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Electronic Frontier Foundation Sues Uri Geller 240

Posted by CowboyNeal
from the totally-saw-that-coming dept.
reversible physicist writes "The Electronic Frontier Foundation has sued spoon-bender Uri Geller for using 'baseless copyright claims' to silence critics who question his paranormal powers. Brian Sapient posted on YouTube a 14-minute excerpt from the 1993 PBS NOVA program 'Secrets of the Psychics,' in which skeptic James Randi says Geller's spoon-bending feats were simple tricks. YouTube took down the video after Geller complained — his lawyers claim that 10 seconds of the video are owned by Geller. A shorter excerpt of the video is still up on YouTube."
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Electronic Frontier Foundation Sues Uri Geller

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  • by C4st13v4n14 (1001121) on Friday May 11, 2007 @05:49AM (#19080483)
    There is no spoon!
    • The Amazing Randi (Score:5, Insightful)

      by Marcion (876801) on Friday May 11, 2007 @05:58AM (#19080521) Homepage Journal
      I am not a lawyer but 10 seconds for the purpose of criticism is surely fair use?
      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by nosferatu1001 (264446)
        I thought it was even less than that, around 3 seconds of actual footage - hence fair use (especially as it is criticism) should be trivial to show.

        It seems like they erroneously issued DMCA takedown and, as such, are liable for damages. IA mostdefinatley NAL however!
      • Re:The Amazing Randi (Score:4, Informative)

        by 91degrees (207121) on Friday May 11, 2007 @07:10AM (#19080807) Journal
        Generally, yes. In this case, most probably. It all depends on the nature of the use, including length, effect on the marketability of the original, and the nature of the use.

        So if these 10 seconds happened to be the most amazing trick ever and would be the sole reason that people would buy his videos, and you used only those 10 seconds without any commentary at all, then there's a possibility it wouldn;t be fair use.
        • by Tuoqui (1091447) on Friday May 11, 2007 @07:26AM (#19080873) Journal
          According to the article the biggest trick ever is silencing skeptics.

          Of course anyone can do that if they can buy themselves an elite ninja death squad.
          • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @07:34AM (#19080909)

            According to the article the biggest trick ever is silencing skeptics.
            It's worked for scientology...
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              According to the article the biggest trick ever is silencing skeptics.

              It's worked for scientology...


              Because nobody on the Internet knows about Xenu or other crap. It's never been portrayed and mocked in popular cartoons, for that matter.
              • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

                by asninn (1071320)
                "On the Internet", or "in geek(ish) circles"? The (vast?) majority of Internet users these days aren't geeks that read Slashdot every day, stay up to date on sites like xenu.net and so on anymore - they're just regular people.

                Over here, "ordinary" people who don't know what scientology (the church/company/crime syndicate/terrorist organisation) is really like will generally view them as fraudsters at best, but not necessarily as criminals who will do anything that's necessary to achieve their goals, with no
    • by monk.e.boy (1077985) on Friday May 11, 2007 @08:07AM (#19081065) Homepage

      Uri Geller *always* has two spoons. Not hard to figure out his 'magic powers' when he only lets you examine one of them

      monk.e.boy

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by NayDizz (821461)
        Actually, he would just bend the crap out of the spoon beforehand, until the middle pivot point was flimsy enough to bend easily. I love this clip from the Tonight Show where Johnny Carson provides him with unaltered props and Uri refuses to perform a psychic phenomenon. Oh, it's introduced by Randi... Link [youtube.com]
    • by z4pp4 (923705)
      Uri Geller should get bent
  • by abionnnn (758579) on Friday May 11, 2007 @05:49AM (#19080485)
    He thought he could bend copyright laws too!
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @05:54AM (#19080505)
      Unlike spoons, copyright laws are self-bending.
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by Mateo_LeFou (859634)
        I remember Moglen predicted that the DMCA would primarily be used -- not to thwart copyright infringmenet -- but to thwart competition and public participation. Cf. printer cartridges, SLAPPs, etc. It often seems to me like he was prophetic.

        Of course, the only time I ever hear about DMCA usage is on /. so it's not exactly fair and balanced. Are there tons of legitimate DMCA takedowns happening that don't get reported?
        • YouTube receives a ridiculous number of DMCA notices every day. It's only the really stupid ones (when frauds like Scientologists and Uri Geller try to silence criticism) that make it to slashdot.
    • by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @07:29AM (#19080879)

      He thought he could bend copyright laws too!
      That's kind of futile isn't it? /. users have been bending and breaking copyright laws without the help of supernatural powers for many years now.
  • More on this.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by BigBadBus (653823) on Friday May 11, 2007 @05:50AM (#19080491) Homepage
    Theres a bit more on this on http://www.badpsychics.co.uk/ [badpsychics.co.uk] and its forums. Well worth a read IMHO!
    • Re:More on this.... (Score:5, Informative)

      by Anonymous Coward on Friday May 11, 2007 @06:34AM (#19080661)
      And here is EFF press release and filings: (I'm disappointed these were not linked in summary.)
      http://www.eff.org/news/archives/2007_05.php#00524 4 [eff.org]
      http://www.eff.org/legal/cases/sapient_v_geller/ [eff.org]
    • ... still more ... (Score:5, Interesting)

      by thermopile (571680) on Friday May 11, 2007 @06:36AM (#19080673) Homepage
      Still more can be found here, on Damn Interesting, [damninteresting.com] which provides an entertaining read on the things he claims to have done, and the efforts to debunk them. From what I've read, they haven't ALL been debunked.

      His spoon covered cadillac, however, is laughable.

      • by Mr. Underbridge (666784) on Friday May 11, 2007 @07:53AM (#19080995)

        Still more can be found here, on Damn Interesting, which provides an entertaining read on the things he claims to have done, and the efforts to debunk them. From what I've read, they haven't ALL been debunked.

        Technically, neither has Santa Claus or the Tooth Fairy, and I'll put about the same probability of truth on each.

    • by PopeRatzo (965947) * on Friday May 11, 2007 @07:02AM (#19080767) Homepage Journal
      It kind of bugs me that these "skeptics" like Randi will go after these two-bit hucksters, but not touch the real frauds selling organized religion to suckers.

      You think Uri Gellar little scam can touch the massive hocus pocus peddled by guys like the Pope or other so-called "religious leaders"? At least Gellar is somewhat entertaining and doesn't expect me to give him 10 percent of my income and the nicest few hours of a Sunday morning, and he doesn't promise I can wish away all the bad things in the world, despite all evidence to the contrary. And he doesn't try to make people feel guilty about sex.

      Religion is the last bastion of political correctness. Now we're all supposed to look the other way when a candidate for president wears magical underwear and not ask him how he can believe that stuff about the golden plates in the desert and all. No wonder we end up with guys like Bush.

      No, Uri Gellar, cheap flim-flam he may be, can't hold a candle to someone like this guy in Colorado, Ted Haggard, who's preaching "family values" and having prayer meetings with the President during the day and snorting crystal with male prostitutes in the evening.

      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by Bertie (87778)
        Actually, watch that very clip, and you'll see... Randi going after a faith healer.
      • by Eivind (15695)
        I agree. But just because both are bad, and religion is the greater evil, doesn't make it a bad thing to figth this smaller evil.

        It's sorta like, just because there are BIGGER problems in the world than DRM, doesn't make it a bad thing to figth this smaller evil.

      • by Ash Vince (602485) on Friday May 11, 2007 @07:45AM (#19080965) Journal
        One again the slashdot mods showing they are unable to handle a point of view which differs from their own.

        If you dont aggree with a post, try and be constructive and say why you disagree. Dont just mod the post as a troll because it offends your christian sensibilities.

        Personally I gree with the parent poster. At least you can safely laugh at Uri Gellar in the knowledge that all he can bend is spoons. There are much more worring people out there who can bend other peoples minds into doing their bidding.
        • by Lockejaw (955650)

          Dont just mod the post as a troll because it offends your christian sensibilities.
          You expect to find that on /.? You must be new here.
      • by kestasjk (933987)
        Organized religions don't pretend to be able to demonstrate the paranormal, and so there's nothing concrete or repeatable for anyone like Randi to disprove.

        Besides, if watching people like Randi debunk the paranormal should tell you anything it's that people will believe what they want; the people who fall for this stuff are one part ignorance, one part stupidity, and two parts wishful thinking.
        • by holysin (549880) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:05AM (#19081539) Homepage
          Uh... "Organized religions don't pretend to be able to demonstrate the paranormal, and so there's nothing concrete or repeatable for anyone like Randi to disprove."

          You're not catholic are you? Exorcisms, Transubstantiation (bread into flesh, wine into blood), resurection, heaven, hell, the rapture (wait, that's evangelicals), saints (need a miracle to be a saint remember, and what's the definition of a miracle?)

          Course if you're a Mormon, how about the magic underwear? Or john smith's magic hat?

          Quakers (and southern baptists, and a few others) still speak in tongues when the "holy spirit" takes them over. They've even been known to... well... quake with feeling for the lord.

          The devil? God? Creationism? The great flood? The concept of sin? Passover? Easter? Reincarnation? Any of these things ringing a bell?

          However, you are at least partially right, over the centuries cults (erm, religions) have gotten very good at claiming things that are hard to disprove. However you might want to check out Richard Dawkins' new book "The God Delusion". You're also right, people tend to be easily fooled into believing nonsense, look at how many devout christians of various faiths there are in the US. Hell, the president believes the the jury is still out on evolution. For that matter a CBS survey back in 04 found that 45% of the people who voted for Bush and 24% of the votes for Kerry wanted creationism taught in schools instead of evolution. That's a crap load of people that think evolution is BS. (There's also 3 republican presidental candidates (for now) that state they do NOT believe in evolution.
          • by kestasjk (933987)
            Yes, yes, I've read many of Dawkins' books including "The God Delusion", and no I'm not Catholic or any other religion. But those things you mentioned are either not a part of the religion (e.g. exorcism) or aren't repeatable (e.g. the great flood, water to wine, resurrection), and so they can't be debunked. (Penn and Teller did a very funny bit on excorsism, but that hardly debunks Christianity since it's not a part of the official religion.)
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by ericlondaits (32714)
            Don't forget the miracles. The catholic church has accepted many miracles over the years, which are actually a requirement to qualify for sainthood (and there's a lot of saints, so that's a lot of miracles). You have some popular ones, like those made by the Lady of Fatima and the virgin of Lourdes.

            What's interesting is that the church investigates and aproves some of these miracles, but believing in them is not actually required to be a catholic... they leave it to personal choice.

            To be fair, that IS a sma
          • Re:More on this.... (Score:4, Interesting)

            by smellsofbikes (890263) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:07AM (#19082263) Journal
            I agree with the direction of your post, but there are some ... let's call them clarifications.

            1. Joseph Smith, not John, was the one with the hat. 1a. It wasn't the hat that was magic, it was a stone, that he dug up and PUT in the hat, and then he'd stick his face in the hat and the stone would talk to him and he'd say what the stone told him to, so that his loyal amanuensis could write it all down.

            2. Most Quakers these days aren't so into the crazies. Shakers were but they're mostly extinct. Likewise, most Southern Baptists and their crowd don't do the shaking and speaking-in-tongues (glossolalia, it's called) and handling snakes and other weird things like that: many consider those to be sinful. Pentecostals, however, are WAY into the shaking and the gibbering.

            A lot of religious Christian types absolutely do believe in big, world-affecting miracles, at least in the past: many of them will tell you earnestly that NASA had to repeatedly recalibrate the Apollo landings to account for a missing day [about.com] -- but not quite a full day, because two different time-stop miracles are described in the Bible. They're thorough, even if the whole idea of weird time issues thousands of years ago would have any relevance whatsoever on the Earth/Moon system being ludicrious. (Of course, it's not ludicrous if there was a defined start time, at which the Earth and Moon were created like they are -- which they believe -- but it is if the E/M system is a few billion years old and doesn't really have a discernable start.)
      • Well, maybe. Anyways, when you say:

        At least Gellar ... doesn't promise I can wish away all the bad things in the world, despite all evidence to the contrary
        It suggests to me that you don't know Uri Geller [uri-geller.com] very well. I guess that could actually be considered a compliment, though.
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by Miseph (979059)
        The difference is that even if there is no deity, the majority religions still provide useful and positive services to their members. There are some whackjobs in organized religion to be sure, but most clergy by whatever name they're called, as well as most believers, are good, honest people who try to do right in the world and from time to time succeed.

        I realize that when you're a young "atheist", head all full of newfound rhetorical and "logical" techniques, it seems cool to paint organized religion as a
        • Wish I had mod points...

          What I've noticed is ALL religion gets shoved in a corner, but the only ones we really hear about are the nutjobs who get put on TV...because they get the ratings (or elected to public office).

          Churches act as community centers, they help people out, and if you believe in the spirit of whatever religion you follow (rather than the letter), you're probably pretty well adjusted. It's just this section of the population gets shouted over by the Haggards, et. al., and don't make for good
        • by symbolic (11752)
          There are some whackjobs in organized religion to be sure, but most clergy by whatever name they're called, as well as most believers, are good, honest people who try to do right in the world and from time to time succeed.

          As soon as they get the whole marriage/divorce thing figured out, let's talk. I'm inclined to think that peoples' stated beliefs are far more related to the social aspects of religion than they are to the religion itself. People have an inherent need to belong, but apparently, not as stron
        • The difference is that even if there is no deity, the majority religions still provide useful and positive services to their members.

          Like brainwashing them to believe that if they strap on a bomb and kill the infidel, they'll go straight to heaven where virgins await them?

          ... most clergy by whatever name they're called, as well as most believers, are good, honest people who try to do right in the world and from time to time succeed.

          Prove it. I'm not buying it for a second. I've found religious types
          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by Miseph (979059)
            "Like brainwashing them to believe that if they strap on a bomb and kill the infidel, they'll go straight to heaven where virgins await them?"

            Since that is apparently directed at Muslims... the vast majority of Muslims do not believe that in any way, and the Koran is actually very clear on the rules of war, prohibiting things like the targeting of civilians, kidnapping, wanton destruction of buildings, torture, or killing any more than necessary to achieve the objectives. The fact that, out of over 1 billio
            • I never said that EVERY religious person was bad, or a nut job, or intolerant. I do believe that organized religion does more harm than good. I also believe that religious people are by and far like other types of people --- mostly weak, self-serving, indifferent, and dishonest (both to themselves, and others).
            • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

              by asninn (1071320)
              Without wanting to comment on your post and the issues discussed in this thread as such, I'd like to point out that it seems to make little sense to - on one hand - say that the actions of people doing bad things in the name of religion do not actually have anything to with that religion, and then - on the other hand - point out that people who did *good* things (like Dr. King) were religious people.

              Yes, religion does influence what people do; but either the religion *as such* (no matter whether it's islam,
            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by UnknownSoldier (67820)
              > the vast majority of Muslims do not believe that in any way, and the Koran is actually very clear on the rules of war,

              Have you even _read_ what the Koran says? The Koran is corrupted just as much as the Bible.

              * "Slay them wherever you find them...Idolatry is worse than carnage...Fight against them until idolatry is no more and God's religion reigns supreme." (Surah 2:190-)

              * "Fighting is obligatory for you, much as you dislike it." (Surah 2:216)

              * "Seek out your enemies relentlessly." (Surah 4:103-)

              * "T
          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by abb3w (696381)

            The difference is that even if there is no deity, the majority religions still provide useful and positive services to their members.

            Like brainwashing them to believe that if they strap on a bomb and kill the infidel, they'll go straight to heaven where virgins await them?

            It's more accurate to say that the religions provide useful and positive services to their societies. In the case of "strap on a bomb and kill the infidel", it encourages surplus male population to go out and annoy outsiders, rathe

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by db32 (862117)
          I agree with your sentiment, but the whole do good thing is a little broadly painted itself. It depends on where in the world you are at, when you get to dealing with that crowd of "I'm saved because I accept Jesus, and you can choose to be saved" crowd...wow. Some of the most worthless excuses for humans I have run into. Irritating, pushy, arrogant, completely blind to anything Jesus actually taught (I am reasonably convinced he was a real man, just not so convinced of the whole Son of God business). T
        • The difference is that even if there is no deity, the majority religions still provide useful and positive services to their members.

          Not just to their members, but to society in general.

          My wife took some philosophy classes in college. One of them was a class on ethics. She came home one day, frightened.

          The discussion topic was about the nature of ethics. What are they, where do they come from, etc. One of the things that came out in class was that the majority of people in the class thought that

        • by Vellmont (569020)

          The difference is that even if there is no deity, the majority religions still provide useful and positive services to their members.

          Granted. But I think the open question is whether religion, in general, does more good than bad. Maybe it's not fair to throw all religions together in a bunch and judge religion collectively. But I also don't think it's fair to cherry pick the parts of religion you like, and downplay the negative aspects.
        • the majority religions still provide useful and positive services to their members

          Lying to your members about the nature of the universe, and promising them eternal death/pain/whatever is NEVER positive, regardless of the good feelings these people get. Yes, most religious people are "good" people. So are most atheists. Someone who needs religion to be good isn't really good.

          honestly, I think religion needs more bashing. It's still a driving force in our culture, and a destructive one at that. Many of us "s
      • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

        It kind of bugs me that these "skeptics" like Randi will go after these two-bit hucksters, but not touch the real frauds selling organized religion to suckers.

        Do you really think that the world would be better off without religion? Many people -- those not so enlightened as you clearly are -- need the idea of a religion to give their life meaning. These people are not bad folks, they're doing the best they can to make for themselves and their fellow man to make sure they reach their reward in the afterlife.

        There's nothing wrong with atheism either, but you do it a disservice when you spend your time and energy spouting your hatred of religion. Did it eve

  • by daranz (914716) on Friday May 11, 2007 @05:53AM (#19080499)
    During these 10 seconds he placed the spoon in a clamp and started hammering at it vigorously?
  • Mr Spoons (Score:5, Insightful)

    by CmdrGravy (645153) on Friday May 11, 2007 @05:55AM (#19080511) Homepage
    This is an excellent illustration of how people can abuse things like copyrights to attempt to prop up their own dubious practices.

    Clearly Uri Geller has no "psychic" abilities whatsoever and yet he has built his career on claims that he does and this is how he earns his money. Rather than offering scientifically measured demonstrations of his "powers" he attempts instead to simply keep his critics silent. Obviously this is totally reprehensible behaviour which shares some similarity with the behaviour of record companies whoes original purpose is rapidly diminishing and are also using copyright laws to prop themselves up.

    I don't think the answer is necessarily changing the laws of copyright ( except correcting the ludicrous length of time protection can be claimed ) but making sure that people claiming it's protection are doing so properly. It would appear in this case there are no copyright violations since Mr Gellers material is only be critised and excerpted which is perfectly legal. Instead I advocate the slaughter of anyone, individuals or entire companies who attempt to abuse copyright laws in this manner. This should send a strong message that the public do want their rights trampled on and will not let individual members suffer bullying and intimidation for larger individuals or companies.
    • Defamatory (Score:5, Funny)

      by kahei (466208) on Friday May 11, 2007 @06:13AM (#19080579) Homepage
      Clearly Uri Geller has no "psychic" abilities whatsoever

      I'll thank you not to post baseless, unprovable defamatory statements about Mr. Geller. His 'Orange Dot' (see google) was almost certainly the single most amazing thing ever done in the sphere of psychic activity. Seriously, which is more likely:

      Proposition A: Uri Geller does have psychic abilities
      Proposition B: A high proportion of the human race, if you print an orange dot in a newspaper and tell them touching it will make their dreams come true, will take it *very seriously indeed*.

      I think you'll agree the latter proposition is simply ludicrous. Therefore it behooves anyone who'd consider themselves a free thinker to consider proposition A.

      Incidentally, I myself possess something of Mr. Geller's gift. While he is able to energize a large orange dot on high-quality newsprint, I can only perform the lesser feat of energizing a small black dot on the flimsy medium of a cathode ray tube or TFT. I have focused my spirit energy on this dot and it is now fully energized. Empty your mind, gaze on the dot and let the spirit energy fill you and uplift you.

      Here is the Dot: .

      Reach out. Touch it. Imagine you are floating on a bed of marshmallows(*). Who knows? Your dreams might just come true!

      (*)Genuine quote from Uri Geller, used here as "fair use" as I know Mr. Geller would never stoop to abusing copyright law.

      • by Rakshasa Taisab (244699) on Friday May 11, 2007 @06:51AM (#19080719) Homepage
        Damn... Fingerprint on my LCD screen.
      • The funny thing is, I googled "Uri Gellar orange dot", and the best thing that came up after an amazon book is this post.
        • My first guess was because of the large number of people here who are misspelling his last name (Geller) as Gellar. However, even if you use the correct spelling, that search turns up Slashdot as the second (or third) hit. Using the incorrect spelling now puts Slashdot on the top of the list. Behold the power of Slashdot...

          /Insert something about Slashdot granting you magical powers...
      • Proposition B: A high proportion of the human race, if you print an orange dot in a newspaper and tell them touching it will make their dreams come true, will take it *very seriously indeed*.

        I think you'll agree the latter proposition is simply ludicrous


        Considering the multitude of people who believe the moon was never landed on, or even that the UK dead fairy hoax is real ( http://www.snopes.com/inboxer/hoaxes/deadfairy.asp [snopes.com] ), I find proposition B is the more logical one.

        Fact is, most people WANT to belie
    • by dbIII (701233)
      Petty actions that seem funny can have odd consequences. A pocket monster in a Japanese cartoon was named "Geller" and carried a bent spoon around. This got renamed to Abra or Cadabra (not sure which of those two had the spoon) in english, which led to the radical Christian groups that are so widespread in the US South claiming that the cartoon was demonic. It's just as well they kept the name as Pokemon instead of translating that, since playing with the pocket monster can mean other things too and woul
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      Just for the sake of argument.

      Lets take magicians, we all know they don't know magic, they can't do half the things they claim, so how come they can claim to do so and be used as entertainers as such? Uri Geller is a creepy asshole, we all know this, but it does not take away from his entertainment value and if you consider him on par with a kids show magician or a clown then his "act" is perfectly legit.

      Why circle out this guy and not the others?
      • Re:Mr Spoons (Score:5, Insightful)

        by daeg (828071) on Friday May 11, 2007 @08:01AM (#19081041)
        Everyone knows magicians operate with slight of hand and plays on the human senses. Sure, they may claim otherwise as part of their act, but that's all it is: a well-done act for entertainment.

        Uri Geller, on the other hand, claims his abilities are true. He is partly responsible for the wasting of tens of millions of dollars in research around the world from governments doing research on him and people like him, particularly during the cold war. Some people base their lives off of these frauds. They do not benefit society at all.

        We can equate them to one another when magicians start ruining lives when they pick the correct card out of a deck.
        • If you choose to take peopole are face value that is your problem, not my problem. Part of the act or not is just not the issue IMO.

          You either go "wahey this guy is nuts" or you go "okay he's real, he's reading my mind". You pick that no one else.
          • by CmdrGravy (645153)
            What he's doing isn't determined by what I choose to think he's doing. The fact is that he has no psychic powers and is unable to read minds.

            There may be people out there who have never heard of Uri Geller, he might turn up in their town one day and set up a stall reading peoples minds for cash. Some of the people who see him may think "Huh, who is this guy ? Is this for real, can he really be doing magic, should I give him my money ?" and these people may decide to look on the internet for further informat
        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by plover (150551) *
          I'm not so sure that money was as big a waste as you believe it to be.

          Geller heralded a flood of legitimate parapsychological research. Not that the subject itself was legitimate, but the science and the studies were. Virtually every one of them proved psi, ESP, etc., to be nonsense, with a few notable exceptions that were themselves proven to be flawed studies. The end result is more people are now better educated about the chicanery.

          Sunshine is a great disinfectant.

          Don't get me wrong, it's not li

  • by NeverVotedBush (1041088) on Friday May 11, 2007 @05:57AM (#19080519)
    OK, copyright law is one thing, but frauds like Uri Geller do whatever they can to keep anyone from showing their tricks. He's no more than the tent evangelist that has shills in the audience or people who listen to conversations so the perp can somehow know something personal about their next mark.

    Geller is only one step away from the televangelists that want you to lay hands on your TV and feel the power... and then send in your contribution.
    • by arivanov (12034) on Friday May 11, 2007 @06:44AM (#19080691) Homepage
      One step away? He is just a different manifestation of the same problem.

      And so spoke Lazarus: It is a truism that almost any sect, cult, or religion will legislate its creed into law if it acquires the political power to do so, and will follow it by suppressing opposition, subverting all education to seize early the minds of the young, and by killing, locking up, or driving underground all heretics

      Psychic or Shaman same rule apply: Any priest or shaman must be presumed guilty until proved innocent.

  • by gsslay (807818) on Friday May 11, 2007 @06:02AM (#19080531)
    Randi has a copy of the full videos on his website

    http://www.randi.org/uri/index.html [randi.org]
  • when they sang 'bend your words like Uri Gellers' spoons'.
  • by simm1701 (835424) on Friday May 11, 2007 @06:09AM (#19080555)
    If it does go to court it will be interesting to see how he travels to defend it.

    iirc he is on the US no fly list plus a couple of terrorist watch lists... (something to do with organisational affiliations I think)
  • Should'nt he had seen it coming and sued before it got to youTube. Or better still use them to wipe it off the servers

    • by rts008 (812749)
      Yeah, this reminds me of the so called 'psychic hotlines' scams...if they are really psychic, they should be calling me!
  • by DrXym (126579) on Friday May 11, 2007 @06:12AM (#19080571)
    So let me first to say that he is NOT a charlatan, a huckster, a cheap parlour act, a one trick pony, a snakeoil salesman, a vulture preying on the weak minded, a media whore, an insult to intelligence, a talentless liar or a boil on the face of humanity.

    No indeed. He is a great man whom aliens have seen fit to bestow the ultimate of powers - spoon bending. All hail our galactic overlords and their glorious Earth bound representative!

  • by zukinux (1094199) on Friday May 11, 2007 @06:30AM (#19080651) Homepage Journal
    He had a T.V Reality show here in the last season, and some of his tricks had been revealed including magnets he had pulled off his head and got caught. He's nothing more than magician.
    Uri Geller is a joke on youtube [youtube.com]
    it should give you a proof or so just search there : Uri Geller.
  • by CriminalNerd (882826) on Friday May 11, 2007 @06:30AM (#19080653)
    ...I'm sure he saw that lawsuit coming. =D
  • "I'm not the psychic you're looking for..."
  • by packetmon (977047) on Friday May 11, 2007 @07:17AM (#19080835) Homepage
    I shall now make this article waste a few minutes of my life. But on a rebounding note, I shall sue Slashdot for using 10 seconds of my time and bandwidth in getting me to make a pointless response.
  • Not just Randi.... (Score:5, Informative)

    by iknownuttin (1099999) on Friday May 11, 2007 @07:27AM (#19080877)
    Penn and Teller did a show once where they showed the spoon bending trick, and other tricks that Geller does without mentioning his name. They just said "phonies" use those tricks to show that they're "psychic". They even said that they won't mention his name because he sues everyone. It was plainly obvious that they were targeting Geller since at the time of the show, Geller was suing some mathematician - can't remember his name now..
  • Geller is in the UK (Score:5, Interesting)

    by HuskyDog (143220) on Friday May 11, 2007 @07:38AM (#19080937) Homepage

    I am a supporter of EFF but having read the compaint, I am (as usual) a little confused. It says that both Geller and his company are based in the UK (paras 4 and 5) and then goes on to say that the court has jurisdiction (para 8). Isn't this going to end up rather like the SpamHaus case but possibly with better management from the UK end?

    I can see how the EFF might prevail with relief A (declaratory judgment) and possibly B (injunctive relief) although its not clear what would happen if Geller broke the injunction. Would that be a criminal offence for which he could be extradited? But reliefs C to F all seem to boil down to Geller handing over some money. What is going to happen when the court rules against him and he ignores them?

    So far as I can see, YouTube shouldn't have had to accept a DMCA takedown request from outside the USA in the first place. Perhaps they didn't have to? Does the DMCA say anything about this? What's to stop some bored teenager from (for example) China sending dozens of takedown notices every day in the certain knowledge that no-one can stop him?

    • by PhilHibbs (4537)
      According to the Berne Convention, anything I (a UK citizen) create is protected by US copyright law as though it had been created there. I get the same protection, in America, that you Americans get. So does Uri Geller, so he has just as much right to invoke the DMCA as you do. I guess that if he tries to abuse US law, though, he can be tried under US legal jurisdiction and if he sets foot in the US or has any assets there US law can be applied to him or his assets. If it's serious enough then he can be ex
      • by HuskyDog (143220) on Friday May 11, 2007 @10:05AM (#19082239) Homepage

        Well, first of all I am also a UK citizen.

        Now, as to your main point, whilst I agree with the main thrust, I think that you may have missed the key point. I think we all agree that if Uri Geller owns some copyright in some material and someone in the USA breaches that copyright in some way which doesn't constitute fair use then Geller can in principle sue them in the US courts for breach of copyright, but that is not the situation under debate.

        The Bern convention does not extend copyright transnationaly in quite the way you are perhaps implying (i.e. completely equal rules everywhere). It lays down certain minimal requirements, but the details vary from country to country. The UK and USA are both signatories, but never the less there are differences in what is protected. Examples include the period of protection (50 years for music in the UK, significantly longer in the USA) and what exactly is defined as 'fair use' (in this latter case US rules seem to be rather less stringent). I agree however that Geller probably has the same right to sue in the USA as US citizens have.

        But the key point here is that Geller is not suing anyone. He issued a DMCA takedown notice. A concept which I don't believe the Bern convention addresses at all. It may well be that anyone in the world is allowed to issue such a notice in the USA, but the presence of the Bern convention doesn't demonstrate that this is necessarily the case, hence my question. I suggest that it would be perfectly legal for the USA or any other country to have a DMCA like law which says "Only our citizens may issue takedown notices" without any fear of breaching the terms of the Bern convention, because those who were not citizens would still be able to exercise their Bern rights by initiating a conventional suit for copyright infringement.

        On your final point, it has been discussed here on many previous occasions that extradition law only applies to criminal cases and not civil ones such as this. Hence my suggestion that breaching an injunction may be a criminal act (I don't know, IANAL) capable of invoking extradition proceedings.

  • Moving a compass (Score:2, Interesting)

    by xerxesnine (1078469)
    I was recently watching a google video [google.com] of an old special featuring Geller moving a compass "with his mind". At 9 min 47 sec you hear a distinct click as he places his fingers below the handrail, which I presume is the sound of two magnets snapping together --- the magnet in his fingers and the magnet attached to underneath the handrail. Even if that isn't the case, there were many cut-aways which provided ample time for him to palm a magnet to and from the waistband of his shorts, for example.

    Sometimes I
    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by Rinikusu (28164)
      I'm going to type this slowly:

      He is a magician. Magicians make their living creating illusions of magic which are usually no more than sleight of hand, props, etc. Even though I know every magic trick is not "magic", I still enjoy the show. Having known several professional magicians, it still amazes me when someone pulls off a great looking trick. Hell, at work the other day, I did a Balducci lift, explaining how it works, and a coworker thought I really did it (it's all in the angle/body positioning).
  • Back to the point (Score:3, Insightful)

    by UnknowingFool (672806) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:39AM (#19081843)
    Regardless of whether Gellar is a hoax, regardless of his motives in his takedown of the video, the issue here is that is an example of how some people use the DMCA in conflict of copyright laws. It appears that a documentary used a 10 second clip of one of his performances. His lawyers are claiming that is a violation of the DMCA and pushed YouTube to remove the whole video because of this 10 second clip. I haven't kept up with the DMCA but have they changed it so that Fair Use is clearly defined? Under Gellar's logic, most news shows and other shows like "Talk Soup" or "The Daily Show" are violating the DMCA when they show clips of movies and TV shows as they often show more than 10 seconds.
  • by aepervius (535155) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:42AM (#19081901)
    The tape themselfes are owned by the channel on which it was shown, and AFAIK they released the show for fair use on its full length. Heck, the same tape is on randi.org. Geller cannot pretend to own the copyright on the tape, which is all the DMCA authorize him to take down. As for the trick, I do not see how you can coypright that, since there is prior art in the previous century.
  • by timmarhy (659436) on Friday May 11, 2007 @09:48AM (#19081989)
    seriously when he goes off at these frauds it's sexy. if he was younger, less hairy and a woman i'd fuck him.

"It is better to have tried and failed than to have failed to try, but the result's the same." - Mike Dennison

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