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Copyright As Weapon In US Senate Campaign

timothy posted about 4 years ago | from the so-that-wasn't-on-the-record-ma'am? dept.

Censorship 409

kfogel writes "Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for US Senate in Nevada, is using a copyright 'cease-and-desist' letter to stop her opponent, incumbent Harry Reid (currently majority leader in the US Senate), from reposting old versions of her campaign website. The old pages are politically sensitive because Angle campaigned from the far right in the primary, but is now toning that down for the general election." As kfogel notes, the letter "also accuses the Reid campaign of intending to impersonate Angle's campaign, which seems doubtful, but who knows?"

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409 comments

Wha? (4, Insightful)

magsol (1406749) | about 4 years ago | (#32809510)

I thought that in running for public office, your life was effectively an open book?...

Re:Wha? (4, Informative)

Anonymusing (1450747) | about 4 years ago | (#32809702)

It is an open book. However, having dealt with a number of design contracts, there may have been a written agreement between the designer and the campaign that nobody else would use that site design, which this would violate to some extent. Nonetheless, there are ways around that: posting screen shots with commentary, for example, or just quoting the text.

I'd also expect Angle to contact The Wayback Machine [waybackmachine.org] if she doesn't want old copies of her site online...

Re:Wha? (4, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | about 4 years ago | (#32810380)

It is an open book. However, having dealt with a number of design contracts, there may have been a written agreement between the designer and the campaign that nobody else would use that site design, which this would violate to some extent. Nonetheless, there are ways around that: posting screen shots with commentary, for example, or just quoting the text.

I'd also expect Angle to contact The Wayback Machine [waybackmachine.org] if she doesn't want old copies of her site online...

Any agreement they had does not trump copyright law, and fair use has not yet been completely gutted. I'm somewhat suspicious of the collection of information submitted by users, but I haven't seen any evidence that the data was actually collected and saved anywhere. Other than that, it seems like fair use for political purposes. They are showing people exactly what she was saying, and there can be no claim that any of it was taken out of context, because all of the context is right there.

Re:Wha? (2, Insightful)

Drakkenmensch (1255800) | about 4 years ago | (#32809706)

If it was, hundreds of politicians would be scrambling for the paper shredders.

Re:Wha? (0, Flamebait)

bsDaemon (87307) | about 4 years ago | (#32809792)

instead of just Hillary Clinton?

Re:Wha? (1)

foxtyke (766988) | about 4 years ago | (#32810120)

Here's a thought, mind your tongue and you wouldn't have to try to abuse copyright law to squelch your stupidity.

Re:Wha? (4, Interesting)

tophermeyer (1573841) | about 4 years ago | (#32810242)

Its not stupidity though, its simple downright shiftiness! She campaigned ultra right to get through the primary, and is now claiming a more moderate stance for the general election. This is why American politics is broken.

Re:Wha? (1)

morgan_greywolf (835522) | about 4 years ago | (#32810424)

Hey, I just thought of something. Maybe someone should actually do this; you know, save copies of political websites, and then when a politician tries to shift their platform in the general election from their previous more hard-core stances, snippets of information can be reposted to refute what's being said now. Call it "The Real Deal" or something.

BTW, Sharon Angle, this is called fair use. People can re-use your content for purposes of commentary and criticism.

Do it for all politicians in all races. Then maybe they'll stop this nonsense once and for all.

Re:Wha? (1, Interesting)

Talderas (1212466) | about 4 years ago | (#32810374)

Risking being labeled a troll here but....

Yes, she is running for political office, but a campaign is not a public entity. The campaign is a private entity. There are certain public laws that interact with the campaign above other private entities (disclosure, campaign finance, etc). The website is the property of the campaign and consequently copyright can be applied in this situation. In fact, the campaign could very well levy a copyright cease and desist for posting current versions of the campaign's website.

It may seem shady and dubious, but it is pretty legitimate. Plus, I doubt the lawyers would put in the cease and desist letters if there wasn't a valid copyright claim behind it.

So rather than bitching about how copyright is being used, use it as an another example of how copyright is broken.

Re:Wha? (4, Insightful)

ultranova (717540) | about 4 years ago | (#32810462)

Plus, I doubt the lawyers would put in the cease and desist letters if there wasn't a valid copyright claim behind it.

What world are you from, and how do I get there?

Wrong state? (4, Informative)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 4 years ago | (#32809514)

I think the summary got it wrong. Aren't they candidates for Senate in Nevada?

Re:Wrong state? (1)

CheshireCatCO (185193) | about 4 years ago | (#32809618)

Linked filings would tend to agree, they're from Nevada.

Re:Wrong state? (0, Troll)

nysus (162232) | about 4 years ago | (#32809670)

This is Slashdot. Facts don't matter much.

Re:Wrong state? (1)

hey! (33014) | about 4 years ago | (#32809698)

Yep. Harry Reid has been the senator from Nevada for over twenty years. McCain and Kyl are the senators from Arizona.

Re: Wrong state? (Yes, my fault, not Slashdot's) (4, Informative)

kfogel (1041) | about 4 years ago | (#32809756)

Yes, should have been Nevada, not Arizona -- and the fault was mine in the original submission, not Slashdot's. Sorry about that! I'm glad they updated the post.

-Karl Fogel

Re:Wrong state? (1)

segin (883667) | about 4 years ago | (#32809768)

They're candidates for the US senate, from Nevada. Whoever gets elected does their senate work in Washington, DC.

betting on lame horses (-1, Troll)

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Boo fuckin' hoo (4, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#32809546)

Guess what, lady: it was your website. If you didn't want people to see you spreading loony extremist messages, maybe you shouldn't have supported them in the first place.

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (5, Insightful)

Midnight's Shadow (1517137) | about 4 years ago | (#32809996)

Guess what, lady: it was your website. If you didn't want people to see you spreading loony extremist messages, maybe you shouldn't have supported them in the first place.

I agree with your statement but I can't help but think how your response may differ if the political parties were flipped.

It is also very common that you swing far left/right to get the primary then come back towards the middle to win the regular election. Look at Obama's campaign. Look at McCain's campaign. I'm willing to bet a lollipop that over 75% of mainstream candidates are the same way.

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32810054)

Very nice response. Spot on, IMHO.

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (3, Insightful)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#32810068)

I agree with your statement but I can't help but think how your response may differ if the political parties were flipped.

It wouldn't be any different. Extremist views are extremist views, regardless of which side it comes from.

It is also very common that you swing far left/right to get the primary then come back towards the middle to win the regular election. Look at Obama's campaign. Look at McCain's campaign. I'm willing to bet a lollipop that over 75% of mainstream candidates are the same way.

Agreed, but again...if a politician doesn't want people to know that they do (or once did) support extremist views, then they shouldn't have supported them in the first place.

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (1)

Rockoon (1252108) | about 4 years ago | (#32810118)

It wouldn't be any different. Extremist views are extremist views, regardless of which side it comes from.

You are confusing views with advertising.

-1, trying to start a partisan pissing match (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32810132)

I agree with your statement but I can't help but think how your response may differ if the political parties were flipped.

It is also very common that you swing far left/right to get the primary then come back towards the middle to win the regular election. Look at Obama's campaign. Look at McCain's campaign. I'm willing to bet a lollipop that over 75% of mainstream candidates are the same way.

When something is wrong to do, it's wrong to do. You can't expect that words said mere months ago would be so easy to sweep under the rug, no matter what side you're on. Plus, if she thinks so highly of US copyright law being used however the content creator feels like it should be used, who knows how much of a copynazi she will be if she gets elected.

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (1)

NervousWreck (1399445) | about 4 years ago | (#32810142)

Does slashdot have a "sees through party line BS" modifier?
If not, Insightful would do. Mod parent up.

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#32810192)

Does slashdot have a "sees through party line BS" modifier?

It's a shame that it doesn't. You would have been able to see that I'm a registered independent whofor example, fully supports the 2nd amendment as well as socialized medicine.

But hey, I know that moderates are nothing more than legends to many people in this country, so I can understand your suspicion.

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (1, Insightful)

Jawnn (445279) | about 4 years ago | (#32810202)

Guess what, lady: it was your website. If you didn't want people to see you spreading loony extremist messages, maybe you shouldn't have supported them in the first place.

I agree with your statement but I can't help but think how your response may differ if the political parties were flipped.

Maybe, maybe not, but then again, when was the last time you saw a Democrat pandering to any group even remotely as extreme as the Tea Baggers? Sorry, your premise is pretty weak, and your conclusion (implied) that "if the Democrats do it too" (whine about having their loony web sites re-aired) then it's a legitimate whine, is even weaker.

Honestly, it's 2010. How is it possible that anyone with half a brain would think that they could throw their loony crap up on the web and then run away from it a month later? Oh, wait...

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#32810566)

"when was the last time you saw a Democrat pandering to any group even remotely as extreme as the Tea Baggers? "

Some of them do it. You don't see so much of it because the looney-extreme lefties are so inept, disorganized, and lacking in influence that they aren't worth pandering to.

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (5, Informative)

jackspenn (682188) | about 4 years ago | (#32810236)

Umm, you need read and understand the facts before you post.

The issue is not that Senator Reid's campaign merely reposted parts of her website. Or that she was running away from positions she has taken in the past.

It was that the Reid campaign created a website to look like hers and used that site to get names, emails and other information from people who believed it was her site.

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (1)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#32810366)

It was that the Reid campaign created a website to look like hers and used that site to get names, emails and other information from people who believed it was her site.

And my point was, why did she complain about old info being posted? Why wasn't the cease-and-desist letter strictly focused on data collection? Look at the link posted in the summary...what you just talked about wasn't even mentioned until the bottom of the letter! Everything before it were complaints about how Reid's campaign was using an outdated version of her site.

I'm not saying what Reid's campaign was doing was right (it's despicable, actually...par for the course for a partisan politician scared of losing his glory seat), but I am saying that the letter seemed to focus primarily on the outdated site portion, with the collection of data left to the last two paragraphs of the letter.

Because of how the letter was laid out, it implies she is more worried about people seeing her old messages which could possibly hinder her election bid, rather than her constituents giving out their info.

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (4, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | about 4 years ago | (#32810504)

Umm, you need read and understand the facts before you post. The issue is not that Senator Reid's campaign merely reposted parts of her website. Or that she was running away from positions she has taken in the past. It was that the Reid campaign created a website to look like hers and used that site to get names, emails and other information from people who believed it was her site.

They didn't create one to look like hers, they used a copy of her actual website. The letter claims they were collecting information, but I haven't seen any actual evidence that they did so. That would definitely be crossing the line. Posting the site itself seems like fair use as political commentary.

Re:Boo fuckin' hoo (1)

tverbeek (457094) | about 4 years ago | (#32810596)

You need to understand the difference between "facts" and "accusations made by the Angle campaign".

Fair Use? (1, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32809552)

Uh, one thing comes to mind for me.
LOLOLOLOLOLOLOLOL FAIR USE?

Hang on... (2, Funny)

click2005 (921437) | about 4 years ago | (#32809580)

As kfogel notes, the letter "also accuses the Reid campaign of intending to impersonate Angle's campaign, which seems doubtful, but who knows?"

Isn't parody protected?

Re:Hang on... (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32809782)

Paradoy is impersonation is not.

Don't think it will matter (3, Informative)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#32809592)

Even the Streisand Effect can't change how anti-incumbent the voters are, or make the Republican Party swing back to moderation. These days, voices of moderation get purged pretty quickly from the Republican Party. And, sadly, saying stuff like "I don't believe in abortion even in cases of incest, rape, or protecting the life of the mother" is more likely to gain you voters rather than lose them. The GOP is about 2 elections away from advocating the abolishing of public education/Social Security and declaring martial law, and the electorate is right there with them. Democrats, meanwhile, are too busy compromising, selling-out, and generally acting incompetent to offer any real resistance. Sad, sad, sad.

Re:Don't think it will matter (4, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#32809622)

So, according to you, Democrats are saying:

"They're slipping away! Grip tighter!"

While Republicans are saying"

"This country deserves a better class of crazy, and I'm gonna give it to 'em."

Re:Don't think it will matter (1)

orthancstone (665890) | about 4 years ago | (#32810122)

"This country deserves a better class of crazy, and I'm gonna give it to 'em."

Thank you for making my day a lot better with this line

Re:Don't think it will matter (1)

NNKK (218503) | about 4 years ago | (#32809716)

The GOP is about 2 elections away from advocating the abolishing of public education/Social Security and declaring martial law

Uh, they're well beyond that by now. I take it you fell asleep for a decade and haven't turned on a TV since you woke up?

Re:Don't think it will matter (2, Insightful)

couchslug (175151) | about 4 years ago | (#32809754)

"Democrats, meanwhile, are too busy compromising, selling-out, and generally acting incompetent to offer any real resistance. Sad, sad, sad."

Their principles aren't different except in degree. Note how fast gay rights went under the bus after the election. :)

Don't Ask Don't Tell? (1)

FatSean (18753) | about 4 years ago | (#32809882)

That's a form of gay rights, wouldn't you say? They haven't managed to completely level the playing field for gay people yet, as was done for women and blacks *cough* so they are just like the Republicans?

I think I've been trolled.

Re:Don't Ask Don't Tell? (3, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#32810064)

In 1948, Truman issued an order desegregating the military. By 1954 (and thanks in no small part to the help of his Republican successor, Dwight Eisenhower) the job was done, even over the objections of Congress and many soldiers/military leaders. That was leadership.

Obama's answer to that? "Well, at some point I'm going to go to Congress and ask them to repeal don't ask don't tell, even though I could just do it with an executive order as Commander-in-Chief anytime I wanted to...And maybe they'll give it to me...after they commission a study on it...maybe...but I'm not making any promises...okay?" Good thing he wasn't around during the civil rights movement. We'd still be in the midst of a 50-year study on the potential effects of desegregating lunch counters.

Re:Don't Ask Don't Tell? (4, Insightful)

dave420 (699308) | about 4 years ago | (#32810214)

And then the grass-roots loony fucknut republican hate-machine would start spewing its disgusting insanity all over the place, calling for Obama to be executed as some heathen gay-loving whore of babylon. He's got to try to fight the bullshit spewing from the rampant religious right *and* try to do the right thing. Black civil rights had nothing to do with religion, just racism. The gay issue has everything to do with religion, which is why it's a completely different kettle of fish to sort out. Pretending they're directly analogous is fucking retarded.

In this case, they are the same. (5, Insightful)

khasim (1285) | about 4 years ago | (#32810432)

Look at the average person who opposed desegregation. Now look at the average person who opposes gay rights.

See how they are almost identical?

Now look at the average person who supported desegregation. And ones who support gay rights.

See how they are almost identical?

Same background, political views, religious beliefs, even where they live.

Re:Don't Ask Don't Tell? (2, Informative)

Nadaka (224565) | about 4 years ago | (#32810486)

The KKK was founded as an organization to uphold traditional christian values as perceived by its members.

You can try to rewrite history if you want to, but minority and women's rights were and still are very much a religious issue.

Re:Don't Ask Don't Tell? (3, Interesting)

tophermeyer (1573841) | about 4 years ago | (#32810466)

In 1948, Truman issued an order desegregating the military. By 1954 (and thanks in no small part to the help of his Republican successor, Dwight Eisenhower) the job was done,

Kind of.

IMO, racial minorities still faced pretty extreme discrimination in the military for decades. Truman also had the benefit of having a huge military that needed trimming anyway, so he had some ability to shape it. By comparison, Obama is trying to effect this change during a time when the military is overextended and arguably understaffed. And the concern now is not just preserving the dignity of those currently oppressed, but assuaging the concerns of the rest of the military (bigoted and offensive as some of those concerns might be).

Plus Truman and Eisenhower both had experience in the military, so they had the benefit of some experience and held some credibility with the troops (Ike certainly). Obama probably not so much.

Re:Don't Ask Don't Tell? (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 4 years ago | (#32810558)

It would be a lot easier if the right-wing wackos weren't screaming "OMG, COMMUNISM, WE'RE ALL GONNA DIE!" everytime Obama scratches his nose.

Re:Don't think it will matter (4, Insightful)

elrous0 (869638) | about 4 years ago | (#32809952)

And closing Guantanamo, and ending the the violations of civil liberties, and ending rendition/torture, etc., etc. This is a Democrat who courted the environmental vote during the election only to turn around and advocate the expansion of off-shore drilling mere weeks before the BP spill. Another wishy-washy Democrat who accomplishes little-to-nothing and dilutes even the things he DOES accomplish (like health care) until they're basically meaningless.

There is just no party to speak for me.

Re:Don't think it will matter (4, Insightful)

canajin56 (660655) | about 4 years ago | (#32810052)

The "Voters are Rabidly Anti-Incumbent (tm)" line was trotted out in the primaries, even though only ONE incumbent out of 80 or so elections lost, and he had been arrested on charges of fraud, corruption, and I think also domestic violence. FOX hopes everybody believes them when they say voters are anti-incumbent, because then Republicans will win. The thing they know, which is 100% true by the way, is most voters will vote for whoever they think will win, that way, in a way, they win too!

Re:Don't think it will matter (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32810058)

The GOP is about 2 elections away from advocating the abolishing of public education/Social Security and declaring martial law, and the electorate is right there with them. Democrats, meanwhile, are too busy compromising, selling-out, and generally acting incompetent to offer any real resistance. Sad, sad, sad.

So what are we going to do about it?

Re:Don't think it will matter (1)

daem0n1x (748565) | about 4 years ago | (#32810526)

That's why I believe Obama won't make it to the second mandate. USA is too good to have stuff that is the standard in every developed country for decades, like socialised healthcare, public transportation, environment regulations, social assistance, etc.

Sarah Palin will win the next elections and lead your country straight back to the Middle Ages. California will declare the independence but the rest of the country won't notice. They'll be too busy burning abortionists, gays, brown people and scientists. Oh, and books. Many, many, many books.

RTF letter and link (2, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32809606)

It appears that the complaint is legitimate. Rather than clearly use the content of the prior website as part of a legitimate debate, it is being used in a way that can be seen by some people as an impersonation site, and some people could easily be led to believe it is the candidate's site, and not an opponent's site. This deception could be used to harvest e-mails and other information deceptively.

Yes a political opponent should be allowed to repost content to comment on it -- but not to repost a mirror site that can be confused as to origin of who is running it.

Re:RTF letter and link (2, Informative)

M. Baranczak (726671) | about 4 years ago | (#32809688)

Actually, the site in question is no longer up, (it redirects to another one), so we can't tell whether or not the complaint is legitimate.

Re:RTF letter and link (3, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | about 4 years ago | (#32810088)

It appears that the complaint is legitimate. Rather than clearly use the content of the prior website as part of a legitimate debate, it is being used in a way that can be seen by some people as an impersonation site, and some people could easily be led to believe it is the candidate's site, and not an opponent's site. This deception could be used to harvest e-mails and other information deceptively.

Yes a political opponent should be allowed to repost content to comment on it -- but not to repost a mirror site that can be confused as to origin of who is running it.

Umm.. it IS the candidate's site. Just a previous version of it, which happens to be the entire point. If they're using it for harvesting emails or other information, then sure, go after them for that, but just posting her site as it existed before as a means to illustrate her views seems like fair use for political purposes. Maybe they should stick a frame around it explaining what it is. I think that would remove any possibility of confusion, and any possible argument about the purpose of the site.

Nice editing (1)

Zak3056 (69287) | about 4 years ago | (#32809620)

Sharron Angle, the Republican candidate for US Senate in Arizona, is using a copyright 'cease-and-desist' letter to stop her opponent, incumbent Harry Reid...

Harry Reid is from Nevada, so could not possibly be the opponent of someone running for senate in Arizona.

Misleading summary (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32809636)

By "reposting old versions of her website," what the submitter actually means is "copying all of the code and images from Sharron Angle's old website, registering a new domain (therealsharronangle.com), and re-creating the entire (old) website." There was even an operable section to sign up as a volunteer, thus collecting the personal information of people who might accidentally come to the phishing site instead of the actual Sharron Angle site. This is known as phishing, and is indeed a violation of copyright.

Gee, Slashdot spreading a misleading story in a bid to make an unfavored politician look bad. Unfortunately, this isn't really unusual for Slashdot.

Re:Misleading summary (2, Insightful)

XxtraLarGe (551297) | about 4 years ago | (#32809694)

By "reposting old versions of her website," what the submitter actually means is "copying all of the code and images from Sharron Angle's old website, registering a new domain (therealsharronangle.com), and re-creating the entire (old) website." There was even an operable section to sign up as a volunteer, thus collecting the personal information of people who might accidentally come to the phishing site instead of the actual Sharron Angle site. This is known as phishing, and is indeed a violation of copyright.

That would have made it into the summary if it had been a Democrat this was happening to.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

SweeBeeps (1827982) | about 4 years ago | (#32810168)

People can spin anything anyway, and unfortunately the important bits generally get left out =(

Re:Misleading summary (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32810208)

By "reposting old versions of her website," what the submitter actually means is "copying all of the code and images from Sharron Angle's old website, registering a new domain (therealsharronangle.com), and re-creating the entire (old) website." There was even an operable section to sign up as a volunteer, thus collecting the personal information of people who might accidentally come to the phishing site instead of the actual Sharron Angle site. This is known as phishing, and is indeed a violation of copyright.

That would have made it into the summary if it had been a Democrat this was happening to.

Here comes the infamous ultra-conservative persecution complex. If this was happening to a democrat, Fox News would have been telling us how it's the God-given right of any candidate to do exactly what Reid is doing.

Maybe it didn't make it into the headline because there's no evidence that any data was actually captured?

Re:Misleading summary (1)

fredrated (639554) | about 4 years ago | (#32810438)

Sniff. How sad. I cry you a river. Life is just so unfair, and this is one of the true biggies.

Re:Misleading summary (4, Insightful)

hey! (33014) | about 4 years ago | (#32809988)

Well, I agree that collecting information from volunteers is inappropriate (if they are doing that), but clearly quoting the website -- even in its entirely -- serves a legitimate purpose.

Candidates always use each others words against each other, but normally they take the words out of context. What could be more fair than quoting the entire context? Arguably this is the most fair way of doing it. It seems unlikely that anyone would mistake this domain name for one that Angle would choose for herself, but that is easily enough handled.

Re:Misleading summary (1)

rtb61 (674572) | about 4 years ago | (#32810034)

The catch with any change, it the lying politician would lie and say, that the site being shown as their original site is inaccurate and has been changed. They would claim everything was false, it was all a smear campaign etc etc. Basically forcing you to keep the original site intact and make direct references to it from you lead in site, all of course as a only a semi accessible pages.

Data collection points should of course be changed and point to notification that it is a reference site.

To be fair, this is less political than it is policy based. Any idiot that wants to abolish the department of education and ensure a centralised means of standardisation of education and qualifications across a whole country is a fool. Nearly every country in the world strived to achieve standards across their country, so not matter which primary school you attended, when you finished and qualified you were ready to attend any high school. Next up no matter which high school you attended we you finished and qualified you could attend any university. That of course leads to companies being able to rely upon the validity of all universities to provide qualified graduates. Anything else would be chaos, with students across the country having to do make up classes, with high school diplomas granted in one state being rejected in another and completely and utterly pointless universities qualification that would not be recognised by anyone (that seems to be happening already).

Re:Misleading summary (3, Insightful)

Danse (1026) | about 4 years ago | (#32810134)

By "reposting old versions of her website," what the submitter actually means is "copying all of the code and images from Sharron Angle's old website, registering a new domain (therealsharronangle.com), and re-creating the entire (old) website." There was even an operable section to sign up as a volunteer, thus collecting the personal information of people who might accidentally come to the phishing site instead of the actual Sharron Angle site. This is known as phishing, and is indeed a violation of copyright.

Gee, Slashdot spreading a misleading story in a bid to make an unfavored politician look bad. Unfortunately, this isn't really unusual for Slashdot.

Do we know that they were actually collecting the submitted data, or was it just possible to submit the data, but the site didn't save it anywhere? I'd say that that would be a legitimate complaint. I just haven't seen anything that confirms it.

Nevada, not Arizona (1)

paiute (550198) | about 4 years ago | (#32809644)

And the first a is pronounced as the first a in "atta boy", not as the o in "odd".

finally! (0, Troll)

xmorg (718633) | about 4 years ago | (#32809704)

finally copyright laws are used for something useful instead of deleting good AMV's from youtube.

Re:finally! (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | about 4 years ago | (#32809858)

finally copyright laws are used for something useful instead of deleting good AMV's from youtube.

"good... AMV"? I don't know what those two terms are supposed to mean placed next to each other like that.

Section 107, bitches. (5, Insightful)

fuzzyfuzzyfungus (1223518) | about 4 years ago | (#32809714)

"Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the 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."

Let's see, here. I feel a little queasy describing anything related to political campaigning as "educational"; but it could definitely fall under "criticism, comment, news reporting".

The "copyrighted work" in question was a candidate's platform website, intended for broad public distribution in order to promote that candidate. Not something whose value would be decreased by broader distribution, unlike a commercial book, film, or CD. The fact that it is now embarrassing is too fucking bad and(if anything) increases the strength of the fair use "criticism, comment, news reporting" angle.

Amount and substantiality: Ok, I can see a case here. Things like the stock patriotic clip-art and site design elements(unless specifically part of the overall criticism or commentary) might well not be fair use.

Effect upon the market for or value of: This is a funny one: being a noncommercial advertisement, spread as widely as possible by its creator at no cost, there is obviously no loss of "market or value" in the sense that a book, movie, or CD would suffer such a loss; but, if the "criticism, comment, and news reporting" makes the candidate look like a fucking nutjob, it arguably reduces the value of their advertising. One hopes, though, for the sake of free speech and press, that the court would spit on such an argument.

Fair use? (1)

king neckbeard (1801738) | about 4 years ago | (#32809728)

I haven't had time to look at this in detail, but this kind of thing seems to pretty clearly fall under fair use. It's criticism of the work itself in a political commentary, so it should be well within the limits.

Re:Fair use? (2, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32809780)

"I haven't had time to look at this in detail" - the key part of your comment is this.

The summary makes it sound like they took screenshots and posted them on harry reid's website. What actually happened is that they copied Sharron Angle's old website in its entirety, created a new domain with her name in it (therealsharronangle.com), and hosted a copied version of the website themselves, without indicating on the website that is was a parody. This is known as a copyright violation, and could even be seen as a phishing attempt.

Re:Fair use? (0)

Danse (1026) | about 4 years ago | (#32810272)

"I haven't had time to look at this in detail" - the key part of your comment is this.

The summary makes it sound like they took screenshots and posted them on harry reid's website. What actually happened is that they copied Sharron Angle's old website in its entirety, created a new domain with her name in it (therealsharronangle.com), and hosted a copied version of the website themselves, without indicating on the website that is was a parody. This is known as a copyright violation, and could even be seen as a phishing attempt.

It's not a parody though. It's her actual website, as she was displaying it during the primary. It's intended to inform people about her beliefs as she presented them to her base, and which she is trying to hide now that she is in the Senate race and wants a wider appeal. I think that, at most, they may need to put a notice stating that at the top. This does seem like a pretty clear case of fair use for political commentary.

I love copyright law. (4, Interesting)

WiglyWorm (1139035) | about 4 years ago | (#32809806)

Maybe he SHOULD stop hosting old versions of the site, and just link to them in google cache instead. Let her fight google. Should be good for headlines, and maybe raise some awareness about the idiocy present in copyright law.

Re:I love copyright law. (1)

sqlrob (173498) | about 4 years ago | (#32809890)

Doesn't Google purge if you ask?

Re:I love copyright law. (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32809986)

If not google cache, archive.org. It will be available forever.

It's about time this DMCA carp hits politically se (2, Insightful)

Joe The Dragon (967727) | about 4 years ago | (#32809808)

It's about time this DMCA carp hits politically sensitive people may this will drive them to rewrite the DMCA laws.

Re:It's about time this DMCA carp hits politically (3, Funny)

salesgeek (263995) | about 4 years ago | (#32810138)

It's about time this DMCA carp hits politically sensitive people

I suspect hitting politically sensitive people with a carp may get you arrested, and possibly motivate a rewrite of the laws pertaining to assault with a large freshwater fish.

Did anyone else misread this the 1st time around? (1)

Tetsujin (103070) | about 4 years ago | (#32809884)

Like I could have sworn for a second that this candidate's name was "Sharron Apple"... Holy crap! A computer running for a senate seat...

Re:Did anyone else misread this the 1st time aroun (2, Funny)

Pojut (1027544) | about 4 years ago | (#32810160)

Here's to hoping they don't implant an illegal chip into her that provides her with sentience! Politician + sentience + galaxy diva complex = fucked

Re:Did anyone else misread this the 1st time aroun (1)

VGPowerlord (621254) | about 4 years ago | (#32810392)

...now I wonder how you'd react to a woman named Lisa Apple.

How pathetic can Democrats get? (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32809918)

When they attack what is essentially an attempt to close a phishing site just because it's done by a conservative.

You would think that they at least had the common sense to check out the story.

Re:How pathetic can Democrats get? (1)

Danse (1026) | about 4 years ago | (#32810304)

When they attack what is essentially an attempt to close a phishing site just because it's done by a conservative.

You would think that they at least had the common sense to check out the story.

Haven't seen any evidence of phishing. You have, I assume? Care to share?

I hope she nukes him out of the water with fines.. (2, Interesting)

MikeRT (947531) | about 4 years ago | (#32809942)

because THAT would be a "come to Jesus moment" for Congress about how FUBAR our copyright laws are.

May the federal judge rip Reid a new one so big she can hold a Tea Party rally inside him...

memory hole (5, Insightful)

Ephemeriis (315124) | about 4 years ago | (#32809968)

This is the one thing that drives me absolutely crazy about politics in America these days.

Politicians will say any old crazy thing, and then flat-out deny that it was ever said. Even if you quote their words back to them line by line. Even if you have a recording of the statement. Even if you have a copy of their own website or press release.

And nobody seems to care.

Sure, some reporters will try to call them out on it... But that doesn't matter. The politicians don't even blink. They just go right on denying that they ever said anything. And the voters are entirely too willing to just go along with the spin.

What? No, of course he never said that! That video of him saying those things must be a fabrication. As well as the audio recording of him making a similar statement on the radio. And the flyer you have from a mass-mailing he did last year must be a forgery. And the archive you have of his website must surely have been tampered with. There's absolutely no possible way he could have said that - we've always been at war with Eurasia!

Re:memory hole (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32810224)

That's far too true. It makes me think of a clip they showed on the Daily Show where some reporter was interviewing Dick Cheney and brought up something he said previously (quoting him) and he denied it, so forcefully it seemed like he either was threatening her or was perhaps like a child that refuses some fundamental aspect of reality (as if that ever works) and she backed down. So the Daily Show then showed the clip (previous interview) where he said exactly what she was saying he said. Of course it got him out of actually commenting upon his previous statement, so his denial worked, I guess.

Re:memory hole (3, Insightful)

Chowderbags (847952) | about 4 years ago | (#32810436)

It comes down to two things:

1)The media doesn't bother to do any research or any real criticism of politicians anymore. They'll whine and scream and jump up and down at all the usual talking points. They'll call every politician from the other side a liberal hippie communist or a right wing jingoist fascist, and even cover a sex scandal or two, but they don't actually criticize the real stupidity involved in the process. I'm pretty sure The Daily Show and The Colbert Report are the only shows that actually call politicians out on their bullshit (yes, they've got a liberal bent, but they take plenty of shots at democrats too, so unbunch your panties), and that frightens me. We've devolved as a country to the point where the only regular source that calls politicians on their bullshit are comedy shows. I'm grateful for their work, don't get me wrong, but I wish it didn't take a jester to say the truth.

2)In this country, it's political suicide to admit that you've ever been wrong about anything ever. It's seen as a weakness to admit that you're a fallible human being. If you are wrong and you know it, lying apparently makes people think that you've got a set of huge brass balls, and that it's totally awesome! [/sarcasm] It may be related to this whole idea in this country that unabashed faith in an unchanging (well, except for every translation and reworking ever made to it) Bible is somehow the best thing ever. Never mind that the best thing to happen to us as a species is a framework based entirely around the idea that we might be wrong about what we think, so we should be willing to change it when new evidence comes along (science).

No problem (1)

L4t3r4lu5 (1216702) | about 4 years ago | (#32809976)

Post links to the Wayback Machine [archive.org] instead.

Go on. C&D a non-profit org. The internet won't thank you for that one, and there's quite a lot of voters connected to it.

Re:No problem (1)

KiloByte (825081) | about 4 years ago | (#32810130)

The Wayback Machine will purge the record the very moment you slap a robots.txt. Yes, even retroactively. Yes, even if some squatter took your domain.

This policy makes them worthless for recovering old versions the web page author's actively wants to hide.

Citation needed. (2, Insightful)

bbqsrc (1441981) | about 4 years ago | (#32809978)

Why not just copy and paste selective remarks from the page in question, cite them correctly and be done with it, as I'm sure that would get across the whole point in the first place.

Yes, copyright is fucked, but I think it would be more fun to do both things at the same time. The thing they can't stop and the thing they can, so even if they win, all that happens is the Streisand Effect.

It's not like the Dems wouldn't do the same (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32810008)

Try to repost campaign material, posters, flyers and entire websites from years back to make fun of them and score political points, and see how fast the Dems send a similar letter.

Re:It's not like the Dems wouldn't do the same (1)

night_flyer (453866) | about 4 years ago | (#32810578)

Or get their allies to help them scour it... Remember the General Betrayus ad from moveon.org? once Obama appointed him when he canned the previous general in Afghanistan moveon.org removed the ad from their site and Google cleared it from their cache...

Don't tell me ... (1)

Rambo Tribble (1273454) | about 4 years ago | (#32810014)

... she probably bills herself as "the free speech candidate", right?

Laissez-Faire? Small government? Tea Party? (5, Insightful)

Primitive Pete (1703346) | about 4 years ago | (#32810040)

Does anyone find it odd that the libertarian Tea Party candidate goes running for governement/federal/legal support when she runs into difficulty campaigning?

Re:Laissez-Faire? Small government? Tea Party? (1)

medcalf (68293) | about 4 years ago | (#32810464)

No, because there is a difference between minarchy and anarchy.

Require cryptographic signatures for politicos (1)

Dr_Barnowl (709838) | about 4 years ago | (#32810042)

The neglected part of this is the potential accusation that the pages being published don't actually represent her opinions.

If campaign promised published digitally were required to come with cryptographic signatures from that candidate, the easy refutation would be to say "if I published that, where's my signature?". Of course, politicians would also fear the possibility that someone could prove with some certainty that they said a particular thing in the past.....

Re:Require cryptographic signatures for politicos (0)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32810470)

They were her campaign media. Are you saying that she made ads representing opinions that weren't her own? Isn't that fact, if true, just as important as what she really believes? If Ms. Angle is willing to say anything to get elected I think Reid's got every right to bring up that fact to the voters.

Business as usual... (1)

Eggplant62 (120514) | about 4 years ago | (#32810048)

Apparently none of them recognize what right to fair use is, eh? How typical.

Politicians have exceptions for everything (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | about 4 years ago | (#32810076)

Politicians have excepted themselves from many different laws that the rest of us must follow, I say the opponent is exempt from honoring copyrights. If you are embarrassed by what you've said **in writing** as a politician, you deserve whatever you get.

Just proves that politicians are slimy and should never be allowed into office. We need engineers in office and more atheists who know that God doesn't exist and will actually do something instead of praying.

Reid v. Angle (-1, Offtopic)

Apple Acolyte (517892) | about 4 years ago | (#32810082)

If you approve of the current course of the Congress, reelect Harry Reid. If you don't, vote for Sharron Angle.

If you approve of a 2000+ health care takeover bill that Democrats couldn't even be bothered to read before signing it into law, reelect Harry Reid. If you don't, vote for Sharron Angle.

If you approve of the record national deficits and massive increases in discretionary spending by President Obama and the Democratic Congress, reelect Harry Reid. If you don't, vote for Sharron Angle.

If you want to ensure that this country has no hope of ever tackling the enormous structural deficits imposed by the public Socialist Entitlements (Social Security, Medicare and Medicaid) and government employee Entitlements (ample federal employee salaries, benefits and pensions), reelect Harry Reid who has pledged to maintain the status quo. If you don't, vote for Sharron Angle.

If you want to show favor toward a politician who helped engineer the sub-prime mortgage crisis, reelect Harry Reid. If you don't, vote for Sharron Angle.

If you like the performance of Congressional incumbents and want to protect them, reelect Harry Reid. If you don't, vote, vote for Sharron Angle.

If you favor single party rule and all the implications that go with it, reelect Harry Reid. If you don't, vote of Sharron Angle.

The choice is clear in Reid v. Angle and in most other Congressional races this year. Choose wisely - the future of this country is most certainly at stake.

disgusting on both sides (3, Informative)

yyxx (1812612) | about 4 years ago | (#32810102)

Sharron Angle's attempts to keep her old campaign pages out of the public record are reprehensible. However, Harry Reid's portrayal of her positions is also reprehensible, misrepresenting the reasons behind her votes (e.g., claiming that she is in effect supporting child molesters).

Re:disgusting on both sides (1)

Red_Chaos1 (95148) | about 4 years ago | (#32810352)

Welcome to modern politics.

Copyright is a weapon of Mass Destruction... (0, Offtopic)

Phizzle (1109923) | about 4 years ago | (#32810312)

Inaction is a weapon of Mass Destruction...

tea party borrowing from the scientology playbook? (1)

circletimessquare (444983) | about 4 years ago | (#32810420)

we're doomed

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