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"I've come to realize that one of the perks of a free society is the inalienable right to debase ourselves in a wide variety of ways."
--Sam
Sam And Max, Freelance Police!
 

Perez Hilton is being a jag-off.

Well, okay, we've known that for a while.  First, his stage name is derived from Paris Hilton's.  Then, he rails in favor of PeTA while his website hosts ads for sheepskin boots.  And now, he's trying to abuse my Constitution.  Those that know me understand this is tantamount to an Act Of War in my books.

A group called the National Organization for Marriage (brief pause while readers get the "nom nom nom" jokes out of their systems) made a couple of spots decrying, yes, gay marriage.  Don't worry, I won't rehash my feelings on the subject, and they really are immaterial here.  Among the images in the clip are a three second clip of Hilton calling Carrie Prejean, a.k.a. Miss California (I know, I didn't know beauty contestants had real names, either) "She's a dumb [beep]".  "The ad highlights the efforts of same-sex marriage activists to silence and discredit pro-marriage advocates, calling them "liars," "bigots," and worse."

There are two versions of the spot, a thirty second version, and a one minute version.  The one minuter was posted on YouTube.  Hilton, apparently upset, promptly sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube, claiming that the clip of him is not Fair Use.  Bullshit.  I know enough about Fair Use from my fangaming days and the article I wrote for Video Game Trader.  Here's what rings the bell -- THE USE IS TRANSFORMATIVE!  It is taking something Hilton did and changing it to provide commentary and illustration.  There are other subtlies here, but the fact that the context is independent of Hilton's own alone guarantees EPIC WIN for Fair Use.  YouTube, however, pussed out and took it down.  However, Patterico, who campaigns against bogus copyright claims to squelch Free Speech, has uploaded it to his own YouTube account.  He's a lawyer, and he's daring Hilton to try to DMCA him (he probably has counterclaims ready to go) and is encouraging others with YouTube accounts to do the same.  Patterico has already posted videos that CNN tried taking down from YouTube under bogus copyright claims, so this guy obviously isn't scared.

But what's really upsetting about all this is how Hilton got his start.  He would post pictures of celebrities without the photographer's permission to his web site and articles.  When people started bitching, he would scrawl things on the pictures, claiming Fair Use under the "parody" and "transformative" defenses.  And now, he's attacking people over something far more square than his own use.

Like they say in Pogo, "We have met the enemy, and they is us."

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