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Censorship Your Rights Online

DMCA Takedown Notice For a Fake ID 563

Posted by kdawson
from the points-for-chutzpah dept.
TrippTDF writes "Rachel Hyman, an artist and bartender in New York City, maintains a blog where she regularly posts images of fake IDs she confiscates from would-be underage drinkers, along with a description of the confiscation. Recently, one of her posts (Google cache) was taken down when the owner of the fake ID invoked the DMCA against Blogspot. Can one claim a forged document as a copyrighted work of art?"
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DMCA Takedown Notice For a Fake ID

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:47PM (#19042739)
    Wouldn't the picture at least be copyrighted?
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by Nikker (749551)
      If I send you an official notice that I am the owner of a copyrighted material and confirm it using a reference to picture, don't I just royally screw myself for forgery?
    • by Talgrath (1061686) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:48PM (#19043885)
      Yes, but when you put the picture on a fake ID, said ID (and any image of it) is not copyrighted; it's an (illegal) derivative of a state or national identification and can be posted anywhere for any reason. This just sounds like some rich asshat trying to find a sneaky way around having been caught with an illegal ID.
      • by dgatwood (11270) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @05:46PM (#19044909) Journal

        Well, you can copyright a derivative work, but that right only applies to the content that is, in fact new. Indeed, "Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service" held that information in a pure form (facts) cannot be copyrighted. Therefore, photo notwithstanding, a fake license cannot be copyrighted. As for the photo, it is a mug shot, which is inherently not artistic in nature, and as such, cannot be copyrighted.

        Finally, Title 17, Chapter I, Section 113 pretty much takes the wind out of their sails:

        (c) In the case of a work lawfully reproduced in useful articles that have been offered for sale or other distribution to the public, copyright does not include any right to prevent the making, distribution, or display of pictures or photographs of such articles in connection with advertisements or commentaries related to the distribution or display of such articles, or in connection with news reports.

        Note: producing the fake ID was done lawfully; that is, the owner of the copyright of the photo gave permission in a legal way for it to be used in the production of the product (the fake ID) which was later offered for sale. What is unlawful is to pass the fake ID, and probably to sell it. There's nothing illegal about producing the article.

        So no, that argument probably doesn't pass muster.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by Anonymous Coward
          Actually, in most jurisdictions, forgery is the production of a fake document, uttering is the passing-off of such a fake document as authentic. So no, the production of a fake ID is still illegal even if it is never used.
          • by Dare nMc (468959) on Wednesday May 09, 2007 @09:32AM (#19051469)

            he production of a fake ID is still illegal even if it is never used.

            (IANL) in the US almost all criminal statues require Mens rea [wikipedia.org] IE a "guilty mind", or a clearly negligent act, so even if you broke "a law" creating a fake ID, that doesn't make it a criminal act. For example I have recieved "fake id's" in email of the bush family as a joke. IE they were clearly fake, to make them funney (IE a Dictator title, etc.) but those creating them obviously had no intent of the fake id being used for a criminal purpose...
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by DoorFrame (22108)
          But a license is not "pure facts," the facts were arranged in a particular way and with particular choices. Feist only covers facts when they are arranged without any creativity, a fake license could very well have been arranged in a creative or unique way. Now, if the fraudster's fake was the standard license design, it would probably be unprotected, but we'd really need to SEE the thing to know for sure.
        • About "artisitc" (Score:4, Interesting)

          by guywcole (984149) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @09:40PM (#19047259) Homepage Journal
          This is something that has confused me for a while. We frequently ask whether something is "artistic in nature" enough for copyright protection, but then I keep thinking about what the constitution says about copyright:

          Article I, Secion 8: The Congress shall have the power... To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries

          So tell me... where does pure "art" come into play? Let alone photography or photographers? Don't give me the "they couldn't forsee photographers" bit, cause they surely could foresee painters, and they didn't mention them while explicitly mentioning the other professions.

          The use of "authors" seems to imply creative writing, but I wonder if they didn't simply mean the writers of instructional books like "a guide to the production of lead bullets" or "how to pack a cartridge." My educated guess would be that the intent of "useful arts" would be things like metalsmithing, carpenty, etc. The kinds of things that had economic use, not just aesthetic.

          Regardless, how would photographs fit into either a strict-text or intent-based reading of the Constitution? The best I can figure would be a really, really loose reasonable-construction test. But hell, I think the process for forging licenses would be more of a "useful art" than any individual mug shot, so how would the photo be more copyright-able than the license itself?

    • by InvalidError (771317) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:59PM (#19045841)
      What is the purpose of an ID card?

      ID cards are meant to cram all the information deemed necessary for the intended purpose on a wallet-sized piece of plastic or plastified cardboard. Basically, all that the card contains is a graphical template copyrighted by the organization that issued the ID with cold-hard-facts printed on top of said template.

      Cold-hard-facts are non-copyrightable.
      The ID's graphical design and layout are copyrighted by the agency. Since the relevant agency here is public, issued documents are practically public-domain as far as faithful duplication is concerned.
      By inappropriate use of the template, whoever manufactured the fake ID is infringing the agency's copyright on the ID's graphical design... but this is a minor inconvenience compared to felony charges for forgery.

      Since forgery of an official document necessarily infringes on the issuing agency's copyright for the original's graphical design, a forgery is most likely not entitled to any sort of copyright protection.
  • by dAzED1 (33635) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:48PM (#19042773) Homepage Journal
    In much the same way that I can claim to have invented computers, someone can claim that an illegal document is covered under the DMCA. It is an invalid claim, as no illegal document can be protected in such a manner, but it is a claim none the less.
    • Of Course (Score:5, Insightful)

      by passthecrackpipe (598773) * <passthecrackpipe.hotmail@com> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:57PM (#19042957)
      Do you really believe the DMCA is about copyright? Its about having a stick to poke when anybody says anything you don't like on the Internet. The people that created and passed it don't care if others use it as well, as long as *they* get to use it
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by quantaman (517394)

      In much the same way that I can claim to have invented computers, someone can claim that an illegal document is covered under the DMCA. It is an invalid claim, as no illegal document can be protected in such a manner, but it is a claim none the less.

      Why can't an illegal document be protected under the DMCA? The DMCA is about copyright and I don't see any reason why an illegal document wouldn't be copyrighted. Now the forged ID may not necessarily be under copyright since it may not be considered an original work but if it is copyrighted than it should be protected by the DMCA (of course the copyright owner probably wouldn't want law enforcement involved but that's another matter).

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by TheRaven64 (641858)
        (IANAL but...) US Government agencies are not allowed to claim copyright. For this reason, a government-issued ID might not be covered by copyright. In this case, the design would be in the public domain (unless held by a private individual or firm and licensed to the government). Derived works of Public Domain pieces may still be copyrighted, and so it is quite possible that this really is a copyrighted work. Owning a fake ID might or might not be illegal, but attempting to use one is fraud, which defi
  • by robbiethefett (1047640) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:49PM (#19042787)
    ...or land of litigation and bullshit? you decide.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by Lorkki (863577)
      I'm thinking it could just be a typo made while attempting to write "land of opportunism".
  • Rachel is cool (Score:5, Informative)

    by stoolpigeon (454276) * <bittercode@gmail> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:49PM (#19042793) Homepage Journal
    and a good writer and apparently an artist as well. She just doesn't just take the id and post it - she writes some hilarious commentary to go with it. I wish her the best and hope that this young gal isn't as rich as she says, or I fear that it may not go well. While Rachel is completely in the right, justice is expensive.
     
    Here is a great gem from her site, "Oh Kathleen O'Brien.. what terribly unjust irony that your fake Id would be confiscated on St. Patrick's Day."
    • by dr_dank (472072) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:57PM (#19042961) Homepage Journal
      To boot, her name lends itself to a built-in joke while she confiscates some kid's ID:

      In Soviet Russia, Hyman busts YOU!
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by StikyPad (445176)
      Hilarious. Because nothing's funnier than making fun of people who are younger than you.

      You're spiteful glare and frustrated "Have a nice life!" as you walked out the door, proved how mature you are. Maybe one day you'll understand. Maybe after you're 21.

      Because posting about the incidents, including photos and possibly real addresses, is mature behavior? This is simple bigotry. People feel that since they went through something, everyone else should too (even if it's something as arbitrary as turning 21
      • Re:Rachel is cool (Score:5, Insightful)

        by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:12PM (#19045309)

        If she asked for an ID, and reasonable documentation was provided, she's fulfilled her obligation under the law, and the liability now rests with the minor.


        Wrong. Under the text of the law you quoted, if she actually relied on the document (that means she subjectively believed it was accurate) and that belief was reasonable, then she would not be liable. If she, in fact, recognized the document as false or merely believed it to be false, she would have been liable—even though it may be difficult to prove if she lied about it—because then she would not have relied upon the document, reasonably or otherwise.

      • Re:Rachel is cool (Score:5, Informative)

        by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:21PM (#19045421)
        God, I love people who only read the part of the law that supports their position.

        First, yes, she is liable. Affirmative defenses are justifications, not blame-removers. I dunno about you, but I'd rather be blameless to start, and not rely on trying to prove a safety net. And, about that safety net, you also have:

        7. (a) In any proceeding pursuant to subdivision one of section
                sixty-five of this article, it shall be an affirmative defense that such
                person had produced a driver's license or non-driver identification card
                apparently issued by a governmental entity, successfully completed the
                transaction scan
        , and that the alcoholic beverage had been sold,
                delivered or given to such person in reasonable reliance upon such
                identification and transaction scan.
        Emphasis mine. In other words, the defense applies only if she scans the mag strip on the ID, not just looks at it. I can imagine that not everyone has a strip reader dedicated to carding teens, can't you? So, yes, she would be liable, even if you don't like her attitude.
      • Re:Rachel is cool (Score:4, Interesting)

        by dircha (893383) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @07:05PM (#19045925)
        "Hilarious. Because nothing's funnier than making fun of people who are younger than you."

        Except we do have, on the face of it, good reasons to believe that a legal drinking age of 21 is effective at reducing drinking among minors. Specifically, rather than acquiring alcohol from their immediate peers and classmates, minor high school students must acquire alcohol from their parents, older siblings, or whoever didn't cut it in college and hangs around looking to pick up highschool chicks instead. Absolutely this impacts the supply of alcohol to minors. Not enough perhaps, but certainly it narrows and lengthens the supply chain, and makes it an easier target for future actions.

        And we do have good reasons to limit the supply of alcohol to minors, which is a major argument in favor of a legal drinking age of 21. While there are many exceptions, if you can't see the difference in the decision making maturity of, for example, an average 16 year old compared to an average 22 year old, you're just not thinking. There is significant brain development occurring up to even 18. We need to give minors every opportunity to be at a place developmentally where they can fully think through and appreciate the consequences of their actions before we as a society entirely remove the safeguards.

        If you are yourself 21 or older, I feel sorry for you that you still see your parents and past teachers as involved in some sort of conspiracy to maliciously oppress and control you. It's an important step to your own self realization that you come to see yourself as an adult, recognizing how you have changed and progressed over the course of your own development.
  • Odd Issues. (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Adambomb (118938) * on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:50PM (#19042815) Journal

    Nope.

    "Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture." says the U.S. Copyright office.

    A fake ID, besides being illegal to create in the United States, is a derivative work of the United States Government, and is not an original creative work of authorship.


    At least the article answers the questions of the summary directly. I like not having to think. Either way, trying to claim it was an original work seems really dangerous as its basically an admission of forgery. To any lawyers out there, is a DMCA Takedown notice considered a legal document for which charges could be filed if they implicate themselves within it?

    Good question concerning the image of the individual itself from the FPer, does the fact that its included on an unauthorized document void the persons right to control over their own image? If not will video stores be forced to ban "BAD RENTER" walls and such other devices for shaming/controlling problem customers?
    • Re:Odd Issues. (Score:5, Informative)

      by DragonWriter (970822) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:59PM (#19043009)

      A fake ID, besides being illegal to create in the United States, is a derivative work of the United States Government, and is not an original creative work of authorship.


      There are two errors here:

      First, most real (government-issued) IDs are not works of the US government but of state goverments. This is a minor point, but perhaps very tangentially significant since US government works are not subject to copyright on creation but state government works are.

      Second, an original work that is derivative of another work is still, insofar as it contains original work, subject to copyright. Now, it may itself be a violation of the copyright of the work on which it is based, but that's an issue between the creator of the original and the creator of the derivative, not something which grants a license to third parties.
      • by Adambomb (118938) *
        Ahh, I was quoting that straight out of the article, got nailed there. The point still stands though as to whether an official government document, state OR federal, would be considered protected work, as well as whether the image of the person itself would still be protected on a forged document like that.

        Any inputs on those questions now that the semantics are pointed out to me =)
    • "If not will video stores be forced to ban "BAD RENTER" walls and such other devices for shaming/controlling problem customers?"

      Yes, but that's aside from the discussion - if you want to keep a collection of photos of bad renters as reference for your staff to know who not to rent to then go ahead, but photographing people and putting them on display is completely crossing the line. Not least because it's mass libel. 'Shaming' people, as a primary method of government sponsored punishment was done away w
      • by Adambomb (118938) *
        Hm, i hadnt thought of those measures that way and thats a very good point. I still want to know whether the ID is considered protected work, whether its state OR federal, and whether their image is still considered protected when included on a forged official document.

        Any lawyers in copyright law that would know without spending precious lawyertime?
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        I'd say shaming people is still a technique that's in fairly active use, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

        Sex offender registries, and resultant websites mapping their residences [google.com] would be an example.

        "Scarlet letter" plates [google.com] for DUI/DWIs seem to be gaining traction as well.

        Granted, both sex offenders and DUI/DWIs are horrible crimes, but it does seem as if we're not giving people a fair chance at reintegrating into society . . .

        I'm sure there are other examples out there . . .

    • by SuperBanana (662181) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:40PM (#19043747)

      Either way, trying to claim it was an original work seems really dangerous as its basically an admission of forgery.

      Yep, it was not very smart. Until the DCMA request was filed, the only thing the underage girl could be reasonably convicted of when she hands a fake ID to someone is uttering, ie, presenting forged papers as legitimate. Well, and any additional laws she broke that may be specific to presenting false ID for the purpose of buying alcohol and being underage.

      If she filed a DCMA request which implies she's the creator of the work, it's not terribly hard to prove that she's guilty of both forgery and saying.

      Sidenote: I've seen half a dozen slashdotters declare "OF COURSE you can't copyright a forged document!", and yet have not offered any citations, explanations (that make any kind of sense) or case history. A cookie to the first poster that does.

      Sidenote number two: I'm not really cheering for this waitress. She's got a severe "big fish, little pond" complex going.

      • It's not her job to play Twenty Questions, or Detective, or engage in religious profiling. Apparently the girl is from a "mostly Jewish" neighborhood, and while Jewish law prohibits desecration of a dead body, that does not mean someone from a "mostly Jewish" town WOULDN'T be an organ donor. Maybe their parents were Jewish, and they're agnostic, for fuck's sake. Why should someone have to explain all that to get a beer?
      • Confiscating a license, or any other ID, is a great way to end up in a heap of trouble unless it is specifically allowed in your jurisdiction (which it is, in many cases. But stupid if it's not.) The right way: take the ID, walk to the office, call the cops. Wrong way: taunt her, make fun of her, and NOT call the cops.
      • Posting people's IDs, forged or not, is a great example of spitting into the wind. The state is probably not terribly pleased at seeing examples of counterfeit documents posted, and if it turns out it IS a legitimate ID, now you're doubly fucked, because you just confiscated a valid ID, provided proof, AND copied an official state document, AND posted private information. If the forged ID came from a ring, they're going to be pissed their ID made it onto the net. The girl, her parents, friends, etc are going to be pissed too.That's a great way to wake up one morning and find your tires slashed and a rock through your windshield. Lose, lose, lose situation. And for what? Some attention-whoring on the 'net....
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        It's not her job to play Twenty Questions, or Detective, or engage in religious profiling. Apparently the girl is from a "mostly Jewish" neighborhood, and while Jewish law prohibits desecration of a dead body, that does not mean someone from a "mostly Jewish" town WOULDN'T be an organ donor. Maybe their parents were Jewish, and they're agnostic, for fuck's sake. Why should someone have to explain all that to get a beer?


        actually, most rabbinical authorities are totally cool with organ donation anyways as sav
        • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

          by ubuwalker31 (1009137)
          It is a little more complicated than that. From judiasm.about.com, a known chalachic authority:
          "Organ donation is permitted in the case when an organ is needed for a specific, immediate transplant. In such a case, it is a great mitzvah for a Jew to donate organs to save another person's life. Organ donation is not necessarily limited to dead people: Someone who can afford to spare a kidney, for example, may donate one to someone in need.

          Yet in consideration of the prohibition against desecrating the body,
      • by Maestro4k (707634) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:35PM (#19045597) Journal

        It's not her job to play Twenty Questions, or Detective, or engage in religious profiling. Apparently the girl is from a "mostly Jewish" neighborhood, and while Jewish law prohibits desecration of a dead body, that does not mean someone from a "mostly Jewish" town WOULDN'T be an organ donor. Maybe their parents were Jewish, and they're agnostic, for fuck's sake. Why should someone have to explain all that to get a beer?

        I think you need to go read the articles again, I never got the impression that she actually said all that to the girl, but that she was posting about her own mental thought processes as to why the girl's answer as to where she was from just set off yet more alarm bells about the ID being fake. In that context it's perfectly reasonable, she already had reason to suspect the ID was fake, and the other information the girl provided was at best suspect. Seeing as her job is on the line if she accepts a fake ID she's going to err on the side of caution (for herself) and find that the possible, but not very likely, situation of her being a non-Jewish person from the area is most likely not the case here.

        Confiscating a license, or any other ID, is a great way to end up in a heap of trouble unless it is specifically allowed in your jurisdiction (which it is, in many cases. But stupid if it's not.) The right way: take the ID, walk to the office, call the cops. Wrong way: taunt her, make fun of her, and NOT call the cops.

        And now you've failed today's reading comprehension test completely. In the article from the first link she says "I've been informed that I'm required to do this." about confiscating the licenses. She doesn't say who has informed her but in context it's pretty clear her boss(es) were the ones who told her. Others in the comments have pointed out that it is indeed the law in New York that fake licenses are to be confiscated. And she didn't taunt her at the bar, she questioned her briefly, found her answers to be unlikely to be true and confiscated the ID and told her "You can't drink here, darling, and I'm keeping your ID." (That's from the cached copy in the second link.)

        Posting people's IDs, forged or not, is a great example of spitting into the wind. The state is probably not terribly pleased at seeing examples of counterfeit documents posted, and if it turns out it IS a legitimate ID, now you're doubly fucked, because you just confiscated a valid ID, provided proof, AND copied an official state document, AND posted private information. If the forged ID came from a ring, they're going to be pissed their ID made it onto the net. The girl, her parents, friends, etc are going to be pissed too.That's a great way to wake up one morning and find your tires slashed and a rock through your windshield. Lose, lose, lose situation. And for what? Some attention-whoring on the 'net....

        She apparently does this regularly and hasn't had a rock through her windshield or tires slashed yet. She's had a bunch of people commit mild identity theft over this one post, just ONE out of who knows how many mind you. And why is that occurring? Because the girl who used the fake ID is stirring up attention. Now, tell me, who exactly is "attention-whoring on the 'net" here? The bartender, or the girl who tried to use a fake ID and got busted? Looks to me like it's the latter, and she's even upping her crime level from presenting a fake ID to admitting she MADE the ID to filing a false DMCA report, etc.

        If you'd bothered to research any at all and find out that it is indeed the law for fake IDs to be confiscated in New York you'd know that there isn't any question that the ID was fake at this point. If it had been all it would have taken is a quick visit to the police and they would have come to the club and got the girl's license back that night. Before the bartender went home with it. Before it got posted online. But that did

  • No (Score:2, Insightful)

    by barakn (641218)
    The forger him/herself violated the copyright of whomever designed the document in the first place.
  • Um ... (Score:5, Insightful)

    by WrongSizeGlass (838941) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:52PM (#19042841)
    ... isn't claiming to be the "creator"/"artist"/"author" of a fake ID admitting to counterfeiting? Perhaps not the smartest move ever. And since a DMCA 'takedown notice' is a legal document denying authorship of the fake ID later would probably be perjury.

    I sure hope this ends badly for the underaged drunk wannabe.
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Adambomb (118938) *
      Actually the point is more that the DMCA notice is a legal document CLAIMING authorship of the fake ID. It wouldnt be perjury but its still monumentally stupid. You'd think that implicating yourself voluntarily performing an illegal activity in a legal document would be grounds for charges to be filed.
  • Does it matter? (Score:4, Interesting)

    by Fallingcow (213461) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:53PM (#19042881) Homepage
    Even if it is art, would it matter?

    Say you've got a website discussing a certain aspect of book cover design. You post example images for the purpose of demonstrating and discussing it. You're in the clear in this case, yes?

    Sounds like the same thing.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by the phantom (107624) *
      This was exactly the point that I was going to make. It is perfectly legal to duplicate copyrighted works (or portions thereof) in the interest of criticism or review, not to mention satire or parody. Even if you can successfully make the argument that you own the copyright for a forged government document, I don't see how a bartender posting a photograph of said forged document, and criticizing and mocking the execution of that document does not fall under fair use.
  • by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @03:54PM (#19042903)
    In fact it is a piece of "original" art. Though I doubt they'd want to go through court with it, over here they could.

    Though in reply they'd immediately get charged with forgery of an official document. In other words, you go to a civil court, they hit the criminal one. You stand against their lawyer, they stand against the general attorney.

    It's a bit like disassembling a trojan. In theory, it is a piece of software, protected by copyright. But I doubt any writer would ever drag you to court for it.

    In fact, if I was in her place, I would not comply and instead challenge it on grounds of ... pffft, let a lawyer get creative, they get money for that. And see if the other side is REALLY interested in seeing this in court. But then, that would be here. I dunno if in the US, copyright violations are already superior offenses to crimes against the state.
  • Forged documents should be removed from the web for other reasons. DMCA aside the forged IDs could have real information. Information such as drivers license numbers and addresses gained from real IDs. Many fake IDs I saw while working as a clerk where modified legitimate IDs.
  • I would be really surprised if the fake ID contains a statement of transfer of copyright, or that the holder of the fake ID holds such a document. Such a document would required revealing who the forger is.

    Therefore, any copyright would reside with the forger, and whoever issued the original ID (assuming that the usual method of modifying an existing ID was used).
  • calls into question the DMCA takedown notice process.

    If Google takes content down without questioning the process or the content, they stay safe from being to blame for censorship, but it leaves the door open for people like Viacom et al to blindly request content be taken down. If some proof of copyright ownership could be shown at the time the take down is requested, might it not prevent some of the more ridiculous take downs?
  • There is an artists who create his own currency, in US denominations. It is obviously not US currency, but it looks like money. He then tries to spend it. People who accept the currency get a visit from a collector later on who buys it for much more than the face value. In fact, the "money" is worth more to collectors if it is honored at face value by somebody.

    He did get in trouble with the treasury over "counterfeiting", but I believe he eventually worked that out. Clearly what he is doing is art, not
  • One thing is not so clear to me here. Is this *definitely* a case of a "fake"-ID or a stolen/borrowed ID? I have not seen the ID in question and didn't find it in a 1.8 second search of the page. I'm probably also not familiar with what the state's real ID's look like. My question here is.. which is not 100% clear to me is.. was this truly a fake ID?

    People often refer to using their older brother's ID as a fake-ID as it is not them on the ID. The same goes for a stolen/found ID. If someone is using
  • ...yes, you, Ashley Heyer! You could have left it alone, but you went the bratty way and got your gang of Facebook friends and sorority sisters to start a fight with a woman who just might be the coolest bartender ever and now your story is on Slashdot. Congratulations, Ashley! Thanks to the power of Slashdot, your political career will never be able to get this story off the top link in a Google search for your name. Here's to you, Ashley Heyer, you're a real American Hero!

    (hum the theme song as you click the link, folks...)

    http://www.google.com/search?q=ashley+heyer [google.com]
  • by TheHawke (237817) <rchapin@nOSpam.pelicancoast.net> on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:01PM (#19043027)
    If the plaintiff can prove that the fake ID is his/hers, then he/she has the legal right to post the takedown. Then again, this will confirm to the legal authorities that he/she is a forger of fake ID's and can be arrested and charged. It's a double-edged sword, and in this case, the sharper edge of the blade is poised over the accuser's neck. He/she needs to reconsider the ramifications of the legal action that they took. The feds might just take notice since they take a dim view of folks that make fake IDs.
    • by TBone (5692)

      The plaintiff would only be able to claim ownership if it were a "work for hire". Otherwise, it's technically owned by the person who created the fake ID.

      And I'm reasonably sure they aren't going to claim ownership on the original work :)

    • Not exactly. (Score:3, Interesting)

      by raehl (609729)
      If the plaintiff can prove that the fake ID is his/hers, then he/she has the legal right to post the takedown

      EVERYONE has the legal right to post a take-down notice. No proof of anything is required.

      But, as part of posting a take-down notice, you must state, under penalty of perjury, that you are the owner of the material in question, or an authorized representative of the owner.

      So if you file a DMCA complaint about a fake ID, you would be screwed one way or the other - either you created (or paid someone
  • when i was going to Tech School i used to work nights at the 7-11 there at Baylor.
    i used to get a kick out of all the fake IDs the good Baylor kids would come up with to by beer with. my manager was the one that collected them though.
  • by TBone (5692) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:04PM (#19043081) Homepage

    The author should most definitely file a counter-notice against Blogger, and have the page restored.

    Directions for such can be found on ChillingEffects [chillingeffects.org]

    The girl is stupid. Stupid in the same way that every person we interview here gets a MySpace and Google search done on them, informally, just to see what kind of things the Intarwebs have to say about them. It's nothing official, but if we're borderline about bringing on someone, that search might tip our decision one way or the other. If we're "eh" on hiring someone, and find out they prefer to spend their nights playing games until 4 AM, then coming in late to their last 4 jobs, we're probably gonna go with "poor work ethic" and not hire them. In the same way, if she's, say, at NYU Law as an undergrad, when it comes time for internships, all those law firms are probably going to be very interested in the fact that she got caught with a fake ID when she was an undergrad.

    As the author states in her writings, "actions have consequences" . In this case, for a young woman who is "going places", her actions are that those places she's going are going to know she, when she was underage, she was willing to break the law just to go out drinking.

    I hope Rachel gets the post back online...and maybe even gets the chance to file suit for abuse of DMCA Takedown notices. We'll see what kind of places this girl goes when it's not just a post about her fake ID, but her disregard for the valid use of the law.

  • by gdav (2540) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:06PM (#19043129)
    Can't they both lose?
  • Short answer: No (Score:5, Interesting)

    by DRJlaw (946416) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @04:52PM (#19043993)
    Let's analyze this problem step by step.

    Copyright protection subsists in original works of authorship fixed in any tangible medium of expression. 17 U.S.C. 102.

    1. What is original in the driver's license?

    The graphics? No. The layout? No. The selection of the fields of data? No. The photograph? Arguably. The data? Arguably.

    2. What is original and protectable in the driver's license?

    Are photographs protectable? Yes. Is data protectable? No. FEIST PUBLICATIONS, INC. v. RURAL TELEPHONE SERVICE CO., 499 U.S. 340 (1991).

    3. Is the reproduction likely to infringe the protectable content?

    The fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include--
    (1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
    (2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
    (3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
    (4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.

    17 U.S.C. 107.

    The purpose and character appears to be criticism, or at least not commercial. The nature of the copyrighted work is at least allegedly a government ID, which does not favor copyrightability by someone other than the government. The amount and substantiality of the portion used is essentially all, which does favor copyrightability. However, the effect of the use upon the potential market or value of the photograph is, at least to the best of our knowledge, none, since Google is bereft of interesting content regarding Ms. Ashley Heyer.

    The fair use factors balance out somewhere along the lines of 3 against, 1 in favor. There could be a more involved analysis, and there could be ancillary factors for consideration, but if I were the one being faced with this DMCA notice, I would file the counternotice and take my chances.
  • It was all my idea (Score:3, Interesting)

    by goatsandmonkeys (1099511) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @05:30PM (#19044645)
    Hi I'm Mark. I've been a slash dot reader since slash dot radio on the sync in the 90s. I am friends with the ID owner. I told her since she owned the copyright to the picture and signature on the card that she could invoke the DMCA. Rachel seems to be under the impression that the card holder is claiming ownership to the card which she is not,just the image and the signature. I think the DMCA is a awful law, but it is the law. I see this as activism to illustrate how bad the DMCA is. But I must say it feels good to use a law purchased by large corporate interests for personal use.
    • Hi Mark! (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Stickerboy (61554)
      What an incredibly bad idea. You probably are lying about being a "slash dot reader" (who the fuck would call themselves reading "slash dot" instead of "/." or "slashdot" after reading it for years?), but that's OK, Mr. 7-digit UID. Unfortunately, your friend, Ashley Heyer, was stupid enough to put her real name, her real picture, and her real signature on a fake ID. I don't know about you, but if I was a public prosecutor involved in a "get tough" law-enforcement program to show my fellow voters how I'm
  • by vorlich (972710) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @05:52PM (#19044997) Homepage Journal
    I used to be manager in the World Famous Barnton Bar & Bistro - as featured on Irvine Welsh's cups - http://www.thebistro.co.uk/index.htm [thebistro.co.uk] (Pure rubbish website now). From Thursday through to Saturday staff general carded people who they suspected were under 18 years old - that's the legal drinking age in Scotland and the UK. We didn't systematically card everyone because with over 400 people throught the doors in the space of a few hours it just isn't practical. It is illegal in Scotland for a member of staff to serve alcohol to anyone under-age and they can be fined.
    It is easy to spot the under age drinkers, here are just six red flags:
    1 They don't look around - regular punters always check out the pub because surprising as it is, most people come to the pub for the social aspect and like to see who is in. It is not unusual for a group of woman to come in look around and then immediately leave because there is a lack of male totty.
    2. They try to find a seat immediately, preferably down the back or as far away from the bar as people. This is so the youngest of them can attempt to hide in the dark and they can have a committee meeting to decide who looks the oldest and is going for the round (for non-UK residents this is the special social custom of buying all the drinks in rotation). Most regular punters usually try to get served first (well, that's the third reason they came in!) and prefer to worry about a seat afterwards and anyway - you can always just stand near the bar, that's how you meet people!
    3. Before smoking was made illegal they always either smoked at the bar or lit a cigarette as they were about to be served. Regular punters simply never did this, even the lowest drunken old bum never did this, they waited until they had secured their drink and then they lit cigarette. Regular punters who actually had a cigarette in their hand when they went to buy their round (to fulfill the complex anthropological necessities of doing this sometimes you have to quickly buy an extra drink for a new arrival just as you are settling down.) would make a great effort to hide the cigarette - not blow it in your face.
    4. Behave as if you had roundly insulted them when you ask for their id. Real people who are the legal age are always very amused and smug whenever they are asked for their id and give it willingly and with great enthusiasm. One particulary short and baby-faced student who was actually 25 was always amused when asked for his ID - and boy did he have ID!
    5. Avoid eye contact or use inappropriate eye contact. Under agers are always tempted to address their inner child during this stressful trial and find it difficult not to look down or in attempt to overcome this desire, stare straight at you like a mad wookie.
    6. Pick the wrong gender of staff for the wrong reasons on the wrong night. Friday night is the end of the week and the traditional night for most customers to be engaged in the search for a sexual partner (...eh your all still with me...? Okay.) This means that women want to be served by the most attractive man behind the bar and men want to be served by the most attractive woman, at the very least you understand, it's practice. Gay men and women do the same thing but obviously with the same sex and if you are wondering how to tell the difference, perhaps you need to get out more. Saturday is for getting drunk, since you may as well console yourself at not having sex the previous evening, so you are not interested in which member of staff serves you.

    So Ashley Heyer failed on number 4. And now she's the talk of slashdot. Paris Hilton, eat your heart out... at least until 5th June!
    • If you're an underage drinker in the UK all you have to do is find the right pub. I think I would have raised numerous red flags in my youth but through choosing the right bar I always got a drink.

      1) The 1st time I was in the bar I was confused by the huge array of beer and asked for a pint with a bit of everything in it - "Er, can I have some of that mild, and er some Bass and some of this one too please ? No, just in the one glass"

      2) We would spend numerous nights in the pub once we'd collectively ran out
  • Who owns the Photo (Score:3, Interesting)

    by nuggz (69912) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @06:03PM (#19045175) Homepage
    Photo is an artistic work, it is copyrightable.

    I'm glad I don't have her lawyers.

    The better layer is to use a photo owned by someone who is not the fake ID holder.
    If I grant Bob a license to 1 copy of my photo he could use it in any way he wants. Taking his ID would not give you a license to use it.

    If you want to bust them, take your own photo when they come in your bar.
  • by VValdo (10446) on Tuesday May 08, 2007 @09:51PM (#19047341)
    With all the discussion about whether or not you can copyright a forgery, I'm more concerned for the information contained on the legit ID/forged ID itself. We can see they contain a name, address, birth date, driver's license #, physical description, photo, and signature.

    Leaving aside the possibility that it is a valid ID, let's look at a hypothetical-- say only the picture has been forged. Say a legit ID was stolen/copied and someone slapped their face (or the face of someone else) on it. Or maybe it's an innocent "borrowed" big brother's ID or a picture with a similar enough face for the scammer to get by. The rest of the info is valid, and now the innocent cardholder has not only had their ID taken, but now their personal info has been posted on the Internet too!

    How many of you have been asked for your birthdate, street name, or driver's license in lieu of a password as a kind of phone verification? I've had credit card companies and others do this all the time.

    Even assuming the IDs ARE faked, forget shaming- is it not vigilante justice to violate the suspected faker's information online and subject them (or their victims) to an increased likelihood of identity theft? Does this violate state or federal privacy laws?

    Just a consideration that occurred to me..

    W

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