The founder of the Elsmar Cove website, formerly called the Cayman Cove, has died.

Marc Timothy Smith launched the popular quality forum website in the late 1990s, and operated it consistently until selling it to PQ Systems in April of 2022. Smith died a few months later, in July.

Smith was able to build the popular site after securing the original domain QS9000.com, referring to the original automotive quality management system standard. The site rebranded as the “Cayman Cove” and quickly grew in popularity when Smith began republishing third-party standards and intellectual property without permission. Smith adopted a dubious legal theory that anything he republished on his site became “public domain” and free of copyright or trademark. He had received numerous legal takedown notices from ISO and other IP owners.

Smith admitted publicly that he used the income from one ISO 9001 consulting assignment to purchase a tiny home in Ohio, which he ironically called the “Elsmar Ranch.” The name “Elsmar” came from the street name of his original home in Kentucky. The Cayman Cove was then rebranded a final time, to be called the “Elsmar Cove.”

Smith quickly gave up consulting, and by 2004 had transitioned to running the Elsmar site full-time.

Throughout it all, Smith’s practice of republishing third-party intellectual property was referred to lovingly by regulars as “People Helping People.” IP owners were banned from the site, so unable to enforce their rights. Smith would then publish takedown notices to further harass victims.

Smith began defaming Oxebridge within hours of the company announcing it had formed in January 2000, in posts made on the older forum technology known as Usenet Newsgroups. He went on to harass and troll the company for 22 years, and continued to republish Oxebridge materials without providing credit. As late as 2022, new Oxebridge intellectual property was found on the Elsmar site, despite a Federal court order.  PQSystems removed the Oxebridge materials immediately.

One moderator, convicted felon Wes Bucey, threatened to “destroy” Oxebridge with bad press. Another moderator, DNV’s Sidney Vianna, falsely accused Oxebridge founder Christopher Paris of mental illness, and repeatedly republished Oxebridge articles without permission on the Elsmar site. Vianna was demoted within DNV as a result, and removed from AS910 standards committees.

The defamation against Oxebridge grew to a head, forcing Oxebridge to sue Smith for defamation, cyberstalking, and intellectual property theft. Oxebridge won that case, and Smith was forced to pay Oxebridge damages and legal fees. Smith later resumed the defamation, and after additional Oxebridge materials were found on the site, the Federal case was re-opened. At the time of his death, Smith still faced contempt of court charges.

Smith was 72 years old.

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