26 August, 2006

Letter to Photobucket

Dear Photobucket,

I note that you have removed most of the images in my album:
http://s96.photobucket.com/albums/l162/etisalad

I don't know who or what prompted you to do this. These images were a parody of the logos and slogans of a telecommunications company. As such, they are protected under the US First Amendment. I refer to you to the judgement of the Hon. Denny Chin in Fox News vs. Al Franken (2003):

"Parody is a form of artistic expression protected by the First Amendment. The keystone to parody is imitation. Here, whether you agree with him or not, whether you like what he says or not, in using the mark, Mr. Franken clearly is mocking Fox. In setting himself up in what is apparently a news room, he is mocking Fox and O'Reilly. Mr. O'Reilly is bringing to mind in fact the cover of one of Mr. O'Reilly's books. Even though this may result in tarnishment or dilution in the general sense, it is fair criticism."

I have read and understand Photobucket's terms and policy. However I beg you to consider whether you really consider it more important to respect the laws of some foreign country with a lengthy record of human rights abuses concerning freedom of speech, rather than the laws and constitution of the United States of America, under whose jurisdiction you presumably primarily operate.

I personally have no intention of pursuing this further, as there are myriad other locations I can host the images. I just wonder how your many US customers would feel about their legal rights being infringed by a foreign government.

yours sincerely

secretdubai
Dubai, United Arab Emirates

14 comments:

snow white said...

Shocking. So much for free speech in Dubai Media City etc ...

Seabee said...

SD, I fear your penultimate paragraph may be inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates.

Prepare for the 4am knock on the door...

moryarti said...

Did you get a reply?

secretdubai said...

SD, I fear your penultimate paragraph may be inconsistent with the religious, cultural, political and moral values of the United Arab Emirates.

What, "sincerely"?

Yes, you could be right. Especially where state monopoly telcos are concerned. Truth and honesty aren't their highest priorities, are they?

blogrosh said...

truly sorry to read on this SD, yes, unfortunately, inspite of all the "development" - there still is a lot of true, basic and humane development, yet to happen in the UAE.

And yes - truth and honesty aren't their highest priorities.

Tim Newman said...

Odd, because I can see the logos without a problem.

secretdubai said...

Maybe they're cached, Tim? It took a while for them all to "vanish" for me, but they now have.

And still no response from Photobucket.

archer14 said...

Maybe I'm wrong, but isn't there something as avatars being removed by photobucket, since they are used by lots of people and there are hundreds of simultaneous connections at any moment?

Etisalat needn't go to such lengths to block a page. It's as easy as feeding the URL to the system.

bartman said...

SD: You make the common mistake of people who don't understand the US Constitution and the First Amendment. The First Amendment says that the US Federal government will not infringe upon freedom of the press. It doesn't mean that private companies are obligated by law to print absolutely everything that anybody might want.

Photobucket is free to choose which government they do or don't want to annoy.

clayfuture said...

Just post the pics somewhere else! screw 'em! not worth the trouble.

Grumpy Goat said...

Just my wild guess:

Dear Photobucket,

If you don't remove those images we'll block the entire domain.

Yours belligerently,
EggSalad

nzm said...

GG: it would be too considerate of them to first write a letter.

I thought their policy was: In our efforts to reach out and protect our users, we exercise the right to block immediately and discriminately; no questions asked; no consideration given; without any logic, and especially when we're made fun of, because we can't take a joke.

BTW - have you seen this about how Etasalad plans to extend their Big Brother campaign? I wonder how long it will be before access to the aircon and lights in your own home will be blocked? :-)

Anonymous said...

Get a life SD, go practice your freedom of stupidity somewhere else

Grumpy Goat said...

Indeed, nzm.

EggSalad certainly didn't ask that the 'adult' images in Flickr be selectively removed. Or maybe they did and Flickr refused:
Dear EggSalad,
Most of our clients are well-adjusted adults, not petty bigots. Consequently we're not going to limit our service; you might try growing up and getting a life.
Yours,
Flickr

It's so much simpler to block the entire domain.

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