NY Times Lawyers Shut Down Blog Promoting The NY Times

from the how-backwards-can-you-be? dept

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.

Filed Under: blogs, copyright, images, promotion
Companies: ny times


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  1. identicon
    Jose_X, 7 Mar 2011 @ 2:19pm

    Re: New law

    >> Make a new law.

    We may not even need to make a new law in the sense that "clearing" all parts of all images on your browser cache and all text you see on your browser by contacting all apparent "owners" and cross-verifying this information might be too much of a task for even the president of the MPAA to do.

    AND you'd possibly have to do this before you download any of it, since downloading it to read it or view it would already be a potentially unauthorized use in the eyes of many lawyers. [and would you need to get all of the authorizations in writing?]

    How many websites has Dodd cleared for his children or for himself? How many hours would it take per webpage? I think this is why Judge Alex Kozinski ( http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110307/02173613378/just-because-you-dont-like-something-online-do esnt-mean-we-should-blame-third-parties.shtml ) said he didn't like the Internet (must give him great headaches browsing).

    I think this necessary cautiousness (ask any IP laywer) to try and avoid years in jail and million-dollar fines would certainly stifle the progress (and dissemination and use of information), hurt the general welfare, and abridge a lot of potential speech.

    At a minimum, none of this should be criminalized.

    Amid evidence that piracy generally helps promote a work and can definitely be used to produce income by the primary creator (including millions of dollars http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20110303/02203613336/minecraft-creator-says-no-such-thing-as-lost-s ale.shtml and more money than ever made before http://www.techdirt.com/blog/casestudies/articles/20101019/01004711475/dear-dan-bull-a-case-study-in -musical-innovation.shtml ), it is becoming hard to argue that anything but a very weak online copyright (if any) will meet the Constitutional standard of promoting a progress that otherwise wants to fly with the Internet.

    If the Executive branch and its lawyers.. if our federal legislators who write these laws.. if judges (experts in the laws) in our highest courts can't get it right, how can Dodd's granddaughter get it right?

    How can some other much less legally savvy granddaughter get it right http://www.techdirt.com/articles/20100226/1553078323.shtml ?

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