Oh dear. We've pissed off the Director of Miss Right to Life of Georgia with this post.
In the comments and in an email, she says:
Pageant Director of MRTL said...
This is to advise you that you are using copyrighted and protected material on your website/blog. Your illegal use of photographs and text is originally from my website/blog called "Miss Right to Life of Georgia" at www.missrighttolife.com. This is original content and I am the author and copyright holder. Use of copyright protected material without permission is illegal under copyright laws.
Please remove the plagiarized material immediately.
I expect a response within 3 days to this issue. Thank you for your immediate action on this matter.
First, I don't think plagiarism means what she thinks it does.
Twentieth-century dictionaries define plagiarism as "wrongful appropriation," "close imitation," or "purloining and publication," of another author's "language, thoughts, ideas, or expressions," and the representation of them as one's own original work, but the notion remains problematic with nebulous boundaries. There is no rigorous and precise distinction between imitation, stylistic plagiarism, copy, replica and forgery.
I plagiarized nothing. I used direct quotation with proper attribution.
Then there's that little matter of what you in the US call 'fair use'.
Fair use, a limitation and exception to the exclusive right granted by copyright law to the author of a creative work, is a doctrine in United States copyright law that allows limited use of copyrighted material without acquiring permission from the rights holders. Examples of fair use include commentary, criticism, news reporting, research, teaching, library archiving and scholarship. It provides for the legal, non-licensed citation or incorporation of copyrighted material in another author's work under a four-factor balancing test. The term fair use originated in the United States. A similar principle, fair dealing, exists in some other common law jurisdictions. Civil law jurisdictions have other limitations and exceptions to copyright.
Or what we in Canada call 'fair dealing'.
Now, IANAL, but it seems to me that DJ!'s use of the quoted material falls squarely under both 'fair use' and 'fair dealing'.
But perhaps Miss Right to Life of Georgia would like to consult their own lawyers on the matter.
The photo, charming though it may be, might be a horse of a different colour. DJ! is consulting our lawyer about that.
And yes, we fully realize that things are done differently in the Excited States, especially in ultra-'prolife' Georgia, where they are set to execute a black man named Troy Davis, against whom the case is shockingly weak, on September 21.
By those lights, what punishment does a little blogger in Canada poking fun at a beauty pageant deserve?
ADDED: I wonder if this gang got prior written permission.