You have to love the right wing’s ability to capitalize on victimization. If it isn’t the War on Christmas or Rachel Ray’s personal attack via scarf, it is something else, and now one of them has managed to elevate what should be a mundane copyright issue into… a national case:
MICHAEL Moore may wind up in court with a prize-winning journalist who claims the mountain-size moviemaker ripped off his most famous photo to use in a George W. Bush-bashing rant.
Last year, to illustrate one of his anti-administration bombasts, the portly polemicist posted on his michaelmoore.com Web site a heartbreaking photo from Iraq of an American soldier carrying the blood-spattered body of a child. The picture was snapped by acclaimed independent war correspondent Michael Yon, who has been very careful about how his images are distributed and goes out of his way to make sure they aren’t used for demagogic diatribes.
Yon – a Special Forces vet who posts regular dispatches from the front at michaelyon-online.com – is considered by many as the “Ernie Pyle of our time.”
Yon has tried to contact Moore for seven months to discuss his unauthorized use of the poignant snap, but hasn’t heard a word back from the director of “Fahrenheit 9/11.” Now, the fed-up photojournalist has told his lawyer to ready a lawsuit against Moore for copyright infringement.
Oh, shut up and just file the damned suit. And, as has been noted, this isn’t about copyright infringement, per se, but about ideology.
PS- Michael Moore is fat.
Look at it this way. It will be like a rather portly carcass for Malkin and her hordes of vapid vamps to feed upon and keep them away from serious issues like Obama’s birth certificate. Add to that, the fact that Michael Moore lives for shit like this and you have win win win.
The Moar You Know
And copyright is copyright. If Moore is using it without permission or compensation, well…good luck in court, fat boy.
What Stuck said. A lawsuit over this will probably extend Moore’s life ten years.
But, but….Michael Moore is fat! And a Dem…
jake 4 that 1
Riiight. But when The Straight Talk Express repeatedly used artists’ songs without their permission that was totally different. And Jackson Browne’s lawsuit was just politically driven bitching and moaning from a dirty fucking hippy.
Yon filed a $150,000 claim against the US Army for using the photo (and two others) two years ago. Now he says he "never sued anyone," which may be technically true – but still.
Every RW blogger in existence used that photo. He’s doing this to get his dumbass readers to send him money. What an ass.
If he lets other people use his photos for free, he won’t have much of a claim against Moore. To prevail on a copyright infringement claim you have to be able to show that you’ve tried to protect the copyright.
Except where it falls under fair use or rights are not enforced.
Then your ass belongs to us!
Joe the plumber needs to sit down with Mr Yon and explain to him why he shouldn’t be taking pictures like that in the first place.
How do we know whether the solider in the picture is phony or not?
Nice passive voice there. Who (besides dipshit ideologues) considers Yon to be anything close to Pyle?
@bobbo: Um…no. You can be as arbitrary as you like in protecting your copyright or in enforcing a patent; either one grants you an affirmative right to assert against any person, no matter what basis you use to select the target.
Yon may be a jerk — and Michael Moore may be fat — but if the facts are as alleged, then Yon will win his suit.
Well, I consider Yon a Pyle of Shit. Does that count?
Just Some Fuckhead
OT, Ray Lewis kills again.
At this point, Pyle is a putrid mass of decay, and nothing more. I don’t see why Yon would *want* to be next to Pyle.
Im not a big Yon fan, but I will say this: at least Yon walks the walk, unlike the fat, stupid, cowardly pieces of shit like Doughy Pantload, Michael Goldfarb, Michael Continetti or any number of other pathetic cowardly pieces of shit who beat their breasts and bellow for war with one hand while pushing the enlistment papers away with the other.
I was thinking along these lines this morning.
Liberals, by and large, don’t consider themselves victims of anything — they think groups of people have been victimized by various forms of discrimination and they seek to address it in various ways. Legislatively, judicially and the like.
Conservatives, conversely, think that claims of discrimination are bogus and they decry the culture of victimization, but they find themselves to be victims of culture and politics.
@Just Some Fuckhead: Just shows that the Steelers’ ‘win’ in 2006 was stolen.
S0 there, Cole!
Especially because fair use is long dead. Long live fair use [for those of sympathetic ideological bent].
I know selective enforcement does *not* work in the case of trademarks, which I’m more familiar with. If something enters common usage, you can no long claim a trademark on it. (The reason Google went through a policing "please don’t use us as a verb, thank you" period of their existence. That reminds me that they seem to have given up.)
That said, it’s moronic how hard some property owners make it to buy limited rights as a one-off. I’ve gone out and shot my own flippin’ pictures because there was no way to arrange rights unless I was another massive publisher with a million dollar budget and a print run of 100k.
Will this end the Warren flap:
True. Somthing like "Olympics" is used to describe a lot of public events, but if the Olympic committee doesn’t like one of them, they can arbitrarily tell them to cease and desist.
Michael Moore is many things – including fat – but one thing he is not is poor. If the suit makes it past the motion to dismiss stage, Moore’s lawyers will hit Yon with a more motions, a motion for summary judgment, and probably a lengthy and expensive appeal. Yon will need at least $200,000 to litigate this thing to the point where he has an enforceable judgment. Sure, he might get some wingnut welfare, but if he doesn’t, he’d better have a rich uncle.
Trademarks are quite different from copyrights and patents. Selective enforcement of a copyright infringement is entirely aboveboard, as is selective enforcement of the infringement of a patented mechanism. Why bother to sue a little guy? Go after Microsoft, instead — if you win, you’ll bring a lot more money home.
well, it probably WAS different.
If the McCain campaign paid the appropriate licensing fee (probably some sort of blanket license) to ASCAP/BMI, they could use any damn song recorded by any artist covered, which in the case of ASCAP/BMI means pretty much every artist you’ve ever heard of. Just like your local bar doesn’t need permission from The Pretenders to play their songs on the jukebox. They pay a single fee, end of story.
The protests by the recording artists whose songs were used by McCain/Palin, was part grandstanding and part damage-control PR.
From the dark canyons of Tweety’s deep mind. Just on MSNBC,
concerning today’s plane crash. He wants to know why we call it a "Bird Strike" Of birds sucked into jet engines, and why we don’t call them "Plane Strikes" considering the birds point of view.
Copyright yes, Patent no. I believe you have to defend your patents. You just do not have to sue everyone at once.
Just Some Fuckhead
OT again, don’t forget about Danger Monkey’s Farewell Address this evening at 8ET. We’ve got the big screen (6′ x 5′) down and have prepared an assortment of things to throw at this stupid face.
how refreshing it is going to be to get straight answers from our administration, instead of endless lying, obfuscation, stonewalling and pretzel logic.
Here’s another straight answer we got from an Obama appointee today: Attorney General-designate Eric Holder, when asked by Sen. Leahy if waterboarding is torture and illegal, said, "Yes."
No endless, carefully evasive non-replies in the conditional tense. Just, ‘yes’.
There’s your change that we voted for.
That’s going to cause a lot of headaches for Abu Gonzales, John Yoo, and any other number of soon-to-be-ex Bush regime officials who aren’t likely to be taking any trips abroad for the rest of their lives.
@BDeevDad: Nope. Trademarks, yes; copyrights and patents, no.
@r€nato: Now *that’s* change I can be skeptical about!
@demimondian: Ah, trademarks. I knew it was something. Thanks.
as for Michael Yon, IANAL but I think in order to recover any $$$ from Moore, he’s going to have to prove that he was financially harmed by Moore’s copyright infringement.
You don’t get awarded damages just because somebody used your shit without permission; you have to prove that you lost money. You might be able to be rewarded $$$ if your reputation was damaged, but again IANAL and I could well be mistaken about that. Otherwise, if Yon can’t prove that he was harmed financially, he may well only succeed in getting a very expensive, somewhat more authoritative ‘cease-and-desist’ order than his attorney could have drafted. As well as scoring rhetorical points; Yon would be able to insist that Moore is not just fat, he’s also a big, fat copyright infringer. Yawn.
In any case, Yon suing Moore is likely to result in nothing more than an expensive pissing match in which only the lawyers will win.
Once again, IANAL and I would dearly love it if someone who is actually versed in these matters would tell us what might transpire if Yon were actually successful in his suit. One of my great annoyances with the intertr0ns is when all sorts of non-lawyers pipe up with stridently-voiced legal opinions, especially when it comes to complex matters like slander, libel and copyright infringement which, really, only attorneys who specialize in such matters are entitled to opine with any sort of certainty.
@Just Some Fuckhead:
I am wondering if the press pool will be standing around in their socks for the whole period of the speech. What I would give for a chance to lob a loafer, and a decade or so to kill in penitentiary… I hope some people will fling footwear over the fence at 1600 the morning he leaves.
@demimondian: But, but Belichick had a camera!
Also known as a "lawsuit."
@r€nato: Nope. Copyright infringement carries a minimum statutory penalty. From this link:
I may be totally ignorant and full of shit, but how dare you suggest I was stridently-voiced.
Plenty of people have tried to use Disney characters, but it hasn’t hurt their claim of copyright on any of them. The suit may be ideological, but my money is on Yon. (Fair use may or might not come into it, depending on how the photo was used. That’s a bit trickier than basic copyright.)
@Comrade Darkness: It is a stupid business practice to make it impossible for small-run vendors to obtain limited rights. Problem is, of course, that it’s really easy for a small run to become a big run — and that’s a bad thing.
well, demi, that’s why I said three times IANAL ;-)
@r€nato: In this case, I’m NAL either. My employer, however, often faces "take down" requests…
@demimondian: "that it’s really easy for a small run to become a big run—and that’s a bad thing."
Oh, that’s a problem I’d like to have more often.
Speaking of which, I have a chapter due.
. . …. must close balloon juice . . ….
Oh, shut up and just file the damned suit. And, as has been noted, this isn’t about copyright infringement, per se, but about ideology.
Cole is wrong, as usual.
It’s about money.
From the modern day
GomerErnie Pyle’s own website: If you want to help me as I both prepare to return overseas and take on this lawsuit with Mr. Michael Moore, please hit the PayPal button.
Moore could post a ton of photos… if Yon gets his (Iraqi) blood money.
I’m not going to bash on Yon. I tend to look the other way when he talks politics, but his reporting from the war zone and from the point of view of the troops is something that has been SORELY lacking in the media since we went to war.
The MSM jumps from story to story, when they needed to be chest thumping patriotic for viewership in the leadup to Iraq, they were. When they needed to be anti-war when the populace turned, they were.
Yon has actually put his ass on the line with the troops to report first hand accounts of what their lives are like, which is nice, because these are the guys fighting for us. I want to hear about them, their views, their victories, and their losses. I don’t want to hear whatever the MSM feels the public wants to hear at that moment.
Yon uses what he collects from his photographs to fund his website and much of the expense of traveling to report on the troops, so if he wants to sue Michael Moore for not bothering to pay him a little money, then good for him. I mean jesus, the fat bastard has enough cash that he could at least toss some royalties to the other journalists out there that do the work for him.
@Wiil: By all means, if Yon thinks he has been cheated, sue him.
And then shut the fuck up about it and let the lawyers handle it. It is the whining that irritates me. “I have tried to get in touch with him…”
Christ, the email probably never got past the damned spam filter.
He has a website/blog that allows comments. Of course, the last time I tried commenting there, and I did it in a respectful tone disagreeing with something he’d written, the asshole published my email address on the front page (after saying he didn’t do that)
@Comrade Stuck: Classy- you have a link?
@John Cole: To be honest John, and I mean no disrespect, but I didn’t even know about it until you brought my attention to it. I also don’t quite know why you brought my attention to it. Your telling him to shut the fuck up but then fuel the conversation.
Like I said, I ignore Yon’s political posts, I see Michael Moore and I skip it as I don’t really care to know what MM is whining about now nor do I care to hear who has gotten into the latest pissing contest with him. We all want the news to do their job and ignore the bullshit, well, we should help them by not paying attention to it. I enjoy your blogging on the political and economic problems that face our country, but you are climbing down in the ditch with the MSM with your argument about Yon/MM. Maybe a good FAIL picture with MM and Yon would have been better!
On a lighter note, I faced the hardest decision of my life yesterday. Whether to stay in Pittsburgh and go to the Steelers’ game where my buddy had a spare ticket. Or go ahead and head down to the Inauguration so I can see Springsteen on the Lincoln Memorial. Springsteen won :( / :)
It should be embedded with "website/blog" in my comment. At least it is on my end.
Here it is again
@Comrade Stuck: It is just linking to the latest news item on his front page.
Yea, I know. What should it be linking to? The news items have comment sections.
@Comrade Stuck: I assumed it would be a link to the accused thread where he published your email for everyone. I don’t see it, as I took that to be what Cole was asking for. If you were just wanting to link to the latest news stories and comments, my apologies.
That happened nearly a year ago, and I did notice he no longer makes the statement of promising not to release emails of commenters.
@Comrade Stuck: I’ve never seen him do that, but then again, I only check in once a week to read the latest dispatches.
I was responding to Cole’s effort to contact Yon which I took
“I have tried to get in touch with him…” to mean. That’s why I provided the link to his website for making contact with Yon. Maybe Cole asking for a link was to see my published email address, I don’t know. I guess you can believe me or not, I don’t really care, but it’s not why I made the original comment, and was just an added anecdote on my part. Same to Cole if that’s what he was asking for a link for.
@Comrade Stuck: Not saying I don’t believe you, just strikes me as out of character for Yon. It’s something that would undermine my respect for the work he does. Shit like that is as bad as the Kent Williams crap by the Tennessee GOP. Yeah, it’s not your real life address like Kent’s, but it’s still a dick move. If he did do it, I guess he at least was wise enough to see the error in his way as well as the childishness of it and take it down.
After thinking back some more, I may have confused Yon with Michael Totten from some of the past flame wars with Cole. I’m pretty sure when it happened it arose from a thread at BJ, and I wasn’t the only one it happened to. So maybe I owe Yon an apology. And I always use throw email addresses when commenting on wingnut blogs.
No maybes, Lets make it official– My apologies to Mr. Yon and anyone concerned,
signed Idiot Stuck
When you take red-blooded americans and put them in a warzone while denying booze and broads… Well.
Sullivan is wrong. I don’t believe Yon’s suit is about idealogy. He’s protected his photos from use by EVERYBODY. If Moore simply used the photo in a blog post to comment on it, fine. But he used it in a banner ad on his site – without permission.
Now, your larger point – that this shouldn’t be a national case – is absolutely right. But the fact is, Michael Moore used a copyrighted photo improperly and without attribution.
P.S.: Tunch is fat.
I used to object when my liberal friends made fun of W for being sub-literate. I always thought that whatever fleeting satisfaction my friends got from making the joke was outweighed by the resentment it would cause among all the people who felt awkward about their own literacy. In my experience, for every articulate person, there are fifty who aren’t comfortable with the king’s English and resent those who mock them for it.
That goes double for making fun of anyone’s weight.
Ding, ding, ding… Mike D gets it right, as does Jackson Browne et al. From a legal/ethical POV, you create it, you reserve the right to be selective about how it get’s used. Moore being a douchebag along with his and his lawyers unresponsiveness I’m sure had everything to do with this ending up on the wire.
Punchy: The soldier in the photo is Col. Mark Beiger (could have been an LTC at the time) and is West Point classmate of some good friends. Not only can he be vouched for, Yon’s written account of that horrible day are accurate according to them.
According to my six year old daughter who I often show BJ pet photos to and contrary to the majority of the star commenter’s here, Tunch is NOT fat at all and is just the right size. I happen to agree with her assessment.
I am a poor mechanic. As a male living in the South, I often feel awkward about being a poor mechanic. However, if I decided to be the head mechanic for the world’s largest chain of auto care stores, I’d damn well better expect to be made fun of for being a poor mechanic.
Legal yes, ethical no.
Make your case, I’m interested.
I’m a musician and recording engineer who debates/follows the intellectual, property, and copyrights topic with my friends and fellow musicians as it relates to file creation, trading, P2P, etc… It wouldn’t surprise you to know that I’m fiercely for the protection of an artists work and have heard many well thought out opins on the subject (although none that have swayed me from my position that the creator has absolute right unless he/she has signed it away), but enjoy discussing it to no end.
What do you find "unethical" about an artist/creator exercising what I believe to be their absolute right to control the use of their work?
I always thought there was something very odd about that photo.
What adult, while carrying a child who was seriously injured and possibly dying, would stop to cuddle and kiss the child?
The only answer I can come up with is: someone who is posing for a picture.
And isn’t it amazing that so many Americans took to that photo like a duck to water? It makes our slaughter in Iraq look like a benign intervention, doesn’t it – since our troops are so caring they kiss and cuddle dying Iraqi children.
I emailed Yon about the photo when it first came out. He could not explain why that soldier was stopping to cuddle a dying child rather than rushing the child to medical aid – he just said it was part of war and that I would never understand because I have not been on scene in a war.
And, he came off as an arrogant ass to me.
You are completely wrong about your characterization of the photo, the circumstances under which it was taken, and the soldier depicted.
It is you who are the arrogant ass.