Remember the dude whose web site was the take-down target of Glenn Beck’s attorneys?
Beck’s legal attack dogs filed a case with the World Intellectual Property Organization (WIPO) in Switzerland in a bid to have the domain revoked because, they barked, the web site — DidGlennBeckRapeAndMurderAYoungGirlIn1990.com — was improperly using Beck’s trademarked name and defaming the infamous right-wing talk show host.
On Monday the lawyer for the site’s owner, Isaac Eiland-Hall, filed a response with WIPO’s Arbitration and Mediation Center. Here’s a link to the PDF document, which urges WIPO to dismiss the complaint because the site is a “legitimate criticism site” consisting of “political satire.”
The attorney, Marc Randazza, relies as much on comedy theory as legal precedent to defend his client. After establishing the obvious…
We are here because Mr. Beck wants Respondent’s website shut down. He wants it shut down because Respondent’s website makes a poignant and accurate satirical critique of Mr. Beck by parodying Beck’s very rhetorical style. Beck’s skin is too thin to take the criticism.
…Randazza launches into an entertaining discourse on Internet memes:
From “Mr. Spock Ate My Balls,” (defunct) to ALL YOUR BASE ARE BELONG TO US to “Leeroy Jenkins”…internet memes are as old as the internet itself… Memes are often puzzling to those who have never
encountered them before, and they are similarly puzzling to the subjects
of the memes when they involve real people. …
Memes often involve famous people, and they are often unflattering. …This is the price of celebrity — you just might wind up in a meme… Mr. Beck has all but begged to become the subject of a meme.
The meme is a parody of Glenn Beck’s own argumentation style mated with a Gilbert Gottfried routine performed during the Comedy Central Roast of “comedian” Bob Saget. During Gottfried’s speech, he kept repeating (in his trademark nasally voice) that there were rumors that Bob Saget had raped and killed a girl in 1990. Gottfriend admonished listeners to stop spreading this rumor — which had never existed in the first place.
Then Randazza rolls out an equation to illuminate the style of humor at the heart of this case:
(Outrageous Accusation) + (Celebrity) + (Question Why the Celebrity Does Not Deny the Accusation) = (Confirmation of the Falsity of the Accusation + Laughter)
And I thought music was mathematical!
In his conclusion, the lawyer writes:
It is specious at best for Mr. Beck to assert that his fans, or the public as a whole, would confuse Respondent’s website with Mr. Beck himself — unless of course it is Mr. Beck’s view that his fans and the average internet user are in fact hurried morons.
Hmm. DoesGlennBeckThinkHisFansAreMorons? I’m registering that one right now.