Frivolous Lawsuits

When Scott Walker, talks about ending frivolous lawsuits, I think I finally know what he means. At first I thought it was the lawsuits he likes to file, now I know Fox news and Chris Wallace, gave us the perfect example of a frivolous lawsuit.

Fox News and anchor Chris Wallace have jointly filed a lawsuit against Missouri Democratic Senate candidate Robin Carnahan in response to her latest ad, which features a 2006 interview between Wallace and her opponent, Rep. Roy Blunt.

The lawsuit over the ad, which shows Wallace criticizing Blunt for a legislative record that would imply that he isn’t the one to “clean up the house,” claims copyright infringement, invasion of privacy and misappropriation of likeness, The Hollywood Reporter first reported Thursday.

However, according to the Center for Responsive Politics, News Corp’s political action committee “News America Holdings Inc-Fox Pol Action Committee” has donated more than $10,000 directly to Roy Blunt’s campaign committee — including $2,500 this election cycle — yet apparently none to Robin Carnahan’s campaign committee.

If Walker promises to get rid of such ridiculous lawsuits I might even vote for him.


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18 thoughts on “Frivolous Lawsuits

  1. Actually I am going to disagree with you on this one. If candidate Carnahan didn’t get permission from Fox to use copyrighted material in a campaign ad, she is in the wrong. Now the invasion of privacy portion is total hogwash since that was a publicly broadcast item and the same thing for the misappropriation of likeness. Mr. Wallace’s likeness, mouth and posterior belong to Fox. Despite their political leanings I would suspect they wouldn’t deny permission to use broadcast video being the fair and balanced journalists that they are!

  2. Maybe I am wrong, but I would think a news organization, interviewing a political candidate, should be public domain. I think anytime a political candidate speaks should be public domain. I also think its incredibly hypocritical for a “news organization” to be giving that kind of money to candidates, and then to sue on top of it!

    1. Anything Fox films, edits, broadcasts and distributes is copyrighted by them…just as every other news media does…unless they buy or lease it from another production company like most regular TV shows and series…but their news shows are theirs!

  3. Yes, that is wrong, sorry.
    Those images are very far from Public Domain. The fact that they were broadcast makes no difference at all.
    If they were used w/o permission for any purpose, then the person using them is completely in the wrong. If the person took them w/o permission the person should settle out of court (n that issue at least ) as soon as possible.

  4. The distinction is between the information itself – which can of course be discussed and re-hashed until Hell won’t have it, and the actual physical IMAGES, or video or whatever method of recording of the Big Moment that was used.
    People have copyrights to those means of reproducing and preserving the words that were uttered, etc. Zach words here on this blog are readable, linkable quotable and discuss-able, but they are NOT Public Domain by virtue of their topic, just because we’re discussing Democracy and it’s permutations, that doesn’t mean very very private property isn’t mixed in there too.
    UNLESS you first publish something with no copyright notice, then it is in real danger of being found Public Domain. If Zach doesn’t have a copyright notice of some type here that covers his own (and other’s) original writings, he should. Just for the sake of observing most cautious behaviors. Probably there aren’t legions out there trying to steal Zach’s words but..
    just sayin’

  5. Not being a lawyer I would consider it just like us posting clips, but I will defer to you guys. I know when I’m beat!

    So annie I can’t publish a selection of zachs writings?

    1. You can, provided you don’t violate the Fair Use Doctrine. If you want to copy large portions of my writings, then you’d need my permission, if I’m understanding this right.

  6. Fair use generally applies to partial quotations or excerpts used to illustrate a point…but it is important to document the source of the content and on a blog site like this, link back to it so the owner gets credit for his/her work.

    If you scroll down you’ll see that Zach has a copyright notice.

    1. That sucks I was going to hire sarah palins ghostwriter and pop an expose! I guess that will free her ghostwriter up for Levi’s book.

    2. If you scroll down you’ll see that Zach has a copyright notice.

      Which is standard practice. But it’s also very strange if you want to think about a little. It says, “All content Copyright Blogging Blue” Does that mean he owns the copyright to all of our comments too? “All content” would certainly suggest that to be true. But then, it also conflicts with the comment policy:

      Blogging Blue (Zach W.) is not responsible for the content of any comments posted by visitors or guests to or any associated web pages. Responsibility for the content of comments belongs to the commenter alone.

      So which is it?

      And I’m not picking on you Zach – our copyright laws and practices have just landed us in a very strange place a times.

      1. It’s also worth noting you cited the policy regarding comments, while the copyright itself has to do with the entries authored by myself, Ed, PP, etc.

      2. Actually Locke, internet standard operating procedure is comments are the copyrighted content belonging to the host site. Check out the user agreements for places like Yahoo for instance.

  7. That’s hardly a frivolous law suit. it’s blatant copy right infringement. No different than if she would have used a Rolling Stones song in her ad without permission. Not even a close call, Fox Wins on summary judgment

  8. sorry for opening up a can of worms, but it turned into an interesting point to show how the world has changed technologically.

    And Super in terms of summary judgement, how many recording artists have asked candidates to stop playing their music? the links on google are endless.. not sure how much anyone has ever made.,,20176151,00.html

    as said in one of these articles

    Welcome to the bizarre, arcane, and confusing world of copyright licenses.

    1. PP, that’s a good point.

      As your Jackson Browne article discusses (the first link), in most instances the licensing company, such as BMI, holds the license for music and if a candidate purchases the right to play music at events or in commercials from BMI there is nothing much the artist can do. After all, why should the artists be able they have already sold the rights that they owned in the work. If, however, a candidate used a song was used without the consent of the the license holder that would be clear cut infringement.

      1. One of the great things about iTunes & digital distribution in general, as well as the prevalence of technology in music is that bands are able to eliminate the middle men. While contracts giving up a large deal of control, often including copyright of the music, have been the norm in the past, you could almost (but not quite) make an argument that such contracts were not made in good faith or done under duress. Used to be the just about the only way you could get your music made was to sign with a label. Now, you can record your music in a home studio or rent out studio time very reasonably. You want CDs made? There are vendors all over who’ll do them for you for in jewel cases, with a full color insert, for under $1 a piece – and quantities as low as 1000. You can sell your CDs online or people can buy digital downloads. Keep the copyright ownership, all profit goes to you, minus the very reasonable costs.

        The only thing a band or musician really needs a label for these days is if they want to get on the radio. Why you’d give up your rights & control for that is mystery.

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