Editore"s Note
Tilting at Windmills

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September 18, 2007
By: Kevin Drum

SPOON PRUNING....Yet another reason to hate the DMCA: Uri Geller is using it to force YouTube to remove old videos exposing him as a fraud. Did we really need another reason, though?

Kevin Drum 12:30 PM Permalink | Trackbacks | Comments (14)

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Al, what's the point to being first if it's going to make you look foolish for the rest of the thread? The article states:

"The DMCA or Digital Millennium Copyright Act, protects sites like YouTube from copyright infringement claims if, and only if, they quickly comply with takedown requests from copyright holders. These sites have an itchy trigger finger when pressured, often not even asking for proof of ownership. The NOVA program most certainly isn't owned by Geller, nor has he provided proof that he controls the eight seconds in question. He just said that he did."

In other words, it kinda looks like you're sticking up for a bully who perverts the law for his own immediate financial and reputation's gain.

But then, we already knew that.

Posted by: A different Matt on September 18, 2007 at 12:45 PM | PERMALINK

If, as suggested above, Uri Geller is not the owner or authorized representative of the copyright owner of the original videos, which appears to be the case, whoever posted them ought to provide a counter-notification and Geller himself is open to some serious legal liability for fraudulent DMCA takedown notices.


The safe harbor and takedown notice/counter-notification provisions are probably the least objectionable parts of the DMCA; note that without them, carriers like YouTube wouldn't be protected at all by statute against liability for infringement as publishers.

The biggest problem is that people aren't aware of and don't exercise the counternotification provisions (and, also, that people wantonly violate copyright, but that's not a problem with the DMCA.)

Posted by: cmdicely on September 18, 2007 at 12:51 PM | PERMALINK

YouTube may be the greatest waster of time ever invented (beyond drinking to excess, of course). But why of why do they let people post the same fucking videos over and over again? Seems they waste a lot of storage space and bandwidth lacking a system to address this.

Otherwise, Uri Geller's a wanker, fake or not. He should be forced to share a house (behind a really high fence) with Richard Simmons and Carrot Top.

Posted by: JeffII on September 18, 2007 at 1:23 PM | PERMALINK

I hope it's like Geller's past legal fights where he loses.

Posted by: CarlP on September 18, 2007 at 1:32 PM | PERMALINK

cmdicely:
I enjoy your posts and have learned quite a bit from your thoughtful analyses.

But I don't think Uri Geller is in any danger unless the target of his shakedown notice has an attorney on staff looking for something to do or has a boatload of cash to hire one. Most people don't, so legal thugs are able to file fraudulent notices with impunity.

Posted by: jeri on September 18, 2007 at 2:11 PM | PERMALINK

Isn't that fair use?

Posted by: Crissa on September 18, 2007 at 2:44 PM | PERMALINK

All that psychic / telekinesis stuff is just fiction. There's no way any of it could be possible.

Posted by: Swan on September 18, 2007 at 2:45 PM | PERMALINK

Yes Crissa it is fair use, but YouTube, rightly afraid of losing the protection of the DMCA, pulls the video down and waits for you to counter claiming fair use, then it takes months for YouTube to put it back. I really don't blame YouTube. They are just protecting themselves using the tools provided by the existing law. It is up to us to insist on appropriate changes to the law.

Posted by: corpus juris on September 18, 2007 at 3:31 PM | PERMALINK
But I don't think Uri Geller is in any danger unless the target of his shakedown notice has an attorney on staff looking for something to do or has a boatload of cash to hire one.

Probably true as far as actual liability (though, of course, there are groups that might take cases like this, particularly potentially high profile ones, pro bono; the EFF, for one, might be interested.) OTOH, it doesn't take a lawyer to file a DMCA counter-notification which, aside from seeking damages for substantive harms inflicted, is the prime avenue to correct improper DMCA takedowns.

Posted by: cmdicely on September 18, 2007 at 4:50 PM | PERMALINK

All that psychic / telekinesis stuff is just fiction. There's no way any of it could be possible.

Although the DoD and CIA supposedly terminated their research into "remote viewing" in the '90's, some of the claimed "results" sound like things Bush might have used to justify the Iraq invasion, including:

During the Gulf War remote-viewers were reported to have suggested the whereabouts of Iraq's Saddam Hussein, though there was never an independent verification of this finding.
Remote viewers were also said to have helped find SCUD missiles and secret biological and chemical warfare projects, and to have located and identified the purposes of tunnels and extensive underground facilities.

Maybe that's how Bush got to be so sure Saddam had WMD and Rumsfeld "knew" where they were...

Posted by: Nemo on September 18, 2007 at 5:02 PM | PERMALINK

If I was a remote viewer, my superhero name would be ICUP, because I would use my power mainly for bathroom peeping. Just for the sheer prankiness of it.

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