As we reported yesterday, we have been engaged in a battle with “Dr. Chaps” Gordon Klingenschmitt for several weeks now, stemming from Klingenschmitt’s mistaken belief that the videos we have been posting featuring excerpts from his television program are violations of his copyright. As a result, Klingenschmitt has filed multiple copyright claims against our YouTube account and succeeded in shutting it down on two separate occasions.
In both instances, we have filed counter-claims against each and every alleged violation and every one has been resolved in our favor, resulting in our account being restored and the strike against us being removed.
Fed up with his on-going campaign to hamper our work, our lawyers have sent Klingenschmitt a cease and desist letter explicitly warning him that if he continues to file bogus copyright complaints against our YouTube account, legal action will be taken against him.
But, according to an interview Klingenschmitt conducted with David Pakman yesterday, it doesn’t appear as if he has any intention of ceasing his campaign to permanently shut down our YouTube account by relentlessly filing bogus copyright complaints against our videos.
Insisting that we are “stealing” his content and trying to pass it off as our own in an effort to make money, Klingenschmitt amazingly asserted that we have been filing a “false counter-claim knowingly infringing on my copyright” by responding to his bogus copyright claims and getting our videos restored on YouTube.
As such, Klingenschmitt states that he has been in contact with lawyers of his own who have allegedly recommended that he sue us, but that is not a course of action that he intends to pursue at this time, he said, though he does intend to continue to file copyright claims against our videos and have them removed from YouTube.
When Pakman pointed out that we cannot be expected to moderate the thousands of comments our videos receive on YouTube nor be held responsible for what anonymous users might post in those comments, Klingenschmitt insisted that we do, in fact, moderate the comments and have removed comments from people supporting him. He even claims to have screencaps that prove it, which is pretty amazing considering that that has never happened.
Pakman’s interview with Klingenschmitt was very fair and even-handed, but we would like to address the hypothetical argument he raised that the videos we post to YouTube might not be protected by Fair Use since we are not adding any commentary or criticism.
The entire purpose of posting these brief video clips to YouTube is so that they can serve as the focus in blog posts written here on RightWingWatch where we provide commentary, context, and criticism. Each video uploaded to our YouTube account makes clear that the clip is being posted as part of our regular news reporting to highlight and expose the outrageous statements made by key figures in the right-wing movement and includes commentary on the statements highlighted in the video. As the most popular video sharing site, posting our clips to YouTube makes our reporting available to the broadest swatch of people so that it can easily be shared with other bloggers, activists, and media outlets. In addition, our videos also include a link to the relevant RightWingWatch blog post in which it is being used, which contains further commentary, context, and explanation.
There can be no question that our video clips are used for an entirely different purpose (reporting and commentary) than Klingenschmitt’s original purpose, which is to spread his radical, right-wing, anti-gay views and agenda, further making clear that our videos are protected by the doctrine of Fair Use.