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"Retarded News" image may cost Sarasota Radio station $6 Million!

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posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 10:19 PM
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In full disclosure, I'll first note that I am the Father of a Special Needs child. Hardly at the level of the boy in this story, but this isn't an area of life that really needs to be ranked by 'level' to know outrage over bad taste.

If the 1st Amendment were to have an * and footnote? This would be the case for it...and in Civil Court, it may well cost them big time.


A Nashville-area family has filed a lawsuit against Cox Media Group’s talk “102.5 The Bone” WHPT, Sarasota, FL for using a picture of a man with Down syndrome on its website, allegedly holding a doctored sign that read “Retarded News.” Bernard and Pamela Holland, whose teenage son Adam was featured in the picture, are seeking millions of dollars from Cox and a clip art vendor.



The picture was apparently posted online by an art teacher who photographed Adam Holland holding up a picture he’d drawn. His parents say in the suit that when they discovered from a friend how the station was using their son’s picture they suffered “severe mental anguish and emotional distress” and are asking the court for punitive damages.
Source

This one burned by buns a bit, so I did a bit more footwork than a single link for background. Let me give a bit more information and context.


Cox Media Group owns and operates 19 TV stations, 87 radio stations, eight daily newspapers, and many other publications and digital services. Its station WHPT-FM Tampa, known as 102.5 The Bone, broadcasts The Cowhead Show, including a segment called "Retarded News," according to the complaint.


As the Station's people go on to explain, their "Retarded News" show is more of a "world's dumbest criminals" type radio program than anything about actual mentally challenged people. It's also fair to say they didn't apparently originate this. However, they were the highest profile to modify the image and use it in wide distribution which would have me suing them too, quite frankly.


The Hollands claim two other websites altered their son's photo and used it next to derogatory comments.

Dave Brown's Oswego, N. Y.-based Sign Generator, which charges customers to download images from its website, posted an altered picture of Adam holding a poster saying, "I Love Making Custom Signs," under the heading "Retarded Handicap Generator," according to the complaint.

The Hollands say they also discovered a website that used their son's picture under the caption, "Ben the retarded kid from down the street."
Source: Courthouse News

I'd seriously considered making this a rant but figured I could handle it better by sharing it with the detail of any other story, despite my personal feelings being rather hot over it.

For those curious...I will not post the picture here and ask others don't either, out of respect for this boy. However, I did find another site that has it and below is the link.

Photo referred to in above story

It's a site presenting it as what CANNOT be tolerated and I agree with that sentiment 100%, which is the only reason I even link it. Had I not been able to find a site showing it from the same perspective, it would not even get this much out of me. It IS important to know what we ought to be upset about though.


Keep in mind, this was apparently shot as a cute picture he drew and I feel by his expression, he was proud of for whatever it originally contained. The transposition of a wildly inappropriate commercial message to be used without the slightest effort to background and check the origin or nature of the image warrants every penny the family is seeking, in my view.

I'd be mortified if I discovered a media company had altered a photo of my own child and in such a way as to take a happy moment in his life and turn it into the ugliest form of parody and satire.

Some people have absolutely no decency and simply removing it after the fact is hardly enough, as the filing of the case indicates they certainly feel strongly about here. The damage was done and once that was the object of a commercial media campaign? There is no un-ringing THAT bell.

edit on 27-4-2013 by Wrabbit2000 because: (no reason given)




posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 10:45 PM
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for me the R word is right up there with the N word.


What immature little #s This is not highschool or middle school, these radio shows are filled with nothing but insecure little bullies!



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 10:46 PM
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The spice show is the best on 102.5 the bone. now thats out of the way they paid for the picture to use. now the company who sold it should only be the one sued how ever its not a copyrighted picture. so your hosed. This is the pussafication on america my feelings got hurt i need to sue.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 10:51 PM
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reply to post by truthinfact
 

Frankly, for the deep deep negative connotations and derogatory nature the term has picked up, I would tend to agree with the need for society in general to shun the use of it in a pretty direct way. Particularly as Autism is growing to far under 1:100 kids these days while many are very challenged by the issues that brings. The boy in this story is a sufferer of Down Syndrome which, in my view, makes even considering the use of his image in such a terrible way all the more detestable. That's one of the worst developmental conditions for the person having to endure it, in my personal opinion of things.

Perhaps with enough backlash on stories like this one, "Retarded" will eventually be retired as it needs to be ..along with other words. I have, in my archives, a picture of a paint can that dates back from the 40's. Someone found it in their shed or workshop and took a picture of it for the incredible text across the label. In the box for color? "N**... Brown" ..Of course drop the *'s and we all know what that word is meant to be. It's SO touchy a word I don't even use it in a properly quoted context like this .... Yet there it sat as the marketed color of a paint from some obscure company I didn't recognize the name of.

Amazing how society evolves, isn't it? This evolution is long over due.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 10:53 PM
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reply to post by speeddr2000
 


I'm sorry if you find making fun of a Down Syndrome child in an image they made from an existing online stock photo they found...acceptable. I couldn't disagree more strongly and it's about REAL emotional harm and distress coming to people whom life has already put on an uphill road, both directions with no quarter given. Piling on like this was obscene.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 10:54 PM
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Originally posted by speeddr2000
The spice show is the best on 102.5 the bone. now thats out of the way they paid for the picture to use. now the company who sold it should only be the one sued how ever its not a copyrighted picture. so your hosed. This is the pussafication on america my feelings got hurt i need to sue.


Any and all works of photography, art, writing or creations of any individual are "copyrighten" at the moment of creation. Registering your work with the copyright office dosn't copyright the image, it simply gives you solid proof in court that you owned the copyright first.

Secondly, it is illegal to use the image of a person on any media outlet without proper permission of the person unless it falls under freedom of use laws that are very detailed and well preserved in law.

This act was nothing too crazy or criminal. But it was rude, cruel, heartless and yes "illegal".

All work is copyrighten" on the moment it is created.

With or without official registration of said work with the government offices that handle copyright registrations.

Sorry...didn't mean to be rude. Just wanted to make that known.

MM



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 11:01 PM
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Oh and I guarantee the laws that protect individual people's likenesses from being used for commercial use without copyright protection will assure the family will get something from this.

A copyright doesn't mean you "own" an image, it means you have the right to print and copy it. The radio station is plainly in trouble here.

"pussification" of a nation? lol. Far from. I'd call that reply a good show of a "degeneration of a nation's sympathy, ethics and moral code".

Anyone who thinks its ok to use a picture of an individual without permission (mentally/physically/ handicapped or not) to sell or promote a product...is messed up.

The family will win this case. But I assume it will be settled out of court and they will receive and accept less than they are asking now. Just guessing tho.

MM



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 11:26 PM
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All of the riled emotion I had from other threads on here, has been replaced with sadness and a feeling of sheer hopelessness.

I saw the original image, and the kid looked so proud of his work, showing it with happiness to the camera.

For what? some desperate low life to mock him, deny him his right to be happy, and benefit from the other mouth breathing miscreants that make up their audience.

But there is nothing that can change these peoples hearts. There is nothing there. They don't even get it. And to them, to combat any thought that tells them they are wrong, they simple do it more.

Just reading another thread here, and this became clear to me. Even here on ATS, if someone feels strongly about something, rather than understand why, they go out of their way to do it even more.

If I met one of these idiots in real life, I'd ask them to write me in prison, and tell me how it feels to be fed through a tube in hospital.



posted on Apr, 27 2013 @ 11:52 PM
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reply to post by winofiend
 

I really appreciate your words here Winofiend.

I'm glad I'm not the only one that read that by the picture of the boy and his facial expression while holding up his work. Sometimes special needs parents can come to see the world through that prism and I'm real aware of my own tendency to do that. Seeing things that aren't necessarily there because I'd like it to be. However, I really did get such a strong sense of the kid beaming ...as the best word to come up with. Yes.. Beaming with pride ... and wow.. I'm sure he's seen his own image as it's been warped. What pain that had to have caused him before even touching on the parents.

Your post reminds me that there is still a healthy % out there that have that elusive thing called Empathy and don't fear letting it show.



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 12:03 AM
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The following is my opinion as a member participating in this discussion.

This is the station that Bubba the Love Sponge broadcasts on. He has been one of the worst “shock-jocks” of all time, and was banned once by the FCC at the same time as Howard Stern. He went to satellite with Howard, then finally got back on the air down here. He is also the one involved in the Hulk Hogan sex tape and numerous other escapades...
Need I say more...

As an ATS Staff Member, I will not moderate in threads such as this where I have participated as a member.



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 12:11 AM
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Grow a backbone people...the Person in the photo looks happy and gay (true meaning note).

Why not sue the guy that posted it on the www.

Why not sue the person who gave the young man a piece of paper and crayons.

Why not sue the parents for having a Downs Syndrome child in the first place and not aborting if they had the chance.

Why not sue the Hospital, the Doctors, how about sue everybody.

How old were the parents when they had the kid?, if the woman is over 35 yo, the chances of DS is Greatly increased.

These people are getting ridiculous, just like that stupid woman who spilt coffee on herself and sued Maccas.

The law needs to put a stop to this or the "Civilized" World will be one big litigation circus.

Has anybody asked the Kid? Oh He is too "you Know" to answer??? What if he Loves the idea he is on a news station?.....retarded means nothing to him, because he doesnt regard himself as retarded.. He may not even think he is different to anyone else. It is only his Parents and other "Experts" who have made a big deal about it, and regard "Retarded" as an insult, that he is probably aware now, that he is Way Way different.

ITs his parents and other Do Gooders that have ruined his life now, not the "Funny" picture on the TV/www etc.

Its like Fat people are sometimes happy, and think they look ok, and often dont want to be reminded they are Fat and different, they thought they were normal!!!


There are 1000s of " Walmart People" photos on the net, these people should now sue Walmart for allowing other people to carry phones, which take photos, which is in Walmart, which ends up on the www etc etc etc.
Completely discounting they are Fat/Ugly/Stupid/Disgusting or whatever they really are, that THEY themselves created.

This Nanny business has got to end.

Disclaimer, Sorry If I offend, just using the 5th Amendment, or is it the 3rd or 25th...whatever..its free speech and common sense!!



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 01:20 AM
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Originally posted by gort51
Grow a backbone people...

Sigh that should be the mantra of the mindless hoards that feed, breed and never read as they procreate and never hesitate to hate.

I could just as easy reply- "Grow into a human being" to anyone who finds no disgust with this. The media using the image of a handicapped individual to make money. But yknow, none of us are perfect and many of us fail to connect with real humanity at various times. I forgive the radio folks. And those too callous to see this is sick, abusive and cruel.



the Person in the photo looks happy and gay (true meaning note).


Yup. he does. I wonder if he looked that happy when he learned thousands of jerks laughed at his image with the title that was wrongly placed on that same image. I wonder if you would tell him to grow a backbone if he cried or showed pain the moment his mind came to know this all.



Why not sue the guy that posted it on the www.


Hell ya! Sue em both! I'm with you there!


Why not sue the person who gave the young man a piece of paper and crayons.


Because that's flawed logic. And you "should" know that. Are you simply seeking a hard-hearted argument at no cost?



Why not sue the parents for having a Downs Syndrome child in the first place and not aborting if they had the chance.


Sigh...you see a media outlet breaking the law, and you reply with this? Right...you seem to be very convinced of your morals and views here. Or are you really just looking for an argument?



Why not sue the Hospital, the Doctors, how about sue everybody.


Again...if you are serious, your logic-machine needs tweeking. And your moral compass is on the fritz. Never mind your understanding of the law and your human rights.



How old were the parents when they had the kid?, if the woman is over 35 yo, the chances of DS is Greatly increased.


None of that matters...even if the kid was 50 years old and mentally and physically healthy. You can not use the image of an individual unless it falls under freedom of use laws. Making fun of a handicapped man is not under that law btw...I wonder who you would sue if I ran a large radio show and took your pic and put the title under it "big stupid troll-tard idiot looking to be heartless and foolish for hoots and fun".

I mean, I'm sure you wouldn't like it. But since you are pretending here to be so "cold and strong" you will deny that fact. But I assure you, your facade of strength and coldness, is actually just a show of you being weak and easy to hurt.

Yknow...its typical 101 high school psychology.



These people are getting ridiculous, just like that stupid woman who spilt coffee on herself and sued Maccas.


No...that woman was an opportunistic leech and actually pretty smart for finding a loop hole to make her cash. These are parents who are watching rich people mock and ridicule their son for being handicapped. If you can't tell the difference, I can't tell you how messed up you are as a "person".

Sadly, it just means you are a "typical" product of the media. The very same media that mocks handicapped folks for money and laughs in expense of someone's pain. I assure you (again), you are wrong on this. And you are just not emotionally, morally or mentally developed enough to understand that.

legal side alone, this is messed up. The kid don't even need to be handicapped for this to be criminal.



The law needs to put a stop to this or the "Civilized" World will be one big litigation circus.


No...you need to research the law here and see why this is illegal. In fact, there are three laws being broken here that I can see clearly. Two being ones in place to protect human rights and one to protect an individual's right to own their own "identity".



Has anybody asked the Kid? Oh He is too "you Know" to answer??? What if he Loves the idea he is on a news station?.....retarded means nothing to him, because he doesnt regard himself as retarded.. He may not even think he is different to anyone else. It is only his Parents and other "Experts" who have made a big deal about it, and regard "Retarded" as an insult, that he is probably aware now, that he is Way Way different.


This is your argument around laws that are very solid and have been in place for over a hundred years to protect us all from being exploited by media outlets and big companies that have no right to use us as advertisements and billboards?

It must be so simple and grey inside your reality. Must be bliss.

Continued in next post
edit on 28-4-2013 by Mr Mask because: (no reason given)

edit on 28-4-2013 by Mr Mask because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 01:21 AM
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continued from last post



ITs his parents and other Do Gooders that have ruined his life now, not the "Funny" picture on the TV/www etc.

Being someone who spent years working with handicapped children, I assure you (once again) that you are overly wrong. Almost all mentally handicapped children know they are different. If you haven't had the "pleasure" of talking to someone who is mentally handicapped while they cried about being different or "not like others", than I can't explain it further to you.

You are just wrong. And shallow. And 2 dimensional. And pretty much fit in with most Americans.



Its like Fat people are sometimes happy, and think they look ok, and often dont want to be reminded they are Fat and different, they thought they were normal!!!


And if you were "fat" and pepsi used your image with a title saying "fat pigs love soda!" you would laugh it off and say that's cool? or would you be ok if you tried to sue them and the judge said "grow a backbone fatty!"

I'm sure you won't answer honestly, since you (like most Americans these days) are pretending to be something they saw on TV. Cold and cool, and oh-so-edgy.



There are 1000s of " Walmart People" photos on the net, these people should now sue Walmart for allowing other people to carry phones, which take photos, which is in Walmart, which ends up on the www etc etc etc.


Sigh...all those photos fall under the freedom of use laws that allow corporations to take pics of employees and customers and use them in advertisements and promotional (or training) material.

So far, you have used these arguments-

1)Sue the parents for making a retard.
2)Sue the crayon makers for making crayons.
3) This is like fat people complaining.
4) maybe the kid LIKES being called a retard for a quarter million listeners.
5)This law is stupid, there is no victim here.

All your arguments are broken. They are illogical, based on stupid ideas that hold no water legally or morally. And they show a lot about your character.



Completely discounting they are Fat/Ugly/Stupid/Disgusting or whatever they really are, that THEY themselves created.


What? Did you decide to start making "no sense" to throw us all off? Was that a complete thought process?



This Nanny business has got to end.


Ya I agree...too many adults acting like disgusting little animal children, laughing at handicapped folks and showing no regard for a person's personal rights/. Maybe if less people acted like you, we wouldn't need baby sitters around the clock.

Sadly you are the majority. And us decent folks are the minority. So yknow, we need laws, to keep the savages from eating us, posting pics of our children and hurting our families and lives.



Disclaimer, Sorry If I offend, just using the 5th Amendment, or is it the 3rd or 25th...whatever..its free speech and common sense!!



I dunno why you say you are sorry if you offended anyone. Its very clear that you are not. In fact, its clear you find hurting people, or offending them, to be entertaining. Like I said...typical for an American.

Go to your room and think about what you have said here. You have been a very cruel and senseless judge of a criminal act that has caused distress, pain and problems on innocent people who didn't ask for it.

You may understand one day, but until you break that cocoon of media brainwashing and that SouthPark-mentality you so quickly adopted in hopes to "fit in"- you won't "get it" correctly.

Good luck at becoming human. I actually care if you do.

Hugs bro.

MM
edit on 28-4-2013 by Mr Mask because: spelting



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 02:00 AM
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You are free to have your own opinion.

You are free to say whatever you like.

You are free to express yourself.

You are not free from the consequences of such actions.

Your rights end where other people's rights begin. That's the name of the game. When you cross that line, you must be held responsible for your actions.



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 10:16 AM
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reply to post by gort51
 


Are you serious? As a parent of a child with DS, I find your entire statement was out of line.

If that was an image of my child used without my consent for any reason, I would be upset.

Being used as a prop for "retarded news" or any other like thing, I would lose my chit.

What if that was any of you with a child who is mentally challenged and this happened how would you react?

No big deal? Thats some funny chit? I am so pissed right now. And Im leaving it at that, or I am gonna get banned.



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 10:47 AM
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One of my younger brothers has Downs, and once upon a time, I played goody-goody on ATS & reported someone for using "retarded" somehow in a sentence. I think the usage implied was synonymous with "dumbass". IDK, I don't remember what the comment was specifically anymore. I got over it, and still think I was in the wrong for getting someone mod-spanked for a multi-usage word. Language is uber-fluid & meanings & associations change rapidly, this is not much different. Looking at the textbook definition, the slang has already deviated from the original. No one is saying "You mentally challenged individual!" when they use "retarded". What people are conveying, I personally think, is that they mean to say "You dipsh*t/dumf*ck/idiot/moron/etc" It's no more offensive in hindsight than asking "What are you, blond?" Blond women in jokes & jeers being frequently associated with stupidity & lack of mental development. But i don't see people complaining about that one. Hypocrites much?

Anyway, the photo doesn't deserve 6 mil, get real. A few grand maybe to pay for copy-writing it at best. and a public apology for using someone's property (the pic) without permission.



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 11:57 AM
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Wow, totally wrong. But I must say that the teacher not following the rules, is what started the chain reaction spinning. Teachers are not allowed to compromise their students privacy. They should have never posted this picture in the first place. Then none of this would have ever happened.

Plus, I am soo tired of sites that steal content off the web and then sell it to others. This should be illegal. Also, the act of stealing your websites content uses up bandwith that you have also paid for. Thus you are being robbed and paying for the bandwidth for them to do it!


edit on 28-4-2013 by elouina because: (no reason given)



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 12:18 PM
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post removed for serious violation of ATS Terms & Conditions



posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 02:07 PM
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So you cant say retarded anymore?

Are people afraid of words or something?

This world is getting weird...




posted on Apr, 28 2013 @ 02:13 PM
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That is the most stereotypical thing I have read today. Seriously? You must really meet more Americans. MOST of us are not like that.

back on topic, I am AMERICAN and I find using this child in this manner is absurd and horrific.

I would lay my next paycheck that the company that made the graphic was not AMERICAN.
edit on 28-4-2013 by k21968 because:


edit on 28-4-2013 by k21968 because: (no reason given)



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