Sunday, March 04, 2007

Spocko to Disney: You Never Call. You Never Write.

March 4, 2007

It's been 39 days since my attorney at the Electronic Frontier Foundation, Matt Zimmerman, sent the lawyer for Disney owned ABC Radio station KSFO a letter demanding they retract their legally baseless threats that lead to my blog being shut down.

I just checked with Matt and he hasn't gotten a letter, email, phone call or even an instant message from them. In case they misplaced it, all his info is in the letter he sent them on January 25, 2007.

If you are just joining us, Matt requested ABC/Disney retract their threats immediately. Now I'm not a lawyer, but on this planet my understanding is that "immediately" is usually sooner than 39 days. Now maybe they are planning on traveling back in time to address Matt's letter immediately which will causing this time line to be nullified. I don't recommend time travel, I've had some bad experiences with it, but that's me.

When ABC/Disney sent their Cease and Desist letter to 1&1 Hosting demanding I "remove the content immediately" (right before the Christmas holiday I might add) they gave 1&1 Hosting 10 days to get me to comply. In turn 1&1 gave me 24 hours to remove the material. I immediately complied with the request from 1&1. And I did it within 6 hours (compare my understanding of " immediate" to theirs). I'd show everyone the proof, but alas I can't access my 1&1 logs to prove it because it's still shut down.

Their intimidation tactics worked on 1&1 Hosting, one of the largest hosting companies in the world. It appeared 1&1 didn't bother to check that I removed everything in time and just shut down my entire blog, words and all. Although my new blog host, Computer Tyme Hosting, is smaller my understanding is that a C&D letter sent to them regarding my posting of audio clips from KSFO will get ABC/Disney a very different response.

But I still don't understand why ABC/Disney hasn't responded to the letter from the EFF.

I thought they clearly pointed out that my use of KSFO's audio clips qualifies as noninfringing fair use. I would expect them to at least acknowledge that the EFF proved the case.

I think that it was rather rude of them to ignore the letter.

It can be inferred from their silence that even they agree that my use of KSFO's audio clips qualifies as noninfringing fair use. The hosts of KSFO objected that the clips were too short and didn't have enough context (even though we have demonstrated here and here that more context doesn't exculpate them, but actually reveals more of their depravity. But since they want more context, I'll just post longer clips. However, unlike some people I won't put up the ENTIRE show.

BTW, did you know that Melanie Morgan is rebroadcasting the entire three hour January 12, 2007 show on her website? Did ABC Radio authorize that? Did the Disney boss of ABC Radio? Was Morgan acting as an ABC or Disney employee when she posted that? Was she acting as Melanie Morgan, the chairwoman of Move America Forward or Melanie Morgan an individual who is hosting San Francisco Radio Assets' content on her personal website?

It says on her website where the content is hosted: Copyright © 2006 Melanie Morgan. All Rights Reserved. Is she an individual infringing on ABC or Disney's copyright? Will she be getting a C&D letter from ABC or Disney?

What's the Hold Up? Everyone Must be Briefed by Now
I know that big corporations move slowly, but given the impact this story had on the Disney brand I would think that they would treat the EFF letter with a little more urgency.

I know that the people in charge of the Disney brand probably ignore the blogs who wrote about this even the big ones like DailyKos with 500,000 readers a day.
But maybe they caught the story in:

It was even on TV! (For the millions who get their news from TV, check out the Crooks and Liars Link since the CBS video is gone now.)

Even if the brand managers didn't read or watch ANY of those stories, I'm fairly confident that lots of ABC/Disney executives made sure that they listened into the VERY SPECIAL PROGRAM that KSFO held on January 12, 2007. Why? Because that was the show where they kicked Dr. Laura off the air for three hours trying to convince advertisers that what the advertisers heard wasn't really what they heard (by the way, I wonder which division will be charged for that little stunt. Does Dr. Laura get paid syndication fees if she wasn't broadcast? Who pays her? Does ABC Radio legal cover it? Disney PR? Disney HR? ABC Sales? Probably an accounting nightmare.)

Maybe ABC/Disney didn't respond because they think we are unserious people who use pseudonyms (something no RADIO person cough* Officer Vic * cough ever uses). I will point out that Mr. Zimmerman gave them very specific, serious contact information. Still, they ignored his letter.

Maybe they didn't respond because they wanted to just keep the threat hanging out there.
And they continue to let the people at KSFO look for methods to stifle and/or smear their critics. But pretending that they didn't get the letter doesn't really give the Disney executives plausible deniability in the public eye.

Why is the continued clear awareness about what is going on at KSFO--by multiple executives from ABC and Disney-- important? Because when the next atrocity is spewed by Rodgers, Morgan, Sussman or "Officer Vic" they can not say, "We had NO idea those kind of things were being said on a Disney station!" Multiple executives from ABC and Disney knew what was going on at KSFO months before that 1/12/2007 show. I'm fairly confident that many listened in that day (or they can still listen to the whole three hour rebroadcast on Melanie Morgan's personal website.) There really is no excuse for anyone's lack of awareness at this point. And that should mean a real responsibility on their part to ensure that hosts stay within their corporate guidelines. Have the hosts conducted themselves as professionals on a commercially-supported broadcast radio network that was granted a license by the public via the FCC?

But Didn't KSFO Hosts Already Address All the Issues Raised by "Crackpots with Keyboards"?

Some violent rhetoric was NEVER addressed on their Very Special Program (did they cherry pick which clips to address? You bet.) Other comments were even embraced. When some of those comments become relevant yet again (say for example because of current news items) will management continue to accept the word games and bluster of the hosts?

Lee Rodgers Strikes Back, at KSFO's Own Advertisers!

Did you read in MediaNewsDaily about how Lee Rodgers threatened to boycott the KSFO advertisers who left? Wow. Attacking their own previous sponsors. I'm sure their competitors would really be happy to inform sponsors how they will be treated if they dare choose to leave. As my friend over at Backseatdriving said:

Tomorrow’s threatened former advertiser is a potential advertiser today, deciding whether they want to buy air time. Rogers is saying to them that starting ads on KSFO carries a downside risk the buyer won’t find anywhere else: if you ever stop advertising for any reason, Rogers or his fans may try to harm your company’s brand and image.

I thought that actively damaging a former advertiser's brand and image was just more bizarre, un-profitable blather from Rodgers, but then I heard something from on KSFO that convinced me that hosts from KSFO WILL attack former advertisers!

I'll be posting that in the next week or so (which, by the way is NOT immediately, just in case you wondered what MY definition of immediately was.)


Mr. Spocko

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dave said...

I don't know how aggressive the guys at EFF (or you, for that matter) want to get on this, but I say, push the bastards.

Put up or shut up - NOW!

And when they fold, sue 1&1.

8:28 PM  
Interrobang said...

They never call, they never write, and I bet they don't bring you flowers, either, the ingrates.

My only caution to you in seeking Disney's attention is that when soliciting the attention of large entities like transnational corporations, be sure you want their attention...

1:08 AM  
¡El Gato Negro! said...

¿Can joo ask a judge to expedite their response?


4:14 PM  

Here's an FYI for you, you're not alone :

Industry closes anti-coal website

Wendy Frew, Environment Reporter
March 5, 2007

THE mining industry has used copyright laws to close an anti-mining website launched by a small protest group in Newcastle.

The NSW Minerals Council has spent hundreds of thousands of dollars on a TV, print and billboard advertising campaign and launched a website extolling the virtues of mining. The campaign's slogan is "Life: brought to you by mining".

The anti-coal group Rising Tide created its own website sending up the campaign with comments such as "Rising sea levels: brought to you by mining".

5:29 PM  
Mr. said...

Thanks for posting it!

5:57 PM  
Michael said...

can't we organize (in an unorganized manner) a second wave of letter writing? can mike stark start another move at daily kos? his spocko blogswarm diary had 1,065 recommends.... that's a record for an action diary.

11:31 PM  
coho said...

They are almost certainly hoping that if they don't talk to you you'll go away.

A tried and true legal tactic.

9:43 AM  
MunkeeWired said...

I've gotta say that I agree with dave. Push back! This would be a great case for the EEF to pursue and perhaps set a much needed precedent for this kind of nonsense.

Isn't Steve Jobs the single largest shareholder in Disney now? I wonder what he thinks about this? Have you tried to ask him?

I'm just sayin' is all.

4:11 PM  

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