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Censorship Slashback Your Rights Online

Barney Surrenders To the EFF 125

Posted by kdawson
from the big-purple-capitulation dept.
davidwr writes, "Earlier this year, EFF sued the Barney the Dinosaur people for harassing a Barney parody web site. Well, Barney finally surrendered, err I mean, learned to share. For more, read the case history at the EFF site."
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Barney Surrenders To the EFF

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  • by JoshJ (1009085) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:24PM (#17027166) Journal
    Someone get these lawyers on the RIAA's case. The sooner we're rid of copyright abuses, the sooner we can put a sane system in place. Though the other way around may work better.
    Actually enforcing fair use is a good start.
  • by autophile (640621) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:39PM (#17027338)
    While the Big Bad Barney has agreed not to pursue Frankel any longer, the settlement document on the EFF website does not claim that Barney will not try to harass anyone else. Apparently Barney has to pay Frankel $5,000, which is a drop in the bucket. Barney will probably accept the risk of going after other, more likely to be intimidated, sites.

    --Rob

  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:47PM (#17027432)
    Actually, going after a "likely to be intimidated" site is exactly what Lyons was doing. The EFF stepped in to help "the little guy". Unless the EFF agreed not to involve themselves in future litigation, Lyons will always have to face the risk that the EFF will sue.
  • OMG (Score:4, Interesting)

    by BlahSnarto (45250) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @07:52PM (#17027476)
    You know ive had one of the shittiest days
    in my life, this made me laugh out loud..

    i dont know why...

    but thanks ;)

  • by Virtual_Raider (52165) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:33PM (#17027818) Homepage
    IANAL. This is a case of fair use, whereas most RIAA cases are for copyright infringement. In the Barney case the purple lawyers wanted to make it appear as if this guy was making illegal reproductions of copyrighted work, which he was not.

    "Piracy" copyright infringement means that you are unlawfully stepping over somebody's exclusive "right to copy", that is, to produce duplicates of a work. When the RIAA sues (whether with merit or not) they claim that you are illegally making a copy of something for which you don't have the right to reproduce. If I download a song from a P2P network for which I didn't pay the legal copyright holder for the rights to do so, then I'm breaking the law because I created a copy without authorization.

    If I make a copy of a CD that I purchased through legal channels (including second-hand purchases) and then make a copy of that its fair use.

    Parody is somewhat different because I'd be producing a copy or an altered copy of something in order to make a statement. In this case, what matters is not the copy itself but the intent. In the case of the music it's the other way around because one wants to have an exact replica of the "original".

    Please, if you reply to this, take into account that I'm not saying whether I'm for or against the status quo, merely trying to depict it.

  • by multisync (218450) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:46PM (#17027916) Journal
    Barney will probably accept the risk of going after other, more likely to be intimidated, sites.


    From the EFF's response [eff.org] to the Barney lawyers:

    Finally, we would like to remind you that New York State Code of Professional Responsibility DR 7-102 [1200.33] and Federal Rule of Civil Procedure 11 provides for sanctions for litigation undertaken without support in existing law or sufficient evidentiary support.


    IANAL, but if the law firm sending me a C&D was from New York, I would find the above very interesting.
  • by maxume (22995) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @08:56PM (#17028016)
    The wheels on the bus go:

    http://thesuperficial.com/2006/11/britney_spears_b oobs_are_huge.html [thesuperficial.com]

    but then they come right back round(Not at all safe for work, in any way):

    (again NSFW!)

    http://thesuperficial.com/2006/11/britney_spears_r eally_wants_yo.html [thesuperficial.com]

    Not that she looks all that fantastic in the first set; the second set is just hilarious though.
  • by oskay (932940) on Tuesday November 28, 2006 @09:05PM (#17028078) Homepage
    Five years ago I had a website [oskay.net] with a collection of jokes collected from mid-1990s humor mailing lists. Naturally, there was a whole page of Barney jokes. The same stupid ones that you've seen a million times. You've seen all the song parodies (here, if nowhere else), and then there was the giant ASCII-art-Barney-being-killed-by-something. I think that it might have been a face hugger.
    At the time, the web site (for stupid, complicated reasons) was registered in my father's name. So, imagine my old man's surprise when one day HE gets a letter from Barney's lawyer threatening (purple) fire and brimstone. Without much of a good alternative, we caved. I was really, really mad, and I suppose that I still am. To this day, it's the only legal 'trouble' that any of my web sites have stirred up, which is actually somewhat surprising.

    Now that someone has finally stood up to the purple bully, can I finally dig into my old backups and put up the page of Barney jokes again? Whether or not Barney jokes are still relevant at the end of 2006, I suppose that I should, merely on principle.

Pohl's law: Nothing is so good that somebody, somewhere, will not hate it.

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