A Few Things Ill Considered

So this is good news for defenders of the fair use principle.

You can, and if you haven’t yet should, watch Peter Sinclair’s video demolishing Anthony Watts’ surfacestations.org embedded below. Watts’ complaint of copyright violation was at best a head scratcher and at worst a cynical and childish outburst but no matter what obviously unjustified.

Watts has a post up supposedly to explain his reasoning, but it is very long and says virtually nothing that is relevant to copyright issues relying mostly on ridicule. It is also rather condescending and smug, an attitude that looks all the worse for the fact that his compliant has been judged unfounded. The only substantive part is about the NCDC paper that Sinclair relied on. This is hardly relevant to any imagined copyright issues.

Sinclair’s post on DeSmogBlog summarizes the end result quite nicely:

I wish to extend my sincerest gratitude to YouTube, to all those who advised and supported me in this effort, and most especially, to Anthony Watts and SurfaceStation.org, for providing invaluable exposure to my video series, and greatly increasing my traffic and visibility.

Comments

  1. #1 barry
    August 20, 2009

    “Watts has a post up…”

    Bad link there, Coby.

  2. #2 coby
    August 20, 2009

    Thanks barry. Fixed now…

  3. #3 Vernon
    August 21, 2009

    I want to make sure I understand, Sinclair used copyrighted material for a production from his company and the copyright holder complained about not granting permission. Watts filed on that material he owns the copyright to was used without permission.

    I read Watt’s post that you linked to and that seems to be the only thing he had a complaint about.

    So using copyrighted material without getting permission from the copyright holder is ok if you do not like the position of the copyright holder?

    So the great victory was over the copyright laws?

    Oh, great victory there.

  4. #4 Patrick
    August 21, 2009

    Vernon,
    Excerpts from copyrighted material used in criticism, or analysis of the copyrighted work fall under the most common application of “fair use”. In fact fair use exists so that owners of content could not suppress criticism or analysis by preventing quotation from the original.
    Fair Use has more applications, but this is the fundamental one.
    This isn’t a victory ‘over’ the copyright law, but rather an example of it being applied correctly. As stated, Watts claim was inappropriate and thus an abuse of copyright- not a defense.

  5. #5 T
    August 21, 2009

    When will Vernon learn about the concept of Fair Use?

  6. #6 dhogaza
    August 22, 2009

    So using copyrighted material without getting permission from the copyright holder is ok if you do not like the position of the copyright holder?

    To show that your post is sincere, please file a DMCA complaint against science blogs asking them to remove this post for having violated your copyright.

  7. #7 wagdog
    September 1, 2009

    Watts filed on that material he owns the copyright to was used without permission.

    Also incorrect. Watts filed on material that he did not own. Sinclair used an excerpt from a Fox News interview of Watts, the copyright of which is owned by Rupert Murdock’s News Corp.

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