NOM Doesn’t Understand What Copyright Infringement And Deception Are

Remember when the National Organization for Marriage Photoshopped a 2008 Obama rally from Ohio onto their New Hampshire website to make it seem like thousands of New Hampshirites support their unpopular attempt to repeal marriage equality? They’ve apparently used stolen photos in similar ways three times over and their crybaby president Brian Brown has finally stepped forward to explain why it’s totally okay. He said one of the images was “a common use photo in the public domain.” That’s great, except that it’s not true.

David Badash from The New Civil Rights Movement explains why Brown is basically full of it:

… NOM had stolen three images, one taken by Reuters photographer Jim Young at a Barack Obama for President campaign rally in St. Louis, and two, posted to the photography site Flickr under specific Creative Commons licenses requiring attribution and only usable for noncommercial works…

Let’s be very clear here.

A photograph taken by a Reuters photographer and published and copyrighted by Reuters is not “a common use photo in the public domain.”

Photos posted to Flickr with a Creative Commons license requiring attribution?—?which NOM neglected to do?—?are not “common use photo[s] in the public domain.”

But what’s just as bad as Brian Brown lying about the photo theft is his sloughing it off as no big deal.

After an entire week of silence on the theft, NOM finally responded to it. They claim that MSNBC anchor Rachel Maddow and the Human Rights Campaign drew attention to the controversy only to distract people from the fact that the New Hampshire House Judiciary Committee voted to repeal the state’s marriage equality law on the very same day:

NOM using a common use photo in the public domain is considered a great scandal, yet [LGBT supporters] can redefine marriage—the most important social institution of society against the wishes of New Hampshire voters—and nobody is supposed to object?

Ooooh! See how Brown pivoted the blame so that NOM looks like the victims of a smear campaign instead of the perpetrators of photographic fraud and copyright infringement? They’re getting really good at playing the victim.

NOM didn’t even have the courtesy to link to Jeremy Hooper’s Good As You, the blog that first reported the theft; but that’s probably because Hooper’s site is a clearinghouse for all of NOM’s dirty laundry, including their support of psychologically harmful ex-gay therapy, their desire to leave children rotting in orphanages on the taxpayer dime, their affiliation with junk science groups that call gays poo-eating, animal-raping child molesters and their support of hate preachers that endorse the murder of gays.

Naturally Hooper also commented on why Brown’s “common use” explanation reaks of horse puckey:

Seriously?! NOM (the words are attributed to president Brian Brown) is really acting like it’s some sort of standard practice for an organization to take the historically sized crowds of one of their biggest political foes and Photoshop said crowd into the organization’s own collage, as a sort of de facto symbol for their own support base?! That’s fair and common use in NOM world?!… Can’t this organization take responsibility for ANYTHING?!?!

We already know the answer to that one… they couldn’t even answer 10 yes or no questions about their own organizational policies.

Can someone call Reuters photographer Jim Young and get him to slap a copyright infringement lawsuit on these clowns?

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  • Little Kiwi

    fact – right-wing conservative Christians will break God’s Ninth Commandment whenever they feel like it and attempt to justify it as “lying for God’s work” (something the LDS does almost every five seconds).

    Oh NOM……look, Maggie Gallagher has a child that was conceived out of wedlock, by a guy she wasn’t even in a relationship with. She raised him as a single mother and now he’s involved in NY’s musical theatre community.
    dot dot dot. waiting for everyone to catch up. with me? ok. she’s married now, and her last name is Srivastev, but she doesn’t use it because it sounds too “foreign” and Gallagher sounds like a name that Good American Christians can get behind supporting. She has spent nearly 30 years “atoning” for giving birth to a “bastard son” (not his fault, btw) by attacking lGBT people, other single mothers (?!) and non-Christians. She also has a history of decidedly racist anti-black proclamations (check out her online essay about the ‘Myth of Multiculturalism’)

    Yes, and now they lie about the support their pathetic organization has. Because it’s ok to lie if you’re lying for Jeebus, right? Wrong.

  • Just some gay

    > Can someone call Reuters photographer Jim Young and get him to slap a copyright infringement lawsuit on these clowns?

    Well /you/ should, Queerty. He’s a fellow journalist, in a way. That being said, Reuters is the copyright holder, not Jim Young. They might not feel like indirectly crusading for gay rights because of just one photo.

  • Dan

    Since the people NOM is harming outnumber them, then according to NOM’s logic about voting and human rights, the millions of people NOM has harmed and their friends and families get to vote on the human rights of all NOM employees, right? Or do people magically only get to vote on other people’s human rights but not NOM’s? Why do NOM and politicians get to violate the human rights of millions of people? That is the real question.

  • Jim Hlavac

    And now is a good time for some “comparative politics” — since this is just the sort of Stalinist/Nazi (one the “international socialists” the other the “national socialists,” aka our “Left” and “Right” — same stuff to me,) tactic of yesteryear that “Occupy Wall Street” dreams of, and which NOM practices too — which “Occupy” was a topic of another post around here — and how gays should join that mush — as if these are separate things. As if both existed in separate pockets, sealed away from each other, even opposed to each other.

    Far from it! They are peas in a pod. The “Left,” aka, Socialists, and the “Right,” aka Theocrats — are adept at simply switching photos, airbrushing people in or out, photoshopping, cropping, altering, and outright lying and deceit and declaring these or those people, and always the Gays: “enemies of the people.” The “elite” do it all the time; why, back in the time of Ramses through Akhenaten in ancient Egypt this or that Pharaoh was trying to erase their predecessors or opponents from the very stones; with chisels. And Egypt didn’t fall to the Romans because of gay marriage, that’s for sure.

    It is astounding how similar the “two separate sides” are. Well, I dare say, as I’ve been saying since I came out (or, not that I was ever “in,”) in the 9th Grade back in 1972/73 — they are the exact same thing — but they rely on different old books from the same old continent — one the Bible, one Marx — both claimed to be “inerrant” and the answer to all problems. Yeah, Right. And control freaks get giddy at either one.

    Mush from the very continent 70% of the nation got away from, aka European-Americans. Then there’s the 15% or so who were forcibly both sent away from and removed from, centuries ago, Africa; to which our gay problem is wholly unrelated. And then there’s the other 15% being those who are trying to get away from the current versions of the Socialist/Theocratic theory which permeates this world; Mexico, China, Cuba, Venezuela, Burma, Sudan, Somalia, Iraq, these all come to mind. No one is leaving these places because they are wonderful, I assure you.

    And now, NOM joins the parade of mush heads. But remember this — the Occupiers wouldn’t allow “copyright” — for that is private property: “Abolish Capitalism” after all. And then, when the Occupiers take over, or the Theocrats — well, won’t that be sweet? And so we are faced with the prospect of a Socialist Occupying State under the Democrats — or a Theocratic Values State under the Republicans. And both are the same, and neither is gay friendly — and so, pick your side — or we find something else — for either way, we gays are screwed. And not in a happy way.

  • Cam

    @Little Kiwi: said…

    “fact – right-wing conservative Christians will break God’s Ninth Commandment whenever they feel like it and attempt to justify it as “lying for God’s work” (something the LDS does almost every five seconds).”

    1. You are right on the money! The Mormon church calls it “Lying for the Lord” and Missionaries are instructed to do it all the time especially about issues like the church history that would be embarassing.

    Even worse, the church continually tries to rewrite history so that eventually people won’t have to “Lie” because they will have been taught the lie from the time they were young.

    2. Since the Mormon church is the main funder of NOM it is no surprise that NOM uses their tactics.

  • JamieMcG

    It’s Brown, Brian Brown. Not Bond. FYI. :)

  • Riker

    I know copyright law can be confusing, but the terms of the Creative Commons CC-BY-NC licence clearly indicate in simple language that the photos may not be used for commercial purposes, and MUST be properly attributed. A child could understand it (and many do, including the child editors over at Wikipedia, where all content is published under CC-BY-SA, and images use a variety of GFDL and Creative Commons licenses, or are public domain). It really isn’t that hard to understand, so they must have willingly ignored the very simple rules.

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