28 December, 2021

I Hope the Judge Laughs at Them

Journalist Andy Ngô is sued for sharing riot videos on Twitter (reclaimthenet.org)

Are these videos he took without the permission of the people in them? That can sometimes be problematic.

Or maybe these are someone else’s videos that he stole and posted?

Umm…neither. Although the second is closer.

Two photographers from Portland Oregon have filed a federal copyright infringement lawsuit against journalist and author Andy Ngô. The photographers claim that Ngô shared their videos of protests in Portland on his Twitter account.

He shared their videos. Maybe he did steal them.

The suit claims that Ngô “has made a practice of illegally copying and uploading plaintiffs’ videos onto his own Twitter account.”

Well, that certainly sounds like it. I think I’m ready to agree with the plaintiffs. Ngo shouldn’t have done this.

But, there’s more.

“The plaintiffs shared their videos publicly on Twitter, a platform designed for exactly their purpose, and Mr. Ngô commented on this publicly posted content using Twitter platform tools, not somehow surreptitiously downloading and uploading the clips as the plaintiffs falsely claim,” Dhillon said in a statement.

So, they created the videos, uploaded them, and shared them on Twitter. Then Ngo re-Tweeted their videos.

Ummm…that’s kind of what Twitter is for.

The complaint appears to be somewhat contradictory, in that it expresses that using a standard Twitter feature to share videos in a way that credits the original tweeter is causing them harassment but also that sharing their videos themselves is copyright infringement.

Yeah, I no longer have any sympathy for the video uploaders.

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