“Psychic” spoon-bender Uri Geller pwned by EFF

The outcome was predictable to anyone with an ice cream scoop worth of brain jelly slapped into their skull cavity, but professional psychic Uri Geller somehow didn’t see it coming: his company, Explorologist Ltd., had its spoon bent by the EFF yesterday over a frivolous DMCA takedown notice Geller sent to the creators of a 13 minute YouTube video debunking Geller’s supernatural powers… a video which happened to contain a ten second copyrighted clip of one of his performances. Fair use, in other words.

The EFF has really made Geller eat it here: not only has he been forced to withdraw, but they made him license the clip in question as non-commercial Creative Commons to boot, so as to freely aid the efforts of other skeptics. Right on, EFF!

Sapient and Explorologist Settle Lawsuit [EFF]

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20 Responses to “Psychic” spoon-bender Uri Geller pwned by EFF

  1. FoetusNail says:

    Many years ago The Amazing Kreskin amazed us all. It was a wonderful night with a truly gifted performer. It is very easy to understand people falling into the trap of the psychic. I know people who regularly pay local palm readers and psychics for “consultation”, who are convinced of their abilities. We are bred to believe crazy shit. We do believe crazy shit. The funny thing is how we will believe entirely bat shit crazy stuff, but say others are simply fools to believe in Voodoo, or The Dreaming.

    13 & 14 You both are absolutely correct and this is the difference between Kreskin and Geller. Geller’s mistake was taking himself too seriously. He could have had a long highly profitable career otherwise.

  2. acx99 says:

    You can alter the molecular structure of matter by mind-power alone. Do you:

    A. Use your powers for good: to solve near-impossible engineering tasks or cure uncurable diseases.

    B. Use your powers for evil: Become an assassin, remotely pinching the aortas of your enemies from great distances, or causing structural damage in buildings and vehicles.

    C. Bend cutlery on daytime TV.

  3. Stojance says:

    I wonder who is the Psychic here. If Uri really is a psychic, he should have seen the EFF coming down the road. But he didn’t. Which is more than spectacular.

    Thanks EFF!

  4. Enochrewt says:

    Geller had a neat parlor trick, but he took it too far. I remember being in awe of him when was an 10 year old kid. I’m still in awe over Johnny Carson though…. whattabadass

  5. jimbuck says:

    I’m not feeling particularly strong right now. Mostly because you’re not letting me use any of my props. But for other reasons as well.

  6. vetlemakt says:

    @13
    Point taken.

    @14
    Again, point taken.

    I still feel sorry for the old geezer. Smart man like that? The amount of time spent on writing books and whatnot on Geller and his silly spoons and good-for-nothing tricks?
    That’s what I’m left with after seeing the clip, anyway.

  7. vetlemakt says:

    Yeah, of course it’s all trickery. I don’t need any one to tell me that, or to go to lengths to explain it. The world’s full of people who’ll allow themselves to be fooled, and that’s why Uri Geller kept his career going after the Carson show.

    When I was in the army, one in my platoon was into magic. The kind where you see knots untie themselves, cards hover and coins vanish, you know. Every tuesday he’d throw a five minute show for us, and we’d applaud wildly, laughing. Except for this one fella who made it his duty to explain to us how everything was done, proudly pointing out the invisible thread and hidden magnets. He couldn’t help himself, and I somehow felt sorry for him.
    HE DIDN’T DEDICATE HIS LIFE TO THIS THOUGH.

    My reaction to the video wasn’t “Wow, so it was all fake afterall!” or “Pwned!” – more like “I pity the old man”.

  8. rebdav says:

    He is a nice guy did the tricks at lots of weddings just for fun. It is too bad he based his life and income on keeping the secrets of his “powers”. The last few years have seen him turning inward, he is not as much fun now.

  9. Anonymous says:

    Check out the Rational Response Squad’s website:
    http://www.rationalresponders.com/sapient_geller

    They are the ones behind the lawsuit.

  10. Trent Hawkins says:

    #12 you are missing one vital thing from this: You friend that did the tricks was not professing to have REAL MAGICAL POWERS!

  11. mongo says:

    There was a monetary settlement. WHO paid the money? I hope Geller had to pay the EFFs legal fees.

  12. raisinlove says:

    #4: best reply ever :)

  13. Anonymous says:

    Awesome work EFF! I’m sending you a nice donation today. Anyone who gives that charlatan a beating deserves more paychecks.

  14. wookie13 says:

    Why doesn’t the post mention James Randi’s name? Shame on you.

  15. lectroid says:

    @12

    Randi isn’t out to kill magicians, or make people stop wondering “How’d they DO that?” That’s part of the fun of watching magicians. Nobody likes the kid at the show stands up and yells “I see the string!” That kid, and your army buddy, is simply a killjoy, out to impress everyone with how much smarter he is than everyone else.

    Debunking preachers that cheat the desperate and the sick is something else again. People are *hurt* by these things. They forgo legitimate treatment, they waste limited resources, financial and otherwise.

    Geller’s sin was failure to have a sense of humor, and being offended when met with Randi’s similar lack of a sense of humor regarding his blatant dissembling.

    Just because someone is a rationalist does not mean they have no sense of wonder.

  16. Chris Tucker says:

    So, the first time I saw Geller perform on TV, I was not impressed.

    I had learned the spoon bending trick when I was 9 years old or so, just beginning to mess around with “magic” and sleight of hand.

    The thing to remember about ALL magicians is that we are ALL LIARS. We are fooling you. There is no such thing as “a perfectly ordinary sealed deck of cards.”

    The reason we keep the tricks and effects and illusions secret is that, if you knew how easy/sleazy they are, you’d be furious with yourselves at how easily you were fooled.

  17. Eduardo Padoan says:

    It is never enough to stomp a charlatan again and again. The outcome couldn’t be better. Thanks EFF!

  18. Halloween Jack says:

    Explorologist Ltd.

    *snork* That sounds like the words I’d make up in third grade.

  19. Ceronomus says:

    You just have to love the Amazing Randy. Proof positive that all the claimed psychics out there, aren’t. Else, why not step forward for a million dollars, even if only to donate it to charity?

    So long as Randy lives, the world can remain a little more rational.

  20. Anonymous says:

    I felt bad for him during that Johnny Carson clip. I know he’s a charlatan, but still, it seemed kind of mean.

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