Friday, January 26, 2007

Group tells ABC to leave Spocko alone

Lawyers at the Electronic Frontiers Foundation have come to the defense of Spocko, the mystery blogger who got a cease-and-desist letter from Disney/ABC Radio for posting controversial sound bites from its conservative "Hot Talk" KSFO radio station on his Web site that cost the station four advertisers. Disney/ABC claimed that Spocko was violating the station's copyright, but the foundation's lawyers have written a letter to ABC on behalf of Spocko saying the use of the audio was completely within the law. The foundation's letter provides a detailed, four-point argument supporting Spocko's claim that the sound bites were protected under the "fair use" provision of the copyright law.

"Copyright law is not designed to silence speech that you dislike," EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman said in a press release. "ABC and KSFO know that their legal threats were absolutely groundless. Their time and efforts are better spent explaining why they think Spocko is wrong, and letting the public decide, instead of resorting to thuggish legal tactics."

ABC/Disney has refused to comment about the letter to reporters who have written about the controversy. ABC/Disney convinced Spocko's ISP to pull the plug on the mystery blogger's web site, but the sound bites have since shown up on more than 500 other web sites.

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