ISP: Charlie Sheen's Battle

On today's show: A nasty email from Charlie Sheen; a major penalty for illegal downloading; and the "butt painter" sues.



In December 2006, a Virginia school system fired an art teacher named Stephen Murmer (aka Stan Murmur) after a YouTube video was discovered in which he demonstrates painting with his rear end. It was on a short-lived TechTV show called "Unscrewed with Martin Sergeant."

Murmer is a self-proclaimed "butt-printing artist." The video shot up the charts on the viral video sites, and he had a few moments of fame last year.

The story is back in the news today, because Murmer has filed a lawsuit against the school system, claiming his free expression rights were violated.

In fairness, he did not demonstrate his "art form" in front of his students, and even used a fake name to keep them from discovering it.

The ACLU is taking up his case. It will be interesting to watch. Check out his website for the original video plus many clips of interviews on the subject.

Another legal case with some big implications today is the huge RIAA victory over a woman who allegedly downloaded 24 songs illegally and shared the files with friends.

She lost the case, and has been fined $9200 for each song, or $222,000. That sounds excessive when the average song price is $1 on i-Tunes. It is clear the recording industry is trying to send a message.

While researching the case this morning, I found the results of an interesting study on downloading from 2005. The BBC reported that, according to a group called "The Leading Question," people who have downloaded illegally are also four times more likely to purchase music online.

This ruling may create an interesting dilemma for the RIAA.

And enjoy our take on the very messy Charlie Sheen/Denise Richards custody battle. Let it be known that Britney and K-Fed aren't the other starcrossed lovers in Tinseltown.

Sheen allegedly sent Richards some pretty horrible emails, and I perform a dramatic reading of one on the show today.

We're keepin' it real.
  • Tony Maciulis

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