Albee threatens to sue over pending plagiarism article
Steve Albee gets a little testy-- What, me worry?
-- John Patten, 08/24/07
Got a comment? Make it here.
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 6:48 PM EST
From: "S Albee" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "John Patten" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Please call me
Cc: "F. Rosenblum Atty At Law" <firstname.lastname@example.org>,
"Stephen F Albee Atty At Law" <email@example.com>
No, I did not know you were doing a story on me, but I'm not surprised based
on what you have already done and written about me. I have not seen your
website, but I have been told you were responsible for having my website
temporarily shutdown by reporting me. It turns out I failed to give proper
attribution on one of the articles, which was an oversight, and that you
have been making vicious attacks on me because of it. For what reason?
Because I don't agree with you? The story was only there to show the types
of news we would be reporting in future issues. We have no plans of using
stories that are not relative to this area...or from other sources...and
only used them this time to show the format and types of information we hope
to provide to the business community. I am astonished you have chosen to
attack me in such a vitriolic manner, because we have different viewpoints.
I thought you were a professional? You have your views and I have mine, but
you won't see any articles in my paper attacking you for your views. I
don't feel a telephone conversation with you would matter as you will write
whatever you feel will do me harm and discredit my efforts. I am an
honorable man... I am not interested in getting into a battle of words with
you or anyone. FYI...My relationship with the city ended prior to me
starting the newspaper. Actually, other than doing research for two months
and attending meetings, my services as intended were never put to use. I
have not written one thing for them, or even talked with anyone in my
capacity as a consultant. What I wrote in my newspaper I wrote on my own and
not with a single discussion with anyone from the city, but after sitting
through months of city council and airport advisory board meetings and not
seeing what was actually discussed accurately reported, made me realize
there was an opportunity to do a 'business' newspaper. My paper is not about
controversy. We will report news as accurately as we can. The airport is an
issue that soon will pass and will no longer be news. My interest is in
reporting news that impacts and is of business interest. I have already
been told the more you write about me, the more people will want to read my
newspaper. So maybe whatever you do will cause more people to read my
newspaper....that would be great. Whatever you do, please don't distort the
truth. I would hate to have to take legal action against you. I am a private
citizen, not a public figure. I have already been told what you wrote about
Dr. Fred Albee...how sad. You may take your shots at me, but I suggest you
refrain from future potshots at him. Why don't you use your energy to
challenge each of my points rather than attacking the messenger, if you feel
so strong about what I wrote.
Date: Thu, 23 Aug 2007 7:19 PM EST
From: "John Patten" <firstname.lastname@example.org>
To: "S Albee" <email@example.com>
Subject: Re: Please call me
It's called plagiarism and copyright violation. I am not responsible for
having your web site taken down, you are. I merely contacted the owners of
the content that you had appropriated to inform them that you had reproduced
their material and to ask them if you had secured licensing to reproduce
that content, this in an effort to see who was actually authoring the
material that you were putting your name to. One of your sites was taken
down, but it wasn't due to a complaint from me to your web host, as I had no
ownership rights in what you published. Bloomberg and the Associated Press
would have had to have made the DMCA complaint (Digital Millennium Copyright
I can't believe that a noted publisher of business publications, as you
claim to be, would do what you did and expect not to be caught in this
digital age. That you may have (or may not have, I don't know) been doing
this for years and getting away with it is no excuse. It's wrong, sir, just
plain wrong to take someone else's words and strip them of authorship to
make it look like you have penned them. When it is work that has been
produced as a part of someone's livelihood, to take that work and make money
on it through advertising without recompensing the author is nothing less
than the equivalent of selling stolen goods.
It is wrong, sir. It is wrong.
On a personal note, we (you and I) are in competition for the same
advertising dollars, as are the Herald-Tribune, the Gondolier, and a number
of other content providers. We all have to come up with original material in
order to fill our pages and make them advertiser available. It's a bit
unfair when someone comes into the picture and is able to steal content
without having to make the investment. Moreover, such plagiarism, when done
as blatantly obviously as you have done it, discredits the rest of us in the
web writing biz, especially when unchallenged.
As to any threats of legal action, after getting caught with your hands in
someone else's word processor and taking credit for it, I can only assume
that your threat is an attempt to keep the public from knowing the ethics
of your particular brand of journalism. While you may think of yourself as
not being a public figure, your entry into political journalism and the
inclusion of your name in the city's newsletter would seem to throw that
argument right out the window.
I'm curious as to what you know about what I may be writing about your
grandfather, as that information hasn't left my living room yet. Should I be
looking for bugs and recording equipment or are you merely fantasizing?
My attorney is Stanley Marable in Sarasota. Feel free to contact him.
-- John Patten
-- Venice Florida! dot com
-- (941) 484-0488
John Patten is the editor and publisher of Venice Florida! dot com and had previously worked in broadcasting for over 12 years. He can also be incredibly rude at times.