Does anyone know if this meets the legal definition of extortion?

The leader of the latest sacrificial lamb gun ban organization seems to be trying to extort money from Starbucks.
Is there a lawyer in the house? Does demanding $10 million a year constitute a shakedown? Or can they claim that because Jesse Jackson does it that it’s legal?
Of course, there is always the defense that their threatened boycott is such a laughable idea that it doesn’t constitute a real threat to the company. What with the fact that they had to remove their Facebook “number attending” widget because the actual number was embarrassingly low.
Plus, they can’t be bothered to spell “latte” correctly on their website.
Honestly, who’s going to take a boycott seriously from a group that can’t correctly spell the name of the product that everyone’s supposed to boycott?
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5 responses to “Does anyone know if this meets the legal definition of extortion?

  1. Black’s Law Dictionary says extortion is “The act or practice of obtaining something or compelling some action by illegal means, as by force or coercion.”

    Coercion is “Compulsion by physical force or threat of physical force.”

    I’m just a law student, though. And too lazy to look extortion up elsewhere.

    I’m curious; how much are the transaction costs on Google Checkout (what they’re using for donations)? Would it be possible to donate less than that cost and make them flush money down the drain with every “donation?”

  2. If it weren’t for the real people attached to the project I’d almost start to think it was an attempt at an epic troll. It’s that over-the-top moronic in planning and execution.

  3. @Matthew: Yep. I can’t see how anyone who had any sense could act this way.


    It looks like it’s 2.9% plus .30 per transaction, so a 1 penny donation might just do the trick.