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New Jersey Sues YouTube Over Crash Video

CowboyNeal posted more than 7 years ago | from the express-written-consent dept.

Google 410

eldavojohn writes "The New Jersey Turnpike Authority (NJTA) has sued YouTube and a number of other video sites for showing footage of a car crash that happened on the turnpike and was, therefore, property of the turnpike. The NJTA requested the footage be removed under the DMCA — which YouTube complied with — unfortunately, the video was copied to several other sites. The NJTA still seems to be targeting YouTube since YouTube 'did not try to prevent the very same video from being uploaded again by users immediately after it was purportedly removed.' We'll have to watch this closely and see if, even after you take down material violating the DMCA, you are at fault to any extent for people who already copied said material."

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What copyright? (5, Insightful)

russotto (537200) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283173)

It's an automated camera system. There's no creative input. Thus, no copyright.

video of the crash (5, Informative)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283203)

Copyright this [zippyvideos.com]

Re:video of the crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283213)

Wow, gotta love the double watermarks . . can nobody get original videos anymore?

Re:video of the crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283671)

Wow cool, that is frickin awsome.

Re:video of the crash (5, Funny)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283703)

The Google Ads for airbags beneath the video seem a bit tasteless!

Re:What copyright? (-1, Flamebait)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283259)

the placement of the camera is not creative input? i think you're dead wrong.
 
but then again, considering that slashdot is nothing more than a den of fags who try any excuse to steal music/movies/etc. your "explanation" doesn't surprise me.

Re:What copyright? (4, Insightful)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283275)

OK then, it is a work of the government, paid for by the tax payers, and so should be in the public domain.

Re:What copyright? (4, Interesting)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283459)

I agree, but the current federal statute only prohibits the federal government from getting copyrights on works it creates. It ought to do the same for all governments, at all levels, worldwide. Governments don't need the incentive of copyright to create works; either they have other reasons, or they shouldn't be doing it anyway. So right now it would be up to New Jersey to have a similar policy as the federal government has. AFAIK, they don't.

Re:What copyright? (1)

click2005 (921437) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283689)

Governments don't need the incentive of copyright to create works;

What about currency, postage stamps & similar stuff.

Re:What copyright? (0, Troll)

AlephNot (177467) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283301)

If every post on Slashdot were posted by the same person, then I'd certainly agree that "slashdot is nothing more than a den of fags who try any excuse to steal music/movies/etc."

However, such is not the case (fortunately!).

Re:What copyright? (4, Informative)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283331)

Not if it's the obvious way of doing something. See Feist Publications v. Rural Telephone Service [wikipedia.org] , which held that no, Virginia, you don't obtain copyright protection just because you put some effort into something.

Re:What copyright? (2, Insightful)

Tuoqui (1091447) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283399)

Hello Mr. AC... I have a wonderful job opportunity for you at the MAFIAA. Anyways yeah like someone else said, if it is using taxpayers money then you can argue that the state and by extension the people own the copyright on it. If the people want to post it on YouTube then they damn well can if they want to. Especially if it is a live feed being streamed out to the internet for anyone to see and not some password protected site. Not like they can claim DMCA on something that had no DRM protection measures on it to begin with.

Re:What copyright? (4, Interesting)

cpt kangarooski (3773) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283409)

That argument was used against cameras before, and it failed. It'll fail now. There might not be much creativity, but the threshold is so low for that, that I have no doubt that it would be found sufficient. I agree that it shouldn't be, partially because the threshold should be a touch higher than that (or at least more carefully analyzed than is usual), and that an additional requirement should be the intent of the author to make a creative work, as opposed to something else, e.g. a mere recording for other purposes (to catch toll evaders, to record accidents, to compile evidence against criminals as to their whereabouts, etc.). But that's not going to help much here.

Re:What copyright? (1)

Reziac (43301) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283551)

ISTM the criteria ought to be "Is this in a publicly-funded venue? is it being filmed by publicly-funded equipment? then what happens here and is filmed here is in public, and therefore ought to be public domain, video and all."

Is the NJTA a private corp? If so, then the above wouldn't apply.

Your thoughts on this? I'd value your perspective.

Re:What copyright? (1)

khallow (566160) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283649)

It appears that the NJTA is a public entity under the state of New Jersey, but it's not clear to me if it receives public funds or not. Also, many enterprises receive varying amounts of public funds. At what level and nature of public funding before everything they do ends up in the public domain? Ie, how does accepting public funds taint an organization?

Re:What copyright? (1, Interesting)

prelelat (201821) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283435)

I don't know the DMCA and how it relates to take down notices, but I recall from anouther /. post on a different topic that you have to proceed with the take down no matter if it is copyright material or not. I think once you have complied you can fight it if its not copyright or not. But I think the law actually states that you have to take it down imediatly.

But I'm no lawyer and I don't know the DMCA I just remember reading that here somewhere.

Re:What copyright? (4, Informative)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283517)

> I don't know the DMCA and how it relates to take down notices, but I recall from anouther
> /. post on a different topic that you have to proceed with the take down no matter if it
> is copyright material or not.

This is not true. Nothing obligates you to obey a takedown notice. If you _do_ comply then you are immune to suit for copyright infringment but if you do not the putative copyright owner must still sue you and prove infringment. A takedown notice is just a letter from a lawyer. It isn't any sort of an official document.

Re:What copyright? (1)

prelelat (201821) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283623)

Good to know, like I said I am not so familure with it. Thats also why I said I heard it on here, so that people would know my source may not be so accurate.

Link please? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283179)


Since this story will do nothing more than drum up interest in seeing the video. Does anybody have a working link?

unadulterated video (4, Informative)

Bananatree3 (872975) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283293)

Copyright this! [70.87.202.210]

Re:unadulterated video (1)

CyberSnyder (8122) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283451)

What an idiot (they person in the car trying to be speed racer through the toll booth). Kudos to the guy that got out of his car and went up to see if he could do something. Most people would sit in their car and just watch.

Re:unadulterated video (1, Informative)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283613)

I believe that was a state trooper its kinda hard to tell in the video..

Re:unadulterated video (0)

skiflyer (716312) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283655)

I dunno, that looks like the driver might have been asleep.

Re:unadulterated video (0)

lpangelrob (714473) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283691)

More likely, the driver fell asleep, (or as a previous poster suggested, had a seizure).

The car was traveling well in excess of 55 mph judging by the force of impact, so it's probable that having a seizure or falling asleep elsewhere on the road would be fatal. But in other parts of the highway, you can survive driving off the road and brushing up against a wall, or even bouncing off a cable barrier. This driver had no chance up against a concerete toll barrier.

It's a case for not putting large concrete islands in the middle of tollways - open-road tolling is preferred.

Re:unadulterated video (2, Informative)

clarkkent09 (1104833) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283695)

Seems like there was a police car righ behind (chasing?) him at the time he crashed. See the dark car that comes up right behind about 9 seconds after the crash. It's hard to see but it seems like a police car to me with lights flashing.

Public roads (5, Insightful)

Martix (722774) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283189)

The turnpike was funded by tax dollars.

So as far as im concerned its public not private

My 2 Watts

p.s. file under DMCA abuse

Re:Public roads (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283249)

Dangerous argument, as things like public libraries and some health clinics (in addition to the obvious case of government agencies) are also funded by tax dollars. You want your reading habits and medical records out and around?

Re:Public roads (1)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283309)

(That's not to say that I think that the NJTA's actions weren't absolutely idiotic.)

Re:Public roads (4, Insightful)

AlinuxNCSU (589202) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283361)

We have other laws to protect private information: privacy laws, theft laws, even classified information laws. The DMCA is a copyright law. Copyright law is not meant to protect secret information, it's meant to protect the copying of published information. However, government works are typically in the public domain.

If they want to stop the dissemination of the video because it's classifiied or private, the NJ government can do that. But they can't use the DMCA (assuming you buy the GP's argument).

Re:Public roads (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283369)

There's no expectation of privacy on a highway anyway, but you'd have every right to expect that your library records and medical history would remain private. Copyright is about keeping others from copying what you would make public, while privacy protection is about keeping others from accessing what you would keep secret.

Re:Public roads (1)

Aaron Denney (123626) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283393)

Those indeed should not be covered by copyright. Copyright's primary purpose is not to keep things secret -- we do have privacy laws, after all.

Re:Public roads (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283523)

>Dangerous argument, as things like public libraries and some health clinics (in addition to the obvious case of government agencies) are also funded by tax dollars. You want your reading habits and medical records out and around?

Libraries buy copyrighted information. The information libraries generate should not be copyrighted. This means things like lists of books the library has, your library records, etc. should be non-copyrighted. Privacy laws should still apply so that your private information is only released to you (although, as it is not copyrighted, you are welcome to do with it as you wish).

Medical records should not be copyrighted. A doctor should not have his hands tied by copyright law when trying to access information on you to help cure you. Can you imagine the hell that would result if the hospital you were last at said they would sell your infomation to your doctor for the low, low sum of just $10,000 per copy? Privacy laws would, of course, apply.

Re:Public roads (0, Redundant)

codepunk (167897) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283297)

I fully agree with you, it was taken with a camera owned and manned by a govt authority using public
dollars...As far as I am concerned it is public domain.

Re:Public roads (1)

Breakfast Pants (323698) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283365)

As far as the law is concerned, that only matters if it was the federal government, or a state with such a clause (I can't name a single one, but there may be one).

Re:Public roads (1)

AgentFade2Black (968245) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283437)

But what about the camera? It's still property of the NJTA.
Thus, with their equipment, they created it, so it is their IP to control.
And for Allah's sake, think of the family involved. What would you say if your family was killed in one of those crashes, and it was put on the Internet for all the world so see.

Then what?

Necessary disclaimer: IANAL.

They don't own the actual video (1)

abionnnn (758579) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283193)

I hope that the EFF will pursue this matter promptly!

Re:They don't own the actual video (1)

HeLLFiRe1151 (743468) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283245)

Even if they do own it, you could probably get a copy through the Freedom of Information Act, and post it all you want.

How?! (5, Insightful)

raylu (914970) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283227)

'did not try to prevent the very same video from being uploaded again by users immediately after it was purportedly removed.'

So...what was YouTube supposed to do? Seize control of the internet and delete all copies of the video?

Re:How?! (4, Funny)

gardyloo (512791) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283267)

Put sieves with the right-shaped holes in the tubes. Empty periodically. Easy.

Re:How?! (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283315)

They could record hashes of any removed content, and compare new uploads with the list of banned hashes.

Re:How?! (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283411)

They already do this, but even one bit difference between two files will change the hash.

So, re encoding the video or clipping 1 second from the length will render hashing useless.

Re:How?! (1)

cortana (588495) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283477)

Well, I didn't say that it had to be a cryptographically secure hash. I assumed someone would eventually think up some kind of "good enough" video hash... good enough for them to show that they had made reasonable efforts to keep the content offline, that is. Honestly, these DMCA prats really annoyed me. They got exactly the law that they wanted--now they want Youtube to do their job for them!

The real issue? (3, Insightful)

heyetv (248750) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283229)

"The NJTA also is suing unnamed corporations and individuals who may have helped distribute the stolen video. "

Exactly -- who stole the media to begin with, and why aren't they looking more thoroughly into their own security problems, rather than spit lawsuits? Why are they unnamed, but the video sites are put right out there publicly? Detract attention from the real problem? The above quote is the very last sentence from TFA, and the only mention of how the video was leaked...

Re:The real issue? (3, Insightful)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283341)

Because it's easier to illegally invoke the DMCA (god, why can't this law be struck down?) than to actually check to see if there's a mole or a "thief" inside the NJTA. (Rather than claim it's NJTA property, which by default is the people's property... since it is funded by taxes, they should've said it was for an ongoing investigation of a security leak.)

This is yet another example of the DMCA being improperly used by some corksoaking lawyer at the behest of another group trying to CYA for being stupid about security of their cameras... You're right... it's a diversionary tactic.

I wonder if a live feed of that camera's used anywhere? You know for TV traffic and that sort of thing?

Video link (3, Informative)

Exaton (523551) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283231)

Video is visible as part of a news report here : http://wcbstv.com/video?id=99739@wcbs.dayport.com& cid=2 [wcbstv.com] (Flash required).

Found through Yahoo! video.

Re:Video link (2, Funny)

superpulpsicle (533373) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283291)

According to the complaint, the offending video has been viewed 19,833 times on YouTube, 189,037 times on LiveLeak.com and 6,933 times on break.com as of May 21. Less than 24 hours later, on May 22, the videos had been viewed 24,346 times, 213,295 times and 16,812 times, respectively.
Well I guess by creating this lawsuit, the video will now be unofficially available all across the web and increase the views to 1,194,345,431,456,345,223 times.

Why is this copyrighted at all? (4, Insightful)

Maximalist (949682) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283239)

This just goes to show that the whole copyright system is absurdly broken.

A more reasonable legal tool for knocking this off the internet might be for the estate of the dead guy to sue under an right of publicity/invasion of privacy theory.

Some stuff doesn't belong in public circulation... but copyright is not the only way to control that sort of thing.

Re:Why is this copyrighted at all? (2, Informative)

julesh (229690) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283461)

This just goes to show that the whole copyright system is absurdly broken.

This has little or nothing to do with the copyright system. Just because somebody claims to hold copyright on a video and somebody else jumps to remove it doesn't mean they actually do hold that copyright.

As has been suggested above, there's a very good argument that this is actually a copyright-free video (no creative input was put into making it; it is a straightforward reproduction of what actually occurred), and google is reacting to a request they don't actually need to react to. If anything, it suggest's google's lawyers are broken.

Re:Why is this copyrighted at all? (1)

Kohath (38547) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283577)

In order to sue, you're supposed to have suffered harm or damage in some way. How was the dead guy harmed by this video?

Lawsuits are supposed to be about addressing genuine harm, not about using the courts to push people around.

sick video, probably a fatality in that crash (-1, Flamebait)

GC (19160) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283241)

That's a rather sick video anyway, that crash was almost certainly fatal, and any interest in viewing it is pretty mis-appropriated.

Re:sick video, probably a fatality in that crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283329)

You've seen it. :o

Re:sick video, probably a fatality in that crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283367)

If you haven't a clue as to the meaning of a word, please refrain from using it. Inerudition like yours, particularly in the affected guise of learning, only serves to debase the currency of knowledge (and almost as badly as does Wikipedia).

Re:sick video, probably a fatality in that crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283379)

Actually if you watch, you can see the guy (or more likely, part of the guy) sail onward from the crash and land on the road.

At least it was quick, right? I mean that -had- to be a suicide attempt.

Re:sick video, probably a fatality in that crash (1)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283403)

Your moral compass does not lead the way for the rest of us, dude. Free speech is not "free until a small subset of the population is offended" for good reason.

Re:sick video, probably a fatality in that crash (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283421)

Yes, that was a fatal crash. The man is believed to have suffered a seizure which caused him to lose control. Even though help was on the scene mere seconds after the crash, there was nothing that could be done. If the impact didn't kill the driver, which it almost certainly did, the fire made any help impossible.

People watch these videos not because they want to see people die. Crash videos are interesting because they show what can happen. It is an unusual situation, one which most people will (hopefully) never experience themselves. Curiosity is only natural. In this case, curiosity didn't kill anyone, did not play a part in the accident or follow-up accidents and is generally harmless.

Re:sick video, probably a fatality in that crash (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283427)

You're right (aside from the malapropism) in that the crash was probably fatal, and I'd be a little leery of anyone taking a great deal of pleasure from it. Part of living in a free society is allowing others to do things you personally disagree with. That some people might take pleasure in watching somebody die is not a good enough reason for you to support banning the video, or to support the Turkpike Authority's actions, which amount to the same thing.

Re:sick video, probably a fatality in that crash (1)

Doctor_Jest (688315) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283441)

That's not the point. The point is the NJTA is trying to bully the distribution of the video for rather thinly veiled reasons.

The morality of watching the video is not in question here... the illegality of the NJTA trying to stomp the video out using a copyright claim is the issue. (hasn't anyone learned that this NEVER works in the Internet Age? It only makes things more popular?)

the NJTA has no business invoking the DMCA for their cameras any more than Congress has invoking the DMCA to try and suppress the Congressional Record. It's TAX FUNDED camera equipment. It's a PUBLIC ROAD. The NJTA is _not_ a private entity. So, therefore... simple deduction garners one to only this conclusion: THE PEOPLE OWN THE COPYRIGHT.

The NJTA is patently wrong to even attempt this nonsense. It is yet another example of a bad law doing even more bad things in the wild without any legal precedent to strike said law right into the dirt. The DMCA is used to silence the minority, to prevent the truth from coming out, and to put a lid on the powerful's exploits. It is abused and overused... Thank you Bill Clinton. Your legacy is a suppression of the truth just like Shrub's is.

Re:sick video, probably a fatality in that crash (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283605)

> That's a rather sick video anyway, that crash was almost certainly fatal, and any interest in viewing it is pretty mis-appropriated.

"That's the only reason I watch auto racing. I'm waiting for some accidents, man. I wanna see some cars on fire. I don't care about a bunch of red-neck jackoffs driving 500 miles in a circle. Five hundred miles in a circle? Children can do that for christsakes. Doesn't impress me. I wanna see some schmuck with his hair on fire, running around punching his own head trying to put it out. I want to see the pits explode. I wanna see a car doing a 200-mile-an-hour cartwheel. Hey, where else besides auto racing am I gonna see a 23 car collision and not be in the son-of-a-bich? And if a car flies out of control, lands in the stands, and kills 50 spectators, fine! Fuck 'em. Serves 'em right. They paid to get in, let 'em take their chances with everybody else. Just means more fun for me! More fun for me!

"Hey, 'least I admit it. Most people wouldn't admit to those feelings. Most people see something like that on television they'll say 'Oh, isn't that awful? Isn't that too bad?' Lying asholes! You love it and you know it.

"Explosions are fun. And hey, the closer the explosion is to your house, the more fun it is! Did you ever notice that? Sometimes you have the TV on and you're working around the house. Some guy comes on television he says 'Six thousand people were killed in an explosion today.' You say 'Where, where?' He says 'In Pakistan.' You say 'Aw, fuck Pakistan, too far away to be any fun!' But if he says it happened in your home town, you'll say 'Whoa, hot shit! C'mon Dave, let's go look at the bodies!"

"I love bad news. I love bad news. Hey, the more bad news there is, the faster this system collapses. Fine by me! Fine by me. Don't bother my ass."

- George Carlin, "Jammin' in New York"

Real Reason (1)

lithiumfox (736891) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283247)

I think they are doing this just because they want some money. Isn't NJ in a huge deficit?

Re:Real Reason (1)

Harmonious Botch (921977) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283531)

I don't think profit is the driving force here. They stand a good chance of taking a loss on this due to attorney's fees.
If making money were the primary goal they could sell it to a tv show.

Who's Property? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283251)

I would think the driver of the vehicle(may he rest in pieces) might have something to say about who owns the video of his death. None-the-less, this is not a case of copyright violation, this is a case of poor security on the part of New Jersey. They are just trying to shift the blame.

We must stop this copyright insanity (5, Interesting)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283303)

This is an abuse of the concept of copyright by the turkpike authority; they're simply trying to censor unpleasant material. That we even entertain this idea is insanity, and is a testament to this idea that everything needs to be fenced off and owned. The turnpike organization is a public authority, and even if it weren't, you can't claim copyright on an automated recording of a public place! There's no creative element, no promotion of the arts, nothing other than a senseless and greedy enclosure of what ought to be common.

Re:We must stop this copyright insanity (1, Insightful)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283405)

Perhaps they are going about it the wrong way. It may not be copyrightable (then again, organizations like the NFL claim copyright over their telecasts of the games) but it could be considered *stolen* material. Just because someone leaked it and it propogated doesn't change that.

Re:We must stop this copyright insanity (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283543)

Only property can be stolen, and information is not property. You can steal a physical tape, but you're only liable for the tape itself, not the video on it. You can infringe on copyright (as you normally would by copying a stolen tape), but as a government work (even indirectly) the video should not have a copyright. Governments can make certain pieces of information secret, but this video is not classified, and there would have been no reason to make it classified.

The NFL is different. It's a private organization. If you treat the government as if it were a private entity, it will screw you over like one.

Re:We must stop this copyright insanity (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283559)

> The turnpike organization is a public authority...

It is an agency of the state of New Jersey. State governments can own and enforce copyrights.

> ...and even if it weren't, you can't claim copyright on an automated recording...

This may be a valid defense.

> ...of a public place!

Irrelevant.

What does New Jersey have to hide? (1)

Futurepower(R) (558542) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283321)

It's amazing to me how people easily accept abuse, and how abusive the U.S. government has become. There is only one reason to control information about roads: To aid corruption. What does New Jersey have to hide?

The freeway collapse in San Francisco [sfgate.com] showed very thin concrete and poor adhesion [sfgate.com] , in my opinion.

Maybe that's what New Jersey officials have to hide. Did someone take money to allow poor construction?

Re:What does New Jersey have to hide? (1)

Microlith (54737) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283385)

There are, you know, reasonable conjectures that can be made when building things.

Expecting to have a fuel truck explode and cause an extremely intense fire right underneath that spot likely wasn't expected. A car fire maybe, but not that.

Hindsight is always 20/20, and it's even clearer for armchair engineers.

Re:What does New Jersey have to hide? (1)

eriklou (1027240) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283401)

Someone moved the booth at the last second!

Re:What does New Jersey have to hide? (0, Flamebait)

Tickletaint (1088359) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283493)

Oh, God. Cue "9/11 was an inside job!" nutbags.

Oblivious... (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283355)

You gotta love the dick that traveled through the left gates at the end of the video... the toll-booth is _on fire_ and they just cruise through...

Re:Oblivious... (1)

jhmaughan (865200) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283521)

Two cars passed through on the left, but you can see where one stopped and started backing up. The last one slowed down, but the video was then cutoff.

Is New Jersey in a budget crisis right now? (1)

Antony-Kyre (807195) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283357)

Is New Jersey in a budget crisis right now? This has to be a joke. Roads are part of public property, are they not? How can they sue for something like this?

what are they trying to hide? (4, Insightful)

nanosquid (1074949) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283377)

This was a public, newsworthy event, captured by a public camera. Not only is there nothing wrong with viewing and posting it, there is something decidedly wrong with trying to hide it. In fact, that's the kind of behavior you'd expect if they are concerned about getting sued (say, over dangerous tool booth design or signage).

Whether or not they are concerned about liability in this particular case, setting a precedent that governments can take down public footage of public, newsworthy events through the DMCA would be bad. This kind of video needs to be open to public scrutiny.

Misleading Slashdot Article (4, Insightful)

Shajenko42 (627901) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283383)

The Slashdot article does not make it clear that the video was taken using NJTP property. On first reading, I thought that someone used their own camera to record this, and New Jersey was somehow claiming copyright on anything that happened on the turnpike.

"and was, therefore, property of the turnpike" (4, Informative)

mary_will_grow (466638) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283395)

From the summary:

Showing footage of a car crash that happened on the turnpike and was, therefore, property of the turnpike.

No. They don't claim they own the footage because it happened on the turnpike, they claim it is their footage because it was an NJTA camera that recorded it. The summary's incorrect statement leads people to believe that the NJTA claims everything recorded by anyone on the turnpike is their property. Reading the first paragraph of the actual article dispelled that.

Why do people submit stories and summaries before even understanding the target article?

Re:"and was, therefore, property of the turnpike" (1)

FunWithKnives (775464) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283481)

Who pays for the cameras on the NJTP? The government. Where do they get their great pile of money from? The public. Which means that anyone should have the right to post or view that video along with any others whenever and wherever they see fit. This reactionary stupidity by NJ is rather weird, and makes it seem like they have something to gain by the censoring of that particular video. Why else would they care enough to invoke the fucking DMCA?

The fact is, though, that the footage of the crash, whether it was captured by an NJTP camera or not, is property of no one but the public who pays for it all.

Re:"and was, therefore, property of the turnpike" (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283601)

Why do people submit stories and summaries before even understanding the target article?

Because they're stupid.

Will this ever end? (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283419)

All slashdot is about is posting absurd stories about the actions of insane yahoos somewhere in the world while all the people with half a clue insansly post the same old tired responses.

I saw the video earlier today (0)

AtariDatacenter (31657) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283447)

Basically, a small car going at a high speed towards a highway toll. But it fails to go through the toll gate. Instead, it crashed into a barrier that was between lanes, and erupted into a huge fireball. What caught my interest was the number of cars rubbernecking and driving through. And then someone who actually stopped to take a look.

Kind of makes you wonder why someone would be going so fast through a toll gate, but even stranger, why they managed to miss the toll gate and crashed into the barrier between gates. It just doesn't make a lot of sense. But it is a spectacular video to watch.

Re:I saw the video earlier today (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283573)

http://www.newsday.com/news/local/wire/newjersey/n y-bc-nj-njo--fatalcrash-vi0518may18,0,7816124.stor y [newsday.com]

The video depicts a car slamming into the Garden State Parkway's Great Egg Harbor toll plaza, about 10 miles south of Atlantic City, at high speed and bursting into flames. Killed in the crash was Bernard King, 52, a casino dealer from Lower Township. State police said Friday that they are still investigating the cause and are trying to determine if King's history of seizures was a factor.

Re:I saw the video earlier today (1)

mgabrys_sf (951552) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283627)

re:"What caught my interest was the number of cars rubbernecking and driving through. And then someone who actually stopped to take a look."

Yes - when confronted by a vehcile engulfed in flames my first thought is to jump into the middle of it and not keep my distance.

re:"kind of makes you wonder why someone would be going so fast through a toll gate"

They were probably drunk

re:" but even stranger, why they managed to miss the toll gate and crashed into the barrier between gates."

They were probably drunk

re:"It just doesn't make a lot of sense."

In the United States we have a substance that is served without caution to people at most drinking establishments called alcohol. It's even served when the buyer is obviously drunk already (this is frowned on legally - but often times is secondary to making profit). It impares judgement, vision, and reflexes. Just the thing to consume before getting behind the wheel. People in all countries where alcohol is served often use this lack of judgement to get in their car. Darwin ensues. As far as whether I'd want someone to see my drunk ass getting killed - yes - I would. Might help prevent another drunk idiot splattering their brainpan while "having a Budweiser". Not all of course - perhaps 2. Tops.

Re:I saw the video earlier today (1)

the_cowgod (133070) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283673)

TFA has an error, this crash happened on the Garden State Parkway, not the New Jersey Turnpike. Both are toll roads operated by the NJ Turnpike Authority. The parkway has toll plazas in the main traffic lanes at a number of points, so if you were to drive the length of it, you might have to stop and pay a toll 5 or 6 times. Someone who becomes unconcious/asleep/etc while driving might easily smash into the tolls at full speed.

Re:I saw the video earlier today (1)

Em Ellel (523581) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283715)

Kind of makes you wonder why someone would be going so fast through a toll gate, but even stranger, why they managed to miss the toll gate and crashed into the barrier between gates. It just doesn't make a lot of sense. But it is a spectacular video to watch
I think the official explanation is that the driver had a seizure and lost control, but that police car that arrives seconds later makes me wonder how they got there so fast. But maybe a cop was just nearby.

-Em

I Clicked On The Video (1)

Skeetskeetskeet (906997) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283453)

And immediately a Jew lawyer showed up at my door... Damn the Internet works fast.

Isn't all government stuff public domain? (1)

bombastinator (812664) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283455)

IIRC The reason you can get all those pretty NASA photos for free is that any media created by the government is automatically considered to be property of the American people and as such falls under the public domain.

I took a peek at the NJ turnpike authority website and while the "about us" area is apparently broken, it looks very much like a straight out government agency. (I'm still not totally sure though, the turnpike is a toll road and very well might be private)

I am not opposed to NJ trying to keep video like this off the net. I personally find purient interest in such things to be a bit disgusting. I suspect however that they really needed the freedom of information act (which gives them like 50 years or something, I forget) rather then the DMCA for protection here.

Not Bloody Likely (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283511)

That's not a good enough reason for censorship. If you personally don't like the video, don't watch it. I don't particularly like it myself. But who are you and I to force our views on other people? It happened in a public place; should we scrub the memories of the people who were there, lest they tell prurient stories to their friends?

As for the Turnpike Authority -- the name should give you a hint. It's a Public Authority [wikipedia.org] of the same kind famously employed by Robert Moses. The main benefit of an authority over a typical organ of government is that an authority can issue bonds to raise money. Fine. But that it takes on any other corporate-like powers, like being able to hold copyright, while simultaneously being owned by the government is outrageous.

Re:Isn't all government stuff public domain? (1)

John Hasler (414242) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283611)

> Isn't all government stuff public domain?

No. US copyright law provides that the US government cannot enforce its copyright on works created by US government employees as part of their duties. However, this applies only to the Federal government. State and local governments can and do own and enforce their copyrights. The United States is a _federation_, not a monolithic state.

The video may not be protected by copyright at all, though. The authority's attorneys are going to have use some creativity themselves to argue successfully that the output of such an automated system is creative.

Re:Isn't all government stuff public domain? (1)

QuoteMstr (55051) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283645)

No. US copyright law provides that the US government cannot enforce its copyright on works created by US government employees as part of their duties. However, this applies only to the Federal government. State and local governments can and do own and enforce their copyrights. The United States is a _federation_, not a monolithic state.


I googled for a few minutes and couldn't find any supporting evidence, even on the US Copyright Office site. Do you have any sources that support this statement?

Even if it is true, it shouldn't be. One can apply exactly the same arguments used against federal copyright to state copyright with exactly the same result. It's still not in the public interest to allow the state to hold copyright.

Highways are all going private (0, Troll)

popo (107611) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283465)

Think you're driving on public roads? Think again. It's estimated that 35% of public roads will be private within
the next 20 years.

Your rights to photograph (even with your own camera) will soon be seriously curtailed.

The enemy to personal freedoms isn't government -- its private corporations and intellectual property law.

Your masters are corporate.

Streisand Effect (1)

Mr. Underbridge (666784) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283499)

Idiots. If the point was to reduce viewing of the video, this ain't the way.

Re:Streisand Effect (1)

Dunbal (464142) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283677)

link plz, lol

Completely asinine reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283513)

New Jersey isn't trying to hide anything, they're just lashing out because a (presumably) state employee who shouldn't have done so made a grisly video public.

I'm not sure how the state could be to blame for the accident itself. At first I thought the driver fell asleep, but the story I read about it later said the driver was a 52 year-old casino worker who had a seizure while behind the wheel. Either way, that car was most likely gonna hit something-- it just happened to be the toll plaza. If the state has any liability concerns, it's probably that the victim's family could sue the state for emotional distress at seeing the guy die on a publicly-released video.

Invoking the DMCA is nothing but a scare tactic to get the video yanked quickly. The road, camera, and tape of the incident are all paid for by tax dollars, so there's no way this can be a copyright issue.

Re:Completely asinine reaction (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283653)

Uh, if they're trying to censor the video they are clearly trying to hide it.

And this, children... (1)

Fuzzums (250400) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283549)

This is what happens when you give the big corporations what they want and pass laws that are there for the companies and not for the people. People that a government are supposed to protect / represent.

NJ Just wants the (C) (1)

N3WBI3 (595976) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283589)

So they get paid when this thing is aired on Maximum Exposure

Who owns the NJTA (1)

siriuskase (679431) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283667)

If it is owned by the state, then the video is public domain. Even if it is a private corporation operating under a state granted monopoly, the state has rights to the footage if it was placed there for public safety. If it is available as evidence in court, for accident investigations or whatever, it is available for other public uses by people other than the state or the NJTA. Standards for keeping publicly owned information classified are high and are completely different than copyright which the stae doesn't have a right to use, since we, all of us, are the state.

Good for the NJ Turnpike (1)

trimbo (127919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283687)

Not every DMCA request is not a violation of YOUR rights. For a minute, put yourself in the place a relative of the person driving this car, who probably feel asleep at the wheel on the way to work. How do you think they feel about having people watch their loved one die on You Tube? What about their rights?

So far this is the only DMCA request I actually agree with. Using DMCA to get this, an obvious snuff film, off of the web is at least morally appropriate. I too am not sure about the copyright aspect of a public entity's video, but I'm glad they're at least doing something about keeping the video off of YouTube.

Re:Good for the NJ Turnpike (1)

trimbo (127919) | more than 7 years ago | (#19283707)

Accidental double negative. Was supposed to be "Not every DMCA request is a violation of YOUR rights"

I'm so glad my NJ tax dollars are being wasted (0)

Anonymous Coward | more than 7 years ago | (#19283699)

It's nice to know my exorbitant NJ tax dollars are being utilized so well. Probably some official's lawyer relative or buddy getting the money.
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