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DMCA Takedown Notice For a Fake ID

kdawson posted more than 7 years ago | from the points-for-chutzpah dept.

Censorship 563

TrippTDF writes "Rachel Hyman, an artist and bartender in New York City, maintains a blog where she regularly posts images of fake IDs she confiscates from would-be underage drinkers, along with a description of the confiscation. Recently, one of her posts (Google cache) was taken down when the owner of the fake ID invoked the DMCA against Blogspot. Can one claim a forged document as a copyrighted work of art?"

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563 comments

Wouldn't the picture at least be copyrighted? (5, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19042739)

Wouldn't the picture at least be copyrighted?

Re:Wouldn't the picture at least be copyrighted? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043095)

The brothers want to take the liberty to say that if we ever went to dat bar we would hit that shit nigger prison style with all the anal trimmings. We'll settle for you tonight.

Signed,
The NYC Niggers

Re:Wouldn't the picture at least be copyrighted? (2, Interesting)

Vendetta (85883) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043341)

Only if the party requesting it be taken down actually took the picture and own the copyright to it.

Re:Wouldn't the picture at least be copyrighted? (2, Interesting)

Nikker (749551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043555)

If I send you an official notice that I am the owner of a copyrighted material and confirm it using a reference to picture, don't I just royally screw myself for forgery?

yes. next question? (5, Insightful)

dAzED1 (33635) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042773)

In much the same way that I can claim to have invented computers, someone can claim that an illegal document is covered under the DMCA. It is an invalid claim, as no illegal document can be protected in such a manner, but it is a claim none the less.

Of Course (4, Insightful)

passthecrackpipe (598773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042957)

Do you really believe the DMCA is about copyright? Its about having a stick to poke when anybody says anything you don't like on the Internet. The people that created and passed it don't care if others use it as well, as long as *they* get to use it

Re:Of Course (1)

packeteer (566398) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043595)

This document is not necessarily illegal. A Fake ID is illegal to use to try to buy alcohol if you are underage but we don't have proof that is what happened here. Now a reasonable person can guess that its probably an illegal document but before that is determined for sure i would bet a court would hear the case about the DMCA violation.

hm (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19042963)

so Al Gore did something illegal then?

Re:hm (1)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043151)

The GP never said that making an invalid claim was illegal. Invalid does not equal illegal.

Re:hm (4, Funny)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043375)

Considering that Vint Cerf, the real inventor of the Internet, says that Al Gore's claims in the (admittedly not very good) way he worded them were correct, I have only one thing to say: "What's a groovy ex-vice-president?" "An algorithm!"

Re:yes. next question? (2, Interesting)

quantaman (517394) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043157)

In much the same way that I can claim to have invented computers, someone can claim that an illegal document is covered under the DMCA. It is an invalid claim, as no illegal document can be protected in such a manner, but it is a claim none the less.
Why can't an illegal document be protected under the DMCA? The DMCA is about copyright and I don't see any reason why an illegal document wouldn't be copyrighted. Now the forged ID may not necessarily be under copyright since it may not be considered an original work but if it is copyrighted than it should be protected by the DMCA (of course the copyright owner probably wouldn't want law enforcement involved but that's another matter).

Re:yes. next question? (2, Insightful)

Raistlin77 (754120) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043211)

Because the fake ID should already be copyrighted by the agency that printed it. The fake ID user has no claim to the copyright of the ID anyway. Otherwise anybody could make a duplicate of any document then copyright it as their own.

Re:yes. next question? (1)

quantaman (517394) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043455)

That's why I explicitly stated that the fake ID may not be copyrighted anyways so the DMCA wouldn't apply (same effect if the agency holds the copyright as the person couldn't act on their behalf). The argument I was making was that contrary to the original posters assertion the legality of the document should be irrelevant as to whether it's protected by the DMCA as long as it's under copyright.

However, I'm now thinking of an interesting scenario, what if the takedown notice was from the agency who printed the ID (to avoid bad publicity). Does that agency actually hold the copyright, would the posting of the document be protected under some kind of safe harbour, for instance is whistleblowing protected, would it apply?

Re:yes. next question? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043525)

Not quite. As the lady's website tries to explain, a fake ID "is a derivative work of the United States Government, and is not an original creative work of authorship." This seems to be the same thing you are saying, but it is wrong.

1) Derivative works have their own copyright, separate from the work they are based on. That is why Disney's version of any number of fairytales is not in the public domain.

2) The copyright the creator of the fake ID has is probably "thin" but that doesn't mean he or she doesn't have a copyright. If the fake ID was created from "scratch," there is at least a copyright-protected photograph on the document. There may be other potentially copyright protected content as well, but we can't know without knowing exactly what the ID looked like.

Re:yes. next question? (2, Informative)

TheRaven64 (641858) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043433)

(IANAL but...) US Government agencies are not allowed to claim copyright. For this reason, a government-issued ID might not be covered by copyright. In this case, the design would be in the public domain (unless held by a private individual or firm and licensed to the government). Derived works of Public Domain pieces may still be copyrighted, and so it is quite possible that this really is a copyrighted work. Owning a fake ID might or might not be illegal, but attempting to use one is fraud, which definitely is.

Re:yes. next question? (1)

AK Marc (707885) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043531)

Why can't an illegal document be protected under the DMCA?

Because the illegal document would be illegal because its likeness is already copyrighted by someone else. So the US Mint would be able to issue a takedown, but not the person that made the illegal forgery of the US $13 bill.

land of opportunity? (3, Funny)

robbiethefett (1047640) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042787)

...or land of litigation and bullshit? you decide.

Re:land of opportunity? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043287)

...or land of litigation and bullshit? you decide.

Hey! You posted my thought! Slashdot can now expect a DMCA takedown notice from me as soon as I fill out the handy template!

Legal opportunity!!! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043397)

Give us your weak and poor, we shall give them every chance to get sued!

Rachel is cool (4, Informative)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042793)

and a good writer and apparently an artist as well. She just doesn't just take the id and post it - she writes some hilarious commentary to go with it. I wish her the best and hope that this young gal isn't as rich as she says, or I fear that it may not go well. While Rachel is completely in the right, justice is expensive.
 
Here is a great gem from her site, "Oh Kathleen O'Brien.. what terribly unjust irony that your fake Id would be confiscated on St. Patrick's Day."

Re:Rachel is cool (5, Funny)

dr_dank (472072) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042961)

To boot, her name lends itself to a built-in joke while she confiscates some kid's ID:

In Soviet Russia, Hyman busts YOU!

Re:Rachel is cool (0, Redundant)

stoolpigeon (454276) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043013)

yeah - this thread is going to be interesting.

Re:Rachel is cool (1)

hansamurai (907719) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043255)

In Soviet Russia, I test Hyman's extended memory.

Power trip more like it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043361)

I agree with you completely except for the part about her being cool... It seems like a 'bit' of a power trip...

Look upon me and behold the mighty barkeeper... Give the damn idiot his fake back and let them be on their merry way... Posting fakes behind bars or at liquor stores I mean I buy that, its a deterrent but posting it on your blog... doesn't serve anything except self gratification.

Also laws may differ, but just because your id is fake doesn't mean I can steal it from you
 

Re:Rachel is cool (-1, Flamebait)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043477)

That is exactly the "asshole attitude". Why didn't she just accept the IDs? Because she feels the power. I mean, look. Laws which don't let you drink alcohol 21 are absolutely insane. She deserves DMCA punishment.

Right now (-1, Offtopic)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19042797)

I'm forging my Karma

Odd Issues. (5, Interesting)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042815)

Nope.

"Copyright, a form of intellectual property law, protects original works of authorship including literary, dramatic, musical, and artistic works, such as poetry, novels, movies, songs, computer software, and architecture." says the U.S. Copyright office.

A fake ID, besides being illegal to create in the United States, is a derivative work of the United States Government, and is not an original creative work of authorship.


At least the article answers the questions of the summary directly. I like not having to think. Either way, trying to claim it was an original work seems really dangerous as its basically an admission of forgery. To any lawyers out there, is a DMCA Takedown notice considered a legal document for which charges could be filed if they implicate themselves within it?

Good question concerning the image of the individual itself from the FPer, does the fact that its included on an unauthorized document void the persons right to control over their own image? If not will video stores be forced to ban "BAD RENTER" walls and such other devices for shaming/controlling problem customers?

Re:Odd Issues. (4, Informative)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043009)

A fake ID, besides being illegal to create in the United States, is a derivative work of the United States Government, and is not an original creative work of authorship.


There are two errors here:

First, most real (government-issued) IDs are not works of the US government but of state goverments. This is a minor point, but perhaps very tangentially significant since US government works are not subject to copyright on creation but state government works are.

Second, an original work that is derivative of another work is still, insofar as it contains original work, subject to copyright. Now, it may itself be a violation of the copyright of the work on which it is based, but that's an issue between the creator of the original and the creator of the derivative, not something which grants a license to third parties.

Re:Odd Issues. (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043033)

Ahh, I was quoting that straight out of the article, got nailed there. The point still stands though as to whether an official government document, state OR federal, would be considered protected work, as well as whether the image of the person itself would still be protected on a forged document like that.

Any inputs on those questions now that the semantics are pointed out to me =)

Re:Odd Issues. (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043301)

She is clearly critiquing said "work" and as she works in the, perhaps arguably, most pertinent industry I think she may be able to get off on fair use.

Not sold on the derivative part though, you can't just have original work in it, it 'must be different enough from the original to be regarded as a "new work" or must contain a substantial amount of new material.' And since drivers licenses are 90% the same(only the text changes) I don't think it would hit. Plus since the states always change the text and pictures it probably wouldn't be considered new work as that is what the state always does with it.

Plus, presenting it as official from the state(aside from breaking laws) would imply you were not claiming copyright ownership of it, and thus it has been since relinquished.

Of course, there's no way it will ever go this far to explore any of these questions, so I'm just guessing here, although it should be pressed criminally, especially if she thinks she's "going places" because all those places have enough crooks who eventually get caught, and many who don't, and if you're gonna get caught before you even start you're not going anywhere.

[1] http://www.copyright.gov/circs/circ14.html [copyright.gov] Copyright office on derivative works.

Re:Odd Issues. (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043029)

"If not will video stores be forced to ban "BAD RENTER" walls and such other devices for shaming/controlling problem customers?"

Yes, but that's aside from the discussion - if you want to keep a collection of photos of bad renters as reference for your staff to know who not to rent to then go ahead, but photographing people and putting them on display is completely crossing the line. Not least because it's mass libel. 'Shaming' people, as a primary method of government sponsored punishment was done away with a very long time ago for good reason, private businesses should not be allowed to carry it on.
Doesn't something disturb and worry you about a shopkeeper whipping a polaroid camera out and snapping photos of customers that they don't like so that they can put them on the wall?

Re:Odd Issues. (1)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043077)

Hm, i hadnt thought of those measures that way and thats a very good point. I still want to know whether the ID is considered protected work, whether its state OR federal, and whether their image is still considered protected when included on a forged official document.

Any lawyers in copyright law that would know without spending precious lawyertime?

Re:Odd Issues. (1)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043201)

Actually, several Mom & Pop stores that I know post bounced checks on their walls after scrubbing out the account numbers and other details. While not the same as pictures, they usually do contain personal information (e.g. name & address) of the person.

The idea is that if your check bounces, they lose money and have a right to tell that to the world.

Re:Odd Issues. (1)

Anonymous Cowpat (788193) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043381)

but cheques won't be readable unless they're out from behind the counter. In which case you can just take some permanent marker to it (or remove it) - a cheque has a nominal value of a tiny fraction of a cent, they'd be unlikely to make a criminal damage charge stick (and it's possible that the cheque would, technically, still belong to you anyway). IANAL, etc.

Re:Odd Issues. (2, Interesting)

HoldenCaulfield (25660) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043411)

I'd say shaming people is still a technique that's in fairly active use, whether intentionally or unintentionally.

Sex offender registries, and resultant websites mapping their residences [google.com] would be an example.

"Scarlet letter" plates [google.com] for DUI/DWIs seem to be gaining traction as well.

Granted, both sex offenders and DUI/DWIs are horrible crimes, but it does seem as if we're not giving people a fair chance at reintegrating into society . . .

I'm sure there are other examples out there . . .

Re:Odd Issues. (1)

afabbro (33948) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043539)

Yes, but that's aside from the discussion - if you want to keep a collection of photos of bad renters as reference for your staff to know who not to rent to then go ahead, but photographing people and putting them on display is completely crossing the line. Not least because it's mass libel.

Alas for your argument, it's not. Libel implies falsehood. The truth is an absolute defense against libel.

'Shaming' people, as a primary method of government sponsored punishment was done away with a very long time ago for good reason, private businesses should not be allowed to carry it on.

It was never a "primary method of government sponsored punishment" - the government has always favored imprisonment or fines.

Doesn't something disturb and worry you about a shopkeeper whipping a polaroid camera out and snapping photos of customers that they don't like so that they can put them on the wall?

No. Why should it? By going into a store, you surrender your right of anonymity. If the store wants to take my picture and put it on the wall, there is nothing I can do about it - other than not entering the store, putting up a ThisStoreSucks.com web site, etc. Now, if they snap my picture and put it up under a "deadbeat checks" sign and I've never written then a deadbeat check, then I could sue them.

Re:Odd Issues. (1)

reebmmm (939463) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043597)

First, on the US gov't point, the U.S. government doesn't issue driver's licenses yet. The states do. That provision of the copyright law doesn't apply to the states.

Second, the fact that something is a derivative work doesn't mean that it's not copyrightable. Indeed, most works are derivative works.

The proper question would be whether the material added to the state driver's license was sufficiently original or creative to constitute a copyrightable work.

Good try at being a lawyer though.

In Soviet Russia (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19042819)

Identification forges YOU!

Was Google Cache actually worried about a lawsuit from some punk kid who committed several crimes in making the 'artwork' ?

No (2, Insightful)

barakn (641218) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042833)

The forger him/herself violated the copyright of whomever designed the document in the first place.

Re:No (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043143)

Considering that the drinking requirements of 21 and requiring ID to get a drink are both dumb and abusive laws then acquiring a fake ID could be called "political protest" and therefore the "artwork" be defined as protest art [wikipedia.org] used in a act of civil disobedience [wikipedia.org] .

Like was said during Vietnam, if we are old enough to fight and die for our country, we are old enough to have a drink first.

Re:No (1)

WilliamSChips (793741) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043485)

I'm sorry, but civil disobedience against drinking laws would be 1) using that fake ID to buy a keg of beer, then pour it out outside the bar taking pictures and completely admitting your ID is fake or 2) some kind of sit-in, where you demand beers while admitting your real age.
Chances are, most of these people are doing it just to get drinks and not as some form of grand political protest, much in the same way as posting 09 F9 11 02 9D 74 E3 5B D8 41 56 C5 63 56 88 C0 is civil disobedience but P2P sharing isn't.
As for fighting and dying for your country, you can drink at 18 on base.

Not to support the DMCA itself... (-1, Troll)

Otter (3800) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042839)

...but if you make a game of screwing with people you do get kicked in the teeth sometimes. It's not clear to me if she dug up and posted all the personal information on that person before or after she got the takedown, but if it was before I can't have much sympathy for her. (I realize many of you have some irrational, indiscriminate reverence for "artists".)

Ashley Heyer has it coming (0)

dlt074 (548126) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043019)

Ashley Heyer was stupid enough to use her real name while committing a crime. as the blogger says, she needs to suck it up and live with the consequences of her actions.

Re:Not to support the DMCA itself... (3, Interesting)

skoaldipper (752281) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043127)

I can't say I have much sympathy for either of them. In the short span of reading some of Rachel Hyman's blog, she seems quite vindictive and equally purile in tone as the ID holders she confiscates. Plus, what guarantee does Rachel have that any of those IDs are truly fake, and then she goes posting those pictures and names on her blog without permission.

It's one thing to deny entrance into your business based on suspicion (as thousands of bar owners do silently each day) - yet another to make a public spectacle of the whole ordeal. Rachel must like dipping her hand into a can of worms.

Re:Not to support the DMCA itself... (4, Informative)

Romancer (19668) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043421)

Two points.

The DMCA takedown notice couldn't have been filed in good faith without the admission of creating a fake ID to which the individual is claiming the rights due her by creation of this document. Also attempting to use a fake document to gain entrance to the establishment would be a crime in itself. Seperate from making the ID. To issue a DMCA takedown requires at least the admission of attempting to use a forged document and even if someone else created it, she would have to name that person or accept the responsibility of creating it herself. Which would be admission to committing a second crime.

If the ID was real and illegally confiscated, the notice would have been delivered by law enforcement officials and would not have been a DMCA takedown notice, it would have been a search warrant based on the account given by the victim and the supporting admission on the theifs website. Stealing someones ID is a crime and someone on the right side of the law can use the police to get justice especially if the theif freely admits it in their blog.

Um ... (4, Insightful)

WrongSizeGlass (838941) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042841)

... isn't claiming to be the "creator"/"artist"/"author" of a fake ID admitting to counterfeiting? Perhaps not the smartest move ever. And since a DMCA 'takedown notice' is a legal document denying authorship of the fake ID later would probably be perjury.

I sure hope this ends badly for the underaged drunk wannabe.

Re:Um ... (2, Insightful)

Adambomb (118938) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042989)

Actually the point is more that the DMCA notice is a legal document CLAIMING authorship of the fake ID. It wouldnt be perjury but its still monumentally stupid. You'd think that implicating yourself voluntarily performing an illegal activity in a legal document would be grounds for charges to be filed.

Re:Um ... (1)

drinkypoo (153816) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043355)

You'd think that implicating yourself voluntarily performing an illegal activity in a legal document would be grounds for charges to be filed.

In fact it is. It's an admission of guilt and provides more than probable cause.

Of course, whether it would be considered sufficient evidence to find her guilty is another question.

But filing an invalid DMCA takedown request is not a good idea either, so either way she's done something amazingly stupid.

Re:Um ... (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043495)

As a assistant DA, I can say that this pretty much convicts her of the crime of possession of a forged instrument. You may not be able to prove beyond a reasonable doubt that she created the forgery, just based on this statement alone, but she definitely admits to the possession. Then proving that it is in fact a forgery is routine at that point. The fact that she used it at a bar is enough the prove that she used it with an intent to deceive.

Re:Um ... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043369)

The article suggested that a friend of hers emailed and claimed DMCA. She didn't claim DMCA directly, unless she had told Blogger, of course.

Hollywood does it (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19042863)

Hollywood makes forged comedies all the time, so why not?

Does it matter? (3, Interesting)

Fallingcow (213461) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042881)

Even if it is art, would it matter?

Say you've got a website discussing a certain aspect of book cover design. You post example images for the purpose of demonstrating and discussing it. You're in the clear in this case, yes?

Sounds like the same thing.

Re:Does it matter? (2, Interesting)

the phantom (107624) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043617)

This was exactly the point that I was going to make. It is perfectly legal to duplicate copyrighted works (or portions thereof) in the interest of criticism or review, not to mention satire or parody. Even if you can successfully make the argument that you own the copyright for a forged government document, I don't see how a bartender posting a photograph of said forged document, and criticizing and mocking the execution of that document does not fall under fair use.

Surprisingly, in theory, yes. At least here... (4, Interesting)

Opportunist (166417) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042903)

In fact it is a piece of "original" art. Though I doubt they'd want to go through court with it, over here they could.

Though in reply they'd immediately get charged with forgery of an official document. In other words, you go to a civil court, they hit the criminal one. You stand against their lawyer, they stand against the general attorney.

It's a bit like disassembling a trojan. In theory, it is a piece of software, protected by copyright. But I doubt any writer would ever drag you to court for it.

In fact, if I was in her place, I would not comply and instead challenge it on grounds of ... pffft, let a lawyer get creative, they get money for that. And see if the other side is REALLY interested in seeing this in court. But then, that would be here. I dunno if in the US, copyright violations are already superior offenses to crimes against the state.

Re:Surprisingly, in theory, yes. At least here... (-1, Offtopic)

Elektroschock (659467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043167)

So there are very repressive stupid laws in the United States which aim to prevent you from drinking alkohol. What madness. You try to satisfy the bars and get a fake ID. So a bar person does not have to check if your ID is real, he just needs to satisfy the law, ok, I checked the IDs.

But this guy plays police aid. Why? He deserves to be treated like that, this is the guy the DMCA was made for.

What happened to the States?

Get a passport and leave that nation!

Re:Surprisingly, in theory, yes. At least here... (2, Informative)

BewireNomali (618969) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043527)

I live in NY and in New York State a bartender can be held liable and even arrested for serving underage customers. I bartended in college and had a friend arrested for serving underage customers and I was myself arrested for being an underage bartender. So it wasn't so much playing police aid as protecting herself from potentially being arrested or otherwise held liable, which includes getting fired and blacklisted as a bartender. Posting on her blog was a little much though - i agree.

new york has become a relatively sedate city and is not a high crime area anymore (not as high as before anyway) - but still uses police tactics from a high crime era. so police troll for arrests/wrongdoing, etc. it's not uncommon to be in a club that is raided - and patrons all have to produce ID - it's an easy way for cops to find people with outstanding warrants and it also drums up business for the city - as clubs found to have underage patrons lose their cabaret licenses and have to pay fines and might even be shut down. All for the great bureaucracy.

Re:Surprisingly, in theory, yes. At least here... (1)

Miseph (979059) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043257)

"I dunno if in the US, copyright violations are already superior offenses to crimes against the state."

In theory? No. In practice... the jury is still out on that one.

Re:Surprisingly, in theory, yes. At least here... (1)

bahwi (43111) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043415)

No, it could possibly be called a "derivative" work of art. (Even if the original work is public domain you have to copyright it as a derivative work). But, considering it looks like a regular ID, it's not enough of a new work to be called a derivative.

Also, I'm sure she would get fair use for critiquing it as she is in the industry to write "reviews" of these types of documents and point them out.

Statutory requirements... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19042905)

Fixed in a tangible medium? check.
Expressive? check.
Modicum of creativity? check.

I don't recall copyright being denied for illegal subject matter...

Re:Statutory requirements... (1)

Tokimasa (1011677) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043105)

I don't think altering your name and/or age and/or address is creative. But that could just be me.

Should be taken down (2, Insightful)

proficiovera (1099145) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042911)

Forged documents should be removed from the web for other reasons. DMCA aside the forged IDs could have real information. Information such as drivers license numbers and addresses gained from real IDs. Many fake IDs I saw while working as a clerk where modified legitimate IDs.

Copyright would belong to the forger (1)

tdelaney (458893) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042913)

I would be really surprised if the fake ID contains a statement of transfer of copyright, or that the holder of the fake ID holds such a document. Such a document would required revealing who the forger is.

Therefore, any copyright would reside with the forger, and whoever issued the original ID (assuming that the usual method of modifying an existing ID was used).

I can only hope that this (1)

zappepcs (820751) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042949)

calls into question the DMCA takedown notice process.

If Google takes content down without questioning the process or the content, they stay safe from being to blame for censorship, but it leaves the door open for people like Viacom et al to blindly request content be taken down. If some proof of copyright ownership could be shown at the time the take down is requested, might it not prevent some of the more ridiculous take downs?

from google cache (1, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19042955)

here is the posting from google's cache that got this started. haha

Dear Ashley Heyer,

There was no way you could've known. You had this really astoundingly good Maryland fake ID, and you were on a date with a boy who was over 21 and would show you the world of beer. Except, one hitch, me.

Something seemed wrong. Maybe it was the way the hologram reminded me of iridescent paper I had used once at an art studio, maybe it was how my old Maryland license had a bump where the rather ghetto real hologram was- and yours didn't.

So I asked you for a back-up ID. It was a NYU undergrad ID. Never the fool I asked, where did you go to high school? You replied, actually I went to school in Iowa.

Iowa.

No one from Pikesville goes to school in Iowa. I know, because I went to school with half of Pikesville. It's a predominantly Jewish neighborhood, which would also bring into question that altruistic organ donor choice. And the road, oh Ash, you couldn't have known that only rural or inner city (DC) roads are labeled like that. You definitely couldn't have guessed that I knew the road naming patterns from Pikesville, because I drove home so many kids from my high school, and developers are never creative.

You jumped to the rescue with, it's the new Maryland ID, and I said, no, it's the old one. I have the new one. You can't drink here, darling, and I'm keeping your ID.

But you went to high school in Iowa. Your father, Bradley, donated 125$ to a campaign for Iowa State House representative, republican, Carmine Boal. You were a a page at the Iowa State House for a bit too. You did grow up on 3601 NW 92nd Place-- in Polk City IA 50226.

It does have a very nice photo on it, better than the real Maryland machines take. And you were sweet and sad and smiley, in that friendly Iowa way - even though you're a republican. I'm sure you cursed me when I was out of sight.

Maybe, some day, you'll come back to the castle, when you're 21, with your totally real Iowa ID, and order that glass of Lucifer you so desire. Perhaps we can talk politics for a while. Maybe you'll know how to defend yourself.

http://72.14.209.104/search?q=cache:jirEhYabN6wJ:w ww.rachelhyman.blogspot.com/+rachelhyman.blogspot. com&hl=en&ct=clnk&cd=1&gl=us&client=firefox-a [72.14.209.104]

No copyright in government works (1)

Corpuscavernosa (996139) | more than 7 years ago | (#19042965)

105 Subject matter of copyright: United States Government works

Copyright protection under this title is not available for any work of the United States Government, but the United States Government is not precluded from receiving and holding copyrights transferred to it by assignment, bequest, or otherwise.

This may be slightly redundant but I'm expanding. At best, the forger's work could be considered a derivative work. It was mentioned that the forger, however, while claiming copyright, is making his work from a goverment designed document. There can be no copyright protection on a government work.

Re:No copyright in government works (1)

DragonWriter (970822) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043093)

This may be slightly redundant but I'm expanding. At best, the forger's work could be considered a derivative work. It was mentioned that the forger, however, while claiming copyright, is making his work from a goverment designed document. There can be no copyright protection on a government work.


This is true, in US copyright law, only federal government works. State government works (example [ca.gov] ) are subject to copyright. Derivative works, to the extent they are original (whether the source is subject to copyright are not, due to authorship) are still subject to copyright to the extent that they are original, though they may also infringe on the source and make the creator liable for that.

One close parallel (1)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043001)

There is an artists who create his own currency, in US denominations. It is obviously not US currency, but it looks like money. He then tries to spend it. People who accept the currency get a visit from a collector later on who buys it for much more than the face value. In fact, the "money" is worth more to collectors if it is honored at face value by somebody.

He did get in trouble with the treasury over "counterfeiting", but I believe he eventually worked that out. Clearly what he is doing is art, not counterfeiting.

This is the opposite case, somebody claiming for their counterfeiting protections intended for art.

I don't think that a person can legally claim ownership of a thing which he has created for an illegal purpose. You can't ask the Secret Service to give your counterfeit money back on the grounds you paid for the paper and ink and they belong to you. They don't belong to you.

More info on artist (2, Interesting)

hey! (33014) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043123)

The artist's name is J.S.G. Boggs, he's in the wikipedia [wikipedia.org] with some links. Here is web page with some samples [artscenecal.com] .

Not so clear (1)

madsheep (984404) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043023)

One thing is not so clear to me here. Is this *definitely* a case of a "fake"-ID or a stolen/borrowed ID? I have not seen the ID in question and didn't find it in a 1.8 second search of the page. I'm probably also not familiar with what the state's real ID's look like. My question here is.. which is not 100% clear to me is.. was this truly a fake ID?

People often refer to using their older brother's ID as a fake-ID as it is not them on the ID. The same goes for a stolen/found ID. If someone is using an ID that is not there's, it's considered a fake-ID and it's illegal for them to use it. Thus it can be confiscated. Is the ID in question really a fake.. scanned or one of those "not official" IDs? Because if someone stole my ID, used it at a club, got it confiscated, and then it was posted online.. I'd do whatever it takes to get it down.

Here's to you, obnoxious girl with the fake ID... (4, Funny)

The Ultimate Fartkno (756456) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043025)

...yes, you, Ashley Heyer! You could have left it alone, but you went the bratty way and got your gang of Facebook friends and sorority sisters to start a fight with a woman who just might be the coolest bartender ever and now your story is on Slashdot. Congratulations, Ashley! Thanks to the power of Slashdot, your political career will never be able to get this story off the top link in a Google search for your name. Here's to you, Ashley Heyer, you're a real American Hero!

(hum the theme song as you click the link, folks...)

http://www.google.com/search?q=ashley+heyer [google.com]

The answer is a twisted yes (3, Interesting)

TheHawke (237817) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043027)

If the plaintiff can prove that the fake ID is his/hers, then he/she has the legal right to post the takedown. Then again, this will confirm to the legal authorities that he/she is a forger of fake ID's and can be arrested and charged. It's a double-edged sword, and in this case, the sharper edge of the blade is poised over the accuser's neck. He/she needs to reconsider the ramifications of the legal action that they took. The feds might just take notice since they take a dim view of folks that make fake IDs.

Re:The answer is a twisted yes (1)

TBone (5692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043135)

The plaintiff would only be able to claim ownership if it were a "work for hire". Otherwise, it's technically owned by the person who created the fake ID.

And I'm reasonably sure they aren't going to claim ownership on the original work :)

Not exactly. (2, Interesting)

raehl (609729) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043271)

If the plaintiff can prove that the fake ID is his/hers, then he/she has the legal right to post the takedown

EVERYONE has the legal right to post a take-down notice. No proof of anything is required.

But, as part of posting a take-down notice, you must state, under penalty of perjury, that you are the owner of the material in question, or an authorized representative of the owner.

So if you file a DMCA complaint about a fake ID, you would be screwed one way or the other - either you created (or paid someone else to create) the ID, or you committed perjury when filing the DMCA request.

Dumb criminals (0, Offtopic)

sootman (158191) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043031)

Officer! Officer! That man stole my cocaine!

Baylor IDs (1)

phrostie (121428) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043063)

when i was going to Tech School i used to work nights at the 7-11 there at Baylor.
i used to get a kick out of all the fake IDs the good Baylor kids would come up with to by beer with. my manager was the one that collected them though.

Re:Baylor IDs (1)

Mattintosh (758112) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043515)

You do realize, don't you, that "collecting" fake ID's from other people is illegal?

The ID is their property, fake or not. Taking it from them is theft.

When denying controlled substances (alcohol and tobacco, usually) to someone underage, you simply take the item as if you're going to ring it up, ask them for ID, and after determining that you cannot legally sell the item to them, you place the item out of their reach and tell them that you can't accept their ID. In many instances, you don't even need to take the ID from them for inspection (yes, most of them are that bad).

In any instance, the ID is their property and you should make a reasonable attempt to return it to them before they leave. If they leave it behind then come back asking for it, give it to them. It's not yours. If they (stupidly) decide to involve the police (yes, I've seen this happen), you give it to them as if they left it behind accidentally (which they did, if you've followed the rest of the rules), and the officer accompanying them will usually inspect it himself, find it to be fake, and arrest their dumb ass on the spot. I stress to you... I've seen it happen exactly this way, and not just once. And I only worked in grocery stores and only for about 3 years.

Disclaimer: IANAL, and I'm speaking about the laws for the U.S. states of Missouri and Illinois. I have no doubt that the law is similar elsewhere, though, since neither MO nor IL have ever been legislative trend-buckers.

A lot of problems would be solved... (1)

superbus1929 (1069292) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043073)

A lot of problems with the DMCA would be solved if the people receiving DMCA takedown notices would RTFA when they receive them. I could DMCA just about anyone or anything, and the ISP of the victim wouldn't even read it; all they'd see is "ew, possible litigation", and *poof*! Offending content gone.

File counter-notice, put blog back up (4, Interesting)

TBone (5692) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043081)

The author should most definitely file a counter-notice against Blogger, and have the page restored.

Directions for such can be found on ChillingEffects [chillingeffects.org]

The girl is stupid. Stupid in the same way that every person we interview here gets a MySpace and Google search done on them, informally, just to see what kind of things the Intarwebs have to say about them. It's nothing official, but if we're borderline about bringing on someone, that search might tip our decision one way or the other. If we're "eh" on hiring someone, and find out they prefer to spend their nights playing games until 4 AM, then coming in late to their last 4 jobs, we're probably gonna go with "poor work ethic" and not hire them. In the same way, if she's, say, at NYU Law as an undergrad, when it comes time for internships, all those law firms are probably going to be very interested in the fact that she got caught with a fake ID when she was an undergrad.

As the author states in her writings, "actions have consequences" . In this case, for a young woman who is "going places", her actions are that those places she's going are going to know she, when she was underage, she was willing to break the law just to go out drinking.

I hope Rachel gets the post back online...and maybe even gets the chance to file suit for abuse of DMCA Takedown notices. We'll see what kind of places this girl goes when it's not just a post about her fake ID, but her disregard for the valid use of the law.

I'm conflicted (4, Funny)

gdav (2540) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043129)

Can't they both lose?

Confiscation (0, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043133)

On whose authority is she confiscating the ID cards?

Forged or not, ID cards are private property. No private citizen should be able to summarily seize them.

Even if you argue that bartenders are proxies for the law and are thus, in a sense, working on behalf of the government as far as ID-checking is concerned, there still should be a formal, even-handed, appeal-able application of due process prior to any form of seizure. "I have it, and I'm not giving it back" is bullshit.

Re:Confiscation (3, Informative)

metlin (258108) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043303)

I think by law she is expected to confiscate fake IDs - I could be wrong, though.

In fact, she mentions it in her blog, as well (emphasis mine):

See, I collect the fake ID's by confiscating them from underage people who attempt to buy alcohol. I've been informed that I'm required to do this. I don't mind because frankly, our bar is for adults, and not a NYU undergrad hangout. My bar has not had a problem with underage drinking, only other bars that my bar's owner also owns. I have never knowingly served a minor, and never will. Enough of my friends work in the service industry in the neighborhood that if I don't confiscate the ID's, I'm putting their jobs and livelihoods at risk.

Re:Confiscation (1)

Omerna (241397) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043535)

It may be different in New York, but I know that in my state (VA) confiscating IDs is illegal. Obviously there's little you can do if they take a fake ID (call the cops? good luck) but they're SUPPOSED to just say "I can't accept this" and give you back the ID.

Re:Confiscation (1)

sup2100 (996095) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043317)

Its called, would you like to call the police and have them verify the ID?

Re:Confiscation (1)

MrBlue VT (245806) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043435)

Exactly right. The bouncer had no authority to confiscate the ID in the first place. She was stealing it from the owner. Now if a bouncer does steal the a fake ID from you, you probably don't want to call the cops because they won't look so favorably upon you having the ID in the first place. You're pretty much between a rock and a hard place.

Therefore it looks like we have three crimes here. One by the owner of the fake ID, and two by the bouncer.

The owner committed a crime when she created and tried to use a fake ID to buy alcohol.

The bouncer committed her first crime by stealing the owner's ID. She then committed a second crime by violating the owner's copyright to the fake ID when she posted it online.

Now perhaps NY State law deputizes employees of an establishment that serves alcohol to confiscate any fake IDs. If that's the case, then the bouncer only committed the one crime, copyright infringment.

Sounds like a typical rich whiny girl to me... (1)

Khyber (864651) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043239)

Lots of money, no brains. Admitting that fake ID was hers that she created is an instant Federal Offense! Daddy won't save her this time around!

Well... (1)

the0ther (720331) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043251)

If Rachel still has her Hyman she must not be any fun. This theory is supported by her confiscation of the fake IDs. I guess I'm fine with a party-pooper getting a takedown notice.

someone has to say it (-1, Redundant)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043295)

so you are sayin that the Hyman got busted?

identity theft (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043319)

i had my 'real' license taken by a bartender who claimed it wasn't me. it's at least some risk to have my real information with drivers license number posted by someone who's self-righteous just to 'teach me a lesson'.

Let's go visit (1)

Aquitaine (102097) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043357)

Anyone from the NYC Slashdot crowd want to go to her bar (where is it?) and spend an obscene amount of money?

Silly legal questoin (1)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043387)

Does she have a legal right to confiscate the ID's in the first place? She is not the place. If someone possesses property which is illegal for them to possess, is there therefore no laws protecting it from seizure by a third party?

It just seems a bit odd. Unless there's some law that specifically empowers her to seize fake ID's, I just find it odd that she feels empowered to keep them -- unless she simply feels that no one would call the cops of having something illegal to own stolen from them.

Nevermind (1)

Cyberllama (113628) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043423)

Ahh . . Nevermind. I see that my question (yes, I can spell it properly!) has already been answered above.

oops (0)

lordsid (629982) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043407)

Ashley Heyer [blogspot.com] oh, oops, how'd that happen.

Are Fake ID's Works of art? (1)

AZScotsman (962881) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043461)

"Can one claim a forged document as a copyrighted work of art?" ....Only if they work. If you get busted, then it's no "work of art", Eh?

Political affiliation? (1)

bfe369 (110743) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043479)

So her dad gave a piddly donation to some GOPer in flyover country. What the heck does this have to do with the story? It would be just as stupid if you insert (Democrat|Libertarian|what-have-you).

<conspiracy>
Oh, wait, this is Slashdot, never known to miss an opportunity to front-page something negative about the GOP, no matter how tenuous or silly the connection.
</conspiracy>

Is there a resource for people who check IDs? (1)

jandrese (485) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043487)

Does anybody know of a website that has a list of what to look for when checking IDs for each state? That sort of thing could be a big benefit to bartenders who could probably memorize the major features of each state's ID in relatively short order. Google only turned up a bunch of individual DMV websites that didn't actually have a picture of the ID and one book that you can buy in quantities of 100 with the same information. This seems like exactly the sort of thing you'd expect to see online. Wikipedia let me down too.

Failzor57! (-1, Troll)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19043517)

Not to support the DMCA, but.. (1)

equimarginal (1057334) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043521)

... what a lame bartender. Why should she care so much about underage drinking? The girl was underage, but the bartender is the child. As long as she looks at the ID and it has a valid picture and date, she can't be held responsible if the ID is fake. After all, there are some very good fake IDs out there, some that are completely indistinguishable. I wish bad things upon people who think its fun to be a jerk when they have nothing to gain from it.

Re:Not to support the DMCA, but.. (1)

MajinBlayze (942250) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043577)

Perhaps keeping their liquor license is more valuable than one sale.

Why not? (1)

IchBinEinPenguin (589252) | more than 7 years ago | (#19043537)

It seems you can copyright a random number (like an encryption key).
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