To: John D. Bair
Vice President Tulsa World
Dear Mr. Bair:
I am writing on behalf of the Internet blogging community. We have recently learned that your newspaper has threatened legal action against www.Batesline.com and other Tulsa area bloggers for allegedly violating your copyrights.
Even though The Tulsa World copyrights its entire newspaper, you appear to be professionally inept in your basic understanding of copyright law. One would expect a senior officer of a publishing company to have at least some understanding of the concept of “fair use,” but apparently that is not the case. As the recipient of similar missives, my policy (and that of many other bloggers) is to discard any such letter unless it is on the letterhead of a law firm. The fact that you couldn’t even get an in-house lawyer to send your petty cease-and-desist letter speaks volumes to the toothlessness of your threats.
As the proprietor of a web site that regularly outdraws tulsaworld.com perhaps I can offer you a piece of advice in dealing with the Internet; drop your petty vengeance campaign against Tulsa bloggers. Why you would deliberately harass bloggers whose readership averages 1,000 readers a day boggles the mind, especially when the law is on THEIR side.
Some quick background research on the CBS Memo scandal, the resignation of The New York Times Executive Editor Howell Raines, or the recent resignation of CNN’s Vice President Eason Jordan should convince you that it’s a bad idea to tangle with the community of weblogs. Even though you are only targeting a couple small weblogs, when you attempt to silence them you attempt to silence us all.
I assure you we will not let that happen.