Skip to comments.More copyright complaints
Posted on 04/08/2004 9:19:34 PM PDT by Jim Robinson
As most of you are aware, we've recently received several copyright complaints. In the last few weeks, we've received complaints from the SJ Mercury News, Independent (UK), SF Chronicle and The Boston Globe. Just a couple days ago the Post-Gazette send a cease and desist notice and yesterday I heard from the Tribune-Review.
Tonight, I got a call from Amy and there were two more registered letters at our PO Box. The McClatchy News (Sacramento Bee) and USAToday are now added to the list of publications that have complained about copyright violations.
Well, folks, the handwriting is on the wall. The complaints are now coming in faster than I can respond to them. John is currently in the process of writing programs to search out and automatically excerpt all existing threads from these sources.
I think we're gonna have to go to excerpt and link for all news sources very soon unless we have written permission on file.
Ugh. We'll find a way. Something will just evolve. I'm sure of it. Can't see a way yet, but this won't stop FR.
Well, as others have said, just the salient facts should be excerpted. That will be enough for us to run with it. Just a few quotes from the original.
Honestly, why not? That's plenty, and saves a heck of a lot of bandwidth. This will actually be an advantage in that regard.
Are you referring to legal action? I thought it was the plaintiff's job to prove something, not the defendent's.
I'm probably misunderstanding your point here.
Actually, you may as well call them extortion firms, since that's what they are. The only reason ASCAP/BMI control any copyrights is that the government has given them a duopoly on that. ASCAP/BMI get to collect money for all the music played in their licensees' establishments, whether or not ASCAP/BMI actually have any legitimate copyright interest in most of the music.
From what I've read, Europe handles the performance copyrights rather better: performers fill out a set list, which indicates whose works were performed. Licensing fees then get allocated to composers based upon how often their works were actually performed. In the U.S., however, licencing fees instead get funneled to whoever has managed to
become most popularpay the best bribes to get on the radio.
Actually, it is the "World-Wide-WEB"(ie. links) not the World-Wide-Cut-And-Paste".
Actually, there's a substantial legal impediment to collecting royalties yourself since Congress has decreed that a bar that pays off ASCAP/SESAC has met all its copyright obligations, thus making royalties uncollectable for anyone else.
As for it being stupid not to join, I've not written much music and would be surprised to hear anyone playing any of it; even if some of it did catch on, though, I would see no reason to offer ASCAP/BMI any moral justification for taking money for my work. That isn't to say that ASCAP/BMI wouldn't take their payment anyway, but I'd see no reason to offer them moral justification to do so.
Not really. Even in a debate, if I'm trying to show that the L.A. Times is biased and cite examples to prove my point, unless I can prove that I'm not unfairly taking things out of context it would be rather difficult if not impossible for me to show the L.A. Times' bias.
We can just set up a common FreeRepublic registration identity.
Name: Whatever. Password: 12345.
Everyone on FR can then use the same name and password for all sites.
When I do register on some site that requires demograpic information, I register as a 14 year old girl.
Well the solution is to continue posting as normal, but have the viewing software extract an abstract (first para) even thou the entire article is available. Then allow a command in the link like "complete=true" over ride the abstracting logic and retreive the entire article. I'm a pretty sure I could make my forum work that way. So I am certin FR can too. That way the entire artcle is available if the need arises.
I have three questions that I believe would come into play to determine whether you could legally ignore all of these cease and desists (at least it's a good starter kit for your fleet of attorneys! ;)
1) Is this being posted to allow comment on the material? (see Fair Use)
2) Is there some transformation to the material in question? And since people are constantly adding comments the answer might be yes.
3) Is the specific use of the copyrighted material for commercial gain? key word being specific.
And I know we're all in favor of using rulings from other countries to determine how our courts rule... (not) but Canada recently equated peer-2-peer music sharing (which would appear to be even more questionable) as legal as making a photocopy of a page from a book or periodical at a library.
§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
The fact that a work is unpublished shall not itself bar a finding of fair use if such finding is made upon consideration of all the above factors.
Also of interest is the imbedded link Fair Use: Overview and Meaning for Higher Education
Reuters, AP, AFP, UPI, BBC, etc all post pretty much the same story with variations on the spin. If we concentrate on those differences, we'll still get the same story. Honestly, how many times have you read an article and realized you've read the same variation several times from different sources. We'll manage. It's not the end of Free Republic. Don't let those who want to take us down get to you. We will prevail. Over time, those that post on the internet will realize they can not prevent every person who reposts an article from doing so. There are millions of web sites out there. Let's say the Washington Post decides to go after everyone. They'll need hundred, if not thousands of people to search all the web sites. Right now, these media sources are picking the fruit they can reach easily. But, can they make a profit hiring people specifically to search every blog, every web page globally? They are not going to prevail. We will win. Right now, we are the apple on the low branch, but wait, they can not prevent it from occurring. We'll bide our time, we'll manage, and remember, we are a smart bunch, so we'll be able to adapt. In the meantime, others will be archiving, storing, and preserving. Be vigilant....
What's more, some publications are prohibiting even excerpting of articles.
1986: Maxtone-Graham v. Burtchaell
Maxtone-Graham wrote a book containing women's stories of unwanted pregnancy and abortion in 1973. She denied Burtchaell's request to use excerpts from her published interviews. He published them anyway. The Second Circuit Court of Appeals found that quoting 4.3% of an author's work was not excessive and that Burtchaell's use of the narratives was a fair use.
BTW, that linked timeline is very information. It is apparent our system of copyright has been at the mercy of European law since 1831. I for one believe the First Congress got it right in 1790. How is "a limited time" equal to more than a lifetime? Locking up information for nearly a century does little to "promote the progress of Science and Useful Arts."
Well, I'm sure that George Soros is glad that he's getting something for all the millions that he's funneling under the table to the DNC.
I don't think it's going to buy him what he really wants though -- a President who will legalize his drug use.
Criminal Number 18F
DU largely excerpts articles but there are occasions where full articles are reprinted; I doubt that special permission was requested/granted as there is no mention of it in those threads.
Also Bill Gates' Corbis harassed FR for linking to the photos of John Kerry seated near Jane Fonda (I am referring to the genuine color photo). They also bitched about the hoaxed photo composite parody made from 2 separate Corbis images.
The double standard is that leftist site Snopes.com hosted and continues to host all 4 images (the three Corbis images and the unapproved hoax image) on their own server. I even notified Corbis about this. I assume that Corbis contacted Snopes because the Snopes site was modified to acknowledge Corbis' copyright on the 3 images (although Corbis holds no such copyright on the hoaxed image and would be suspected to be unwilling to license such an image especially in light of the fact that they cannot license a composite that they did not create and therefore do not own). I also seriously doubt that Snopes is paying $150 an image like the Vietnam Veterans Against Kerry did to host the image on their site.
The media is coming down hard on conservatives and leaving a highly suspect double standard in treatment in their wake.
The "revived" public Media Schadenfreude and and Media Shenanigans lists:
Freepmail An Amused Spectator to get on/off this list.
Not only that, there are instances where articles have gone out to the wires with loads of factual errors (including a big hit piece on George W. Bush's connections to Ken Lay via his ownership of the Houston, Astros; unfortunately for the critic, George W. Bush owned part of Arlington's Texas Rangers baseball team, not the Astros). There are also instances where internal office memos for this or that media outlet (broadcasters and newspapers) have been leaked to their own websites (possibly by disgruntled employees).
Some of these items do not remain online (certainly after other news sources start to comment on them).
Archiving such examples of media bias is the only way to keep the revisionist editors at Big Media from deying their biases.
It only makes sense since the campaign is being waged by those who oppose everything this nation claims to stand for...
"The Constitution is a living document..." and all that rot.
Minor conspiracy theory: Does Lexus/Nexus keep articles or do they link to the news sites? I realize that is a commercial transaction (and licensed arrangement) so it does not share the "fair use" provisions that FR enjoys.
Also, we hear Rush Limbaugh reading excerpts of articles on the air (sometimes obtained from Nexus searches). I wonder if he (or G.Gordon Liddy) have ever been told that they cannot read even an excerpt of an article (or statement from a political site like antiwar.com) on the air. G.G.Liddy uses a segment of each hour of his show to read articles and editorials on the air (with his own commentary); it used to be a full hour of the daily show but he had no guarantee that every market would broadcast "that" hour.
It might be worthwhile to contact Rush, GG Liddy, and other conservative talk radio hosts who excerpt and read full articles on the air without paying the newspapers.
Question authority. Be anti-establishment; oppose the liberal media elites.
The educational provisions of "fair use" permit us to do so without adding more laws. It is constitutionally protected.
This is not a commercial site. There are no links to merchandise and no "shop". Contributions to operate the site are voluntary and anyone may use the site (reading and posting) without giving a dime.
FR has become a lot higher profile in the past year. Part of this is due to Laura Ingraham, Rush Limbaugh, Sean Hannity, and others acknowledging FR on the radio. The OTHER part of this is from HIT PIECES at SFgate, Newseek/MS-NBC, and other liberal sites that try to give PR negative PR.
The left is their own worst enemy when it comes to sending people to Free Republic. In their efforts to demonize us they have sent us a bunch of new converts to conservativism and assorted readers who are glad to see independent voices countering the claims made by Big Media.
No longer do conservatives have to tune into talk radio to hear someone voice dissent against what the press echoes through the different wireservices; here is immediate reaction (and some conservatives Do have different takes on the same issue while remaining true to Conservative ideals).
The left likes activism only when it benefits Democrats.
What a miserable failure their efforts have been.
A more appropriate action would be to have the website launch a popup to the "source link" when the thread is launched. Locally store the text of the article (archived against future tampering or deletion) but require the source website to launch (at least the toplevel domain) in order to read the locally stored text.
Permit all discussion of the article to proceed without popups (since at that point it is just excerpts from the article and FR posted original commentary).
The only time you would see a popup (to the original site) is when you chose to read the FR hosted text of the article itself.
This would slow down browsing just a little bit but remove none of the functionality of FR.
Some of the press, like Newsmax, or a quotable celebrity like Rush Limbaugh perhaps but others of the press (aka Big Media) DO have a problem using information that FReepers research.
By that I mean that even when a FReeper points out an error in a report, they'd rather bury it than acknowledge a liberal flaw.
I recently read an article on FR that had 2 Boston Globe reporters suggesting that John Kerry may have been untruthful with regards to statements he made during the Vietnam War. I sent them an email (with no references to FR) that included the text of his transcript from Tim Russert's tv show where he refuted his own claims of "genocide" as being the (lying) words of an "angry young man". I said that there was no doubt that he claimed American soldiers abused Vietnamese civilians. I never did get a reply from the authors.
Under the "new rules", I would not have even seen the article to bring this to their attention. Big Media can bury their head in the sand (the same way they do about Islamofascism) but I will not silence my voice.
If you have a radio, jukebox, or tv set, you still can be pressured by hired goons to cough up regular payments to ASCAP and BMI. There is no accounting for radio, tv, or cds (the jukebox is a separate matter) as to what your customers may have heard. Also, all of those performers and songwriters got paid (radio and tv for the broadcast usage, whether it is part of a program or an advertisement "jingle"). The CD copyright holder was paid when you bought the album.
The agencies are good at collecting money from an ever increasing pool of sources (shakedown new clients every year, tv is a recent addition) but they aren't so good at actually paying the songwriters and artists.
But examine what you said there... Google caches all of the media's articles (except those who opt out) without paying to do so. Why is Google granted a priviledge that is not afforded Free Republic? Have these outlets all sent their cease and decist letters to Google.com?
If not, then they are not effectively protecting their copyrights.
Google even caches Free Republic.
Maybe you've hit on the fundamental reason the media lies. They need those "made up" facts so that they have something to copyright.
A work of fiction is easier to protect than an account of an actual event.
The enemies of the State will use every tool at their disposal to destroy the State.
Go to smokinggun.com (is it thesmokinggun...). They printed the full Al Qaida training manual. It told their terrorist agents how to tie up their case in the courts. The same legal structure they seek to destroy.
A terrorist organization that operates outside the law deserves to only be shielded by law to screen out innocent individuals. They fight for an army wearing no uniform or even the garb of emergency doctors and police. They violate Geneva conventions as a matter of course (attacking civilians and doctors).
I don't believe that communists believe in "free speech". They believe in using the tool of "free speech" to preach seditious overthrow of the constitutional government. That is not protected speech regardless of how long they believe it will take to achieve their goal.
I don't know. I think that FR may need to re-evaluate the policy of permitting newbies to initiate threads. That DUh link recommends that trolls post threads deliberately to initiate copyright lawsuits against FR.
Calling in the Viking Kitties for Zots aren't worth risking maliciously posted threads. Limit new threads to those who've posted 100 responses first.
It also helps to give a better track record when trolls sign up at FR.
The edict has already gone out, the posters at Democratic Underground seek to get Free Republic sued by posing as "FReepers". Do people still believe that those angry emails to Margaret Cho and others were all authored by genuine FReepers and conservatives?
Not saying that they don't represent well deserving cases but I don't know that they offer the best representation.
Can you imagine the sleepless nights they would have? Just imagine a huge cadre of conservative sleuths out there tracking down every single "Dick Clarke-like" lie they tell and posting it for all the world to see! Surely there's enough Googler's here who could pay a few bucks a month for access to the most powerful search engine in the world, huh?
Gosh, just THINKING about how unsettled the DU'ers would be gives me goosebumps. LOL!
That which does not kill us only makes us stronger. Big Media has awoken a sleeping giant in attempting to supress the silent majority.
The bar is believed to have deeper coffers and be less mobile/elusive than the performers. Soak the rich. It's why lawyers don't sue a person who is negligent, they sue his employer. They sue the manufacturer of a product that is improperly used by an individual against their client.