Tag Archives: AnimeCon.org

The Current State of ‘Ryan Kopf v Nerd & Tie’ (We Need Your Help)

So, as some of you may remember, I and my Nerd & Tie podcast co-host Pher Sturz are being sued by AnimeCon.org owner and CEO Ryan Kopf. This has been ongoing for almost a year in various forms, and we’ve written about it repeatedly (most recently when it was refiled in Illinois this last July). We haven’t been updating our coverage that much, because it hasn’t been that exciting to talk about — and the net result has kind of put things in a stasis. Notably though, Kopf has updated his complaint against us.

You can find details in our prior coverage, but it boils down to this: AnimeCon.org/Chrono LC Ceo and owner Ryan Kopf (who currently runs Anime-Zap!, AniMinneapolis, Anime Midwest, QC Anime-zing!, Con Alt Delete, Meta Con, Yoi Con, and Kanpai!Con) doesn’t like some of the negative press we’ve written about his conventions. I (as the sole owner of Nerd & Tie) am being sued over these articles, while Pher was added to the suit after promoting my initial GoFundMe on Facebook.

If you’re wondering what’s happening now then, we just got the case transferred to another court, but because of that it means the whole thing is going to drag on even longer (well into the spring summer). Mounting a legal defense is exceptionally expensive though, regardless of whether or not you’re in the right – so we’ve been fundraising both directly and through a GoFundMe.

Right now we’ve raised a combined $2148 (and I’m grateful to everyone who has donated), but it’s nowhere near what we need. It is vital we get to at least $5000 to keep the lights on here. Even if you can only give a few dollars, it’d be massively appreciated if you could pitch in. If you’re willing, you can fund our GoFundMe at GoFund.Me/nerdandtie, or if you want to give directly let us know.

Please help us keep this ship sailing.

So Ryan Kopf is Suing Me… Again

We do a lot of stuff here at Nerd & Tie. We produce a podcast, are helping start a new convention, and provide in-depth coverage of the con scene. That last bit is one of the things we’re most proud of, but is also what’s led to some of our biggest headaches.

As those of you who follow this site may be aware, for the first half of 2016 I found myself fighting a lawsuit AnimeCon.org/Chrono LC CEO Ryan Kopf filed against me in the state of Iowa. It was over some of the coverage of his events I’ve written over the last couple of years (mostly these two articles). He later amended the suit to include Nerd & Tie co-creator and contributor Pher Sturz.

It should be noted that Pher was added to that suit solely because of posts made on his personal Facebook page in support of me.

Eventually things ended, with the case against myself and Pher Sturz being dismissed on jurisdictional grounds. We had hoped that would be the end of this situation, but unfortunately rather than take the minor PR hit and move on, Mr. Kopf has decided to keep this going.

Late last week both Pher Sturz and I were served once again.

You see, Ryan Kopf has had his attorneys refile the case in the state of Illinois in late June. You can read the new petition (2016-M3-003898) here, but it is almost identical to the amended petition filed in the Iowa case. Pher and I are both named, along with Nerd & Tie itself (although that last bit is less important as Nerd & Tie is not its own legal entity — as I am the sole legal owner of the site).

Now, as I said last time, I don’t want to discuss details, but I still stand by what I wrote.

Unfortunately though, legal fees and lawyers are not exactly cheap, and we expect costs to be much higher this time around. So while we hate to do it, we’re asking for your help again.

I’ve launched a new GoFundMe campaign, and if you can help contribute we’d appreciate it. We’re asking for $6,000 right now, although we may need more down the road. I know it’s a lot of money, but theres a good chance this case is going to drag out longer than the last one.

Honestly we appreciate any help you can give us.

Episode 73 – Making it Harder

On this episode of Nerd & Tie, Marvel’s Captain America: Civil War is closing in on one billion dollars, Agent Carter has been cancelled by ABC, and Supergirl is getting a second season along with a new network. The convention scene’s where the interesting news is a though, as Anime Midwest is sharing space with a Porn convention, Santa Fe Comic Con’s staff has a PR disaster on their hands, and Anime Expo is requiring vendors to pay for background checks.

Sh*t just got real.

Important Links:

Video Version:

Audio Version:

Anime Midwest Will Share a Convention Center With Exxxotica Porn Convention

AnimeCon.org’s Anime Midwest has been held every July for the last half decade, and since 2013 has been held at the Hyatt Regency O’Hare and the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center in Rosemont, IL. Their 2016 convention, scheduled for July 8-10 continues this tradition.

…but this time they won’t be alone.

In a bizarre coincidence, this year Anime Midwest will end up sharing the Donald E. Stephens Convention Center with the Exxxotica Expo, a touring convention for “Adult Entertainment.” Exxxotica bills itself as “the Largest Adult Event in the USA Dedicated to Love & Sex.”

While Anime Midwest’s management (I’m just guessing) probably wants to distance themselves from Exxxotica publicly, Exxxotica management has embraced the proximity between events. Apparently, anyone with an Anime Midwest badge is being offered discounted admission to the porn expo and is planning “adult anime” events including a cosplay contest and “sexy anime seminars.”

You can’t make this stuff up.

This is… probably terrible? Pretty sure this is terrible. Frankly, many anime convention attendees are under the age of 18, and the idea that these underage attendees are going to be in immediate proximity of this kind of event doesn’t really do anyone any good. There are a list of bad things that could happen from the merely uncomfortable to the dangerous that are racing through my head.

I want to be clear that this is patently not Anime Midwest’s fault. It’s not a big enough event to rent the entirety of the Stephens Convention Center (which also is the home to the much larger Anime Central), and they cannot control what the owners of the site do with the space they don’t have under contract. We’re not huge fans of AnimeCon.org around here (for both obvious and not so obvious reasons), but honest to god there is no way they could have seen this coming.

And it’s kind of amazing.

Update 5/12: Anime Midwest organizer Ryan Kopf has released an official statement about the situation.

Hopefully Our Final ‘Ryan Kopf v. Trae Dorn’ Update

Update (7/5/2016): Kopf has refiled the Lawsuit in Illinois

So for those of you not following along, for the last several months AnimeCon.org/Chrono LC CEO Ryan Kopf has been suing some of us here at Nerd & Tie. He began by directly suing me (Trae Dorn), and then later expanded the suit to include Nerd & Tie contributor, co-host, and co-creator Pher Sturz. If you’re not sure who he is, Kopf directly runs Anime Zap!, QC Anime Zing!, Con+Alt+Delete, Animinneapolis, Metacon and Anime Midwest (and has ties to Black Materia, Inc and Anime California).

As the suit progressed, my lawyer successfully got the suit against me dismissed on the grounds of personal jurisdiction (as Kopf tried to sue us in Iowa). Before the judge could even hear Pher’s motion to dismiss though, Kopf’s lawyer attempted to fight this. Even after the case was dismissed against Pher Sturz, I was still dealing with motions to reconsider.

Well, today I have good news.

This last week, the final motions to reconsider were finally denied. With that, I have been assured by my lawyer that (fingers crossed) this entire mess is done. Since its true that since the case was dismissed on the grounds of jurisdiction, Kopf could refile the suit in Indiana (where I am actually based) though. If this occurs, we’re certain things would still go in our favor — as I stand behind the factual correctness of all of the articles published here on Nerd & Tie.

Because, as we all should know, American defamation law does not apply to true statements and opinions.

We’d like to thank everyone who helped support us through this. The majority of our legal defense was paid for by readers like you who chose to contribute to our GoFundMe campaigns, and the fact that you all were willing to put your hard earned money to support this rinky-dink website means a lot. Hopefully what’s published here will continue to be worthy of your support.

(I will say that if you still are willing to help out, Pher Sturz still owes a couple hundred dollars to his lawyer. His GoFundMe is still open if you still have any spare cash you can throw his way.)

Update (7/5/2016): Kopf has refiled the Lawsuit in Illinois

Yet Another Update on ‘Ryan Kopf v Trae Dorn’

So it’s been a few weeks since we updated you on the current state of the lawsuit filed against us by Ryan Kopf in the state of Iowa.

For those of you not following along, at the end of last year AnimeCon.org CEO Ryan Kopf filed a defamation suit against me for articles published about his conventions here on Nerd & Tie. He later amended the suit to include Pher Sturz who had vocally supported me on Facebook. In February my lawyer filed for dismissal on jurisdictional grounds. In March that dismissal was granted, and that’s where we left you.

Well, a couple more things have happened since then.

First of all, Kopf’s attorney has now filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Dismissal ruling and also a request to do jurisdictional discovery. A judge will hear that on April 15th (though we don’t know when we’ll know the results). We are, of course, resisting this.

Secondly, on the “good news” front, Pher Sturz’s motion to dismiss was granted. The dismissal was, unsurprisingly, granted on the grounds of Jurisdiction. It was ridiculous that Pher was ever dragged into this, and we’re exceptionally happy that it’s over for him.

So this post is a bit of an inverse of our last update. Pher Sturz now seems to be in the clear, while I still have a bit more to deal with. We’re optimistic though, and hopefully this will soon be over.

Update (5/9): This may finally be over.

The Current State of ‘Ryan Kopf v Trae Dorn’

Some of you may be aware that in December AnimeCon.org CEO Ryan Kopf filed a defamation suit in the state of Iowa against me for articles published here on Nerd & Tie. After I launched a GoFundMe campaign to cover my legal costs, Kopf had the lawsuit amended to include Pher Sturz (who had vocally supported me on Facebook).

Well, for the first time since this ordeal started, I’m happy to report some good news.

In February my lawyer filed a motion to dismiss on the grounds of personal jurisdiction, and I’m pleased to announce that yesterday that motion was granted. For now, it seems, I am (at least personally) out of the woods.

Now, this doesn’t mean this thing is over. The case is still active for Pher Sturz, and he’ll need to file his own motion to dismiss. That motion would also need to be granted by a judge, so the suit doesn’t end until that happens. Likewise, this also doesn’t prevent Kopf from trying to bring a case against me in Indiana (where I actually live).

But it’s still wonderful news, and things are moving in the right direction.

Update: Aaaand Kopf’s attorney has filed a Motion for Reconsideration of the Dismissal ruling and also a request to do jurisdictional discovery. Because of course he did.

Update (4/4): So more has happened since this was written.

So AnimeCon.org CEO Ryan Kopf is Now Suing Pher Sturz Too

So many of you already know that in December AnimeCon.org CEO Ryan Kopf filed a lawsuit in the state of Iowa against me for articles I published here on Nerd & Tie about his organization. After I was served, I quickly went public — starting a GoFundMe campaign to raise money for my legal defense (because, y’know, lawyers are expensive).

Pher Sturz, who co-hosts the podcast with me (and came up with the name for it — which is where the name of this site comes from), was very vocal in his public support for me. Pher did this because he’s a good friend, and wasn’t really any more inflammatory (and in most cases significantly less so) than most other people sharing the link.

Here’s the twist — after that happened, Mr. Kopf had the petition amended. Now it names not just me, but also now Pher Sturz as well.

You can read the full amended petition, but there are some basic things you need to know. To start, you may have noticed that “Nerd & Tie” was also named directly in the petition. We haven’t made a big deal about that only because it’s wholly inconsequential. We don’t talk about it that much, but for a very long time (and long before any of the mentioned articles were published), the ownership of the Nerd & Tie website has been solely in my hands.

There is no other legal entity, and I pay all the bills and personally own all the assets.

This means that Pher Sturz is not being sued for anything published on this website, but solely for posts he allegedly made on his personal Facebook page. I don’t want to go into the legal merits of Kopf’s case, but Pher’s never made any claims that haven’t been posted by others before him. It seems like his support of me is the only thing that has put him in the firing line.

To make this worse, Pher, frankly, doesn’t make a lot of money. And I know he won’t point this out himself, but he has a young daughter as well. Lawyers are really, really expensive and he needs to hire one fast. His original attempt to secure aid fell through, so now we’re reaching out to you — the Nerd & Tie readers.

Pher has launched a GoFundMe campaign (Titled ‘The Ryan Kopf is Suing Me Too! Fund‘) to try and get money together to hire someone, and I hope you’ll consider contributing. He’s asking for $3000 right now because (after fees) that’s effectively what he’ll need to get started.

Pher has also stated that any money raised through the GoFundMe campaign beyond what he ends up needing will be donated to the Joyful Heart Foundation, so even if this gets settled immediately your money will go to a good cause.

So please, please, please try to help him out.

Update (3/8): While the case is still active against Pher Sturz, a motion to dismiss has been granted for me (Trae Dorn).

So Ryan Kopf is Suing Me

Update (7/5): After being initially dismissed in Iowa, Kopf has refiled the case in Illinois.

So we do a lot of stuff here at Nerd & Tie. We’re starting a new convention, produce a podcast, just launched a new show, run panels at conventions, maintain a geek news blog, and provide in-depth coverage about conventions. That last one is a particular point of pride for us, as we do our best to dig for stories most other convention news blogs avoid or don’t take time to investigate. Most of that coverage starts with reader tips sent to us via our contact form or email address.

AnimeCon.org/Chrono LC CEO Ryan Kopf has apparently taken issue with our coverage of some of his events though, and last week I was served a petition at my home. Ryan Kopf is suing me for defamation in the state of Iowa.

The case (CVCV295431) is specifically about the following two articles:

Now, I don’t want to discuss details, but I still stand by what I wrote – as do Nick and Pher (who co-created Nerd & Tie with me). I have secured legal counsel, and intend to fight.

But this isn’t going to be cheap for me.

Because of this, I’m launching a GoFundMe campaign to try and cover my legal costs. If you can contribute, please do – as we aren’t exactly a big operation here at Nerd & Tie, and can only continue with the help of people like you.

Wish us luck… and, y’know, help out if you can.

Update: People have been asking for a full copy of the petition, so I took some quick photos of the document.


Update (2/26): Pher Sturz has now also been named in the case.

Update (3/8): While the case is still active against Pher Sturz, a motion to dismiss has been granted for me (Trae Dorn).

Update (7/5): After being initially dismissed in Iowa, Kopf has refiled the case in Illinois.

A Quick Post About Con-Alt-Delete

We literally keep getting contacted about stuff that happened at Ryan Kopf’s Con-Alt-Delete, but we haven’t bothered really making a post about it. The reason why is that, frankly, none of it is that surprising if it’s true – especially if you’ve read our prior coverage of Kopf’s organization.

If you’re curious what people have sent to us, and want to check it out for yourself, here’s a brief list:

Now I want to reiterate, we have not checked out any of these – while none of its unbelievable, we can’t be sure of the veracity as we haven’t spoken directly with the affected parties (beyond the submissions sent to us in some cases). The reason why is that we’ve sort of grown numb to stories that start out with “AnimeCon.org bans someone for no legitimate reason.” If you read this post we did a year and a half ago but were somehow surprised that a Kopf managed con was a little ban-happy, I’m not sure what to tell you.