Jay and Brian O'Leary Mar 20, 2009 12:37:36 GMT -4
Post by JayUtah on Mar 20, 2009 12:37:36 GMT -4
Undoubtedly, but under different laws for your different scenarios.
If you reproduce enough of someone's copyright-protected work, you are liable for copyright infringement. The purpose for which you have reproduced it affects whether it qualifies as an infringement, but the unlawful act in that case is the infringing reproduction -- less so the purpose to which you have put the reproduced content. Reproducing 30 seconds of a 1-hour DVD simply to call its author a liar might qualify legally as a review for copyright purposes, albeit an abysmally infantile review. Copyright infringement is considered quite serious under U.S. law; judgments routinely are assessed in the tens of thousands of dollars, and sometimes into the hundreds of thousands of dollars. Particularly egregious violations of copyright are considered a criminal matter; you can actually go to prison.
Calling someone a liar may qualify as defamation, regardless of whether a copyright infringement has also occurred. However to prove defamation one must establish that the claim is a false allegation of fact, that it was made maliciously, that it had a reasonable chance of being believed, and that it caused actual harm. Consequently defamation is usually difficult to prove. It is a sad testament to our society that being an idiot is often a reasonable defense against defamation: one is not held liable for misunderstandings or mistakes. Judgments for defamation vary widely with circumstances.