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.

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

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32 Comments
Chargone (profile) says:

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 😀

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

interval (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re:2 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?

Anonymous Coward says:

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.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: 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.

darryl says:

Re: 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..

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: 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.

BearGriz72 (profile) says:

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 Schr?dinger 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}

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