By Brian A. Wilkins
Editor-In-Chief: The COVID Blog
March 17, 2021 (updated January 1, 2023)
LAS VEGAS — I typically do not use a byline because the COVID-19/”vaccine” agenda is not about me. But it appears a personal response is necessary.
COVID Legal USA and The COVID Blog are not about me. But believe it or not, there are still journalists out there who want to tell people the truth even when it’s not popular. Compliance is complicity. Silence is acceptance.
Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. once said, “If a man hasn’t discovered something he will die for, he isn’t fit to live.”
I am willing to die for the truth, journalism and the First Amendment. Sadly a healthy majority of Americans are willing to die for experimental shots.
A February survey by the Pew Research Center found that 69% of Americans will definitely, probably or already have gotten an experimental COVID-19 shot. Either these surveys are rigged, or mainstream and social media are doing terrific jobs suppressing truth. There is another possibility that is gut-wrenching to fathom.
Milgram Experiment from 1963
Dr. Stanley Milgram published the results of his study entitled “Behavorial Study of Obedience” in 1963. The Yale professor paid people to administer deadly electric shocks to other people. The subjects grew more hesitant as they heard the victims screaming in pain. They knew what they were doing was wrong. Yet they continued administering the high-voltage shocks.
Dr. Milgram made a film about the experiment.
RELATED: 60 Minutes: 1979 Swine Flu investigation has uncanny resemblances to COVID 2020-21 (February 26, 2021)
Dr. Milgram summarized his findings in a 1974 Harper’s Magazine article entitled “The Perils of Obedience”:
“Ordinary people, simply doing their jobs, and without any particular hostility on their part, can become agents in a terrible destructive process. Moreover, even when the destructive effects of their work become patently clear, and they are asked to carry out actions incompatible with fundamental standards of morality, relatively few people have the resources needed to resist authority.”
U.S. government is so far not forcing experimental shots. It is simply using monopolized media and big tech corporations to convey a well-framed choice. The masses are not only choosing to get these experimental shots, but also gloating about it loudly and arrogantly. Now here we are.
The Mary Voll Story
We published the story of Mrs. Mary Voll on Sunday, March 14. The pediatric nurse announced on Facebook that she is pregnant and vaccinated. Eight days later, she announced via Facebook that her baby was stillborn at 23 weeks. The story is extremely heartbreaking. But we have a responsibility to our readers and the world at-large to report on this critical matter of public concern.
Someone named Christina (we’ll withhold the last name) sent us an email asking us to take the article down. The email reads in part:
If you really wish them peace, then you’ll take down this post. They have been working tirelessly to get their sensitive photos off of social media. They’ve even gone as far as getting their photos copyrighted to help get these removed.
We removed this comment on the article due to foul language and disinformation. But it read in part:
This story is in breach of copyright owned by Dr Voll…You will get a DCMA (sic) takedown
Another deleted comment from someone named Daniel reads:
You people are vile vultures, the family have asked you to stop yet you persist in your lies with the personal pictures you stole from them. I hope the family take legal action and you get your commupence.
All of said messages mention or imply the Digital Millennium Copyright Act (DMCA) and/or we have done something illegal and malicious. None of that is the case.
The DMCA protects copyrighted material from being redistributed for profit.
First, this website does not have any advertisements and is not monetized. In fact we’ve been turned down by all affiliate marketers. We don’t even bother with Youtube, Facebook, etc. because we know they censor truth and call it “disinformation” or “conspiracy theory.” The COVID Blog survives solely on donations from readers.
Second, screenshots of Facebook posts are not copyrighted. The content in question is screenshots of a Facebook post that had already been seen by tens and maybe hundreds of thousands of people. Mr. Voll admitted these were “viral post[s].”
We simply stumbled across them and found Mr. Voll’s subsequent post that he said, “I’ve made this post public so all the folks now stalking us can see it.” Rest assured we are not “stalking” anyone. In fact we’ve never contacted either Mr. or Mrs. Voll. We are not on social media. We are simply journalists doing our duties.
The fair use doctrine is enumerated in the Copyright Act of 1976, as Pub. L. No. 94-553, 90 Stat. 2541, 17 U.S. Code § 107. Again, screenshots of Facebook posts are not copyrighted. But if they were, our article would fall under fair use because it was used “for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.” Emphasis added.
The viral screenshots are being used for news reporting. A New York federal judge ruled in 2019 that screenshots of social media posts fall under fair use for journalists. The case ends there.
But let’s again say for the sake of argument that these trendy vaccine on camera photos shared on social media were in fact copyrighted. Any and all lawsuits would be futile. Plaintiffs would also face potential sanctions, court costs and other adverse rulings for filing frivolous litigation.
The best action for pro-mRNA and pro-viral vector folks is to get their shots in silence, and not share it with the world. Here’s why.
Privacy ceases when you voluntarily post information online
This case law was derived from the MySpace days. University of California Berkeley student Cynthia Moreno published on Myspace a post entitled, “An Ode to Coalinga.” It was about her hometown in California. She bashed everything about the town, including the people. Moreno deleted the post six days later. But not before Coalinga High School Principal Roger Campbell took a screenshot and had it published in the town’s local newspaper.
The newspaper used Cynthia’s full name despite her only using her first name on MySpace. The results were awful for Moreno and her family. They received numerous death threats. One crazy individual fired a gun at the family’s home. It got so bad that the family was forced to move out of Coalinga. They were also forced to close their 20-year-old family business in the town.
Family files lawsuit in California Superior Court
The Moreno’s sued Campbell, the school district, and the local newspaper. They claimed invasion of privacy and intentional infliction of emotional distress. The case was dismissed against publishers Lee Enterprises, Inc., Lee Enterprises Newspapers, Inc., and Hanford Sentinel, Inc., pursuant to the anti-SLAPP statute in California. At least 30 states have similar laws. The statute allows publishers to file a motion to strike frivolous lawsuits meant to hinder free speech, particularly by the press.
The Court was very clear as to what privacy means and when you surrender that right.
Here, Cynthia publicized her opinions about Coalinga by posting the Ode on MySpace.com, a hugely popular Internet site. Cynthia’s affirmative act made her article available to any person with a computer and thus opened it to the public eye. Under these circumstances, no reasonable person would have had an expectation of privacy regarding the published material. Moreno v. Hanford Sentinel, 172 Cal.App.4th 1125, 1130 (Cal. Ct. App. 2009).
The Court elaborated further:
As pointed out by appellants, to be a private fact, the expectation of privacy need not be absolute. Sanders v. American Broadcasting Companies (1999) 20 Cal.4th 907, 915. Private is not equivalent to secret. M.G. v. Time Warner, Inc. (2001) 89 Cal.App.4th 623, 632. Information disclosed to a few people may remain private. Nevertheless, the fact that Cynthia expected a limited audience does not change the above analysis. By posting the article on myspace.com, Cynthia opened the article to the public at large. Her potential audience was vast.
Thus even if you share Facebook posts with friends only, that does not make it private. That leads us to the next point.
Facebook said under oath that users have “no expectation of privacy”
There is no privacy interest, because by sharing with a hundred friends on a social media platform, which is an affirmative social act to publish, to disclose, to share ostensibly private information with a hundred people, you have just, under centuries of common law, under the judgment of Congress, under the SCA, negated any reasonable expectation of privacy.
The “get vaccine on camera and post on Facebook” phenomenon has people voluntarily disclosing sensitive medical information to the public. It’s sad that people keep doing it. It is what it is. But I really wish people would stop doing it.
Katie Hill so-called “revenge porn” lawsuit to be dismissed
Nude photos are perhaps the most sensitive content anyone can possess. But even publishing those are protected by free speech in some circumstances, no matter whose pride or feelings are hurt.
America remembers former California Congresswoman Katie Hill. She sued her husband and two publications for publishing photos of her smoking weed and having sexual relations with subordinate female employees. Hill created the narrative that the case was “revenge porn.” She resigned from the House of Representatives in October 2019 because of her behavior, particularly for violating House ethics rules and campaign laws. The civil case is still ongoing. But the judge said the two publications involved in the case are likely to be dismissed.
UPDATE April 7, 2021: Katie Hill so-called “revenge porn” lawsuit dismissed via anti-SLAPP statute.
UPDATE May 4, 2021: Katie Hill ordered to pay radio host she named in the lawsuit $30,000 in attorney fees.
UPDATE June 2, 2021: Katie Hill ordered to pay $103,000 in attorney fees to the Daily Mail (June 2, 2021)
Hill’s ex-husband may not enjoy First Amendment protections. But the Daily Mail and the other website that published the photos simply distributed material that is “a matter of public concern” and thus cannot be held liable. Granted Hill was also a public figure. But COVID-19, mRNA and viral vector shots have been the top matter of public concern for over a year.
Again, all we’re doing is reporting public matters of concern that countless people continually display publicly and loudly. And again, I wish people would #StopVirtueSignaling.
Matters of public concern
Every journalism student in the United States writes a paper or at least (these days) some sort of brief commentary on the seminal New York Times Co. v. Sullivan, 376 U.S. 254 (1964) Supreme Court case. It gave birth to the actual malice doctrine. Anybody can say anything they want about public officials and celebrities unless the speech is deliberately malicious and/or false. Subsequent cases have defined parameters for private citizens.
“If a matter is a subject of public or general interest, it cannot suddenly become less so merely because a private individual did not ‘voluntarily’ choose to become involved. The public’s primary interest is in the event; the public focus on the conduct of the participant and the content, effect, and significance of the conduct, not the participant’s prior anonymity or notoriety.” Rosenbloom v. Metromedia Inc., 403 U.S. 29 (1971).
“To determine whether a statement relates to a matter of public concern, the Court created a two-part test. A statement related to a matter of public concern if: (1) the statement related “to any matter of political, social, or other concern to the community,” or (2) the statement related to “a subject of legitimate news interest; that is, a subject of general interest and of value and concern to the public.” Snyder v. Phelps, 131 S.Ct. 1207 (2011).
For your own good, please #StopVirtueSignaling
We’re not trying to convince people one way or the other about this entire, strange, last 13 months or about the mRNA/viral vector shots. Get your shots. Be happy. Don’t try and force others to adopt your beliefs.
If you don’t get sick, die or have some sort of other adverse effect immediately from the shots, nobody knows what might happen in the future. All of these shots are still in clinical trials. None of them have been formally approved by government health agencies. They are all being distributed under emergency use authorization. Anyone taking them is essentially an unpaid clinical trial participant.
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