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Discovery Threatens Fan Site It Also Promotes

Soulskill posted more than 4 years ago | from the in-the-case-of-right-hand-v.-left-hand dept.

Television 287

An anonymous reader writes "It seems the lawyers and the marketing people at The Discovery Channel don't talk to each other much. The marketing people behind the show 'The Deadliest Catch' have been supporting a fan community called DeadliestCatchTV.com for a while now. They've regularly sent the site info, free clips, previews and information about the show. On top of that, they link to it from the official site, including it in a list of 'fan sites' as a part of the 'Discovery Network,' and even will frame the site with the show's own dashboard for those who click through. Discovery's lawyers, on the other hand, have threatened to sue the site out of existence and have demanded that the owner hand over the domain name — which he is going to do, because he doesn't have the money to fight this. While there may be a trademark issue (which could be easily resolved with a free license), the lawyers are also making the ridiculous argument that posting the videos Discovery sent him to post are copyright infringement. They're also claiming that embedding the official Discovery Channel YouTube videos (which have embedding turned on) is copyright infringement. This is exactly how you turn lots of fans into people who hate your entire channel."

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That show has went downhill anyway (5, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193754)

The whole last season was a tour de force of human tragedy, which Discovery happily played to/exploited (even adding in a melodramatic classical score this time around). Aside from the hundred or so tribute episodes to Phil Harris [wikipedia.org] , it seemed like everyone in the fleet was intentionally playing to the cameras this time out even more than usual (with Edgar threatening to leave and fighting with Sig, Jake Harris's sudden "addiction" problems, etc.). Granted, the show will never be as good as the first season (before Alaska changed the rules and made the crab fishing a lot less exciting/dangerous), but this one seemed like a swan song more than any other season in the past.

Everyone involved in the show has always been about the money. The Hanson brothers [wikipedia.org] in particular will do about anything for a buck, and have been known for trading on their fame by lending their names to some pretty sleazy ventures [variocreative.com] . But this season the cynicism (in particular the playing to the cameras) really showed in some nasty ways. This time the captains even whored themselves for Geico commercials [youtube.com] that ran during the show. And the producers' constant cutaways to a tired-looking Phil Harris was particularly shameless (they all but put up "He's about to die" subtitles).

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33193874)

You're a faggot. Go burm in hell

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (4, Insightful)

ISoldat53 (977164) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193918)

I think the whole channel has jumped the shark. I'd rather read a book.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (1)

glavenoid (636808) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194058)

To be clear, some other book. Or at least not a "Discovery Productions" book.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194102)

The novelization of The Deadliest Catch?

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (5, Funny)

dkh2 (29130) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194622)

ROFL. The dyslexic part of my brain took over for a second there and I read that as

The novelization of the Deadliest Crotch?

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (1)

HirohitoKami (1096551) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194698)

Call me Ishmael.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (1)

umghhh (965931) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194128)

I think you are exaggerating a bit - I mean o terror - book reading, there is nothing worse than this. Especially the younger generation could simply charge you with unusual and cruel punishment thing....

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (3)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194194)

I've seen some of the episodes on Free TV (antenna), and I've never seen the appeal of the show. Every episode seems to be the same - men catching lobsters. If you've seen one, you've seen them all. I too would rather read a book.
.

>>>I think the whole channel has jumped the shark.

What cable channels haven't jumped the shark? The Learning Channel is now Tender Loving Care (babies, brides, and bullshit). History should be renamed Present. Sci-Fi Channel is now some kind of cross between reality and new age. The Guide Channel often shows TV shows/specials instead of guides, and Weather Channel shows movies instead of weather.

Back in the 90s I used to say, "I wish I had cable so I could see all this great entertainment, especially Sci-Fi and History." Now I have zero desire for cable.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (2, Insightful)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194520)

Every episode seems to be the same - men catching lobsters.

Crabs, not lobsters. Crabs.

And yeah, I live in Alaska and never liked Deadliest Catch. It's like any other reality show, just on a boat. Same with Ice Road Truckers - it's just another reality show, in trucks.

I'd much rather watch an actual documentary on crab fishing, or on ice road truckers, than these stupid reality shows. They are all so trumped up it's ridiculous.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (5, Funny)

RyuuzakiTetsuya (195424) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194262)

Duh.

What else do you do during Shark Week.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (2, Interesting)

elrous0 (869638) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194294)

Well, at least it's not TLC. Between the "Jon and Kate" mess and their recent announcement of "Sarah Palin's Alaska [discovery.com] ", TLC makes Discovery look like PBS.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (3, Informative)

Sponge Bath (413667) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194400)

TLC makes Discovery look like PBS.

I agree TLC has become a total crap wasteland, but TLC is a Discovery company just like Discovery Channel, Animal Planet and Science Channel. It's just a different orifice of the same company.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (2, Informative)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194418)

Protip: TLC and Discovery are owned by the same people and sister stations. This is why you see shows swap between showing on one and then the other (such as the American Chopper/Hot Rod shows).

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (4, Interesting)

barzok (26681) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193922)

This time the captains even whored themselves for Geico commercials [youtube.com] that ran during the show.

You forgot to mention the very obvious placement of the Geico coffee mugs in the wheelhouse of the Time Bandit.

Sig Hansen has been listed as a producer and/or consultant on the show for several years - no real surprise there.

I think Discovery overplayed the drama, but I don't think it was as bad as you make it out to be. Edgar Hansen has apparently been threatening to leave the boat for a few years now. Addiction to various substances seems to be fairly common across the fleet (a reference was made somewhere to "the other Jake" being 6 months sober late in the season, and other guys have talked about getting sober as well).

There's only so many ways you can film & edit the crabbing grind & keep the viewership year over year. They had to pull in more of the human drama, and what happened w/ Phil Harris was perfect for the producers to latch onto. Otherwise, what's to talk about - the weather? The Bering Sea gets nasty weather - but you can't produce a full season of TV off that.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (1, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33194536)

Addiction problems are quite common in many similar 'blue collar' jobs. When I worked on a farm we had a labourer who would always work the milking shed for the morning milking, and then spend the rest of the day getting blind drunk, before sleeping through the night in the attic of a disused barn. As long as he could work as much as he could to feed his addiction, and as long as he didn't cause any problems, both he & the farmer were happy with the situation. However it was obviously an unstable situation and any changes could have caused him personal catastrophe.

So whats wrong with that? (3, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33194062)

Everyone involved in the show has always been about the money.

Our entire economy is built around earning what you want by pleasing your fellow man. That is what keeps us all productive.

What the hell is wrong with wanting money? You need it to buy food and medicine for your kids, to put a roof over your head, and to do just about anything interesting. What's so damn bad about artists etc. working because they are paid?

And what is bad about trying to maximize the amount of money you can get in return for what you provide? Haven't you ever asked your boss for a raise? You think people have to work for free and live in poverty in order to be good people?

You are nuts.

Re:So whats wrong with that? (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194264)

So (honest question): What's the diff between actual average joes working a living (As portrayed by the adverts, the show, etc), and actors only pretending to be average joes? One of the two more likely belongs on TruTV than a channel that bills itself as an actual documentary channel.

I understand that these guys are still crabbing for a living, but at some point, it seems that their primary job stopped involving the crabs, and began involving the cameras. Once you play up to the camera, it stops being a documentary and becomes a drama.

Re:So whats wrong with that? (3, Interesting)

Monchanger (637670) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194666)

The difference is they seem to still risk their lives on the Bering, where actual soap opera stars don't actually die when their character is killed. Mike Rowe plays to the camera, but he still gets dirty and gets the job done- those can still be two different things and discovery doesn't have to be documentary the way History should (but sadly no longer is).

Degree is everything, and I don't know that they've crossed the line. How much they make from Discovery is part of this- if they don't need to crab, they've certainly crossed it. If they are, as you suggest, crabbing for a living, they're still badass, hardworking dudes. If instead they're simply acting to a written script and don't care about full pots, then that would certainly be more drama than reality.

Re:So whats wrong with that? (0, Offtopic)

nelsonal (549144) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194744)

One of the key paradoxes of protestant culture (The US is still a very protestant culture) is earning money vs your attitude toward money. Almost all Protestant's believe it's important to work hard and live unextravagently. A part of living unextravgently is not admitting that you want or need more money. It's perfectly fine to go earn more money (that's hard work which builds character and discipline), but if one goes about earning it with lots of passion (for the money rather than the work), they're doing it for the wrong reasons.

It will take quite a while before Protestant attitudes cease to be the dominant factor in US culture.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (1)

Penguinisto (415985) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194088)

True - I usually avoid the main Discovery Channel, and hang around in the smaller ones - Science, History International, etc. So far, these channels are a hell of a lot more interested in things like science, history, and etc. Discovery itself is only interested in, well, eyeballs.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (1)

kidgenius (704962) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194182)

History Channel:History as TLC:Learning

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194300)

Yeah but TLC lets you learn about a dysfunctional white trash family building shitty, overpriced motorcycles!! zOMG!!! Oh and you can watch American Hot Rod to see a bunch of reject mechanics build cars that are 75% bondo.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (1)

shemp42 (1406965) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194458)

As opposed to every other channel. News flash! All TV channels want ratings. Its like saying that a restaurant doesn't want customers. I only go to those restaurants that make food no one else wants. Those are the best.

Re:That show has went downhill anyway (1)

Lunix Nutcase (1092239) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194496)

Discovery itself is only interested in, well, eyeballs.

What TV channel isn't? Can you name a single TV channel that exists in absence of viewers?

Lawyers... (0, Interesting)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33193756)

A famous writer once wrote: "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"...

Re:Lawyers... (2, Insightful)

multisync (218450) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194762)

A famous writer once wrote: "The first thing we do, let's kill all the lawyers"...

He got it wrong. I guarantee that every C&D written by a lawyer was demanded by an MBA.

Greed (2, Insightful)

MongooseKY (760783) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193772)

Ain't it fun? You can ruin almost anything with it.

Greed, for lack of a better word, is good (2, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193894)

Greed is right, greed works. Greed clarifies, cuts through, and captures the essence of the evolutionary spirit. Greed, in all of its forms; greed for life, for money, for love, knowledge has marked the upward surge of mankind.

--Gordon Gekko, speaking the Mantra of unbridled capitalism. Greed may not get the outright worship it got when Wall Street came out, but many still consider greed to be a positive thing.

Re:Greed, for lack of a better word, is good (2, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194038)

but many still consider greed to be a positive thing.

Primarily the greedy and short sighted.

Young children consider Hershey bars for breakfast, lunch and dinner (washed down with soda) to be a good thing too.

Re:Greed, for lack of a better word, is good (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194124)

"Greed" is orthagonal to "short sighted". Short-sighted greed is usually a bad thing, but the desire to get more out of a process is at the very heart of engineering. Rational greed may not be the optimal behavior in humans, but it's a Hell of a lot closer to optimal than just being randomly destructive, or, worse, being focused on telling your neighbor how he can live his life better!

Re:Greed, for lack of a better word, is good (1)

TooMuchToDo (882796) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194368)

Greed is a dirty word for efficiency

Re:Greed, for lack of a better word, is good (2, Insightful)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194422)

Greed IS orthogonal to short sighted, that's why I specified both. Otherwise I would have just skipped the "and short sighted" part.

Greed is not the same as simple want or preference, it is desire for the material elevated above all else.

Three kids, 3 pieces of candy. All 3 want the candy all would be even happier if there were 6 pieces, but the one who tries to grab all 3 and run off with it is greedy.

The engineer who avoids waste is employing frugality, not greed.

As for my neighbor, he is free to roll around in a pool of his own filth if he likes, but I will strenuously object when he tries to turn the world I live in into a pool of filth, thank you very much.

Re:Greed, for lack of a better word, is good (3, Insightful)

spun (1352) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194508)

I don't think greed is anything like "The desire to get more out of a process." That's just a desire for efficiency. I thought greed was specifically "A selfish or excessive desire for more than is needed or deserved, especially of money, wealth, food, or other possessions."

You see, you left out two important components of the definition of greed, one, the desire itself is selfish and/or excessive; and the desire is for more than is needed or deserved. But this definition likely angers certain people, who will say things like ,"Excessive by whose standards?" or "Why should anyone be allowed to say what someone else needs or deserves?" and to them I say, we do. Society. Other people you happen to be sharing the planet with, we have the right and the power to say, "That's too much, buddy, didn't your momma teach you to share?"

And that is perhaps the best thing that can be said about greed, like it or not, the rest of us humans have the power to stop greed from paying off, if we want to. And most of us do, despite what the greedy would have you believe most people are not greedy and in fact despise greedy people.

Re:Greed, for lack of a better word, is good (2, Insightful)

lgw (121541) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194734)

I don't think greed is anything like "The desire to get more out of a process." That's just a desire for efficiency. I thought greed was specifically "A selfish or excessive desire for more than is needed or deserved, especially of money, wealth, food, or other possessions."

Yes, but there is a healthy overlap. If I want more out of a process I may be motivated by simple greed. Additional greed might motivate me to bring this new efficiency to everyone (for a price). But once you start talking about "more than is deserved" you're firmly into "telling your neighbor how to live" territory, which is surely worse than mere greed.

Other people you happen to be sharing the planet with, we have the right and the power to say, "That's too much, buddy, didn't your momma teach you to share?"

Yes, "you have too much, so I'm justified in taking yours" is the worst sort of greed: it's greed wrapped up in rationalizations that remove the guilt we should feel for taking from another.

Re:Greed, for lack of a better word, is good (0, Flamebait)

danbert8 (1024253) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194134)

No, may smart people think greed is a good thing, but it's short term thinkers that screw up the system. Bernie Madoff was greedy, but it didn't work out in the long term now did it?

Re:Greed, for lack of a better word, is good (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194510)

If you're going to use the appeal to authority fallacy, you should at least name the authority!

No, it didn't work out so well for Bernie. That doesn't mean that longer term greed would have been any better, it just means the inevitable negative consequences are postponed.

Re:Greed (1)

ArsonSmith (13997) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193992)

"Greed: Ain't it fun? You can ruin almost anything with it."

For everything else there's Government.

Bureaucracy at its finest (5, Insightful)

Local ID10T (790134) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193788)

Each department is doing it's job well. Upper management is responsible for overseeing and coordinating departments into a cohesive whole.

Guess who failed?

Re:Bureaucracy at its finest (0, Offtopic)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193888)

Guess who failed?

SCO? Oh wait, wrong thread ...

Re:Bureaucracy at its finest (1)

HolyCrapSCOsux (700114) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194248)

Wait, What?

Re:Bureaucracy at its finest (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193934)

Well the lawyers seemed to have jumped the gun a little bit too though.

Don't you think lawyers should... I don't know... ASK where they got the copyrighted material from, before threatening to sue?

Maybe copyright Lawyers might be able to find the big distributors and shut THEM down if they simply traced it all the way back. I'm going to guess theres more money in having more infringements though.

Re:Bureaucracy at its finest (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194070)

I wonder if the site got WRITTEN permission before posting the content. If so, then this will get interesting quick, if not then they're screwed, regardless of what people may have said at Discovery.

Re:Bureaucracy at its finest (1)

Monkeedude1212 (1560403) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194228)

They might still have a case without previously written consent if in fact the Marketting department steps up and explains that they did in fact distribute the content. Then it'll be up to Discovery on whether they continue to lash out at their fans.

Re:Bureaucracy at its finest (1)

Volante3192 (953645) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194280)

You didn't read the article, did you?

Re:Bureaucracy at its finest (1)

jgagnon (1663075) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194558)

All it says is that some of it was posted on YouTube, not all of it. What exactly is your point?

Re:Bureaucracy at its finest (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194092)

Don't you think lawyers should... I don't know... ASK where they got the copyrighted material from, before threatening to sue?

But that would require actually working for a living. They consider using the world as a point and click cash machine to be their God given right.

Re:Bureaucracy at its finest (1)

commodore64_love (1445365) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194304)

I think the owner should defend himself.

I recall a case from this last decade where a Mall sued a private person for using the website name of the mall. The private individual decided to fight, got the backing of the ACLU, and it eventually rose to the level of the Supreme Court of the United States who declared since the individual owned the site first, he has prior claim.

They also ruled that free speech protects derivative sites like paypalsucks.com from claims of ownership by Paypal. I suspect this fan site is similarly protected. He may not have the right to post copyrighted material, but it certanly has a right to link to youtube and keep his web address.

Re:Bureaucracy at its finest (2, Insightful)

kenh (9056) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194468)

I have to wonder, did the Marketing Department have the right to "give away" copyrighted material for use on a non-Discovery Channel site? I bet they didn't. Did the lawyers talk to the Marketing Department before sending the notices to the fan site? I bet they didn't. Did the fansite give credit to the Marketing Department for providing the "exclusive" clips for use on the fansite? Probably not.

So where does that leave us? Lawyers who trolled google looking for sites violating Discover Channel properties came across a treasure trove of videos without any convienient way to determine their source on the website. Barring such attribution, the low-level lawyer assigned to the task simply documented everything they saw on the fan website and the senior lawyers approved it without any real investigation.

I suspect the lawyers involved never imagined the Marketing Department would "feed" this site material, and I'm doubly-sure Marketing never approached the Legal Department to properly record the rights they were trying to give the fan site to play the videos.

I think the Marketing group is the one that "went rogue" and went against Discover Channel policy, the lawyers only did what they are supposed to do, and the poor chap with the fan site is really at the mercy of the Discovery Channel Legal Department, since the Marketing Group involved him in their extra-legal adventure in gurellia marketing.

In a perfect world the Marketing Group would own-up to the problem and protect the fan site, but I expect full CYA-mode from them and the poor folks running the fan site will suddenly find themselves without a fan site anymore.

In hindsight, the fan site owner should have verified the legality of the clips/info he was sent - it sounds dumb, but ultimately he is responsible for the information on his site.

2 jokes come to mind... (4, Insightful)

Tumbleweed (3706) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193812)

1) Looks like they're "discovering" how to piss of their fans

2) This is what you get by obsessing over a show as pointless as "Deadliest Catch". Oh wait, this one is not a joke. This is karma.

Re:2 jokes come to mind... (3, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33194718)

IMHO, they are all just acting crabby.

Contact the EFF (5, Interesting)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193822)

Isn't this the type of thing that the EFF is for?

Seems like setting a precedent for "if you send somebody your copyrighted material, you can't be sued" would be useful, especially with respect to RIAA honeypots.

Re:Contact the EFF (1)

DarkKnightRadick (268025) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193862)

Agreed, this stinks and is just one more reason to not watch Discovery Networks.

Re:Contact the EFF (3, Insightful)

The_mad_linguist (1019680) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193864)

Err, *they* can't be sued

Re:Contact the EFF (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33194394)

They really should contact the EFF, they would totally take this up in a heart beat.
This is exactly the kind of shit they are trying to stop from happening, double standards in copyright is the worst thing ever.
"Oh hey, you want this for free? Here you go, but please note i can sue you at any time afterwards since you took it for free."
That would be like saying Steve killed himself when Bob stabbed him as Steve was saying "i'm killing myself", complete nonsense.

If only the RIAA were that sensible though. They just sue dead people and people without computers... and printers.
Imagine if the copyright owners did do this and agreed to only sue at random to the maximum of, say, something sensible, $1000? P2PRoulette it would be called.
That would almost be acceptable compared to the current system of suing random --people--printers for INFINITY DOLLARS. (or, more seriously, more wealth than the most countries have)

Re:Contact the EFF (0)

kaoshin (110328) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194484)

Not to take away from what you said because I agree, but I'm pretty sure that in America, anyone can be sued at any time for any thing, regardless of precedent. A court may be bound to a precedent for cases it hears, but I don't think that makes anyone immune to being sued or legal threats.

Before handing over the domain (5, Funny)

gilesjuk (604902) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193826)

Can't he just fill the site with porn and get the site blocked by most internet nanny software?

Re:Before handing over the domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33193896)

Pleasuriest Catch won't be the same... except for the splashing, the screaming and moaning, and the crabs catching part

You're right.

Re:Before handing over the domain (4, Funny)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194142)

Why not, catching crabs is catching crabs...

Re:Before handing over the domain (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33194168)

Who would want to see porn stars get crabs? Pervert!

Re:Before handing over the domain (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194522)

There is a disturbing amount of specialty fetish porn out there. While I'm not going to search for examples myself, I am quite certain rule 34 still applies in this instance.

Look, ma! No legs! (5, Informative)

Renraku (518261) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193838)

A judge with a brain won't let it fly that one side of the company supports the site and the other side of the company wants to sue it out of existence. They SHOULD find that once Discovery started 'supporting' the website, they gave it 'permission' for it to exist and didn't have a problem with it until they decided to sue. A company, in the eyes of the law, is one entity.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (5, Insightful)

hibiki_r (649814) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193930)

For that to matter you'd need a court system in which facing a copyright infringement suit without spending tens of thousands in legal representation is doable.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (1)

DrgnDancer (137700) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194328)

It does seem to me that before going the "Fold like a Newspaper" route the guy might at least like, try to talk to management at the Discovery Channel. According to the article, he's had some correspondence with the lawyer, but that's like trying to talk sense to hammer. The lawyer's job is to act tough and push the line he's been given. It may very well be that he'll get a unified gray wall all the way up the chain of command, but often if you annoy someone important enough (especially someone with some sense, which believe or not often manages to happen) you can get stuff like this fixed. Or at least compromised on. Start with the producers of the show (who have a vested interest in not pissing off a large fan community) and work from there.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (2, Insightful)

TheSpoom (715771) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194486)

Have you ever read a cease and desist notice?

They all but say that if you don't do exactly what the lawyer wants in X amount of time (usually 48 hours to a week), they will initiate legal action.

Having a copyright suit even initiated against you will likely cost several thousand dollars before you're out.

You get a cease and desist and you aren't rich, you do what they say. Welcome to the real world.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (1)

Abstrackt (609015) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194562)

For that to matter you'd need a court system in which facing a copyright infringement suit without spending tens of thousands in legal representation is doable.

Your comment makes the conspiracy theorist in me wonder if this was some elaborately staged plan to get the domain name (and near-free advertising for it) as cheaply as possible.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (2, Insightful)

geminidomino (614729) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193932)

Unfortunately, to even get it that far, you've got to get a lawyer to say basically what you just said.

Welcome to justice-by-checkbook.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (3, Insightful)

dmgxmichael (1219692) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194030)

You're right. Now do you have $100,000 to get it in front of a judge?

Increasingly in this country justice is the exclusive possession of the rich.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (5, Insightful)

DutchSter (150891) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194052)

Too bad it will never see a judge because the owner of the site in question decided to acquiesce Discovery's C&D rather than go to court. I'm sure there will be posters who will bemoan the fact that he's "taking it in the ass" or "abandoning the principle of the matter" or other such nonsense. I never begrudge anybody for making a legal decision based on their own situation. Lawyers aren't cheap, and at the end of the day I can't think of any hobbies I have where I'd be willing to front thousands of dollars I don't have and years of stress just to make a point when the end result will be either:
1. I win, and now have the right to continue to maintain a fan site for a show that's either now out of existence (by the time the case is concluded) or that I absolutely despise after what the company put me through.
2. I lose, and go bankrupt.

I think the owner is doing the best thing he can here - he's giving in without spending a cent but he's generating a lot of negative publicity in the process.

As an aside someone should report all of Discovery's Youtube videos because they are not adhering to Youtube's terms of use.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (1)

Midnight Thunder (17205) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194166)

Is it legal to put a defence to tender? Basically post a request for defence and see if anyone is willing to defend the entity out principle, rather than a need for cash? I just want to believe that there is a solution to defending the little entity when faced with a jugnaught.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (1)

dcollins (135727) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194144)

"A company, in the eyes of the law, is one entity."

Quick, outsource that shit.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (1)

toxonix (1793960) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194148)

Normally what happens is the Lawyers get the company into a really shitty situation. Then the upper management wakes up, realizes they are in a shit storm and decides on what the company policy is. Then EVERYONE has to follow that line, or bad shit happens to them. Usually the lawyers get it there way, the company loses face and money, but no one fires the head council. I have not figured out why this is allowed to happen.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (1)

sjames (1099) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194164)

It doesn't matter. The site owner doesn't have enough money to buy his day in court, so no justice for him.

Re:Look, ma! No legs! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33194620)

A judge with a brain won't let it fly that one side of the company supports the site and the other side of the company wants to sue it out of existence. They SHOULD find that once Discovery started 'supporting' the website, they gave it 'permission' for it to exist and didn't have a problem with it until they decided to sue. A company, in the eyes of the law, is one entity.

Bad news: to walk into that courtroom with a lawyer would cost no less then $5000 bucks just to get in the door. Hell the paperwork alone would run nearly $500 more then likely not counting poperly managing evidence for the case. US law works only for the wealthy, the poor either get lucky, or are fucked, period.

This is just early promo (5, Funny)

oldspewey (1303305) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193852)

Relax folks, this is all just promotional groundwork for Discovery Channel's next big reality TV show, in which a few thousand lawyers will be released onto a remote, arctic island with no survival gear beyond an iPhone, some designer shoes, and a briefcase full of legal documents and moist towelettes.

The project has tentatively been titled "If you live, you get to sue our asses for putting you there."

Re:This is just early promo (1)

cbope (130292) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193956)

... and let's hope the producers come back to check on them in about 30 years or so. Greedy fucking bastards.

Re:This is just early promo (1)

Bill_the_Engineer (772575) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194006)

Add that they can beat each other to death, we can call the show "Deadliest Attaché"

Re:This is just early promo (1)

glavenoid (636808) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194160)

(Score:2, Funny)

Really? More like (Score:5, Insightful)

Re:This is just early promo (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33194290)

The next big Discovery Channel hit: "Feed the Discovery Channel Lawyers to the Sharks Week"

Re:This is just early promo (3, Funny)

wile_e8 (958263) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194420)

Q: What do you call a few thousand lawyers on a remote, arctic island?

A: A good start

Re:This is just early promo (1)

Locke2005 (849178) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194572)

That would be absolutely tragic if and only if one or more lawyers actually made it off the island!

You've got a very popular site here... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33193914)

It'd be a shame if anything were to, you know, happen to it.

Servers burn, you know...

It's simple (1)

g0bshiTe (596213) | more than 4 years ago | (#33193924)

If he has permission from Discovery to post these things, then he has it in the form of written permission. If he has this, then I would say go to court.

Re:It's simple (1)

Bigjeff5 (1143585) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194680)

He doesn't need direct, written permission. Implied permission is more than good enough.

Giving someone copyrighted material with the expectation that they will share it (which the Discovery Channel certainly did), then attempting to sue for sharing that same material is entrapment, and it's illegal.

Honestly, if the guy had the money to fight this the Discovery Channel could lose their shirts on this one. As it is, he needs some help, or he's toast.

If I were him I'd make a new site, called "TheDiscoveryChannelSucksMonkeyDick.com" and redirect DeadliestCatchTV.com to it.

See? Not infringing copyright now, motherfuckers!

I'm sure this was the idea in the first place (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33194000)

Instead of spending that much time and effort performing free labor for anyone. It's not like this is new behavior.

That's what corporate corpus callostomy does to ya (4, Interesting)

tibit (1762298) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194016)

It's quite, simple really. There is the legal department, in charge of chasing people away. And then there's the marketing department, in charge of pulling people in. And then there's no communication between them. With opposite missions, what do you expect.

Add to the fact that the legal seems to be adept at the chasing away part, while somewhat forgetful of the law they apparently learned many moons ago in, uhhhunh whatwuzitcalled college methinks? To the lawyers: don't party so hard when in college, or you'll have trouble understanding the law later.

Does anyone do performance review on corporate legal teams? As in real reviews where any monetary awards to the company are balanced with lost goodwill and whatnot? There's a lawyer or two waiting to be fired here, methinks.

Sometimes, "legal enforcement" isn't. (1)

Crash Culligan (227354) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194606)

First, I'd say you misspelled "colostomy," but given that we're talking about the legal profession, it wouldn't surprise me that its a word from a specialty dictionary. Then again, we're talking about the legal profession, so "colostomy" seems like the best word after all. But down to business:

tibit: Add to the fact that the legal seems to be adept at the chasing away part, while somewhat forgetful of the law they apparently learned many moons ago in, uhhhunh whatwuzitcalled college methinks?

That classic image of the lawyer charting a perilous and circuitous path through a legal maze to exonerate a client of criminal charges? That's a warm, fuzzy fiction from the bygone days of Earl Stanley Gardner, and that's where it belongs. More often than not these days, the client hires a lawyer explicitly to cut across as many peoples' rights as possible while incurring minimum risk. They're not defensive legal teams, they're intended to play offense, to take advantage of peoples' ignorance of the law as much as possible without getting sued themselves.

Why does this work? Most people don't have lawyers themselves, making them incredibly easy to bully. See also RIAA, MPAA, etc.

It doesn't cost much to defend yourself. (5, Interesting)

tomhudson (43916) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194020)

And contrary to popular belief, you don't need a lawyer to be successful at it (remember, I've sued the government - and won).

This is just another case of "lawyers don't know their job" - the majority of lawyers are incompetent. Law school doesn't even teach them how to handle a court case (read any big-name lawyer's bio and they'll tell you as much).

Find a similar motion on the net, admit you own the aforenamed website and deny every other claim. Then the ball is in their court. They can do NOTHING without your cooperation. They will lose the domain name resolution process because you can show that the past history - otherwise they'd have used it

And they'll lose in court. And have to pay.

Let them sue. You'll enjoy making (greater) fools of them.

Re:It doesn't cost much to defend yourself. (1)

Fjandr (66656) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194140)

Unfortunately most people don't have the balls to do things like this. They find the legal system overwhelmingly intimidating.

It's not really (well, not as much as most people seem to think), when you take a good look at it and apply some common sense and a bit of time researching.

Re:It doesn't cost much to defend yourself. (3, Insightful)

DutchSter (150891) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194402)

I'm glad you've been successful at representing yourself in court. As I alluded to in an earlier post though we can't begrudge someone for not doing what we would rather they do when it comes to their situation. It's a personal decision. Here we are talking about a fan site that a guy runs as a hobby. Presumably he runs it because he likes Discovery and he likes their show. He's probably not so endeared to them anymore. We don't know but after this treatment he may not even be interested in providing them with free publicity

Is it wrong that Discovery is going after him like they are? Yep, no doubt. But that doesn't mean we can decide for him how he should proceed. We know nothing about this gentleman's personal situation. What kind of a job does he have? Can he get all the time off he needs to defend himself in court, and what would his employer think about him being in a large civil suit? Is he married? Does he have kids that he's saving money for to send them to college? We don't know the facts and quite frankly we have no right to tell this guy how he should manage his affairs, particularly when the risk is all his and the reward is all ours. If he wins in court, what does he really get? The right to continue providing free publicity for a company he now despises? Talk about a hollow victory.

Next season on "The Colony".... (2, Funny)

Picass0 (147474) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194022)

I'd like to see a cast of nothing but attorneys go all "Lord of the Flies" on each other. Or maybe a lawyer could stand in for Buster on Mystbusters. Or Mike Rowe could make them clean up some kind of poo.

Vote with your Dollars (1)

drunken-yeti (1874620) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194060)

Either avoid cable via alternitve methods (i.e. Netflix etc) or don't give them your ratings. I am really sick of being bullied around by the same companies trying to sell me stuff.

Not anit-fan unfriendly! (1)

countSudoku() (1047544) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194086)

I was going to have a cracking good fan-site for the upcoming LEGO: The Deadliest Catch Years 1 & 2 video game, but screw that!

Hmm, I wonder... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 4 years ago | (#33194154)

Anybody else think this was all a ruse just to get the domain name? Like their lawyers set it up just so they could bend over the domain name holder?

Discovery Channel (5, Insightful)

DaMattster (977781) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194234)

The Discovery Channel has really disappointed me. It used to be that they put out good, educational television shows. Now, they've added all kinds of extra drama to shows to supposedly make them more interesting but in reality they have a dumbed down appearance. Now, they also have gone the reality tv route. I fail to see how Deadliest Catch really teaches us anything - it is really only drama. I remember when TLC and DSC really had good educational shows that could captivate thinking audiences without all the bleeped out cursing and melodramatic garbage. It would seem that the last of the truly informative and educational shows are on PBS.

Disc has been going downhill anyway (2, Informative)

EmagGeek (574360) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194284)

Discovery used to be chock full of good nerd programming that was +1:Informative and +1:Insightful.

Now it's just -1:Overrated and -:notthebest

Planned all along? (1)

macraig (621737) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194464)

This was undoubtedly the nefarious plan all along: let the fans do all the hard work creating a social site with valuable content, even encourage them to do it, then (ab)use IP law to cash in and monetize all their hard work.

In a decent society, one would hope that a simple (2, Insightful)

shadowmage36 (840208) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194592)

phone call from the owners of the fan site to the marketing people, followed by a phone call between the marketing people and the lawyers, would result in a free license, an amicable settlement arrangement, Discovery getting a bunch of free advertising, the fans being happy to have a good fan site, and everyone winning.

Except we don't live in that strange, logical place. We live here, where it's all about the almighty dollar and name rights, and the hell with corporate goodwill! Any PR is good PR! Et cetera! Rabble, rabble, rabble!

Disgusting. When will we get wise and finally decide, "Enough is enough." Sometimes I think it's a pity there wasn't an ACTUAL "Year They Hanged The Lawyers..."

Well, it says a lot about the channel. (4, Informative)

jd (1658) | more than 4 years ago | (#33194728)

I wonder if the fan site has asked the marketing people to intervene. Usually, although lawyers can get lots of money, marketing people HAVE lots of money and that can make a difference to the upper echelons.

Alaskan crab fishing is ok as a "dangerous reality TV" show. Apparently the stats for Alaskan crab fishing [cdc.gov] is 356/100,000/year. That's a lot - getting on for 1 in every 100,000 per day. (US National Average workforce fatality rate is 7.0/100,000/year.) I wondered if North Sea fishing was worse - it has a vicious reputation and the North Sea has no landmass between it and the north pole. However, statistics indicates that the mortality rate is 151 x national average in the UK, and the UK's national average is 0.5 deaths per 100,000 people. That puts the North Sea fishermen at a paltry 76/100,000/year. Not safe, by any standards, but many times safer in absolute terms. In relative terms, the US' workforce fatality rate is 14x worse than that in the UK, but the Alaskan crab fishing is only 4.7x as deadly as North Sea fishing. By this standard, North Sea fishing is the deadliest fishing occupation relative to the health and safety of the country involved.

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