The owner of KSFO-AM 560, Disney’s ABC Radio, got more than it bargained for when it attempted to shut down a Web site that posted audio files of the station’s hosts engaging in what one critic called “hate speech.” ABC Radio’s lawyers claiming copyright infringement were able to scare a small ISP into shutting down the Web site of a blogger known only as “Spocko,” who is a liberal critic of the conservative station. But, as MediaPost Online Media Daily observed, the blogosphere united over the weekend and made sure that Spocko’s audio files were available on a number of other sites. “[L]ess than 48 hours after Spocko’s case was brought to light on the progressive news blog The Daily Kos, several new Web hosts, including YouTube, Blogintegrity and Firedoglake, stepped up to provide access to audio files from KSFO. Instead of one ISP to threaten, there were now many — basically challenging MouseCorp to sue all of them.” So far, ABC/Disney hasn’t sued any of them.
“Disney is now left with the option of playing a virtual game of ‘Whack A Mole,’ as the Rodent Empire’s lawyers will need to slap citations against a series of sites as swiftly as they pop up,” MediaPost says, “Plus, it may only be a matter of time before the mainstream media rides the story for at least one new[s] cycle. That’s got to be Disney’s worst nightmare: 24 hours where ‘Disney’ and ‘Hate Speech’ are both part of the topic line.”