Glenn Beck Not A Fan Of Fair Use; Claims US Gov't Paying Remixers To Create Anti-Beck Propaganda
from the communists,-socialists-and-fair-use dept
One of the good things about intellectual property issues is that it’s really a non-partisan debate. While, in practicality, this seems to mean that both of the major political parties support bad copyright and patent law, at the very least, it leaves ridiculous political rhetoric out of the debates on things like copyright. But, sometimes, weird things happen. Such as when Glenn Beck seems to think that “fair use” is a choice of some sort. Apparently, in political circles, there was a lot of attention paid recently to a video mashup showing Donald Duck being influenced by Glenn Beck — created by Jonathan McIntosh, who I saw speak earlier this year at the first Fair Use Day in DC. The video, which I had not seen until this, apparently made the rounds in political circles.
But, now, Glenn Beck has seen the video and he’s not at all happy about it. On his radio program, he condescendingly mocks the videos creator for being involved in “fair use activism.” Beck’s enunciation is really bizarre. He reads McIntosh’s bio with odd emphasis, in a tone suggesting something sinister in ideas like “fair use activist” and “open video alliance.” Then he puts on the super sinister voice and says that these remix videos are “getting federal funding to ‘help culture understand culture.'” He promises to investigate further.
Um. Yeah, those evil remix artists are really federal stooges? That must be why the federal government keeps trying to make copyright law ever more stringent to wipe out remixes, huh?
Ah, and then we learn of Glenn Beck’s basic confusion over the concept of fair use. Since the video involved Donald Duck, he starts talking about Disney, and how Walt Disney hated communists, and he finds it odd that they’re okay with fair use:
Of course, it’s all fair use! So they can use Disney… apparently Disney doesn’t have a problem with Donald Duck cartoons now being remixed and politicized…
Um, hey, Glenn: the whole point of “fair use” is that it doesn’t matter if the copyright holder is okay with it or not. That’s why it’s called “fair use.” It’s a situation where the users can use it no matter if the copyright holder has a problem with it or not. It’s part of this thing called Free Speech found in the First Amendment of a document you seem to like, called the Constitution. And, of course, this is Disney we’re talking about, the company that has single-handedly done more to expand copyright than just about any other company in its efforts to protect Mickey Mouse. To suggest that Disney has somehow gone soft on copyright is pretty laughable.