DMCA Threat


Bill Schmalfeldt threatens to file a DMCA takedown notice over this image:Thecrew

The image is a parody of StarWar VI. Does he claim to own the rights to that film? Disney would contest that.

Does he claim to own the copyright on the image of Brett Kimberlin when he was arrested for impersonating a federal officer? Sorry, that is a public domain image.

Does he claim to own the copyright on the image of Neal Rauhauser? Fine. Produce an affidavit that he is the photographer or the purchase records of the rights.

Does he claim to own the copyright on the image of himself? Fine. Produce an affidavit that he is the photographer or the purchase records of the rights.

Does he claim to be the agent for any of the copyright holders? OK. Produce the documentation appointing him as the agent.

Otherwise, he should realize that filing a bogus DMCA claim could cause him to wind up in court as a defendant rather than a plaintiff. He’s already pushing his luck, but perhaps he wants to double down on stupid.

Perhaps I can get pro bono help from a blogger who helps others subject to bogus censorship …

UPDATE—I’m told that Bill Schmalfeldt has asked nicely that the picture be taken down. Who did he ask? Is he saying that he asked me?

UPDATE 2—Bill Schmalfeldt seems to think that because he is the subject of a photograph or because it was published on his website that he has a copyright on the picture. That’s not necessarily true. The copyright to a picture belongs to the photographer who takes the picture. Schmalfeldt has a copyright on the his website, but unless he took that picture himself, he would have no more ownership of it than he would of a quote from Mark Twain.

Remember, folks, I don’t own my headshot. I use it under license from the photographer who took the picture. He owns the copyright as Bill Schmalfeldt found out.

Furthermore, the parody image was not my creation. I have no rights to it other than permission from the artist to publish.

Schmalfeldt either needs to come up with proof that took the picture himself or that he acquired ownership of the copyright in some other way. Or he needs to knock it off.

UPDATE 3—I just pulled it out of the file to check. I have document signed by the President of the United States saying that I am a gentleman. Actually, an officer and a gentleman. And it’s signed by Richard Nixon. Oh well …

UPDATE 4—Once more, in simple words: The copyright to a work belongs to the creator of the work. The photographer owns the copyright photograph not the subject. The photographer who owns the copyright to my headshot sent the takedown notice on my headshot. Peter Ingemi requested that my image from his copyrighted video not be photoshopped into a pornographic picture. I have never claimed a copyright on any image of me published by Bill Schmalfeldt.

UPDATE 5—This will have to do for now:thecrew2

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