November 23, 2005

Jagoffs Exposed

Minnesota Democrats Exposed has been a consistent fly in the DFL's soup for about the past eighteen months. He's developed quite an anti-cult of personality at the DFL.

And boy, are they pissed.

MDE announced yesterday that "Inside Minnesota Politics", a left-leaning website run by DFL affiliates, is trying to get access to his DNS registration so they can sue him for copyright infringement...

...over MDE's fair use of a photograph that was attributed, in the manner of all blogs, to the source, IMP.

In this case, it doesn't matter if you're a left or right-leaning blog; we all need to close ranks to support bloggers against this sort of harassment. Anonymous blogging may be irritating to some (I mean, the other side's anonybloggers are sure pretty intolerable, aren't they?), but the anonymous muckraker is a part of American history - the pampleteer of Revolutionary times was an essential part of the founding of this nation - too vital to sacrifice to partisan frivolity.

Come payday, I'll be dropping a few bucks in the legal defense fund (at the top of MDE's page); I hope you will to.

And while you're at it, send IMP an email. Follow the excellent example set by our MOB colleagues at Kennedy Vs. The Machine, who demanded IMP delink them in solidarity with MDE, or just tell them you don't appreciate this sort of abuse of the legal system.

Alternate idea: Comb through IMP's archives; surely they've pushed the bounds of fair use at some time or another. Right?

Fair use is fair use, IMP.

UPDATE: There's a lawyer in da hizzy, even if only for fun.

UPDATE II: KvM has the backstory on this flap, and more in IMP, a blog I have read from time to time but had not become a daily or even semimontly habit. Question: Why do well-funded leftybloggers (like IMP, as well as Atrios) continue to squat on free Blogspot space?)

(Via Fraters Libertas)

Posted by Mitch at November 23, 2005 12:59 PM | TrackBack

I can't possibly see how this would stand up in court (the copyright infringement.) One of the key components of such infringement is that it was done FOR PROFIT, and best that i can tell MDE doesn't make a dime off of his site.

Posted by: CCK at November 23, 2005 03:11 PM

My hunch (and it's just that - I'm no lawyer) is that it's not about standing up in court anyway. It's about getting MDE's name by fair means or foul.

MDE apparently played by the rules; he attributed the picture in question, he ceased and desisted when IMP told him to, there was nothing at stake.

I suspect it's just an elaborate way to expose MDE and shut down a blog that's been a gadfly to the local left.

Posted by: mitch at November 23, 2005 03:16 PM

I think we all know you are right, I was just pointing out how stupid their argument was in the first place

Posted by: CCK at November 23, 2005 03:34 PM

"One of the key components of such infringement is that it was done FOR PROFIT, and best that i can tell MDE doesn't make a dime off of his site."

Nope. They got rid of the distinction between not-for-profit and for-profit a while back. The RIAA/MPAA lobby was tired of the P2P folks ripping them off, so they bought, err, lobbied Congress to make the profit angle moot.

The odds that this is serious are low if the circumstances are as MDE has presented. Still, it's rather reprehensible of them to do this and I have to say it won't do IMP's reputation any good.

Now all I have to do is try to remember how to use PayPal to drop a few bucks in come payday.

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