Forgot your password?
typodupeerror
Censorship The Internet Your Rights Online

Uri Geller Accused of Bending Copyright Law 273

Posted by kdawson
from the more-pliable-than-spoons dept.
JagsLive writes in with a Fox News report about Uri Geller's apparently playing fast and loose with copyright law in order to silence his detractors. "'All it takes is a single e-mail to completely censor someone on the Internet,' said Jason Schultz, a lawyer for the online civil rights group Electronic Frontier Foundation, which is suing Geller over an unflattering clip posted on YouTube for which he claimed a copyright ownership."
This discussion has been archived. No new comments can be posted.

Uri Geller Accused of Bending Copyright Law

Comments Filter:
  • Dupe (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @07:21PM (#19819699)
    I think this is a dupe of a story from a few weeks ago [slashdot.org] but I read them both.

    Nothing's wrong with entertaining people. But suing people over it is just being a fucktard. I read both articles, nothing's changed, he's still a fucktard. Hey, I calls 'em like I sees 'em.
  • by msauve (701917) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @07:24PM (#19819727)
    he should have seen that one coming.
    • by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @07:27PM (#19819769) Journal
      Apparantly not. From the article...

      Geller, who lives in London, referred calls to his Philadelphia lawyer, Richard Winelander, who conceded that Geller probably didn't foresee the firestorm his lawsuit would inspire.
      We're stilling waiting for the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery."
      • Re:Obviously... (Score:5, Insightful)

        by Dunbal (464142) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @07:36PM (#19819855)
        We're stilling waiting for the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery."

              IMO that wouldn't mean shit. I personally am waiting for the one that says: "Psychic asked to stop buying lottery tickets".
        • Re:Obviously... (Score:4, Insightful)

          by rumblin'rabbit (711865) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @07:49PM (#19819947) Journal
          For some reason, the casinos continue to allow psychics to gamble on their premises.

          Well, we know how gullible the casinos are - a stroll down the Vegas strip is proof of that.
          • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

            by PenGun (794213)
            But John Carmack may NOT play Blackjack in Vegas.
            • Why can't Carmack gamble? Isn't he the video games guy?

              In truth, I wouldn't want Geller anywhere near a craps table. Despite his claims to the contrary, he is a talented magician who has some skill at controlling the throw of the dice.

              Indeed, one "psychic experiment" had him actually touching and throwing the dice while he predicted the outcome. Of course, they found that he could predict the outcome better than chance would predict. Well, duh! Next they're going to tell us is that he can make two chr
        • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

          I'm waiting for one that reads "Psychic advises clients to stop buying lottery tickets." This will be a Psychic who can truly see the future!

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        We're stilling waiting for the headline "Psychic Wins Lottery."

        If I was a psychic, why would I stop at one?

        "Psychic wins three different kinds of lotteries in three separate states, as well as substantial bets on horse races. Psychic gently asked to knock it the fuck off and let somebody else win something for a change."

    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by Penguinisto (415985)
      I know you were shooting for funny, but --IIRC-- his big thing was using the power of the mind (through ESP) to modify objects w/o directly touching or manipulating them, not prophesy or prediction.

      I thought he (and ESP) pretty much dwindled in popularity to Art Bell's Show [coasttocoastam.com]* and maybe a few paranormal conventions here and there.

      * before anyone screams, yes I know Mr. Bell has recently retired (again) and no I'm not bagging on it - AAMOF I fall asleep to it once in awhile... call it a guilty pleasure.

      /

      • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

        Although utensil abuse is certainly his trademark, Geller's act also includes mind reading (such as drawing duplication) and psychic viewing. He's even predicted the outcoming of elections!
      • Apparently, he does also make predictions. From Geller's Wikipedia article [wikipedia.org]:

        Geller is well-known for his sports predictions. However, Uri Geller sceptic James Randi and British Tabloid The Sun (among others), have demonstrated the teams and players he chooses to win most often lose.
    • by fm6 (162816)
      If you're going to make a lame joke, at least get the context right. Geller is not sham psychic. He's a sham psychokinetic [wikipedia.org].
  • by tronicum (617382) * on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @07:25PM (#19819737)
    Maybe someone could sue him because of using fake rolex [google.com] watches he bends [skepdic.com].
    • Maybe someone could sue him because of using fake rolex watches he bends.
      I'm waiting to see what the Skeptics Society has to say about this alleged bending of © law.

      As we all know, NO ONE can do that. The law is definitely unmalleable in this regard.

      Fake Rolex watches, OTOH, want to be free.

  • but if you bend it with your mind, Uri will come for you.
  • by BoberFett (127537) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @07:32PM (#19819815)
    Abuse of the DMCA through fraudulent takedown notices should result in no less of a penalty than an actual violation of copyright. If a copyright owner can collect $150K per instance of copyright violation, then someone who fraudulently claims copyright on an item they do not in fact have a copyright on should be up against the same penalty.
    • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

      by Rodyland (947093)
      They do mention in the article:

      "The trick is that you are breaking the law when you knowingly send notices for videos that you don't hold the copyrights," Reyes said. "It's a good solution."

      Problem is, someone has to take them to court. Can you see YouTube standing up for your fair-use rights in the face of a takedown notice? Me either. And unless there are monetary penalties (can anyone point to some DMCA-abuse or takedown-notice-abuse cases that have been successfully fought? And resulted signific

      • by Babbster (107076) <aaronbabb.gmail@com> on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @07:49PM (#19819951) Homepage
        YouTube can't defend a user's legal rights or they stop being covered in the law as a "safe harbor." Once they lose their neutrality their liability goes through the roof.
        • by rahvin112 (446269) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @08:18PM (#19820173)
          Yes, but YouTube also doesn't follow the provisions of the law that say that if the poster of the material reply's back with a statement claiming ownership and authoritative information about who they are that will allow the claimer of copyright to sue then YouTube can then repost the material until a court order is obtained. In fact NONE of the ISP's follow this second provision of the law and I haven't seen one that once provided this lawfull statement will repost the material. If someone like the victim here hired a lawyer and sued YouTube for violation of the safeharbor rules then there would be posted procedures for waiving the DCMA notice.
          • by Babbster (107076)
            I can't argue too much on that basis, though it's somewhat understandable since a) these ISPs typically make users "sign" agreements that basically say YouTube (or whomever) can pull their content whenever they feel like it (it just happens that they "feel like it" when someone sends them a DMCA notice) and b) they have every reason to be scared that some RIAA/MPAA asshat will tie them, and their financial resources, up in court for years and little reason to fear the same from their users.
          • emphasis mine:

            then YouTube can then repost the material until a court order is obtained.

            Not must, but rather, is allowed to. What's the gain for YouTube to repost the file? Marginal at best. What's the risk to them? Potentially huge, if successful lawsuits end up eroding their pageviews because people are afraid to post files.

            Most of the time, a DMCA notice results in the material being taken down, no lawsuit occurs. A string of successful suits against YouTube posters is bad publicity. he fact that

            • by rahvin112 (446269) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @10:52PM (#19821233)
              No one with an ounce of intelligence is going to reclaim ownership on something they don't actually own or where this is no real dispute of ownership. The statement you file back is a sworn document and could be used bring perjury charges if the reclaim is seen to be completely bogus. So the issue of posters being sued for reclaiming ownership and losing in my opinion would be non-existent and if someone did you could in fact use the claim as justifiable evidence of compromised judgment or mental instability. In fact I believe so strongly this wouldn't occur with any sane individual where no real dispute of ownership exists that I would say there is a good chance the Judge would order a mental evaluation of the original poster for making such a ridiculous statement.

              YouTube and the other providers don't respond to reclaiming ownership simply because probably nobody has followed the letter of the law and issued the secondary claim of ownership. Under a system where the provider reacts under the law once the second claim of ownership is received and the provider reposts the disputed content the provider is still covered under the Safe Harbor terms. In fact implementing an easy system to submit these "repost" notices with instructions to the users on the exact framing and terms that must be used to meet the letter of the law and who to submit it to at YouTube would go miles to help users understand that the DCMA isn't some evil instrument of big organizations but actually a pretty fair law (for copyright holders, big or small) that helps protect copyright while handling the issue that it's often difficult to identify individuals on the internet. The DMCA take down notice is nothing more than a statement saying take "x" down until the person who posted it identifies themselves to me so I can sue them to get an injunction. If you legitimately own the copyright it SHOULD be a slam dunk to reverse the take down notice and both individuals then know who's involved so they can start REAL court proceedings without anyone being able to claim it was someone other than themselves.

              I actually think the DMCA is a very balanced (in the sense of size of the participants) law, in that it recognizes the difficulty in identification on the internet and uses probably the least invasive technique to allow immediate hosting of content and the protection of copyright with minimal delays. Under pre-DCMA terms you would have had to sue the provider to get the name of the poster, then launch a suit against the poster and ask for an injunction on the posting to get it down (probably 2 weeks or more under the most expedited court proceeding ever). With the simplified procedure you simply issue a sworn statement claiming ownership, the provider takes it down and notifies the poster, the poster then claims ownership and provides name, address etc... (to make a lawsuit easier to file) and the provider can then repost the material without fear of being liable for hosting the content. Then the two claimants go to court, one side proves ownership and an injunction is issued to the provider to take down and not repost the material or the original claim is voided and an injunction is issued against further claims of ownership. This way the copyright owner gets to find out who put it up, or it goes away immediately, the provider isn't liable and in the case where someone claims ownership and doesn't own it, the material can then be reposted very quickly and the original claimant then has to decide if they think their claim is strong enough to go to court or if the original poster actually owned the copyright and felt they were damaged by the false claim they could then sue the claimant to recover the damages.

              As I said, if it was handled correctly by the providers these incidents wouldn't occur frequently, and could be corrected VERY quickly and the claimants would be forced into highly stupid lawsuits.. It wouldn't be difficult IMO if you had filmed that sequence with Uri Geller to take him to court for damages, and in the case of such a blatantly false claim you could probably get punitive damages for Uri committing perjury in claiming ownership when he in fact he didn't have copyright.
        • by 1u3hr (530656)
          YouTube can't defend a user's legal rights or they stop being covered in the law as a "safe harbor." Once they lose their neutrality their liability goes through the roof.

          They aren't being "neutral"; they're assuming the user is guilty.

      • by BoberFett (127537)
        YouTube doesn't have to do anything. They can continue to follow the law and respond to the takedowns as they always have. Then the actual copyright holder can sue whoever issued the fraudulent takedown notice. Back when Viacom was blanketing YouTube with takedown notices, many of which were for material they didn't own, think of the billions of dollars that could have been siphoned from that company. Attorney's salivate over that kind of thing.
    • by rahvin112 (446269)
      Considering that if you own the copyright and someone claims they own the copyright and interferes in your business they have violated your copyright I would say you CAN sue for $150k, and there is also probably an additional tort for the interference with your business relationship with your hosting provider.

      What you are really saying is that you wish someone would take someone to court for a false DCMA notice and win a large judgement, thus setting a public precedent that will scare others into not abusin
    • That's a terrible idea! It would make our Litigation Industry seem more like a Justice System!
  • And again... (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Opportunist (166417) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @07:34PM (#19819829)
    Nobody would've cared 'bout the clip if Mr. Geller didn't make it popular this way...
    • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

      by Cairnarvon (901868)
      Similarly, nobody would remember Geller exists if he didn't do idiotic things like this from time to time.
      He's an attention whore, plain and simple, and these lawsuits are doing exactly what he's hoping they will.
  • Geller (Score:2, Insightful)

    by gradster79 (878963)
    I suppose this is a bit of a shallow comment, but I love the Internet because when people do abusive things like Uri Geller and his unwarranted Youtube video removals, mass media will never/barely cover it. However the masses of the internet can show everyone what a tool Geller and others really are.
  • One Solution (Score:5, Insightful)

    by Nom du Keyboard (633989) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @07:47PM (#19819933)
    One solution that exists in the RIAA versus filesharer cases is that the RIAA has to provide a copyright registration certificate proving ownership of a song before they can proceed in court. Internet takedown notices should also require a certificate of copyright registration to accompany them. This one small step alone would likely stop 98% of the takedowns requested. While copyright itself does not require registration, if you don't care enough to register it, you shouldn't care enough to try to take it down afterwards.
    • U.S. copyright law, as of 1979, does not require a work to be registered in order to be copyrighted. It doesn't even have to have a copyright notification on it. Any work is copyrighted from the moment of creation. hence, this post of mine is copyrighted. Your kid's kindergarten fingerpainting is copyrighted. If you walk down the street and whistle a tune that you made up on the spot, it's copyrighted. So, no certification to show.

      I'm not saying this is good, but that's the current law.

      • by dex22 (239643)
        However, the DMCA *does* require that copyright be registered with the Library of Congress. If it is not explicitly registered, you may not invoke the DMCA to protect your copyrighted work.
    • Re:One Solution (Score:4, Insightful)

      by nsayer (86181) * <[moc.ufk] [ta] [reyasn]> on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @08:39PM (#19820317) Homepage

      While copyright itself does not require registration, if you don't care enough to register it, you shouldn't care enough to try to take it down afterwards.

      I call bullshit.

      I recorded a video of my cat [youtube.com] a while ago and posted it to YouTube. Copies of it have sprouted up far and wide, uploaded to YouTube and Google Video and all sorts of other places. It got so bad that someone started sending around a bogus e-mail [snopes.com] with the video attached.

      It's just a cat flushing the toilet, right? Why should I care?

      Well, damnit, it's my cat, and all I want is credit for my own work. It's intolerable to me for others to get to take the credit, but any procedure more costly or onerous than the takedown procedure already in place would not be worth it. And the result would be that I would be disincented to create works and post them to YouTube. So much for promoting the useful arts.

      I do agree that those who abuse the safe harbor provisions of the DMCA and send bogus take-down notices need to be walloped. But let's not throw out the baby with the bath water.

      • by Aneurysm (680045)

        Well, damnit, it's my cat, and all I want is credit for my own work. It's intolerable to me for others to get to take the credit...
        Ummm, dude, shouldn't that be the cat's work. Afterall, it's intolerable someone take credit for what the cat was doing....
        • by nsayer (86181) *
          The cat didn't hold the camera. Or post the video to YouTube, for that matter.
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by fractoid (1076465)
            Uri Geller didn't hold the camera. Or post the video to YouTube, for that matter.
            • by nsayer (86181) *
              Did I miss the part where the person posting the video about Yuri on YouTube violated copyright law (as opposed to the fucktards who ripped off my video)?

              I didn't think so.

          • by 1u3hr (530656)
            The cat didn't hold the camera. Or post the video to YouTube, for that matter.

            Same attitude as those record company assholes. What about the artists' rights?

            • by nsayer (86181) *
              Are we actually having the same conversation?

              You're saying that if an artist posts his art for free online he has no right to insist that some other asswipe not take his art and post it as their own on some other site?

      • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

        by Dynedain (141758)
        Damn you! Do you realize how many times that has shown up in my inbox! It's your fault!
      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by jesdynf (42915)
        Err. So what you're telling me is that there's a political position I can take that would make you less likely to post videos of your cat flushing the toilet to YouTube.

        Wow. Gosh. Is it Christmas already?
      • Well, damnit, it's my cat, and all I want is credit for my own work. It's intolerable to me for others to get to take the credit, but any procedure more costly or onerous than the takedown procedure already in place would not be worth it. And the result would be that I would be disincented to create works and post them to YouTube. So much for promoting the useful arts.

        Wait, you're saying that a few greedy people would prevent you from doing something altruistic just to spite them? I guess that's just hu
      • are you serious? (Score:3, Insightful)

        And the result would be that I would be disincented to create works and post them to YouTube. So much for promoting the useful arts.
        "Useful arts"? A video of a cat flushing a toilet? I'm guessing that even if you really are disincented to post similar videos to youtube, the rest of us will still manage to get by.
  • "You must realize the truth. There *is* no Copyright law."
  • Well... (Score:3, Interesting)

    by Ekhymosis (949557) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @07:50PM (#19819957) Homepage
    Looks like instead of the spoon, it's Uri that will be bent. Too bad he won't go to jail, I'd like to see him 'bend' out of that one =)
    • by Jugalator (259273)

      Too bad he won't go to jail, I'd like to see him 'bend' out of that one =)

      Or even better, not managing that, and having to bend over.
  • by DGolden (17848) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @08:02PM (#19820061) Homepage Journal
    Copyright law is pretty much designed to cause this sort of idiocy.

    Re the ease of censoring on the net- It is quite scary how easily controlled most people's internet access (including my own, really) could be. People often think the internet is this robust, uncensorable system, because of old stories about being "designed to withstand a nuclear attack" and all that. That kind of applied when most network nodes were in universities and research labs, who were owner/operators of routing nodes with peering agreements with eachother. Nowadays, the vast majority of people on the internet are "edge nodes", connected to a single corporate ISP. So it's basically degenerated to a star/tree topology at the "home" level. No longer resistant to control, in fact facilitating control by establishing choke points. Blind, complacent faith in the "power" of the internet to "interpret censorship as damage and route around it" as the adage used to go, when that power is being neutered further with each upgrade cycle and your own only routing consists of sending stuff upstream on your sole connection to your sole ISP, is probably not a good idea. What can one do? Learn about wireless mesh networking fast I guess...

  • Not about money (Score:2, Informative)

    by aysa (452184)
    He is using copyright as an excuse, he is not interested in distributing the video himself. He was just caught cheating in front of the camera and wants to clean all evidence.
  • James Randi! (Score:4, Informative)

    by sdhoigt (1095451) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @08:34PM (#19820273)
    Excellent, I have a new hero! James Randi!!

    James Randi exposes Uri Geller and Peter Popoff (Faith Healer)
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=M9w7jHYriFo&mode=re lated&search= [youtube.com]

    James Randi exposes James Hydrick
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=QlfMsZwr8rc&mode=re lated&search= [youtube.com]

    There are many, many more debunkings (sp?) by this fine man. Just search YouTube for 'James Randi'.

    SD
  • Fair Use to me (Score:4, Interesting)

    by jshriverWVU (810740) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @08:38PM (#19820307)
    It also turned out that Geller owned no more than eight seconds of the 13 minutes of video, according to Geller's own court filings.

    IANAL by I know people are allowed to copy a small percentage for fair use. 8 seconds in 13 minutes sounds like it would fall within that margin.

    • It also turned out that Geller owned no more than eight seconds of the 13 minutes of video, according to Geller's own court filings.

      IANAL by I know people are allowed to copy a small percentage for fair use. 8 seconds in 13 minutes sounds like it would fall within that margin.

      Re-read the sentence you're quoting. It says that Geller only owned 8 seconds out of 13 minutes, not that only 8 seconds of his 13 minute video were used. In fact the whole 13 minutes was posted, including 100% of the 8 seconds he claimed to own. (I still think he's full of shit on fair use grounds, but not for the reasons you cite).

  • To be honest, it sounds like it's immature, but I simply cannot think of a better term to describe him that douchebag. This assclown goes back to the 1970's when he claimed he could bend spoons, keys and such with his mind. He claimed he could see things and do all other kinds of stuff. It's been debunked to death. Despite the fact that he was a good enough conman to get some scientists to even become intrigued. This analwart's stupid antics have been caught on take, in the act and yet somehow he ca
  • He unsuccessfully sued longtime nemesis James "Amazing" Randi at least three times for defamation, stemming from Randi's own efforts to unmask Geller as a fraud, and lost several other cases lodged against his critics throughout the years.

    I find it funny when the term fraud and magic are in the same sentence. I might be a little fuzzy on the exact legal definition of fraud. But people know magic is fake, and that it's an illusion done for entertainment. No magician is fraudulent unless he is specifically

    • You must not be familiar with Uri Geller, but he claims he can really do this stuff without any magician styled tricks. That's why people like Randi go after him, because he is a fraud. (Damn, now he's going to sue ME for defamation!)
    • Re:Fraud (Score:4, Insightful)

      by EveLibertine (847955) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:42PM (#19820767)
      That's all fine and well, but IIRC Randi wasn't suing him for fraud, but trying prevent people from becoming mindless followers of Randi and buying into his hokey pseudo-religion. Secondly, it is debatable whether or not "people know magic is fake". Crossing Over, Faith Healers, Scientology, or most aspects of religion that people seem to get most caught up in, altogether garner the support and beliefs of hundreds of thousands of people. Randi is more or less concerned with protecting these damned fools from themselves, or at least providing them with an rational alternative from which they can choose.

      If you've ever followed the details regarding incidents involving Geller that have happened over the past few decades you'd realize how what he does can be a dangerous thing.
    • by 1u3hr (530656)
      No magician is fraudulent unless he is specifically saying "yes I am REALLY doing this, not faking it"

      And that's what Geller does, which is why people debunk him. David Copperfield doesn't pretend he's really got paranormal powers, so no one gets mad at him.

    • by dbIII (701233)
      The difference is that Uri is claiming that the things he does are real and not illusions done for entertainment - and he had apparenly even been given government money in Israel for this to set up some kind of psychic academy. Making false claims to get money is how I would define fraud.

      He also sends in the lawyers in situations where others would not bother with sometimes bizzare consequences. Some pokemon from the Japanese TV series (with a bent spoon) was named after him - he sued and they named it so

  • by RelliK (4466) on Tuesday July 10, 2007 @09:00PM (#19820513)
    Never heard of this guy before. What I know now is:

    - he bends metal
    - he is annoying
    - he is con-artist ... wait, I know! He is Bender!
  • this ass clown is getting tons of free publicity.
  • by nanosquid (1074949) on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @12:51AM (#19821923)
    Exposing Uri Geller's spoon bending as fake is like exposing Pamela Anderson's breasts as fake. What's the point? It spoils the fun, and those who still think it's real aren't going to be convinced anyway.
  • by Christoph (17845) <chris@cgstock.com> on Wednesday July 11, 2007 @04:31AM (#19822877) Homepage Journal

    The motion to dismiss Geller's bad suit cites "Gregerson v. Vilana", a defamation/copyright lawsuit I'm a party to (I'm the Plaintiff, Gregerson). www.eff.org/legal/cases/sapient_v_geller/sapient_m otiontodismiss.pdf [eff.org]. It's cited as a minor point in the memorandum on page 22, about fair use being an affirmative defense versus a basis for dismissal. My case is described on my page: Gregerson v. Vilana [cgstock.com]

"Floggings will continue until morale improves." -- anonymous flyer being distributed at Exxon USA

Working...