Mon
Jun 12 2006
11:40 am

You may recall from last week that WKRN News2 blogger A.C. Kleinheider or someone at the station improperly copied a copyrighted photo from this site and republished it without permission.

I brought this to their attention, noted the site rules and copyright notices, and politely asked that the photo be removed. Their response was that they hadn't done anything wrong, and that if I believed I had a "legitimate legal grievance" I should take it up with the station.

So I did.

Read more after the jump...

Their somewhat cavalier attitude did not seem like a reasonable response to a reasonable request, so I retained attorney Charles E. Young of Kramer Rayson in Knoxville to take legal action.

Friday afternoon, Mr. Young sent a letter advising Mr. Kleinheider, WKRN News2, and station owner Young Broadcasting that KnoxViews site rules, and WKRN's own site rules, had been violated, that the Young Broadcasting code of professional ethics had been breached, and that more seriously, it was a violation of federal copyright law with potentially serious liabilities.

To their credit, WKRN News2 took quick action and the post with the photo in question was removed within one hour of receiving Mr. Young's letter. As of this writing, we are still waiting for certification that the photo has been removed from their servers. While I appreciate their quick response, it's disappointing that I had to hire a lawyer to resolve what should have been a simple matter of complying with a simple, reasonable request.

So what have we learned?

First and foremost, as I said in the previous post about this, we all need to be respectful of each other's intellectual property. If you have any doubts about copying a photo or other content from someone else's site and republishing on yours, then it likely isn't proper. But beyond having a conscience, bloggers would do well to study and understand U.S. Copyright law, which is spelled out in plain English here.

Second, it never hurts to ask, and it is always the proper thing to do. I have been asked several times, and offered payment, for use of my photos in publications and websites. It is always appreciated, and permission is usually given.

Along those same lines, however, if your copyrights are violated it is up to you to enforce them. Nobody is going to do it for you. You may not think your intellectual property has much value, but writers and photographers are paid good money every day for doing the same thing bloggers do mostly for free. Don't devalue your work by letting others, especially corporate media, use it without at least giving credit where credit is due. And if you think you might someday want to sell your writing or photographs or other creative works, it's probably not a good idea to set a precedent of not enforcing your copyrights.

Finally, this episode offers an interesting commentary on the relationship between bloggers and the mainstream media. The mainstream media has finally noticed bloggers, but all too frequently they don't seem to take bloggers very seriously.

Mainstream media has also adopted blogging as another outlet for their news and commentary. They try to make their blogs "hip" and "cool" by being a little looser on journalistic standards and lighter in tone than "serious" journalism. But when the chips are down and they get caught playing a little too fast and loose, they fall back on their deep-pocket corporate status and challenge you to do something about it, a luxury most bloggers don't have. In most cases, it's probably better for everyone involved, especially readers, if you protect your rights.

That said, bloggers need to be respectful of mainstream media's work product, too. Many bloggers at one time or another have copied photos or whole-cloth excerpts without attribution or value added commentary. This is just a as wrong as the media "borrowing" a blogger's work, and you can bet they won't hesitate to enforce their copyrights if it is brought to their attention.

So let's all play nice and try to get along. It's all fun until lawyers get involved.

OK, then.

Topics:
161
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metulj's picture

{wingnut}Litiguous society!

{wingnut}Litiguous society! Litiguous Society! Litiguous Society!{/wingnut}

Wink

 

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

gttim's picture

Slap!

I certainly hope they at least offer lawyer's fees to you, in an attempt to avoid an expensive lawsuit. It would be better if you got about $7500, and then you could splurge on a really nice long lense for you bird blogging!

Rachel's picture

AC's current take on it...

...is to post the text to a Jerky Boys skit.

(link...)

Rachel's picture

I don't know what happened

I don't know what happened to that link, but this one should work: (link...)

Andy Axel's picture

Too funny.

Not his comment. Just the manner in which he responds to getting called on his own crap and losing.

He's PWN3D, and that's his response? Yet again lifting someone else's work to illustrate his "point?"

Some people never learn.

____________________________

The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco.

SayUncle's picture

I know, the nerve. Note:

I know, the nerve.

Note: I'm not against that sig file and don't think it's illegal or rude; but, come on, some attribution, man!

:)

---
SayUncle
Can't we all just get a long gun?

Andy Axel's picture

Yeah?

Fair enough.

And while we're at it, who penned your tag, Unk?

____________________________

"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

SayUncle's picture

Reader and commenter MarkF.

Reader and commenter MarkF. But changed it to make it a little more rodney kingish.

I doubt Mark copyrighted it but i'm sure the chicago tribune has rights to the ipod thing. But I'm not criticizing others for quoting others ;)

Again, I have no issue with your sig file usage but where does one draw the line?

---
SayUncle
Can't we all just get a long gun?

Andy Axel's picture

I dunno.

Where indeed? A quick google search indicates that he perhaps was appropriating this line from someone else.

If you have an inkling of where this line gets drawn, why don't you tell me? Or is the point here to play your particular brand of Passive-Aggressive Devil's Advocate?

____________________________

"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

SayUncle's picture

Good to know the source. I

Good to know the source. I have no such inkling, which is why I asked you. You seemed the authority on when quoting wasn't cool.

Or is the point here to play your particular brand of Passive-Aggressive Devil's Advocate?

That was, in some way, passive? I thought it was pretty direct.

I noticed you added GK to your quote, btw

---
SayUncle
Can't we all just get a long gun?

Andy Axel's picture

I noticed you added GK to

I noticed you added GK to your quote, btw

Yeah, I corrected my mistake when you called me into question.

Which is more than I can say for "Jerky Boy" Kleinheider.

He's just pissed off that someone called his stupid bluff and he was shown to be in the wrong. He has yet to apologize or admit that he made a mistake in any way.

____________________________

"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

Les Jones's picture

Uncle and Andy: you guys

Uncle and Andy: you guys reminded me that I needed to add a .sig to my profile. ;-) 


Hey, Les, why don't we just call each other assholes and get it over with. - Andy Axel

Andy Axel's picture

Wish I could take credit...

Les:

Like I've told you before, I wish I could take credit for that line. It's a good 'un.

Alas, it's someone impersonating me.

Sorry to say.

So, unless the sock puppeteer claiming to be me wants to step forward and claim credit, I respectfully decline the -- ahem -- "honor" of having my name attributed to that quote.

I won't tell you what to do, but I'd sincerely prefer that the attribution be truncated.

____________________________

"The iPod was not developed by Baptists in Waco." -- G.K.

Les Jones's picture

Bubba, any way you can

Bubba, any way you can search the old site and find that quote? FWIW, it's approximate, but if you search for people on SKB who said I was an asshole that ought to narrow it down to a few hundred posts. :-) 


Hey, Les, why don't we just call each other assholes and get it over with. - Somebody on the old Southknoxbubba.net (if that was you, claim your quote and win net.fame!)

metulj's picture

Gypsy Frocks Bedlam. I never

Gypsy Frocks Bedlam. I never called you asshole. Peckerwood, maybe. Asshole, no. Things are much more civil here, don't you think?

True happiness is knowing you are a hypocrite. -- Ivor Cutler

Les Jones's picture

The saddest part of the story

The saddest part of the story isn't that Bubba's image got stolen, or that he had to contact a lawyer. No, the saddest part of the story is that I wound up agreeing with gttim.

gttim's picture

OMG!

No, the saddest part of the story is that I wound up agreeing with gttim.

I think I just threw up a little in my mouth.... Yep, I did.

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