Topic: Media Research Center
As we've documented, the Media Research Center normally loves the idea of private property -- except when the property in question is a song or image belonging to a non-conservative that a conservative uses without permission. The MRC regularly complains when Twitter "censored" meme President Trump retweets that are created by right-wing meme-maker Carpe Donktum and using stolen property -- that is, images without the permission of the original owners. The MRC's Alexander Hall made that complaint yet again in a Sept. 21 post:
Twitter labelled a meme shared by President Donald Trump. Now a lawsuit is targeting the meme’s creator and Trump himself.
The parents of toddlers featured in a Carpe Donktum meme video that parodied CNN’s biased portrayal of Trump supporters “have sued President Trump and meme artist Carpe Donktum for their involvement in the creation and sharing of the meme,” ReclaimTheNet reported September 18. A copy of the summons claimed that Logan Cook, better known as Carpe Donktum, “misappropriated” the toddlers’ “pictures and likenesses” and that the defendant added “fraudulent text to the manipulated video further distorting it.”
The meme video depicted a fake CNN headline that stated, "TERRIFIED TODLER [sic] RUNS FROM RACIST BABY." The footage featured footage, which had already gone viral on the internet in 2019, of an African-American toddler being chased by a white toddler with seemingly ominous music playing in the background. The segment was followed by a clip of "WHAT ACTUALLY HAPPENED," which featured the same two children “running toward each other on a sidewalk before embracing as Harry Connick Jr.'s version of the Carpenters’ ‘Close to You’ plays,” NBC News summarized.
While the video was clearly intended as a hyperbolic parody of liberal media coverage, Big Tech and liberal journalists took it with utter seriousness. The parody video’s editor, Carpe Donktum, has since been permanently suspended from Twitter.
At no point do Hall or Carpe Donktum address the actual issue at hand of stolen intellectual property, or why the parents of the toddlers have no right to enforce who uses the image they own. instead, Hall let Mr. Donktum rant about suing Twitter and whine that he was the purported victim of a "fraudulent DMCA Takedown which DIRECTLY led to my suspension" from Twitter, "which I had built over the course of 12 years and had amassed 273,000 followers, was not only my preferred outlet for expressing my 1st amendment rights, it also serves as an archive of all of my artistic work." DMCA is a reference to the Digital Millennium Copyright Act, which governs intellectual property like online images and videos; if Mr. Donktum explained what was "fraudulent" about him being held to the same standards as everyone else, Hall didn't excerpt it.
Again, the MRC apparently believes property rights belong only to conservatives, not the creators and owners of the images conservatives co-opt -- which seems to run counter to the property rights that conservatives normally hold so dear.
(Image of Carpe Donktum via CNN)