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Glenn Beck Loses Dispute Over Parody Domain 1172

CuteSteveJobs writes "Glenn Beck fought the law and the law won. Parody website DidGlennBeckRapeAndMurderAYoungGirlIn1990.com attacked Beck using the same straw man arguments Beck himself is famous for: 'We're not accusing Glenn Beck of raping and murdering a young girl in 1990 — in fact, we think he didn't! But we can't help but wonder ... Why won't he deny that he raped and killed a young girl in 1990?' Beck didn't see the humour and tried to have the site shut down. He sued the creator on the grounds the site 'violated his name as a trademark.' But in a sudden outbreak of common sense, WIPO rejected Beck's complaint finding the site 'can be said to be making a political statement,' which is a 'legitimate non-commercial use' of Beck's name. But after winning, the owner voluntarily handed Beck the domain anyway. Still, it's comforting to know that satire — the only weapon politicians and talking heads fear — is still safely in the hands of the public where it belongs."
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Glenn Beck Loses Dispute Over Parody Domain

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  • by YeeHaW_Jelte ( 451855 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @11:29AM (#30045972) Homepage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Beck [wikipedia.org]

    And the allegations of rape and murder seem to be the internet equivalent of small-town gossip, which might have a seed of truth or might be an elaborate attempt by his political opponents to a smear campaign.

    Any Americans care to extend the info on this controversy for all us non-Americans?

  • by Brad Mace ( 624801 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @11:35AM (#30046064) Homepage

    particularly after our huge victory in NY-23

    The one where you got a democrat elected instead of a moderate republican? Or is my satire detector off?

  • by corbettw ( 214229 ) <corbettw&yahoo,com> on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @11:38AM (#30046126) Journal

    Beck is famous for attacking politicians (especially Obama) by "asking questions". So some internet smart asses used his own style against him. Turns out he doesn't like it when the shoe's on the other foot.

  • by Trev311 ( 1161835 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @11:39AM (#30046132) Homepage

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Glenn_Beck [wikipedia.org]

    And the allegations of rape and murder seem to be the internet equivalent of small-town gossip, which might have a seed of truth or might be an elaborate attempt by his political opponents to a smear campaign.

    Any Americans care to extend the info on this controversy for all us non-Americans?

    Glen Beck is a radio talkshow host and a TV showhost on FOX News. He is very conservative and has been in the news for making some... missteps in his commentary that have made him come off as not extremely intelligent. The allegations are a parody of his style of reporting, which follows a similar logic(Example: the president hasn't denied that he was born out of the us, so if it isn't true why hasn't he?). So the point isn't to say if he actually did rape or murder anyone, but to draw attention to the flaw in his logic. Glen Beck just made it worse by drawing so much attention to the website and the entire story.

  • Glenn Beck, to this day, repeats the lie that Obama was born in Kenya. He asks, if he was born here, why doesn't he prove it? Obama has, of course, but Beck acts as though he hasn't. So someone decided to apply Glen Beck's own tactics against him, by forcing him to deny ridiculous allegations over and over again.

  • by thisnamestoolong ( 1584383 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @11:40AM (#30046162)
    Yes. People would be furious about that. So what? That would have no bearing whatsoever on whether or not it was legal. I am sure that the drooling retards who call themselves Glenn Beck fans are outraged about this decision.
  • by Foolicious ( 895952 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:07PM (#30046558)
    I admittedly don't know anything about this case. I haven't even RTFA! But on reading your post, I do wonder what the difference is between using and abusing the system. He tried and lost. That would suggest no abuse at all, just use.
  • Re:Why bother? (Score:5, Informative)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:12PM (#30046620) Homepage
    The thing that I don't understand is that Glenn gets on his show and shows video of some member of saying something like, "I used to be a communist. Now I'm a radical communist." and people attack Glenn Beck!!??!! The only refutations of what Glenn Beck says are personal insults against him and his viewers.

    Refuted. [politifact.com]
  • by AlecC ( 512609 ) <aleccawley@gmail.com> on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:12PM (#30046630)

    Agreed. The adjudicator noted that he was making no judgement as to whether the website was defamatory: that judgement was left for a US court.

  • by digitig ( 1056110 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:14PM (#30046658)

    Because there is none. Quit confounding parody and satire with humour. Both are often very unfunny (which is not to say they should not be protected: they should).

    I think that to count as satire or parody it does have to be funny, otherwise it's pastiche, reductio ad absurdam, tu quoque or something like that. And I think that instance was funny.

  • by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:19PM (#30046744) Journal

    If I was a public figure, yes. It's part of the price of fame, and of free speech. You like free speech, right?

    I find it particularly appropriate that this happened to Glen Beck, who uses the same tactics of making people refute completely bogus accusations.

    Glenn Beck shows actual [youtube.com] video [youtube.com] of people saying outrageous things [youtube.com] and THEN asks them to respond. Sorry, but this website does not have a video of Glenn Beck killing a young girl. Until they get one, your comparison is not a fair one.

  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:21PM (#30046784) Homepage
    I think that's what the case was about. Mr. Beck and his attorneys thought the site was libelous, the creator thought it was parody/satire. The judge sided with the creator. I don't see where it was incorrect to bring about a suit and from all reports it was handled correctly and professionally.

    No, that's the thing; it was a libel suit, brought before a domain name tribunal. Completely improper and inappropriate. And it was brought there because they knew they'd have no chance in an actual court, trying to show libel.
  • Re:Why bother? (Score:5, Informative)

    by Killer Orca ( 1373645 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:24PM (#30046826)
    There are much better examples, all on one handy page too! http://www.politifact.com/truth-o-meter/personalities/glenn-beck/ [politifact.com]
  • Re:The problem (Score:1, Informative)

    by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:26PM (#30046862) Journal

    No, Glenn Beck is worse because he gets people to believe false things do to his orating "style". Making a false statement a question, repeating it several times, then slightly denying it, is extremely dishonest and anyone who makes a living off of doing so deserves to be berated.

    Um. No. Glenn shows actual video of people saying "telling" things. See THIS [youtube.com] video from Glenn Beck's show (about 4:15 in). Or maybe THIS [youtube.com] video (2:13 in). Glenn doesn't use his own "oratory style". He lets these people do it for themselves. He then asks people to research it for themselves.

    Then again, if you ever bothered to watch his show, you'd know this. Instead, you sit here on Slash and regurgitate things you've heard from other people who have never seen the show. Kinda what you are accusing Glenn of doing.

  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:27PM (#30046892) Homepage
    It doesn't look like he did abuse the system, unless I'm missing some fine point.

    He brought this to the WIPO, which is intended to resolve intellectual property rights, not defamation torts. A proper use of the system would have been to file a defamation action in a US court of general jurisdiction.
  • by idiotnot ( 302133 ) <sean@757.org> on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:34PM (#30046996) Homepage Journal

    Actual Malice [wikipedia.org]. You might do well to familiarize yourself with the concept.

    The question here is whether the claim is so absurd that no "ordinary person" would believe it to be true.

    But other issues still exist, ones that I know the /. crowd finds despicable -- trademarks, copyrights, etc. etc.

    As for his questions of Obama, and his administration officials, yes, it's yellow journalism. Still, clearly, he's unearthed a few issues the mainstream media has been loathe to touch (Van Jones, etc.). The question is whether the things he's unearthed matter or not.

  • by realityimpaired ( 1668397 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:34PM (#30047016)

    As a Canadian, I don't really get the reference, either. But as near as I can tell, from reading the posts on this thread, he's one of those ultra-conservative blowhards who makes his living by indirectly accusing people of committing outrageous acts. He's the kind of person who'd go on the radio saying something like "I'm not saying Tony Blair is a sheep-shagger, but why hasn't he denied calling the vet to his home under 'suspicious' circumstances last Tuesday at 3am?" As a rational thinker, you know that he's just spewing BS, but you're forgetting that Beck's audience is largely American. They haven't demonstrated any rational thought, as a nation, since proving in 1776 that they had no clue how to make tea. ^.~

    It reminds me of McCarthyism... Joe McCarthy used to ask people pointed questions that included veiled accusations phrased as statement of fact. "Tell me, Inda, Why do you hate America?". Not "do you hate America"... in the phrasing of the question it's assumed that you hate America, and he's not asking you for a yes/no, he's asking for an explanation of why.

  • Grow up (Score:2, Informative)

    by sp3d2orbit ( 81173 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:40PM (#30047096)

    Everybody needs to fucking grow up. If Democrats think they are better than Republicans, then they are just as dumb. You both suck. John Stewart and Glenn Beck are both rich douche-bags.

    I for one am sick and tired of these playground antics. The US is on the verge of a major economic and political meltdown and all you political ass-bags can do is point fingers and call names.

  • Re:Why bother? (Score:4, Informative)

    by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:43PM (#30047154) Homepage
    Did I summarize it right?

    No. You've obviously read the first paragraph, and the last paragraph, but there's good stuff in the middle:

    So Jones was a self-avowed communist. But is he still? The answer lies in the very same article. Even before the group disbanded in 2002, the Express article says, "Jones began transforming his politics and work..." According to the article, "He took an objective look at the movement's effectiveness and decided that the changes he was seeking were actually getting farther away. Not only did the left need to be more unified, he decided, it might also benefit from a fundamental shift in tactics. 'I realized that there are a lot of people who are capitalists -- shudder, shudder -- who are really committed to fairly significant change in the economy, and were having bigger impacts than me and a lot of my friends with our protest signs,' he said."

    And even better:

    "There will surely be an important role for nonprofit voluntary, cooperative, and community-based solutions," Jones writes on page 86. "But the reality is that we are entering an era during which our very survival will demand invention and innovation on a scale never before seen in the history of human civilization. Only the business community has the requisite skills, experience, and capital to meet that need. On that score, neither the government nor the nonprofit and voluntary sectors can compete, not even remotely. "So in the end, our success and survival as a species are largely and directly tied to the new eco-entrepreneurs -- and the success and survival of their enterprises. Since almost all of the needed eco-technologies are likely to come from the private sector, civic leaders and voters should do all that can be done to help green business leaders succeed. That means, in large part, electing leaders who will pass bills to aid them. We cannot realistically proceed without a strong alliance between the best of the business world -- and everyone else."

    In context, yes, Beck is a liar for saying the guy's a communist.

  • by commodore64_love ( 1445365 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:43PM (#30047156) Journal

    You are right that Beck would have been wiser to ignore the website, and respect their right of free speech.
    Even dickheads like the KKK have that right to smear other people.

    As for Beck's show, I think it's worth watching. I would not have known that Mr. Jones wants to take my money and give it to Indians ("give them the wealth") or that he believes whites are poisoning blacks ("dumping their pollution in black neighborhoods") or tat he used to be not just Obama's right hand man, but also a communist. ----- I would not have known about the ACORN scandal where they advise their customers to cover-up illegal prostitution houses, and file false claims with the IRS. ----- I would not have known that Obama's Communication Director considers Mother Teresa and Chairman Mao her favorite philosophers, and that she admire how Mao overthrew the Democratic Chinese government.

    Beck may be a nitwit but he's the only one revealing what's happening behind closed doors.
    NBC, CNN, and the rest certainly don't discuss these things.
    MSNBC goes so far as to edit video of a black man carrying a rifle, and then saying he's a "white racist".
    link http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UYKQJ4-N7LI [youtube.com]


  • by jahudabudy ( 714731 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:47PM (#30047234)
    Except he didn't sue for libel in the applicable court system, presumably b/c he knew he would lose. He tried to get WIPO to grant him ownership of the site based on trademark infringement. B/c the site name included his name, which he has apparently not even trademarked. Strikes me as a desperate attempt to censor something he didn't like, but knew was perfectly legal.
  • Re:Why bother? (Score:1, Informative)

    by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @12:58PM (#30047462) Journal

    That's the his entire M.O., is it not? First, Beck accuses you of beating your wife (or some similar calumny)

    No, Glenn Beck would show a police report from your battered wife saying that she was beaten. Then she would play an audio of you saying that you have been known to smack women around from time to time. Finally, he would show a video of you beating your wife and THEN ask you to deny it.

    Don't take my word for it. Watch it in action:
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=zhFk7lH0LmE&feature=player_embedded# [youtube.com]
    http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=gP1-tGQzO_0&feature=player_embedded [youtube.com]

    So while you IMPLY that Beck is making false accusations, if you ever bothered to watch the show, you'd know that be truly backs them up with honest to goodness video. Hell, you don't even have to watch the show. Just use Google and YouTube!

  • by jadavis ( 473492 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @01:03PM (#30047532)

    Beck is a buffoon who uses every logical fallacy in the book.

    You can attack Beck all you want, but he plays video and audio that nobody else finds, so he doesn't need credibility. Generally, it shows some pretty troubling stuff said by people in the federal government, many of whom are close to the president.

    And before you say "out of context," this stuff is pretty bad, and often played with plenty of context, and often that context is the same person saying similar things throughout their career.

    He doesn't like the current administration. But we need people like that who have incentive to find problems and report them to the public. Do we want the president hiring a bunch of leftist radicals like Van Jones? Maybe you do and maybe you don't, but don't you think that people should know when it happens, if they do care?

  • by fahrbot-bot ( 874524 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @01:07PM (#30047582)

    You still have stuffed animals? It's okay. I know an anarchist who still sleeps with Pound Puppies, although his wife isn't too fond of the situation.

    I have several (and I'm 46). My wife and I couldn't have children and she had pet allergies, so we got stuffed animals. They loved to give her hugs and kisses and play in her underwear drawer. She died of a brain tumor in January 2006 (after 20 years together). I cherish my memories of us and our stuffed animals.

  • by operagost ( 62405 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @01:08PM (#30047608) Homepage Journal
    The thing is, it's a known fact that the President spent most of his young life in Kenya and Indonesia, whereas the "girl rape and murder" meme is a totally fabricated attempt at satire that is even lamer (and far more disturbing) than when Google was gamed to return Whitehouse.gov as the top result for "failure".
  • by Anonymous Coward on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @01:19PM (#30047818)

    As for Beck's show, I think it's worth watching.

    Beck may be a nitwit but he's the only one revealing what's happening behind closed doors.

    You, sir, are a moron of the highest order. This revelation explains much of the drivel you post to this site.

  • Re:Why bother? (Score:3, Informative)

    by ArcherB ( 796902 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @01:27PM (#30047966) Journal

    Well put. I don't agree with everything Beck says and there are times that he is truly wrong. You have pointed a couple out. Nice job.

    Now, my beef is that Beck seems to bring up things that no one else (in the media) seems to care about. You have a "Green Jobs Czar" that has openly said he was a communist. Beck showed the video. But, so what. So what if the "Green Jobs Czar" is a communists? What can he do? He then showed the video of the same guy (Van Jones) saying that green jobs goes well beyond just "green jobs".

    "[If] All we do is take out the dirty power system, the dirty power generation in a system and just replace it with some clean stuff, put a solar panel on top of this system. We don't deal with how we are consuming water, we don't deal with how we're treating our other sister and other brothers' species, we don't deal with toxins, we don't deal with the way we treat each other, if that's not a part of this movement, let me tell you what you'll have. This is all you'll have. You'll have solar powered bulldozers, solar powered buzz saws, and biofuel bombers and we'll be fighting wars over lithium for the batteries instead of oil for the engines and we'll still have a dead planet. This movement is deeper than a solar panel, deeper than a solar panel. Don't stop there. Don't stop there. No, we're going to change the whole system."

    The "Green Jobs Czar" wanting to change the whole system? My big fear of government regulation of things is that they will use it to try to control me and take away my freedoms. Health care is a good example. Here is Van Jones saying that the government should use Global Warming as a way to control me. That scares me. If Glenn Beck had not started investigating Van Jones, no one would have ever known BECAUSE THE PRESS DOES NOT ASK THE QUESTIONS!

    Then, of course, there is Anita Dunn, the White House Communications Director. She said, "The third lesson and tip actually comes from two of my favorite political philosophers: Mao Tse-tung and Mother Theresa -- not often coupled with each other, but the two people I turn to most to basically deliver a simple point which is 'you're going to make choices; you're going to challenge; you're going to say why not; you're going to figure out how to do things that have never been done before."

    Of course, no other media outlet reported on this. The only refutation that Beck received was that he took the quote out of context. HERE [crooksandliars.com] is a site that does just that. To prove the point, they showed the entire video of the relevant portions of her speech. They don't seem to notice the irony that the entire video they showed to prove that Beck took the quote out of context WAS FROM BECK'S SHOW!!!!

    So, while you may not like Beck's delivery, pay attention to the content. I wrote Beck as crazy several years ago when he would say conspiracy stuff like, "The government wants to take over the financial sector" and "The government wants to control the auto manufacturers". Now-a-days I watch the occasional show (when I'm home at 5:00) and get scared to death. He's like Alex Jones, except Beck is right more times that not and HE ACTUALLY HAS THE VIDEO TO BACK UP WHAT HE IS SAYING!!!! Where Alex Jones says, "I've seen the documents",
    Beck shows you the video, and it not only scares the crap out of me what Beck says, but the fact that the press ignores it almost makes me want to build a bunker!

  • by Fujisawa Sensei ( 207127 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @01:39PM (#30048212) Journal

    Glenn makes personal attacks of this very nature, so it is entirely appropriate that this was done to Beck. After all, if he didn't rape and murder a young girl, why doesn't he just prove it? Should be as easy as proving you were born in this country.

    They have certificates proving you didn't rape and murder someone in 1990? I seem to have misplaced mine... Uh oh.

    They also have government documents proving that people were born in the country [snopes.com]


  • by nomadic ( 141991 ) <nomadicworld AT gmail DOT com> on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @01:45PM (#30048310) Homepage
    Try again.
    Blue states support the red welfare states.

    Red states do pull ahead of the blue states in teen pregnancy rates, though, so you have that going for you. [mediagirl.org]
    detroit (falling apart more every day)

    Oh, cherry-picking examples, are we? Detroit is failing because when an entire industry disappears seattle (crime skyrocketing)

    Still a lot safer than that reddest of cities, Dallas, in that reddest of states, Texas.

    new york (do i even need to say anything here)

    I think you do; I live in NYC and it's a pretty good place to live, even with the world economy like it is.

    With out fail, blue leadership has been killing all our major cities.

    That is the most profoundly ignorant statement I've read today. Have you ever been to a major city? Or do you just listen to what Glenn Beck tells you from the safety of your little suburb?
  • Re:Exactly (Score:3, Informative)

    by cayenne8 ( 626475 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @01:45PM (#30048318) Homepage Journal
    "Well, it really depends on what one considers a news organization. I've tried to watch Fox... I really have (and no, I'm not a liberal). However, Fox News is news in the way Jon Stewart is... they use a "news format" but they have an obvious agenda. Obvious enough that I would call them an editorial organization that occasionally reports on the news."

    I'd say there are a number of shows on Fox where I agree with you....they do have an agenda and are heavily bent toward the far right (Hannity for example). But, I see there being a balance on MSNBC...have you ever seen Olbermann on there? My God, that man is as far left and ranting just as bad as some of the Fox far righters are.

    Franky, I don't see Beck in that same category...why they try to lob him in with the likes of Limbaugh is beyond me. Rush rants and is way too far out there, but, Beck, while he does act goofy on the air occasionally, seems to actually be more moderate, and looking more at where the govt. is going vs what the constitution says. That and asking questions about the fiscal decisions the Federal govt. is making at this time...things most everyone should be asking.

    I like some of the stuff on Fox, but, I try to watch also on CNN, and even the likes of the far left on MSNBC...then I try to make my own views and opinions after hearing from many viewpoints.

    I would think that everyone would...but, that doesn't seem to be the case. That's the main trouble with political discourse in the US today...no one takes time to listen to the other side, it is just a big shouting match.

  • Re:Not entirely true (Score:5, Informative)

    by kenaaker ( 774785 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @01:47PM (#30048362)
    There is no "controversy" about the birth documentation.

    The document presented is prima facia evidence that Obama was born in Hawaii. That is what the Hawaii state seal on the document and the signature of the state official on the document attest to. The republican governor of Hawaii and the Hawaii state officials responsible for maintaining those records have both publicly confirmed that they have reviewed the documents that are in state custody and those documents also prove that Obama was born in Hawaii.

    The noise from the birthers is just denial.

  • Re:Exactly (Score:5, Informative)

    by Rasputin ( 5106 ) on Tuesday November 10, 2009 @02:19PM (#30048892) Homepage

    "No, but you do have to admit that this is pretty much the first time a president or administration or party in power has overtly dismissed an entire news network, and actually spoken ill specifically of them"

    Nope. In the 2004 election the Bush campaign faxed out dossiers attacking specific reporters and, even, whole news organizations. Bush was also the President who apologetically called a reporter a "major league asshole" on national TV.

I've got a bad feeling about this.