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Television The Courts Your Rights Online

Discovery Threatens Fan Site It Also Promotes 287

Posted by Soulskill
from the in-the-case-of-right-hand-v.-left-hand dept.
An anonymous reader writes "It seems the lawyers and the marketing people at The Discovery Channel don't talk to each other much. The marketing people behind the show 'The Deadliest Catch' have been supporting a fan community called DeadliestCatchTV.com for a while now. They've regularly sent the site info, free clips, previews and information about the show. On top of that, they link to it from the official site, including it in a list of 'fan sites' as a part of the 'Discovery Network,' and even will frame the site with the show's own dashboard for those who click through. Discovery's lawyers, on the other hand, have threatened to sue the site out of existence and have demanded that the owner hand over the domain name — which he is going to do, because he doesn't have the money to fight this. While there may be a trademark issue (which could be easily resolved with a free license), the lawyers are also making the ridiculous argument that posting the videos Discovery sent him to post are copyright infringement. They're also claiming that embedding the official Discovery Channel YouTube videos (which have embedding turned on) is copyright infringement. This is exactly how you turn lots of fans into people who hate your entire channel."
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Discovery Threatens Fan Site It Also Promotes

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  • Look, ma! No legs! (Score:5, Informative)

    by Renraku (518261) on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:39PM (#33193838) Homepage

    A judge with a brain won't let it fly that one side of the company supports the site and the other side of the company wants to sue it out of existence. They SHOULD find that once Discovery started 'supporting' the website, they gave it 'permission' for it to exist and didn't have a problem with it until they decided to sue. A company, in the eyes of the law, is one entity.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Monday August 09, 2010 @03:52PM (#33194062)

    Everyone involved in the show has always been about the money.

    Our entire economy is built around earning what you want by pleasing your fellow man. That is what keeps us all productive.

    What the hell is wrong with wanting money? You need it to buy food and medicine for your kids, to put a roof over your head, and to do just about anything interesting. What's so damn bad about artists etc. working because they are paid?

    And what is bad about trying to maximize the amount of money you can get in return for what you provide? Haven't you ever asked your boss for a raise? You think people have to work for free and live in poverty in order to be good people?

    You are nuts.

  • by EmagGeek (574360) <gterich.aol@com> on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:03PM (#33194284) Journal

    Discovery used to be chock full of good nerd programming that was +1:Informative and +1:Insightful.

    Now it's just -1:Overrated and -:notthebest

  • by Sponge Bath (413667) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:08PM (#33194400)

    TLC makes Discovery look like PBS.

    I agree TLC has become a total crap wasteland, but TLC is a Discovery company just like Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Science Channel. It's just a different orifice of the same company.

  • by Lunix Nutcase (1092239) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:09PM (#33194418)

    Protip: TLC and Discovery are owned by the same people and sister stations. This is why you see shows swap between showing on one and then the other (such as the American Chopper/Hot Rod shows).

  • by jd (1658) <imipak AT yahoo DOT com> on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:24PM (#33194728) Homepage Journal

    I wonder if the fan site has asked the marketing people to intervene. Usually, although lawyers can get lots of money, marketing people HAVE lots of money and that can make a difference to the upper echelons.

    Alaskan crab fishing is ok as a "dangerous reality TV" show. Apparently the stats for Alaskan crab fishing [cdc.gov] is 356/100,000/year. That's a lot - getting on for 1 in every 100,000 per day. (US National Average workforce fatality rate is 7.0/100,000/year.) I wondered if North Sea fishing was worse - it has a vicious reputation and the North Sea has no landmass between it and the north pole. However, statistics indicates that the mortality rate is 151 x national average in the UK, and the UK's national average is 0.5 deaths per 100,000 people. That puts the North Sea fishermen at a paltry 76/100,000/year. Not safe, by any standards, but many times safer in absolute terms. In relative terms, the US' workforce fatality rate is 14x worse than that in the UK, but the Alaskan crab fishing is only 4.7x as deadly as North Sea fishing. By this standard, North Sea fishing is the deadliest fishing occupation relative to the health and safety of the country involved.

  • by DrgnDancer (137700) on Monday August 09, 2010 @04:32PM (#33194962) Homepage

    You'd really be amazed at what can be accomplished by getting on the phone and continuing to ask to talk to a more important person. I'm not as good at it as my mother (she once got her medical insurance to cover an experimental plastic surgery procedure for my brother after his face got messed up by a dog. By the end she was on the phone with a senior executive VP, who reported directly to the CEO), but even with my lack of fu, I've gotten a surprising number of charges reversed, problems resolved, etc. It's not always successful, but there's really a fairly number of reasonable people at all levels of management for these various companies. It's just that they are so rarely faced with the reality of how process and procedure affect other actual human beings, that they are insulated from doing much about it.

    Worse case scenario, he spends a few hours on the phone and wasted his time. It's not like he hasn't already spent hours and hours building this site. Best case he resolves the issue and moves on with life. In either case be prepared to buckle under before the deadline, if that's how you're planning to play it.

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