Sharron Angle Insists She's Going To Sue Harry Reid For His Reposting Of Angle's Own Website
from the political-calculations dept
Earlier this week, we wrote about the bizarre decision by Nevada Senatorial candidate Sharron Angle to send a cease-and-desist to Sen. Harry Reid (who she’s challenging in the election) over Reid’s decision to put her old website back online. Reid was doing so to point to statements Angle made on her old website that were toned down on her new website. The idea, of course, is to suggest that she’s hiding her real positions. Whether or not that’s true, Angle accused Reid of both copyright infringement and trying to trick users into giving the Reid campaign their information.
The Reid campaign originally complied with the cease-and-desist and (of course) went public with it, generating much more attention to the original issue. With so much publicity, Reid’s campaign has put the website back up. Assuming that the reposted website is the same as what was up before, it’s clearly done by the Reid campaign — so the claims of possible confusion or tricking users is ridiculous.
However, Angle is now saying that since Reid has put the website back up, she’s definitely going to sue:
“Well your website is like you, it’s your intellectual property,” Angle said. “So they can’t use something that’s yours, intellectual property, unless they pay you for it or get your permission… And he didn’t ask me for it, and he didn’t pay me for it. I would have sold it to him.”
Angle was asked: “So the latest is that it is up again, and you are just going to have to see as far as pursing this in court? Is that the plan?”
“Well we are going to pursue it,” Angle replied. “I don’t think that Harry is above the law. He needs to obey the law if you and I need to obey the law. Harry isn’t immune. He needs to obey the law as well.”
Now, at a first pass, Angle (while a bit confused on the terminology) is probably correct that Reid is technically “infringing” by posting the website, but the Reid campaign would (I’m sure) hit back with a nice fair use defense that would have a pretty high likelihood of succeeding. That said, the whole idea of actually going to court over this is preposterous. This is clearly not what copyright law is about and the whole point by the Reid campaign is to draw more attention to Angle’s old website. If she were politically savvy, she would just drop it, rather than drawing more attention to it herself. Going to court makes her old website the story, even as she’s trying to hide it.