The concept of people typing Dadaist humor on Twitter has existed since Twitter got its first big batch of smart-ass users in 2007, at that year's SxSW. Twitter was suddenly the place to get breaking news on inconsequential online-media events. Also, it was full of banter and inside jokes and drunken jabbering. It became fun, because a lot of bored funny people now had a way to narrowcast every oddball thought to people who might appreciate that kind of nonsense.
So, Gawker got sued again—this time by HarperCollins, for publishing excerpts from “America By Heart,” Sarah Palin’s latest contribution to the annals of American thought. The book doesn’t come out until tomorrow, but Gawker posted segments of it last week, mostly in order to make fun of them. Some people got upset! On Saturday, a federal judge granted a temporary restraining order against Gawker. So the page with the excerpts from the book is down.
So what’s going on here? Does Gawker have a First Amendment right to excerpt Sarah Palin’s book and make fun of it? Or can Sarah Palin use her powers under copyright law [...]