Britney Spears' Dad Using Copyright Claim To Stop Critical Fansite?

from the not-what-copyright-law-is-intended-for dept

Michael Scott points us to the news that a popular fansite of Britney Spears, called BreatheHeavy.com, has received a legal nastygram ordering the site to shut down, claiming that it infringed on numerous Britney copyrights by "posting Britney song lyrics, photos, videos and audio clips without permission." However, the owner of the site, Jordan Miller, claims that the nastygram has nothing to do with copyright, but is really about how Britney's father, Jamie Spears, is upset with Miller's site for criticizing the business structure of the Spears' family. If true (and, obviously, this is just one side of the story), it does seem like yet another attempt to use copyright to simply shut up a critic. Not surprisingly, that plan already seems to be backfiring, as this little mess is drawing a lot more attention to the story, rather than forcing it to go away.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:02am

    To quote the Producers; "Man, how they try."

     

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  2.  
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    R. Miles, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:07am

    The idiot's suing the wrong person.

    He should be suing his own daughter for all this "stress".

    After all, it was her initial actions which lead to the criticism.

    But I doubt he'll think about that while trying to sue someone for disliking his daughter.

    Thank goodness for safe harbors, because:
    Dear Jamie,
    You're a complete moron. Your daughter is nothing more than a celebrity slut who has no real talent. I should sue you, and your wife, for creating this monstrosity and allowing her crotch showing, SUV beating, child neglecting to cause stress to millions of people worldwide.

    As the parent, this is your responsibility, isn't it? Oh, she's an adult now, isn't she.

    But at one point, she wasn't. Where the hell were you then?

    Oh, right. Spending the money she made.

    Famous quote: "You need a license to fish. You need a license to drive. But any moron can be a father."

    So true. So true.

     

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  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Poster, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:29am

    Man, those Spearseses just can't help being one big pack of idiots, can they?

    I mean, hey, I'm not going to call them a Circus of freaks, but Sometimes, you just have to think they're being a little too Overprotective of their seemingly Toxic business interests when they start throwing out lawsuits Everytime someone criticizes them. But I'm Anticipating that this will result in a SLAPP countersuit that will prove how Outrageous this situation is, and that the website owners will be Lucky enough to Do Somethin' to shut these idiots up. Techdirt, if they are successful in getting the Spears to back off, please, Don't Let Me Be the Last to Know.

     

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  4.  
    icon
    Mike (profile), Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:33am

    Re: The idiot's suing the wrong person.

    Thank goodness for safe harbors, because:


    Just so you know, safe harbors only mean that we, at Floor64, can't be sued for what you say. YOU, however, can absolutely be sued, if the party you're criticizing believes you are defaming them.

    Safe harbors don't give you free reign to libel someone -- they just protect the site that hosts the content (us, in this case).

    So don't think that safe harbors give you freedom to defame someone. That could get you in trouble.

     

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  5.  
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    Mike Fanboy, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:34am

    Re: Re: The idiot's suing the wrong person.

    Yes, it does. Freedom of Speech. Everyone is an idiot except for me.

     

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  6.  
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    Chronno S. Trigger, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:38am

    Re: The idiot's suing the wrong person.

    "But I doubt he'll think about that while trying to sue someone for disliking his daughter."

    It's worse than that; this guy likes Britney, it's a full on fan site.

     

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  7.  
    identicon
    R. Miles, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:39am

    Re: Re: The idiot's suing the wrong person.

    True, which is why I chose my words carefully.

    Calling someone a moron isn't defamation, especially in this case, where it's clearly used in a correct manner.

    I mentioned the safe harbors in relation to Techdirt, not myself.

    Just in case he shows up here and thought for a second he could sue again.

     

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  8.  
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    Weird Harold, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:44am

    To quote the god of new music Trent Reznor:

    "Will you bite the hand that feeds?
    Will you chew until it bleeds?"

    Fan sites sit in that wondful place where they are entirely beholden to the management and record label of the artist in question. Without a signed long term agreement to permit the use of image, materials, and whatnot, they are pretty much at the mercy of the artist management and rights holders.

    This guy went from having the biggest fan site to being just another student again, because he was too stupid to STFU. He earned it, right or wrong.

     

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  9.  
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    some old guy, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:48am

    You can tell

    You can tell that copyright abuse is no longer "cool" when the poor white trash starts doing it.

    Soon, the social elite will frown upon copyright abuse.

    Thats sooooo "yesterday"

     

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  10.  
    identicon
    Ryan, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 11:55am

    Re:

    Fan sites sit in that wondful place where they are entirely beholden to the management and record label of the artist in question.

    Flip that around. Artists are entirely beholden to fans to pay them money in order to make a living at it. Maybe they should stop pissing them off?

     

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  11.  
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    R. Miles, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:06pm

    Re:

    Without a signed long term agreement to permit the use of image, materials, and whatnot, they are pretty much at the mercy of the artist management and rights holders.
    And to think you have a problem with this worries me.

    Fan sites should make everyone happy. The artist gets more recognition through free publicity, possible paying fans who find the site and wish to buy music (ugh), and the fan site owner sharing his appreciation of the value placed on the artist.

    Yet, to you, this is wrong due to copyright violation, circumvention of distribution, and, lastly, because an idea like this wouldn't work if the artist wasn't famous.

    Just imagine if the site was over a garage band no one ever heard of.

    Notice how the artist isn't complaining, but someone managing the artist? Probably not.

     

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  12.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:18pm

    Re: Re:

    Miles, please, STFU.

    Fan sites should be run by fans. Having your biggest fan site call the artist and management on the carpet, put them down, insult them, etc, isn't a fan site anymore. It's h8tr material, nothing more, nothing less.

    A fan site should normally be a happy, joyful place of people enjoying the works of an artist, not a pulpit for some cheesy community college freshman to call them out. He broke the trust that is part of doing this stuff, and now he fails.

    He could keep running the site, but he would have to source his own images, and get permission to post lyrics, etc. Basically, he would have to operate under the standard rules of news media, and not as a preferred son.

    Notice how the artist isn't complaining, but someone managing the artist? Probably not.

    At this point, the artist isn't legally allowed to complain about much of anything, as she is still under guardianship. Plus, and this is important, even if she is the "artist", if she signs away rights in her contract, it isn't for her to say anyway. Again, something you just don't seem to get a grasp on.

    Yet, to you, this is wrong due to copyright violation, circumvention of distribution, and, lastly, because an idea like this wouldn't work if the artist wasn't famous.

    Just imagine if the site was over a garage band no one ever heard of.


    Proving once again that you are frustrated child.

     

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  13.  
    identicon
    Your Gawd and Master, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:28pm

    Re: Re: Re: The idiot's suing the wrong person.

    No, you're definitely an idiot. Freedom of Speech doesn't protect you from being sued. It protects you from being harassed by the government.

     

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  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 12:43pm

    IANAL - but holy crap

    "the artist isn't legally allowed to complain about much of anything,"

    Sounds like the contracts that musicians have signed are Inconscionable.

     

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  15.  
    identicon
    Celebs suck ass., Mar 30th, 2009 @ 1:36pm

    "No, you're definitely an idiot. Freedom of Speech doesn't protect you from being sued. It protects you from being harassed by the government."

    Actually it does protect you. I can call someone a moron, an asshole, whatever I want under Freedom of Speech. I can critize you as much as I feel is necessary.

    What it doesn't protect from is saying something that isn't true to make others think less of them or accuse someone of doing something they haven't. An example would be "Britney Psears likes to eat pork hotdogs out of her dogs ass".

    Hence why "Dear Jamie,
    You're a complete moron. Your daughter is nothing more than a celebrity slut who has no real talent. I should sue you, and your wife, for creating this monstrosity and allowing her crotch showing, SUV beating, child neglecting to cause stress to millions of people worldwide.

    As the parent, this is your responsibility, isn't it? Oh, she's an adult now, isn't she.

    But at one point, she wasn't. Where the hell were you then?

    Oh, right. Spending the money she made.

    Famous quote: "You need a license to fish. You need a license to drive. But any moron can be a father.""
    is protected under Free Speech.

     

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  16.  
    identicon
    R. Miles, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 2:31pm

    Re: Re: Re:

    Miles, please, STFU.
    I'm sorry, but I will not oblige your request.
    My comments irritate you, as they challenge your ignorant rhetoric, giving other readers a chance to see the whole picture, not just your narrow-minded view of it.

    So, with that, here's my latest reply:
    James has no reason whatsoever to go after this site now, especially since it's been in operation for years. The only reason he sent the notice is because he didn't like something on the website.

    Sound familiar, Mr. "STFU"? Pot, meet James "Kettle" Spears.

    In addition, fans have every right to complain about actions taken by artists if they feel it's taking away from the essence of the reason they're a fan.

    Yes, while it's true some can't express this maturely, it shouldn't be the basis for a claim of copyright infringement.

    It's a shame the website owner caved into this bogus claim of copyright infringement and it's even more shameful James, acting on Britney's behalf, is acting like a jerk in the whole matter.

    I'm sure there are some copyright issues, but nothing a reasonable set of rules would allow use of, especially since the web owner is charging nothing for boosting the career of Britney.

    Hey! Just like you claim your posts boost the popularity of Techdirt. Are you James? You sure do sound like him.

    Oh, and by the way, someone said you have a website similar to Techdirt. Are the images and text you quote under copyright, or do you exclude yourself from the rules you harp to run your not-for-profit (assuming) website.

    Crap. There I go assuming again. Of course you charge. After all, you believe in the pay to view business models of yesteryear.

    At any rate, you should seriously consider the implications here and realize the potential problem this will pose Britney now that she can't speak for herself.

    Even indirectly, her father is damaging her career.

    The first time was getting late into the picture to stop Britney from self destruction.

    This guy sounds so familiar. I wonder who he reminds me of.
    Oh yeah!

    While you do appear to have some intelligence, you do understand this isn't the same as common sense, right?

    Just because a law exists doesn't mean it's a good one.

    Hell, there are a ton of blue laws in states to which they're only enforced when it suits someone's interest.

    Funny how that works, isn't it.

     

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  17.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 2:53pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Miles, I read you posts and it all sounds like the parents from a peanut cartoon. You are just spewing without intelligence at this point.

    Take a break, you are making yourself look like a fool.

     

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  18.  
    identicon
    R. Miles, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 4:16pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    Take a break, you are making yourself look like a fool.
    Funny man, you are.

    However, I would think public opinion would really determine who the fool really is.

    As a reminder: If you quit posting, I'll quit replying to your posts. But you have to make the first move.

     

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  19.  
    identicon
    Weird Harold, Mar 30th, 2009 @ 4:49pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re:

    It's okay - mommy will make you go to bed long before I have to.

    shoe fly.

     

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  20.  
    identicon
    christa, Apr 10th, 2009 @ 7:51am

    wow

    It seems like there is just a whole bunch of nothingness and i say fuck britney, i grew up listning to baby one more time and then i heard shit like boys. Wow, i understand stars grow, but not like that. beyonce did a healthy grow- but she's grown. she didn't go get knocked up by some trailer trash white boy. (bless those kids) and she has a very successful career. so i say fuck brit and get some help. what happened to her reality show? im gonna google that.

     

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