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And Perez f***s up again

by Jeremy Hooper

As much as we stand against NOM, we also stand against this:

Picture 16-58

Yes, that's right: Perez Hilton had the National Organization For Marriage's Carrie Prejean ad pulled because they used a snippet from one of his web videos.

Now, let's consider this for a second. This is a man who makes his living on the principles of fair use. Without access to imagery, video, etc, he would not have a job. And yet because NOM used a three-second snippet of his widely disseminated vid, he's filed a complaint and had their ad pulled from YT? Sorry, but that's not right.

We are the side who raged when NOM had Rachel Maddow clips pulled simply because she used their casting tapes on her MSNBC show. We are the ones who often (and effectively) use snippets of our opposition's boneheaded statements in our own political ads. We are the ones who creatively use fair use to our advantage. We are the ones who have the ammo to challenge this, a really dull and boing ad, without having to do sh*t like this. But now, because Perez did decide to do this, he has only given them MORE FUEL for their "silencing opposition" claims!!!!!!!!!

Flame away, if you wish. From LGBT, progressive, and internet community standpoints, we do not support this. At all.

*Oh, and in case you're wondering, one's ability to have a video pulled doesn't speak to the merits of their claim. YT basically has a "yank and then ask questions" policy, with the burden on the video poster to justify their usage. We were once victim of this when Focus on the Family had some of our videos pulled, even though the vids were well within the boundaries of fair use. We fought back and we won.

**How quickly we forget.

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Your thoughts

As stupid as his behavior was, this is shaping up to be a Perez Hilton vs. Carrie Prejean feud. It's getting to be too stupid to even be considered as relevant.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Apr 30, 2009 7:30:29 PM

One more thing - While NOM will try to do the "silencing Christians" thing, the fact that the group did the same thing regarding the audition tapes won't help its credibility.

Posted by: a. mcewen | Apr 30, 2009 7:43:19 PM

Yea, I'm not seeing it as a pissing match. I'm seeing it as petty, wrong, and not anything we needed to do. We have nothing to be scared of in that ad.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 30, 2009 7:49:24 PM

OMG, that man is Randy Thomas! I've somehow avoided ever seeing a clip of Perez Hilton until this moment. He could be Randy's twin. All that aside, I agree with your position entirely.

Posted by: David Roberts | Apr 30, 2009 8:21:20 PM

I grudgingly agree with you. Still, I see it more as a childish poke in the enemy's eye.

And who needs a childish poke more than those who live and breathe to oppress us?

Posted by: Taylor Siluwé | Apr 30, 2009 8:22:46 PM

True, it's tacky and stupid and probably not a cause to get it pulled.

But Maggie must be furious that the applied the same rules to her as they did to Maddow. The irony is delicious.

Posted by: Timothy | Apr 30, 2009 8:24:37 PM

Some might say irony. In this case, I say hypocrisy.

I never want to be known as one who successfully stooped to my opposition's level.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 30, 2009 8:45:57 PM

I'm no fan of Hilton ... but cut him some slack ... NOM would have pulled the ad anyway once they saw us figgits were making fun of it like the other ad.

Don't worry someone with come up with spoofs, if they haven't already.

For once, good for Perez Hilton !

Posted by: Lyndon Evans | Apr 30, 2009 8:54:36 PM

I certainly understand the concept of not stooping to the opposition's level, but it's just one child (NOM) pitted against another (Perez), and it's entertaining if nothing else. I'm certainly not weeping over his decision, based on what NOM did before.

Posted by: Bruno | Apr 30, 2009 9:20:44 PM

Lyndon: Why? They never pulled the other ad.

Bruno: It's not just about these two.

Posted by: G-A-Y | Apr 30, 2009 9:23:21 PM

Just because they did it does not mean that we have to. The entire GLBT community is going to be judged by the public off of what this one man does. We are getting polls to swing our way, so maybe public perception is changing. We do not need first grade moves like this losing us those people we've won over. And it will lose us people.

Perez is probably thinking that he socked it to them by having this ad pulled, but all it does it add fuel to the oppositions fire when we don't need them to have anything to use against us. Beyond that, because it's Perez Hilton, and because it's NOM, whose last video made a fair amount of news, this is going to get even more attention. And as was shown with NOM's last video, not all attention is good attention.

Posted by: Jack | Apr 30, 2009 9:40:44 PM

G-A-Y: If you see this is as something that we're all a part of, well then I could see that being a problem for you. But I personally am not going to let Perez Hilton define what the LGBT rights movement is about. And we don't have control over what he does.

Posted by: Bruno | Apr 30, 2009 9:49:23 PM

It's not a matter of whether or not you or I or anyone else allows Perez Hilton to define us. What matters at this point is public perception. And the public is always willing to latch onto one idiot over taking in the views of the whole group said idiot just happens to belong to. And when they latch on, everything he says or does will be a direct reflection, distorted like a funhouse mirror it may be, of the gay community in the eyes of the general public.

Posted by: Jack | Apr 30, 2009 10:42:29 PM

For the record, the ad played twice during tonight's MSNBC coverage, which is ironic considering it was during Keith Olbermann's show, and he went on to skewer Ms. Prejean for her silicon chest.

As for Perez having the clip pulled from You Tube, when what's sauce for the goose is sauce for the gander. He knows perfectly well he can't win the fair use fight, as NOM could not, so he's just messing with them. I say, more power to him.

One of the things I like about this latest brouhaha is that GLBT people have not been afraid to call the anti-gay hatemongers liars and bigots. And I don't mean Perez, I mean people like Mike Signorile and Joe Salmonese of HRC. Let's stop pretending these hatemongers have any right to define our lives and treat them as the scum they are.

Posted by: CPT_Doom | Apr 30, 2009 11:29:18 PM

So much for paying attention to some bloggers.

I stand corrected, however it took me a while to find the "Gathering Storm" ad, which I finally found by doing a search for National Organization for Marriage and found NOM's "page".

While I was at the page I "flagged" the NOM ad (the first) as "inappropriate content" #5 - "Promotes hatred or violence against a protected group"

"Hate speech is content that promotes or encourages hatred or violence towards a group based on race or ethnic origin, religion, disability, gender, age, veteran status and sexual orientation/gender identity".

And then wrote the following as a reason ....

"This ad is anti-gay in nature, but ever so sutel in doing so. The enter organization is anti-gay and is fraudlent in its representation of itself as it has been proven to be a front for the Mormon Church and which was behind the passage of Prop 8 in California by providing, as this ad does misinformation about same-sex marriage."

Not that it will do any good, but it did give me a little satisfaction.

I do still stand behind Perez for what he did. At least it won't be able to be used on anti-gay websites and blogs, I shouldn't think.

Thank you for posting my first comment and I presume this followup.

Better we disagree between ourselves and then come out as a more powerful force against our enemies who would like nothing better than for all of us to go back into the shadows.

We have come to far to ever let that happen.

Posted by: Lyndon Evans | Apr 30, 2009 11:41:31 PM


That will happen NO MATTER WHAT we do or what Perez Hilton does. If there's nothing tangible to latch onto for them, they'll make it up. Unfortunately, that's how it is. I don't like Perez, but I think what he did here was *in a way* appropriate, even if typically childish.

Posted by: Bruno | May 1, 2009 12:26:40 AM

I think Perez was just doing to them what they did to some of the news clips and some of the parodies. I think he was making a statement.

I think it will also show them their hypocrisy because you know they are not going to like this being done to them even though they just did this to others.

NOM spent millions on these ads. The first one was widely ridiculed and then parodied to death.

This one was taken off the net and subject to a copyright claim and while I'm sure they will win due to fair use, by the time it gets back up it will be ridiculed and parodied.

I just wish there were pro-gay commercials to offset these anti-gay commercials that actually get played on TV.

Posted by: Josh | May 1, 2009 12:51:13 AM

Wayne Besen said it best in one of his latest columns: Beauty Queen vs. Bitchy Queen.

Posted by: RainbowPhoenix | May 1, 2009 1:01:17 AM

I was at the NOM/Prejean press conference yesterday. I am glad Perez is not letting NOM use his clip because all most people would see is the bad man being mean to the pretty little girl. People won't remember him getting the spot pulled -- NOM probably set this up and have the substitute all ready to go. I am troubled by the lack of proportionality in the response to Hilton. He called Prejean a couple of bad names. That does not even the scales against what gays and lesbians have to live with due to being denied marriage equality. Even so, it would help if we could all remember that we can catch more flies with honey.

Posted by: Cynthia Yockey, A Conservative Lesbian | May 1, 2009 2:26:02 AM

I sued a broadcast production company for using one of my copyrighted images of Harvey Milk, witout permission, and won when my lawyers discovered that that the copyright law was... permission was needed only when it was up on the tv screen for 4.5 seconds or more. In my case, it was up for 5.5 seconds... and it cost them $10,000. So it's hard to understand how there was a copyright infringement... if in this case it was up for less then 5 seconds.

Posted by: jerry Pritikin | May 1, 2009 7:24:03 AM

I don't expect everyone to agree here. But from those who support the pulling, I hear a lot of "an eye for an eye" talk. As in "They did wrongs, so I'm glad Perez did." And thoughts that since the ad is gross, we should get rid of it no matter what -- wnd justifies the means.

I just want to clarify that OF COURSE I understand that feeling. Hell, there is nobody who dedicates more time or mental energy towards challenging NOM. So yes, in a perfect world, there ads would NEVER see the light of day.

But this is about what is right and fair. Would we want NOM to pull every ad that uses their audio/video/imagery? I have made several parodies that rely on their original audio in order to work -- we must be able to do so in order to make rich, creative points. That is why fair use is so terribly important. And if ANYONE should understand this it is a man who is best known for drawing on other people's pictures (and who raged against YouTube when he once saw some of his own clips pulled)!

The NOM ad literally used 3 seconds of his web video. The same web video that has been played EVERYWHERE, and which you can find all over the net. I honestly don't think he even had the RIGHT to get it pulled, and would lose if anyone were to take this to its legal extreme (they won't, I don't think). But even if he technically COULD get away with this, it just, IMHO, weakens political discourse.

Also, let's remember that when NOM started pulling their audition clips, it led those to spread even further, with more and more people saving local copies and posting them. let's hope that doesn't happen here.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 1, 2009 7:36:04 AM

Well Jerry, I do want to reinforce that it's almost ridiculously easy to have videos pulled. YT takes a mostly value-neutral stance when doing so. The burden of proof is very much on the video creator to fight back and state their case.

When FOF had my videos pulled, it was a hellacious process to get them (and my YT account, which was yanked as a whole) back up. But I knew I was right, and knew it was worth it to fight back.

Posted by: G-A-Y | May 1, 2009 7:38:52 AM

I agree the end does not justify the means.

Posted by: Bonnie_Half-Elven | May 1, 2009 12:38:36 PM

It's not YouTube's just policy, it's the DMCA. If they don't take it down pending investigation, they'll be liable if the investigation shows the clip violates copyright. They don't have much choice.

Posted by: Nick Name | May 1, 2009 11:11:03 PM

It's not just that Perez makes his living off of fair use. He routinely reports gossip that he's lifted word-for-word from other sites, without ever giving attribution or a link to the original source. The guy's a plagiarist and a thief, and it's laughable that he's now acting all self-righteous about his intellectual property.

Posted by: Jon | May 5, 2009 8:20:39 AM

Perez Hilton, is a little/big shit. Right now is NOT the time for immature reactions that are followed up with self made YT video that just adds more ontop of more BS to be twisted and used against us. Nope, just because you can doesn't make it ok to do so, he showed his maturity and adultism regarding this issue that is very important to many. He did a HUGE amount of damage. Many of my clients are still talking about it and how awful it was/is for Carrie...She was perfectly fine in her answer, whether we like it or not, it was and is HER RIGHT.

Posted by: Lori | May 6, 2009 3:36:06 PM

I don't like perez, I don't like most flamboyant gaymen ( sorry ) But this whole thing with NOM, I find it more of poetic justice as NOM deserves it.

Posted by: mewi | May 8, 2009 1:18:43 AM

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