“Psychic” Uri Geller sued after trying to remove critical YouTube clip

From the CNet News Blog:

The latest attempt involves Uri Geller, the purported spoon-bending “psychic” who is trying to suppress a video on YouTube that claims Geller is a fraud and demonstrates sleight-of-hand tricks he could have used. The video was posted by the Rational Response Squad, a group of skeptics who take a scientific approach toward evaluating supernatural claims, and rely in part on YouTube to get the word out.

Geller’s U.K. company, Explorologist Ltd., sent a DMCA takedown notice to YouTube, claiming copyright in a video posted by the squad. It depicted magician James Randi, a prominent skeptic of the supernatural, showing how Geller could have performed “magic” tricks. (Some of his critics go farther, alleging that Geller is little more than a successful con artist.)

YouTube replied by suspending the relevant account.

There was one problem: Geller doesn’t seem to own the video. It’s nearly 14 minutes long, and Geller’s company apparently can claim copyright in only three seconds of it, a brief excerpt that would likely be permitted by U.S. fair use laws.

Here’s the offending clip:

(Thanks Flip)

5 Comments

  1. this is hilarious, although i don’t understand how he could claim copyright.if i remember the video correctly, he was outed on the tonight show, correct? wouldn’t the video technically still belong to the show or its parent company?

  2. I think they’re probably referring to the earlier parts; the announcer at the live gig at the beginning, and the completely credulous Barbara Walters showing him pictures.

  3. Johnny Carson was a bit of an amateur magician himself, and if I remember correctly, he made a specific point of ensuring that this footage was made available to James Randi.

    Uri Geller is absolutely rolling in money, and has the resources to throw his weight around — and he’s been gunning for Randi for a long time.

    What makes me sick about Geller is that he has an enormous estate in Berkshire, which is probably the poshest and most expensive county in England. I once looked for an apartment in the area, but it was so expensive that I ended up teaming up with a colleague to split the rent… One place that we almost going for, was the porter’s lodge at Uri Geller’s mansion. This place was so big that it had been converted into half a dozen apartments…

    So, two college educated computer engineers having to split the rent in a two-bedroom apartment in the fucking porter’s lodge for a manor owned by a fucking spoon-bender — how ’bout that?!

    That is a fucking testament to human stupidity.

  4. “That is a fucking testament to human stupidity. ”

    just have to say, excellent post. living in the porter’s lodge in the the mansion of a spoon-bender. yep, that sounds about right. stupidity reigns.

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