Rather than try to fight a First Amendment case (which they would be destined to lose), Glenn Beck's lawyers have filed a complaint (.pdf here) with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO), a "specialized agency of the United Nations" based in the neutral country of Switzerland, claiming that the satirical domain name glenn beck raped and murdered a young girl in 1990.com is: 1) a form of cybersquatting, 2) defamatory and 3) an infringement on his trademarked name. (The irony here is that the United Nations and socialist Switzerland are two things Beck does not believe in.)
(The site itself is called "Did Glenn Beck Rape and Murder a Young Girl in 1990: The Official Parody Website About the Controversy" -- after a 2008 Gilbert Gottfried comedy routine spreading heretofore nonexistent rumors about Bob Saget in a televised Comedy Central roast. Gottfried also claimed that Saget seduced the Olsen twins with chocolate milk
In response (.pdf here, lawyers for the site contend that Beck's defamation complaints are outside the scope WIPO's own decision-making powers, and that the satire is "not unlike the fame Campari ad in Hustler v. Falwell." Beck's people simply don't understand what an
Intertubes Internet meme is:
"The term Internet meme is a phrase used to describe a catchphrase or concept that spreads quickly from person to person via the Internet, much like an esoteric inside joke." See Internet For Beginners (Annex B)
From "Mr. Spock Ate My Balls," (defunct) to ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US to "Leeroy Jenkins" to a slew of sub-memes based on the movie "300", internet memes are as old as the internet itself, and almost as ubiquitous as actual cybersquatters. See Squidoo "Top 10 Internet Memes" (Annex C). Memes are often puzzling to those who have never encountered them before, and they are similarly puzzling to the subjects of the memes when they involve real people.
Attorney Marc Randazza then offers a formula to explain how these things work:
(Outrageous Accusation) + (Celebrity) + (Question Why the Celebrity Does Not Deny the Accusation) = (Confirmation of the Falsity of the Accusation + Laughter)
Popular Blog Posts
The first part in a four-part series on what film can teach us about the relationship between Israel and Palestine.
This message came to me from a reader named Peter Svensland. He and a fr...
An obituary for the legendary James Garner, who has passed away at the age of 86.
A report on the atmosphere at the 2014 Jerusalem Film Festival and its best film, "Maidan."