Evel Kneivel Sues AOL For Allowing People To Find Disputed Kanye West Video

from the misplaced-blame-again dept

Earlier this week, there was some chatter over famed stuntman Evel Knievel's decision to sue musician Kanye West for his music video where he plays a persona "Evel Kanyevel" who is clearly a take off on Knievel. This seems silly for a few reasons -- including the fact that the video (which has already been out for a while, and was the source of some controversy after West felt the video was snubbed at an awards event) probably helped bring renewed attention to Knievel and his stunts. However, what's more interesting (and relevant for this site) is the news that Knievel is also suing AOL over the video -- not for hosting the video, but because their video search engine finds the video on various other sites.

The lawsuit claims that once AOL was informed of this, they put a stop to this, but as Steve Bryant notes in the article above a search on the site still turns up the video. Either way, though, this seems like a misplaced lawsuit. AOL didn't upload the video, and unlike other sites, they're not even hosting it. It's just that their video search engine happens to be the one that someone used to tell Knievel that the video was online. Bryant also raises questions about whether or not success against West in the lawsuit would allow Knievel to go after all the other video search and video hosting sites that likely have the video, noting how impossible that task would be. No matter how pointless the overall effort is, suing a search engine for helping you find a video you think infringes on your rights is going too far and shows a complete lack of understanding of how the internet works. Of course, AOL has gone through this before. A few years back there was the famous lawsuit that author Harlan Ellison fought against AOL for Usenet postings of one of his stories. The stories were posted to Usenet, which has nothing to do with AOL, but he sued AOL because that's how he got to Usenet. In that case, they ended up paying off Ellison, so maybe that's set a precedent for what people can expect when they file bogus lawsuits against AOL for merely allowing people to access potentially infringing content.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 4:23am

    It's too bad this beautiful world is filled with and being destroyed by fucking idiots.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  2.  
    identicon
    Sergey Brin, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 4:29am

    Who uses AOL to search anyway?

    AOL has a search engine? who knew?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  3.  
    identicon
    misanthropic humanist, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 4:44am

    Zero or hero?

    Idiots? Evel Knievel can jump 40 double decker busses on a motorbike ! What more can mankind acheive?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  4.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Bum, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:08am

    video.aol.com

    I saw a rabbi in an AOL video commercial yesterday on TV. He was having so much fun and AOL was saying I could have fun too. All I had to do is go to video.aol.com.

    Too bad I got a life.

    --------------------------------------------------------------->>>>>
    Clicki ng the Evel Knievel Figurine link from adsense too.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  5.  
    identicon
    comboman, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:22am

    Parody: Look it up

    I think Knievel landed on his head too many times. Why isn't he suing Super Dave Osborne or The Simpson's daredevil Lance Murdock, both of whom are obviously modeled after him? Perhaps because parody is fair use and no reasonable court would find in favor of Knievel. Of course, there are plenty of unreasonable courts so, hell, why not give it try. I'm sure it's an easier way to make money than jumping over buses.

     

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  6.  
    identicon
    Geoff, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:22am

    Tossing

    Damn Evel, I worshipped the ground you jumped over, I wanted to be just like you when I grew up....Now I've grown up, the ground has been re-developped into Condos and you are still a moron! I'm throwing away my Evel Knievel Action Figure Doll once and for all!

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    Ernestas, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:36am

    What to sue ?

    If we would name AOL as one of Resources that allows to view copyrighed media,
    then we can sue any WebBrowser or MediaPlayer maker (why they allow smbd. to view copyrighted content).
    Same logic can go to sue ISP (allow to download),
    sue HDD makers (allows to store),
    Video Card and Display makers (they actualy shows content)

     

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  8.  
    identicon
    Ernestas, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:40am

    On other hand,
    Sueing somebody for idiotic reason draws attention to... e.g. original clip.

    Maybe it's just PR action ? :)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  9.  
    identicon
    D, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:41am

    Old people

    Why is it that mostly all old people use AOL? You have to think that he is using it, otherwise how else would he know that their search engine finds his video? Unless he went to a friend's house (who also is an old person) and used his or her computer to search for a Kanye West video. Crazy old people!!!

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    DreadedOne509, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:51am

    I'm going to sue AOL for allowing E.K. to sue them. That infringes on my rights as a non-AOL consumer
    to not see b.s. lawsuits, or be exposed to them!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  11.  
    identicon
    Scott, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 5:58am

    Wait - I thought AOL WAS the internet?!? I'm confused!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  12.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:04am

    The Surreal Life 2011

    If Evel had any PR sense at all, he'd embrace the video and co-present some award at a music show with Kanye.

    But I'm not worried. Evel, Kanye, and Steve Case will all kiss and make up after they spend a season together on The Surreal Life 2011.

    (I know, I know, Steve Case isn't there anymore. That's why he's a perfect candidate for TSR. Now we just have to wait for Kanye's career to flame out.)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  13.  
    identicon
    Geoff, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:05am

    Better Yet

    I'm launching a lawsuit against every person who has read and responded to this article for propagating interest in this video, which is causing Mr. Knievel’s hardships!!!!

    It’s time’s like this that I am glad to Not be American – As American as apple pie, baseball, Honda and Frivolous lawsuits! I do so love a good American apple pie while watching my baseball games though.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    The infamous Joe, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:09am

    makes no sense...

    I'm starting to grow weary of so many people looking for a quick and eassy fix to get a buck.

    He earned (and I use that word in it's loosest sense) his living being a moron, I see no reason he wouldn't turn to it after his career is over.

    Quit your bellyaching and get a real job, you washed out loser. Sheesh.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Bob, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:10am

    I think I'll go...

    I think I'll go sue Microsoft, whose Internet Explorer subjects me to bad advertisements that pop up on my screen, porn, and other unwanted activity. I won't proactively do anything constructive, only sue, sue, sue.

    This is getting out of hand. There should be strict penalities for a case going to court and losing. Cut down on some of the bull-chips like this.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:17am

    Bullsh!t

    This sounds like a classic case of a has-been that will do anything to get back into the limelight. Isn't he retired now? He's just trying to score money from jumps he made years ago.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  17.  
    identicon
    Yo ho ho..., Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:39am

    huh...?

    Evel who?

    does anybody under the age of 60 care about this?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  18.  
    identicon
    joe, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:39am

    kanya west is the idiot, he obviously ripped off Evel - i hate kanya - he is a talentless, whining loser

    paraody is different - that's not what west did

    Evel will win against west but not aol

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  19.  
    identicon
    whargoul, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:54am

    Re: Parody: Look it up

    I couldn't have said it better myself, comboman.

    I haven't seen the video myself, but to me it does sound like a parody (which is legal territory). And to sue a search engine for finding the video is just ignorant.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  20.  
    identicon
    Zap Brannigan, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:54am

    Suing search engines

    I've decided that I need to make some quick cash. I'm going to post some incriminating pictures of myself and then search for them on aol, google, yahoo and msn and then sue them. Of course, rather than drag all this out in lengthy court proceedings they'll just settle out of court. Sure, it'll be a little humiliating but I'll seek comfort on a beach sipping mai tais.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  21.  
    identicon
    ScytheNoire, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 6:58am

    the real question is, when will the USA change their name to United States of Lawyers?
    can we get a day without new stupid lawsuits?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  22.  
    identicon
    alfred chew, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 7:08am

    Big gunners always want to cover their sides. That's their priority.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  23.  
    identicon
    Alan Kemp, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 7:23am

    Say what!?

    Not like you, right? Even if he can't spell "parody", I bet he has enough money to warrant not being called "loser". Also, I bet, not like you... ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  24.  
    identicon
    Sanguine Dream, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 7:30am

    So I'm wondering...

    how can Wierd Al's videos be parody but this video not be?

    I don't like Kanye West becuase he's trying too hard to be this generation's Chuck D (who was a real political rapper). But I don't think he infringed on Kinevel's image at all. But I wonder is he would change his tune if the video had won some awards...

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  25.  
    identicon
    mx_, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 7:52am

    Re: Who uses AOL to search anyway?

    Ha ha. Серёжа, как дела, в Сан Франциско?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  26.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 8:03am

    Sneaky Russian!

    BTW. Who the f is Evel Knievel?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  27.  
    identicon
    No One, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 8:32am

    Re:

    Why bother with the letter change? We can just use Attorney instead of lawyer and it'll still be th good 'ol US of A.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  28.  
    identicon
    FAZ, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 8:37am

    STUPID EK

    i had ot even ever heard of EK until he sued Kanye West
    call me weird, but its the honest truth. DAMN PR moves

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  29.  
    identicon
    Kanye West, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 8:58am

    Yo.

    AOL doesn't care about black people. Evel Kneivel doesn't care about black people. As a black entertainer, I am entitled to use anyone else's ideas; like the WHITE MAN did to my people so many years ago. Let's not worry about, "did Kanye rip-off Evel Kneivel?" Let's focus on Katrina, and black people, and poverty, and the white man's hypocrisy. Suing a black man should be illegal, I am looking forward to my counter-suit on the grounds that white men are racist and I am a black man. Please, buy my album, unless you are a racist mofo. Dang.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  30.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 9:13am

    Re:

    Not sure I can call someone who takes advantage of a system-wide loophole in order to strike it rich an idiot (assuming that your comment is implying the plaintiff is the idiot here). In fact, you might say that everyone who doesn't take advantage of such loopholes to secure a lush future is a fucking idiot.

    I think it is more appropriate to focus on the fucking idiots who have yet to set precedent and laws that put a stop to this kind of legal abuse. AOL (and/or other companies) need to stop setting and fight in hopes that it will quell those would-be plaintiff's out there who will follow in their footsteps.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  31.  
    identicon
    allyson, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 9:19am

    Re: video.aol.com

    I saw a rabbi in an AOL video commercial yesterday on TV. He was having so much fun and AOL was saying I could have fun too. All I had to do is go to video.aol.com.

    Too bad I got a life.



    Funny.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  32.  
    icon
    chris (profile), Dec 14th, 2006 @ 9:35am

    duh!!!

    you sue AOL because they and time warner have tons of money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  33.  
    identicon
    Kanye East, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 10:18am

    Re: Yo.

    Right on brother, I can't wait until we have another Rodney King so's I can gets me an New wide screen TV to right the wrongs of white people.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  34.  
    identicon
    White Man, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 10:33am

    Re: Re: Yo.

    F@#$ing Racist

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  35.  
    identicon
    Pariah, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 10:39am

    Well, it's good to see that racial stereotypes and flaming idiocy is still alive and well. You boys need to make sure you throw in a few references to 'watermelon' and 'fried chicken', make a comment or two about 'big lips' and 'white wimmins' and you'll have it all covered.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  36.  
    identicon
    Dizzle, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 10:55am

    P...

    P-A-R-O-D-Y

    If it were illegal Weird Al would've been hung 12 times over.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  37.  
    identicon
    Kanye East, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 11:14am

    I want my reparations

    Kanye West does not like old white people.

    Gimme my money.

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  38.  
    identicon
    Kanye's Mama, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 11:51am

    Re: Re: Re: Yo.

    why you got play the race card, krakka mofo?

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  39.  
    identicon
    mamas boyee, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 11:53am

    Re:

    looks like you took care of it ;)

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  40.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 12:16pm

    I wonder if it's not racially motived. Others have parodied Evil (all white from what I can tell) several times over the years, yet a black man does it and he gets all up in arms. Interesting don't you think? If he has a trademark on his image, then he should embrace this as other parodies and use it to keep his image alive for a new generation who have never even heard of him. Duh! PR

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  41.  
    identicon
    DV Henkel-Wallace, Dec 14th, 2006 @ 2:46pm

    conspiracy approach?

    How about the theory that West paid Knieval to bring the suit in order to bring publicity to them both? Diabolical!

    (what's the bike-jumper's real name, anyway? Does he have to use it in the court filings? That would be extra surreal: "The plaintiff, Fred Jones, alleges that the name "Kanyevel" sounds too much like his own and that irreparable harm would stem from this confusion......")

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  42.  
    identicon
    Brian, Feb 22nd, 2007 @ 10:17am

    They both suck!

    They should sue each other until the lawyers clean up everything they have!!!!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]

  43.  
    identicon
    joe, Feb 24th, 2007 @ 7:59am

    knievel

    every one bads mouth knievel. but he donates a lot of his money to childrens charities.so think twice b-4 u open your mouth!

     

    reply to this | link to this | view in thread ]


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