In order to enforce a copyright and protect it from trespass, the claimant must be able to assert three things:
The copyright law contains some leniency for republication without permission in the following cases:
Much of the photography will fail a copyright claim on point 1, above. Most of the photography ever published on the Waco event was taken by government employees on government payroll, some of it from government aircraft. On this material, the claimants cannot claim to be the original source of the material.
The written material republished from newspapers is quoted for the purpose of critical review, most of it with a single major point of criticism:
Without the full cooperation of the news services, the Waco Holocaust would not have been possible. The government agencies were brutally abusive to the free press in Waco, and the major services uttered not a single protest. Each day, the FBI held a closed door press briefing on what the public should be told, and any reporter who published material not in agreement with that script was not permitted to attend thereafter.
This may seem like sheer greed on the part of these news services, but it is worse: one cameraman (Mulloney from KWTX) was in the wrong place on February 28, and a group of government thugs beat him up. Another camera man went too close to the burning Mt. Carmel on April 19, and was arrested. Neither of these case received major coverage.
In their major role as the eyes and ears of the public, the news services operated as shameless betrayers of the principles news services have claimed for themselves in this country's history. Styling themselves as the "fourth estate" (beside the legislative, executive, and judicial branches of government), the Waco Holocaust was an historic opportunity for the US news services to operate as a part of the checks-and-balances system of government. And they failed miserably.
The government put out wild allegations about the Davidians (see Psychological Operations and the Verbiage of War in the War Gallery) and the news services published them without skepticism. The government redefined law enforcement as war, and war as law enforcement, and the press slavishly followed every redefinition. The agencies trampled almost every principle of civil rights, and the press offered no checks or balances.
And worst of all, the press had access to volumes of information, some fragment of which is in this Museum--they could easily have determined the truth, had they cared--and they did nothing.
It is this criticism with which the Museum claims fair use of these materials: despite the presence of truth sprinkled here and there on this page and that, the reporters laughed and joked with the FBI agents. They laughed and hooted and jeered as the Davidians made pitiful attempts to gain their sympathy during those long weeks of torture. And they let those people die in horrible fashion, while fawning on the monsters who tortured and murdered them.
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Many people who distrust the mainstream media have turned to alternate news sources, some of which are Internet based. Unfortunately, many of these alternate sources of news simply promote an alternate series of lies. These alternate lies are of course dressed up as "exposés." But you can easily tell the phonies from the real thing. The information in the Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum is an acid test.
Does your news source promote Mike McNulty's video, Waco: The Rules of Engagement or wring its hands because the Davidian law suit against the government failed? (See Waco Documentary Is A Hoax! and Waco Suits for Waco Suckers.) Does your alternate news source carry promotional pieces about rebuilding the Davidian church in Waco and mouth nice words about "healing"? (See The Cover-up Church.)
Remember, since ancient times, inquiries into questionable deaths have started with the bodies of the victims. If your news source won't give you an honest and full account of the forensic information on Waco, or if it does not have a link to the Waco Holocaust Electronic Museum ... your alternate news has failed a fundamental acid test.
All original material is copyright 1996-2000 by Carol A. Valentine,
on loan to Public Action, Inc.
Postal Address: Carol A. Valentine, PO Box 10933, Burke, VA 22009
This page last updated February 28, 2001.