Spocko and ABC/KSFO

EFF warned ABC not to pursue its bogus copyright infringement claims against 'Spocko' -- a blogger who sparked nationwide debate over a San Francisco radio station -- and asked the media giant to retract its baseless threats.

The free speech battle began when Spocko posted audio clips of what he deemed to be offensive talk-radio rhetoric from ABC-owned and San Francisco-based KSFO-AM on his blog at www.spockosbrain.com. In response ABC Inc. sent a threatening letter to the blogger's hosting company claiming that copyright law prevented Spocko from posting the clips. The hosting company responded by shutting Spocko's website down forcing him to move to a different provider. In a letter sent to ABC Inc. Thursday EFF warned that further false copyright claims could compel Spocko to take action to protect his free speech rights.

"Copyright law is not designed to silence speech that you dislike " said EFF Staff Attorney Matt Zimmerman. "ABC and KSFO know that their legal threats were absolutely groundless. Their time and efforts are better spent explaining why they think Spocko is wrong and letting the public decide instead of resorting to thuggish legal tactics."

Outcome: ABC never responded to EFF's letter pointing out that their copyright infringement argument was frivolous. Spocko moved his blog from his former hosting company 1&1 Internet to Computer Tyme Web Hosting which has promised not to cave to similar bullying.

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