Tuesday, December 18, 2012

A Swede Keeps Silent

En Svensk Tiger — A Swede Keeps Silent

In an op-ed yesterday at the Norwegian website Document.no, Hans Rustad pointed out that Norwegians can no longer assume that their discussions and customary practices will remain “within the family”. Thanks to the Internet and the widespread use of machine translation, what happens in Oslo does not stay in Oslo.

The same is true of Sweden and other “totalitarian democracies”. Their repressive, illiberal, and insular cultures are now easily exposed to the gaze of the rest of the world. This is not something that the elites of those societies will always be proud of — perhaps they are subliminally aware of the moral and ethical degradation into which their countries have descended.

Such seems to be the case with Sveriges Television (SVT), the Swedish state broadcaster. This morning I received the following email from Pia Bernhardson, the executive producer of “Agenda SVT”, concerning a Gates of Vienna post from last April entitled “A Loss of Faith in Sweden as a Democracy”:

Dear Gates of Vienna,

it has come to my attention that you have posted a link on your website that belongs to SVT, Swedish Television.

See below http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.se/2012/04/loss-of-faith-in-sweden-as-democracy.html

You do not have the legal rights to introduce this material as your own, with a logotype of your own. I strongly urge you to take this material off your website.

Best regards,
Pia Bernhardson,
executive producer,
Agenda SVT

Pia Bernhardson
projektledare Agenda

Sveriges Television
08 784 84 94
070 884 73 87
pia.bernhardson@svt.se
http://svt.se/agenda


I responded as follows:

Ms. Bernhardson,

Gates of Vienna always respects copyright, and stays within “fair use” guidelines.

The video to which you refer does not belong to Gates of Vienna, but was simply embedded on our site, just as we would do with a YouTube video. I cannot remove the video from where it was uploaded.

The translated transcript that accompanies the video was a volunteer effort, and does not duplicate any material published by SVT. Since it was offered to readers without any charge, we are of the opinion that its publication constitutes “fair use” as defined under U.S. copyright practices. However, I will consult with our legal staff to learn whether they are in agreement with this assessment.

Thank you for writing.


I’ll talk to a couple of lawyers I know and see what they think about our use of that English transcript.

However, as we have often emphasized, we rely on the distributed intelligence of our readers for information and evaluation. In that sense, the lawyers amongst them are actually members of our legal staff, so we would be happy if any of them — particularly those familiar with international copyright conventions — would like to leave advice in the comments.

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I obviously don’t know Ms. Bernhardson’s motives in asking us to remove the post, but I strongly suspect that copyright is not the real issue.

The image used at the top of this post provides incidental evidence for SVT’s opinion of copyright. The illustration of “En Svensk Tiger” is a well-known state propaganda poster from World War Two. According to the Wikipedia entry on the topic:

In Swedish, svensk can mean both the adjective “Swedish” and the noun “Swede” while tiger can mean either the noun for the animal or the present tense of the verb tiga (“to keep silent”), giving the poster the double meaning “a Swedish tiger” or “a Swede keeps silent”. The phrase is comparable in use to “loose lips sink ships” in the USA.

The image, clearly marked with ®, was taken from the Creative Commons upload page accompanying the article. The page includes this note:

This is a logo of an organization, item, or event, and is protected by copyright. It is believed that the use of low-resolution images on the English-language Wikipedia, hosted on servers in the United States by the non-profit Wikimedia Foundation, of logos for certain uses involving identification and critical commentary may qualify as fair use under United States copyright law. Any other uses of this image, on Wikipedia or elsewhere, may be copyright infringement. Certain commercial use of this image may also be trademark infringement.

Wikipedia recognizes “fair use” of the design, and so do I. And, interestingly enough, so does Sveriges Radio, the radio arm of Swedish public broadcasting. If you take a look at this page, you’ll see that SR has “En Svensk Tiger” prominently posted.

Furthermore, under the image you’ll see the credit “SVT Bild” — that is, it’s an “SVT picture”.

What’s that again about copyright, SVT?

17 comments:

Anonymous said...

They will do anything to obstruct their counterpart.

They use law-fare instead of arguments.

Anonymous said...

Sweden, what else today..?
Cultural enrichment


Diversity uproar at Gothenburg
school after sex rumors on Instagram
- Required stone-throwing, jumping on cars and general diversity violence outside Plusgymnasiet

Sveriges Radio




mriggs said...

"...this material as your own, with a logotype of your own"

- What on earth are they talking about?

Anonymous said...

“You do not have the legal rights to introduce this material as your own, with a logotype of your own. I strongly urge you to take this material off your website.”

If you look carefully at the wording that has been used, two points stand out in particular:

1. the statement has been made that “legally” you do not have the right to introduce this material as your own. As far as I can make out you have not done this as you have stated in your reply to them. So in fact all they are doing is stating the “obvious” and “fact” (if what they are claiming is a legal position) in legal matters in the country that they reside in.
2. the next comment in the communication states “ I strongly urge”. There fore it is not a command backed up with legal framework to give it force under law and force you to take action to comply with the “suggestion”.

I would suggest that if they continue to communicate with you on this subject and order you to remove the material under statute applicable to their country, you request that they supply the statute that they claim applies to the issue so that you can consider the matter carefully.

I would further suggest that if you have to engage in taking time to deal with the matter further that you make it clear that you will be charging for that time and the time of any representative of the legal profession that you will engage to deal with it.

I also suggest that you check the legal position within you country of origin to see if you are obliged to take note of,or have to act their legal framework.

A fair rate of charge would be the same a a legal professional would charge per hour with in your country, remembering that you will have to spend hours if not weeks going through legal documents to get up to speed.

Anonymous said...

I had a similar situation a few days ago as you-tube channel manager for the British Freedom party. I dealt with it in a different fashion, as you can see. I'm still waiting for a response.

<a href="http://britishfreedom.org/nuts/>NUts</a>

Baron Bodissey said...

Anon @ 2:19pm --

Thank you for your thoughtful suggestions. And yes, I agree with you on point #2. I noticed the same thing -- she "strongly urged" rather than "demanded". The latter is what one would expect if she had the law fully on her side.

However, her native language is not English, so we can't be certain that "strongly urge" is in fact the meaning she intended.

Salome said...

The tiger symbol with the R in a circle is a registered trade mark. The image no doubt is the copyright property of someone--either the person who drew it, the employer of the person who drew it or the owner of the trade mark, to whom it may well have been assigned. Given that it's no doubt reproduced all over the place, I don't think there would be much trouble with the copyright, and in reproducing it where you do and as you do, you are not using it AS A TRADE MARK--i.e., to distinguish your goods and services from those of your competitors. So it's o.k. As to linking to an existing video--I don't see how that infringes copyright. There is also a 'reporting news' exception, and the translation/transcript could come under that category. I think you're right and they are just trying to frighten you. DISCLAIMER: I am speaking from general principles and don't really understand the peculiarities of copyright or trade mark law as they apply in Sweden and the USA.

Winter War said...

Translated with my poor Swedish & English skills.

Previous link This Page says:

Readyness museum in Döshult now has the rights to the "En svensk tiger" -trademark.

Robin Shadowes said...

Baron, I know I haven't been here for a long time but since I stumbled upon this post anyway and because it concerns my country and freedom speech I'll make an exception to the rule. You're not the first blogger stalked by SVT. Some years ago, three perhaps, a swedish nationalist blogger by the name of Jan Milld was also persecuted by the same company that calls their propaganda free information.

Anyway, he used to make his own weekly videos, commenting the situation in Sweden. He often used clips from SVT, mostly from the discussion show Debatt (Debate) I believe. Anyhow, SVT didn't like much that an independent and intelligent outsider used their material. Milld on the other hand argued that he was merely using them as quotations, the visual equivalent to written quotes. He used the clips and then commented them and went on to another.

SVT threatened him with a lawsuit so he was forced to take them down. He was just one man and couldn't afford the same top notch lawyers SVT does. So he remade his old videos, using stills and written texts instead. The whole affair seemed to die down after a few months. It later turned out that other people had saved his videos. I don't know if it was all of them but at least some of them and started to upload them to YouTube.

I agree with Baron that it's not about copyright at all. Just like with Milld, the "free" television just wants to shut up dissent. You might want to contact him through his blog janmilld.wordpres.com since you have this threat of lawsuits in common. Good luck!

Anonymous said...

How can a link on anyone's website belong to SVT, or to anyone else either? I mean an actual hyperlink? And "link" is the noun they have used.

That doesn't even make sense.

And "material"? What material - exactly.

"logotype of your own"?

What are they referring to - exactly?

"legal rights"?

What are they talking about - exactly?

I'd strongly urge them to explain themselves, and if they have nothing to support their urging they can just drift.

But don't defend yourself, don't assume you know what they're talking about, don't give them ANYTHING.

Make THEM explain themselves. Every term they use. Every step they take. Everything THEY say.

Make THEM spend time explaining themselves.

If they can't, they can't. And that'll be their problem, not yours.

Baron Bodissey said...

Robin Shadowes --

Good to have you with us again!

Yes, I'm familiar with what happened to Milld, thanks to LN, our Swedish correspondent of longest standing. He keeps me informed.

The issue here was somewhat different, of course, since the video itself was not a GoV production. We simply posted the transcript, and I don't think SVT has the standing to demand that it be taken down -- as I told the nice lady.

And no, I don't think the issue is really copyright. Not at all.

But I think SVT will find transatlantic lawfare much more difficult than squashing Jan Milld. He is, after all, an inmate of Modern Multicultural Sweden, and thus subject to the whims of his jailers.

But we are outside that milieu.

Baron Bodissey said...

Anon @ 8:24 pm --

Yes, I agree with you. But I'm not defending myself; there's no need to.

I've had my say. If SVT needs to discuss it any more, I'll be only too happy to read what they have to say.

Anonymous said...

To shut up "an extremist blog"

"I agree with Baron that it's not about copyright at all. Just like with Milld, the "free" television just wants to shut up dissent."

I agree.

LN said...

Ms. Pia Bernhardson
pia.bernhardson@svt.se

http://gatesofvienna.blogspot.se/2012/12/a-swede-keeps-silent.html

----------------------------------

Baron Bodissey writes about "totalitarian democracies" like for example 'NyaSverige':

"Their repressive, illiberal, and insular cultures are now easily exposed to the gaze of the rest of the world. This is not something that the elites of those societies will always be proud of — perhaps they are subliminally aware of the moral and ethical degradation into which their countries have descended."

Baron Bodissey is, I guess, wrong regarding 'being subliminally aware'. Certainly most of the traitorous elite figures, and perhaps even you yourself and some of your coworkers at SVT and SVR, very well know what THEY essentially are tryinh to bring about: the destruction of a sovereign nation.
http://al-lodenius.com/2012/10/16/locket-ligger-inte-pa-i-invandringsdebatten/

It's good that you Pia are embarrassing yourself, SVT and stupid Sweden. The more it becomes widely and internationally known that simple hereditary dumbness but above all acquired functional stupidity has taken over in Sweden, the better.
The "everyone's-equal-value-card-house" will fall, be sure, and the sooner it falls the better for all native Swedes.
'Vi gillar lika'
/LN

oldschooltwentysix said...

FWIW, you may find these links helpful in the area of international law:

http://www.wipo.int/copyright/en/

http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/rome/index.html

http://www.wipo.int/treaties/en/ip/wct/index.html

According to a summary:

"The Rome Convention allows exceptions in national laws to the above-mentioned rights as regards private use, use of short excerpts in connection with the reporting of current events, ephemeral fixation by a broadcasting organization by means of its own facilities and for its own broadcasts, use solely for the purpose of teaching or scientific research and in any other cases—except for compulsory licenses that would be incompatible with the Berne Convention—where the national law provides exceptions to copyright in literary and artistic works. Furthermore, once a performer has consented to the incorporation of his performance in a visual or audiovisual fixation, the provisions on performers’ rights have no further application."

Anonymous said...

This is a standard cease-and-desist letter meant only to scare you. They typically have no substance to them (although by all means, check with some lawyers!).

I think this recent decision by a U.S. Court of Appeals probably means that Swedish Television wouldn't have a leg to stand on in a U.S. court:

myVidster: A Victory for Innovation and a Vote for Sensible Copyright Law

Court Rules That Embedding A Video Is Not Copyright Infringement

Anonymous said...

Waaaaaaa. Stop using our picture and showing everyone what evil cowardly people run Sweden. Waaaaaaaaaa.