Rupert Murdoch's Anti-Fair Use Comments Used Against Him In Court Yet Again

from the careful-what-you-wish-for dept

Remember back when Rupert Murdoch acted like fair use was a myth that would be "barred by the courts" when challenged? Yeah, that's been coming back to bite Murdoch. Earlier this year, we noted that a former advisor to Michael Jackson was suing News Corp. over Fox News' decision to air interview footage without a license, and the complaint highlighted Murdoch's anti-fair use statement. Of course, when it came time to defend itself (guess what?) News Corp. lawyers relied heavily on fair use.

Looks like that's happening again. News Corp. has been sued yet again for copyright infringement, this time for airing a video (without licensing the clip) of Brad Pitt having trouble driving a motorcycle. Instead, Fox News folks simply downloaded it from TMZ, a property owned by AOL. Wait a second... so with Rupert Murdoch running all over the place claiming that Google News linking to his content is "theft," yet Fox News has no problem downloading a video from a competing media organization and using it? Fascinating.

And, of course, the folks suing waste little time before bringing up Murdoch's comments on "fair use" in the complaint itself (bottom of page 2):
I actually agree with Fox News that this should absolutely be considered fair use, but it's astoundingly hypocritical of Murdoch to mock fair use, claim that courts won't recognize it, accuse others of "theft" for merely linking to your content... and then step up and claim fair use when you downloaded an entire video off another site and used it on your TV station.


Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  1.  
    identicon
    Headbanger, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 7:20pm

    Indeed. It seems that Murdoch, in attacking the idea of fair use, may have forgotten that fair use plays a significant role in a typical TV news broadcast. I find Murdoch's dissent towards fair use baffling to say the least.

     

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

  2.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 7:28pm

    What's so shocking? Lawyers twist words to distort their own corner of alternate reality. They can say whatever they want and it doesn't have to make sense or even be consistent to us who inhabit the real world.

     

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

  3.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 7:46pm

    Murdoch tried to create some controversy to serve his purposes and it is now coming back to bite him, he deserves all the flack and pain he gets.

    Next he will try to carve out some "exceptions".

     

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

  4.  
    identicon
    Gyffes, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 8:46pm

    Hypocrisy

    Not just another dirty word, it's The Republican Way!

     

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

  5.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 27th, 2010 @ 8:58pm

    Easy Solution

    Why don't they just rel="no-follow" all the links to their content? So much less of it would be found or consumed, which seems to be the objective. The impact of that to News Corps business would likely change attitudes towards web content pretty quickly.

     

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

  6.  
    icon
    silentsteel (profile), Aug 27th, 2010 @ 9:11pm

    Re: Hypocrisy

    Democrats are the same way. Whatever suits their needs at the time.

    Both sides are suspect at this point, the system is broken.

     

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

  7.  
    icon
    tracker1 (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 12:20am

    Re: Hypocrisy

    You're aware the copyright lobby's golden boy, the seated VP is a Democrat, right?

     

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

  8.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2010 @ 12:37am

    Mike, isn't it a little disingenuous to take the moral high-road of agreeing with Fox's invocation of fair use, then immediately condemn Murdoch as "astoundingly hypocritical" by misrepresenting the circumstances? I certainly don't have any love for Murdoch and his grab-bag of delusions of entitlement, but come on. Are we really going to start irrationally demonizing opponents of fair use in the same hysterical fashion that would fit in well at Fox News?

    While it is certainly entertaining to imagine Rupert in front of his computer, giggling in demonic glee and emailing Bill O'Reilly the video - its irrational to believe that he should be personally accountable for the actions of some anonymous segment producer. If we're going to play the "Murdoch-is-a-hypocrite" card, we, as champions of the virtue and benevolence of fair use, might look kind of stupid if we can't even get the basic definition of "fair" right.

    Murdoch is a hypocrite, without doubt. As chief executive, he is infinitely more involved with his operation's legal representation than for the day-to-day activities of some video jockey; fair use being a legal matter, it is difficult to justify how his position could be lost in translation. But a low-level corporate drone? If we're going to try to blame Murdoch for the video AND for the legal defense simultaneously, we're put in a logically precarious position where News Corp is staffed top to bottom by worshipers of the Scripture According to Murdoch.

    And honestly, that scenario is so disturbing that upon noticing, the Universe would immediately collapse in on itself, bewildered at how badly it misjudged it's scheduled appointment with The End and profoundly apologetic for this terribly unfortunate termination of service.

     

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

  9.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 2:02am

    Re: Re: Hypocrisy

    'course, from my point of view, you're All republicans...

    the definition of 'republican' being 'one who advocates a republic' and a republic being a 'government that is not a monarchy'.

    find me an American who's Not a republican, at least in public :D

    Democrats in the American sense get an added whammy of hypocrisy, mind you. They're name implies they support democracy... reality says otherwise.

     

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

  10.  
    icon
    Chargone (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 2:03am

    Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy

    err, that said, i don't think the Republican party supports democracy Either, they just don't have it right there in their name, so are not quite so hypocritical on the particular point i was discussing.

    in case anyone was confused.

     

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

  11.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 3:10am

    Quantum Mechanics Resolves This ;~)

    Murdoch is not a hypocrite, his views on "intellectual property" are simply in a state of quantum superposition and unable to be completely or accurately described due to the Heisenberg uncertainty principle.

    The Schrödinger equations lead us to the understanding that chaotic systems create a random matrix of possible states making it impossible to determine with any great degree of accuracy or certainty the position he will take at a given moment in time.

    {/sarcasm}

     

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

  12.  
    icon
    BearGriz72 (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 3:11am

    Re: Quantum Mechanics Resolves This ;~)

    Darnit it was fine in the preview....

     

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

  13.  
    icon
    slander (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 5:34am

    Re: Re: Quantum Mechanics Resolves This ;~)

    Well, that's your problem right there -- you previewed it before posting, and in doing so, changed the outcome.

     

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

  14.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2010 @ 6:55am

    Re:

    Huh? The entire business of Fox News (and most news organizations) relies heavily on fair use (for clips, for quoting text, etc.). Rupert would surely be aware of that...if he wasn't too busy whining about fair use.

    It's not like Fox has some policy of only using their own clips and some random "video jockey" decided, one time, to use a clip from another source.

     

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

  15.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2010 @ 7:11am

    Re: Re:

    The only way FAUX News could entirely rely on their own footage is get out and report the news.

    That is expensive. Bloviating is so much cheaper.

     

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

  16.  
    identicon
    Marlamin, Aug 28th, 2010 @ 7:12am

    All According To Rupert's Plan?

    What if Murdoch was doing this on purpose? His anti-fair use comments could be bait for companies to sue him. Then, after losing a few cases, he could use this as a precedent against fair use. From there, anyone taking snippets from him is fair game.

     

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

  17.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 28th, 2010 @ 1:36pm

    Re: All According To Rupert's Plan?

    Never attribute to to evil intentions what can be adequately explained by stupidity, or this case, senility.

     

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

  18.  
    icon
    kryptonianjorel (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 1:40pm

    Re: Re: Hypocrisy

    Nobody said you had to pass an IQ test to be a politician

     

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

  19.  
    icon
    Nastybutler77 (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 3:51pm

    "Fair use for me, but not for thee."

    News Corps new motto.

     

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

  20.  
    icon
    interval (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 5:20pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy

    You mean the the Democratic part supports democracy like Nancy Pelosi seeking to investigate anyone who voices dissent regarding the Ground Zero Mosque, or the way political correctness dictates what people can and can't say, the way the democrats are discussing global warming legislation behind closed-door sessions, that kind of democracy?

     

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

  21.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 9:30pm

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy

    interval we are a republic not a democracy.

     

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

  22.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 9:32pm

    Re: Easy Solution

    "Why don't they just rel="no-follow" all the links to their content? "

    News corp already has done the "no-follow" thing. It put up a paywall.

     

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

  23.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 9:36pm

    Re: Re: Quantum Mechanics Resolves This ;~)

    Yeah the darn cat got out of the box and stepped on the keyboard again didn't he. I hate when that happens ... ;)

    Frakin cat shoud have died the first time around. Frakin 50% mirrors...

     

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

  24.  
    icon
    Hephaestus (profile), Aug 28th, 2010 @ 9:41pm

    Re: Re: All According To Rupert's Plan?

    "Never attribute to to evil intentions what can be adequately explained by stupidity, or this case, senility."

    Really long rant excluded ....

    Obama administration ???

     

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

  25.  
    icon
    Suzanne Lainson (profile), Aug 29th, 2010 @ 1:51am

    Murdoch and money

    I've skimmed some of the Techdirt articles on Murdoch. Hasn't it been suggested that his views on paywalls will hurt his companies?

    Maybe that's not such a bad thing.

    The Billionaires Bankrolling the Tea Party

     

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

  26.  
    identicon
    darryl, Aug 29th, 2010 @ 11:17am

    Re:

    Mike, isn't it a little disingenuous to take the moral high-road of agreeing with Fox's invocation of fair use, then immediately condemn Murdoch as "astoundingly hypocritical" by misrepresenting the circumstances? I certainly don't have any love for Murdoch and his grab-bag of delusions of entitlement, but come on. Are we really going to start irrationally demonizing opponents of fair use in the same hysterical fashion that would fit in well at Fox News?


    If we're going to try to blame Murdoch for the video AND for the legal defense simultaneously, we're put in a logically precarious position where News Corp is staffed top to bottom by worshipers of the Scripture According to Murdoch.

    You expect consistancy from Mike ??

    But well said, and quite correct..

     

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

  27.  
    identicon
    Lawrence D'Oliveiro, Aug 29th, 2010 @ 5:20pm

    Re: “Fair Use” Hypocrisy

    ...isn't it a little disingenuous to take the moral high-road of agreeing with Fox's invocation of fair use, then immediately condemn Murdoch as "astoundingly hypocritical" by misrepresenting the circumstances?

    In what way is this “misrepresenting the circumstances”?

     

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

  28.  
    icon
    Kingster (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 5:36am

    Re: Fair use myth

    Wow. That's one HELLUVA spam right there. I can think of no better way to push your sites than what you just did.

     

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

  29.  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Aug 30th, 2010 @ 8:53am

    goal

    destroy any nation other then the usa to make any culture or entertainment

    the truth will show that with all the eggs in military and entertainment , both which will soon not be needed if needed now LOL , soon will fail and thus collapse the usa for good into a third world wannabe

     

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

  30.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 10:28am

    Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Hypocrisy

    That depends on how you define democracy. By some definitions the US is a democracy, by others it is not.

     

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

  31.  
    icon
    Mike Masnick (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 10:34am

    Re:

    Are we really going to start irrationally demonizing opponents of fair use in the same hysterical fashion that would fit in well at Fox News?

    Wait how is it demonizing him to accurately point out his comments and then point out that the company he controls is actively using the thing he hates as a legal defense.

    Murdoch is a hypocrite, without doubt.

    Hmm. You just yelled at me for calling him that. Now I'm confused.

    If we're going to try to blame Murdoch for the video AND for the legal defense simultaneously, we're put in a logically precarious position where News Corp is staffed top to bottom by worshipers of the Scripture According to Murdoch.

    We're not talking about a staffer. We're talking about News Corps' official response to lawsuits. That comes from the top.

     

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

  32.  
    icon
    nasch (profile), Aug 30th, 2010 @ 10:35am

    Re: Re: Re: Quantum Mechanics Resolves This ;~)

     

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


Add Your Comment

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here
Get Techdirt’s Daily Email
Save me a cookie
  • Note: A CRLF will be replaced by a break tag (<br>), all other allowable HTML will remain intact
  • Allowed HTML Tags: <b> <i> <a> <em> <br> <strong> <blockquote> <hr> <tt>
Follow Techdirt
A word from our sponsors...
Essential Reading
Techdirt Reading List
Techdirt Insider Chat
A word from our sponsors...
Recent Stories
A word from our sponsors...

Close

Email This