February 16, 2005

Tulsa Newspaper Copyrights Hyperlinks (tip to VC)

Meet blogger. Blogger writes critical media analysis. Good, blogger.

Meet daily newspaper. Newspaper threatens blogger for using citations and hyperlinks. Bad, newspaper.

There's nothing wrong or illegal about quoting portions of an editorial or article for the purpose of criticizing it. That's a First Amendment thing. And of course it's absolutely absurd to threaten this guy for linking to the newspaper itself. He basically gave them free advertising by doing so.

You cannot copyright hyperlinks. That's like copyrighting your street address and threatening to sue people who put it in their address books. Just plain bonkers. The author of this letter ought to be fired for this unethical, blatant attempt at harassment. It's clear from the context, if it's even somewhat accurate, that this is intended to scare off the blogger from continuing critical analysis of the paper. Of course, even a head-wound victim should realize that threatening a blogger is mostly liable to just piss him off and simply serves to validate the already well-evidenced proposition that the mainstream media hates bloggers.

There ought to be a firing and a written apology. This is ludicrous.

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