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Gawker loses round with Sarah Palin



By MIKE ALLEN | 11/20/10 7:03 PM EST

A federal judge on Saturday ordered the website Gawker to pull down unauthorized excerpts from Sarah Palin’s forthcoming book, “America By Heart,” until a hearing scheduled for Nov. 30.

On Saturday evening, the link was broken to Gawker’s scoop, “Sarah Palin’s New Book: Leaked Excerpts,” which included 14 images of partial pages from the book, scheduled for publication Tuesday.

A two-page order signed Saturday by U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa, who sits in Manhattan, says: “Gawker is temporarily retrained and enjoined from continuing to distribute, publish or otherwise transmit pages" of the book.

See the order here.

POLITICO has asked Gawker for a comment about the judge’s order, and will add it.

On Tuesday, the former Alaska governor begins a book tour of 16 heartland cities. The book, "America by Heart : Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag," is described by her publisher, Harper Collins, as "an intimate and personal look at the woman behind the public servant," including "selections from classic and contemporary readings that have moved her-from the nation’s founding documents to great speeches, sermons, letters, literature and poetry, biography, and even some of her favorite songs and movies."

Palin's previous book, "Going Rogue: An American Life," was a #1 best-seller. Her new book comes as speculation increases about the possibility she will run for president in 2012. She told The New York Times Magazine that she was "engaged in the internal deliberations" about a race. When asked by ABC's Barbara Walters whether she could beat President Barack Obama, Palin replied: "I believe so."

HarperCollins said in a statement after the judge's ruling that on Friday, “HarperCollins sued Gawker for copyright infringement after Gawker posted several pages from Sarah Palin's as-yet unpublished book, America by Heart, on its website. [On Saturday], Judge Thomas Griesa of the U. S. District Court for the Southern District of New York issued a temporary restraining order prohibiting Gawker from posting pages of the book pending a hearing on HarperCollins' motion for a preliminary injunction, to be held on November 30.”

Harper Collins had announced the litigation in an earlier statement: “We believe that the reprinting of pages from Gov. Palin's book without permission constitutes a blatant infringement of copyright. HarperCollins sent a cease and desist letter to Gawker, which was ignored. Accordingly, HarperCollins has filed a lawsuit in federal court in New York to stop the infringement and to protect our legal rights in the content of the book.”

The disputed Gawker post began: “Well, look what popped up five days early: leaks from Sarah Palin's forthcoming memoir/manifesto, America By Heart, in which the reality TV matriarch rants against ‘talent deprived’ reality TV stars, lauds daughter Bristol's chastity, and celebrates not aborting Trig. … The book is currently in distribution centers, awaiting its official release on Tuesday. We got our hands on some of the pages … Here's an annotated guide to our favorite parts, featuring rants against the media and new material about Bristol and Levi.”

Gawker later taunted Palin in a post titled, “Sarah Palin Is Mad at Us for Leaking Pages From Her Book”.

“Did you catch the excerpt we posted yesterday from Sarah Palin's new book? Sarah did. She tweets with rage: ‘The publishing world is LEAKING out-of-context excerpts of my book w/out my permission? Isn't that illegal?’ [Sarah: If you're reading this — and if you are, welcome! — you may want to take a moment to familiarize yourself with the law … ].”

Gawker showed the dedication page, which says “For Trig: I’m glad you’re here.” The page also quotes Thomas Paine, “Founding Father,” as saying: “If there must be trouble, let it be in my day, that my child may have peace.”

SOURCE POLITICO

however, BoingBoing notes that excerpts are still up on pro-Palin conservative sites and Harper Collins has not moved against them.

Rob Beschizza at 6:20 PM Saturday, Nov 20, 2010

Gawker received, published and criticized excerpts from Sarah Palin's new book, America By Heart. Though a perfect example of fair use (a limitation on copyright that explicitly allows for reportage and criticism) her publisher has other ideas.

Even after Palin publicized leaked excerpts at supporters' sites, HarperCollins filed a copyright lawsuit against Gawker yesterday. U.S. District Judge Thomas P. Griesa ordered Gawker to remove the passages today, despite the small size of the excerpts and writer Maureen O'Connor's substantial fair-usey criticisms.

Gawker complied. Google's cache, however, republishes the post in full.

It seems shrill to suggest that HarperCollins would have done this to get rid of Gawker's deflating pre-publication criticisms. Its toleration of identical 'infringements' in Palin-friendly venues can speak for itself.

SOURCE BoingBoing
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