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Time Denies Issuing DMCA Over Obama Joker Image 324

Posted by timothy
from the just-like-the-beginning-of-the-dark-knight dept.
An anonymous reader writes "Last week Slashdot posted on the Flickr censorship case where Flickr removed the controversial Obama/Joker image from their site. A representative from Flickr claimed that they only removed the image because they received a DMCA takedown notice over the image and then accused the press and blogosphere of being 'makey uppey,' subsequently locking the thread where Flickr users were complaining about the takedown. But now it appears that Time, DC Comics, and the photographer of the original photograph used to make the parody image are all denying having issued Flickr a takedown notice. Flickr was asked who issued the notice by the Los Angeles Times and told the Times that they were not able to provide that information. The original artist says Flickr has not told him who filed it either, despite the fact that Yahoo has in the past provided the information to people when DMCA takedown requests are issued. So if Time didn't file the DMCA notice, and DC Comics didn't file the DMCA notice, and the original photographer did not file the DMCA notice, then who exactly did?"
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Time Denies Issuing DMCA Over Obama Joker Image

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  • Actionable? (Score:5, Interesting)

    by Spazmania (174582) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @05:31PM (#29208539) Homepage

    I thought that in order for a DMCA takedown to be valid (that is, for the ISP to gain immunity to legal action by the user) the complete notice had to be provided to the user against whom the takedown was performed? Am I mistaken?

  • by eldavojohn (898314) * <eldavojohnNO@SPAMgmail.com> on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @05:37PM (#29208633) Journal

    So if Time didn't file the DMCA notice, and DC Comics didn't file the DMCA notice, and the original photographer did not file the DMCA notice, then who exactly did?"

    Mabye it was Barack Obama?

    You're probably joking (as we're running out of possibilities) but might I remind you of Hustler Magazine Vs Jerry Falwell [wikipedia.org]? In which Falwell was considered a public figure [wikipedia.org] and in a "unanimous 8-0 decision (Justice Kennedy took no part in the consideration or decision of the case), that the First Amendment's free-speech guarantee prohibits awarding damages to public figures to compensate for emotional distress intentionally inflicted upon them." I'm no lawyer but I heavily doubt that the DMCA would make this any different. If people could prosecute on that basis, the celebrities would hit tabloids with the DMCA left and right ... might even hit the mainstream news if they do a story that reflects them poorly. Perhaps the person who took the original photograph that was modified might have issued it but I'm not clear on whether that was Time's photographer or another by another licensing agreement. My guess is that Time's legal team or publishing house or right hand knee jerk issued a DMCA while the people answering the phones and writing articles had no idea bout it.

  • by JimMarch(equalccw) (710249) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @05:50PM (#29208811)

    ...if they fraudulently claimed a DMCA takedown notice when there wasn't one.

    Committing fraud via the DMCA, if that's what Flicker has done, is major bad mojo. Diebold Election Systems paid over $125,000 for a wrongful DMCA takedown notice:

    http://www.eff.org/cases/online-policy-group-v-diebold [eff.org]

  • Re:Who Cares? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by conspirator57 (1123519) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @06:08PM (#29209053)

    i didn't say it was well directed, effective, or good satire, but clearly it wasn't a violation of copyright, even as ridiculously overpowered as copyright is today.

    but if i were to look for meaning in that image, perhaps it means to say, "you voted for me, the joke's on you." or, since the maker is a Palestinian Dennis Kucinich supporter, "you thought you were getting a progressive, well instead i'm as insane as the last guy."

    on a side note, it's amusing how many on the left decided it *had* to have been racially motivated, to the extent of police forces arresting people in the hunt for someone who happened to be more aware of current popular culture and not at all aware of the parts of our history that made some think it had to be racial. quite sad, really.

    and the reason i brought the first amendment into the discussion is that it was the reason for the exemptions in DMCA for political speech. Otherwise the DMCA would have been struck down long ago. Apparently that linkage was lost on you. Clearly the server owner has the right to take something off their site, but DMCA gives a third party the right to force them to do so whether they care to or not. The issue at hand is the misuse of the DMCA takedown process by parties unknown to stiffle political speech. So go stuff your attempts to misdirect the discussion.

    As to the DMCA, follow the money. it leads to disney, hollywood, and new york.

  • Re:Actionable? (Score:3, Interesting)

    by DragonWriter (970822) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @06:09PM (#29209073)

    legally you are correct but remember that flickr, google etc. have a history of assuming a DMCA takedown is valid before checking the actual validity of the notice to save themselves.

    They are required to treat the DMCA takedown notice as valid to remain within the safe harbor provision of the DMCA; they are likewise required to forward the notice to the person who posted the allegedly-infringing material, who is entitled to file a counter-notice.

  • Re:DuPont? (Score:1, Interesting)

    by Anonymous Coward on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @06:35PM (#29209483)

    Kodak does not make Polaroids.

    Interestingly a company called Polaroid did.

  • by sumdumass (711423) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @07:23PM (#29210089) Journal

    The problem with option 3 is that the DMCA exempts them from legal action if they disclose who filed the take down notice to the person and gives them a change to file a counter claim (as the DMCA also spells out).

    They are actuallly puting themselves at a greater legal risk by not disclosing who did it.

  • by chrb (1083577) on Wednesday August 26, 2009 @07:25PM (#29210103)

    Well I'm not sure if it's "most", but it's a hell of a lot. Murdoch is the man The Independent called "so powerful that no politician dare take him on." [independent.co.uk] According to Business Week:

    his satellites deliver TV programs in five continents, all but dominating Britain, Italy, and wide swaths of Asia and the Middle East. He publishes 175 newspapers, including the New York Post and The Times of London. In the U.S., he owns the Twentieth Century Fox Studio, Fox Network, and 35 TV stations that reach more than 40% of the country...His cable channels include fast-growing Fox News, and 19 regional sports channels. In all, as many as one in five American homes at any given time will be tuned into a show News Corp. either produced or delivered.

    Murdoch's global corporations pay an average of 6% corporation tax [bbc.co.uk]. Wikipedia's tax rates around the world [wikipedia.org] should tell you that there's something odd about this. Murdoch even had a special tax credit for himself written into a US bill during the Clinton era [independent.co.uk]. In the UK it was revealed that News International pays only 1.2% tax, and the governing Labour party refused to say anything on the issue [independent.co.uk]. It is worrying that, in a democratic society, any single individual can influence public opinion so convincingly that even the governing left-leaning politicians, who would be his traditional enemies, must do underhand deals in order to gain his support and stay in power.

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