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DMCA Takedown Notice Leveled Against Ohio Congressional Race Ad 130

Posted by timothy
from the jeff-gannon-is-my-stage-name dept.
Ponca City, We Love You writes "EFF reports that after Ohio Congressman John Kasich put out a commercial featuring a man dressed as a steelworker discussing Governor Ted Strickland's record, Strickland's campaign folks apparently realized that the 'steelworker' was really a paid actor, and put together their own video, mixing in clips of some of the actor's other work to make fun of Kasich. Now the DMCA has been used to send a takedown demand to YouTube that it remove Stricrkland's video for at least 10 days because it uses short clips from the actor's movies." The video has since been restored, some of the reasons for which are listed below.
"First, the political video's use is transformative because it provides evidence that the supposed steelworker was actually a paid actor and as the Supreme Court explains, transformative works 'lie at the heart of the fair use doctrine's guarantee of breathing space within the confines of copyright.' Second, the political ad only uses a few seconds of the original film, so a fair use is particularly justifiable when it uses the minimum necessary to make its point. 'What's troubling, yet again, is that this form of political speech has been removed from YouTube in the heat of an election battle,' writes Mike Masnick on Techdirt. 'Even if the takedown was not political, it's clearly a case of copyright law being used to stifle political speech.'"
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DMCA Takedown Notice Leveled Against Ohio Congressional Race Ad

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  • by nurb432 (527695) on Friday October 08, 2010 @05:58PM (#33841814) Homepage Journal

    Really only need one reason: First Amendment of the US Constitution.

    • by Mitchell314 (1576581) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:19PM (#33841968)
      . . . and the great tragedy is the politicians that ignore it are still in the game.
    • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

      by tepples (727027)
      And the Supreme Court held in Eldred v. Ashcroft (upholding successive extensions of a copyright term) that fair use is a key limitation keeping copyright from running afoul of the First Amendment.
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Not only extensions, but they also moved works back under copyright, stealing from the public domain. It also proved they are as bought and paid for as any politician.

    • by Joce640k (829181) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:25PM (#33842004) Homepage

      One quick phone call and your web site is back up again. I bet if it was joe sixpack it'd still be down.

      • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

        by bsDaemon (87307)

        Unfortunately, I couldn't find a real Joe Sixpack to comment on the issue, so I payed this unemployed liberal arts major to pretend to be one instead...

      • Not really. Joe Sixpack can file a form to reinstate the video, per the DMCA, and youtube must comply with the request ASAP. As long as youtube follow that procedure, they remain immune from legal action.

        • by Thing 1 (178996)

          Just had an interesting idea: post the video ahead of time to multiple locations and test pages that can hit them all. Then when youtube gets hit with the DMCA takedown notice, there'll be a daemon in the background checking and will just switch to the next page. Ad nauseum, with an email alert to the admin when there are only a few remaining, to find more.

          Even better: it just continually reposts to youtube under a different title, or creates a new account, etc. Good luck with that.

  • No consequences (Score:5, Insightful)

    by wonkavader (605434) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:02PM (#33841838)

    "...Arginate should take a closer look at Section 512(f) of the DMCA — which provide penalties for misrepresenting that an online video is infringing — before sending any more notices."

    Yeah, yeah, right. But has anyone ever heard of ANYONE actually paying any kind of penalty for misrepresenting a video (or anything else) to get a DMCA takedown? Has anyone ever suffered any real consequences for this, even though it amounts to perjury?

    Please, I want someone to tell me there have been consequences, and that people have been fined or jailed for it. But I suspect that the has never been a single such case where there any real consequences.

    I know we care, but the legal system doesn't and only an idiot could fail to notice. PLEASE, PLEASE tell me I'm wrong.

    • They just don't sue anyone who has the resources to sue back. I know I wouldn't launch a half million dollar legal battle if I had to swat down a DMCA request one afternoon.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by FoolishOwl (1698506)

        Congressional candidates tend to have strong connections to wealth and political power, and are often lawyers. The DMCA may have pissed off the wrong people, this time.

        • by hedwards (940851)
          Indeed, and by the time they actually get to court, the campaign has been over for some time. Which has been a problem around here. The BIAW has been violating campaign finance laws in WA state for some time, but by the time they get to the point where there being fined, it's an off year for elections and the people forget about it by the next election cycle.
    • Re:No consequences (Score:5, Insightful)

      by icebike (68054) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:26PM (#33842012)

      Yeah, yeah, right. But has anyone ever heard of ANYONE actually paying any kind of penalty for misrepresenting a video (or anything else) to get a DMCA takedown? Has anyone ever suffered any real consequences for this...

      You've hit the nail directly on the head.

      There is no teeth in 512(f). It aught to be a mandatory quarter million dollar penalty for filing a take down notice that was proven false or unjustified, or over-ruled by a court.

      Fair use of short clips is protected. But without any consequence of ignoring this fact, the practice of take-down first and apologize later, or never, will continue.

      But I'm glad to see this happening to politicians. Now maybe they will listen when citizens complain about this practice.

      • Re:No consequences (Score:4, Insightful)

        by h4rr4r (612664) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:44PM (#33842116)

        Fines are not good enough, they only make it so the rich can break the law with impunity. Jail time or community service for the client and the lawyer is the only fair solution. They might have more money than most, but we each only get so much time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by TheEyes (1686556)

          Fines are not good enough, they only make it so the rich can break the law with impunity. Jail time or community service for the client and the lawyer is the only fair solution. They might have more money than most, but we each only get so much time.

          Only problem of that is that then all possibly controversial takedown notices will then be done by corporations. Who are persons, but have additional rights, like the ability to spend as much money as they like on political campaigns (unlike humans, who have sharp limits), cannot be imprisoned, cannot be drafted, and pay lower taxes.

          • by h4rr4r (612664)

            I do not see how that is a problem the lawyer, and his client, the CEO can serve the time.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by GrumblyStuff (870046)

          We just need to be more creative about it.

          http://www.autoblog.com/2010/08/13/swedish-man-may-pay-largest-speeding-fine-ever/ [autoblog.com]

          • by hedwards (940851)
            That was just what I was thinking. Perhaps we need to rethink the notion that fixed sums of money are representative of equality rather than fixed percentages of ones income.
            • by h4rr4r (612664)

              If you make minimum wage taking 1% of your income may impact your ability to eat. If you make even a modest wage taking 1% is barely noticeable.

              Only taking time is equal.

              • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

                by daniorerio (1070048)
                why with the percentages, taking everything above minimum wage...
              • Taking time from someone working a minimum-wage job means he can't work that day and could lose his minimum-wage job. Taking time from someone who would otherwise spend the time vacationing in five-star hotels is not the same thing, either.

              • by arivanov (12034)

                I would not be so sure.

                99.99% of the population lives with no reserves and relies on various forms of insurance where our parents used to rely on savings. Whatever you get at the end of the month is spent by the end of next month. 1% of annual income will actually hurt nearly anyone out there. 5% for nearly anyone mean that you cannot meet your established spending commitments and need to reorg your credits. 10% - you can consider yourself bankrupt.

          • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

            by h4rr4r (612664)

            Still not good enough. To some a $300 ticket might mean no food or at least going without other things they really need. This man will not suffer like that even with this ticket.

            Taking an 8 hour day from his life would be just as fair as taking it from any other man.

            • by r00t (33219)

              The effect of jail varies greatly with income.

              Rich: Jail is yucky. It's boring, the food tastes like crap, and you can't play polo. When you get out, you can go back to your normal routine. (you have no job, the butler has kept the house nice, etc.)

              Middle: Jail is a personal disaster of unimaginable horror. You lose your job. You are unable to even respond to your creditors, never mind pay them. You thus lose your car and your home. This likely means you lose a spouse and/or your children; the state will fi

              • by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @11:35PM (#33843416)

                This may be one of the most bigoted things I've yet read on /., and it gets a +3 *Insightful*?!

                While I'm not disputing that jail has differing effects (and frequently different meanings) for different classes, I think the line between the classes so far as perception is much more nebulous than stated here, and your portrayal of the "poor" viewpoint betrays what may be the most callous stereotyping I've ever seen.

                Do you really think that people suddenly become shiftless drug addicts with no aspirations or family ties just because of their income? I suppose your hewing to the stereotypical politician portrayal of the 40-60% that comprise the American "middle class" is explained by your (apparent) belief that all that separates most people from a degenerate life of crime is an unexpected large expense or two?

                Wow. Just wow. I know I've read insightful comments from you in the past, but damn, I wish I had a heap of mod points to spend.

              • by h4rr4r (612664)

                Did you miss where I mentioned community service as an alternative?

                Besides a couple days in jail is not going to cost a ceo or lawyer his job. Or heck anyone else really. You could take paid vacation if you were in the middle.

        • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

          by AK Marc (707885)
          More appropriate is if you are the copyright holder and issue an knowingly "bad" takedown, then you should lose the copyright on the item in question. If they had to risk the copyright itself every time they defended it, they'd make sure they were right, not just issue a takedown on everything with a similar name (or obvious fair use)
        • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

          by lpq (583377)

          How do you send a corporate entity to jail?

          • by Ihmhi (1206036)

            Corporate entity does something stupid.

            The board of directors and its officers are in control of the corporation - what it does, when it does it, etc.

            Q.E.D. the actions of the corporation are the responsibility of the board of directors and its officers, and therefore they should be liable for anything relating to imprisonment.

          • by ultranova (717540)

            How do you send a corporate entity to jail?

            You nationalize it for the duration of the sentence and pay as much dividends as possible to the state. Also, you replace the current executives with a state-approved bunch.

            • Or even easier take a percentage of revenue (and really dig into the books too, lest Hollywood accounting show that Disney has somehow not made any money this year, and really, having to have their books looked at will be enough to deter them).
          • Someone within the company must have sent out the notice. Was he acting on his own, or on order from his boss?

      • Re:No consequences (Score:4, Insightful)

        by Entropius (188861) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:45PM (#33842124)

        I don't like the quarter-million penalty. To a lot of corps this is chump change.

        Now, sometimes someone makes a bona fide claim only to have that claim denied, and that act shouldn't be punished. But malicious abuses of the system like this are inexcusable.

        I think the penalty for blatant abuse of the law, at least for corporations, should be a legal death penalty: the inability to bring actions, suit, complaints, or any other form of legal action against anyone else. No more patent claims, no more DMCA notices, no lawsuits against anyone for any reason. If you are going to abuse the law, then you don't deserve its protection.

        • by icebike (68054)

          Problem is, you can't define "Blatant".

          Closest you can come is, having any particular action overturned. If that alone resulted in an immediate monetary penalty it would bring most of this abuse to a very quick stop.

          We can argue about the monetary amount. We can make it ascending, costing more an more for each overturned take down.

          But I don't think you can void a companies patents or copyrights because one overzealous lawyer overreached. You can make it painful enough that management will demand to person

          • by hedwards (940851)
            Sure you can. Depending upon the state there's something as "willful" violations of various laws. For instance here in WA, if you're setting up traffic control devices and you can't tell the inspector why you're not in compliance, that's a willful violation right there. As opposed to if you tell them the rational, then they'll either go along with it or issue you a much smaller fine. Probably even let you fix the problem without being cited.

            I don't see any reason why that couldn't or shouldn't be done in
          • by hairyfeet (841228)
            Sure you can define blatant, and I'd argue it can be defined quite easily. If you only file a single DMCA and that is overturned? that isn't blatant, you might have just been mistaken. You file a dozen and they get overturned something like 70% of the time? now THAT is blatant. And as for fines I'd say start at 10% of their GROSS income, and then work your way with continued DMCA abuse. i don't care if you make $3000 or $3,000,000, 10% ain't gonna be pleasant, and if it goes up in 2% increments with every s
        • by Dread_ed (260158)

          If you are going to abuse the law, then you don't deserve its protection.

          Ahhh if only this applied to police and politicians!

      • It aught[sic] to be a mandatory quarter million dollar penalty for filing a take down notice that was proven false or unjustified, or over-ruled by a court.

        That's a little bit too harsh. Fair use is not well defined. There are corner cases where it would take a court ruling to determine whether it is a real violation. In other cases, it's clear cut and there should be a statutory penalty for filing an invalid notice.

        The real problem is that there is no penalty for lawyers. If you file an invalid takedown notice, then you are opening your client up to charges of perjury, which is clearly not in their interests and so filing an invalid notice should be grou

    • Re:No consequences (Score:4, Informative)

      by tepples (727027) <tepples@[ ]il.com ['gma' in gap]> on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:26PM (#33842014) Homepage Journal

      But has anyone ever heard of ANYONE actually paying any kind of penalty for misrepresenting a video (or anything else) to get a DMCA takedown? Has anyone ever suffered any real consequences for this, even though it amounts to perjury?

      In Lenz v. Universal [wikipedia.org], a U.S. district court ruled that failure to consider applicable defenses such as fair use before filing an OCILLA notification is misrepresentation.

    • by Jonah Hex (651948)

      Should be easy in theory to file a DMCA takedown request using false information, maybe by impersonating a real company. That way the trail leads back to a dead end. I'm actually surprised we haven't heard of this type of "information warfare" yet.

      HEX

      • by bcmm (768152)
        Why haven't people been systematically doing this to everything ever since the DMCA was passed?
        • by hedwards (940851)
          Because that's illegal under the same provision. It's just as illegal as if you misrepresent the material as belonging to you, whether you pretend it belongs to you, or you pretend to represent whomever it is that owns the material.
          • by Jonah Hex (651948)

            Of course it's illegal, but since when has that stopped illegal measures being used in "information warfare"? DDOS attacks are illegal, however they are used all the time. It seems to me the DMCA is ripe for abuse by this method, I don't like what you say so I file a forged DMCA takedown request, which at the least forces you to go through the hassle of getting your content re-instated. Can someone point me at a news article regarding this happening already?

            HEX

            • It seems to me you've struck the civil disobedience nail on the head for getting this abomination of a law gutted. If everyone did this to all the political ads, then maybe the politicians would figure out how much of a pain in the ass they are being passing this trash.

              Okay, so I'm not actually going to do that because I don't want to fight that fight. I'm fairly sure you're with me. It'd serve them right, though, wouldn't it? At least the members of the US Congress who voted the DMCA in? If the CDA ever co

          • There is an interesting geographical loophole with the DMCA. You file the notice under penalty of perjury, but both the response and the retaliation are only within the jurisdiction of the USA (and countries with extradition treaties). If you file a spurious takedown notice from a non-extradition country, then the host must remove the material until they receive a counter notice, or risk their safe harbour provisions. You, however, are completely safe from any retaliation because you would be prosecuted
    • It's even worse than you think. Not only does the legal system not care about properly fining people for falsely claiming infringement with DMCA takedown notices, it also fails to enforce the penalties for fraudulent copyright statements on non-copyrighted works.

      Go to any standards organization (e.g. NFPA, API, ANSI, IEEE, ASTM) and buy any workbook or standard that has a sample blank form for data entry. You will see a copyright notice on that blank form. In fact, they will gladly sell you these blank form

      • IANAL, but I think the answer here is to sue the party claiming a copyright on a work that isn't covered. If they sell their works widely and you don't want to finance the suit, find a lawyer who'll certify you and some others as a class. The only problem is you'll have to actually pay the fee once to have been caused damages, or at least be denied their services or goods because you didn't pony up for their form. Proving specific damages in the latter case is beyond the scope.

        You state's attorney general o

  • Umm... so are we going to see someone getting hit with some sort of countersuit, since they've clearly misused the DMCA takedown process? Or is this one of those things where you can spew out accusations willy-nilly without your victim having any sort of recourse besides getting their video reinstated?

    • by arth1 (260657)

      The problem isn't just the knee-jerk reaction we get that politicians use the DMCA to chill what's clearly fair use, but the bigger problem is that the party in question doesn't hold copyrights to the original works of that actor in the first place.
      That isn't just DMCA abuse, but copyright fraud; claiming to hold copyrights to other people's works.

      Unless there have been some radical changes since last week, the same people have earlier claimed that copyright violation is theft...

      What, you didn't mean that i

  • Fair use? (Score:5, Insightful)

    by MrEricSir (398214) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:05PM (#33841860) Homepage

    If I show a short clip from a film just to prove that someone is an actor, how could this possibly NOT be fair use?

    • Re:Fair use? (Score:4, Insightful)

      by wonkavader (605434) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:07PM (#33841888)

      Why are you asking? You know it's fair use, we know it's fair use, and the lawyers who demanded the takedown know it's fair use.

      This isn't about copyright law. This is about the clever use of perjury.

      • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

        by MrEricSir (398214)

        But the baffling thing here is that this isn't some big company demanding a political ad be removed; it's a tiny film studio. And the film in question is free on the internet.

        It just seems like there has to be a missing piece to this story.

        • Re:Fair use? (Score:4, Interesting)

          by atfrase (879806) on Friday October 08, 2010 @07:43PM (#33842528)

          But the baffling thing here is that this isn't some big company demanding a political ad be removed; it's a tiny film studio. And the film in question is free on the internet.

          It just seems like there has to be a missing piece to this story.

          Is it really that baffling? Let me take a stab at that missing piece:

          Campaign manager: Hey tiny film studio, how do you feel about perjuring yourself to shut down this ad that's making us look bad? We'll owe ya one, and we have this funny feeling the perjury won't be prosecuted anyway.
          Tinyfilmstudio: A corrupt congressman in my debt? Yes please; consider it done.
          Campaign manager: I knew we'd see eye-to-eye on this one.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      It parodies the values trying to be represented or sold to the US public during an election cycle.
    • If I show a short clip from a film just to prove that someone is an actor, how could this possibly NOT be fair use?

      You are interfering with the actor's ability charge a fee to shoot a new commercial where he admits he is an actor.

      See #4 in 17 USC 107 Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use [bitlaw.com]

      I'm only half joking, BTW.

  • by Todd Knarr (15451) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:05PM (#33841870) Homepage

    And the Strickland campaign might want to point out this ruling in Lenz v. Universal Music [eff.org] where the judge said that copyright holders must consider whether the use of the material constitutes fair use under copyright law before filing their takedown request.

  • by The Grim Reefer2 (1195989) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:06PM (#33841878)

    Can we get an "R" and "D" next to each candidates name? That way I'll know if I should be up in arms at this vile abuse of the DMCA or giddy with excitement that it was wielded this way. ;-)

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      The fact that they are politicians should be enough. I want to see sponsors logos on their suits like race car drivers. So we can see who they really work for.

      • The fact that they are politicians should be enough. I want to see sponsors logos on their suits like race car drivers. So we can see who they really work for.

        That's a fantastic idea! Too bad anyone who would want to implement this would never have the funding to get into office to propose it.

        • by h4rr4r (612664)

          I have for years being trying to figure out how to get myself into office. Not as a real politician, because my ideas are often bad, but only as a way to stop things I know suck. I would vote only no, or abstain basically.

          Also no contributions to me ever, would be my thing. I am not rich enough, and if I was no non-rich man should ever vote for me.

          • That's a hell of a campaign slogan, "I'll vote against things that suck!"

            You got my vote.

            • by Dunbal (464142) *

              I can see it now: Oral sex banned in his district...

              • by h4rr4r (612664)

                No, Oral Sex is an awesome idea,

                I would vote for making sales of Oral Sex legal. I would vote against any law attempting to make prostitution illegal as I know those laws are bad.

                As the great orator Carlin once said, "Selling is legal. Fucking is legal. Why isn't selling fucking legal?"

          • I actually like voting a universal obstructionist into office, especially at the local level. Damn glad I don't get the government I pay for.
            • Re: (Score:2, Funny)

              by Mr. Slippery (47854)

              I actually like voting a universal obstructionist into office, especially at the local level.

              No, you probably don't.

              "We have a bill to fix the contacting process for fixing potholes, which used to be automatically awarded to the mayor's brother's company. This bill will greatly reduce our costs and improve the quality of our roads." "No! I'm a universal obstructionist!"

              "We have a bill to remove an obsolete ban on interracial marriage from the books. It will finally bring out jurisdiction in line with th

      • You sir/madam, are a genius.

    • Re:R & D please? (Score:5, Informative)

      by Asic Eng (193332) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:17PM (#33841956)
      John Kasich [wikipedia.org] is the Republican nominee, running against Democratic incumbent Gov. Ted Strickland [wikipedia.org].
    • Can we get an "R" and "D" next to each candidates name?

      It doesn't matter. The DMCA was a bipartisan measure that passed both houses of the Congress through a voice vote. Because MPAA studios share corporate parents with the mainstream news media [pineight.com], both Republicans and Democrats exploit this conflict of interest to stay in office.

      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        Both are the same party, they just fight about certain issues that are in there best interest to never have resolved. Don't think this is because they just can't get it done, they just don't want too. Those political footballs are too important. The Ds and the Rs are like Microsoft and Apple. Two sides of the same damn coin who's only real reason for not being one party/company is to prevent any real competition from springing up.

    • by AHuxley (892839)
      http://www.eff.org/deeplinks/2010/10/copyright-abuse-ohio-governor-election [eff.org]
      "In response, the Ohio Democratic Party promptly published a YouTube video capitalizing on this, illustrating its point with short clips from Redden's acting career."
      Seems the Republicans wanted a slick 'pro' feeling ad and paid for it.
    • Re: (Score:3, Funny)

      by compro01 (777531)

      Sure, here you go.

      Strickland - RD
      Kasich - RD

    • by Nyder (754090)

      Can we get an "R" and "D" next to each candidates name? That way I'll know if I should be up in arms at this vile abuse of the DMCA or giddy with excitement that it was wielded this way. ;-)

      R=Retard and D=Dumbass?

  • Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

    by DrYak (748999) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:07PM (#33841884) Homepage

    Yet another attempt to use the DMCA as a way to censor, which will end up back firing due to the Streisand effect.

    • Re:Censorship (Score:5, Insightful)

      by uvajed_ekil (914487) on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:43PM (#33842112)
      Yet another attempt to use the DMCA as a way to censor, which will end up back firing due to the Streisand effect.

      In this case, I wouldn't be so sure that it will backfire. Most of Kasich's supporters (supporters of a liar who supported NAFTA and got rich on Wall Street, then denied it) are going to go to the polls and vote for him because of the (R) next to his name, regardless of what dirty tricks and lies he uses to try to unseat the at-risk Democrat in charge in Columbus. People like Tom Ganley (R), also in Ohio (a pretty slimy prominent car salesman), and Alan Grayson (D) in Florida (the guy who calls his opponent "Taliban" Dan, edits video to blatantly twist words, and got very testy with Anderson Cooper when called on it) will still get plenty of votes because of the (R) and (D) on the ballots.

      Most people haven't heard of the DMCA to begin with, or have no idea what it does or is supposed to protect. This is interesting to a few of us, but will certainly get lost in mainstream reporting and be a non-factor. Sad, because it is such an obvious misuse of a law, and a sign of how f'd up our political system has become. The only "undecided voter" in a mid-term election like this is is the one who hasn't yet decided whether to bother voting or not.
      • by h4rr4r (612664)

        The only thing I am undecided on is which third party to vote for. I don't care about their stance at all, just who is the closest to getting recognized as a real party. Both the Ds and the Rs are a bunch of liars who sold out to the rich corporate interests long ago.

    • by canajin56 (660655)
      Except it's not the politician using the DMCA to censor. It's the film studio that owns the movies they used clips from. So in this case the Streisand effect is the desired outcome. Nobody noticed or cared what movie it was. But now the film studio is all OVER the news ;)
  • Link to the video (Score:4, Informative)

    by Anonymous Coward on Friday October 08, 2010 @06:19PM (#33841972)
    It would be nice to have it in the summary. http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=R48YAEcKZeU [youtube.com]
  • by thatskinnyguy (1129515) on Friday October 08, 2010 @07:10PM (#33842308)
    As an Ohioan, I know Ted Strickland-D is the Governor of this state and John Kasich-R is running against him for Governor.
  • by Qubit (100461) on Friday October 08, 2010 @07:15PM (#33842332) Homepage Journal

    So apparently a user called "KC Allen" claims on the Vimeo page for the parody-of-the-ad [vimeo.com] that

    The Ohio filmmaking community is outraged by a web ad published to YouTube, sponsored by the Ohio Democratic Party. The ad is an attack in response to a recent commercial from the Kasich camp, in which a local actor portrayed a man out of work. The ODP ad features clips from films in which the actor has appeared, in violation of copyright.

    Setting aside the incredible hubris associated with speaking for the entire filmmaking community in a state (heck, at least he could have tried to claim something about speaking for a particular group of filmmakers in Ohio, were he the spokesman or president of the body), I am quite appalled at the shoot-from-the-hip nature of his alleged copyright infringement claim.

    KC Allen continues:

    One film, from Arginate Studios was produced in 2010 as part of an international film contest based in Washington DC, the 48 Hour Film Project, while the other was produced by Whiskey Tent films. No permission to use the clips was asked for or granted by the filmmakers or other responsible, legally permitted parties.

    I hope when he says "responsible" he mean "people responsible for granting rights," not "people who act responsibly." I mean, the latter case is kind of a judgment call, no? :-)

    And I fully appreciate his (likely) factual claim that no permission was asked for or granted. Of course (as others have pointed out), the authors of the parody work might have a strong fair-use defense.

    The filmmakers of the state of Ohio demand an immediate public apology for this lack of respect and egregious violation of their hard work and professionalism.

    Here we go again, speaking for a group of people without any evidence that you have the authority or position.

    What, do you want me to claim that the Computer Programmers of the Whole Internet demand an immediate public apology from the filmmakers of the State (capitalizing the proper noun) of Ohio?

    Then you have the witty comeback from "Modern Esquire":

    You're right because no independent film maker has ever splice in footage from other films, tv shows, music, etc. It's called Fair Use. Which is part of the copyright law. There's absolutely no legal basis for your complaints. None.

    Well, I wouldn't say "none," because I'm not a copyright lawyer, but yes, it does look like there's a pretty strong defense here.

    Then, someone named "Sam" apparently knows the actors and decides to chime in:

    You are seriously going to argue that actors don't have the right to not appear in political attack ads based of their completely unrelated narrative work?

    I'm not talking about Chip here... if it was only Chip and actually used to illustrate his acting career... you know by including his work with larger companies like 'safe auto' and appearance on 'Lost' instead of editing a string of insults... which according to you add to the debate... I'm talking about Rick and the girls who are clearly recognizable. They have nothing to do with this and now their faces are stuck on an attack ad which nearly the entire central ohio film community finds offensive.

    I've got to give Sam credit for at least saying "nearly the entire central ohio film community" as compared to KC Allen's bit of hyperbole. I'm also quite sympathetic to what Sam sees as a potential defamation against "Chip" and "Rick" and the women who feature in the clips. I can be a bit disconcerting to see your video chopped-up and used in a different fashion than it was originally intended. But on the flip side, I believe all of the clips used are from commercial productions, and there's got to be very little expectation of privacy or prevention of people doing things protected under Fair Use with these commercial clips.

    • by h4rr4r (612664)

      As someone who has been to Ohio it would not surprise me if he was the only filmmaker in the state.

      • by nschubach (922175)

        I'm not sure what you are getting at. Being an Ohioan with a bit of knowledge about local history and current affairs in this state, I can tell you there is much more than one filmmaker here. Just because you might have had a bad experience driving through the state (or whatever it is you might have done here...) does not make one an expert. I usually don't get all uppity about where I live, but it appears to me that you're obviously trolling or aiming to "bash" Ohio for some foul reason.

        http://www.disco [discoverohiofilm.com]

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