Geller's limp spoon

Contributed by
Aug 14, 2008

If you've never heard of Uri Geller, thank Randi: Geller self-purported in the 1970s to be psychic, and that he could bend spoons with his mind... along with many other ridiculous claims. Randi has doggedly pursued Geller, pointing out that he can do these same tricks very easily with sleight-of-hand, and that Geller himself has changed his tune on his abilities many times.

So Geller maybe isn't a guy you might trust with, say, feeding your dog, let alone being able to manipulate reality with his mind. For more evidence of that, note that Geller is extremely litigious, suing people over any minor perceived infraction of his integrity. That strikes me as indicating he's nervous; I am constantly belittled, insulted, and lied about by the antiscience community, but I've never sued them. They have the right to say that stuff, even if they are dead wrong, and IMO truth will prevail.

Anyway, Geller pressured YouTube to remove some videos of him, because these videos show him clearly faking his tricks. The classic one was on Johnny Carson's Tonight Show, when, with Randi's help, Geller was humiliated nationally -- and you can watch this video here, with Randi narrating (WMV format). It's back up on YouTube as well:

The good news is that Geller was smacked down by the Electronic Frontier Foundation. You can read about the original case here, and a brief exposition of the final verdict here. I read that verdict with some amusement, due to the understated nature of it:

As part of the legal settlement, Explorologist [Geller's company] has agreed to license the disputed footage under a non-commercial Creative Commons license, preempting future legal battles over the fair use of the material.

If I am reading that correctly, the verdict was that not only can Geller not sue over this, he was forced to license the video so that people could use it. I'm not a lawyer, but it sure seems that way to me. Boing Boing agrees.

So whaddya know? Freedom won one. Yay for us!

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