January 31, 2008
Media General v bookofjoe — Episode 3: Attorney Andrew C. Carington throws down the gauntlet
Above and below, the letter he sent to me yesterday via email attachment, as noted earlier today.
A few thoughts from the peanut gallery (and crack research team) on the correspondence above:
1) Mr. Carington (how often do you think his name is misspelled "Carrington"?) couldn't even take the time not to mess up my name on page 2 ("Stir"). I guess when you're dealing with important things like this, stuff get can get overlooked, what with the major stakes in play. I understand and forgive him.
2) I looked all over the PDF file containing his letter but I'll be darned if I can find the "copy of attached letter" he sent to TypePad. Huh. Maybe it'll be in the certified letter (!) that should be arriving today. I'll look for it.
3) While we're on the subject, that's pretty harsh, sending a letter to my parents (TypePad) about my bad behavior. I mean, jeez, here I am already in the principal's office and I haven't even had a chance to give my side. Oh well, no one ever said life was fair.
4) I am here to tell you (trust me...) that Mr. Carington's letter is a total of 17 pages long, including copies of each of the bookofjoe posts he objects to. I wonder how many hours that took to put together. Well, like I said in today's first post, I guess there's not a whole lot going on at Media General....
5) I sure hope it's okay to have published the correspondence I've received to date. I didn't see anywhere where it said it was confidential or top secret or eyes only or anything, so I'm going to assume I have a right to reproduce it. I know I have a number of lawyers among my readers and I'm especially interested in your thoughts on how I should proceed. It appears Mr. Carington's 5-day deadline clock for me to do as he ordered or face an unspeakable fate started at 5:24:20 p.m. ET yesterday, so (let me get out my calculator, hold on a sec) that means I have until that time on Monday, February 4.
6) I wonder how the reporters who wrote the Daily Progress stories and got worldwide exposure as a result of my posts citing their names — along with links to their articles on the Daily Progress website — feel about Mr. Carington's stuffing them back into their hideyhole here in Charlottesville. I know how I'd feel.
And I don't think it's just me; witness the email I received last evening from New York Times columnist J.D. Biersdorfer in response to my using her work verbatim and in its entirety in a post that appeared here yesterday: "Joe, you're making my day!"
You have to wonder why a Podunk town's daily newspaper's counsel is so put out by having its product displayed on a global stage — as he so piquantly describes it, my "Internet website" — as opposed to remaining provincial and buried.
Ya think it might be part of the reason the company is about to be in play?
Seems to me that instead of complaining about my reposting the Progress articles — with direct links in every case to the Daily Progress website — Mr. Carington and Mr. Rosenberg should be working up a proposal whereby they could feature bookofjoe on their site.
They wouldn't be the first — nor would they be the last.
January 31, 2008 at 12:01 PM | Permalink
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Pitiful little newspapers like the daily progress are flailing about at perceived enemies as their outdated business model comes apart in front of their eyes. Their lucrative classified sections have been gutted by Craigslist and it's many clones, and the monopoly joyride has run off the tracks. Their inability for introspection will keep them publishing yesterday's news as if it really mattered. Newspapers are no longer presenting news in a timely manner. They are publishing history books disguised as news.
Posted by: Steve Dores | Feb 2, 2008 6:44:57 PM
I wrote about this briefly on my own blog. Joe - this C&D is crap. I don't mean that in a legal sense, I just mean it certainly shows ignorance on how the IntarWeb works on the part of these guys.
Good luck. It's stuff like this that makes me glad I'm getting out of the newspaper business. Too few people in it get how the web works, and those that do (like me, I'd like to think) often start looking to get out.
Good luck, man. I'd never heard of you before this, but it looks like this post on Boing Boing will bring some more attention your way.
Now we need those 'Leave Joe Alone' videos.
Posted by: Charlie | Feb 2, 2008 2:05:24 PM
Seems to me that they could look at their site logs and see how many visitors showed up via bookofjoe. Even if it were only two of them it would probably be two more than what they would have normally received.
Maybe this is a case of "any publicity is good publicity".
Now for the video: "LEAVE BOOKOFJOE ALONE!" (Crying optional)
Posted by: Ray | Jan 31, 2008 7:28:51 PM
You play nice with the lawyer, now, Joe. Remember you're in a battle of wits with an unarmed person, and that 99.99% of any correspondence will have been compiled/created by a paralegal who's definately not getting paid enough for this kinda... um, stuff.
In other news, every time I see a blogger get a C&D, I laugh and laugh...
Posted by: Mary Sue | Jan 31, 2008 5:44:34 PM
One of my best friends is an IP lawyer (and serves as council for my own business...I don't get a friends rate though). He is the exception to this rule, but FEW of them have any sense of humor or understanding of added value. They are stuck in the past where they think any stepping on their product is an act of war and they will fire back with the same intensity.
I have yet to meet on that wasn't completely an idiot when it comes to how they actually bring value to their company. Most of the time, they are trying to justify their ignorance. Hell, my old music label occasionally CCs me in on their correspondences when they find a tune I've worked on being posted in forums -- and yeah, it kinda irks me because as a writer and not the name performer, I am the one that loses out...the band simply looks at this as a way to increase tix sales. But you know what? Generally the songs that are being passed around are the ones I'm making the royalties off of anyways and even though I'd prefer folks not trade them, I'm not going to be outraged because it means maybe someone is going to buy the album (in which case I might make a profit off the two other songs I have that S*CK oh yeah...gotta star that being it is one of the sp*m words :-)
Seriously, Mrs Cartigton, lighten up. Your job is safe...
Posted by: clifyt | Jan 31, 2008 2:20:45 PM
Just a silly little tangential thought about the messing up of your name at the top of page two -- Joseph "Stir." Perhaps, that is a telling flub-up of unconscious intent, and perhaps, during the letters' composition, you were envisioned in a lovely black-and-white-horizontally-striped outfit with matching anklet attached to matching ball-and-chain, as in, "in stir."
"Public can relax! Dangerous, crazed blog writer finally in stir!"
Posted by: Flautist | Jan 31, 2008 1:46:36 PM
February 4th, eh? I'm marking my calendar...shock and awe in Charlottesville.
Posted by: JMT | Jan 31, 2008 1:39:07 PM
Wait till they assert copyright over the cease and desist notice and send you another one asking to take the first one down...
Posted by: Eric | Jan 31, 2008 1:25:17 PM
Well the first thing i'd recommend, my friend, is for you
to sit down in front of your stereo and play--really loud--
John Prine's I've Been a Bad Boy Again for yourself.
Might bring a wry smile back to your lips and allow you
you to stand again in that proper place--you know the one--
Coitus them, if they can't take a joke. Works for me.
Posted by: David Gray | Jan 31, 2008 1:09:44 PM
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