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US lawmakers caught in apparent copyright violation

Written by Rich Fiscus (Google+) @ 16 Oct 2007 14:02 User comments (22)

US lawmakers caught in apparent copyright violation U.S. lawmakers may be in for a taste of their own copyright medicine stemming from the use of characters from iconic animated series The Simpsons by the Republican Party. The images appeared in a press release posted on an official House of Representatives website as part of a campaign in opposition to a bill funding a children's health insurance initiative.
"Twentieth Century Fox was unaware of the illegal use of characters from The Simpsons in this press release. Let me assure you, Fox did not authorize this use. Characters from The Simpsons may not be used in this manner" said Fox Broadcasting licensing spokesman Andy Brandt.

It's unclear whether Fox actually intends to bring legal action over what appears to be a fairly obvious case of copyright infringement, but if history is any indication they're legal department is probably seriously considering it. In 2003 Fox News reportedly considered suing Simpsons creator Matt Groening over a parody of the news channel on sister service Fox Broadcasting. The suit was never filed due to Groening's long and profitable relationship with Fox.

Although parodies are generally covered by fair use provisions, since this press release parodies the Democratic supporters of the bill being discussed, rather than being a parody of the copyrighted characters.

Sources:
Republican Press Release
Techdirt

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22 user comments

116.10.2007 14:13
nobrainer
Inactive

Fair use is not law its just a guide, you do not have any way to protect fair use.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Oct 2007 @ 14:15

216.10.2007 14:45

All I can say is HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA HA. Thats funny.

316.10.2007 14:49

Fair Use contradicts itself all the time. Creating any kind of backups like DVDs, games ... fair use indicates that you can create backups of items that you already own but at the same you can't make a backup copy of such material. Taking elements from the Simpsons, well that's absurd. That’s one of America’s beloved cartoons and is not like anyone wouldn’t notice. It would be like if Sony took Microsoft’s catch phrase that appears after the end of its Xbox 360 advertisement commercials, 'Jump In'. Come on, they know better.

416.10.2007 14:51
WierdName
Inactive

Turnabout is fair play, payback is a *, the doctor gets his own medicine...

516.10.2007 14:52
nobrainer
Inactive

Q. who owns fox? what is his political standing and how does fox news portray the reports towards what party? = this disappears with laughter because of a misunderstanding or they already had a certain persons approval!

Fox news = a US, official/sources/analyst/ect said! this news is impartial and true, go back to sleep America, drink beer and don't read books!

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Oct 2007 @ 14:55

616.10.2007 15:18

Fox news is just a wee bit obsessed with pedophiles these days. Worse than the tabloids (same goes for CNN).

716.10.2007 16:16
OzMick
Inactive

Wait till you have kids... Then you'll be obsessed with the scumbags too. They deserve to rot in prison for the rest of their life.

816.10.2007 17:35
Kerpalguy
Inactive

US lawmakers used copyrighted material without permission for a political statement. What will happen? Nothing. They'll buy their way out of it, like always, and will keep it hush hush from the public. What a bunch of hypocrites. I'd like to see all the torrent files on their kids hard drives.

This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Oct 2007 @ 17:36

916.10.2007 18:57

Quote:
Although parodies are generally covered by fair use provisions, since this press release parodies the Democratic supporters of the bill being discussed, rather than being a parody of the copyrighted characters.
I'm pretty sure this is an incomplete sentence... not quite sure what they're trying to say there.

1016.10.2007 19:46

Quote:
Quote:
Although parodies are generally covered by fair use provisions, since this press release parodies the Democratic supporters of the bill being discussed, rather than being a parody of the copyrighted characters.
I'm pretty sure this is an incomplete sentence... not quite sure what they're trying to say there.
That means it would be OK for them to use The Simpson characters (or similar characters) to "make fun" of The Simpsons, but it's NOT OK to use The Simpsons as a tool to "make fun" of the Democrats. If you made your own version of a particular Simpsons episode and posted it on YouTube, that would be OK if it's intended to poke-fun at the The Simpsons.

For example, Weird Al can make the song & video "Eat It" without getting the "Beat It" rights from Micheal Jackson. That's a parody, and it's considered Fair Use.
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 16 Oct 2007 @ 19:48

1116.10.2007 19:58

Quote:
Q. who owns fox? what is his political standing and how does fox news portray the reports towards what party?
Well, this Fox News story makes the Republican party look stupid. So... I guess you are saying that Fox News favors the Democrats?

1216.10.2007 22:16

An eye for an eye. Oh wait. Is that a copy right infringment?

1316.10.2007 22:17

I find it amusing that the fact that there's one network out of all them, ALL OF THEM, that's not controlled by the National Socialist Democratic Worker's Party, makes the Partei members wet their diapers.

This is the same crowd that was listening to Air America this morning and were ready to riot and loot, because one of their propagandists got mugged. "MUGGED BY RIGHT-WING EXTREMISTS WHO FEAR OUR POWER!!! Sob, sniff, whine." Only she didn't. It never happened. Their reporting was as faulty on this as it is with all their propaganda. So anyone criticizing Fox News is a hypocrite.

1417.10.2007 0:27

Originally posted by OzMick:
Wait till you have kids... Then you'll be obsessed with the scumbags too. They deserve to rot in prison for the rest of their life.
Um they don't even deserve that treatment. Decorum prohibits from explaining what they deserve done to them.


and as for this story you'll see it disappear in return for some legislation to be passed stripping even more rights from consumers!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Oct 2007 @ 0:28

1517.10.2007 9:28

Clearly these lawmakers were blindsighted!

1617.10.2007 10:56
nobrainer
Inactive

Originally posted by DVDdoug :
Originally posted by me:
Q. who owns fox? what is his political standing and how does fox news portray the reports towards what party?
Well, this Fox News story makes the Republican party look stupid. So... I guess you are saying that Fox News favors the Democrats?
well, rupert murdoch has his puppeteer figures entwined in the GOP's neoconservatives strings! now is g.w.bush a republican or democrat i wonder!
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 17 Oct 2007 @ 10:57

1717.10.2007 13:46

I am sure the RIAA will find a way to add a lawsuit into this as well.

I dont think anything is going to come of this from Fox. If they do decide to sue, then they shouldnt have much trouble winning. It is one thing to make a parody of characters. It is another thing to use characters to make a parody of another idea.

1818.10.2007 0:39

Quote:
Quote:
Quote:
Although parodies are generally covered by fair use provisions, since this press release parodies the Democratic supporters of the bill being discussed, rather than being a parody of the copyrighted characters.
I'm pretty sure this is an incomplete sentence... not quite sure what they're trying to say there.
That means it would be OK for them to use The Simpson characters (or similar characters) to "make fun" of The Simpsons, but it's NOT OK to use The Simpsons as a tool to "make fun" of the Democrats. If you made your own version of a particular Simpsons episode and posted it on YouTube, that would be OK if it's intended to poke-fun at the The Simpsons.

For example, Weird Al can make the song & video "Eat It" without getting the "Beat It" rights from Micheal Jackson. That's a parody, and it's considered Fair Use.
let me get this right, a song can be remade as a parody(use the same theme of it clone it and make it make fun of soemthing) but a cartoon can not?

I suppose if they used a clone of the show they could?

1918.10.2007 0:50
WierdName
Inactive

Quote:
Quote:
That means it would be OK for them to use The Simpson characters (or similar characters) to "make fun" of The Simpsons, but it's NOT OK to use The Simpsons as a tool to "make fun" of the Democrats. If you made your own version of a particular Simpsons episode and posted it on YouTube, that would be OK if it's intended to poke-fun at the The Simpsons.

For example, Weird Al can make the song & video "Eat It" without getting the "Beat It" rights from Micheal Jackson. That's a parody, and it's considered Fair Use.
let me get this right, a song can be remade as a parody(use the same theme of it clone it and make it make fun of soemthing) but a cartoon can not?

I suppose if they used a clone of the show they could?
Well apparently, a show is not under the same fair use rules as music. In that case, Youtube have to remove a crapload more videos to appease the copyright people complaining about all the copyright infringements.
...Wow, thats a run-on.

EDIT- Either that or I completely missed the point of "Eat it."
This message has been edited since its posting. Latest edit was made on 18 Oct 2007 @ 0:52

2018.10.2007 1:50
OzMick
Inactive

Quote:
Originally posted by OzMick:
Wait till you have kids... Then you'll be obsessed with the scumbags too. They deserve to rot in prison for the rest of their life.
Um they don't even deserve that treatment. Decorum prohibits from explaining what they deserve done to them.


and as for this story you'll see it disappear in return for some legislation to be passed stripping even more rights from consumers!
Well, as far as I know it, not even the general prison community stands for pedophilia, I think a lot of what you'd like so see happen to them actually does inside. No honor among thieves, as it were. I don't think it is our place to execute or torture criminals, it puts us on their level, but I have no sympathy for them if they are made someone's bitch or have to be put in solitary for their own protection.

2119.10.2007 13:07

Semantics at work...this is a lot like one policeman covering another policeman's ass when the cop does something illegal. The good old boys network is in full swing.

2223.10.2007 7:58

LOL!!! i find this to be a long time comming.

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