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For Giandujakiss - Here Have Some Facts Ma'am - Morgan Dawn Livejournal:The Here And Now
The Here And Now
For Giandujakiss - Here Have Some Facts Ma'am

What was good/bad about the Jensenvention site? A few samples pulled from Google. I am offering up the Google links to frame the discussion on the nature of public commentary, fannish-actor relationships, and the use of litigation to limit third party discussion of public events and individuals. As well as the use of litigation to protect one's personal and business interests. Hopefully, this will offer some insight into both parties - the fans who put together the site and the actor/studio/lawyers who may have taken action against them (note: see here for my "we don't have most of the fact's ma'am, so no jumping to conclusions" post).
Edited: There have been updates on these recent events. More here. But Jensen Ackles attorneys did send a C&D letter against a fan website and a Livejournal community.

Claim: The fans who created the site said their site was meant to be satirical - skewering both the actor and his fans. We do not know what the actor and his representatives think of the site. We also have no independent confirmation that they have taken action against the fannish website. A C&D letter has been filed against the website. More here

The satire part:
Join the Jensenvention Campaign (I did laugh at the Ben and Jerry comment.) And the FAQ (with the satire notice)
(Tacky but nothing too actionable - IMHO)

But then there was this on the Testimonial page (the offensive part)

edited to add: but not everything was offensive/negative PR. I found this video to be adorable.

Conclusion:The Jensenvention site seemed predominantly satirical but offered up some very harsh commentary about the actor that comes across (to me) as offensive. The National Enquirer prints much worse every day. And they get sued for it too. But bloggers/fan websites - not so often.

Your thoughts? This not a new issue and there have been several lawsuits covering the parodies vs. C&D notices.

Ex: "Citing First Amendment protection for parodies, the American Civil Liberties Union today came to the defense of a California man who received a cease-and-desist letter after posting a parody of a billboard advertisement for so-called gay "reparative therapy" on his website."

"Parodies like Justin's are protected by the First Amendment as a form of political commentary. His point was to make a comment on a very important issue he has strongly held beliefs about: that Exodus's tactics are wrong, that there's nothing wrong with being gay, and that being gay doesn't make you unhappy," said Ann Brick, a staff attorney with the ACLU of Northern California. "Just as a group like Exodus has a Constitutionally protected right to say whatever it wants to about gay people, even when that view has been roundly condemned by every major psychological and medical organization, Justin has a right to use parody to voice his opposition."

More here

PS. Nothing posted on my blog or in any of my comments is legal advice. This post provides background on legal issues; it does not provide legal advice. Legal advice is tailored to the facts of your particular situation. If you need legal advice, consult an attorney.

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23 comments or Leave a comment
milly From: milly Date: July 29th, 2008 09:16 pm (UTC) (Link)
I'm just confused by the 'functional illiteracy' bit. Is there something I'm missing?

But on all counts, I highly agree that the testimonial page is offensive. Not knowing what this was about, I never would have thought this was put up by fans.
morgandawn From: morgandawn Date: July 29th, 2008 09:30 pm (UTC) (Link)
yeah I didn;t get the 'functional illiteracy' . the whole site read like some small fannish in joke.
phantomas From: phantomas Date: July 29th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
Def an in-joke, borne out of some quote from Jensen's DOOL interviews time, I think...but not 100% sure.
cathexys From: cathexys Date: July 29th, 2008 09:27 pm (UTC) (Link)
Somewhat OT, but now I'm wondering if for an irony/satire defense there needs to be anything actually connected to reality to be mocked (OK, I'm totally out there, but I remember the Wind Done Gone trial actually supporting her claim by showing Ashley's homoerotic/homosocial depiction in GWTW, if I'm not mistaken).

Which has little to do with the illiteracy stuff because I feel like I'm observing an in joke I'm just not getting (I felt the same way with the fat!Jensen stuff...). But then I tend to have a very badly developed sense of humor I've been told :)

Thanks for the links!@
morgandawn From: morgandawn Date: July 29th, 2008 09:38 pm (UTC) (Link)
we don't know what the objections were to the site - we don't even know if there were objections. but if this were libel, keep in mind that the courts ruled that Larry Flynn was allowed to call Jerry Falwell a mother fucker. so there is a lot of leeway in what can be said (and the National Enquirer treads that line every day. and gets away with a lot more). I suspect that the lawyers/agents are counting on the fact that most fans will be intimidated and will not hire an attorney to defend themselves.

and as I pointed out elsewhere - there is a trend where corporations are using IP laws to silence dissent - most in the consumer complaint area, but also where consumers have objections to corporate HR/environmental policies. IP law is becoming the 'go to' tool of corporate gunslinging
cathexys From: cathexys Date: July 29th, 2008 09:41 pm (UTC) (Link)
Right. I actually was just thinking out loud in terms of satire (after all, we're hoping to expand beyond satire, right? :)

tasteless and illegal are two very different things.

and how come supporting the aclu always means supporting the skeevy cases??? *g*
morgandawn From: morgandawn Date: July 29th, 2008 09:49 pm (UTC) (Link)

because everyone loves kittens

he he. because yucky speech needs even more protection. very few object when the disenfranchised and hated are carted off the podium. so I am with seperis- I have little sympathy with what the fans said - and a whole of lot of support for their right to say it.

but once again - this is where business and expression butt heads. this would not have been the case I would have taken to the court of public opinion- everyone comes off looking like kitten stompers.

Edited at 2008-07-30 01:50 am (UTC)
cathexys From: cathexys Date: July 29th, 2008 09:52 pm (UTC) (Link)

Re: because everyone loves kittens

oh, i totally agree: have little sympathy with what the fans said - and a whole of lot of support for their right to say it.

that one :)

i'm just flashing back to hustler and nazis marching and pedophiles and...yes, that's what protected speech also looks like! :) [and i still love it, esp not coming from a first amendment/free speech country]
phantomas From: phantomas Date: July 29th, 2008 09:40 pm (UTC) (Link)
It's mostly in-jokes, afaik (very old quotes from very old interviews snowballed into in-jokes).
cathexys From: cathexys Date: July 29th, 2008 09:42 pm (UTC) (Link)
thanks. that's what i figured...

i wonder if it'd been fine if it'd stayed in an LJ community/not been googleable (yes, my eternal love and fear of google!)

behold the cache!!!
phantomas From: phantomas Date: July 30th, 2008 06:34 am (UTC) (Link)
I think it's possible, yes: websites are still considered as having more 'media power' than journals (my perception) and I agree with you on Google..tis scary, fear the cache! LOLOL
milly From: milly Date: July 29th, 2008 09:51 pm (UTC) (Link)
I think the fat!Jensen joke comes from some quote that referred to him having body dysmorphia or something of the sort. I think. I love you fandom, but sometimes you baffle me.
cathexys From: cathexys Date: July 29th, 2008 09:56 pm (UTC) (Link)
I was utterly confounded when I first encountered it. It actually really upset me and it took m,e forever to understand how and why.

As above, I still defend the right, bladibla. I just don't really wanna see it, y'know :)
milly From: milly Date: July 29th, 2008 10:06 pm (UTC) (Link)
Yeah, exactly. I agree with the idea of defending free speech and that even if this particular type of fandom representation is not your particular brand of fandom, you should still defend it as it *is* part of fandom, but I'm just a little confused by how someone who considers themselves a fan of someone can show that by putting up fake testimonials that basically trash that person. It just...doesn't compute.
seperis From: seperis Date: July 29th, 2008 09:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Wow, I hadn't seen the testimonials page. I am even less sympathetic than I was before.
giandujakiss From: giandujakiss Date: July 29th, 2008 11:37 pm (UTC) (Link)
Ah! Thanks. I think I did see the video thing back when it was first posted and I remember some controversy over it - I didn't realize there was a whole LJ and a site, as well!
esorlehcar From: esorlehcar Date: July 30th, 2008 12:15 am (UTC) (Link)
Was the video disclaimed as satire, do you remember?
giandujakiss From: giandujakiss Date: July 30th, 2008 12:17 am (UTC) (Link)
I don't remember, but I do remember it was pretty clear that it was. I mean it started as something about Jensen's supposed illiteracy, but it went on to say something about bad soap operas ... I don't remember it well at all, really, but I do think I remember that as the video wore on (it was kind of like a Save the Children-style commercial thing), the parodic aspect became clear.
morgandawn From: morgandawn Date: July 30th, 2008 02:49 am (UTC) (Link)

You want libelous? I'll show you libelous

the first video I saw (the Bob Dylan homage) was utterly unoffensive. There were two or three other videos but I didn't pay much attention because I found the entire concept ...overbaked? Lame? Pointless?

To quote vinylroad: where is the hookerfic?!!!!! Come on fandom, stop wasting our time. Let's get back to the *really offensive stuff like the RPS AUs. Bullrider Jensen. Evil billionare Jared. Abusive born again Christian parents and gay bashing Texans.
giandujakiss From: giandujakiss Date: July 30th, 2008 02:51 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: You want libelous? I'll show you libelous

Abusive born again Christian parents

That really was a great one, wasn't it? I still think I'm going to hell over it, though.
morgandawn From: morgandawn Date: July 30th, 2008 02:57 am (UTC) (Link)

Re: You want libelous? I'll show you libelous

darling, you're not *going* to hell. You already *are* there sitting in a ringside seat. We all were the minute we started realizing that there were two only choices for slash writers in this fandom: incest and more incest. or libelous RPS. or writing slash about original characters we barely care about in the face of such awesome hotness.

smilla02 From: smilla02 Date: July 30th, 2008 04:47 am (UTC) (Link)
Hm, personally I find the site (the testimonial - as I haven't seen anything else) of bad taste. But as you perfectly say, bad taste isn't a crime.
I have some doubts about calling this form of expression satire, as a big part of satire is the critic of society and its contraddiction to promote changes in it. The political connotation of satire is something I'm used to see in satire and in this case it wasn't there in any form - obviusly - going very close to transform the 'jokes' in personal attacks.
Just my opinion, of course.

On a different topic, BP said you had questions for me; I'm back online, so email me whenever you wish.
morgandawn From: morgandawn Date: July 30th, 2008 11:30 am (UTC) (Link)
Yes I do have questions - I will e-mail you soonest?
23 comments or Leave a comment