Thursday, May 05, 2005

Bloggings one main weakness

Blogging has done a lot in the last year for the media culture. Newspapers and the rest of the main media has been put on notice that their games will be exposed. We simply have to look at the Rather/Memo affair and see the effect of blogging.

But in reality blogging has one main weakness. Size. Now understand that numbers do not mean size. Yes there are millions of blogs, and many are bigger, but most are small jobs done in peoples spare time. That is the weakness and our vulnerability.

For example. Lets say that a newspaper prints something bad about a company. The company may get upset, but the legal protection that the main media has is size. Entire departments of lawyers ready to be called out like gladiators of old. To do battle to defend the newspapers rights to print what they consider news. Now the other side of the coin is that a blogger may blog during lunch at work , and some when he gets home. He still has to fulfill the job of being husband and father first. So what happens when he writes something that a company may not like? In most cases his readers may do some research to help him, but in the end many fold and withdraw the post.

Google Blogscoped did just that. He wrote a post about a company that "optimizes" the chances of getting real high on search engines returns. The company did not like what he posted so they let their lawyers do the talking. With a cease & desist he pulled the post and another bully won.

Here you can see an archived copy of the original post and here is what it looks like today. The letter(PDF) had the standard threats of
"take appropriate legal steps to enforce its rights including, without limitation, filing claim for unfair business practices under the laws of the state of California, and for trade libel and interference with the company's business relationships. The remedies for such causes of action include injunctive relief and substantial damages"
That's a lot of threat for one post. Makes it sound like he burned their business down.

So who are the lawyers that were let loose to attack him? Well the bully of the week, in my humble opinion, goes to.
Stradling Yocca Carlson & Rauth
A professional corporation

Michael Lawhead
Direct dial (949) 725-4277
mlawhead@sycr.com
So now I guess I will sit back and wait for my threatening letter.

Bloggers do not have teams of lawyers yet, but there is always the future. Maybe we, as a group, need to find a company like this, Pre-Paid Legal. They offer you legal insurnace for as low as 26$ a month. One day they may offer a blogger discount.

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