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Esquire magazine has a profile of one Robert Tur, father of one Katy Tur, the 23-year young girlfriend of one 48-year old Keith Olbermann. Tur is an award-winning photojournalist and helicopter pilot, perhaps best known for his footage of the Reginald Denny beating and being the first to spot O.J. Simpson's white Ford Bronco in the infamous "slow-speed" chase. But Tur it seems has decided to sue Google, parent-company of YouTube for airing his copyrighted footage of these events without his permission, and more importantly, without paying him for it first.
Over the years, he estimates, the Denny tape has generated about $5 million in licensing fees. But Tur has spent almost an equal amount filing lawsuits to protect his content. Tur became the first person to sue YouTube for copyright infringement.Tur wants YouTube shuttered until its parent company, Google, can guarantee his videos and other copyrighted content won't reappear after being taken down.
Does Keith Olbermann know about this? Because you see, Keith is a big YouTube fan. Last November, in an interview with the San Francisco Gate, Olbermann had the following to say about YouTube:
Olbermann isn't just getting more viewers. He's getting more views -- lots and lots more. It may have been the Rumsfeld piece that struck a nerve. Captured on YouTube, it was e-mailed all over the country and watched again and again. A month after it appeared on "Countdown,'' it had been seen more than 100,000 times. "I was told that this thing was flying all around to various places,'' he says. "To hear that as many, if not more, people were seeing it there than had seen it in the original was amazing.''
But Keith's girlfriend's daddy (who by the way, is younger than Olby), wants to shut down Olby's (and everyone else's) airings of copyrighted material on YouTube. Coincidence? Hmm. We think not!
When I saw that Google bought YouTube for $1.65 billion, I was dumbfounded! Why would Google get into bed with thieves? They've built a huge audience on the backs of copyright holders -- and then they say I have to monitor them? Someone has to stand up against this piracy."
But Tur it seems, has a history of filing lawsuits:
Even in an industry as lawsuit happy as entertainment, Tur is an extraordinarily litigious man. He has devoted years bringing copyright-infringement cases against heavyweights like the Walt Disney Co., CBS, and the Reuters news service up to influential appellate courts.
But these lawsuits have come at a price for Tur apparently. He tells Esquire:
"I'm going broke," I've mortgaged my kids' futures for these cases. I've lost my wife -- she got tired of fighting and wanted more security. I've almost died from the stress of it."
Tur isn't kidding about the stress part:
At forty-seven, he's had five angioplasties, three technical heart attacks, and a triple bypass, and he still does triathlons.
Not to mention the stress of potentially having to claim Keith Olbermann as a son-in-law. And speaking of Olby and MSNBC, guess who Tur's latest project (a police-chase documentary) is for? You got it, MSNBC.