Hey, Michael Moore, I’m calling you out

Michael Moore websiteMichael Moore is an artistic and intellectual thief.

Yes, Michael Moore, the American filmmaker, author, political commentator and self-professed liberal who enjoys the skewering the ethical transgressions of corporate organizations.

Yes, Michael Moore of the documentary films Roger and Me, Bowling for Columbine, Fahrenheit 9/11, Sicko, and Capitalism: A Love Story.

Yes, Michael Moore, an unabashed and unrepentant nose-thumber at copyright protections. Hey, it’s just a federal law.

On July 5, while most Americans were enjoying a Fourth of July day off, Knoxville News Sentinel reporter Frank Munger and photographer Michael Patrick were out in the 90-degree heat covering peace protesters at the Department of Energy’s nuclear weapons facilities in Oak Ridge, Tenn.

In addition to calling in Web updates and writing a story for knoxnews.com and for next day’s print edition, he shot a short video. Patrick shot several photos that were used in a photo gallery.

Despite a prominent copyright notice on every page of the website, Michael Moore’s website took the entire article and posted it online.

The video Munger shot was grabbed, the Knoxnews logo was clipped out and a new copy posted to Michael Moore’s YouTube channel complete with video credits for Munger at the end.

Early Friday, I filed on the behalf of the Knoxville News Sentinel (my employer) a “take down” notice with YouTube and the pilfered version of the video was removed by YouTube by Saturday afternoon.

I also submitted the contact form on the michaelmoore.com website directed to the website administrator demanding our photos, which had also been snagged from knoxnews.com, be removed.

So far, they haven’t.

It’s not that we’re opposed to sharing our content. We like other sites to link to our content and we also heavily link out to sites other than own.

The video we posted on knoxnews has embed code that allows it to be legally be placed on another site, as does the version of the video we posted to our YouTube channel. It’s  just a simple cut-and-paste of a code snippet. But why bother, it’s only someone else’s work product.

A thumbnail of one photo (the ones posted are larger than thumbnails) and a link to the gallery would have been great. But why bother, it’s only someone else’s work product.

An excerpt of the article with a link to the complete story would have been excellent. But why bother, it’s only someone else’s work product.

From a look at some other content on the site, MichaelMoore.com makes a regular habit of reposting copyrighted work in total without adding any type of additional value.

Did Michael Moore personally misappropriate our copyrighted material? I don’t know, but he has to take responsibility for the website that bears his name.

And that’s the awful truth and Michael Moore.

(Photo: Screenshot of MichaelMoore.com page with News Sentinel story and photos. By the time I grabbed this, the video they had taken from knoxnews.com and uploaded to YouTube had been removed. Click on the photo to see a larger version.)

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23 Replies to “Hey, Michael Moore, I’m calling you out”

  1. Anyone who heard him on the radio back in the day, can tell you he’s an open Communist. Does this blatant theft^Wexpropriation really surprise you?

  2. Michael Moore is a liar. You don’t think he will go the extra mile and become a thief? Don’t worry, he is all for enslavement and murder when necesssary. After all, that is the usual progression for Socialists.

  3. It’s one thing to forget a link, but to crop the logo out of the video requires forethought. That makes them thieves, not hapless.

  4. Glenn Reynolds’ comment is best – about all property being theft, therefore why the heck not…
    Michael Moore is a self-important hack (she says blithely from the position of never having seen even one of his films).

  5. Have any of you heard of the Fair use defense of news reporting, which is a complete defense to copyright infringement? So regardless of your vitriol against Moore, I don’t believe he has engaged in copyright infringement.

  6. Yeah, it’s terrible what happened. An utter travesty. But why am I suspicious at the idea that Michael Moore might have been working on July 5? Congratulations. You made a stink, and you got your name in the paper. Of course, it’s your paper.

  7. This hasn’t run in the newspaper I work for or any other that I’m aware of. If you’re talking about this blog, why yes, my name is on it.

  8. Michael Moorre is a great American and has exposed the downright pilfering of this countries resources. So he used your article . Man get a clue it happens everyday on the web.
    Moore rules.

  9. He used our article and our photos and our video. Just because it happens every day doesn’t make it right particularly from someone who knows the law (or should). When it comes to pilfering, he could do a documentary expose on himself.

  10. Hmm. Moore on Moore? You might ask. Couldn’t hurt to let others know how he gets done what he does. More people might do what Moore people do.

  11. You really want this professional writer to say that it’s okay for others to violate his copyright? Mitch, you don’t seem to understand how people make a living. If you are a sculptor, and someone steals your work and sells it as their own, and pays you nothing for your work, you get mad.
    Perhaps when you’re old enough to understand that Moore is nothing more than a producer of fiction rather than documentaries, you’ll be mature enough to understand simple theft of intellectual property.

  12. No defense of Moore’s website conduct, but a lot of peopled don’t seem to understand fair use. In a forum I frequent people cut paste entire articles all the time.

  13. Brian. You are on target 100 percent. Part of it is there is no specific number of words or seconds of video or bars of music that can be used so it comes across as a vague concept.

  14. Moore has a history of this sort of thing. He copied a circulated email that originated from a website in his book “Stupid White Men”, and one poster from “Sicko” was a virtual copy of a SPY Magazine cover, with nearly identical taglines.
    Ironically, after his interview where he declared all intellectual property should be open he even said people should watch his film for free. One blogger took him up on the offer and posted a link to watch his movie for free, and soon was served with a “take-down” letter from Moore.
    It seems only he is allowed to steal material.

  15. Luckily, in our case, the story, photos and video have been removed from his site, but I suspect that only happened because of the attention this particular incident has received.

  16. It seems his mistake was not giving proper credit and he should be jailed for plagiarism for this. Had he left the logo from the news site he would have been fine. However, he replaced the proper credit for the article with his own self serving logo and essentially took credit for the article and footage. Blatant plagiarism by every definition of the word!
    The following exert from http://www.ehow.com will explain further…(See Mikey! That wasn’t so hard?)
    In criminal law, plagiarism is usually considered a misdemeanor, “punishable by fines” and “up to” a year in prison. However, under certain state and federal laws it can also constitute a felony. According to Plagiarism.org, receiving more than $2,500 from a plagiarized work is a felony, punishable by “up to $250,000 in fines and up to 10 years in jail.” In civil law, the original author can sue the plagiarist for violation of copyright.

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