Infamous Viral 'Goblin Toppler' Video Taken Down In Copyright Claim
from the fair-use dept
You may have heard the story of the now infamous “Goblin Valley Topplers.” Some Boy Scout leaders on a trek through Goblin Valley decided to push over a “goblin” rock formation which was millions of years old, and then cheered about it. The video went viral, as did plenty of people condemning Glenn Taylor and Dave Hall (who filmed the video and posted it online). The backlash was quick. The two men were relieved of their Boy Scout leadership positions. Meanwhile, authorities (back on the job after the government shut down), began exploring possible felony charges against the men. Oh, and then it came out that just a month ago, Taylor, who is the man seen actually pushing the heavy rock off its ancient pedestal, had just filed a “personal injury” lawsuit against a woman and her father for supposedly “debilitating injuries” in from a 2009 car crash.
The father, Alan MacDonald, points out that Taylor doesn’t appear to be particularly debilitated in the video, in which he climbs over rocks and then shoves the giant boulder off of where it’s rested for probably a few million years:
“He’s climbing over other rocks,” he said, “then he lines up, gets leverage and pushes that big old rock several times before he finally pushes it over. Then he turns and twists and high-fives and yucks it up and flexes his muscles.
“He just doesn’t look like a terribly disabled person to me,” he said.
Taylor, when confronted by a news reporter about this, displays very little grasp of the law, weakly trying to excuse his behavior before insisting that the interview cannot be put online (that’s not how it works):
“You don’t seem very debilitated [on the video],” Jones said,
“You didn’t see how hard I pushed,” Taylor replied.
“It looked like you were pushing pretty hard,” the reporter said.
“You don’t have my authority to put this online, to put this on the news,” Taylor said, ending the conversation.
And now, to top it all off, it would appear that Hall, who took the video, also does not have a particularly good grasp of the law. He’s using copyright claims to take down as many copies of the video as he can, apparently not understanding how fair use — especially for news reporting works. While he did film it, and likely does have the copyright, taking down the video and arguing it’s a copyright violation is pretty damn questionable.
Hall would not say Wednesday what he had to do to file the copyright claim. He said he was working with an attorney, but declined to provide the attorney’s name.
The Salt Lake Tribute notes that the video had about 4.5 million views on YouTube, last they checked, though they’re not sure how high it got before it got taken down. Of course, some others still have the video up, and now (of course), it’s getting even more attention, thanks to the weak attempt to take it down.
Here’s the Associated Press’s version. One hopes they won’t cave quickly to a bogus takedown notice. We’ve removed the video because it refused to stop autoplaying, even though we had it set not to autoplay. Very sorry about that.