On Sunday, the counter had finally reached 300 days. Given the fact that I started the blog on July 25, 2005, that would mean we have never received such an order.
That is, until yesterday.
At least one lawyer out there seems to think that The Malcontent is infringing on his client's copyright. His demand, however, is that we pull down 100 percent of all video and images related to this celebrity.
There are a couple of things wrong with this: First, we are not willfully infringing on anything, and that is very important from a legal standpoint.
And second, I always operate within the bounds of "fair use." This is not some bittorrent site that is just making episodes of programs available willy-nilly. It is a gay-related site, operated by a trained journalist, that provides portions of and commentary upon media materials of interest to the gay community.
Here is what the law says, in part, about "fair use":
[T]he fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include —
(1) the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
(2) the nature of the copyrighted work;
(3) the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
(4) the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work.
I think it's clear that this blog and the content we make available fit within those definitions. I have never tried to pass off the copyrighted work of others as my own.
If additional disclaimer is required or the "substantiality" of the content can be negotiated, then it will be. But a blanket demand for removal of content is absurd, and that will be my response to the attorney.
So that brings us to our poll (upper-right corner) — more of a quiz, actually: Which celebrity is responsible for our first C&D order?
UPDATE: In the "making matters worse" category, look which "random" Google ad sometimes just happens to pop up when you click on the poll results button (I swear, this is not a commentary on the correct answer):