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.



Reader Comments (rss)

(Flattened / Threaded)

  •  
    icon
    Ninja (profile), Oct 24th, 2013 @ 6:44am

    Yet another anomaly. Those pesky goblins!

    Commander Ootb, Saruman version: CUUURSE YOU ARAGORN MASNICK!

    Ahem. I joke but at what point somebody in those barren lands we call Government will realize there needs to be ways of challenging such copyright notices and maybe add some "due process" to it?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 8:38am

    Can you disable the video auto-playing?

     

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 8:40am

      Re:

      Install NoScript and block every-bloody-thing.

      Instant Internet sanity.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 8:41am

        Re: Re:

        I am assuming you are using a decent web browser.

        Otherwise the solution is: you are screwed.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:10am

        Re: Re:

        Install NoScript, AdBlock, Beef Taco, Ghostery, Calomel SSL validator, and turn them all on. Not only does this block a great deal of the crap that idiot web designers deploy these days, but it saves a lot of bandwidth. And it may save your ass from all kinds of exploits.

         

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    •  
      icon
      Doug (profile), Oct 24th, 2013 @ 8:53am

      Second this motion!

       

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

      •  
        icon
        Doug (profile), Oct 24th, 2013 @ 8:54am

        BTW, better to link to the video than embed it!

         

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        •  
          icon
          Zos (profile), Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:06am

          Re:

          i use adblock, i usually don't bother with noscript, but techdirt doesn't normally hit us with autoplays. when it's unavoidable, in the past, they've acknowledged that it was an unavoidable dick move.
          i mean, 'm not crying about it, but i was certainly taken by surprised, and there's no need to jump down dudes throat for bringing it up.

           

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  •  
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    Andrew Norton (profile), Oct 24th, 2013 @ 8:39am

    Video BAD

    The video autoplays, even if you're on the front page and haven't expanded the story. It's silent for the first 10 seconds or so, then suddenly "Wiggle it, just a little bit!" blares out.
    Worse, it then goes straight onto another story (overhyped on cyberbullying) and presumably another.

    Please fix it Mike!

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:00am

      Re: Video BAD

      /smug asshole expression

      The video doesn't auto-play on my browser.

      You know why?

      /serious expression

      Because some years ago I decided that I would no longer be at the mercy of the whims of people that, most of the time, don't even qualify to write a document in their own mother language, much less HTML.

      For that reason I run Firefox (considering switching to SeaMonkey) with NoScript, Ghostery, FlashBlock, AdBlock Plus and RequestPolicy, plus a ton of other minor tweaks just to try to make the web sane again.

      You might think that I am crazy but it is precisely because of crap like this that my browser is built like a fortress.

       

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      •  
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        Andrew Norton (profile), Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:08am

        Re: Re: Video BAD

        I think you proved my point. Unless you do set your client up like that, it's bad.
        And will be for anyone else who opens the site before the story has dropped off the bottom.

        I wouldn't even have noticed myself, had I been at my main system, but I'm not, so I did. And this was more a request for all the others that would be annoyed by it.

         

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        •  
          identicon
          Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:24am

          Re: Re: Re: Video BAD

          I wouldn't even have noticed myself, had I been at my main system, but I'm not, so I did. And this was more a request for all the others that would be annoyed by it.

          Same here.

           

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:01am

      Re: Video BAD

      Hmmm, I cannot even see the video, and telling NoScript to temporarily allow all the page didn't help. Must be doing something else right.

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Glen, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:11am

        Re: Re: Video BAD

        Is there an equivalent for Chrome? I've been looking but I'm not sure.

         

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          identicon
          vagabondo, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 10:59pm

          Re: Re: Re: Video BAD

          @Glen
          > Is there an equivalent for Chrome?

          NotScript, Ghostery, and AdBlock are the best Chrome equivalents/replacements for NoScript, Ghostery, and Adblock Plus with FirefFox

           

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    • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
       
      identicon
      out_of_the_blue, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:09am

      Re: Video BAD -- Please fix it Mike! -- HA, HA!

      Holy cow, Mike. HALF the comments so far are to complain about you embedding the video! And one AC really has nailed it: the CRAP that smartasses force on us is ruining the net. -- That means YOU, Mike. I'm not impressed by your acumen at page design. When I drift into here testing an un-crapped-up browser, it's a horrible experience.

      By the way, people, use Noscript plus hosts file to block "cdn.techdirt.com" so you won't have to click to view comments the fanboys censor.

       

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    •  
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      Mike Masnick (profile), Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:32am

      Re: Video BAD

      I removed the video. Within the embed code, it was clearly set NOT to autplay, but it apparently was ignoring that. Ridiculous. Sorry about that.

       

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

  • This comment has been flagged by the community. Click here to show it
     
    identicon
    out_of_the_blue, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:03am

    What's your point? To smear copyright by association?

    Heck, you even admit: "While he did film it, and likely does have the copyright," -- So, you actually know the law and support copyright (direct flames on that point to Mike, kids), and are only saying that in this anomaly, the news aspect is overwhelming besides that as a matter of fact the boob shouldn't have published it.

    Nothing to do with copyright as such then, is there? Just playing to your ankle-biting piratey fanboy-trolls.

    Mike is a professional troll: he has no visible purpose other than to gin up controversy to draw eyeballs.

    05:03:08[g-10-8]

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:06am

      Re: What's your point? To smear copyright by association?

      You don't know what an anomaly is. Give up.

       

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

    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:09am

      Re: What's your point? To smear copyright by association?

      "Mike is a professional troll: he has no visible purpose other than to gin up controversy to draw eyeballs."


      Says the *actual* troll, projecting and *ignoring* fair use, an actual part of copyright law.

      (I know, I know, don't feed them, especially after Midnight...)

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 11:38am

      Re: What's your point? To smear copyright by association?

      How does attempting to block the news on copyright grounds using tools that were argued were essential for copyright holders have nothing to do with copyright?

       

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

      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 5:11pm

        Re: Re: What's your point? To smear copyright by association?

        Blue has no concept of actual copyright law and fair use doctrine, it just wants to stab at Mike as if it actually has a valid point.

         

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

  •  
    icon
    Carl "Bear" Bussjaeger (profile), Oct 24th, 2013 @ 9:03am

    He used the wrong defense

    Instead of claiming he did it for "safety", fat boy should have said he simply leaned against the rock to catch his breath and the poor punky little boulder couldn't resist his mass.

    I'd have believed it. Well... sooner than I'd have believed the "safety" line of bull.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Michael, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 10:12am

    You don't have my authority to put this online, to put this on the news

    Anyone else unable to read that is a voice other than Cartman's?

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 10:22am

    And the ridiculously stupid arm of the law just keeps getting more ridiculous. Felony charges for moving a rock which any extremely small earthquake would have moved anyway.

    USA, keep making the world proud. We're loving it.

     

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 10:41am

      Re:

      If "any extremely small earthquake would have moved anyway", how come the rock formation lasted so long?

       

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      •  
        identicon
        Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 10:51am

        Re: Re:

        Don't worry, this idiot and the idiot that pushed over the rock probably don't even believe the world is older than 6000 years. So to them a 170million year old rock is just a bunch of BS.

         

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      •  
        identicon
        Hosey, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 10:58am

        Re: Re:

        Exactly. Utah experiences around 700 earthquakes every year. It is earthquake country.

        In fact, they've already had 4 today.

        So no, this is not an example of overreach by law enforcement. These morons took pride in defacing a state park and they should be punished.

         

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    •  
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      btr1701 (profile), Oct 24th, 2013 @ 11:07am

      Re:

      > And the ridiculously stupid arm of the law
      > just keeps getting more ridiculous. Felony
      > charges for moving a rock which any extremely
      > small earthquake would have moved anyway.

      Using that dubious logic, people should be free to chip off souvenirs from the faces on Mount Rushmore. After all, nature will weather them away in 100 million years anyway, so what's the big deal?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 11:40am

      Re:

      Enforcing property rights is stupid?

       

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    •  
      identicon
      Some Canuck, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 12:40pm

      Re:

      I'm sure if the rock was featured in a movie or the sound of the rock hitting the ground was featured in a song, that the MPAA/RIAA would be trying to sue the guy for 100 million dollars in copyright infringement and that would be worthy of felony charges! =P

       

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  •  
    identicon
    Doug Wack, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 11:43am

    Some people are just idiots when it comes to the law.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Adam, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 2:54pm

    Wait these guys were scout leaders??? I hope they both face felony charges. I'm an eagle scout and sure I've done some pretty dumb stuff in the woods while intoxicated, but I'm pretty sure that BSA still teaches the same camping method of leave no trace. Always leave a campsite, hiking trail, lake, etc., better than how you found it.

     

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  •  
    identicon
    Anonymous Coward, Oct 24th, 2013 @ 6:13pm

    lets hope they get lots of prison time

    15 to 20 years would be sufficient, or 10% of the time the formation existed before they destroyed it. which ever is the longer.

     

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


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