May 3, 2007

Obama gets MySpace to give him control of a fan's webpage.

AP reports:
For the past two and a half years, the page has been run by an Obama supporter from Los Angeles named Joe Anthony. At first, that arrangement was fine with the Obama team, which worked with Anthony on the content and even had the password to make changes themselves.

But as the site exploded in popularity in recent months, the campaign became concerned about an outsider having control of the content and responses going out under Obama's name and told Anthony they wanted him to turn it over.

In this new frontier of online campaigning, it's hard to determine the value of 160,000 MySpace friends—about four times what any other official campaign MySpace page has amassed. But the Obama campaign decided they wouldn't pay $39,000, which is what Anthony said he proposed for his extensive work on the site, plus some additional fees up to $10,000.

MySpace reluctantly stepped in to settle the dispute and decided that Obama should have the rights to control http://www.myspace.com/barackobama as of Monday night, while Anthony had the right to take the contact information for all the friends who signed up while he was in control. That includes the right to tell them exactly how he feels about the Obama campaign.
There is a bundle of questions here. Is it acceptable for a someone to use someone else's name for their URL? Should MySpace have done Obama's bidding or protected the individual user? Should someone who claims to be a candidate's supporter try to extract money from the campaign? If the effort to extract the money fails, should the erstwhile supporter denounce the candidate on line? What will happen in the next instance, as candidates and individual users see how this little drama plays out?

Here's Anthony's blog, where he tells the world how he feels:
I did want to be paid, if we were to continue working together . This was not an attempt to use this profile for commercial purposes. This was an attempt to keep working my ass off on this profile, for Barack Obama, and for the enormous community of supporters on Myspace....

The campaign got involved in February and although at first it was very exciting, it quickly became clear that they just had no interest in me or my involvement. They only wanted to take control of the profile and get on with it. I bit the bullet for a while and kept working for the good of the campaign, but they quickly went from passive aggressive, to aggressive, and then eventually just rotten and dishonest....

Apparently the message here is, as an individual, if you have too big of an impact, you're just a liability.

This is how Obama lost my vote, and one of his strongest supporters....

... I'm passionate about this right now. All this work, all this progress is down the drain, and I'm absolutely heart-broken.
Read the whole thing for Anthony's details of how the campaign treated him. It's notable that Anthony had worked on the profile since 2004. There are tons of comments to his blog post, presumably many of them from the people Anthony had previously inspired to support Obama. Sample comments:
HAHA this is funny stuff. This is the first thing I know of that obama has accomplished....

This is so not cool... I've disassociated myself with the Obama campaign and will seriously question if I'll do anything to help him get elected. He seemed better than this, but it is all about his 'managers' and from what I can see, they bite. Honestly, is Bush the problem, or is it his managers? This smacks of the kind of thing Karl Rove would embrace... not good Mr Obama, not good at all....

I was considering to vote for obama, but not anymore. If this is how his lackeys act in the shadows it may be the way that he would run the government.
But the comments over here take a different tack. Sample:
the fact that there was an unofficial fan page out there with an official-sounding URL and 160,000 friends that could potentially misrepresent Obama....

Cry me a river you leach. You don't volunteer to help a candidate then turn around and demand $39,000 for something thats not even yours to begin with(according to Myspace EULA)....

Guys ... if this guy was doing all this web-work out of the goodness of his heart, and truly unconditionally supported Barak, why didnt he just offer up the page for free?...

This guy was asking for way to much for a page that wasn't rightfully his to begin with, and I sure wouldn't want my donation to Obama's campaign to go to paying off some guy on Myspace....
And now the bloggers will talk about this. And the blogger's commenters. What do you think? What do I think? It's really bad to destroy someone else's work, and really stupid when that person was your supporter -- your influential supporter. What could they have thought made it worth making this ugly, conspicuous power play? The fear of losing control of your message? But expressing that fear also makes you look bad! You don't like people independently expressing political messages, and you want to control things? That's bad enough, but you didn't succeed in controlling him -- he seems to have a bigger audience right now -- and you've converted his message from a positive one to a negative one.

UPDATE: Here's the response from the Obama campaign. It contains too many excuses about how hard it is to run a political campaign and relies too heavily on their sense of entitlement to Anthony's website. There are vague references to their "arrangement" with Anthony, but it looks as though they never came to terms about it. Why did they wait so long to put something in writing? Were they naive and incompetent or did they mean to get their foot in the door by being low key and, over time, to make Anthony feel that he owed them the site?
At the end of the day, this is all new for everyone -- this Joe, that Joe, and everyone participating or commenting on it. We're flying by the seat of our pants, and establishing new ways of doing things every day. We're going to try new things, and sometimes it's going to work, and sometimes it's not going to work. That's the cost and that's the risk of experimenting.
You might want to try to project an image of competence if you want to be President.

87 comments:

Fen said...

Bad form. They should have shelled out the 39k and hired the guy onto the campaign.

39K? No one from Hollywood came to the rescue? Dumb dumb dumb. If I were with the Hillary campaign, I would have written a check for 39K just to see Obama fumble the netroots like this.

Jennifer said...

I can see why the campaign would want to control the site. People come to the page and presumably assume it's maintained by the person it's about. It's not uncommon for musicians/entertainers to take over their MySpace pages previously run by fans.

But, this is a political campaign. Surely they should also be concerned about the message sent out by the way they handle this situation.

MadisonMan said...

Someone who doesn't vote for a Candidate because of something that candidate did on MySpace really wasn't much of a supporter to begin with.

Is there a parallel to this in real life? Has someone in Iran started a UnitedStates myspace account that we're gonna take over if myspace lets us?

Fen said...

I can see why the campaign would want to control the site

Agreed, their concerns are valid. But Obama's appeal is grassroots and this undermines it. Still time to fix it Barack - write the check, hire the guy, chastise the moron who did this to your campaign.

AllenS said...

The Obama campaign should have hired the guy right from the start, or told him to cease the endeavor.

Pogo said...

I'll let the legal experts fight over "who owns it."

Does this say something about Obama and his world view? Sure does. Ain't pretty either. Think control, him over you, state over citizen.

"I'll take all your work, because it's really mine".

And MadisonMan, do supporters have to remian supporters no matter how badly the campaign treats them? Can't they make some conclusions about a candidate based on how he has been handled by his people?

Roger said...

I suspect BO knew absolutely nothing about this, and this was the product of staffers working on their own--draw your own conclusions however you will.

Bomb throwing alert: Is this analogous to AG Gonzalez letting Monica Goodling hire and fire US attorneys? :)

PWS said...

I think Obama handled it poorly, but I don't have as much pity for Anthony. Volunteer work turned into work for profit with the demand for $39K + fees. The campaign might have been wanting avoid what it saw as setting a bad precedent. What is the campaign's side of the story? Why did they feel they couldn't trust him?

Ann, why do you say his work was "destroyed"? I don't see that.

Obama is a rock star, etc. but he still doesn't have a lot of experience; he's going to misstep and this could be one.

Adam said...

There's quite a bit more to the story, as Obama's internet director explains. They did offer this guy a job; Anthony subsequently changed the password to the site to lock out the Obama people with whom he had been sharing it.

It's also worth noting that MySpace's solution was to give the Obama campaign the URL, but not the accumulated friends list. Seems fair.

MadisonMan said...

Pogo, I was responding to commenters quoted on the page, not to the owner of the page. If there were a Candidate for the presidency named Althouse, and he (or she!) took over this blog that had become an Althouse for Althouse blog, I think I'd understand why (especially if it was occasionally at odds with the Candidate's views) and it really wouldn't color my support (or not) of him (or her). If it did, my support would have been pretty tepid. Prof. A., who has invested considerable time/effort in branding herself here, would feel differently about it, I'm sure.

vet66 said...

The Obama folks should have handled this in a professional and postive manner. They could bask in the glow of favorable publicity and claimed plausible deniability if something was said on the blog that they disagreed with.

A pathetic power play that will cost them dearly. This is the opening salvo, self-inflicted, that will ultimately be the demise of Obama's aspirations. Obama has more baggage waiting to come to light.

Pogo said...

MM
Yeah, that makes sense. The guy may in fact turn out to be like the "best fan" in Misery.

I think he enjoyed the limelight, and was angry when he saw it being taken from him.

George said...

Ah, today's tempest, today's teapot.

Wasn't it just last week someone said that Richardson had lost the Dem. VP spot because of his support for, oh, I forget, what was it...

Roost on the Moon said...

Does this say something about Obama and his world view? Sure does. Ain't pretty either. Think control, him over you, state over citizen.

Over the last six years, we've seen the federal government implement a domestic spying program, hold prisoners indefinitely without charges, and establish their right to torture.

But this MySpace nonsense is your red flag for the approach of fascism? What a joke.

Fen said...

Over the last six years, we've seen the federal government implement a domestic spying program

Lie. We intercept communications of foreign terrorists calling into the US

hold prisoners indefinitely without charges

Prisoners of War. They do not need to be charge, and can be held until the war is over.

and establish their right to torture

More BS. Where has current admin established a right to torture?

But if you really want to talk about "pressing" issues re Obama, how about his admission that, as President, he's okay with rogue nations possessing WMDs?

Susan said...

The Obama campaign should have gleefully handed over $50,000 to this guy. As was pointed out somewhere else, this works out to about 30 cents apiece for 160,000 highly motivated activists this guy amassed. Most campaigns pay way more than this to professionals who deliver way less. A pittance of the 25 or so million dollars Obama just raised.

Pogo said...

Re: "...your red flag for the approach of fascism..."

Be calm, my friend.

domestic spying program
Where is this? You mean the monitoring of foriegn communications? The one like what FDR did during WW2? What does the term "domestic" mean to you?

hold prisoners indefinitely without charges
I'm unsure what to do with illegal combatants. What do you suggest? Give them US visas? I prefer they sit out the entire conflict. But if we can't do that, kill them when captured. Problem solved.

and establish their right to torture.
The right? Where has this been "established"?

Torture as defined by....? I disagree we're talking torture. Sleep deprivation? Not torture. Question is, do these hard techniques actually work? I dunno. Actual torure (shock, beatings, Hotel Hanoi stuff)? Absolutely not. But that's not on the table is it?

Balfegor said...

Re: Fen:
39K? No one from Hollywood came to the rescue? Dumb dumb dumb. If I were with the Hillary campaign, I would have written a check for 39K just to see Obama fumble the netroots like this.

Geez. They couldn't write a check for $39,000? When they've got millions in campaign funds? Cheap, cheap, cheap.

Re: PWS:
I don't have as much pity for Anthony. Volunteer work turned into work for profit with the demand for $39K + fees.

Say I'm a volunteer artist, and I do work for a company or a community centre or what-have-you, for free. But then they want to secure all the rights to that work so they can assume total control over it -- it's reasonable for them to pay me, no? After all, it's the fruit my labour. I'm just letting them use it out of the goodness of my heart. I think that's more or less the situation here. Not legally, perhaps (Myspace probably has something in their EULA that lets them do whatever they like with users' pages), but morally.

The other lens through which I'd look at this is the cyber-squatting issue. But here, the amount he wanted is hardly extortionate. What's more, Obama's campaign was perfectly willing to coast on his free labour, before -- he operated the site with their full knowledge and consent. And then they wanted to change the deal. Without paying.

Shabby and cheap.

Student said...

Madisonman: Someone who doesn't vote for a Candidate because of something that candidate did on MySpace really wasn't much of a supporter to begin with.

No, that's someone who's not an ideologue; someone who is able to adjust his opinion in light of new information.

And as Pogo said, the new information isn't pretty. It points to someone who appears grasping and controlling. It also points to someone with underdeveloped common sense. Who would choose to alienate hardcore supporters for the sake of $39K?

Richard Dolan said...

The really strange aspect of this story is that Obama ever allowed a supporter to communicate anything in Obama's name. What was he thinking?

It's great to have enthusiastic supporters, but no candidate or gov't official can allow himself to have someone else, not under his control, making statements in the candidate's name. A candidate's stock in trade is his positions on the issues, and more generally, his view of the best course for whatever constituency he represents and how voters perceive his character and values. Thus, the analogy to a performer's fan base is flawed. To make the analogy work, you would have to imagine that a singer, for example, allowed a fan to post songs sung by the fan on a website in the performer's name, thus creating the impression that it was the performer's work. What singer would allow that?

Once Obama allowed this guy to exercise control over a website in Obama's name, nothing good could come from it. Not surprisingly, nothing did.

Fen said...

I'm wondering if the Obama camp over-reacted here b/c of previous incidicents of staff going rogue and releasing unauthorized campaign ads [like that brutal one about Hillary "this is our conversation"]

ShadowFox said...

People are making way too much of the "volunteer" aspect of Anthony's work. He did not enter into it for profit, for sure, but he had control of the page. It is not unreasonable for him to ask for compensation for relinquishing control of the page. I am not sure how reasonable the $50G figure is--that might have been an expectation of windfall. But they could have negotiated something.

On the other hand, it is idiotic for a campaign that collected $25mil over three months to quibble over small change at the risk of losing good will of 160,000 supporters. Apparently, they are not too swift on how this internet business works. The Digg flap earlier this week should serve as an indication.

My guess is that the campaign overestimated the impact of the page--they anticipated that the 160,000 represented only a small fraction of traffic through the page. But they also miscalculated the difference between support for Obama and support for the page. Netroots are fickle and easily pissed off.

The campaign's explanation of their action is unsatisfactory--if the guy does not want to give up his regular job to be employed by the campaign, that does not mean that he should not be compensated for something in connection with the work that he has already done. Sure, the issue is pure narcissism, and it smacks of extortion, but the price is small for this to go away. If I wanted to put up an elaborate billboard in front of my house in support of the campaign, the campaign can't just waltz in and demand control of the billboard. Even if I give them access to the billboard to add some touches, it does not give them the right to pick up the billboard and move it to Chicago. And if they do decide to do that, I would be justified in asking them to pay for the work that I had already done on the site.

On a different subject--Pogo, you are not fascist. You're just stupid. Not sure about fen, though--a bit quick on the trigger there.

Roost has a point--whether you believe that there is a domestic spying program, illegal detention and torture, the point is that there is clearly an attempt by the government to exercise control in ways not done previously and to do so without oversight. The trouble is not just in how they define these things--you seem to buy into the administration version of the argument wholesale--but in the fact that they don't want anyone to question or dispute their definitions and expansion of control. Worse yet, they claim that if you even try to dispute their control, you're unpatriotic.

It is in light of this issue that roost pointed out that it seems inconsistent to question Obama's control of a website as a precursor to his potential control of the country. Yeah, Pogo, you're a hypocrite if you believe that.

Kirby Olson said...

Obamanable.

Roost on the Moon said...

What does the term "domestic" mean to you?

I think collecting information for a massive database of citizen-to-citizen calls counts.

Torture as defined by....? I disagree we're talking torture....Actual torure (shock, beatings, Hotel Hanoi stuff)? Absolutely not.

Detainees never charged with a crime have died during interrogation from causes ranging from hypothermia to asphyxiation to blunt object trauma.

But clearly, this isn't about arguing the facts:

kill them when captured. Problem solved.

My point isn't that our government is evil. It's that right-wing paranoia about Big Brother and demonization of fascism seems to have a mile-wide blind spot.

You're endorsing summary state executions without trial or charges. You're splitting hairs over the definition of torture. You're taking the immensely powerful central government at it's word when it says it only uses your phone records to spy on "terrorists".

I don't have the time and it's not the place to go in depth on this stuff. But it's clear to me, and I hope to other readers, that your Big-Brother/State-over-citizen rhetoric doesn't come from real concern over a too-powerful central government or the erosion of individual rights.

Fen said...

On a different subject--Pogo, you are not fascist. You're just stupid. Not sure about fen, though--a bit quick on the trigger there.

Ah no Shadow, I am indeed a fascist. Already have your ISP down for the culling soon to come. Be Wery Afwaid. [idiot]

the point is that there is clearly an attempt by the government to exercise control in ways not done previously and to do so without oversight.

Provide examples to support that assertion.

Fen said...

Detainees never charged with a crime have died during interrogation from causes ranging from hypothermia to asphyxiation to blunt object trauma.

Again, back that up with evidence.

MadisonMan said...

student, doesn't what you write agree with my point? A strong obama supporter isn't going to look at this little thing and suddenly decide Obama is a Bad Thing. It might alter his opinion downward. If someone is already questioning their support of Obama, and this MySpace thing is the proverbial straw, well they weren't a big supporter to begin with.

Given the potential problems a President in '09 will face, deciding worthiness on this little kerfuffle seems a bit shallow. Still, I can't control why people support someone -- there are plenty of people across the entire political spectrum who support candidates for what I consider to be absolutely frivolous reasons.

trogdor said...

"What do I think? It's really bad to destroy someone else's work, and really stupid when that person was your supporter -- your influential supporter. What could they have thought made it worth making this ugly, conspicuous power play?"

What? First of all, you can't really describe Joe Anthony's Obama page as all "his work." His was the primary Obama MySpace page, and I'm sure the many people who like Obama The Candidate friended that profile because of it. The magnitude of that number--160,000--is no doubt due to his appeal as a candidate, not Joe Anthony's work. For whatever reason, Obama appeals to youth, and MySpace is youth-oriented.

Second, isn't the reasoning behind this "power play" pretty obvious? (Pretty nasty wording there, Prof. Althouse, considering that many people would describe Joe Anthony's demand for payment and the fact that he locked out Obama's campaign people from the website as precisely the same thing.) They obviously couldn't have some random person (not affiliated with the campaign) solely controlling the message. They tried working with him on the website, but that didn't work out, and he ultimately decided to exclude them. They couldn't pay him, either. I can just imagine what both blogs and the MSM would have said in reaction: "Obama pays off MySpace disenchanted page creator $50K." "Obama wastes donations to pay MySpace volunteer who threatened his campaign." "Obama gives in to blackmail." It could've turned into another type of PR disaster.

This wasn't the ideal outcome, of course, but better it be a problem now than six months down the road, when it might've been 500,000 "friends" on the line.

SteveR said...

Why use specific examples when you can use broad alarming generalities? That way we can argue about definitions and provide you hundred of links to further hijack the thread and dilute the point.

George said...

Roost--

"It's that right-wing paranoia about Big Brother and demonization of fascism seems to have a mile-wide blind spot."

I worry a lot about the wrongdoings (real, potential, or imagined) of our government, but I worry a ton more the threat (distant, I hope) of 9/11 happening again.

The beauty of our system is that folks on the left like you, I guess, get to keep people on the right like me, I guess, from getting too far out of line, and vice versa. We get the heebie-jeebies about different stuff...

Roost on the Moon said...

That way we can argue about definitions and provide you hundred of links to further hijack the thread and dilute the point.

Guilty as charged. I tried not to above ("this is not the place"), but this discussion doesn't belong here, and I apologize. This'll be my last post on this thread.

However, I'm not going to let people call me a liar:

"Why use specific examples...?"

"Again, back that up with evidence."


The Pentagon released autopsy reports on 22 other prisoners, with causes of death including "multiple gunshot wounds," "strangulation," "blunt force injuries and asphyxia," as well as some natural causes.

That is from the 5/22/04 Washington Post. The ACLU has a well-done page set up with scans of the official reports. These are not "broad generalities".

Fen said...

fas·cism /ˈfæʃɪzəm/

noun 1. a governmental system led by a dictator having complete power, forcibly suppressing opposition and criticism, regimenting all industry, commerce, etc., and emphasizing an aggressive nationalism and often racism.

Fen said...

The Pentagon released autopsy reports on 22 other prisoners, with causes of death including "multiple gunshot wounds," "strangulation," "blunt force injuries and asphyxia," as well as some natural causes.

Still need a cite so I can determine context. We're these pre-existing wounds from the FEBA? where they red-on-red attacks by innmates? Were any self-inflicted?

Galvanized said...
This comment has been removed by the author.
Balfegor said...

Re: Trogdor:

They couldn't pay him, either. I can just imagine what both blogs and the MSM would have said in reaction: "Obama pays off MySpace disenchanted page creator $50K." "Obama wastes donations to pay MySpace volunteer who threatened his campaign." "Obama gives in to blackmail." It could've turned into another type of PR disaster.

I just don't see this parade of horribles as credible. As I understand it, over the past two election cycles, presidential campaigns have had to spend money to buy up the rights to domain names and so forth. The amount involved here is just not disproportionate, when you consider the potential value to the campaign. I mean, consider it in from a subscriber-list perspective -- this is what, 160,000 subscribers (Myspace Friends), effectively? For a campaign that's valuable -- maybe $10,000+ there (based on the mailing list pricing suggested here), and probably much more, given that the prices given are for one-time use, and the Myspace connection is a repeat-use index of potential supporters.

What's more, if Obama's team had an ounce of sense, they could pay him off under a contract and include a non-disclosure clause in the agreement, so he couldn't tell anyone what he sold for. I suppose it might come out eventually (I don't know how much disclosure candidates have to make about how they spend their money -- I know it sometimes emerges that they're paying their wives and children $100,000 as "consultants" or whatever), but the amount here is just not scandal-worthy.

Galvanized said...

Definitely bad press for Obama. Doesn't MySpace have some kind of new political opinion feature or something that I heard about (maybe on this blog)? Young people (most of MySpace users) do listen and will most likely be affected by this story. Unwise decision by Obama's people.

If the guy developed with website (since 2004!), even under the auspices of MySpace, he had a right to collect something for it, or to at least be recognized and paid a salary as an Obama campaign official. I can't imagine anyone taking over my blog no matter what it's named. Unreal.

And given the use of his name on the MySpace page, domains take people's names all of the time, and I believe that people must purchase them, right?

Wow, Obama, your people are cool...way to seize and control. (eyeroll)

Galvanized said...

Kirby Olson said...
Obamanable.


LOL Brilliant. :)

Pogo said...

Re: ShadowFox said... "Pogo, you are not fascist. You're just stupid.

...it seems inconsistent to question Obama's control of a website as a precursor to his potential control of the country. Yeah, Pogo, you're a hypocrite if you believe that."


Obama's to the left of Hillary. Hillary wants socialized medicine. State over citizen.

Is Obama's heavy handed approach here one-off, or a red flag? I say you can't tell with socialists. At a minimum, it speaks of not-ready-for-prime-time.

Stupid?
Hypocrite?
Coming from shadowfox, that negative bellwhether, it means alot. Thanks!

George said...

Roost--

I like to think that most of us are on the same team. Some of us are playing offense, some playing defense...

And some folks...well, they're just plain offensive.

Student said...

Madisonman: student, doesn't what you write agree with my point? A strong obama supporter isn't going to look at this little thing and suddenly decide Obama is a Bad Thing.

I don't think so. Obama's appeal is, to a large extent, that he is new and shiny and different. To many his usurping of the page make him look like one of the same old venal, power hungry, clueless polls they have learned to despise. One may love their spouse deeply and truely, but that love can evaporate in an instant with a single episode of infidelity.

If you say you are different and offer hope for new and better leadership, you better not reveal that you're really just the same old poll in a new suit.

Pogo said...

George said "I like to think that most of us are on the same team.
And some folks...well, they're just plain offensive."


You know George, I agree with your prior comment that we have to worry about both the threat of terror and over-reach by the gov't in response.

I bristle though when you stake your claim to the "reasonable" flag, and finding those critical of the complaints about Gitmo as raised here being "offensive".

Is a critique of the critique of our treatment of illegal combatants disallowed in polite company per se, or is the manner of inquiry not to your standards?

Curtiss said...

It's just the unintended consequences of a deal made between two inexperienced parties.

ShadowFox said...

Pogo:
Obama's to the left of Hillary. Hillary wants socialized medicine. State over citizen.

This is exactly the kind of logic that explains my characterization of Pogo.

fen:
Ah no Shadow, I am indeed a fascist. Already have your ISP down for the culling soon to come. Be Wery Afwaid. [idiot]

You're right, fen. Your response makes me inclined to shift you toward the other end.

id·i·ot (plural id·i·ots)
noun

Definition:

1. an offensive term that deliberately insults somebody's intelligence (insult)

2. an offensive term in a now disused classification system for somebody with an IQ of about 25 or under and a mental age of less than 3 years (dated)

From another source:
idiot
noun [C]

a stupid person or someone who is behaving in a stupid way:

blithering idiot
noun [C] OLD-FASHIONED INFORMAL
an extremely stupid person

Provide examples to support that assertion.

Very funny. See above.

In response to:
causes of death including "multiple gunshot wounds," "strangulation," "blunt force injuries and asphyxia," as well as some natural causes.

fen replies:
Were any self-inflicted?

OK, fen. I'm now convinced--you're not a fascist. I guess, that leaves only one other option--the old-fashioned one. Once again, see above.

TMink said...

So Fen is in charge? Sorry if I was ever mean to you dude!

But more on point: I am not an Obama supporter. But I see the point of wanting control over the MySpace. It had become big and useful. You do not want amateurs in charge of something like that because we amateurs are, well amateurish!

In terms of pay, they should have asked the guy how much he wanted for it then doubled it. He would have left a fan, they would be seen as cool, and they would still have the site.

Penny wise and pound dumb ass move. But this was his staff, not him.

Trey

PWS said...

Say I'm a volunteer artist, and I do work for a company or a community centre or what-have-you, for free. But then they want to secure all the rights to that work so they can assume total control over it -- it's reasonable for them to pay me, no? After all, it's the fruit my labour.

I think volunteering means you're donating for free. If you volunteer at a soup kitchen and then at the end of the time ask to be paid, it isn't volunteering.

The Internet angle makes this case a little tougher. He probably didn't have any kind of up front agreement with the campaign. BO's campaign people should have figured out a way to make it work. It's not like the guy was going to start trashing BO. As someone else pointed out, if he did something bad in the future, they can just say, hey, that's not us.

In fact, don't campaigns usually welcome proxies who can do stuff that the candidates wouldn't want to do themselves?

Pogo said...

Re: "But this was his staff, not him."

That's almost always the case. It makes being a star or even a company difficult because the folks you hire and their behaviors towards customers/fans becomes an extension of you, like it or not.

That's why Disney goes to great lengths to train their staff, and eject the buffoons. Bad experiences reflect on the core business, whether that be buying clothes or selling a candidate.

I chalk this up to first-time mistakes. No big deal. Hiring heavies to do your lawyering was just plain dumb and invites the criticisms leveled here.

But it is not unwarranted to suspect socialism from Obama statements like this:

"The time has come for universal health care in America," Obama said at a conference of Families USA, a health care advocacy group.
I am absolutely determined that by the end of the first term of the next president, we should have universal health care in this country," the Illinois senator said."

Balfegor said...

Re: PWS:

I think volunteering means you're donating for free. If you volunteer at a soup kitchen and then at the end of the time ask to be paid, it isn't volunteering.

I think you miss the point of my analogy. Volunteering at a soup kitchen doesn't create any thing in which the volunteer could argue that he has rights. There's no ownable tangible product, no IP. All there is is labour performed.

In marked contrast, the volunteer work here consisted of creating and maintaining a site -- his Obama Myspace fansite -- which he then was kind enough to permit Obama and his people to use as a platform, even giving them logins and suchlike. He gave them a license without demanding payment; they wanted the whole thing. Free.

It's like if you start up a blog, and then you get a lot of people who love your preferred candidate, all linked together and participating on your fora, and then said candidate comes knocking and wants to use this wonderful platform you've put together to address his followers. You're a fan, so you let him. Give him an his cronies a guest login or somesuch. Six months later, he demands your ISP hand him the keys to your website.

Sure, you're a "volunteer." And you've donated something for free (the use of your site). But that you volunteer one thing doesn't mean you implicitly volunteer everything else.

Fen said...

Shadowfox: In response to:
causes of [detainee] death including "multiple gunshot wounds," "strangulation," "blunt force injuries and asphyxia," as well as some natural causes... fen replies: Were any self-inflicted?


Uh no, I replied:

Still need a cite so I can determine context. We're these pre-existing wounds from the FEBA? where they red-on-red attacks by innmates? Were any self-inflicted?

Hmmm, you take my remarks out context, so what the odds that your causes of death are also out of context, or just plain made up?

You dodged my request for a source with an ad hom. Bravely ran away. Which means your accusation is false. You can't back it up because you are lying.

Fen said...

Here it is, and now I see why Shadowfax wanted to hide the context:

"Deaths of Detainees in the Custody of U.S. Forces in Iraq and Afghanistan from 2002 to 2005," a product of a review of Department of Defense documents and press reports, finds the leading causes of detainee death were homicide (43) and enemy mortar attacks (36).

According to the study, at least eleven of the homicides involved blunt trauma or asphyxiation. At least three of the 43 homicide cases reported have resulted in murder charges--another three have resulted in charges of voluntary manslaughter. Of the 43 deaths of detainees in US custody due to homicide, 37 occurred in Iraq and six in Afghanistan. 22 of the Iraqi homicides were caused by gunshot injuries, and 15 of those gunshot deaths reportedly happened during riots and escape attempts.

http://physiciansforhumanrights.org/library/news-2006-12-05.html

Student said...

tmink: But I see the point of wanting control over the MySpace. It had become big and useful.

And I want a new Lexus and a condo on the beach. So what? Unless I'm willing to pay for them I'm not apt to get them and I certainly don't have any right to them. The point here is that Obama was happy to let the site make friends and supporters for him, but then decided that since it was *about* him it should *belong* to him. The parallels to the fable of the golden goose is striking.

Roost on the Moon said...

Fen, I gave you a direct quote, the date and source of the article.

It would've been plenty easy to look up yourself.

I've made no ad hom attacks, and I'm not "running away". I just don't see the point of hijacking this thread any further off course, and especially not in an attempt to get you to "change your mind". I doubt you'll even admit that the section I quoted was not taken out of context. I will not be provoked again. I don't think we'll end up agreeing or even respectfully disagreeing.

And again, I'm not pointing fingers about this truly tragic aspect of the war. This is not the place. My point, as it ever was, remains:

Anyone truly afraid of Big Government and Power Untempered by Law has bigger fish to fry than healthcare for the poor and Barak Obama's MySpace page.

Fen said...

Roost: I gave you a direct quote, the date and source of the article.

Thats not enough. In the future, paste in the link to the article you are sourcing from, doesn't even have to be a hot link. Saves us all time. And its considerate.

It would've been plenty easy to look up yourself.

Which I did. But I didn't get there via your clues that it was Wapo on such and such date.

I've made no ad hom attacks, and I'm not "running away".

And I haven't attacked you. I've responded to Shadowfax's attacks that Pogo & I are idiots and fascists.

Fen said...

My point, as it ever was, remains: Anyone truly afraid of Big Government and Power Untempered by Law has bigger fish to fry than healthcare for the poor and Barak Obama's MySpace page.

Thats not really a logical point.

Motorist: Why are you stopping me, shouldn't you be out catching REAL criminals?

Robber: Why are you interfwering with my bank robbery? Shouldn't you be out there catching REAL criminals?

Pedophile: Its just about sex, go catch some real criminals.

Murderer: Hey?! Why harass me? Phillip Morris has kllled millions! Don't you cops have bigger fish to fry?

TMink said...

Student wrote: "The point here is that Obama was happy to let the site make friends and supporters for him, but then decided that since it was *about* him it should *belong* to him."

I think maybe that logic was used after the site became wildly successful, but we agree.

"The parallels to the fable of the golden goose is striking."

Again we agree. The way it was handled was bad. That is why I suggested that they should have asked what the originator wanted then given him double.

Where do we disagree?

Trey

Harkonnendog said...

Obama's a dick. This speaks way louder than anything he'll say over the course of his campaign.

damozel said...

I'm going with "naive and incompetent." There were a million other ways to handle this and this was probably the worst possible choice.

damozel said...

I'm going with "naive and incompetent." There were a million other ways to handle this and this was probably the worst possible choice.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Ann wrote:

You might want to try to project an image of competence if you want to be President.


Why Ann? Competence didn't seem to matter much to you when you voted for Bush; why has it suddenly become important to you now?

Chip Ahoy said...

Control freaks. Hate 'em. Would rather have control than an enthusiastic and energetic supporter.

Had Anthony's site been anti-Obama then there would be nothing he could do about it but seethe. It doesn't make sense that he can seize control of the site just because it's pro-Obama.

Anecdotally, Manuel Noriega of Panama seized a vacation home from friends of my parents because he saw it from a boat and admired it. Took it, just like that. Incredulous, I queried heavily. "Look, that's what dictators do." The final word that made it clear how those things happen. A complement in weird sort of dictator-ly way. Obama seized a list of 160,000 names and presumably reliable email addresses that he intends to pump directly. That's worth something measurable. I understand a website is not a vacation home, but until now I saw Obama as too decent for this type of thing.

Roost on the Moon said...

Oh boy.

Well, all four of your metaphors have basically the same structure, paraphrasing my argument into:

Enforcement of any law should not be undertaken without first tackling the biggest crime happening.

That's a misrepresentation of my point, which is, after all, not about law enforcement, but rational application of one's supposed concerns.

If you are still unclear on what I'm trying to say, here's you go:

Objecting to Obama on the grounds that he will expand governmental power is like worrying that your coworker at the sewage plant might eat beans for lunch tomorrow.

Or, if you prefer to stick to pedophilia, it's sitting shirtless in Weird Uncle Bruce's lap and thinking that there's something a little off about the mailman.

Heh. And with that, I'm really done.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

chip,

I think you misread the terms of the settlement. This is from Ann's blog entry:

MySpace reluctantly stepped in to settle the dispute and decided that Obama should have the rights to control http://www.myspace.com/barackobama as of Monday night, while Anthony had the right to take the contact information for all the friends who signed up while he was in control.

George said...

Pogo--

I failed to be clear, or perhaps you misunderstood.

I meant to say that most folks--either on the left or right--are well intentioned, but that some--on both sides--are just downright offensive.

The anonymity of these internet talk fests leads to a lot of meanness that woudn't occur in 'real' life and benefits neither side.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Hey roost, if it makes you feel any better, I understood your point, and I agree with you.

Fen said...

If you are still unclear on what I'm trying to say, here's you go:

I'm not unclear. You are trying to say that concerns of Obama having fascist impulses should be ignored, because you believe the current administration is worse.

The reason we have a long primary season is to vet candidates. Advisors picked by Obama chose to bulldoze over a John Q. I don't believe that implies he's a fascist, but it does call his judgement into question. What kind of people would Obama surround himself with if elected President?

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

George,

Your sensible message may be lost on Pogo. This is what he posted yesterday:

I no longer believe the left has a reasonable argument and simply sees things differently. They are copperheads, and therefore traitors.

Then again, maybe he meant "traitors" in a polite, nonoffensive way.

Chip Ahoy said...

Fen, don't think about this, think about that. Don't read this book, read that one. Don't listen to her, listen to him. Don't watch that channel! Watch this one. Don't talk about this post we're talking about. Talk about my narrative.

boston70 said...

What this really says is that Obama is not ready to be president.

This is completely unacceptable. What is this fan was from Al-Quaeda or Iran? Which they were probably were because they want the defeatocrats to win.

Now Obama is cutting and running from this entire debacle.

Imagine if he was president? How would he handle the islamofascists?

This is obviously a foreshadowing of things to come if anyone even comtemplates voting for him for president.

Thanks for pointing this out it is an extremely important issue and goes right to his character and competency.

This country cannot afford to even consider someone this experienced for the most important role in the entire world. First a myspace account and next North Korea follows us home.

boston70 said...

And watch the drive by media never even report this incredibly important story.

If it is anything bad about a defeatocrat liberal than the liberal media just sweeps it under the rug.

Chip Ahoy said...

Cyrus, thank you for that. I will now vote for Obama.

Fen said...

Cyrus: Then again, maybe he meant "traitors" in a polite, nonoffensive way

Pogo: They are copperheads, and therefore traitors.

But Cyrus, Copperheads are traitors. Partisan Dems at CIA have leaked intel to sabatogue policy they disagree with. Congressmen [like Murtha] elected by Democrats have admitted to sabatoging the war effort to bring it to an end. Dem protestors have attempted to physically disrupt deployment and recruitment. There's more, but here's the latest:

Under one proposal being floated, unmet benchmarks would cause some U.S. troops to be removed from especially violent regions such as Baghdad. They would redeploy to places in Iraq where they presumably could fight terrorists but avoid the worst centers of Sunni-Shia conflict.

"I believe the strands of the web are just beginning to fit into place: As a "compromise," the Democrats now propose that if they can't get all the combat troops to come home... they should at least be allowed to disrupt Gen. Petraeus's counterinsurgency strategy.

The counterinsurgency is 80% focused on getting control of Baghdad, on an obvious Iraqi-based principle: Who controls Baghdad controls Iraq, and who controls Haifa Street and Sadr City controls Baghdad.

By insisting that failure to live up to unrealistic "benchmarks" must, at the very least, lead to canceling the counterinsurgency -- thus returning to the failed Rumsfeldian strategy of a "war of attrition," which never works against an outside-financed insurgency -- the Democrats show their tails: Their core goal is to ensure that we cannot win, hence are defeated. -Dafydd

http://www.biglizards.net/blog/


Response of a group of Indiana soldiers to letters from Copperhead "friends" back home:

"Your letter shows you to be a cowardly traitor. No traitor can be my friend; if you cannot renounce your allegiance to the Copperhead scoundrels and own your allegiance to the Government which has always protected you, you are my enemy, and I wish you were in the ranks of my open, avowed, and manly enemies, that I might put a ball through your black heart, and send your soul to the Arch Rebel himself."

Ann Althouse said...

Cyrus Pinkerton said..."'You might want to try to project an image of competence if you want to be President.' Why Ann? Competence didn't seem to matter much to you when you voted for Bush; why has it suddenly become important to you now?'"

Of course it did. I simply thought Kerry was more incompetent than Bush. And by the way, I originally ended the update with a wisecrack about Bush (but deleted it as too distracting). In fact, I read the quote and could imagine it spoken by Bush about the war and what hoots of derision there would be. It's absolutely lame to say hey, I'm just flying by the seat of my pants and I'm bound to make a lot of mistakes, but that's okay, because I'm taking risks!

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

chip,

Oh, I don't care how you vote. I was just trying to help you with your reading skills.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Ann wrote:

I simply thought Kerry was more incompetent than Bush.


It's hard for me to imagine how anyone as smart as you could have made that mistake. At least after witnessing another 2+ years of incompetence, you have plenty of evidence to revise your opinion.

And by the way Ann, where I vote, we have the option of more than two candidates. I didn't realize that Wisconsin limits ballots to only Democrats and Republicans. Go figure.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

Fen,

So you agree with Pogo's assertion that liberals (i.e., "the left") are traitors?

SteveR said...

So Cyrus who did you vote for? Why? Why didn't you vote for (fill in the blanks and don't stop at the first dozen or so)?

Explain in detail and do it on your own blog and maybe in a few years some one will give a crap.

Harkonnendog said...

Lol at Cyrus. :)

Revenant said...

"I simply thought Kerry was more incompetent than Bush."

It's hard for me to imagine how anyone as smart as you could have made that mistake. At least after witnessing another 2+ years of incompetence, you have plenty of evidence to revise your opinion.

Is there some evidence of competence on Kerry's part that has come to light in the past two years? Because as of 2004 he'd been wrong about just about every major political position he'd ever taken. He was wrong about the Soviet Union, wrong about unilateral nuclear disarmament, wrong about shrinking the military and intelligence services, wrong about letting Hussein keep Kuwait, wrong (in the opinion of lefties like yourself, that is) to support invading Iraq, wrong (like Bush) in thinking Iraq had WMDs. When he co-ran VVAW he let peace activists within the organization fradulently present themselves as veterans -- although whether this was incompetence or personal dishonesty on his part is anyone's guess.

More recently, he ran a *monumentally* incompetent Presidential campaign, losing to a man with sub-50 approval ratings and performing even worse than the notoriously incompetent Gore campaign had, despite Bush being more disliked than he had been in 2000.

What, exactly, has Kerry done, since getting out of the Navy, that could be construed as evidence of "competence"? Yes, Bush has been incompetent, but Kerry's been a career fuckup for three decades. About the only thing he's been right about is the Defense of Marriage Act... and of course he backpedaled from THAT during the 2004 campaign.

Chip Ahoy said...

Cyrus, appreciate it. Really do. But now I have to wonder, what exactly would Joe Anthony do with a list of 160,000 addresses of Obama supporters? I'd be tempted to mail each one with the story. [maybe include a PayPal button in the emails]-[maybe use the list repeatedly]

ShadowFox said...

Fen, if lack ability to read, don't try to write.

First, you complain that I took your remark out of context--well, when someone talks about causes of death being "multiple gunshot wounds," "strangulation," "blunt force injuries and asphyxia," irrespectively of other questions one might ask about the sourcing, "Were any self-inflicted?" is ridiculous. You asked a series of questions and I remarked about one of them. The questions were not sequential or in any way depended on each other. Questioning any one of them is hardly "out-of-context".

Second, you accuse me of not offering you a citation for the comments. If you bothered checking, I am not the one who cited it in the first place. So please address your remarks to proper authorities. My comment was only concerned with your logic, not the original source.

Third, you accused me of an ad hominem attack. Yet, the passage I cited from your rambling nonsense read (in relevant part):
Ah no Shadow, I am indeed a fascist. Already have your ISP down for the culling soon to come. Be Wery Afwaid. [idiot]

Now, call me dense, but the addition of "[idiot]" after the comment either meant that you self-identified as an idiot or you were calling me an idiot. Following your lead with "fascist", I simply cited two dictionary definitions of the word "idiot".

Now, which of us launched an ad hominem attack? Admittedly, I now believe you to be a willfully blind blithering idiot, but this belief follows a collection of your comments. I certainly did not go in presupposing you to be one. But you made the case for yourself.

Cyrus Pinkerton said...

shadowfox wrote:

Admittedly, I now believe you to be a willfully blind blithering idiot


Hey buster, I won't let anyone here pick on Fen! Fen is my special friend. If anyone is going to call Fen an idiot, it will be me.

Don't worry Fen, I've got your back.

Fen said...

shadowfax: Now, which of us launched an ad hominem attack

You did, by calling me a fascist. Thats why I called you an idiot.

"Were any self-inflicted?" is ridiculous.

Gitmo detainees have indeed caused "self-inflicted" wounds, launched hunger strikes and threatened suicide for propaganda purposes. So its not an unreasonable question and does not deserve the contempt you give it.

The allegations reminded me of gun control "studies" that exaggerated gun violence by padding their stats with Police Officer actions.

I merely wanted to break the stats down - which ones were genuine prisoner abuse, which ones were accidental, which ones were deaths from lingering wounds recieved on the battlefield, etc.

Cyrus: So you agree with Pogo's assertion that liberals (i.e., "the left") are traitors?

I agree with Pogo that the Left is infested with Copperheads, and I agree that Copperheads are traitors. And since the start, their opposition to the war has been dishonest:

1) 9-11 was not an inside job, not a "Reichstag" event

2) Bush never said Saddam was involved in 9-11

3) There was no "rush to war"

4) It was not "blood for oil"

5) Saddam and Al Queda did have links to each other

6) Saddam did have a WMD program

7) Saddam did try to purchase yellowcake from Niger

8) etc

Student said...

tmink (3:38 PM): Where do we disagree?

I don't know that we do. I even agree with the statement that I quoted; heck, what candidate wouldn't want control of the site? My point is that that doesn't excuse his actions, especially since he acquiesced in its existence to begin with. My remarks are probably best viewed as an amplification of your post rather than a disagreement.

I'm inclined to agree with Glenn Reynolds and some of the posters here that this whole thing doesn't really amount to much, especially since it will probably be ignored by most of the media. I do think it should matter, however, for two reasons. First, it dilutes his brand. Objectively Obama has little to offer other than being new and different; a better type of politician. What this event shows is that he's just as venal, grasping, and corrupt as any other politician. What, then, is the rationale for his candidacy?

Second, as you, Ann, and many others have observed it speaks to his competence. One of the serious objections to Obama's candidacy is his lack of experience and therefore judgement. This latest dust up doesn't help at all.

Fen said...

And although it is a minor thing, it could easily become a pattern of his candidacy. We'll see.

Galvanized said...

Well, any way you look at it, this MySpace site-stealing by The Obamafia is a new form of cyberbullying.

Wade Garrett said...

An image of competence? Bush certainly didn't need one . . .

Laika's Last Woof said...

If I were the candidate I would've hired the guy. Now I control the message.

If I can't hire him because he's a liability in the Amanda Marcotte sense then I excommunicate him Sistah Souljah-style, so that the knife in his back has his own fingerprints on it.

Obama's move was about the worst he could've made. If you're going to long-knife a popular, well-liked ally you need to have a good reason or you risk turning him into a martyr.

americanfan said...

obama isn't that a name from iraq he is muslim and would he salute the american flag didnt look like it and, for immigrants to become citizens only after 5 years yea okay