Flickr Cowardly for Taking Down Obama Joker

Website caved too easily: image isn't a copyright violation
By Kevin Spak,  Newser Staff
Posted Aug 22, 2009 1:50 PM CDT
The Flickr image at the heart of the fracas.   (Firas Alkhateeb)
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(Newser) – Flickr is catching fire for its decision to take down the now-infamous image of Barack Obama photoshopped to look like the joker. Flickr says it received a takedown notice under the federal Digital Millennium Copyright Act for the Time cover mockup, but that excuse doesn’t fly for Michael Arrington of TechCrunch. “Screwing over your users while yelling ‘the lawyers made me do it!’ rarely ends well,” he writes.

Especially because had Flickr parent Yahoo bothered to check with its lawyers, they surely would have confirmed that the image is protected under fair use and parody defenses. “It’s clear that the Flickr team wanted to take this image down,” writes Arrington. “They should have had the courage to do the right thing. This is exactly the type of speech that our constitution is supposed to protect.” (Read more Flickr stories.)