Monday, May 18, 2009

Letting the Klan March

The National Organization for Marriage, which opposes same-sex unions, is hardly a liberal cause, but they have taken up the flag of digital rights advocacy of late in their current social advertising campaign in which a would-be Miss America makes the argument for free speech against legitimizing the relationship of gay couples. (For more about the campaign, see my posting "Queen for a Day" at Osocio.)

In "Copyright Experts Blast Hilton Claims Against NOM Ad" the group reprints blog entries from digital rights organizations in support of NOM's use of the intellectual property of celebrity gossip blogger Perez Hilton, given the context of critique and political speech in keeping with fair use. The entry cites Copyrights and Campaigns and Citizen Media Law Project as support for their position, although the latter points out the hypocrisies of both Perez Hilton and NOM when it comes to making copyright claims, since in the past Hilton had been a fair use advocate when it came to the republishing unlicensed tabloid photos with minor Photoshop additions, and NOM had been a copyright cop to try to reclaim rights to leaked green screen footage from another ad.

Like the ACLU backing the marches of the Klu Klux Klan, First Amendment claims made in the name of fair use may bring unlikely political parties together. However, it may be just as significant to note who is not there. For example, note the absence of Virtualpolitik pals Feminist Law Professors and Perhaps they find the claim in the ad that legal scholars believe such equal protection will generate "widespread legal conflict" with "devastating" effects ridiculous.

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Anonymous Ann Bartow said...

Hi Liz,
I despise both NOM and Perez so much it's hard to know who to root for! As you point out, both are hypocritical about fair use and copyright, arguing for expansive fair use when they want to use someone else's work and for minimal fair use when they want to silence or at least inhibit critics.

Take care,

4:33 PM  

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