Joel Beinin settled his copyright infringement suit against David Horowitz out of court. The statement Horowitz was forced to publicize on his own website makes clear that he came out on the short end of the stick:
In February 2005, the Center for the Study of Popular Culture published a booklet entitled, Campus Support for Terrorism. The cover of the booklet included photographs of four individuals, including a photograph of Professor Joel Beinin of Stanford University that he had commissioned. In March 2006, Professor Beinin sued the Center for copyright infringement. The Center acknowledges using the photograph without consent, but believes its use was a fair use. When it learned that Professor Beinin had filed a complaint, however, it agreed to remove the photograph from the cover of its booklet and to make no further use of it. The parties have now agreed to resolve their dispute with no admission of liability. As part of that resolution, the Center will make a charitable donation in the amount of $27,500 to Raphael House of Portland, an organization that has for thirty years provided shelter for women and children fleeing domestic violence.
As noted above, Horowitz’s pamphlet featured a picture of Joel Beinin and other purported terror symps on the cover. Based on my fairly extensive understanding of fair use, I don’t believe Horowitz’s defense would’ve held up. But I’m guessing Beinin was concerned enough about his chances that he agreed to settle rather than proceed to trial. Unfortunately, he didn’t get an apology from Horowitz nor an admission of any culpability. But it’s still a moral victory.
What’s interesting about the above statement is it says that Horowitz removed the photo from the cover after Beinin filed a complaint. Which surely means that the former refused to remove the image when Beinin first demanded that he do so and BEFORE he filed the complaint. If so, that makes Horowitz a very stupid person. Even a copyright dolt can tell you that the first response to such a demand should be to remove the allegedly infringing material. If Horowitz didn’t do that he has only himself to blame and he’s lucky he got off so lightly.
What Joel has won is important. Next time, Horowitz will think twice before engaging in some of his most outrageous abusive conduct towards those on the progressive left. He’ll think twice before going after Joel Beinin, that’s for sure. It will also provide a legal record should others damaged by Horowitz’s venom choose to sue over similar issues.
My only regret is that Horowitz’s charitable donation is not going to the International Committee Against House Demolitions or B’Tselem or the Association for Civil Rights in Israel. It would’ve been very sweet to force Horowitz to donate to an Israeli-Palestinian peace group he really detests.
I’m feeling pretty good about having Joel as my co-defendant in our libel suit brought by Rachel Neuwirth. He brings good mazel.