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Colorado Newspaper chains send threat to popular blog

Colorado Newspaper chains send threat to popular blog

SUBJECT: poor silly newspapers
I hope you'll be forgiving when they come crawling back. Feel free to link us however you like.In an e-mail to the Colorado Pols blog, David Mastio, Deputy Editorial Page Editor at The Washington Times, succinctly assesses the situation arising from legal threats sent to coloradopols.com by newspaper chain MediaNews (owners of The Denver Post, Boulder Daily Camera, Ft. Morgan Times, Lamar Ledger, and Sterling Journal-Advocate) and Swift Communications (owners of a number of small-market papers in Colorado).

In what appears to be part of preparations to hoist a series of paywalls, an ominous threatening letter was recently delivered to the blog.

We are writing today to lodge notice with you of our clients' objection, and their intent to seek relief if no corrective action is taken, to your firm's flagrant and persistent theft of our clients' intellectual property by the Colorado Pols website at www.coloradopols.com.
Your publication's wholesale, and unjustified, use of the news content published by our clients, which is produced at significant expense by them and from which your firm is deriving advertising revenue everyday without our clients' permission and without any compensation to our clients by your firm, constitutes multiple violations of our clients' rights under the federal Copyright Act and the common law doctrine of hot news misappropriation.
After having consulted with their own attorneys, ColoradoPols has posted a detailed clever rebuttal to each of the claims made in the initial accusatory correspondence. The site also provides a good explanation of why they think the actions of The Denver Post and the other papers are misguided from a business point of view. In essence, the suggestion, implied by part of their response below, is that the newspapers are cutting off their nose to spite their face.

There are really two ways to deal with the advent of new media and 'uncontrolled' distribution of the news: you can either accommodate this new reality and find ways to mutually benefit (and increase your online traffic) like our partners at The Washington Post and National Journal have gainfully done, or you can break out the lawyers and try to retreat into a paid firewall content cave. The first approach is useful in increasing website traffic and generating new links, which leads to more online traffic, and so on. We honestly can't tell you the benefit of the latter. We submit to you, our loyal readers since 2004, that only one of these approaches will result in survival for the print newsrooms we all greatly respect and value.

In the interest of legal prudence as well as to prove how inconsequential the so-called "breaking or highly newsworthy stories" are to their site, Colorado Pols has vowed to cease making any reference to or use of any content from the indignant publications. To make their point, they have also provided precise internet traffic figures for the last month that they did make reference to those papers, and will publicly compare the stats to their July data (which will be completely free of the problematic references) once it becomes available.

The complete list of publications who threatened the blog is as follows:

MEDIA NEWS GROUP

  • The Denver Post
  • Boulder Daily Camera
  • Ft. Morgan Times
  • Journal-Advocate (Sterling)
  • The Lamar Ledger
  • FREEDOM COMMUNICATIONS
  • The Colorado Springs Gazette

SWIFT COMMUNICATIONS

  • Eagle Valley Enterprise
  • Glenwood Springs Post Independent
  • Grand Junction Free Press
  • Greeley Tribune
  • NOCOpages.com
  • Snowmass Sun
  • Sky-Hi Daily News
  • Summit Daily News
  • The Aspen Times
  • The Citizen Telegram
  • Vail Daily
  • Windsor Now

Source: The Faster Times, ColoradoPols.com var sc_project=6030898; var sc_invisible=1; var sc_security="ace1ea7c";


Links

Author

Colin Heilbut

Date

2010-07-08 19:14

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