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Spoon bender fights back over Youtube slur

10 seconds of infamy
Fri May 11 2007, 21:58
ISRAELI PSYCHIC BENDER Uri Geller is refusing to give up his legal battle to ban a video clip posted on Youtube which claims to expose the alleged 'secrets' of his spoon bending antics.

The dispute revolves around a 13-minute video posted on Youtube in which magician James Randi, a skeptic famous for debunking paranormal claims, 'exposes' Geller as a fraud and demonstrates a range of sleight-of-hand tricks he could have used.

The clip was put together by the Rational Response Squad (RSS), a group of online atheists who believe they have a mission "to help the world overcome irrationality" (sic) and who tend to use Youtube to do it.

Geller struck the first blow by sending a DCMA takedown notice to Youtube, which removed the video and on March 23, suspended the account of Brian Sapient, the eminence gris behind the Rational Response Squad.

Sapient then moved to sue Geller through the Electronic Frontier Foundation over "bogus" copyright claims, saying the video clip lasted only three seconds - and would most likely be protected under US fair use precedent.

Just as Sapient and co. were filing their motion, Geller's UK-based company Explorologist Ltd, was doing exactly the same - but arguing the clip was 10 seconds long, and using British copyright law to do it.

"Under British copyright law, a clip can be used for critical puposes but you have to say who owns it," Explorologist's lawyer Richard Winelander told the Inquirer.

"In the US, there is a fair use precedent but you don't have to source the material."

What we're actually talking about here is a 20-year-old bit of crackly footage featuring one Dr Hughes introducing La Geller at a charity event in Reading.

"His remarkable affinity for metal and his psychic abilities are well documented the world over," the good doctor says in the Queen's English.

Not to further draw out the controversy but to our untrained eye, the clip looked to be exactly eight seconds long - nine at a stretch.

"Uri Geller is no stranger to controversy and there are many videos criticising Uri on Youtube that we have no problem with. What we do mind is our copyrighted material being used without our consent," said Winelander.

You can watch the video here. µ

See Also
Spoon-bending psychic sued over Youtube boob

L'INQ
Explorologist suit against Sapient

 

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