by Mike Masnick
Mon, Mar 7th 2011 12:44pm
The NY Times continues its drive to irrelevance. As we get ready to hear the details of the NYT's plan to lock itself up online, its lawyers are apparently seeking to shut down people promoting its works. Jonathan Paul, a former web editor at the NY Times, set up a Tumblr blog account last summer, which he used to promote what he felt was "beautiful and unexpected imagery" found on the NY Times website. He did so very much in the spirit of promoting those works, including full credits and links back to the original works at the NY Times. It built up a decent audience of people, driving many of them to the NY Times website. And, in response, the NY Times sent its lawyers to shut down the blog, claiming that it was copyright infringement (found via Mathew Ingram). Paul notes that the blog actually had a decent following within the NYT, and his former colleagues had encouraged the project and helped promote it as well, fully realizing that it was helping their own work get more attention and driving more traffic to the NYT. And then the lawyers stepped in. One more example of why just because you can do something from a legal standpoint, it doesn't mean you should -- and another reason why you tend to make really bad business decisions when you let the lawyers decide to act, without understanding the actual business implications of what you're doing.
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