Got a letter from Luke Thomas:
For the record, the SanFranciscoSentinel.com has NOT granted you permission to use the two copyrighted photos on your blog.
Subsequent to our invoice for their illegal use by you and your subsequent public protest for same, you appear to have acquiesced to the intentional reduction of the font-size used to display the customary byline and copyright message, rendering both illegible.
For these reasons, you are hereby demanded to remove the photos from your blog immediately.
Should you have the need to use copyrighted materials from the SanFranciscoSentinel.com, or any other copyright owner, I urge you to request permission before illegally lifting for your personal use. Needless to say, failure to abide by U.S. and international copyright laws may result in legal action against you to the full extent of the law.
For the record, one is under no obligation to ask permission to use copyrighted material when it is used "for purposes such as criticism, comment or news reporting." 17 U.S.C. § 107, excerpted here:
"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. In determining whether the use made of a work in any particular case is a fair use the factors to be considered shall include—
- 1. the purpose and character of the use, including whether such use is of a commercial nature or is for nonprofit educational purposes;
- 2. the nature of the copyrighted work;
- 3. the amount and substantiality of the portion used in relation to the copyrighted work as a whole; and
- 4. the effect of the use upon the potential market for or value of the copyrighted work."
In case you missed the point, the juxtaposition of two of your photographs, a very flattering one of the Mayor (with the caption, "he loves me") and a "look what the cat dragged in" one of Supervisor Chris Daly ("he loves me not") was a sad commentary on how far the Sentinel has declined since the days when it purported to tell the truth.
I had intended to spend this weekend working on a piece about the low-income population of the Civic Center Hotel and how the politically well-connected Plumbers Union Local 38 is trying to put them out on the street. The invoice you sent me, demanding payment of $50 per photo, and this latest diatribe, is a distraction.
h. brown chose to announce a fundraiser, mostly tongue-in-cheek, to retire the debt of your demand, and your partner Pat Murphy offered to donate $100 to make h. whole even after satisfying your demand, but you just don't want to let go, huh? As I understand things, this site was a birthday present to h. from one of his many friends. I'm just a guest here and I am not going to get into a pissing match with anybody.
Once again, h. is back at the Sentinel writing a weekly column and if he is to be fired by Pat for the third time, it should be for something of his own doing.
So, I have asked Seth to take down your pictures and if anyone out there missed out on the joke, they can contact me ... because I'd be glad to share them. For non-profit educational purposes, you twit.
Jim Meko is a South of Market activist, currently serving as chair of both the SoMa Leadership Council and the Western SoMa Citizens Planning Task Force and is a member of San Francisco's Entertainment Commission. Here at the Bulldog, of course, he's expressing his own personal opinions. He can be reached at email@example.com.