News Corp. Sends DMCA Notice Over Glenn Greenwald Trashing The Sunday Times' Ridiculous Snowden Story

from the yeah,-that's-convincing dept

We already wrote this morning about the ridiculous claims by The Sunday Times that Snowden’s documents had been either given to the Russians and Chinese or that they had cracked the encryption to get them — and that, because of this, the UK had to move intelligence “agents” out of Moscow for their safety. We pointed to numerous problems with the article, including many direct factual mistakes. One of the links we pointed to was Glenn Greenwald himself challenging many of the claims in the Sunday Times. This included highlighting the flat out lie that David Miranda was detained in Heathrow after visiting Snowden in Moscow (a claim the Sunday Times later simply deleted, with no correction or retraction).

Many people have been asking if the Sunday Times will say anything about the myriad problems with the article, and we now finally have a response. And it’s… to send a DMCA takedown notice to Greenwald’s publisher, First Look Media, claiming that, because he posted an image of the Sunday Times’ front page layout, he is violating their copyright. Here’s the section of Greenwald’s article the Times (really, Times Newspapers Limited, a subsidiary of News UK, which is a subsidiary of News Corp) is complaining about:

The idea that this is somehow infringing is ridiculous. But here’s what the lawyers at News Corp are claiming:

We write on behalf of Times Newspapers Limited (TNL) the publishers of The Times and The Sunday Times. TNL owns the copyright in the typographical arrangement of the front page of The Sunday Times published on 14 June 2015 (Material). The Material is an original work created by employees of TNL. A copy of the Material is enclosed.

A copy of the Material appears [on First Look’s website] under the headline “THE SUNDAY TIMES’ SNOWDEN STORY IS JOURNALISM AT ITS WORST — AND FILLED WITH FALSEHOODS” (Infringing Content). The Infringing Content has been reproduced, communicated to the public and published onto the Website without TNL’s permission and as such infringes the intellectual property rights of TNL….

Later, it notes:

… we have a good-faith belief that the use is not authorized by the copyright or other intellectual property rights owner, by its agent, or by law…

To put it mildly: this is ridiculous. Of course it’s authorized by law, and that law is fair use. The UK may not have fair use, but the US does, and First Look is a US publication. The use above clearly and easily is fair use — so much so that the lawyer for News Corp pretending otherwise is either the worst lawyer ever, or is being deliberately disingenuous with this threat letter.

Even more to the point: how could anyone at News Corp not realize how this would end up? There was no way that such a letter would have the intended purpose of taking down the content and the only thing it could do would be to draw extra attention to the fact that News Corp is trying to censor one of the people forcefully criticizing its ridiculous article, and highlighting what it got wrong. And, thus, the end result is further ridicule for News Corp, and further reasons to question the credibility of the Sunday Times.

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Companies: news corp, news uk, sunday times, times newspapers

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Comments on “News Corp. Sends DMCA Notice Over Glenn Greenwald Trashing The Sunday Times' Ridiculous Snowden Story”

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28 Comments
Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re:

If they are falling back on claiming copyright infringement infringement in this they may be preparing the way to use the same argument for the Sunday times as they did for fox news.ie that is not news but just entertainment except in some limited circumstances.

The Sunday times paywall for those who like to be lied to in an exclusive manner manner.

Anonymous Coward says:

Even more: In EU acquis news reporting and criticism are specifically mentioned as an exemptions to copyright. In the text surrounding the potentially infringing picture the front page is specifically mentioned and thus legitimacy of using the photo should be warranted. Even if they somehow manage to win the turf-war it is going to be an uphill battle.

Sunday Times has solidified their reputation as another unethical propaganda machine for the tories, they gained during the phone hacking scandal…

Joe Hill Still lives says:

No Responsibility

This is were we are no responsibility, because fuck you I have the guns and you don’t(insert money other methods of coercion) Bush, chenny et al did a kind of damage to the whole world that is hard to calculate, the made saying one thing while doing the exact opposite OK and if people think that leaders don’t lead it’s filtered down to even individual interaction, every landlord, cop, DMV official it’s now OK to outright lie and get caught, called on it and there will never be consequences because fuck you that’s why, that is the bush legacy outright lies are now the norm of power.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about

Murdoch’s editors actively censor any & all comments when they don’t meet the boss’s point of view. If the editor fails to meet the requirements of the owner they are quickly & publicly fired so as to send a clear & concise message to the ‘troops’ & any potential employee of the company that what Rupert Murdoch says, goes.

jeff davis (profile) says:

Re: The only thing worse than being talked about is not being talked about

Thank you, limbo dog.

There’s no downside here for the Sunday Times. It’s just more clicks, more attention, more revenue. It was an idiot article to begin with and it got a massive response. Mucho cliques, caching caching. Everybody’s smiling. When you’ve got a good thing going, you milk it. A threatening letter from a lawyer, that’s the ticket. Better yet a stupid threatening letter from a lawyer. So what if they look like idiots. Everybody already knew they were idiots. But caching caching, stupid like a fox. All the way to the bank.

maybe there is another reason (user link) says:

Does anyone consider the OPM Breach

Maybe its just me, but could the OPM breach discussed in https://www.techdirt.com/articles/20150612/16334231330/second-opm-hack-revealed-even-worse-than-first.shtml actually be the reason the UK is pulling their spies and Snowden is just the cover story?

Perhaps some of their assets had information that was actually compromised?

GEMont (profile) says:

Re: Does anyone consider the OPM Breach

Ye know, that would make an excellent all purpose excuse for all future security breaches – especially those that actually affect field agents detrimentally.

Just blame it all on Snowden!!

After all, the USG has already shown that its willing to leak its own documents and then blame it on Snowden, in the hopes of making the US public think Snowden is a villain.

If they just stop reporting on the OPM breach altogether, and flood the Truth Free Press with stories about Bad Snowden Dunnit, pretty soon the US Public will start to think Snowden is responsible for all the damage that has been and will be caused by the OPM security failure.

Even better, would be an Address To the Nation by the Resident Select POTUS Barracks O-bomber, explaining how Snowden’s Expose of Secret Government Documents has completely compromised National Security and is the cause of all past, current and future security breaches.

They always believe the Resident Select, cuz he is the Chosen of Gawd!

Gary Mont (profile) says:

Doh!!

“how could anyone at News Corp not realize how this would end up?”

That’s easy.

Like the North American Postal Services, News Corp makes all of its prospective employees fill out an IQ test.

And like the North American Postal Services, any prospective News Corp employee who fails the News Corp IQ test is immediately hired by News Corp.

And, the more spectacularly one fails the test, the higher the pay grade one receives upon being hired.

/s

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