it’s back: Maxam again claims “Fair Use is not applicable”

18

 questionDude After posting her news articles for one day without claiming that “Fair Use is not applicable” (see our post yesterday), June Maxam of the North Country Gazette has re-inserted that erroneous assertion in NCG‘s copyright warning in pieces put online on October 25, 2006.  For example, look at the bottom of this editorial, and this, this, and that news article.  Maybe such obliviousness-stubborness is why she is on Libertarian Rick Stanley’s Patriot A List, which honors “Patriots who do more than talk about standing up to those in  government that are operating outside the law or under color of law.”  Note: Ms. Maxam  
 
changed: This article is copyright protected and Fair Use is not applicable.  
to: This article is copyright protected. Fair Use is not applicable.

 

OilCan Even if psychologists can’t offer long-distance analysis, we’d like to know from legal textual experts and our linguist friends at Language Log whether turning the two clauses into two sentences makes an important difference (we’d guess “no”).  Meanwhile, I wonder if this latest move was taken with or without legal advice. [See Comment #1 on my methods for obtaining the permalinks for NCG articles.]

18 Comments

  1. madavid giacalone

    October 26, 2006 @ 11:23 am

    1

    Some webloggers and commentors have had trouble getting permalinks for recent NCG articles. My roundabout way has been to highlight the Read More hyperlink, copy it into an email window and (with the link still highlighted) click on the hyplerlink icon. The full permalink should be on the URL line in the hyperlink box.  Of course, you can also search for some of the text in Google News or Google and the result will show the page’s URL in its last line.

  2. Get a life

    October 26, 2006 @ 2:46 pm

    2

    Oh boo hoo, NCG didn’t bow down to your harassment and intimidation. Too bad, so bad. While you’re visiting NCG, read the article about the multi-million award for Internet defamation.

  3. david giacalone

    October 26, 2006 @ 4:41 pm

    3

    Dear GAL: No tears on my part, just amazement over the refusal of a “legal reformer” and self-proclaimed abuse-buster to give her readers a correct interpretation of the law. Your own loose use of terms like “harassment”, “intimidation” and “defamation” suggests that you might be getting your legal information at the same place that Ms. Maxam is getting her Copyright information. I suggest a little more homework, including checking out the sanctions against frivolous claims and SLAPP suits.

  4. Tech Headlines

    October 26, 2006 @ 6:56 pm

    4

    Can You Sue For Defamation If Someone Points Out Publicly That You Are Wrong?…

    Remember the publication that put legal statements on its site claiming that fair use did not apply and…

  5. Scrappy

    October 26, 2006 @ 7:17 pm

    5

    Hmmm…a check to the site now shows this notice:

    “COPYRIGHT 2006 – NORTH COUNTRY GAZETTE
    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – NO UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION”

    This seems better, of course Fair Use does not require authorization and is by its nature unauthorized reproduction–but legal…

  6. A. Nonny Mous

    October 26, 2006 @ 7:43 pm

    6

    It seems she has changed the disclaimer of the main page again.

  7. laugh out loud

    October 26, 2006 @ 8:19 pm

    7

    I’ve had several conversations lately about sociopaths and the law, and Ms. Maxam is almost a text book example of that kind of behavior, IMHO. I have no desire to squelch her voice, after all free speech is free speech, but the larger issue of what is news, and the responsibilities of the fifth estate are a huge issue. I would have trouble taking anything her organization publishes seriously.

  8. david giacalone

    October 26, 2006 @ 8:44 pm

    8

    Thanks for the Comments. The copyright notice at the bottom of NCG does seem to be shorter today, but it has never contained the “Fair Use is not applicable” error, which appears at the bottom of news articles, commentary and editorials (even when they take announcments from public entities, which are not copyrighted, fail to give any attritubtion, and then NCG claim exclusive use of the wording in such public documents.)

    [CORRECTION (Oct. 27, 2006): Yesterday evening, I erroneously stated in this Comment that NCG had copied from this article in the Westchester News, when it wrote this story — showing that at least five sentences from the NCG article were identical to the sentences in the Westchester.com article.   It has been brought to my attention that the source of the NCG article was this release from the Westchester County District Attorney.  I apologize for my error.  Clearly, NCG did not take the information from Westchester.com.   If NCG had attributed its story and facts to the Westchester DA’s press release, my mistake would not have occurred.  My main point remains, however, that NCG was claiming exclusive rights to use materials that the public has every right to reproduce, when it placed the statement “This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed by anyone without the express written permission of the publisher. This article is copyright protected and Fair Use is not applicable” at the end of the article.] 

    The SideBar still contains the bogus “In accordance with Fair Use of Copyright: WE FORBID ANY REPRODUCTION in part or in whole of The North Country Gazette.”

  9. legaleagle

    October 26, 2006 @ 9:42 pm

    9

    you’re full of baloney Giacalone You are continuing to engage in a total reckless disregard for the truth. I certainly hope you can prove your allegation that she has stolen an article from the Westchester News. Malice shouldn’t be hard for her to prove, all she has to do is submit this thing you call a blog and your comments.

    Hmmm…a check to the site now shows this notice:

    “COPYRIGHT 2006 – NORTH COUNTRY GAZETTE
    ALL RIGHTS RESERVED – NO UNAUTHORIZED REPRODUCTION”

    I got news for you, that has ALWAYS been there.

    but it has never contained the “Fair Use is not applicable”

    That’s not true either. Have you ever read this site before you started ragging on it a couple of days ago?

  10. david giacalone

    October 26, 2006 @ 10:36 pm

    10

    Dear Legaleagle:   Are you by any chance June’s legal advisor on copyright and defamation issues? 

    I have complained about the Copyright Notice/Warning that NCG puts at the end of its articles and commentary, because it includes the statement “Fair Use is not applicable.” I have also complained about the notice in the SideBar with its “In accordance with Fair Use” terminology. The general copyright notice/warning in the footer of the Home Page has indeed never contained the words that I have complained about, which is precisely why none of my writings has said that it did or does. An hour before your Comment appeared here, I wrote the Comment just above yours stating: “The copyright notice at the bottom of NCG does seem to be shorter today, but it has never contained the “Fair Use is not applicable” error.”

    Yes, I have been to NCG before.  For example, it was mentioned at my other legal weblog on Oct. 30, 2005 and December 8, 2005.  It was discussed in a posting at this weblog on Sept. 26, 2006. I only decided to write to the editor of NCG when I noticed last week that she had printed a NYS Courts press release verbatim, failed to give it any attribution, and then still put the warning claiming copyright to the article and denying that Fair Use is applicable.  At that point, I wrote to the Editor pointing out that the statute specifically gives Fair Use rights on all copyrighted materials.  It was only her rude and threatening response that made me decide to write about the issue here at this weblog — in a posting that primarily informs the public about copyright and fair use resources. 

    [CORRECTION (Oct. 27, 2006): Yesterday evening, I erroneously stated in this Comment that NCG had copied from this article in the Westchester News, when it wrote this story — showing that at least five sentences from the NCG article were identical to the sentences in the Westchester.com article.   It has been brought to my attention that the source of the NCG article was this release from the Westchester County District Attorney.  I apologize for my error.  Clearly, NCG did not take the information from Westchester.com.   If NCG had attributed its story and facts to the Westchester DA’s press release, my mistake would not have occurred.  My main point remains, however, that NCG was claiming exclusive rights to use materials that the public has every right to reproduce, when it placed the statement “This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed by anyone without the express written permission of the publisher. This article is copyright protected and Fair Use is not applicable” at the end of the article.] 

    p.s.  My reputation for honesty and fair play is very important to me, which is why I have bothered to waste far too much time this evening responding to your baseless claims and accusations.  And, by the way, I have never left an anonymous Comment at any website in my life, and never will.   You can always find out who wrote and stands behind every word that I put on my weblogs or at someone else’s.  And the email address that I give is always a valid one.

  11. legaleagle

    October 27, 2006 @ 12:57 am

    11

    You make quantum leaps to false assumptions and statements. Anyone who ever accepted any legal advice from you would be a fool. But then, you get what you pay for. Whoever Westchester News is has no claim to that news release. You are falsely accusing NCG of plagarism. It was a media release from the Westchester DA’s office.
    http://www.da.westchester.ny.us/pressreleases/
    http://www.da.westchester.ny.us/pressreleases/1023mvodsent.htm
    I think you need to have a review by the bar association grievance committee.
    While on the subject of anonymity, looks to me like NCG isn’t hiding behind anything.
    And by the way, I happen to know David Bookstaver, the communications director for the Unified Court System. The news release in question was released to the press for publication. She did nothing wrong. No “attribution” as you call it had to be given. Falsely accusing someone of wrongdoing and intentionally attempting to damage their credibility and business associations is legally actionable.
    Honest and fair play? You’ve been hitting NCG below the belt for days. Give it a rest.
    For anyone who’s interested, I believe the address for the Grievance Committee for the Albany area which would serve the territory for NCG is NYS Committee of Professional Responsibility, 40 Stueben St., Albany, NY 12207. You have some rules and ethics to live by as a claimed attorney. You can’t go around making false statements, assumptions and accusations, gather up your posse and sic them on people. Making false and unfounded accusations against people certainly violates legal ethics and you who claim to be so honest have made some proveable false statements. Don’t compound it.

  12. david giacalone

    October 27, 2006 @ 9:22 am

    12

    Leagaleagle: I very much appreciate this new information and have placed the following Correction in the two Comments above where I made the erroneous claim:

    [CORRECTION (Oct. 27, 2006): Yesterday evening, I erroneously stated in this Comment that NCG had copied from this article in the Westchester News, when it wrote this story — showing that at least five sentences from the NCG article were identical to the sentences in the Westchester.com article.   It has been brought to my attention that the source of the NCG article was this release from the Westchester County District Attorney.  I apologize for my error.  Clearly, NCG did not take the information from Westchester.com.   If NCG had attributed its story and facts to the Westchester DA’s press release, my mistake would not have occurred.  My main point remains, however, that NCG was claiming exclusive rights to use materials that the public has every right to reproduce, when it placed the statement “This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed by anyone without the express written permission of the publisher. This article is copyright protected and Fair Use is not applicable” at the end of the article.] 

    I assume that you knew the original source of the story in question when you left your Comment last night, and I am sorry that you treated this like a gotcha game, instead of helping me to have and use the correct information. When I approached the Editor of NCG last weekend it was with one simple purpose: to ask that she remove the clause “Fair Use is not applicable” from NCG articles and commentary.  My purpose when I wrote about the topic at this weblog was to get the clause changed and to help the public better understand the Fair Use concept.  That is why I wrote to Ms. Maxam thanking her, as soon as I learned that the clause was removed in the Oct. 24, 2006 articles at her site.

  13. Anonymous Comment

    October 27, 2006 @ 9:51 am

    13

    I usually don’t leave anonymous comments either, but the noise being made by this legaleagle individual is a little troublesome.
    Out of curiosity, have you investigated your server logs to see if some of these comments from legaleagle, Scrappy and Get a Life originate from the same address?
    I’m only speculating, but this sure appears to be a poorly orchestrated attempt at Astroturfing. I’ve never quite seen a commentator go to such lengths to defend a small news publication with such vigor…except when it’s the publication attempting to drum up non-existent outrage.
    By the way, nice read.
    This article is a great commentary, not only on Fair Use, but on decent civil behaviour. It’s sad we’ve become a country that trucks out the lawyers for the silliest things.

  14. legaleagle

    October 27, 2006 @ 10:00 am

    14

    By your statement you have now admitted your legal liability. You were wrong. You attacked her credibility, you encouraged other people to attack her, to harass her and you made statements against her, holding her up to public contempt and damaging her professional reputation, bringing into question her work, by your total reckless disregard for the truth. You directed other bloggers to initiate a campaign against her simply because you didn’t agree with something on her site.You subjected her to abuse and intimidation. You just launched your malicious attack and intentional attempt to discredit because she didn’t bow down to you. Due process? No. It was a total libel and defamation and intent to damage her business. You are a blight on the legal society. I sincerely hope that she has a good attorney, that a complaint is filed against you with the state grievance committee and that she initiates legal action against you. You made your “corrections” in this blog, did you make any apology to her? No wonder people have such a disdain for people in the legal profession.

  15. david giacalone

    October 27, 2006 @ 10:42 am

    15

    Dear Legaleagle: I made one factual error and I have apologized as soon as i learned about the error from you, making correections in the Comments above and repeating it at the top of this weblog. The Correction in the main body of the weblog includes an apology to Ms. Maxam for that one incorrect statement. After I wrote thanking her for (temporarily) removing the Fair Use statement, Ms. Maxam ordered me not to try to write to her again.

    Of course, Ms. Maxam accused me of defamation and harassment, and threatened me with legal action and reporting to the authorities, before, I made that unintentional factual error. I have never encouraged others to attack her or injure NCG. When I wrote on this subject on Monday, I merely pointed out that NCG was using an incorrect statement about Fair Use, and supplied readers with resources to use to understand the law and their rights better. The response of other webloggers and their readers shows that they value their Free Speech and Fair Use rights.  I cannot control their tone, but have often decried uncivlized (usually juvenile) tauns and insults.  At this weblog and my original one, I have tried to keep things civil.  It wasn’t until this topic that other people — you’ll have to decide who — turned things nasty here.

    I don’t expect anyone to “bow down” to me. I do expect a “legal reform” newspaper to make a good faith effort to state the law correctly, when the constituional and legislative rights of its readers are at stake.

    I don’t know if you are in fact Ms. Maxam hereself. I have allowed your Comments so far, but may continue to do so only if you add useful information. For myself, I hope not to have to say more on this topic in public.

  16. junkie

    October 29, 2006 @ 12:24 am

    16

    Am I mistaken or have comments been removed from here? You engaging in censorship? It looks to me like you have created a real firestorm. You can’t go around attacking people like you did with false accusations and then claim that you’re the ones with the credibility

  17. david giacalone

    October 29, 2006 @ 12:59 pm

    17

    Dear “junkie”: Are you by any chance the same person as “LegalEagle” and “daydreamer” and “get a life” — the Commentors responsible for virtually all the critical Comments to shlep’s Fair Use postings? I ask that because my webserver identifies the authors of those Comments in this way:

    Author : legaleagle (IP: 24.29.89.151 , cpe-24-29-89-151.nycap.res.rr.com)
    Author : junkie (IP: 24.29.89.151 , cpe-24-29-89-151.nycap.res.rr.com)
    Author: daydreamer (IP: 24.29.89.151 , cpe-24-29-89-151.nycap.res.rr.com)
    Author: Get a life (IP: 24.29.89.151 , 24.29.89.151)

    [also note: “nycap.res.rr.com” is the Verizon Roadrunner phone service in the Capital Region and North Country of New York State.  Indeed, an email from June Maxam to David Giacalone, dated Oct. 25, 2006, using her editor’s email account at North Country Gazette says “Received: from [24.29.89.151]“.  That cpe identification number sure does get around.]

    Whether or not you are LegalEagle, a quick look at the lenthy, shrill and highly critical Comments left here by that person should convince other readers that no censorship of Comments opposing myself is going on, despite my clear right to do so. I have not removed any comments that were already posted. I have, however, refused to print some Comments (or portions of them) that I believed were ad hominem attacks on Ms. Maxam. Also, having told LegalEagle above that I might not accept further Comments from “her”, if they did not include useful information, I did not approve a Comment by LegalEagle yesterday that said, in total, “It’s about time you shut your mouth.” (LegalEagle’s Comment coincidentally came in yesterday just a couple minutes after this website had a hit from the northcountrygazette.org domain.)

    On the substantive parts of your Comment, please note: (1) there has been only one erroneous statement by me about NCG, and I immediately corrected that statement when I learned I was incorrect, making my correction on the Main Page of this weblog and informing other webloggers, although the claim had been made only in Comments, where it had very few viewers. (2) The “firestorm” is not about my erroneous factual claim (which came after the main wave of interest around the internet, and after Ms. Maxam accused me of defamation and harassment); it is about the incontrovertible position that NCG is using a copyright warning, “Fair Use is not applicable,” which is incorrect as a matter of law.

    It has been difficult for me to know how to deal with the uncivil comments left at this weblog. We have not had such Comments before, as our audience up until this week has been coming here to find out information on self-help law. It was a total surprise to me that the Fair Use topic reached an audience outside of “blawgers,” librarians, and pro se practitioners, or the occasional visitor seeking self-help law guidance.

  18. BW

    April 2, 2007 @ 12:04 am

    18

    I realize I’m the last one through the door… Crazy threats (almost word for word what was quoted here and elsewhere) and hate mail from June Maxam targeting my site originated from the IP address 24.29.89.151 last fall. I finally blocked the netblock from my web site, and she went away, thankfully…

    BW

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