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The controversy over Sarah Palin's pages

Last week, culture-watching website Gawker learned not to make a mama grizzly angry. With a large helping of its trademark snarky commentary, it posted scanned pages from Sarah Palin's upcoming book, "America by Heart: Reflections on Family, Faith, and Flag," online on Wednesday. "Isn't that illegal?" Palin tweeted.

Is it? Gawker claimed fair use -- pointing to the Fair Use Wikipedia page and the Stanford University Libraries' definition -- but the matter isn't all that straightforward. As one of Gawker's commenters pointed out, because the book has not yet been published, fair use may not apply.

Indeed, on Saturday, a judge issued a temporary restraining order against Gawker, saying it had to take down the pages -- which it did, removing the images and commentary relating to them -- most shockingly, perhaps, without making any further comment.

Publisher HarperCollins -- which is owned by Rupert Murdoch's News Corp., which also owns Fox News, the network that employs Palin as a commentator -- brought the suit in New York district court on Friday. HarperCollins Publishers spokeswoman Tina Andreadis told the Wall Street Journal Saturday evening, "We see the ruling as a victory. Gawker shouldn't have posted this. It's a copyright infringement. We are defending our author and our publication."

But is it infringement? What harm was there in bringing Palin's pages to light last week? The book is not in draft form -- in fact, it's completely finished and will be in bookstores on Tuesday. Barring some kind of strange machinations, every page that Gawker put on its website will be available for anyone interested to see in just a few days.

The hearing about Gawker's posting of Sarah Palin's "America by Heart" is scheduled for Nov. 30. 

-- Carolyn Kellogg

Photo: Sarah Palin speaks at a Republican Party of Iowa fundraising dinner in September 2010. Credit: Steve Post / EPA

Comments () | Archives (29)

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I read those excerpts and more on Palingates before Gawker posted anything at all...wonder why Murdoch didn't go after that site? Could it be they didn't want to draw attention to a site that proves their points, has legitimate evidence of Palin's lies, and reports from Alaskans who know their former governor and don't buy her 'poor me' act?

As far as her book outselling Bushes, a year ago her book topped the best seller lists for a month before it came out...this time, is sits at #61 on the BN list. Could it be her coven is even getting sick of her whining about everything from our 'misguided' perceptions teddy bears to the 'nontalent' she sees on Idol (as opposed to the nontalented dancer she is so very proud of???) Someone should tell her that votes are won with smiles and a pat on the back, not with snarls and a kick in the behind to anyone not already on board her Train of Lies.

Why was such a talented writer wasted on this vapid story?

Here comes the vomit again !!!

Palin is emotionally and intellectually stalled at the 9th grade level.
Unfortunately, so are the vast majority who take her seriously.

I would like to make the proper introductions:

"Mrs. Palin, this is Anonymous from the Chan boards"

"Anonymous, this is Sarah Palin. She is begging to be the star of you next campaign."

Not even the Tea Party can mess with Anonymous. And they are about to show them why.

Not a big fan of Palin but you have to admit that a far-left leaning site that never misses a chance to slam Palin not only gets owned by a woman they regularly cast as stupid and ineffective but that they also apparently didn't bother to follow the same advice they gave her regarding reading the law and consulting lawyers. These are the same cretins who went after Meg Whitman's kids and posted the one night stand smear against C. O'Donnell....in other words they are democratic shills who have managed to even give gossip columnists a bad name.

All Gawker seems to have done is give more pub to the pub-whore of Wasila.

Dear Sara Paylin,

Iran thanks you and the Reepublikan Party for the work you are doing to instill fear and hate in American people against each other and the government.

We enjoy how you insult freely elected Americans, especially your President.

Destroying from within is always better and less costly than war.

Iranian President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad

I don't even have to get partisan to hate this "book." It is unfortunately a crime in of itself against the publishing industry, showing how once again books the market is soured by celebrity-written drivel, almost entirely written by a ghost writer. Does Palin (or any other celeb) have to struggle to get published? Nope. All easy connections. Is her book worth squat? Will it give you an interesting new perspective in life and challenge your thinking in a way that movies and television cannot? Does it give witty and intelligent social critiques? No, no, and no. 100 years ago, instead of these celebrity idiots with their novels (seriously a biography about marilyn monroe came out last month I think and she's dead! We don't need books by every celebrity, especially not dead ones), we'd have intelligent novels that actually made you a little better off after reading them. They were written by worthy individuals, like Mark Twain or F Scott Fitzgerald. But of course, nowadays, as with everything else, its about one thing money!

Sixty-seven percent of Americans thinks she's unqualified to be president.
Good luck T-Partyiers.
I desperately hope you manage to nominate this moron.

I think they violated the copyright because they copied entire pages vs. quoting snippets and commenting on them. Would the LA Times be happy if someone photocopied the front page of the next edition several hours before it reached newstands and posted it on another website? I think not.

Palin is still an idiot.

It seems that Mrs. Palin has made very good use of the government that she intends to downsize. Oh, wait, that was her publisher that sued. Can it be true that Mama Grizzly can't do anything for herself, and instead manipulates others into doing her job for her? Gasp....

Sarah Palin often speaks of the "elites" as some kind of mythical force in American society. Who are these people? Why is she so afraid of them?

Are they the incredibly wealthy and well-connected? With assets in the tens of millions, and a job on the top-rated news network in the country (which, as a testament to her pathological victim complex, is not considered part of the "lamestream / mainstream media") she seems to fit the definition of "elite" fairly well. She shapes the news, she makes millions doing it and declares what is right / wrong, good / evil in the country.

But rich and powerful is not "elite". She's still a "real American". In Sarah Palin's mindset, the most dangerous thing in the world is education.

Her definition of "elite" from the NYT Magazine:
“They’re the elite,” she said sarcastically of news organizations. “They know much more than I know and other people like me!"

I'm pretty smart. I went to a good school, worked very hard, went into crippling debt and emerged with a B.A. and a great GPA - but there are probably millions of people in this country who know more about very important things than I ever will. You don't want me running a bank. You don't want me designing the structural system in your home. Really.

But it's OK.

I don't feel victimized by that. I'm not afraid of those who know more than me. I want to know more, but I accept that it's always going to be a challenge to know a lot about everything.

Sarah Palin doesn't want to learn. She doesn't want to strive to be more informed, to make decisions on the basis of an ever-increasing collection of facts and experience. Her insecurity is so great that any advantage held by another is something to be suspicious of. Furthermore, the most dangerous part of learning is the ever-present risk of finding out that something you believe to be true... isn't.

Her narcissism and permanent sense of victimhood don't allow that.

People are always out to get her. The "gotcha" media with their facts. The "elites" with their facts. It's all very frightening to someone who defines their self-worth based on what they don't know.

Irrespective of ideology, someone who values ignorance over knowledge is not a good leader, and never will be a good leader. Sarah Palin sets a terrible example for our children. Her mantra is essentially, "Know as little as you can to get by, and somehow make as much money as you can." She got lucky, but it's not a way to raise a generation. The irony of one painting herself as a "real American" is that the very essence of the American myth - ingenuity, using innovation to get ahead and make money - is lost on her.

She wants everyone to skip the first part, cash the check.

It's a sad, sad way to live.

Sorry LA. The book had not been released. Gawker was not given permission. Gawker knew it was violating copy write law but didn't care. Lets hope Gawker loses its shirt in court...Gawk!!

Is the book written in crayon? Then a page may not contain much of a quote.

sensing the hate and vitriol from the left in these commentaries, i suspect Sarah Palin makes a great candidate for 2012

Palin thrives on attention. Please quit giving it to her.

I am not in any way a Palin fan; however, I don't think posting page scans on a website constitutes fair use. And, c'mon, we're supposed to use Wikipedia as the authority???

Palin doesn't expect anyone to actually read the book.

I cannot stand Sarah Palin so it pains me to have to be on the same side as her on this issue. Pulling a few quotes from the book would be one thing, or maybe a page or two, but posting 12 actual pages of the book does, in my opinion, constitute infringement. "Fair Use" is a legitimate thing, but it doesn't mean using pages and pages (or with film minutes and minutes) of content that is copyrighted. I'm a documentary filmmaker and know well what "Fair Use" means and Gawker does a disservice to those who legitimately use it by claiming it in this instance.

If Mrs Palin is such and idiot, why is the left so afraid of her and her book???

just saying ............

As far as I can tell Mrs Palin is the only candidate that strikes me as a real person , a real mom, and a real wife. She says what she believes, not what she thinks others want her to say .......thats the problem with politicians, they say what we want to hear , not what they truly believe ..........when are we going to get that? I'll tell you , so far the "vote for Change" has failed miserably.......the only change has been for the worse ............

Mrs. Palin did not 'take on Gawker'; Newscorp, parent company of FOX, and owner of HarperCollins, the publishers of her book, threatened to sue. And I wonder how sympathetic the WSJ was to her plight as the victim.
Vertical integration; horizontal integration. Those who control the media control the narrative.
But, on the bright side, we have back to back Christmas gifts, after last year's Going Rogue. Gosh the Sarah Palin Chronicles are gonna be bigger than Harry Potter! You betcha.

Under estimate Sarah Palin at your own peril. The left leaning elites can't seem to figure this out.

Simple answer, the book was not released. The free use rules fall under a gray area, at least. Unless they had a copy of the book they'd received legitimately (as in without breaking street date) and weren't embargoed (told not to print a review before a set date), they were opening themselves up for trouble.

This isn't just the Palin Machine crushing this poor little website, either. Scholastic and JK Rowling's lawyers came down just as hard, harder even on people who simply DISCUSSED the events and ending of the last Harry Potter book before release, let alone the ones who posted passages.

Is it "illegal"? that's debatable. But it's certainly actionable. The book is a product intended to make money, and is being protected as such. All the talk about legality and copyright protection are code words.

This has nothing to do with who the author is. It's about money. Gawker's release of content, fair-use or not, interfered with the publisher's carefully planned marketing scheme. Furthermore, the book is not doing nearly as well in pre-publication sales as her memoir (Going Rogue) did. Figuring that she received a similar advance as she did for Going Rogue ($1.5 million to $5 million), there's a lot of money at stake. This suit was filed to gain control over marketing and book sales, not content - and as far as conent is concerned, the availability of of content through advance copies (physical and electronic) for critical reviews and to drum up publicity make it difficult for the publisher to claim a violation of fair-use. In any case, it's free publicity for a book that more than likely has no real content to speak of, anyway.

You mean Palin used the copyright law that big bad government put into place?


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