Tennessee War Widow Claims Fox Network Violated Privacy

November 14, 2012

  • November 14, 2012 at 11:59 am
    UCT says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    Another money hungy individual who is destroying her husband’s good name.

    • November 14, 2012 at 1:36 pm
      Questionning says:
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      Fox Network is not a non profit organization is it? Aren’t they the “money hungry” ones using our military dead in their “entertainment” industry?

  • November 14, 2012 at 1:37 pm
    Hank says:
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    Torn on this one. I can empathize with the widow in this situation. I certainly see how disturbing it would be to hear about a deceased spouse’s name / image and family’s name / image being used in a documentary without consent. I can only imagine the pain and anger that would come with it. However, to profit from the situation is where I start to lose sympathy. Then again, maybe that is only way to get big corporations to listen. Hit them where it hurts.

    • November 14, 2012 at 1:43 pm
      Brokie says:
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      Agree – hit them where it hurts. It would not have been difficult for Fox or Natl Geographic to do basic research and secure her permission.

  • November 14, 2012 at 1:57 pm
    Ruminator says:
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    Individuals have a right to privacy, but the network did take steps to secure permission to make the documentary. I empathize with the shock and sorrow, but not the request for money. I also wonder about the wife being upset that her husband wa portrayed as a warrior against terrorists and then declared she was proud of his service. You can’t have that one both ways!

  • November 14, 2012 at 2:04 pm
    Mark says:
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    Nat Geo had permission from the military. Do you think that the families of every soldier shown dead or dying on the battlefields in WWI, WWII, Korea, Vietnam, etc. etc. signed releases for every documentary, newscast? The complaint itself was clearly worded by a lawyer.

    With lawsuits it’s rarely about justice it’s about the money. It’s disgusting. I feel confident the soldier who served his country would feel the same.

  • November 14, 2012 at 2:20 pm
    TxLady says:
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    It’s a documentary, made with the permission of the military, filmed at a base hospital. Does anyone have knowledge of how that works? Do they secure the permission of every single individual who may be on film to allow it to be aired? Or is the military permission all that is needed to cover everyone who is employed by the military? If they would need releases from each individual who may appear on camera, then I can see her recovering damages, but if it is the military who grants the permission to film and that covers the legalities, then I think she is entitiled to nothing. Think of this in terms of the nightly news. If a soldier is filmed in the course of his or her duties, the network does not get a release to show that in a news story. Would this not be the same thing?

  • November 14, 2012 at 2:26 pm
    Brokette says:
    Hot debate. What do you think?
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    She appeared on the “Today” show? Seems that notoriety (and perhaps some money) are more important to her.

    • November 14, 2012 at 2:33 pm
      Blondie2 says:
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      I don’t understand that whole paragraph:
      The Roberts family has appeared in a “Today” show segment about gifts donated to the family, but Donnice Roberts said that she knew how the images would be used and gave permission because the family was proud of her husband’s service and sacrifice.

      If she KNEW how they would be used and GAVE permission??? Can someone clue me in please?

      • November 14, 2012 at 3:34 pm
        Big Mike In CA says:
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        This one I can confidently chock up to-wait for it-dismal editing and/or proofreading on IJ’s part (as usual)… :-(

      • November 14, 2012 at 5:02 pm
        SteveB says:
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        She gave permission to the “Today” show, because she knew how the images would be used. She was the one being interviewed, after her husband’s death.

        The filming in the Afgan hospital is a completely seperate issue, where she did not know the film of her husband existed and she did not give her permission for her family pictures to be displayed.

        I, personally, think all military pictures should be private, and permission must be obtained. Seeing a particular person get shot and killed is not news – the overall war is the news.

        • November 14, 2012 at 5:04 pm
          Blondie2 says:
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          That makes sense, SteveB. Thanks.

  • November 15, 2012 at 11:07 am
    Don't Call Me Shirley says:
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    As long as the military gave permission for the footage, I don’t think she has a case, as concerns her late husband. GI stands for “General Issue”, which means that you are property of the military in every legal sense. As an example, if a soldier slits their wrists in an attempted suicide, they can be charged with destruction of government property. Technically, if a soldier gets a tattoo or a piercing, they can be charged with destruction of government property. The latter two cases are rarely enforced, since most soldiers these days have body art or piercings.

    Bottom line, if you are in the military, they own you and can give permission to show images of you, even in death. The one aspect where she may have a legitimate argument is where they included pictures of her family, who are not in the military.

    • November 15, 2012 at 12:27 pm
      Don't Call Me Shirley says:
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      Correction, I think GI actually stands for “Governement Issue” (can’t remember for sure; it was a long time ago).

  • November 19, 2012 at 10:29 am
    Libby says:
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    Actually, this woman is suing because they used HER image and that of her kids in the documentary. She is not G.I., as it has always been said “If the government wanted you to have a wife, they would have issued you one.” She does not fall under the “military” and they could not have given permission for her image to be used.

    She was angry about the wording in the documentary because she feels it opens herself and her children up to retaliation by the terrorists that he fought against.

    Fox did the wrong thing and the only way to “punish” them is by suing them for damages. What damages, other than money, could the woman possibly ask for?



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