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ABC/Disney Shuts Down Blog Exercising Fair Use 525

Posted by Zonk
from the mouse-trap dept.
An anonymous reader writes "A blogger named Spocko had his blog shut down by ABC/Disney lawyers because he had posted clips from an ABC Radio-affiliated program and commented on their content, as well as informed show advertisers of what exactly they were paying for. Spocko merely pointed out the content that station KSFO was broadcasting, and as a result Visa pulled their advertising from the station. More companies were reportedly considering pulling their ads. A YouTube video summary is available. From the Daily Kos article: 'How'd he do it? He did it the way it's always done - by working within the law, identifying points of weakness, exploiting them and being absolutely tenacious ... It appears to me as if Disney is attempting to bully a little guy in an unethical manner. Any media lawyer worth the air she breathes knows that Spocko's use was well protected.'"
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ABC/Disney Shuts Down Blog Exercising Fair Use

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  • by metlin (258108) * on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:33PM (#17499668) Journal
    You know, a lot of folks have commented on attacking the other side by torture, murder etc. These folks are forgetting a fundamental fact - the moment you start doing these things, you become like them. There is no difference between us and them if we resorted to the same methods that they do. And that is why it is wrong.

    It is sad that there are media outlets out there that not only supporot but also advocate these things.

    I mean, racism, advocating torture, describing how they want to get rid of folks they do not like etc. Coudln't all that be construed as inciting hatred and violence?

    Disgusting would be another way to put it, especially when you are totally ignorant of the other side and blindly seek to murder, mutilate, insult and say nasty things.

    Don't these people have a conscience? And doesn't Christianity say something about loving one another? I wonder where all that was lost.
    • by JoshJ (1009085) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:41PM (#17499724) Journal
      It was lost in about 100 AD when the Church started killing those who didn't agree with the viewpoints of those in power. They've been doing that for the past 1900 years, give or take a few (Crusades, Inquisition, Reconquista, killing/threatening scientists in the renaissance period, etc). Why expect that to change now?
      Religion is a barrier to progress and an excuse for evil.
      • by metlin (258108) * on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:44PM (#17499744) Journal
        Oh I'm not a Christian and nor do I support religion in any form (am an agnost) -- I was just talking about the right-wing show hosts.

        If you are right-wing Christian, doesn't that involve _following_ your religion? The one that supposedly had a man called Jesus who talked about doing good, being good to everyone etc?

        That is the part that I do not understand.
        • by TubeSteak (669689) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:04PM (#17499940) Journal
          If you are right-wing Christian, doesn't that involve _following_ your religion? The one that supposedly had a man called Jesus who talked about doing good, being good to everyone etc?

          That is the part that I do not understand.
          The events of the Old Testament took place before God sat down and took some anger management classes.

          Some Christians are a bit more Old Testament in their faith than others.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by smchris (464899)
            The events of the Old Testament took place before God sat down and took some anger management classes.

            Good update. Wasn't Mark Twain's line something like "God got religion in the New Testament"?

            And the people who would like nothing better than a good stoning on a Saturday night are still here.
        • by Original Replica (908688) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:26PM (#17500118) Journal
          Religion, like patriotism, is easily turned from it's true meaning into a tool for the gain and exercise of power. That doesn't mean that faith or pride in your country are wrong. It means that you need to know enough about those things, to be able to tell when they are being misused. To put it in comfortable /. terms : Computers are wonderful things, but if you don't carefully inspect and maintain them, they pick up a bot and become a bad thing. The church is no different.
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Cally (10873)
            All religion is inherently a bad thing, even when "good" things are done in it's name, because it is based on a falsehood, i.e., a superstitious belief in the supernatural[1]. It's wrong, and that makes it bad.

            [1]Except possibly some advanced flavours of Buddhism; all the varieties I've come across tie up some interesting ideas with a bundle of irrelevant cultural baggage I find irritate me too much to allow me to learn enough to make a better-based decision. Dumb? *shrug* could be... but it's pretty unl

            • by NoMaster (142776) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @06:52PM (#17501478) Homepage Journal
              All religion is inherently a bad thing, even when "good" things are done in it's name, because it is based on a falsehood, i.e., a superstitious belief in the supernatural
              Look, I'm as agnostic/athiest as the next guy, but c'mon, anti-religion nuts are just as crazy any annoying as religious nuts.

              You're seriously trying to argue that a basically pacifist* philosophy developed over 2000+ years is much more inherently harmful than a belief in solid evidence + whatever shit you make up to suit yourself, fill in the holes, and glue it all together?

              At the very least, religion gives you the benefit of having other people around you with similar basic beliefs to occasionally tell you "no, you're wrong"...

              (*Yeah, yeah, bring up the history of the the Crusades, Charlemagne, the various Inquisitions, and your peculiarly American fundie doctor-killers and radio nutjobs. I'm not talking about them, I'm talking about the Christian philosophy - y'know, "do unto others ...", "love thy neighbour ...", etc, etc.

              About the only thing I can say is bad about religion is that focussed belief seems to inherently cause more and greater hurt in the world than unfocussed belief. Think about that for a while, and ponder who the bad guy there really is - organised region, or human nature?**)

              (**No, not the band - though sometimes I wonder about that too...)

          • by metlin (258108) * on Sunday January 07, 2007 @05:11PM (#17500578) Journal

            "Religion is an insult to human dignity. With or without it, you'd have a good people doing good things and evil people doing evil things. But for good people to do evil things, it takes religion."

            - Steven Weinberg, Physicist and Nobel Laureate.
            • by maxwell demon (590494) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @06:53PM (#17501492) Journal
              Of course Mao managed to get good people to do evil things without a religion. The trick of getting good people doing evil things is to make them think those evil things are good. Religion is quite easily misused for that purpose, but it isn't the only abusable thing. The Nazis managed to misuse Darwin for their racism. Basically anything can be abused that way as long as four key factors apply:

              1. Enough people believe that it's true (or you can manage to get people believe it).

              2. Most of those people don't really understand it.

              3. It can be mutilated to "say" what you want it to say.

              4. The mutilated version divides the people in "good" and "bad" ones, where the "good" have the duty to eliminate the "bad".
        • Oh I'm not a Christian and nor do I support religion in any form (am an agnost) -- I was just talking about the right-wing show hosts.

          If you are right-wing Christian, doesn't that involve _following_ your religion? The one that supposedly had a man called Jesus who talked about doing good, being good to everyone etc?

          That is the part that I do not understand.

          In the church, we call those types of people who are confusing you "hypocrites".

      • by CRCulver (715279) <crculver@christopherculver.com> on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:47PM (#17499776) Homepage

        It was lost in about 100 AD when the Church started killing those who didn't agree with the viewpoints of those in power.

        Christianity had no state support until AD 313. Right up until that point, it was heavily persecuted by the Roman Empire and was in no position to go out killing. Might want to get your facts straight.

        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by nospam007 (722110)
          And only in 325 they _voted_ on what to believe with only about 300 of 1800 bishops attending, so what the right wing now thinks as the absolute 'Truth' was a meager minority vote by a bunch of iron age guys. Not to mention the 500 variations that came afterwards.

          http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/First_Council_of_Nica ea [wikipedia.org]
          • by CRCulver (715279)

            Since when is a single theological matter, namely the nature of the Son and his relationship to the Father, the whole of Christian belief? And the orthodox belief was not developed ex nihilo in AD 325. The Arian side lost because they could not show that their view of things was in harmony with Christian tradition up to that point. Instead, it was clearly a wacky and uncalled for innovation to most of the Church.

        • Christianity was declared as the state religion of the Armenian Kingdom in AD 301.
        • I think he's referring to the recent Tom Hanks flick, The Da Vinci Code or whatever it was.
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by smchris (464899)
          Power always protects itself. Christianity made one advance. My "Magic and Witchcraft in Ancient Greece and Rome" class (yeah, I was one of _those_ majors) claimed non-collusium ritual human sacrifice was quite common into the Roman Empire along the frontiers. Christianity substituted the symbolic ritual of consuming the single, essential all-powerful and life-everlasting human sacrifice. Brilliant for its time. Creepy that we are still practicing it after landing on the moon.
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Petrushka (815171)

            My "Magic and Witchcraft in Ancient Greece and Rome" class (yeah, I was one of _those_ majors) claimed non-collusium ritual human sacrifice was quite common into the Roman Empire along the frontiers. Christianity substituted the symbolic ritual of consuming the single, essential all-powerful and life-everlasting human sacrifice.

            Heh, I guess that class didn't extend as far as how to spell "colosseum". Anyway, many of the practices and tenets of Pauline Christianity are based more on pre-Christian Dionysiac cults than on human sacrifice per se: the ideas of the sacrifice, tearing-apart, and eating of the god at a feast, of the god having an intensely personal relationship with the individual practitioner, the god dying in order to give eternal life to the practitioner, miracles etc at the birth of the god, and others, are basicall

      • by ari_j (90255)
        You have mistakenly conflated "Christianity" with "the Catholic Church." Don't worry, you're not the first person to make that mistake. You also have conflated "church" with "religion." While those are more closely related, they are still not the same thing.
      • by semifamous (231316) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:52PM (#17499826)
        Don't blame religion. Blame people. People do this stuff. They may do it in the name of religion or in the name of their own greed, but it's still the people who are doing it.
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by CRCulver (715279)

        It was lost in about 100 AD when the Church started killing those who didn't agree with the viewpoints of those in power.

        The factual errors in your post just cry out for more correction. You write of "the Church" doing various things, and identify this Church with Christianity. However, by the beginning of the second millennium, Christianity was not a single organization. The split of the Oriental Orthodox after the Council of Chalcedon, the existence of Nestorian groups in East Asia out of contact with

        • by gad_zuki! (70830)
          If you want historical accurance please check out the atheism section at about.com. [about.com] Follow the links at the bottom. Thanks.
          • by CRCulver (715279)

            A few hyperlinks on a notoriously amateur website trump the world's most respected academic press (and n.b., most of academia is not devout Christian)?

            And since when is "accurance" a word?

            • by gad_zuki! (70830)


              A few hyperlinks on a notoriously amateur website trump the world's most respected academic press (and n.b., most of academia is not devout Christian)?

              And since when is "accurance" a word?


              Appeal to authority fallacy. No specific criticism of the material presented. Ad hominem (spelling). Thanks for playing.
              • by CRCulver (715279)
                Peer review before publication is permitted is an essential element of academic discourse. OUP has it, about.com and the vast majority of what they link to don't. Therefore, the hyperlinks proposed are not appropriate material for a debate. Rules against ad hominem attacks only come in to play when only peer-reviewed material is on the table.
      • Religion is a barrier to progress and an excuse for evil.

        You're right. No anti-religious government has ever become an evil empire that hampers progress and rules by fear and terror... I mean, except for the Soviet Union. And the American Eugenics program.

        (Oh, and the Christian Church, which you seem to be slurring, didn't have the power to so much as pull people into pews until the reign of Constantine the Great's Edict of Milan in 313. And few significant branches of Christianity never had even that mu
      • The past 1900 years, and since 100 AD? I think you either got the years wrong or you're just delusional.
    • by DoofusOfDeath (636671) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:52PM (#17499832)
      And doesn't Christianity say something about loving one another? I wonder where all that was lost.

      Yes, it does. You now have good reason to believe these people aren't actual Christians.

      • by Mad Quacker (3327)

        And doesn't Christianity say something about loving one another? I wonder where all that was lost.

        Yes, it does. You now have good reason to believe these people aren't actual Christians.

        Not according to the Old Testament, in fact if there were electric chairs around those days I'm sure they would have been used for executions as well. So you're a christian and disregard the Old Testament? Fine, perfectly well in the new testament Jesus calls for all those who will not fall to him to be killed. Yes, it's all in there. A real christian believes these things.

        If you go by "the book" these people are being good christians.

        The koran just takes a much more succinct approach to all the same ideas

    • by MysticOne (142751) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:17PM (#17500042) Homepage
      What I've always found interesting is that these people seem to be able to make threats against elected officials (calling for their death, torture, etc.) yet nobody ever says anything about it. Yet the moment a kid in a high school somewhere says something to the same effect, they're arrested, interrogated by the FBI, etc. Yet if you're a talk show host, or a popular right-wing media whore, you're allowed to call for the death or torture of anybody with whom you disagree.
    • by gad_zuki! (70830)
      I mean, racism, advocating torture, describing how they want to get rid of folks they do not like etc.

      And doesn't Christianity say something about loving one another?


      I dont know you assume torture and murder cant exist within Christianity, be advocated by the church and scriptures, and cant be done by Christians. Its historically false to even assume such a thing. Christianity is no pacifist religion . I really wish people would just accept the scripture and history of their own religions instead of makin
  • by Anonymous Coward
    ...to all this right wing old skool conservative radio. The ratings would be even lower if you stopped listening. Your blood pressure would also be lower. In some ways this reminds me of those PTC wackos just listening to be offended so they can complain.
  • I seem to recall (Score:4, Insightful)

    by also-rr (980579) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:45PM (#17499768) Homepage
    A broadcast on the BBC about Florida and a rather barmy woman on her way to Disney (World|Land|Empire) who gave the quote:

    "Wouldn't America be a better place if Disney were running it."

    I contend that the correct response to this statement would have been involuntary entry to an organ donation programme.
  • by ip_fired (730445) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:46PM (#17499772) Homepage
    I listened to the radio commentary and had to stop before it finished. It's absolutely disgusting! I'm glad this guy did something about it.

    Talking about chopping off fingers and genitals, talking about what it would sound like to have someone electrocuted. It's things like this that cause me to feel shame for being an American. We should be above this type of thought, and *certainly* above this type of action.
    • "It's things like this that cause me to feel shame for being an American."

      Yes, because the words of a few asshats represent all Americans, and therefore represent you.

      I understand, though. It's fashionable these days to say you're ashamed to be an American.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by WilliamSChips (793741)
        I'm ashamed that my nation picks leaders such as George W. Bush, who thinks selling lives for oil is a less heinous crime than two men loving each other.
  • SLAPP Reborn (Score:5, Informative)

    by NorbrookC (674063) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:50PM (#17499808) Journal

    One of the tactics that large companies have used in the past, when dealing with critics - particularly grass-roots activists - was the SLAPP : Strategic Lawsuits Against Public Participation. Someone against your project, or annoying you? File a lawsuit against them. Since you have the money to push it, and they generally don't (if you pick your target well), the only way out of it for them was to shut up. This had the "benefit" of shutting up your other critics, too.

    It appears that Disney has dusted off the tactic here. Yeah, Spocko did nothing illegal. All he did was advocate a position, comment legally on what he saw wrong, and point it out to those who finance it. Rather than actually change anything, Disney decided the best move was to shut the critic up. This seems be backfiring though - and it'll be interesting to watch how Disney will twist and turn to try to spin this in a better light.

    • Re:SLAPP Reborn (Score:4, Interesting)

      by Curunir_wolf (588405) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @03:56PM (#17499872) Homepage Journal
      It appears that Disney has dusted off the tactic here.

      Actually, it hasn't been dusty since about 1967. After Walt Disney's death, the corporation decided that a vast litigation department would help keep the billions flowing in.

      In the 1970's they went around the country shutting down child care centers that had Disney characters on their walls.

      • by hrieke (126185)
        Which was completely with in their rights to do so- protecting their copyrights is their job.

        This blog is completely different case, please learn to identify the differences.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by automandc (196618)
      California has an anti-SLAPP statute [wikipedia.org].

      The target of a SLAPP suit can file a motion that basically freezes the entire case until the plaintiff proves they aren't engaging in SLAPP. If the company loses, they end up having to pay the defendant's attorneys fees, and, IIRC, damages as well.

    • That is why the California Legislature enacted the Anti-SLAPP Special Motion to Strike [casp.net].

      When a large entity like Disney files a lawsuit against a small blogger like this, the blogger's defense is an Anti-SLAPP motion to strike. Instead of answering Disney's complaint (if there is one), the blogger files an anti-SLAPP motion. The judge will then make some preliminary determinations and, if the blogger is successful, will throw out Disney's suit.

      The beauty of it is that if the blogger wins, he gets his attor

  • by spiritraveller (641174) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:00PM (#17499908)
    Spocko had his blog shut down by ABC/Disney lawyers

    Sigh... Why do slashdotters hate lawyers so much? It's always "the lawyers" and never the management of ABC or the gutless wonders at Spocko's ISP.

    It is a disgusting tactic they are using, but it is par for the course. Anyone can threaten a baseless lawsuit. The way to handle it is to call their bluff. I do not believe for one minute that ABC would follow through with their ridiculous (alleged) threat.

    By the way... has anyone actually seen this letter we're talking about?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Scrameustache (459504)

      Sigh... Why do slashdotters hate lawyers so much? It's always "the lawyers" and never the management of ABC or the gutless wonders at Spocko's ISP.
      Lawyers are to corporations as big guys with strong arms are to the mob.

      "Disney" had their lawyers shut him down, Disney is dead, therefore Disney, the inanimate corporation doesn't take actions by itself, Disney's Management took the decision, the lawyers did the deed.
    • by pembo13 (770295)
      Because the lawyers always profit?
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by NineNine (235196)
      Why do slashdotters hate lawyers so much? It's always "the lawyers" and never the management of ABC or the gutless wonders at Spocko's ISP.

      Because there's ALWAYS some slimy, shitbag lawyer that would do whatever you'd like, just so long as you had the money. If I read more about lawyers refusing to accept cases like this, then maybe I'd have more respect for them. They're kind of like whores... they'll do whatever you want, just so long as you have the money to pay for it.
      • by spiritraveller (641174) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:30PM (#17500170)
        Because there's ALWAYS some slimy, shitbag lawyer that would do whatever you'd like, just so long as you had the money. If I read more about lawyers refusing to accept cases like this, then maybe I'd have more respect for them. They're kind of like whores... they'll do whatever you want, just so long as you have the money to pay for it.

        First, Disney didn't have to hold out a bag of money on a street corner looking for a "slimy lawyer". They have a legal department, which they keep staffed. They are employees of Disney, and at the same time, Disney is their client.

        Secondly, lawyers are like whores because that is the ethical responsibility of every lawyer. When you represent someone, you stand in their shoes, whether it is a corporation, a little old lady, or somebody charged with a capital offense.
        • by NineNine (235196) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:44PM (#17500302)
          As a lawyer, you have no responsibility to take every case. If somebody asks you, as an attorney, to have somebody killed, you have a legal responsiblity to say, "No". If somebody asks to you batter some individual until they shut up (even though that individual has done nothing wrong), then you have the moral responsibility to say "No". I have a buddy who is an attorney who regularly turns down people that he doesn't want to represent for a whole variety of reasons. The Disney lawyers pursuing this are whores. It's as simple as that.
        • corporation, a little old lady, or somebody charged with a capital offense
          Now I understand why are lawyers scizophrenic serial killers dressed as little old ladies.
        • by Dan Berlin (682091) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @08:46PM (#17502496)

          Secondly, lawyers are like whores because that is the ethical responsibility of every lawyer. When you represent someone, you stand in their shoes, whether it is a corporation, a little old lady, or somebody charged with a capital offense.

          No. This is not only completely wrong, it's a very common misconception among those who defend lawyers.
          Note, IAAL.

          The ABA model rules of professional conduct, which most states' ethical rules are based on, have more than the requirement that you "zealously represent your client" (which is the rule everyone seems to remember).

          They also require, more importantly, they you do not press claims you know to be frivilous or a non-good faith extension, modification, or reversal of an existing law. See rule 3.1

          Tons of lawyers who should be sanctioned for this, aren't. However, if you ever accidentally mix client funds, you will be disbarred.

          The rules also require that you keep in contact with your client, and be responsive in keeping them up to date. See rule 1.4.
          When have you met a lawyer who actually responds to phone calls?
    • do not believe for one minute that ABC would follow through with their ridiculous (alleged) threat.

      I think you're right, they're just trying to stop the bleeding.

      The lawyers are just doing what they're paid for doing, it's ABC/Disney management that fumbled the response. This is not how you respond to this type of criticism if you're guilty...and they're guilty. This is knee jerk. All it's done is to hang a lantern on the protest so it might be seen by a wider audience. They made him a hero. Hopef

  • On the YouTube video summary (thanks to the guys that put that up, btw), this just lends more credence to what the "liberals" or "democrats" or whatever you want to call them have been saying. By acting childish, and being vulgar and stupid, these idiots are showing that they have no legitimate argument or opposing viewpoint to give. Because of that, they just spew complete trash, and hope to ridicule the people that think that there is something -very- wrong in this country right now.
  • Full circle (Score:2, Insightful)

    What a strange turn - the radio show's presenters are entitled to their free speech, however objectionable to most, yet the reviewer was slapped down - Disney's logic behind this escapes me.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      "Disney's logic behind this escapes me."

      Their logic had nothing to do with free speech and censorship. They reasoned that certain publicity could be bad for their profits, and they had the power to silence that publicity (or so they falsely believed in this case), so they tried to exercise that power.

      It fortunately backfired on them.

      Nonetheless, the DMCA as a method of trial-free law-backed coercion still exists in full force, and is being successfully abused in many other situations. As long as one perso
  • What about FCC? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by eieken (635333) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:10PM (#17499988) Homepage
    I know blogging about something like this is bound to gain a lot of traction pretty quickly, but isn't it also possible to send in a complaint to the FCC about this? I know the FCC isn't typically what any of us think of when we think justice, but it is within their domain to dish out some hefty justice.
  • To paraphrase (Score:3, Interesting)

    by iminplaya (723125) <iminplaya.gmail@com> on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:14PM (#17500008) Journal
    I don't worry about lunatic talk show hosts. I worry about their listeners.
  • by Animats (122034) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:32PM (#17500180) Homepage

    First, already this is the top story on MediaPost [mediapost.com], a web site for ad buyers. This is very bad for a radio station.

    Then their big mistake: On Nov. 14th Melanie Morgan said this about Nancy Pelosi: "We've got a bulls-eye painted on her big laughing eyes." (from the Daily Kos) [dailykos.com]

    That might be a felony. 18 USC Sec. 871 [cornell.edu]

    • ...Whoever knowingly and willfully deposits for conveyance in the mail or for a delivery from any post office or by any letter carrier any letter, paper, writing, print, missive, or document containing any threat to take the life of, to kidnap, or to inflict bodily harm upon the President of the United States, the President-elect, the Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President of the United States, or the Vice President-elect, or knowingly and willfully otherwise makes any such threat against the President, President-elect, Vice President or other officer next in the order of succession to the office of President, or Vice President-elect, shall be fined under this title or imprisoned not more than five years, or both."

    They said that after the November election, when Ms. Pelosi was Speaker-elect of the House. (The Speaker of the House is second in line for the Presidency, after the Vice President.) Somebody is probably going to be asking some hard questions of the people at that radio station.

    There's a legitimate First Amendment issue here, but it's in that grey area between political speech and death threats. Morgan, KSFO and Disney may have some unpleasant months ahead. This could create liabilities that would interfere with the planned sale of the station to Citadel Broadcasting. That sale was supposed to happen during 2006, but on November 22, the deal was postponed and repriced [marketwatch.com], and not to Disney's advantage. ("the potential amount of cash retained by Disney has been reduced by $300 million in the aggregate, $100 million of which is an outright reduction in the cash...")

    In terms of financial losses by a media company, this could be bigger than the Janet Jackson "wardrobe malfunction."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by VJ42 (860241)
      After listening to all those clips ("Spocko's blog is back up: http://www.spockosbrain.com/ [spockosbrain.com]) they are lucky that they are in the USA where you have first amendment rights, there was something in nearly every one of them that would have got them to apologise\face fines etc. from Ofcom [ofcom.org.uk] (the communications regulator) here in the UK. I'm not sure how many would have had the presenters facing legal threat, but we have against inciting religious and racial hatred*, so quite a few I'd imagine.

      *Personally I'm a
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Dachannien (617929)
      Being "Speaker-Elect" means absolutely jack shit. Pelosi was nothing more than another member of Congress until the House elected her as Speaker last Thursday.

  • Vivaldi's 'Winter' concerto - perfect choice of backing on the YouTube video presentation - highlighting the fact that free speech is presently suffering one very cold winter.

    Hopefully the new Congress (pushed by enough pissed-off individuals and lobby groups) might bring back the sweet chirping of birds and fresh green buds on the trees of creativity.

    Or is this the start of another Ice Age [wikipedia.org]?
  • by sobiloff (29859) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:50PM (#17500370)
    It appears that Spocko had clips that ran as long as five minutes. That's beyond fair use in most circumstances. Those are probably what gives Disney a leg to stand on. His short clips (5-15 seconds) were within the bounds of fair use, though.
    • I would be interesting in seeing where you got that info.
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        by VJ42 (860241)
        So would I, Spocko's blog is back up (http://www.spockosbrain.com/) and I havn't come across a 5 minute long clip yet. (I've been reading some of his old posts)
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Anonymous Coward
      And if they used shorter clips I suppose it would be argued that they had been taken out of context.
  • by ConfusedSelfHating (1000521) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @04:59PM (#17500466)

    DailyKos and their allies want the radio station shut down because it's a conservative talk radio station. This is just an excuse. There is a complete lack of context to their comments. They mention that the radio talk show hosts suggest that a black man from Nebraska should be tortured to death. My guess is that a particular criminal performed a horrible act and they want him to pay for the act more severely than the law provides (an emotional response). I don't know because it's not mentioned in the article. Just the race baiting key points of "black man" and "torture/execution".

    I'm not saying that the radio station shouldn't be shut down. However, I suggest we should base our discussions on more reasonable sources such as the New York Times, the Washington Post and various British papers (not the Guardian). If Rush Limbaugh said that Nancy Pelosi should be removed from office because she was disloyal to the United States, would you take him at his word?

    That said, I believe that websites should be allowed to post copyrighted material when it's in the public interest. If they feel that the copyrighted material is violating the law and constitutes a threat, they should be able to bring their case to the public.

    • by VJ42 (860241) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @05:56PM (#17500998)
      His blog is back up, reading and listening to the clips myself, the context of most of them is clear. Listen for yourself: http://www.spockosbrain.com/ [spockosbrain.com]
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by macsuibhne (307779)
      Of course DailyKos is an avowedly [dkosopedia.com]partisan site. And while it might be the case that most DailyKos readers might be happy to see KSFO shut down, Spocko is not one of those who is listed as a representative of the site (see the link), and in fact acted until recently as a lone gunman, documenting the hate speech emanating from that station and drawing it to the attention of its advertisers all by himself. This effort only came to the attention of the DailyKos community _after_ his personal site got SLAPPed
  • counter-notification (Score:4, Informative)

    by belmolis (702863) <billposer@nOSpam.alum.mit.edu> on Sunday January 07, 2007 @05:06PM (#17500520) Homepage

    I'm surprised that the blogger has given in so easily. I understand that he can't afford a lot of legal expenses, but my understanding is that at this point all he needs to do is file a counter-notification with his ISP certifying that to the best of his knowledge his use of copyrighted material falls under Fair Use, which it almost certainly does. Here's a how-to [cmu.edu]. This puts the ball back in ABC/Disney's court and doesn't require a lawyer at all.

  • by stubear (130454) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @06:13PM (#17501156)
    ...the actual duration of the clips used? Perhaps Disney feels Spocko used too long a clip to comment on and it's up to a court of law, not Slashdot (as shocking as that might seem to many here) to decide. If Spocko doesn't want to fight Disney that's his problem. The law works both ways. corporations shouldn't have to allow their poperty to be used without their consent simply because the person violating thel aw doesn't have the finds to defend themselves in court against copyright infringement charges. "If you can't afford to do the time, you can't afford to do the crime" seems a bit apropos here.
  • by adzoox (615327) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @08:02PM (#17502102) Journal
    I'm currently in a protracted legal battle over my BLOG with a local eBay dropoff who has accused me of using their logo within my story. Their claim is that I am not allowed to use the logo (which is a key illustration of their services) under the Lanham Act. They have placed several pendant issues such as defamation (in the suit called "impeachment of character") and brand dilution/tarnishment.

    The first court rejected the suit and sent to a lower court, the second court denied an injunction, which is currently in a federal appeal by the Plaintiff. The opposing attorney has been completely unreasonable in his efforts to "punish me" - purely out of revenge (on his client's behalf).

    I have received no support from communities like Slashdot, or the EFF because of my typical conservative political affiliation. The legal battle has pretty much cost me my local reputation, ruined my local business, and has caused me a lot of duress/stress over the last year. Since I don't have the money for a lawyer, I have represented myself Pro Se.

    I can sympathize with this blogger, and I hope that once my case is resolved that it will help stand as a precedent (which it almost certainly will) as the decision from the lower court contains a formula for determining which bloggers qualify as journalism and which don't. This blogger will benefit greatly from such a decision.

    The best analysis of my case can be seen here:

    http://blog.ericgoldman.org/archives/2006/11/blog_ lawsuit_ov.htm [ericgoldman.org]

  • by fluffy99 (870997) on Sunday January 07, 2007 @08:12PM (#17502186)
    One of the tests of Fair Use is "the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work." Obviously the use was intended to have a negative impact on the market value of the show and therefore fails the fair-use test. In any case, Disney can legally request that the copyrighted material be removed. I see nothing (other than the notoriously bogus slashdot summary) that Disney took any action to shutdown or remove the blog. In all likelihood the Disney lawyers simply send a cease-desist request to remove the infringing material. I wouldn't be surprised if they also mentioned slander or defamation suit.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by imthesponge (621107)
      That's only one factor that has to be taken into account. The law doesn't say "it must not have a negative effect," it says that the effect is one of the factors to be considered.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Sloppy (14984)

      Obviously the use was intended to have a negative impact on the market value of the show and therefore fails the fair-use test.

      That's hilarious and I hope you win some kind of award for your creativity. I don't think I've seen it argued before, that the character of the criticism (i.e. positive vs negative) is relevant to whether or not the quotation counts as Fair Use. Absolutely brilliant!

      (I say "brilliant" because if I called it "stupid" then I wouldn't be able to quote the sentence that I was reply

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