The Alan Sondheim Mail Archive

April 25, 2005


---------- Forwarded message ----------
Date: Tue, 26 Apr 2005 07:37:37 +1000
From: "][m e z ][" <netwurker@hotkey.net.au>
Reply-To: arc.hive@anart.no
To: arc.hive@anart.no
Subject: [_arc.hive_] Carnegie Mellon Student Threatened by Wal-Mart Lawyers
     over  Parody Website



>> FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Contact:
>> 
>> Daniel Papasian
>> 
>> (860) 977-1398
>> 
>> papasian@cmu.edu
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> April 23rd, 2005
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Carnegie Mellon Student Threatened by Wal-Mart Lawyers over Parody Website
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> (Pittsburgh, PA) - Lawyers representing Wal-Mart Stores Inc. have used a 
>> cease and desist order to force a website ran by a Carnegie Mellon 
>> University student offline. The website, created by junior Political Science 
>> major Daniel Papasian, parodied The Wal-Mart Foundation 
>> (www.walmartfoundation.org), a subsidiary of Wal-Mart that promotes 
>> community development.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> The website was a project was for a class called "Parasitic  Media," an 
>> offering in the College of Fine Arts that encourages students to participate 
>> in political criticism through the tactical use of satire in the mainstream 
>> media.  Other projects created in the class include mcactive.com, a parody 
>> of McDonald's Go Active campaign, and 700-club.org, which announces the 
>> online sale of indulgences for Catholics.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> "The site was a form of 'identity correction,' in which I used a parody to 
>> highlight real problems with companies like Wal-Mart.  My site was designed 
>> to get people thinking about the consequences of importing goods from 
>> countries with poor labor laws, the environmental effects of big-box stores, 
>> and whether Wal-Mart is as benign as some would like us to believe," 
>> Papasian said. "The site was designed to look like a page belonging to the 
>> real Foundation, but I can't imagine anyone who read the site didn't realize 
>> it was a parody."
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> The cease and desist alleged copyright infringement, claiming that 
>> Papasian's usage of graphics found on the real Wal-Mart Foundation website 
>> were in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.
>> Papasian, however, believes the content of his site is protected as "fair 
>> use." He said Wal-Mart's motives for serving the order are far more 
>> sinister.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> "They're trying to shut me down by going after me for copyright 
>> infringement, but I have a hard time believing that's what they care about. 
>> They didn't even bother to contact me to ask that anything be removed from 
>> my site.  They're not worried because my page has a similar layout or 
>> design.  They're worried because my ideas are a threat to them.  They're 
>> threatened by my belief that big corporations like Wal-Mart have too much 
>> influence on the world.  Multinational corporations have won immense powers 
>> over governments with recent international trade agreements, so it's no 
>> surprise they're going to start going after people directly."
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Papasian is not discouraged by the cease and desist, however.  He plans on 
>> documenting his experience and making it available on his site, 
>> www.walmart-foundation.org.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> "I don't want to get sued," said Papasian.  "But I won't be silenced."
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> Papasian is available for interview.
>> 
>> 
>> 
>> ###
>> 
>> _______________________________________________
>> Hactivist_news mailing list
>> Hactivist_news@dod.net
>> https://secure.dod.net/mailman/listinfo/hactivist_news



--no.logo.[-D-]scenting--
--dreaming.caramelized.txt.body.trickling.
--spraypaint.attractors = doll.functioning
http://www.hotkey.net.au/~netwurker/


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