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When Naked Anchor's Attack!


In 2004 we reported on WOIO's anchor Sharon Reed who, in a sweeps week stunt, participated in one of those Spencer Tunick mass nude photographs. Of course this was splashed all over the news at the time, and we covered it with a small still image from the broadcast in addition to Reed's publicity still (at the time) from the station's web site. A search through the archives indicates that we did another story around the same time about the broadcast which included a single framegrab (mildly NSFW) of the Body of Art segment.

Fast forward a few years and the naked anchor - fresh off an on air confession from a murderer - apparently wants to erase any evidence of her past "will strip for ratings" story off of the internet.

From: Reed, Sharon
Sent: Saturday, September 08, 2007 1:35 PM
To: [email protected]
Subject: http://wizbangblog.com/content/2004/11/15/is-it-sweeps.php

The above referenced material and any other footage/pictures of kind are in direct violation of a shared copyright between myself and Raycom Media Corporation (owners of channel 19). The images were pirated from our television broadcast and never posted by us online. Please immediately remove all footage/pictures from your site. They are posted illegally on your site. Please also respond that you are in compliance.

Thank you for your anticipated cooperation. If you need further information, please respond with the appropriate full contact information and our corporate lawyers will be in touch.

Reporters don't typically own the copyright to their stories; the station does, so her claim of ownership seemed a bit odd. Also the timing of Reed's threats seemed odd so long after the original story. In that respect her demands reminded me of John Kerry's former girlfriend recent request that we remove an old (and negative) story about here - a request I rejected. Knowing that she would probably be smart enough not to sign an affidavit attesting to copyright ownership if she did not in fact own such copyright, I responded that she should follow the proper procedure under the DMCA.

From: Kevin Aylward
Sent: Sun 9/9/2007 1:43 AM
To: Reed, Sharon
Subject: RE: http://wizbangblog.com/content/2004/11/15/is-it-sweeps.php

The single picture used from that broadcast clearly falls under the "fair-use" clause of US copyright law. Feel free to direct your lawyers here:


She responded that I, a mere commoner, was in no position to understand the complexities of fair-use.

From: Reed, Sharon
Sent: Sunday, September 09, 2007 9:45 AM
To: Kevin Aylward
Subject: RE: http://wizbangblog.com/content/2004/11/15/is-it-sweeps.php

You are misreading the fair use doctrine on several levels. Among them, you are exploiting a market that is legally exclusively ours. As you wish, our corporate lawyers will be in touch. Thank you for your prompt response.

I had no intention of ever mentioning this request, but Reed followed up her missive to me with similar tactics (inferring that lawyers had been contacted, etc.) with our hosting company. When the hosting company tried to working with her all she had to offer were general "you're breaking the law" comments. She even wanted our hosting company to contact Google and have cached images removed...

Taking Ms. Reed at her word that Raycom Media lawyers would soon be coming after me I engaged Media Bloggers Association general council Ronald Coleman (proprietor of the excellent legal blog LIKELIHOOD OF CONFUSION® and a new general interest/politics blog Likelihood of Success) to assess the situation. He had a decidedly different take on Ms. Reed's threats. Here's what he sent back...

Ms. Sharon Reed WOIO 1717 E. 12th Street Cleveland, OH 44114

Re: Wizbang® Blog

Dear Ms. Reed:

I am general counsel of the Media Bloggers Association, of which Kevin Aylward of the Wizbang blog is a member. In that capacity, I write as his attorney as well, with respect to your recent threatening communications to Mr. Aylward arising from his blog's posting of certain images originally broadcast on WOIO. These were published in connection with Wizbang's reporting about particularly flamboyant journalistic "choices" made by you as a television reporter, which you or WOIO evidently regret or wish would not be publicized further.

Your wish to un-ring the bells sounded by the singular performance depicted in these images, while understandable, is not a legitimate ground for you to prevent their reasonable use in connection with news reporting about that performance. Under § 107 of the Copyright Act, "the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies ... for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting ... is not an infringement of copyright." Wizbang's use of still images captured from the original broadcast is fair use because it (1) is transformative, (2) depicts a work that has already been published, and voluntarily, by the copyright holder, (3) is a very small fraction of the complete copyrighted work, and (4) does not lessen the market value of the original work. For this reason, Wizbang will not cease use of the images and, along with the Media Bloggers Association, will vigorously oppose any effort, legal or otherwise, to circumscribe Wizbang's constitutional and legal rights.

In this vein, we also understand that you or another person at WOIO may have contacted, and perhaps communicated a threat to, Wizbang's hosting provider. Any interference by you or your employer with Wizbang's ability to continue its lawful business, such as by threatening third parties that provide services to Wizbang - including but not limited to its Internet hosting service - will be viewed dimly and may result in legal action against either or both of you. The effect of such action could be the imposition of legal sanctions on you and WOIO, including money damages, attorneys' fees and costs as well as the imposition of a court injunction. Wizbang is one of the top 1,000 blogs in the world as measured by Technorati, so damages arising from interference with its business could be substantial.

Please direct any future communications regarding this matter to my attention.

Very truly yours,
Ronald D. Coleman

That, my friends, is a first-class smackdown... Thanks to Ron and Robert Cox at the Media Bloggers Association for coming to our defense!

And what are the images in question?

sharonreedmo5.jpg reedbustha7.jpg

The first is the publicity still for Sharon Reed from the WOIO web site at the time of the "Body of Art" story, and the second is a small screencap from the broadcast.

Update: The Cleveland Plain Dealer's Entertainment blog indicates Reed has a new contract and an attorney. Apparently her attorney, Avery Friedman, is a well known civil rights attorney which is probably why he was not the one making contact with us. Frankly I'd be surprised if he had any knowledge of this.

Wizbang is not the only site Ms. Reed has targeted in her crusade to unring her "naked news" reporting. At nearly the same time she was contacting us she was threating an Ohio blog, The Blue Site. The details are here.

In the coup de grace, I've identified another site for Ms. Reed to target with her takedown requests - The New York Times.


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Comments (39)

Funny she had no problem wi... (Below threshold)

Funny she had no problem with [salacious] "fair use" of her body for ratings.

Now she wants to erase the dimblub decision she and the station made than.

Haha - Now that is a smackd... (Below threshold)

Haha - Now that is a smackdown!! Rock on Wizbang!

Cleavage is King, Bay-beee!... (Below threshold)

Cleavage is King, Bay-beee!!!

Oh no yoo di-int!!... (Below threshold)

Oh no yoo di-int!!

Have I mentioned that I lov... (Below threshold)

Have I mentioned that I love the internet? And what it does to pompous arrogant boobs (hmmmm, for the record, that was a pun) from the dinosaur media?

Kevin, evidently Dan Rather has learned of Sharon Reed's complaint because he is trying to unring some bells now also.

I love the MBA's response l... (Below threshold)
Dave W:

I love the MBA's response letter and how it actually threatens legal action if they continue to harass. Incredible that as a "journalist" she thinks she should be exempt from journalistic coverage as a news story. How arrogant and flat out stupid. I don't think she ever thinks twice about doing stories that may or may not make someone look a little less than flattering for doing something stupid.

She is still hot, Id prefer... (Below threshold)

She is still hot, Id prefer closer color shots.

Wouldnt be surprised if there's a major change coming up in her life, new job, marriage, etc and she is trying to clean up her past.

Ok who is the dumbest bimbo... (Below threshold)

Ok who is the dumbest bimbo of the month?

This woman, the Mrs Tenn USA dimwit or the "WARNING: The U.S. Naval Academy was part of the Navy" girl.

I gotta give it to the Naval Academy girl but we do have a good race going.

One must take the molehills... (Below threshold)

One must take the molehills with some mountains.

Nice body. Too bad that's ... (Below threshold)

Nice body. Too bad that's all she's got going for herself . . .

It's good your lawyer threa... (Below threshold)

It's good your lawyer threatened her after hers threatened you. Tit for tat.

Anyway, keep us abreast of the story.

The legal battle she is attempting is a huge mountain to climb.

Alright, I'm sorry. That's it. ww

Paul - Naval acade... (Below threshold)

Paul -

Naval academy girl? You mean the Barnard Girl! Let's not denigrate that military institution of higher learning by associating her with it.

However, I would think Barnard wins hands down over Ms TN or WOIO.

Dumb as a brick and big boo... (Below threshold)

Dumb as a brick and big boobs...perfect.

Ya know folks..sometimes th... (Below threshold)
nogo war:

Ya know folks..sometimes there truly is common ground. Net Neutrality is under pressure from the big folks. Yeah...I know many here support the clampdown...but this is an example of how important the net is...if you're are not familiar with the threat to all from Kos to Wiz..

by "many here" I must assum... (Below threshold)

by "many here" I must assume that you mean the voices in your head nogo

And the lesson here is don'... (Below threshold)

And the lesson here is don't do something that you will regret later, broadcast it on the evening news, and then try to erase any memory of it when you finally do regret it.

"Leave Sharon Alone! She's... (Below threshold)
Son Of The Godfather:

"Leave Sharon Alone! She's a human being!"...

Oh yeah, and show more bew-bees.

Sharon hunny baby......<br ... (Below threshold)

Sharon hunny baby......
Get over it, YOU DID it..move on.

Most MSM are just hairdos/boobs or GQ clowns anyway, just move to Hollywood and do some REAL spin/acting.

Reminds me of the battle Mi... (Below threshold)

Reminds me of the battle Michael Crook just fought and lost miserably.

He tried to assert some Fox News images of him were his copyrighted property.

The end result wasn't pretty for Mr. Crook.


BWAHAHAHAHAHHAHA!!!<p... (Below threshold)


This lady needs to recognize the Universal Law that my husband and I are diligently teaching our beloved daughter:

You can choose your actions, but you cannot choose the consequences!

Well. To be a bit crass about it, if she tries to pursue this, I hope y'all screw her to the wall...! ;-)

-- Kat

Very well done, Kevin -- an... (Below threshold)

Very well done, Kevin -- and kudos to the MBA for their aggressive response. Keep on keepin' on, Wizbang!

Oh Yeah! Wizbang doe... (Below threshold)

Oh Yeah! Wizbang does rock!

It seems people are forgett... (Below threshold)

It seems people are forgetting the cardinal rule of the Internet - never, ever, ever put anything on the Internet, on an webpage, or in an email, that you would not want a future employer, spouse, grandmother, or other individual to see.

Because they will. Oh boy they will.

Kudos to Wizbang for telling her that she can take her "legal action", fold it until it is all sharp corners, and shove it up her undoubtedly well-shaped... Your past is your past, woman. You are a grown-up. You made your decisions. Time to live with the consequences.

Love it.... (Below threshold)

Love it.

You can choose you... (Below threshold)
You can choose your actions, but you cannot choose the consequences!

Oh, crap. Has that what I've been doing wrong all these years?

These same liberal journali... (Below threshold)
spurwing plover:

These same liberal journalists who support gun control and redicule conservatives who oppose sex education, same sex marrages,evolution,enviromental brainwashing, and revionists history are the same ones who come out in support of smut

Having spent some years in ... (Below threshold)

Having spent some years in the newspaper business, it's always a good laugh when some idiot threatens some sort of legal action. Naturally, these threats almost never come from an actual attorney, just some moron who supposes he/she can intimidate people by "threatening" lawsuits.

Here's a hint for non-morons: if you REALLY intend legal action, see a lawyer, pay him, and go for it. Even if all you seek is a retraction or "cease and desist" you need to pay the man, because anything of a legal nature which comes from a lay person is only ridiculed before being referred to real attorneys.

I used to have people keep our attorney's name, address, and phone number by the phone. As soon as anyone mentioned legal action, you give them the attorney's contact information and hang up. It's a great way to save time dealing with cranks.

"Unring the bell" sounds so... (Below threshold)

"Unring the bell" sounds so much classier than "Put the toothpaste back into the tube." You gotta love these lawyers!

Ron and Robert, bless you f... (Below threshold)

Ron and Robert, bless you for taking on a real cause and coming to the aid of those in need.

I can't believe THOSE are the pictures she's worried about.

Ron is a great blogger too.... (Below threshold)

Ron is a great blogger too.

I read him everyday.

Reporters don't typicall... (Below threshold)
Steve L.:

Reporters don't typically own the copyright to their stories; the station does, so her claim of ownership seemed a bit odd.

This is a part of copyright law that most people don't understand. If someone pays you to create something, the something doesn't belong to you; it belings to the person writing the check. The same thing applies to work done i school classes. Since students receive grades for completing assignments, anything that is produced by that assignment is copyrighted to the school.

What an idiot. She's got a ... (Below threshold)

What an idiot. She's got a nice rack but that's the only thing she seems to have worthwhile.

Steve L., no your descripti... (Below threshold)

Steve L., no your description of copyright law is not correct. A reporter's work is indeed owned by the station because she is an employee but outside of the employee-employer relationship in most circumstances the person or company paying for the work is not the copyright holder absent a written agreement making the work a "work for hire".

Students work is not owned by the school.

There is still a blurb abou... (Below threshold)

There is still a blurb about it on WOIO's web page, with a (non-nude) photo of Ms. Reed:


Is she worried that someone... (Below threshold)

Is she worried that someone will notice how bad her skin is? Or is she worried that she will be mistaken for a bimbo instead of a serious journalist? A serious journalist doesn't pose in the altogether! Not in my opinion, and I am seldom wrong!

oooo, that's gonna l... (Below threshold)

oooo, that's gonna leave a mark.

What's her problem, she has... (Below threshold)

What's her problem, she has nothing to hide

You know, this is a great c... (Below threshold)

You know, this is a great cease-and-desist-type letter, precisely because it is NOT talking smack. It's calm, it's courteous, it's professional, and it lays out future consequences without sounding personally threatening.

Much better than most such letters I've seen, but then I usually see them on the net in the context of "look at these evil wankers".

If only someone cared about... (Below threshold)
John Smith:

If only someone cared about this rubbish as much as she did. Who cares. She's just a small town hack with a big chest. yawn....






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