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Sunday, November 21, 2010

Sarah Palin 1- Gawker 0: Gawker Ordered To Remove Leaked Excerpts

Gawker published unauthorized leaked excerpts from Sarah Palin's new book "America By Heart" and when asked to remove those pages Gawker decided instead to recommend Palin speak to her lawyers.

Gawker titled a post on Thursday with "Sarah Palin is Mad at Us for Leaking Pages From Her Book" and sent a message to "Sarah" .

[Sarah: If you're reading this—and if you are, welcome!—you may want to take a moment to familiarize yourself with the law. Try starting here or here. Or skip the totally boring reading and call one of your lawyers. They'll walk you through it.]

Palin's publisher, HarperCollins, did exactly that and their lawyers filed a lawsuit in Federal court against Gawker Media asking that Gawker be banned from further "copyright infringement" as well as seeking financial damages.

The Politico reports that the federal judge ordered Gawker to take the excerpts down, which now they have, until a hearing which is scheduled for November 30, 2010.

A two-page order signed Saturday by U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa, who sits in Manhattan, says: “Gawker is temporarily retrained and enjoined from continuing to distribute, publish or otherwise transmit pages" of the book.

See the order here.

"America By Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag" will be released November 23, 2010.

Fair use under copyright law:

One of the rights accorded to the owner of copyright is the right to reproduce or to authorize others to reproduce the work in copies or phonorecords. This right is subject to certain limitations found in sections 107 through 118 of the copyright law (title 17, U. S. Code). One of the more important limitations is the doctrine of “fair use.” The doctrine of fair use has developed through a substantial number of court decisions over the years and has been codified in section 107 of the copyright law.

Section 107 contains a list of the various purposes for which the reproduction of a particular work may be considered fair, such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching, scholarship, and research. Section 107 also sets out four factors to be considered in determining whether or not a particular use is fair:

1. The purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes

2. The nature of the copyrighted work

3. The amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole

4. The effect of the use upon the potential market for, or value of, the copyrighted work

The distinction between fair use and infringement may be unclear and not easily defined. There is no specific number of words, lines, or notes that may safely be taken without permission. Acknowledging the source of the copyrighted material does not substitute for obtaining permission.

The 1961 Report of the Register of Copyrights on the General Revision of the U.S. Copyright Law cites examples of activities that courts have regarded as fair use: “quotation of excerpts in a review or criticism for purposes of illustration or comment; quotation of short passages in a scholarly or technical work, for illustration or clarification of the author’s observations; use in a parody of some of the content of the work parodied; summary of an address or article, with brief quotations, in a news report; reproduction by a library of a portion of a work to replace part of a damaged copy; reproduction by a teacher or student of a small part of a work to illustrate a lesson; reproduction of a work in legislative or judicial proceedings or reports; incidental and fortuitous reproduction, in a newsreel or broadcast, of a work located in the scene of an event being reported.”

Copyright protects the particular way an author has expressed himself. It does not extend to any ideas, systems, or factual information conveyed in the work.

The safest course is always to get permission from the copyright owner before using copyrighted material. The Copyright Office cannot give this permission.

When it is impracticable to obtain permission, use of copyrighted material should be avoided unless the doctrine of fair use would clearly apply to the situation. The Copyright Office can neither determine if a certain use may be considered fair nor advise on possible copyright violations. If there is any doubt, it is advisable to consult an attorney.

Perhaps Gawker Media should have consulted with their own attorneys before violating the copyright infringement laws instead of trying to be smart asses and telling Palin to consult hers.

They might have avoided this type of humiliation.

More at CBS.

You can get a sneak peak from the author herself at Palin's Facebook page here.