July 12, 2004

"OutFoxed" and lawsuit briar patch?

OutFoxed is being thrown into the briar patch by Fox. I called it. Poke them, they jerk. See Ernest Miller's Outfoxed Rope-a-Dope Begins?

Quote the Editor and Publisher article:

In a statement handed out at the press conference by an unidentified woman, Fox News declared, "The illegal copyright infringement actions of moveon.org in cooperation with The New York Times, including 'cutting a deal' not to give Fox News Channel adequate time to react, is unprecedented." The Times, it said, in "taking orders from" a George Soros-funded Web site, "corrupts the journalistic process. This is the real story." It described Soros as "a left-wing billionaire currency speculator who funds many liberal efforts."

Now, let's note they haven't actually filed a lawsuit yet. In context, the above is pretty standard Fox trash-talk. They're not going to say "The First Amendment protected fair-use actions of ..."

But the pattern is clear. Here's my predictions on what to look for next. I don't know that this will happen, but it's what I'd watch for:

Lessig will release a stirring statement about fair use, free culture, remixing, etc. etc. Forget the blog A-list. A good portion of the media hates Fox, so they're going to run with this, and the general OutFoxed PR, for a combination of revenge against a rival, and navel-gazing blather about The Sad State Of Journalism Today. The key aspect to examine is how much the reaction seems to be saying in-your-face, you-don't-have-the-GUTS-to-sue-us. Because that'll be aimed at the executives, not the lawyers. Welcome to high-stakes litigation strategy.

By Seth Finkelstein | posted in copyblight | on July 12, 2004 11:59 PM (Infothought permalink) | Followups
Seth Finkelstein's Infothought blog (Wikipedia, Google, censorware, and an inside view of net-politics) - Syndicate site (subscribe, RSS)

Subscribe with Bloglines      Subscribe in NewsGator Online  Google Reader or Homepage