Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, dmca, eff, uri geller

Uri Geller Realizes His Psychic Powers Don't Extend To Twisting Copyright Law

from the stick-to-spoons dept

About a year ago, Uri Geller tried to abuse the DMCA to get videos critical of his "mentalist" act taken down. The videos in question debunked Geller's claims to having supernatural powers, and Geller claimed they were copyright infringement because they used 8 seconds worth of a Geller-copyrighted clip in the entire 13 minute video. Also, it's quite clear from the fact that it was a critique of Geller that this was fair use. Of course, Geller went beyond just issuing a DMCA takedown notice. He also sued. The EFF stepped in and sued Geller back.

It appears that it took some time, but Geller's mental powers do not, in fact, extend to either abusing the DMCA or convincing the EFF that his claim was legit. Instead, Geller appears to have caved completely and settled the case. Beyond just giving up the takedown notice and the lawsuit, Geller has agreed to license the disputed clip under a non-commercial Creative Commons license, meaning that others can make use of those 8 seconds as well (for non-commercial reasons) should they also wish to debunk Mr. Geller's claims of supernatural powers.

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  • identicon
    some old guy, 5 Aug 2008 @ 5:50am


    I would have thought he could see that coming!

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    John Duncan Yoyo, 5 Aug 2008 @ 6:24am

    I guess I won't sue Gellar for all my bent spoons.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    ehrichweiss, 5 Aug 2008 @ 6:26am

    now for a meme...

    If only there were some form of perception that would extend your senses to see what others were thinking.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    bmac (profile), 5 Aug 2008 @ 7:00am

    Proved a fake many times

    I sometimes believe I'm the only person still alive who remembers Geller's appearance on "That's Incredible" back in the '70s. If you'll remember, Kathy Lee Crosby and John Davidson were co-hosts and it was a very popular show.

    Anyway, Geller came on and demonstrated a little key and spoon bending, made a pencil spin on the edge of a table and "mentally" moved the pages of a phone book.

    Unknown to him, however, James Randi was backstage and had prepared a controlled experiment for Geller that would prove or disprove his "powerz".

    He just about shat himself when Randi stepped out. The control was a phonebook on a table surrounded by shipping peanuts. If Geller wasn't just blowing on the pages and really using his mind, he would be able to turn the pages while not disturbing the peanuts.

    Geller complained that the stage lights were generating too much static electricity when combined with the peanuts, and it was interfering with his telekenetic power. He got very agitated and even attempted to leave the stage, but he was pulled back on and finally admitted that everything he had done was a simple trick. He then demonstrated the sleight of hand trick of key and spoon bending and explained how he was doing it. Then he admitted that making the pencil spin was simply the wind from moving his hands around in the air.

    Finally, he admitted that he had perfected a method of blowing on the phone book that made little to no sound, and was virtually undetectable.

    He was utterly exposed and ruined, but here he is again 30+ years later trying to fool another generation.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      PT, 5 Aug 2008 @ 8:27am

      Re: Proved a fake many times

      Unless Uri Geller tried to perform the same "trick" I believe you are confusing him with James Hydrick. Here's the a clip of Hydrick failing to move the phone book pages:

      Even if it wasn't Uri Geller being exposed as a fraud in the above video, it's always amusing watching a "psychic" lose their powers somehow when in a controlled environment.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ulle, 5 Aug 2008 @ 10:59am

    here is the link showing Uri Geller getting caught:

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    D. G. Neree, 5 Aug 2008 @ 11:00am

    uri geller lawsuit

    Funniest headline ever.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    nipseyrussell, 5 Aug 2008 @ 11:23am

    sounds like the EFF really gave this scam artist a spanking. i love those guys! (well except for that whole compulsory licensing thing)

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

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