Picking on a Loser Charlatan

On the other hand, he *is* asking for it — leaning into the punch, as it were: “Psychic” Uri Geller sued after trying to remove critical YouTube clip

YouTube replied by suspending the relevant account.

There was one problem: Geller doesn’t seem to own the video. It’s nearly 14 minutes long, and Geller’s company apparently can claim copyright in only three seconds of it, a brief excerpt that would likely be permitted by U.S. fair use laws.

That leads to a second problem. The DMCA requires anyone sending a takedown notice to state “under penalty of perjury, that the complaining party is authorized to act on behalf of the owner of an exclusive right that is allegedly infringed.”

If it was in fact only a three-second excerpt, Geller is facing potential legal liability. The Electronic Frontier Foundation is taking advantage of this possible vulnerability — and seizing a chance to make it a public lesson — by filing a lawsuit in federal court in northern California on behalf of Brian Sapient. (That’s the nom de plume of the fellow whose YouTube account was suspended.) The lawsuit, filed on Tuesday, asks for an injunction against Geller, damages, and attorneys fees.

The EFF press release: Spoon-Bending ‘Paranormalist’ Illegally Twists Copyright Law

Later, this related: YouTube to remove some clips mocking Thai kingpdf

The User-Generated Content Model Meets Modern Politics

Internet and politics an uneasy fitpdf

After Obama announced his candidacy earlier this year, however, his campaign decided Anthony’s page was too valuable to leave to an outsider and got MySpace to hand over the Web address. After initially suggesting it would pay him for his work, Anthony said, the campaign withdrew the offer, and the dispute became so heated that Obama called him last week. The Illinois senator expressed appreciation for the work, Anthony said, but explained that he had to stand by the decision of his aides.

Anthony’s experience is a symptom of the growing clash of two political forces: Candidates want to tap into the uncontrollable citizen power of the Internet, but they also want to control their message. In a growing number of cases, campaigns are finding these efforts impossible to reconcile.

If You Have The Time To Listen In

It might be an interesting show: Digital Future of the United States: Part V: The Future of Video [via 463]

Subcommittee on Telecommunications and the Internet Hearing
9:30 a.m. in room 2123 Rayburn House Office Building
Witness List
Connect to the Live Video Webcast 100 kbps

Later: 463 has busily been preparing and posting links to chunks of the hearing – see the May 10 and May 11 postings (consolidated as part of the Online Video Policy section).

A Nice Digg-AACS Writeup

Movie Keystroke Copspdf

Even the MPAA now seems to know better than to waste its time going after Web sites that distribute software, much less raw source code. “The battle is lost on that front,” said MPAA Internet anti-piracy director Craig Winter.

Instead, Winter said the MPAA devotes the bulk of its efforts to targeting widespread commercial piracy — most of which doesn’t take place over the Internet, and an overwhelming amount of which happens outside the United States.

At some point, the hardheads behind AACS may realize that they’re creating new enemies– and making a joke out of themselves in the process.

In the meantime, the spectacle of this group flailing away with cease-and-desist letters may wind up entertaining more people than all of the high-definition discs sold so far.

Only In The LATimes

Would we find an editorial suggesting that the overwhelming power of copyright be brought to bear upon the terrorists: Hamas hijacks Mickeypdf

[…] The creepy tale of Farfur, first discovered by Palestinian Media Watch, raises many hard issues: pathology in the Arab media, the quasi-abusive indoctrination of children and the bizarre geopolitical appropriation of pop-culture imagery. But it also raises an issue dear to the House of Mouse: copyright.

At the risk of encouraging lawyers, here’s a lawsuit we’d love to see: Hamas getting dragged through some international court by Disney’s implacable army of attorneys. If ever there were a real claim that the company suffered dilution to the value of its intellectual property, this is it. Farfur’s brief stardom creates an opportunity to revisit the legal territory blazed by the family of Alyssa Flatow (who sued Iran’s government for sponsoring terrorism) or even Morris Dees, who bankrupted the Ku Klux Klan via the civil courts.

Disney, which declined to comment on this issue, is understandably reluctant to give extra attention to a news-of-the-weird story. But there’s an important lesson to be learned here — that you don’t get to participate in modernity halfway.

For more details, see Hamas ‘Mickey Mouse’ Preaches Resistancepdf