Glenn Beck Not Allowed To Rape And Murder An Internet Meme

from the nice-try dept

Back in September, we wrote about Glenn Beck’s misguided attempt to gain control over the domain name used as part of an internet meme that is critical of Glenn Beck, GlennBeckRapedAndMurderedAYoungGirlIn1990.com (it’s a dead site now, keep reading). If you’re unfamiliar with the meme, it’s mocking a favorite tactic of various cable news talk show hosts, to “ask questions” that are accusatory in nature, whether or not there’s any substance to back them up. Glenn Beck didn’t accuse the site of defamation or anything, but filed a domain name complaint, saying that it violated his trademark. As we noted at the time, the trademark claim was really questionable — and, of course, only served to draw more attention to the site and the internet meme.

The site brought on lawyer Marc Randazza who filed one of the most brilliant responses (pdf) to a legal threat that you’ll ever see. It’s quite amusing. Randazza takes the old “moron in a hurry” test up one level, using the “abject imbecile” test. And then there was this:

We are not here because the domain name could cause confusion. We do not have a declaration from the president of the international association of imbeciles that his members are blankly staring at the Respondent’s website wondering “where did all the race baiting content go?” We are here because Mr. Beck wants Respondent’s website shut down. He wants it shut down because Respondent’s website makes a poignant and accurate satirical critique of Mr. Beck by parodying Beck’s very rhetorical style. Beck’s skin is too thin to take the criticism, so he wants the site down.

Apparently, Randazza’s letter worked wonders. The WIPO Arbitration Panel has rejected the attempt to take the domain, saying that it was a legitimate use of Beck’s name:

In the present context, this Panel considers that if Internet users view the disputed domain name in combination with a visit to Respondent’s website, the “total effect” is that of political commentary by Respondent, capable of protection as political speech by the First Amendment under the Hustler Magazine standard. Respondent appears to the Panel to be engaged in a parody of the style or methodology that Respondent appears genuinely to believe is employed by Complainant in the provision of political commentary, and for that reason Respondent can be said to be making a political statement. This constitutes a legitimate non-commercial use of Complainant’s mark under the Policy.

Either way, now that the site’s owner has prevailed, he apparently feels he has made his point, and has agreed to voluntarily hand over the domain (pdf), along with an explanation in the First Amendment and how not to respond to internet memes:

It bears observing that by bringing the WIPO complaint, you took what was merely one small critique meme, in a sea of internet memes, and turned it into a super-meme. Then, in pressing forward (by not withdrawing the complaint and instead filing additional briefs), you turned the super-meme into an object lesson in First Amendment principles.

It also bears noting, in this matter and for the future, that you are entirely in control of whether or not you are the subject of this particular kind of criticism. I chose to criticize you using the well-tested method of satire because of its effectiveness. But, humor aside, your rhetorical style is no laughing matter. In this context of this WIPO case, you denigrated the letter of First Amendment law. In the context of your television show and your notoriety, you routinely and shamelessly denigrate the spirit of the First Amendment….

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Comments on “Glenn Beck Not Allowed To Rape And Murder An Internet Meme”

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41 Comments
Derek Reed (profile) says:

Hooray

That is so freaking awesome that he handed the domain over. I can’t imagine how much better this whole thing could have gone. Talk about taking the high road and throwing salt in the wound. “Oh, yeah, that domain you wanted, here you go, it’s meaningless. I win, the first amendment wins, you lose you pitiful excuse for human being.”

Thanks for the tiny glimmer of hope before the weekend Isaac.

Anonymous Coward says:

What a bunch of morons, worried about the first amendment come on you shit all over the constitution all the time if it’s some left wing idiot, trying to do it. Just wait till the fcc diversity czar, fairness doctrine, and net neutrality go into effect, the first amendment will be gone completely. Yet you make fun of one of the only Americans who is actually trying to keep your first amendment rights safe.

Designerfx (profile) says:

Re: Re:

Glenn beck is only trying to keep uninformed people uninformed. That’s not a way to keep first amendment rights safe.

Accusatory questions that imply guilt which cannot be refuted by the other party is a great way to get people to believe that the first amendment is gone when in fact it may have been weakened lately, but it’s still there.

Anonymous Coward says:

I can't stand by and let this happen

Why doesn’t this case address the real issue? I’m talking about the confusion of imbecile-Americans. Clearly the champagne-sipping elite of the universities and… I don’t know… web scripting collectives? are using blatant misdirection to confuse people who–let’s remember–can’t perform the necessary mental tasks that enable most of us to arrive at conclusions that make sense. I mean, it contains the words! Sure, we know that it also contains other words that contextualize the whole thing, but you have to understand that Imbecile-Americans don’t recognize most of the other ones! Look, I not saying it’s an organized attack on a marginalized group, all I’m saying is we need to be asking these questions and we need to keep asking until we get an answer. Look how the lawyers for the site and even the activist court just glossed over the parts about confusing the imbeciles and just went straight to what the case is actually about! What is that? Is that justice? Is that what you were brought up to believe in?

chris (profile) says:

Re: I can't stand by and let this happen

Look, I not saying it’s an organized attack on a marginalized group, all I’m saying is we need to be asking these questions and we need to keep asking until we get an answer. Look how the lawyers for the site and even the activist court just glossed over the parts about confusing the imbeciles and just went straight to what the case is actually about! What is that? Is that justice? Is that what you were brought up to believe in?

there was a march on washington. the morons in this country are organizing and taking to the streets:

http://www.theonion.com/content/news/nations_morons_march_on_washington

Cameron (profile) says:

Couple of responses.

3. Bob Ramsey
Lots of things get the left mad. Blatant racism, sexism, homophobia, for example. People cut down by legally owned firearms and churches protesting funerals. Abortion providers being shot dead in their church by madmen.
Yeah, you guys are doing allllllll right.

7. Anonymous Coward
The first amendment is being used to cover stranger and stranger things these days. Churches who want to keep their right to call homosexuals “Demon infested”. People who want to try and convince people that the government is implanting tracking chips, or the Jews are trying to control the world. In Canada, it used to be illegal to willfully spread false news. Why can’t we have that back? We have the right to lie and incite hatred, apparently.

Anonymous Coward says:

Glenn Beck "officially" denied it?

Handing over the domain name is brilliant.

Imagine this: Some random internet surfer hits an article that says “Glenn Beck sues…”, tries to go to the site in question, and finds that the site has closed down. Assumption from this: Glenn Beck is censoring all information about this issue for some “unknown” reason.

That’s right, all through his own actions he’s ascended his own meme, and validated it. Congratulations Beck, you just won the internet.

Xander C (profile) says:

Now I’m not saying that Glenn Beck may be an asshole, but why hasn’t he come out already to dispute this claim that many people have been making?

To anyone that have heard about this “rumor” that Mr. Beck is not only an asshole, but also keeps his secret stash of “pedobear favorites” with him at all times to “use” during his commercial breaks, I assure you that I do not believe it might be true. I also don’t think it might be true that Glenn B might of ran over 20 cats and laughed with sheer glee and pleasure while getting a “quick-fix” special from a very drugged up clown that he slipped roofies two not much an hour ago.

All I’m saying is that, if he comes out and admits none of this happened, then we can drop the questions and rumors.

Nelle Gilmore says:

Should Clowns be required to .........

use full clown attire and makeup facts?

Perhaps Beck could charge, then maybe? it wouldn’t be a “free speech” tissue.

Seriously, Glen Beck is not the problem. He is just using the problem to fatten his bank account. The has always been and will always be some people who are strangely arranged. We should be thankful they self-identify themselves.

Most people [IMHO] would cringe at the thought of identifying with Glen Beck in public.

Then, since when to we go around kicking dogs because they are dumb?

Last, if for some idiotic reason Beck’s reasoning becomes common place, the human race will [INHO] self-destruct making the whole deal moot, whatever!

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