Selective Harrassment From Fox?
I received the following email early this morning regarding a controversial video now posted on NMATV…
From: Web Enforcement [mailto:Web.Enforcement@fox.com]
Sent: Thursday, March 26, 2009 2:35 PM
To: firstname.lastname@example.org; email@example.com
Subject: Nmatv.com – URGENT — Copyright Infringement Notice
Attention Stratagem Technical Services:
Twentieth Century Fox Film Corporation (“Fox”) is the owner of exclusive rights protected under copyright law and other intellectual property laws in many motion pictures and television programs including the television series entitled FAMILY GUY (“Fox Properties”).
Unauthorized copies of the Fox Properties are being offered from the website http://www.Nmatv.com which we understand is hosted by Stratagemtech.com. This website also makes illegal use of artwork and trademarks associated with Fox’s copyrighted content.
Please help coordinate the immediate removal of all links to illegal copies of Fox content offered on the http://www.Nmatv.com website including the link identified below:
“Removal”. A reoccurring theme….
This email is not a complete statement of Fox’s rights in connection with this matter, and nothing contained herein constitutes an express or implied waiver of any rights, remedies, or defenses of Fox in connection with this matter, all of which are expressly reserved.
The undersigned has a good faith belief that use of the materials in the manner described herein is not authorized by Fox, its agent, or the law. The information in this notice is accurate. Under penalty of perjury, the undersigned is authorized to act on behalf of Fox with respect to this matter.
Manager, Online Enforcement
Fox Group Legal
2121 Avenue of the Stars
Los Angeles, CA 90067
Tel: (310) 369-7582
Fax: (310) 969-0448
My response is the following…
To Web Enforcement, Fox Inc.
I must admit to being perplexed by your recent email, so please permit me to be blunt.
NMATV is a 50% black-owned business. While race isn’t an issue, public perception is another thing.
There are dozens, if not hundreds of Family Guy videos currently on YouTube. NMATV has ONE.
I understand the subject matter of the video in question is controversial, but we didn’t write, produce, or air that clip on national television. Fox Broadcasting did. We could cite Fair Use from the Copyright Law of 1976:
§ 107. Limitations on exclusive rights: Fair use
Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 106 and 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.
And while your program clip is covered by copyright law, your email is not, and removal of the video from NMATV would require an explanation to our viewers. How it would be perceived by them is beyond our control.
We would be more than happy to remove the video once it’s confirmed that ALL of the Family Guy videos on YouTube alone, are purged from the Internet. Singling out our ONE video would have the appearance of selective discrimination, and I’m sure we don’t want to go there.
Please inform me of how you wish to proceed.
Executive Director, NMATV