X10 web development



  •  As if we here at X10 aren't embarrassed by our website enough (it's forced upon us by CEO), over the weekend we launched this decrepid steaming wonder:

     http://www.x10.com/promotions/sarah_palin_n.html

     It has generated a number of angry emails, and I might like to point out most likely uses Sarah Palins image in a way that may not be legal.

     I thought you all could use a good snicker.  There is so much more to reveal at this company that is just rediculous.



  •  I perticularly like the "How can we improve this web page?" form at the bottom.

     

    The first thing that comes to my mind is removing it completely.



  • Oh man.  This is the very first time I've felt sorry for somebody posting about their work place.  That page is awful.  I didn't think it could get any worse and then I followed the link to the NEW home page.  Nothing will make me close a browser faster than some auto-start flash with audio yelling at me.

     You have my condolences.

     



  • You should be appreciative that you have such an awesome job! 

     

    There are people with MFAs bagging my groceries that would kill for the chance to make such trenchant social commentary through the medium of satire.  Who cares if some people think it's genuine?  People are barbarians nowadays; nobody understands subtlety anymore.  That the X10 management are amongst the affected comes as no surprise. 



  • I don't know who you fear may have a claim against your company for that advert. Does a third party own the rights to one of the images used or something?

    My favourite line on the page is the "Not what you were expecting?" under the first large image. That's certainly one way of putting it.



  • @_moz said:

    I don't know who you fear may have a claim against your company for that advert. Does a third party own the rights to one of the images used or something?

    Yeah, I didn't get that part either. 



  • Heh. In my country, that type of thing IS illegal. You'd get a $40,000 fine for making a political statement without a financial agent's authorisation statement. Bonus fine if you spent more than the $30,000 allowed for non-government organisations to make political statements.



  • @Kyanar said:

    Heh. In my country, that type of thing IS illegal. You'd get a $40,000 fine for making a political statement without a financial agent's authorisation statement. Bonus fine if you spent more than the $30,000 allowed for non-government organisations to make political statements.

    Ouch.  Welcome to East Suckistan.  What country is it that doesn't let you do that?  Oh, and I don't think it would be considered a political statement in the US as it is commercial speech and not political commentary. 



  • @_moz said:

    I don't know who you fear may have a claim against your company for that advert. Does a third party own the rights to one of the images used or something?

    Sarah Palin owns the personality rights to her appearance and name. X10 could be facing a hefty lawsuit.



  • @Carnildo said:

    @_moz said:
    I don't know who you fear may have a claim against your company for that advert. Does a third party own the rights to one of the images used or something?

    Sarah Palin owns the personality rights to her appearance and name. X10 could be facing a hefty lawsuit.

    She's a public figure.  She has no right to sue. 



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Carnildo said:

    @_moz said:
    I don't know who you fear may have a claim against your company for that advert. Does a third party own the rights to one of the images used or something?

    Sarah Palin owns the personality rights to her appearance and name. X10 could be facing a hefty lawsuit.

    She's a public figure.  She has no right to sue. 

    As a public figure, it's very hard for her to sue for slander, which is what I suspect you're thinking of. However, that has nothing to do with personality rights (see Wikipedia's article for an overview of the subject). Since they're using her likeness and name in advertising, presumably without permission, she most certainly can sue.



  • @Carnildo said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Carnildo said:

    @_moz said:
    I don't know who you fear may have a claim against your company for that advert. Does a third party own the rights to one of the images used or something?

    Sarah Palin owns the personality rights to her appearance and name. X10 could be facing a hefty lawsuit.

    She's a public figure.  She has no right to sue. 

    As a public figure, it's very hard for her to sue for slander, which is what I suspect you're thinking of. However, that has nothing to do with personality rights (see Wikipedia's article for an overview of the subject). Since they're using her likeness and name in advertising, presumably without permission, she most certainly can sue.

    I'm pretty sure the personality rights of politicians are not enforceable due to the First Amendment.  I'm not certain, but I think it would be protected political speech.  In fact, I'm almost certain that you are incorrect.  That's how shows like That's My Bush can legally exist without infringing personality rights.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @Carnildo said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Carnildo said:

    @_moz said:
    I don't know who you fear may have a claim against your company for that advert. Does a third party own the rights to one of the images used or something?

    Sarah Palin owns the personality rights to her appearance and name. X10 could be facing a hefty lawsuit.

    She's a public figure.  She has no right to sue. 

    As a public figure, it's very hard for her to sue for slander, which is what I suspect you're thinking of. However, that has nothing to do with personality rights (see Wikipedia's article for an overview of the subject). Since they're using her likeness and name in advertising, presumably without permission, she most certainly can sue.

    I'm pretty sure the personality rights of politicians are not enforceable due to the First Amendment.  I'm not certain, but I think it would be protected political speech.  In fact, I'm almost certain that you are incorrect.  That's how shows like That's My Bush can legally exist without infringing personality rights.

    I just did some reading up on it and it seems that normal commercial speech involving celebrities and politicians is permitted, but that advertising is not. The company might be able to make the case that it was not using Palin to advertise but instead using humorous parody of her.  I don't think the ad is using Palin directly to endorse the product, but is instead making use of a satirical depiction of her in a way that sorta-kinda-maybe relates to the product.  Okay, now I'm unsure again.  Damn.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    In fact, I'm almost certain that you are incorrect.  That's how shows like That's My Bush can legally exist without infringing personality rights.

    Satirical shows can make fun of anyone because they're not selling anything.  This is using the image of a famous person to endorse the products.  That's what "commercial use" means when applied to photographs or any other creative work.

    If you took a photo of your last vacation on a tropical island and put it on your web site, then someone with low morals might take a copy of it and use it in their own book about tropical islands.  Even if they're selling the book, this is not "commercial use."  However, if they use your photo in an advertisment (for island holidays, books or anything) then it is commerical use and you can sue.  This principle applies in most western countries (I haven't checked them all.)

    For a famous person, their image is so valuable that even if a photographer had their permission at the time the photo was taken, it can't be used commercially without explicit permission.  One big case in the US was a professional model was paid for a photo shoot for an ad campaign for coffee.  Later on, he discovered that his face was on every single jar of coffee made by that company.  The final settlement was something like 4 million dollars.



  • In my country, I'm pretty sure that the advertising would be illegal due to using lightly dressed women in association with a completely unrelated product. Selling schampoo with nude girl = OK, selling cars using women in bikinis = not OK.



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Carnildo said:

    @morbiuswilters said:

    @Carnildo said:

    @_moz said:
    I don't know who you fear may have a claim against your company for that advert. Does a third party own the rights to one of the images used or something?

    Sarah Palin owns the personality rights to her appearance and name. X10 could be facing a hefty lawsuit.

    She's a public figure.  She has no right to sue. 

    As a public figure, it's very hard for her to sue for slander, which is what I suspect you're thinking of. However, that has nothing to do with personality rights (see Wikipedia's article for an overview of the subject). Since they're using her likeness and name in advertising, presumably without permission, she most certainly can sue.

    I'm pretty sure the personality rights of politicians are not enforceable due to the First Amendment.  I'm not certain, but I think it would be protected political speech.  In fact, I'm almost certain that you are incorrect.  That's how shows like That's My Bush can legally exist without infringing personality rights.

    I just did some reading up on it and it seems that normal commercial speech involving celebrities and politicians is permitted, but that advertising is not. The company might be able to make the case that it was not using Palin to advertise but instead using humorous parody of her.  I don't think the ad is using Palin directly to endorse the product, but is instead making use of a satirical depiction of her in a way that sorta-kinda-maybe relates to the product.  Okay, now I'm unsure again.  Damn.

    I wonder what effect, if any, the fact that the image of her was photoshopped would have?



  • @bstorer said:

    I wonder what effect, if any, the fact that the image of her was photoshopped would have?

    Well regardless of the photoshopping, it is still her head on the body. Photography law in general requires getting permission for commercial use of identifiable images.



  • @Qwerty said:

    Even if they're selling the book, this is not "commercial use."

    Yes, it is.  They would have to seek your permission.

     

    @Qwerty said:

    For a famous person, their image is so valuable that even if a photographer had their permission at the time the photo was taken, it can't be used commercially without explicit permission.

    Obviously famous people are protective of their images, but courts have ruled that famous people (especially politicians) don't have the same publicity rights as private citizens.  For example, once can sell masks of famous people and politicians.  X10 could not use Sarah Palin in a way that made it appear she endorsed the product, but I think the ad is satirical enough that it would have a good chance of falling under 1st Amendment protections.



  • @OzPeter said:

    @bstorer said:
    I wonder what effect, if any, the fact that the image of her was photoshopped would have?

    Well regardless of the photoshopping, it is still her head on the body. Photography law in general requires getting permission for commercial use of identifiable images.

    Not with public figures, necessarily, especially politicians.  Using someone in an ad is not permitted, but this ad is significantly "transformative" of her image to be considered satirical and would thus likely be permitted. 



  •  PALIN FTL!!11!!!!!1



  • @morbiuswilters said:

    Not with public figures, necessarily, especially politicians.  Using someone in an ad is not permitted, but this ad is significantly "transformative" of her image to be considered satirical and would thus likely be permitted.

    Your fixation with the concept that public figures are fair game is that .. a fixation. The concepts that this image falls under are "Misappropriation of Likeness and the Right to Publicity". To quote the "Legal Handbook For Photographers", Amherst Media, 2007:

    (page 94) "In many respects, the tort treats a person's reputation as a property right and provides a remedy for the theft of a person's goodwill"

    (page 95) "The basic elements of the tort are that the defendant must have (1) used the plaintiff's name or likeness, (2) for the defendants own purpose or benefit, (3) the plaintiff suffered damages, and (4) the defendants conduct caused the damages."

    (page 96) "In the context of photographic prints, a realistic image of a celebrity will likely to be found unprotected if the court believes the dominant intent to capitalize on the on the celebrity status of a specific individual"

    Using the photoshopped image also falls under the tort of "False Light" (page 97) ".. deliberately depicting another person in a false way that would be highly objectionable to a reasonable person."

    In addition both Palin and the woman whose body would use would both have cases against anyone using their images in a commercial setting.



  • @OzPeter said:

    @morbiuswilters said:
    Not with public figures, necessarily, especially politicians.  Using someone in an ad is not permitted, but this ad is significantly "transformative" of her image to be considered satirical and would thus likely be permitted.

    Your fixation with the concept that public figures are fair game is that .. a fixation. The concepts that this image falls under are "Misappropriation of Likeness and the Right to Publicity". To quote the "Legal Handbook For Photographers", Amherst Media, 2007:

    (page 94) "In many respects, the tort treats a person's reputation as a property right and provides a remedy for the theft of a person's goodwill"

    (page 95) "The basic elements of the tort are that the defendant must have (1) used the plaintiff's name or likeness, (2) for the defendants own purpose or benefit, (3) the plaintiff suffered damages, and (4) the defendants conduct caused the damages."

    (page 96) "In the context of photographic prints, a realistic image of a celebrity will likely to be found unprotected if the court believes the dominant intent to capitalize on the on the celebrity status of a specific individual"

    Using the photoshopped image also falls under the tort of "False Light" (page 97) ".. deliberately depicting another person in a false way that would be highly objectionable to a reasonable person."

    In addition both Palin and the woman whose body would use would both have cases against anyone using their images in a commercial setting.

     

    http://www.mediainstitute.org/ONLINE/FAM2003/6-c.html

     

    If the work is sufficiently transformative (and I believe such a case could be made for this ad) then it is protected speech.  Also, Google around for the Governator bobblehead thing. 



  • This post seems like SPAM as much as anything else.

    <FONT size=2>

    wayloud: If you're real then tell your boss that I don't go to your website because it is SO obnoxious. If you want to do real marketing then get another web site that doesn't suck so much. Simple and without at that faux flash. If he feels the need to keep the glitz then have two sites. I won't go to the main one at x10.

    </FONT>


  • @morbiuswilters said:

    If the work is sufficiently transformative (and I believe such a case could be made for this ad) then it is protected speech.

    Thats a big if. Not only does it depend on which state the lawsuit is brought, given body shape that Palin has it could seem reasonable the the bikini clad woman is her. I would take "transformative" if they had slapped her head on someone like Barbara Bush, for whom you could never confuse as having Palin's body shape.



  •  So, is X10 explicitly trying to market to the type of people who would look at that site and say 'damn, that's awesome', or are they just completely inept?



  • @duder said:

    So, is X10 explicitly trying to market to the type of people who would look at that site and say 'damn, that's awesome', or are they just completely inept?

    I bought 20 cameras after seeing that ad. 



  • @duder said:

     So, is X10 explicitly trying to market to the type of people who would look at that site and say 'damn, that's awesome', or are they just completely inept?

    What's the difference?



  • @SteamBoat said:

    This post seems like SPAM as much as anything else.

    <font size="2">

    wayloud: If you're real then tell your boss that I don't go to your website because it is SO obnoxious. If you want to do real marketing then get another web site that doesn't suck so much. Simple and without at that faux flash. If he feels the need to keep the glitz then have two sites. I won't go to the main one at x10.

    </font>
     

    I assure you this isn't SPAM.  This is real and I had to share this somewhere where people would appreciate the absurdity of it.  I have a lot more that I am going to continue to post about.  This is only the surface.  In fact the X10 site can be interpreted as a symbol of how the company is managed.  CEO is positive that the site as is, is the perfectest site EVAR.  And that it generates the highest volume sales.  

    At one time we allowed some web devs to create a much more trendy site and for 24 hours it lost sales.  CEO said that it was definately because of the new site and made them take it all down.

    Of course that is only part of the problem with the site.  This week I will post about why we aren't allowed to use any server side programming languages with the exception of one or two CGI scripts in Perl that CEO wrote.  I can understand why though... according to CEO PHP is "insecure OMG!!!", Java is a language that is losing steam, and we aren't allowed to use Windows so no C#.  Yep that's right the entire site... all several hundred pages of it is HAND EDITED.



  • @CDarklock said:

    @duder said:

     So, is X10 explicitly trying to market to
    the type of people who would look at that site and say 'damn, that's
    awesome', or are they just completely inept?

    What's the difference?

     

    I think the difference between consciously suppressing  the urge to puke and actually liking that design is noticeable.

     

    Apparently
    the CEO likes the design, while (some of) the developers belong on the
    other side. So CEO inept and weird, developers explicitly marketing to
    people who find it awesome to satisfy the boss. The sad thing is that
    there are so many weirdos like their CEO around, so the site isn't
    going to die anytime soon.



  • @wayloud said:

    ...and we aren't allowed to use Windows so no C#
    One of our clients is running a C# ASP.NET site on Linux/Apache/Mono without problems



  • @ender said:

    @wayloud said:
    ...and we aren't allowed to use Windows so no C#
    One of our clients is running a C# ASP.NET site on Linux/Apache/Mono without problems
     

    If he thinks PHP is insecure he'd probably explode at the mere suggestion of using anything like that!



  • @wayloud said:

    At one time we allowed some web devs to create a much more trendy site and for 24 hours it lost sales.  CEO said that it was definately because of the new site and made them take it all down.

    That definitely sounds like a WTF to me. If you're not sure whether a new web site you've spent money on designing is going to generate sales, you don't replace your existing site with it and annoy repeat visitors both when you change to the new site and when you change back.

    You create a new domain for it selling exactly the same stuff, give it a small advertising budget and see how it compares with your original site for turning visitors into customers over a few months (or however long it takes to get statistically significant results).

    If you are sure the new site is useless, and only paid these web developers to spend time on it because you felt sorry for them, why let the general public see it in the first place?



  • X10 has a way on the web-site and this ad don't shock me. They find a good looking woman ,thay have to stick her in a bathing suit and then plaster it all over the page.

     

     

    Waylord you work for them and I'm sorry.  It has to be kinda sucky to work for a company that sells automation stuff using porn. lol

    Who idea was it to plaster the woman all over the websites and has that made sells go up. Oh and what do the woman of the company say about the site.



  • Sorry ment Wayloud in the last post not waylord!!



  • @wayloud said:

    Yep that's right the entire site... all several hundred pages of it is HAND EDITED.
     

     You know what else is fun to hand-edit?  A resume.  Just saying. =)



  •  I suppose the guy who shot the original bikini pic could sue them for copyright infringement, because Palin is being parodied and not his original work.  I seem to remember Penny Arcade doing some sort of Strawberry Shortcake-Alice (the game) crossover and having to pull it because it used one commercial work to directly parody another.  That's not "Fair Use."



  • @operagost said:

    I suppose the guy who shot the original bikini pic could sue them for copyright infringement, because Palin is being parodied and not his original work.  I seem to remember Penny Arcade doing some sort of Strawberry Shortcake-Alice (the game) crossover and having to pull it because it used one commercial work to directly parody another.  That's not "Fair Use."

    It's possible the photographer of the original would have a copyright infringement claim, but I don't know how likely it is.  Copyright law is far more flexibile than publicity law.  With Penny Arcade, they just pulled it because of legal threats -- there is an argument that it was acceptable content, but they weren't willing to deal with the courts just to keep it up.  It's even harder to say if it constituted fair use because it wasn't violating copyright so much as it was displaying a character from copyrighted works in a different situation.  Copyright law provides some protection there, but since the aim was clearly commentary and parody there's a good chance the comic could be successfully defended.

     

    So to sum up:

    - Sarah Palin: Most likely does not have a case because right of publicity provides weaker protections for parody of public figures, even those done for commercial gains.

    - Original photographer: Might have a case because his copyrighted work was used (presumably) without permission, but still a good chance use falls under parody.

    - X10: As tasteless and retarded as I remember them from the days when their pop-up ads that encouraged hidden voyeurism littered the web.


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