened over the last few days

I posted a blog entry about a girl who tried to use a fake ID at the bar I work at. I posted a picture of that fake ID. I used her full name in the text of the post. Friday, she commented that she found it and was furious about my noting a political affiliation in the post. Subsequently, she wrote about it in her facebook notes, or someone did, because hundreds of people have visited this blog from that reference point over the weekend.

I realized that it could be a great disservice for her to have this blog show up on every google search of her name. Good intentions in my heart, I deleted the last name in every part of the article so when the cache was refreshed by google, it would no longer show up for searches of her name. I even emailed one of the people who commented, claiming they knew her, so she could rest easy that I didn't have malicious intent. Let's see what I get for being nice.

Then I checked my other email account, which is listed on my other website with an old address of an old studio space. I had been subscribed to some wild internet sites, and a few magazines too. Identity theft is a big deal kids. I unsubscribed myself to a bunch of these things, and sent notices to the magazines (which will not be forwarded to my new address because they will be less than first class in shipping, and aren't covered by the postal service's forwarding service.)

I wonder if the people who thought that using my email and address was a great idea were smart enough not to use their home computers, or school computer accounts. Those ISP addresses would be so trackable. I suppose the police will figure it out if I decide to call them up about all this.

So then the friend of the girl in question and I exchanged a few emails about the situation. He had some rather confused logic justifying a DMCA takedown notice, but informed me that "this young lady is going places". huh. sure, right. Like everyone at NYU. It seems they're all going to drive up the rent in the neighborhood.

This morning I got a notice from Blogger that read:

Hello Rachel,

Blogger has been notified, according to the terms of the Digital
Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA), that some of your images allegedly
infringe upon the copyrights of others. The URLs of the allegedly
infringing images may be found at the end of this message.

The notice that we received, with any personally identifying information
removed, may be found at the following link:

Please note that it may take several weeks for the notice to be posted on
the above page.

The DMCA is a United States copyright law that provides guidelines for
online service provider liability in case of copyright infringement. We
are in the process of removing from our servers the images that allegedly
infringe upon the copyrights of others. If we did not do so, we would be
subject to a claim of copyright infringement, regardless of its merits.
See for more information
about the DMCA, and see for the process
that Blogger requires in order to make a DMCA complaint.

Blogger can reinstate these images upon receipt of a counter notification
pursuant to sections 512(g)(2) and 3) of the DMCA. For more information
about the requirements of a counter notification and a link to a sample
counter notification, see

Please note that repeated violations to our Terms of Service may result in
further remedial action taken against your Blogger account. If you have
legal questions about this notification, you should retain your own legal
counsel. If you have any other questions about this notification, please
let us know.

The Blogger Team

Affected URLs:

So I immediately called up some friends of mine who are lawyers. First, I wanted to make sure that I wasn't confused about what a DMCA notice is. It is a way to make sure that copyrighted images, text, etc aren't published without permission. Fine. I definately published her fake ID without permission. But can you have a copyright on a fake ID?


Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture." says the U.S. Copyright office.

A fake ID, besides being illegal to create in the United States, is a derivative work of the United States Government, and is not an original creative work of authorship.

I think it's really interesting that someone would try to claim that the fake ID was their own creation, and subject to their copyright. Admitting you make fake ID's is a serious bath of trouble. More so even than just trying to use one, or possessing one.

At the end of the Day

At the end of the day, I went to yoga, and didn't think about this business at all. When it slipped into my head, I lost my balance. I'm filing a counter notification and considering putting the young lady's full name back into the post. I don't need to do any favors to anyone who first tried to buy alcohol at my bar, endangering my finances and job, and then didn't have the decency to ask me before filing a bogus complaint with blogger about an image I've posted.

If it's pushed further, I'll have some journalist friends willing to make the story more public than this, and her ridiculous attempt to rudely shut-down my blog in order to protect her "budding political career" will be made an example of, in this alcohol strict community board 3 area.

Final Remarks

You cannot copyright fraudulent documents. You should not make or use fake ID's. You are responsible for you, so act as if everyone is watching and don't do things that you'll be ashamed of later-- and don't try to cover up things you do with rude and ridiculous legal documents. Sometimes being polite works a lot better than pulling out a big ol' shovel and digging yourself deeper.

Don't try to put your bartender in a corner, if she's a scorpio like me, she's probably got a ridiculously large social network with which she can fight back.
Also, all day I've had that Hall and Oates song running through my head. I'm not sure how it applies, but the lyrics go like this:

You're a rich girl, and you've gone too far

cause you know it don't matter anyway

You can rely on the old mans money

You can rely on the old mans money

It's a bitch girl but its gone too far

cause you know it don't matter anyway

Say money but it wont get you too far,

Get you too far


Mark said...

I don't think she is claimign that she owns the rights to the ID. I am under the understanding that she owns the rights to the images and signatures in the ID. you can probably keep the picture up of the ID as long as you blacked out the images and signatures.

Hiland said...

In response to Mark: Let's remember that this is a young girl (quite obviously under 21) and probably isn't even thinking like that... she's probably freaking out over the post, and invoking the DMCA was probably the fastest way to get it taken down, even though it's a stretch to say that the image is covered by it.

I doubt this will ever go anywhere, but it would be interesting to see what a court of law thinks of the case.

Anonymous said...

Not to be two cliche, but...

...pwned ;-) nice work.

AJ said...

I used to work in a "not very reputable" bar in the Port Richmond section of Philadelphia. While I worked there, as bouncer/barback/manager-of-last-resort& emergency bartender, I checked ID's of every person coming in that I didn't recognize. (As well as spot checks of the people I did. It wasn't enough that I knew they were old enough, they had to have their ID with them to prove it, every time.) Up until I left that job, there were very few cases of problems with the police, and no complaints of underage drinking. Didn't stay that way for long.
I recently talked to a friend who still stops in at that bar from time-to-time, and he comments that the atmosphere has changed considerably. I've even gotten some apologies from people who swore they hated me for refusing to let them bring in their underage friends. Now they see what happens to a bar when there is no stringent checks of ID's. (It goes straight into the toilet.)
Next time I'm in NY, I'll make a point of stopping by for a drink. (I'm always willing to support someone who does the right thing, because it IS the Right Thing.)

Anonymous said...

A bit ironical that your google ads feature links to "Custom Photo ID Cards" and "Kopy Kat id Cards". You should consider removing them.

Anonymous said...

I hope you aren't required to remove the Hall and Oates lyrics ;)

Anonymous said...

err...what ?
even if it is illegal its still a creative work.
Fixed in a tangible medium? check.
Expressive? check.
Modicum of creativity? check.
yup. looks like a fake id can be copyrighted.
youre lawyer friends are wrong or not IP lawyers. as i am an IP lawyer i suggest you get your legal advice somewhere else.

Joseph said...

The picture and the signature wouldn't fall under copyright because they are a part of the derivative work, they can by copyrighted if separate, but that still means the fake id is just fine to post. Besides, I'm sure it would fall under "fair use" anyways, as you work in an industry that deals with this. You can't claim to own it or have made it your self but if critiquing it's fair use.


Shadow of Eternity said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
TechKitsune said...

The easiest way is to sue blogspot first, since your works are covered by copyright. Claiming ownership of a fake ID is basically an admission of Federal Forgery of Government Documents - if that girl is going anywhere, it'll be jail.

I wouldn't bother waiting for her to make the first move, that's usually a mistake.

Anonymous said...

hmm, putting on her full name would probably put you very much in trouble.

Use of her picture, if she's got money it'd be very interesting to see who wins.

Anonymous said...

How many more flagrant abuses of the DMCA do we have to see before they finally repeal it?

Also, it seems to me that trying to claim copyright on a fake ID is an admittance of forgery, since a real ID is copyright to the government.

I hope Ashley gets hoisted by her own petard.

Anonymous said...

hey -- in amongst all this hubbub, don't forget to file your counter-notification!

oh yeah -- thanks for making the world a cooler place.

Anonymous said...

You've just been slashdotted. Congratulations!

I really enjoyed your post, and admire your responsibility to our young people.


Anonymous said...

Keep up the good fight!

Bob/Paul said...

I'd have trouble agreeing with mark. Once the image is combined with the rest of the ID it becomes a derivative work of the ID you're trying to copy. The ID as a whole, and not just the ID template, are what qualify as derivative works.

I take that it was number 5 who pulled it down?

Jesse said...

you get a big way to go from williamsburg. I was born here, and all real new yorkers carry resentment towards kids who can have their parent's pay 40k a year for them to go to NYU. (and then half of them get an off campus 3k/month apartment paid for them)

thank you for the social commentary/stand. Made me feel less like the bitter asshole that i am for 10min.

I came in from by the way, not flicker. Your bigger than you thought. congrats, tho.. that was the hardest spanking i've seen online in a minute, and i'm sorry about my grammar, i'm a computer tech.

Anonymous said...

You hassle and quiz kids who could drink in 99.99% of the civilized world because of some backward, puritanical laws and gloat about it on the internet, posting their real names and photos.

You're a regular fucking hero.

Jesse said...

sorry, i got that link via slashdot, not fark.

Anonymous said...

Linked here from /. -- I believe your statement that a fake ID cannot be copyrighted to be incorrect. The author of the ID would own copyright on any original content within the ID, such as the photo, etc. This ID may also violate the copyright of the original creator of the ID (her state government --as a couple posters in the /. thread have pointed out.. state governments do own copyright on their documents, as opposed to federal), but that is a separate matter entirely. My advice would be to ACTUALLY seek the advice of a lawyer familiar with copyright law, not just pretend to ;) As I believe the DMCA notice is valid on its face (although it may be somewhat ill-advised to publicly claim copyright on a fake ID, but that is another matter entirely)

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Tones said...

All I have to say, Rachel; Good for you. DMCA shouldn't (and last I checked doesn't) have that kind of regulation on documents without a standing copyright. Honestly? I highly doubt she somehow managed to get her picture, signature, whatever, copyrighted in the system (as dubious as its practices can be at times). I wish you the best of luck in all of this, and I love to read your escapades in the bar. It brings a smile to my face to think about all the people who think they understand the world, when in reality, they have no idea.

- Tones

Anonymous said...

You're not judge jury and executioner. It is wrong for you to humiliate a person who is too young to drink.

Anonymous said...

You need to file a counter claim. Also, a number of people have posted the google cache on other websites.

i think you should put the id back since it is not hers to copyright.

Anonymous said...

She probably got someplace like reputation defender to do the DMCA notice. Welcome to America, where a lawsuit (or a threat of one) trumps common sense.

Anonymous said...

Wage war!

Anonymous said...

Wow... this whole mess managed to get on to Slashdot...

Michael said...

you still *have* the ID, right?

Just turn it over to the police .. I don't think the county will accept a DMCA notice to erase her arrest record.

Anonymous said...

This is a question from ignorance
(I'm in my 40's and don't drink or generally go to bars.)

Is it really that hard to get alcohol that these goofballs have to come into your bar to do it? I'm sure it's a nice bar and everything.

If I ever get in that neighborhood, maybe I'll stop in for a Sprite.

Anonymous said...

Good on you! Fight it till the bitter end.

This kind of story would be very popular with the Tech/IT Community. I found a link to your site via I suggost you submit it too and, if someone hasn't already.

Also I do believe there is some kind of penalty to submitting fraudulent DMCA notices. You may want to contact the EFF they support people against things like the DMCA when it has caused a situation like yours.

Good Luck and keep us posted.


Anonymous said...

ummm is all over this. Google cache kept the original post and the image server the image. This will be with this girl forever.

Another crazy ass republican!

Anonymous said...

I'm curious - what do you do about foreign IDs? I've had problems with this in the past (mainly because no one in the US has heard of where I live, it's a tiny island in the middle of the Irish Sea) but I've always been able to convince the person that yes, the place does exist (perhaps because I'm obviously over 21 they don't really try to press the matter).

But even so, I'd hate to have someone attempt to confiscate my driving license (and backup ID - passport) simply because they hadn't heard of the Isle of Man since it would cause me absolutely no end of trouble, like not being able to go home!

Anonymous said...

Not to argue with the other points, but...

The only way an ID would be a "work of the US government" is if it was a federal ID, like a passport.

[So far,] driver's licenses and state ID cards are issued at the state level, and are not considered works of the US Government.

In fact, many state agencies (universities!) do copyright their works, where the federal government generally cannot. Get better lawyer friends.


Vexx said...

Personally, its taking on the air of a clueless little politico girl that bought into Machiavelli rather than "rule of law" :)

Try not to have too much fun with her, there won't be anything left for the media wolves later. How lame of her... a groveling apology may be too late at this point as Slashdot got hold of the story because of the DMCA misuse.

Anonymous said...

ya umm get a life and stop pretending your a cop asshole

George said...

An ID is not the work of the United States Government, unless it is a passport. Driver's Licenses are issued under the authority of individual states, not the Federal Government.

bombastinator said...

The reprisals and threats you have received seem to me to have a desperate and poorly thought out feel.
Sort of an 'unnoticed nerd-boy trying desperately to prove his love' air. Not having seen the original name I cannot confirm this, but I am wondering, is this person is some kind of cam girl or something?

Owen said...

Dear Rachel,

What a great story! In case you didn't already know, you made the front page of Slashdot ( so expect a ton more visitors to your blog. Who knows, maybe this whole thing will be good for your art publicity? Anyways, cool site. Adios.

Anonymous said...

this just got slashdotted. congrats you're famous.

ahhhhh what a fun story to entertain me in a lazy afternoon.

you're awesome.

Alan said...

I think you're wrong in the first place to post a picture of her fake ID online. While it may seem like a harmless thing in your mind, it could have unbelievable consequences to the girl. I am not condoning fake IDs in general, but to be publicly humiliated for using one? That seems a little harsh.

Come on, you were 18 once. Everyone has been, and everyone has realized how wrong it is that 18-21-year-olds are able to be sent to Iraq and die for our country but cannot buy a beer.

Kevin said...

Anyday I expect to see a headline "DMCA Used Against Grandma Sharing Recipes Online"....

You go girl, keep it up, I like the stories and someday I may actually visit NYC and have a nice dark ale at your place but I will bring my real ID.

Anonymous said...

I would like to point out to all concerned that if DMCA takedown notices require the requestor swear the information contained in the claim is true, this friend has made false claims in a legal document. Hopefully, by honest mistake, but who knows?

Andrew said...

Came here after reading a story on Slashdot about your blog post. First I have to say keep up the great work, and don't give up the fight, I know cliches and all but it really steams me when people who are "going places" think they can have the world handed to them. File your counterclaim to get the image back up and put her lst name back in the post. She might try to claim Libel but as long as you can prove that your account is factual and have someone back it up you should be able to stay out of that mess as well. Oh, you might want to look at the part of the DMCA that states that there are penalties for misusing the DMCA.

Scott said...

If you want, I would be willing to host a copy of your entry (with or without full name)and the image to help it get found in more places via google. Mis-use of the DMCA is the online equivilent is saying "its on".


Anonymous said...

How about

"You've been telling me you're a genius ever since you were 17
In all the time I've known you I still don't know what you mean
The weekend in the college (NYU?) didn't turn out like you planned
The things that pass for knowledge I can't understand."

Matthew said...

Looks like gcache ate the image, it's not there anymore.

Anonymous said...

Seems like several people are trying to get on your case about "publicly humiliating" the girl. Don't let it get you down. You had no way of knowing the ID had her real name and the simple fact that you removed her last name out of good will before you received the DMCA notice prove that was not your intention.

Anonymous said...

Regardless of what trouble she could get in, I'd suggest not getting into a legal battle with her unless your lawyers are willing to work pro-bono. NYU has a lot of law students who will jump at the chance to put ANYTHING on their resume. A friend of mine once sued a college student for copyright infringement (how appropriate) for some computer software he wrote. The student counter-sued for defamation and something else had 20 some of his college buddies bury my friend's lawyers in litigation. After shelling out thousands to the lawyers my friend decided it wasn't worth it. Just be cautious with getting into legal battles, things can go from bad to downright horribly credit-ruining awful very quickly. Get a pro-bono lawyer or one that agrees to take a % of whatever you make and nothing if you lose and you should be OK (I think) I'm not a lawyer though.

Anonymous said...

I just love the irony of people getting upset because they got caught doing something illegal.

Also, maybe this is just my perspective, but there seems to be a lot of actual forgeries down in NYC. Upstate (Syracuse) most people just find and/or lift them off of drunk people, or borrow one from a friend that's over 21. Neither is anymore right, of course, but most of them don't seem to be spending absurd amounts of money just to drink.

Anyway, I think what you're doing is highly amusing. Also, ask your legal friends to look into how much recourse the other side has, since they were doing something illegal. If it's a fake, you can't guarantee the information is real anyway.

Chuck Bronson said...

Personally, I think you're an ass for posting peoples fake ids on the site. I hope they bust you hardcore with the DCMA and your blog gets shut down. Merry Christmas.

Anonymous said...

To everyone claiming that "the driver's license is a derivative work so the forger owns the copyright!": Wrong. The design of the license is probably owned by the State of Maryland and I'm fairly sure they didn't give the forger permission to create their "derivative work". What you idiots are claiming is the equivalent of me getting a DVD screener of Spiderman 3, editing in a 10-second sequence of me ranting in the middle of the movie, and then distributing as a "derivative work". Seriously, get a fucking clue.

To everyone complaining about the drinking age in the U.S.: Yeah, it's bullshit, and yeah it's way higher than everywhere else. And if you get your older brother to buy a case of beer for you and your friends to get drunk in your basement, I don't think too many people are going to care that much. But to expect that bars, pubs, restaurants, and liquor stores should have to face the possibility of massive fines and the loss of a liquor license just because "that's bullshit man, I'm responsible enough to drink!" is downright ridiculous. Grow the fuck up.

Sam said...

Hang tough! I'm proud of you. This is coming from a middle aged fat guy who knows too many people who make a living serving alcohol to people of legal age.

neurohavoc said...

just wondering... if u were to scan in ur own DL or some DL, blur the photo, change the name to Ashley whatever and other details, u would be able to post that image?
but then, would u want to go to all that trouble :)

Anonymous said...

OMG that's brilliant! I wish I'd thought of this years ago. I used to bartend in Salt Lake (yeah, business was slow) and I had this kid try to use an ID on me that was obviously fake. So I took it, of course, and he started pitching a royal fit and his buddies start puffing chests and doing the 'new kids on the block' "we're dangerous" routine -- seriously, that's what it looked like (and at the time, I was a 6', 210 lbs Marine, so you can imagine my amusement here)... But he's standing there arguing with me holding this George Costanza wallet, busting at the seems with receipts and all manner of who knows what. So I asked him "Is that your wallet?" And he looks a little confused for a minute and suddenly thinks I'm asking for a bribe - and says "yeah"... And I say "are you sure?" and he says "yeah..." as he starts pulling a (no kidding) $5 bill out. LOL. And I said "So show me something else in that thing with this name on it, and I'll give you this ID back. In fact, I'll buy you a pitcher myself." I can't even describe the number of faces he went through as it dawned on him, and at the end, he jerked his wallet back behind his back like he could make me forget about it somehow. He left with the howls of laughter of everyone else at the bar at his back. God that was a fun job... I think you should keep posting the ID's but also try to get pictures of their expressions on the way out. Awesome - keep it up.

saxmaniac said...

Sometimes being polite works a lot better than pulling out a big ol' shovel and digging yourself deeper.

Indeed, being polite would work better!

Publicly ridiculing her in the bar, and then on later the net, is... wait, not very polite.

As far as I can see, you were the first to escalate. Why the power trip? Just say no to her and move on.

Andrew said...

It's unfortunate that your country has such backwards laws regarding the drinking age. But hey, everyone knows the risks they take when they get and use a fake ID. It's also unfortunate that knee-jerk DMCA notices (and/or lawsuits) have become the way of life. Spoiled little rich girl FTL.

Way to stand up for your principles, good on you!

Kevin said...

Linked to here from /. I just wanted to say that I applaud you for what you're doing. I turn 21 in a few months and I have no problem with waiting it out to legally drink. Seeing the fake IDs on this blog, along with witty, colorful commentary is a treat that I hope you keep up.

I hope all goes well with the counter notification. Keep on posting, I plan on checking back for more amusing Fake IDs.

Anonymous said...

While I normally despise the DMCA; in line with your agenda, I applaud the young girl. I hope that the oh-so-evil-because-they-are-rich student hires the legal equivalent of a nuke and proceeds to go to town.
"You are responsible for you," aptly said, hope your self-righteous arrogance pays you dividends.
Big fish in a small pond syndrome is never a good thing.
-Kind regards, sorta.

Anonymous said...

You are both wrong!

The people who get caught drinking underage are legally wrong.

You are morally wrong for trying to publically humiliate people.

Just do you job and leave it at that.

Ben said...

i think the bigger issue here is that this isn't an isolated incident but an example of a bigger phenomenon with this (my) generation. some of the other posters have alluded to this. there's an odd sense of entitlement in my generation that somehow justifies threatening to sue someone when trying to illegally purchase alcohol damages our egos.

Bailey said...

I think the fact that this girl has gotten so bent out of shape over this is hilarious. I am not sure what the penalties are legally for possession and use of a fake ID but I would think if it's just a fine, then that would hardly do any good for most people going to NYU. A little public humiliation never hurts in a case like this. Personally, I would have tried to get the bar owner to post them publicly right there. I can tell you that in Arizona there are convenience stores that, on the beer coolers, post high res pics of people who attempt/succeed in beer runs. I don't see this as any different. If the people creating the ID were intelligent they wouldn't use their real name anyway so even if something like this did get posted it would never show up on a Google search of their name.

As far as a forgery being covered under the DMCA, that seems a bit ludicrous to me. This, to me (not a lawyer, obviously) seems like someone taking an Ansel Adams print, tossing their signature on it and trying to pass it off as their own. Just because their signature is on it, doesn't mean it's their own work of art. I highly doubt the DMCA could cover an obvious forgery of any kind regardless of how 'creative' the creator deemed it. They tried to pass it off as theirs and just like a forged work of art, I ain't buyin' it.

Keep up the good work.

Anonymous said...

I am a big city police officer, you have a safe harbor if you are given a id that is reasonably real, take your safe harbor and leave policing to the police.

Better yet just send them packing with their suspicious ID. You fuck this up once and watch your relationship with the cops go in the shitter permanently wherever you work. There is nothing a cop wants to do more then deal with a stupid collage kid or overzealous security guard/bartender with a fake id, what a waste of time.

Also, if I posted a fake id I confiscated online I would most likely get a week suspension.

Clayton said...

Haha, very amusing read

I'd personally love to see this go to court. Then that childish girl would truly have something to be remembered by. Theres also a good shot the EFF would love to help you out on this.

As for the legality of the photo, there was another case of someone illegally using the DCMA to remove pictures from the web.

Anyway, i hope at the end of all this, that that girl learns not to trample over the rights of others to get what she wants. I'm not so optimistic however.

On the flip side, if she does go somewhere, perhaps now when she does, she'll be more interested in promoting lowering the drinking age.

Anonymous said...

"It is wrong for you to humiliate a person who is too young to drink.

May 8, 2007 4:35 PM "

It's illegal to use a fake ID to try to buy alcoholic beverages. If you don't want to be humiliated, how about not breaking the law?

-The Monster

Kurt said...

To all the stupid comments above protecting the girl with the fake ID, you should be ashamed of yourselves.
Having a fake ID for a bit of fun isn't doing any nation, whether it be America or England (where I current reside) any favours. It's a skid mark on society, and tarnishing the values that made the countries, that make the people working in the countries, that allow you to even have bars in the first place.
I read your post from Slashdot, Rachel, and I must say you're a very compelling writer aswell as a fantastic artist. This has to be the most I've read online in quite some time, and it's not that often that I come across a post that I fully agree with.
Good on you, keep up the good work at the bar :)

Anonymous said...

Chuck Bronson is a douchenozzle. said...

I was reading your blog, and you sound pretty interesting.
Mind if i add you to my blogroll?

Anonymous said...

its not copyright violation to "report" something. If you have taken a photo of the id to report about, you are not violating the copyright, which would be making reproductions for commercial end. but wtf do I know - call a lawyer. In the mean time, get the hell off blogger, what a pain in the ass they are, get your own hosting where you can make your own decisions not be tossed around by a bunch of penny pinching drones.

Steve said...

My suggestions:

1) Run, do NOT walk, to your nearest attorney. The consequences of getting anything related to legal matters wrong are too big to risk making a mistake.

2) Turn the ID over to the police and inform them that you believe the girl who presented it to you was attempting to purchase alcohol while underage.

3) Hang a sign next to the door of your bar clearly stating "If I believe your ID to be fake, I reserve the right to confiscate it and post its image on my blog. Presenting me your ID indicates acceptance of these terms."

Fixen said...

Nicely done. If anything, you shouldn't countersue about the DMCA copyright, but that what she's doing is a public admission of making a forgery of a federal document. She's not going anywhere.

Just what the hell is so hard about drinking in your dorm instead of risking a fake ID?

Baylor said...

I was under the impression that using your real name and a fake name on an ID could be the difference between a felony and a misdemeanor if you get the book thrown at you. Real names are better than fake names because the law is harder on impersonators than holders of fraudulent IDs. This could be complete bs though. Anybody know if there's truth in this?

Anonymous said...

There's now a facebook group!

Come join :)

John Dasm said...

Honestly, posting their fake ids and full name wasn't the best idea in the world, as you don't know who you might be pissing off. I do, however, applaud your carding people who are underage trying to get into the bar! (although some of those reasons weren't the best.)

I'm not surprised you ended up with so many magazine subscriptions, etc, but again, piss off the wrong people, specifically those who know enough about the less legal side of the internet, and your bound to end up getting burned.

This slashdot comment:
pretty much sums up my thoughts on this.

Anonymous said...

As an underage drinker, these issues floated at the back of my mind and this put it into focus. My fake ID was my totally awesome beard and being charming (police don't seem to do ID sweeps here), but I'll stop that now as not to jeopardize people's jobs and good watering holes. Gonna be a Gallant, not a Goofus.

Anonymous said...

The irony is that you are a Bar Bounce or Bar Tender and are preaching about why college is great and why you should come down on these people. For you to take the ID's is one thing. For you to take the step of then reposting is an unfortunate abuse of being civil. Those ID's should be state property and disposed of properly and no matter what should not be posted. It seems real fishy that you can take these for your personal pleasure to post.

Anonymous said...

Hang on a sec. Did I read that correctly?
Is it true you have to be 21 years old to have a drink in the U.S.?
Is that all states? Or just some?

I mean, I don't like the idea of underage people drinking but when I think "underage", I'm thinking 16 or 17. Twenty-frickin-one?

No wonder they get fake ID's, how the hell else are you supposed to enjoy a beer in a pub?

Good blog though, very interesting and well written, keep up the good work.

No, really, 21??

Yay! said...

My new internet hero! <3 *throws roses*

Anonymous said...

I'll start by stating that I attend NYU and have had a fake ID confiscated, so you can make of that what you will. I don't think it makes my response less valid.

"they don't realize that their real enemy is probably the community board that is cracking down on underage drinking in the East Village, and the Liquor Board"

I'm not sure I see how or why you can disassociate yourself. It's weak to say that the problem lies in the rule itself but not in the individuals who enforce it. The over-used analogy of a Nazi soldier following orders is appropriate here. To take it further, what you're doing appears hard to justify because it doesn't seem like you're a disgruntled soldier at all. The elitist attitude I detect ("our bar is for adults, and not a NYU undergrad hangout", "huh. sure, right") and the "carcasses" you display (the IDs) suggest that you take pride in your post, spreading conservatism and boasting your triumphs for all to behold.

"didn't have the decency to ask me"

You admit that you didn't ask her if you could post the ID. Is this comment a reflection of feelings of indecency you have toward yourself? That's a feeling we could all do without, so why not let it go?

"You should not make or use fake ID's"

This is clearly a commandment like statement, a decree with only moral basis, and what is the basis for morality?

"Identity theft is a big deal kids"

I guess the previous quote stems from this belief, but what does this statement mean? You put "big deal" in bold, but that happens to be the most troubling phrase. What is "big deal"? To me, identity theft seems to be a phenomenon largely exaggerated by corporations in an attempt to sell more useless insurance and brag about their company's arbitrary identity theft prevention.

"Like everyone at NYU. It seems they're all going to drive up the rent in the neighborhood."

Spreading fear of a nuisance like identify theft has a more direct influence on rent than the act of attending/graduating from school. I'll admit, however, that my own argument about disassociation applies. Students at NYU are partially responsible for the rent increases that the school itself brings, but you didn't mention that. On another note, making generalizations about people is ignorant. Of course, yours is in regard to the phrase "going places", which itself doesn't mean anything.

"Education in general is also a method of socializing individuals to society"

True, but why should it remain this way? You say this casually, but if you look at it differently, this statement also means that education normalizes people. Do you want to be a generic person? To me that's a rhetorical question, but I won't speak for others.

Look, I obviously have my own agenda here and it conflicts with yours. You're of course entitled to the opinion you've obviously thought through. Other than trying to make NY (the city I love and have lived in my whole life) a better place one individual at a time, my reason for posting is that I've felt pride myself and know it's an unhealthy feeling and thought you might want to know it felt better once I let it go.

Please stop being that person in front of a door who kicks people out of someplace just because you've seen and dislike some of the young people who've tried to fool you. We're all in this society together, trying to embrace one another, but you refuse to be the bigger person fostering another jaded person's hate because you yourself are jaded. Those kids you make fun of in a previous post, they dislike you as much as you dislike them. But why should that be so? Embrace them and their prejudices will be weakened. After all, they are younger than you and more impressionable.

trevelyan said...

It's ridiculous that the United States has made it illegal for 20 year olds to purchase alcohol. I sympathize with this girl and would engage in civil disobedience myself if forced to live under such a stupid and discriminatory regime.

I'd put yourself in her shoes and remove whatever she's asked you to remove. It isn't your fault you have to enforce the law, but you don't need to be complicit in it either.

Brian said...

Keep up the good fight. The Cali IDs from 6-9 look like crap, btw :) Everyone knows we're too poor to afford good high-rez cameras for the mugshots ;)

Finch said...

To be honest, this is a blatant misuse of the DMCA. Probably one of the worst laws ever enacted. You're doing a good service by posting the IDs. If this really boils down to a name thing, then there's several retailers out there that can be in big trouble for posting lists of bad checks.

To all those telling the blogger to "go get a life" and the likes, why don't you? Perhaps you're just an underage drinker like the girl who filed the DMCA. If you are, grow up. Life isn't all about drinking and it's definitely not about taking your anger out on others as an anonymous coward.

I support this blogger for her right to provide a public service to all.

H said...

I read your post, the DMCA notice, and a few other relevant bits and am more than a little amused! First, I think it's great that you take the time to strictly enforce the drinking laws. I'm sure your boss feels the same!

Second, in reading the DMCA notice, I found that it really isn't about the fake ID. It is specifically about the two photos of the twit and her signature. I am not a lawyer, but I'd put the ID back up with the photos and signature redacted, but her name and everything else showing (none of that is copy writable). Then, as you've already considered doing, putting her full name back into your article. That should just about take care of her ridiculous demands, and legally push back. Have fun posting more fake IDs!

Wil said...

I know this will probably get lost in the noise, but to my knowledge only the person who took the picture can claim copyright. So if they used a picture of her taken at one of those photo booth things, that company is the one who has copyright on the image. Individuals do not own copyright on their own images.

Anonymous said...
This comment has been removed by a blog administrator.
Anonymous said...

First of all, misrepresenting your identity is a felony, where as misrepresenting your age is only a misdemeanor.

I've got some pretty mixed feelings about what you're saying here. The DMCA is just silly, and this situation is great evidence of this fact. Putting that aside, I have trouble respecting your actions. Okay - you have a legal obligation to verify that every person you serve alcohol to is in fact old enough to drink. If you discover that they are misrepresenting their age, you even have the right to take their ID. Fine. You did that and you're not bad person for it. Is it "moral" to drink when you're underage? I think you'd find that there is not a concensus of opinion on that point, especially if the drinker is 18+. Being someone who is under 21 and drinks occasionally, you probably can guess where I stand. What is clear to me is that you cross the line completely when you post that person's ID online to slander them. That's the top candidate in the category of "morally reprehensible actions". Ashley responded poorly, but I can imagine being pretty upset too if I were in her shoes. It would have been pretty easy to avoid making an enemy here - there was no reason to be vindictive. Don't go out of your way to humiliate people because they go to a particular school and want to get into your bar even though they're not old enough to.

cnl said...

ashley _____ the new bernie shifman

Fred said...

Got here from Slashdot. Great posts, great writing, great job jerking the kids around. When I got busted as a kid, I shrugged, laughed it off and went my way. The sense of entitlement (pointed out by another commenter--ben) that plagues today's youth is almost astonishing, and I can't think of a better way to deal with it than to stick it to 'em once in a while. Lord knows it worked for me.

Keep writing...I'll keep coming around.


Ryan D. Meyer said...

I think you're an anal bitch.

The girl tried to use a fake ID. So did everyone I know in college.

Why post them? To claim superiority?

Grow up.

Anonymous said...

Not one link to the image - disappointing.

Anonymous said...

Got a "fun story" from the US, when it comes to IDs and so forth. I'm a norwegian, and worked as a security administrator back in 2000. I was 20 years old at the time, and of legal drinking age in Norway (but alas, not for 3 months yet when I visited the US).

I was at a couple of security conferences. My badge showed the nice title "Security Manager". I was in a group of IT-consultant (aged around 25-30) going to the bar. The bartender went like: "ID please", "ID please", "ID please" for all the other guys, and then "What do you want sir?" to me, after a quick look on my badge.

I looked way younger than those guys :P

Had a great time - and only got refused alcohol once, by one bartender, at the hotel I stayed. The bartenders at the conferences just looked at my badge and asked what I wanted.

And the restaurants in L.V for some reason served me whatever I wanted.

Now, however, I fully understand your frustration when it comes to serving underage drinkers. In addition, I could never see myself using a fake ID card. Either I got served without ID, or I did not.

Vexx said...

Its really spectacular how many idiots don't read the article or understand that, by law, you are required to do what you did in confiscating the ID in your jurisdiction. Its also really spectacular how many of them claim to be lawyers and cops while posting as anonymous. Its even more spectacular that they don't understand how copyright doesn't really wash with illegal/forged documents.

Welcome to the Slashdot buffoonery.
Keep up the good work.

Personally, I think the young people shot themselves in the foot when they misbehaved and allowed the drinking age to go BACK to 21 from 18. I got to enjoy brewskis at the campus pub and WALK back to my dorm entirely legally.

I'm also a fan of japanese attitudes on the subject (age 20.. but if less than and you behave and don't act like a jackass or drive we'll look the other way)

squigs said...

Well, the way I see it, there are two jerks here.

First we have Ashley. She's young and inexperienced. She doesn't like to be humiliated and tries to remove a post publicly mocking her.

Then we have Rachel. She likes to prove just how damn smart she is where every time someone fails to get a fake ID past her, she brags about how clever she is in her blog. And when challenged by an upstart, is so insecure about it that she has to publicly go on a power trip and get her "journalist friend" to gang up on and potentially ruin her entire life.

Ashley is young and a little arrogant. She'll learn in time, and probsably feel bad about this.

What's Rachel's excuse?

Jason said...

you ARE AWESOME.... fraudulent ID's are no joke... but the DMCA is :)...
wow i can't believe blogger took it down... that's a little too much censoring for me.

Anonymous said...

An Image used in an ID has given up Copyright to the State

So even if it would be a real ID the girl wouldn't own that image.

Being a fake ID, which is a crime, makes it totally irrelevant who owned the Copyright to that image first.

As you didn't know (i believe) at first, that the girl used her real name, you can't get blame put on you for posting it until you got notice of that situation and removed it - so no problem there, too

I am from germany, where it is common even for 14 year old kids to get beer anywhere, and that can become quite sucking! I don't want to say, that its fair to become adult with 18, and not be allowed to drink until 21 - it is not.

But that is the legal state of affairs in your place, and you are in charge to enforce that in a bar - so you have my full support on that!

In the long run you might think about though to black out the eye area of the images, as with more and more public this becomes quite a pillory, and i dont think that this is your original intention.

Thumbs up! I hope that girl will find out soon what forgery of state documents means.

Anonymous said...

Know what? You put your own name on a fake ID, you're gonna get what's coming ...

Anonymous said...

You might be legally ok, but I think you might also be mean. Your actions are publicly shaming these people for their entire lives - it just doesn't seem like natural justice.

Anonymous said...

Someone above mentioned the idea that they supported the young lady who attempted to buy alcohol while underage and would do the same thing as a form of 'civil disobedience'.

I remind you that proper civil disobedience *includes* the notion of taking your lumps for breaking the unjust law to shame those who prosecute you for it.

Most folks who loudly proclaim themselves in the footsteps of MLK and Gandhi seem to forget that last part.

Robert said...

Bravo Rachel. I, too, came here from /. and have enjoyed reading your posts.

Keep up the fight. The girl had no rights getting or trying to use this ID. If she really wants to drink she can do it at the comfort of her own home without putting your job and place of employment at risk.

If you don't like the rules of no drinking till 21, don't do it in public, or go to a country where it's legal.

Pedro LamarĂ£o said...

I read the big post above by a NYU Anonymous and found that very interesting. (English is not my primary language.)

"I'm not sure I see how or why you can disassociate yourself. It's weak to say that the problem lies in the rule itself but not in the individuals who enforce it."

I find it very easy to dissociate the bartender from the problems young people have with those who write laws restricting their behaviours.

You see, if you think the law is wrong, and feel like breaking it under the "civil disobedience" flag, then just do it. Disobey the law, face the consequences, and let this consequence-facing heroism be heard by everyone so that eventually you'll change society.

You know -- like Ghandi.

But making a fake ID, presenting it, being caught, and then calling DMCA up to make believe things never happened -- that's not civil disobedience, that's not protest. That's like a child who breaks mommy's statue and hides the broken pieces under the couch.

This "morality is relative" bullshit means nothing. If morality is relative, the current morality is as good as any, and the action of posting fake IDs on the Internet is as moral as any other else. It's all relative, right?

If I were Rachel I would have found a way to implicate this girl for forging the ID the moment I read the DMCA take-down notice.

Kevin G said...

What's really sad to me is how this has gotten out of control. Who would put their REAL NAME on a FAKE ID? From your comments I see that all she had to do was ask and you would have removed/protected her name! Instead, the owner of the fake ID went after you with a mob of friends engaging in identity theft. What started as just a ploy to get a drink has escalated to one or more felonies because she just didn't point out that it was her real name and embarrassing to her. Now a bunch of folks have read the story and are likely to retaliate.

So much overreaction to something so easy to fix! Please everyone -- think before you act.

Anonymous said...

Although the DMCA is a stupid law and should be repealed and that girl obviously should not have tried to use a fake ID your lawyer friends are wrong. It is YOU who are in the wrong here! Just because a law is a bad law does NOT mean you can ignore it! I would advise you not to ignore that notice and remove and posting of that girls ID.

AMD FanBoi said...

There is a punishment clause for filing fake DMCA take-down notices. If you don't get an immediate -- and exceptionally polite -- apology from this young woman immediately, I would suggest that you implement it forthwith. You might well be saving her from even bigger screw-ups in her life further down the way if she skates on this one now. It's nice to know that there still are responsible bartenders out there.

prime said...

Article has been greenlighted on Fark.

Brace for impact.

CWD said...


Let's examine the good things and bad things about the situation:

- Photo and name were not blurred initially. This was later remedied (at least the name).

- One less underage drinker making it a bear and a half for legal-age drinkers to get a drink. (Apparently, forged out-of-state ID's are a huge problem around here)
- Public embarrassment will (hopefully) inspire her not to do this sort of thing again--but with her reaction, that seems unlikely
- In retrospect, you're probably doing her a favor, actually; if she thinks YOU'RE being mean, and actually manages to get a political career, imagine what some tabloid journalist years from now could do? Best to hash it out when it's recent. We've all seen the past come back to bite you.

In the end: Go You, and BOO to the people who'd crack on you for doing your frackin' job.

Anonymous said...

In my college days I worked in a liquor store in a college town in Missouri. We were a large store and part of a chain store group. It was a felony to sell to a minor in MO and a misdemeanor to buy as a minor. If we were caught selling to a minor we were automatically fired and not offered legal counsel for our defense in court by the company. With such a clear choice presented to us, we were actively checking ID cards in a very aggressive fashion. In the year I was in that job I had more than twenty minors arrested. Yes, arrested. It is like a game of chess. We did not invite them to shop with us as a minor and we let the consequences of their actions catch up with them immediately. Was I happy about it. NO. Did I actively do it. Yes. In adult life our actions have consequences, whether good or bad, according to what we are doing.

The young lady and her friends need to truly understand that life is not fair, it just is as it is. If you screw up there are going to be consequences. I support you and understand quite well what you are discussing since I was also a bartender during college in another business.

Cicada said...

why the fuck do people insist on building rockets? just fucking let it go; christ. she could have told you to just take it down, and left it at that.

Kate said...

Good for you, more people should be as responsible at work!
Not to mention it is highly entertaining!

Migs said...

More than anything, i'm curious where this bar is. seems like a nice place.

Anonymous said...

Yep, I just got here from Fark. I just cannot stand people who were clearly in the wrong and try to turn the tables.

I checked out other parts of your blog (wow, you went to Petra, that's pretty cool :) ). You are totally favorite placed!

MP said...

Ignorance of the law is no excuse...

...for this NYU student.

Lessons: do a little research before you cry copyright infringement.

Oh yeah, and DON'T USE A FAKE ID!!!!

And kudos for doing the right thing, Rachel.

Anonymous said...

Contact the police, you have all the evidence you need. Teach the little sh*t a lesson.

I also got a chuckle out of the "lawyer" above that misused you're/your, well played, I'm sure "your" making big bucks down at the firm. (lol)

Anonymous said...

Good work. I work at a club located close to a private university where the spoiled, overprivileged undergrads think that its their "right" to gain access to bars using fake ids. Interestingly some threaten legal action
when we confiscate. Of course its the typical whiny rich-brat gambit of "my dad is the District Attorney back home and he will shut you down". We have an off duty policeman as security who is more than happy to lock up these adolescent lawbreakers. They are lucky that all we do is confiscate.

The club I worked at worked very hard NOT to become a hangout for the student crowd which is why it was popular amongst adults who didn't want to deal with puking frat boys or whiny sorority girls. There are bars in the area that do in fact accept the underage, fake id crowd but two of them just got nailed by a police sting specifically targetted at
bars who serve the underage crowd. They tried to hit us in the sting and we passed with flying colors not because we knew about it but because we do not want
that kind of business.

Jeff L said...

what a wonderful world we live in where people who break the law don't get in trouble and those who enforce the law are in trouble.

personal accountability is a thing of the past.

If I were you I'd post all the information and the image. When you do it will accordingly spread across the net as people mock this girl and the fake ID will remain on the internet for a very long time from then on.

Gabriella said...

Shame me once...
Shame me twice...

The girl is going to get what's coming to her, an important lesson in life to be learned here is very simple, don't push. She did, and needlessly, she would have been fine if she hadn't had to push you into taking further action.

Some people are young, rash, and completely hot headed, and until she learns to cool it, I expect this girl's going to get in a lot more trouble then just over one fake ID.

Darwin's law, anyone stupid enough to put their own name on a fake ID is looking for this kinda fall.

Anonymous said...

this is the only time i have and ever will suport a DMCA takedown. fuck the us drinking laws fuck you for listening to them. the only people i hate more than liberals are you fuckbags. drink drink drink drink and fucking FIGHT

Andrew said...

Above, Pedro LamarĂ£o said:

You see, if you think the law is wrong, and feel like breaking it under the "civil disobedience" flag, then just do it. Disobey the law, face the consequences, and let this consequence-facing heroism be heard by everyone so that eventually you'll change society.

To Pedro: you're absolutely right. If one is an underage drinker, one must be prepared to suffer for one's actions if attempting to drink illegally. It might be unfair, but it's the law. Your comment was genius. Also, please note that, though English is not your first language, you use English better than 86% of the other commentors on this blog. Yes, I counted.

An anonymous poster referenced a Nazi soldier above, which just goes to show that he either came here via slashdot or is a genius social engineer seeking to prove Godwin's Law. I'm giving 17:1 odds against "anonymous" being any kind of engineer, though he apparently attended NYU. I'm guessing "Fine Arts" because the ideas were fairly well written, but ultimately asinine.

To Rachel: people have stated that what you are doing is problematic, and I can see their point of view. What they are missing, though, is that what you are doing is hilarious and entertaining. Please don't let this use of the DMCA (which was designed for misuse, so I think this is appropriate) scare you off.

To all the kids out there who feel bad about being unable to drink in bars: I suggest that you write to whomever changes the laws in your country. Band together! Get involved in local politics. Point out the logical inconsistencies in being allowed to die for your country and VOTE but not to drink. Use your right to vote meaningfully! Don't get pissed off because someone has hilariously stolen your fake ID and posted it on the net. Also, instead of spending $150 on a face ID, spend $150 on throwing a party and get an older person to buy your alcohol. One of you has an older sibling, I'm sure. Also, think about it - 4 friends, 4 fake IDs, $600. $600 throws a hell of a good party.

To all the people who have said something to the effect of, "Rachel didn't talk to a lawyer because [some minute detail] is obviously wrong": take a minute and think about this. The poster is not a lawyer. The poster is not relaying verbatim information. We non-lawyer types, when relaying information from lawyers, may not quote the law flawlessly. She relayed the main point (she's in the right) and relayed an impression of the rest of her information.

To Fine Arts Students: if you were insulted because I kind of slammed fine arts students above, please note that I'm in Fine Arts right now.

Ken said...

Greetings from Digg! your hitcounter's probably reeling from all the slashdotting, farking and digging going on ;)

Anonymous said...

To all the underage drinkers who think that she's being an asshole for keeping your IDs: Wow, you're kind of an idiot, aren't you? Maybe you don't realize, but when you try to drink at a bar or anywhere else and you're not legal, you're risking our jobs (not to mention the liquor license of the establishment). Why should we risk that for your fun? Grow up, the world isn't fair, deal with it. Eventually you're going to meet someone bigger and badder than you, and when you do, it sucks, but you deal with it. Quit whining, it's irritating. Also, Chuck Bronson is a douchenozzle. :)

Anonymous said...

PLEASE repost the image. I'd love to see a gallery of the confiscated fake ids.

Kudos for helping stop underage drinking! You probably saved some lives.


Vic said...

You *have* to put this back up. Come on, don't let the terrorists win.

Gregg said...

*** AWESOME *** Kudos to you. Yes, your blog has shown up on Fark, and hopefully it will be Digg'ed as well.

Please do repost the NYU student's FULL name, so that prospective employers see her true actions. Who knows, 25 years from now she could be in the running for the President of the United States, and then all this comes out.

Anonymous said...

congrats, your on Digg

anyhow, interesting dialog, I feel that what you're doing is really sticking it to them, if we don't have social constraint, what good is it to be alive.. that is if the world weren't proof positive we'd still be in the caves eating rancid meat cause we still didn't get a clue that fire burns

Anonymous said...

I do appreciate that you confiscate fake IDs of potential underage drinkers, but have you ever confiscated a genuine one? I know several people who look young, but are of age and received tremendous grief for it.

Anonymous said...

I came here from a ling on You should have added a google adsense add to this page. You'd be freaking rich by now!

What you basically have done is created a wall of shame. This works on many levels and I totally agree with it.

If it came down to the DMCA as this is claiming to be then wanted posters, putting up bad cheques on the tills, 'don't server this customer' warnings and all other things like this would be illegal as well.

The DMCA is to protect the owner of the work that has been illegally copied and to protect their IP and the profits from it.

Using illegal personal identification to purchase guns, ammunition, tobacco and alcohol is 100% against the law. There is a federal arm of the law set up to stop this.

If this girl has an 'up and coming' career then it is up to her to protect her image and not to commit illegal activities.

Smoke said...

Firstly, i'm an aussie, so in general if you can see over the bar and you have your own money then you can buy a drink.

I work the bars in Dallas, and see a lot of fakes mainly from TX & OK, because we are just down the road from SMU (i probably couldn't pick any other state fakes unless they were truly bad). I have asked cops to run IDs that i knew were obvious fakes because the kids argued it with me at the front door, and the cops have refused to scan them and told me that the ID was valid after a brief inspection.

If we get caught serving an underage drinker - the server goes to jail, not the doorman (who might have taken $20 to ook the other way), and not the owner/GM (who might have ushered in some cute girls who might have been underage because it makes the bar look good - but this never happens).

Given that there seems to be some contention over whether the image of the ID is copyrighted or not, i'd just figure out who exactly made the copyright claim and have them sent to the BigHouse for federal fraud.

As for most of the critics calling you a nazi for enforcing completely stupid laws, i say to them "if you really care (and you can vote at 18 here in the US) go get the laws changed". If every 18-20 year old went out and voted they'd have the numbers to put in an Armadillo as president with a "drinking at 18" agenda.

Good luck to you, and don't take any shit from these assclowns.

Jeremiah said...

I love how (almost) all the people who support Ashley are posting as anonymous. What does that say?

At 9:37pm May 8th, one quoted Rachel and said:
" 'You should not make or use fake ID's'
This is clearly a commandment like statement, a decree with only moral basis, and what is the basis for morality?"

Only moral basis? Drinking under 21 is illegal under law. Making a fake government document is illegal under law. You want to change these things, go ahead. BUT until they change, that's how it is. Not moral. Law. Sure, many US laws suck. But that's life.

Rachel, keep up the good work. You write quite well.

Anonymous said...

You would probably win a DMCA case if you stayed with it to the end. Unfortunately, anyone who went to law school learned that if you can't win a case on fact, you can try and win through attrition. If her family has the money (which is probably the case, her being an NYU undergrad) or the friends, they can create an absurd amount of paper for your lawyer/s to sift through.

So, the unsolicited advice of this 2nd year law student would be to leave it alone. The gain isn’t worth the effort.

Keep seizing those I.D.s!

Elvira James said...

Follow the laws, and nothing happens. Break the laws and you should be put out in the public square. Ashley is in the same vein as all the other snotty little brats that think they above any law. That's why the law is "drink at 21," because too many of the people that are under 21 are not responsible. Your freedom to do whatever you want ends at my freedom to arrive home safely to my family at night. Yep, I was 18 once, and I thank God everyday that it only lasted 365 days.

Maybe she can have Cathy Hilton heckle your judge too when you counter-file under the DMCA.

Anonymous said...

Just picked this up on I, too, applaud your actions; and I, too, question those who say you're in the wrong. The law is the law, regardless of who enforces it. This moral ambiguity that's being displayed in a sadly large number of these comments is, I believe, one of the main things wrong with this country. Thank you for standing up for what's right. Reminds me of a quote I saw in my youth:
"What's right isn't always what's popular; what's popular isn't always what's right."

Anonymous said...

Thank you, on behalf of bartenders everywhere, for your diligence in stopping another potential underage drinker from her shenanigans.

Anonymous said...

Who knows, 25 years from now she could be in the running for the President of the United States, and then all this comes out.

Yeah... because everyone is going to care that this chick tried to use a fake ID in college to go to an upscale bar in NYC.


Our *CURRENT* president was an alcoholic, drunk driving coke fiend.

I don't think Miss Ashley need be too concerned about a fake ID inhibiting her political career. Hell, if she's a Republican like her dad, it's practically an asset!

Anonymous said...

"You're a regular fucking hero."
Social and personal responsibility may not be vogue in your world but where I come from it's an admirable quality.
I don't know the laws in NY but in OK it's a criminal offense to serve a minor.
Blaming the bartender for attempting to avoid jail time, a criminal record (not to mention the fines) and protecting their place of business is asinine.

Anonymous said...

Sounds like our bartender is a bitter college drop-out lashing out at some kids who just want a drink.

All legitimacy of this "I have to collect IDs" argument goes out the window once you post them on the internet

Karen said...

Lady, you're my hero. Don't back down, please. People like you make humanity seem alright!

Cai said...

All I have to say is: good job and keep it up. These kids need to know that there are real consequences to breaking laws, even laws they don't agree with.

D. Michael said...

I love this article... and I love your fake ID collection.

I also find it highly ironic that the ads at the top of your blog are all for fake ID services (at least when I arrived here they were.)


Naomi said...


Like many others on here I picked up the link to your blog on

I applaud your effort, ma'am.
I worked in a gas station for far too long and had to deal with kids trying to pass their fake ID's off as legit on a nightly basis.

I always loved how they would ask how I knew that it was fake. Most of the time I would let them know, pointing out the usual half dozen places that they screwed up.

Mind you these kids couldn't afford the fancy pants "professionally" made fakes and would often use a scanner at home and their printer from Wal-Mart. I always like the lines through the photos courtesy of the cheap laserjets.

What I used to tell them was that, "Sure, I'll sell you the beer/cigarettes/Skoal. But, you'll have to pay me."

"How much?" they would ask.

"Oh, lemme see. First you will have to bail me out of jail. Then you will have to support me for the rest of my life seeing how I will have lost my job and it will be near impossible for me to get another since I got busted selling booze/tabacco to a minor."

Needless to say they didn't appreciated my sarcasm.

I wish you the best of luck. Those selfish schmucks out there deserve it. Poo poo on them for getting bent out of joint because they couldn't break the law and possibly cost some innocent their job.

Darkstar 3D said...

Keep it up!

We need more bartenders like you. As a former cop, I've scraped too many young folks off the road, most of them because of speed, but the next highest number because of underage drinking.

Anonymous said...

Class, let's sum up:

Engaging in free speech > possession of fake ID

Engaging in free speech > bogus DMCA claim

DMCA counter-claim > bogus DMCA claim

Enjoy your Streisand effect, girl who's about to lose your DMCA claim. Your 15 minutes could have been just that - 15 minutes, but nooooooo ....

Joey said...

LOL...this is great!

Let me know when both of you make your appearance on "Judge Judy"!

(former bartender/restaurant manager; now research scientist in graduate school)

Anonymous said...

I see a couple of problems here.

First of all, one thing I haven't seen any reference to is the fact that Ashley allegedly attempted to get served as a minor.

Until the case has been tried in a court of law, hello?, isn't Ashley innocent? Or did we do away with that concept in the rush to enable bitchin' blog entries?

I'm a little dismayed to see so many people rushing to brand Ashley's actions ILLEGAL based solely on allegations. This is the same type of thinking that had the Duke players convicted of rape in the Court of Public Opinion. Yeah, the circumstances were a little different, but the whole "mob rule" rush to judgment is disconcerting.

Did Ashley try to buy booze as a minor? Probably.

Is Rachel correct in her assertion that Ashley attempted to buy booze as a minor? Probably.

Is Rachel put in an uncomfortable position of enforcing archiac and arbitrary laws? Definitely.

But I just have to say that I'm really getting tired of seeing people's lives ruined because somebody on the internet has appointed themselves judge, jury, and executioner.

Can I get an amen? Please?

Another problem is that Rachel seems to be an intelligent, thoughtful person, and posting people's ALLEGED fake IDs seems, well, beneath her. Maybe I'm wrong. But legality aside, it just seems a little mean. Yeah, it's a little funny, too, I get it.

But if your actions are actually hurting people, and you know that, and continue doing it anyway, what kind of person does that make you?

And finally, the DCMA? You guys are all barking up the wrong tree here. This piece of crap legislation represents the epitome of what this country's supposed leaders have come to embody: the perfect union of venom, greed, and ignorance. If Ashley can use this piece of shit law to get derogatory information pulled down, God bless her. She's using all the tools available to her, just as you would if it were pictures of your fake ID or naughty emails or what-have-you. Don't blame Ashely for dirty fighting - after all, she didn't start it and it's our fine Congress that gave her the tools. And maybe the more the DCMA is misused, maybe the sooner it'll be revoked. Don't write Rachel, write your representatives!

Anonymous said...

DMCA violation or not i would have done the same thing if you post my first and last name and posted my address. Posting someones home address is what should get you into big trouble if this is pushed.

Anonymous said...

In some respects, this country is absolutely absurd. Some of the earlier posters that have stated they don't want immature frat boys and sorority girls in their bars.

I agree with you. They are loud, annoying and mostly obnoxious.

However, what about those who just want to sit down, talk about politics/watch the game/etc... and have a few pints? They are forced to get fake IDs because this country lets 18-21 year olds die in a war, but not have a beer with dinner.

Making a blanket statement that all college students are irresponsible around alcohol is just foolish. A great number are, I'm not denying that, but there is no reason to punish everyone.

Just set up some criteria for the "illegal drinking" population:

If they're intelligent, courteous and generally normal people, let them in. Even if their ID is a little spotty.

On the other hand, if they've got a popped collar on a pink polo shirt and "Just want to get CRUNK, bro." Then, by all means, tell them to leave and never come back.

Everybody wins.

ryusen said...

Not going to read through previous comments, so forgive me if this has already been said, but even IF the person could copyright an illegal document, you can still claim the posting under fair use, since you are using it for educational purposes. In this case, to educate your community of under aged drinkers. You could of course also report this to the EFF, who like to sue DMCA abusers...

TekBandit said...

Well, with the Patriot act, a fake ID would be considered a Federal Offence, you may just want to let that person know that and if they still insist on continuing this issue, then turn in the ID to the FBI and let them deal with it.

Vonni said...

Awesome story! I think it's hilarious that she pulled the copyright law on you. I think the best advice I've seen yet is really to turn in the ID to the police or somehow get her in trouble for having a fake ID.

Martin said...

Well, the DMCA claim is pretty outrageous, seriously.

But I'm just as disturbed by your posting her personal info as her breaking the law.

To all those rushing to your defense about "enforcing the law" I'd just like to point out the law says absolutely nothing about researching the offender's family and background and posting it on the interweb.

Taking the ID was enforcing the law.

Posting it on the net was vigilantism.

I'm not going to rally behind a petty vigilante anymore than I would support that girl's ridiculous DMCA claim.

Adam said...

this is awesome.

at one of my favorite bars back in california, they used to take fake ids and make bar furniture out of them (laminate them into tables and the like).

if she had contacted you and asked nicely for you to remove it, and you not done so, i would think you're an asshole. but considering the first contact you got from her was a strongarm dmca takedown notice, i would have to say that it should most definitely stay up.

ps. i'm loving all the comments from "lawyers" and the like with horrible grammar.

MaximusNT said...

After reading the comments, and hype over at Digg, I've got to support you whole-heartedly on this. Please keep posting IDs, and please continue standing up for your rights. The only thing I might suggest is that you blank out part of the address. As much as I love the idea that people are getting what's coming when they obtain a fake ID, I still remember my younger years, and would hate to have to deal with truly major consequences on the 'net for trying to buy a beer. Being publicly ridiculed is awesome, being set up for identity theft and harassment is not. :)

Keep it up!

Simon said...

this makes me giggle a little, the smart thing to do would have been to ask the blog owner nicely to take it down. Im sure you would have obliged had she been apologetic/polite.