I didn’t find out about this until today, but one of our brother sites in the fansided network, StripeHype, has been threatened by the big, bad Cincinnati Bengals brass.
The threats ring hollow, but of course there is not enough money to fight the threat in court. You can read about the disappointing situation here. This might mark the second time a member of this brotherhood has been threatened. I was threatened earlier this year by the Dallas Morning News for using a horrible picture of Tony Romo’s thumb wrapped in a cast. I credited the Dallas Morning News, but the photo chief, David Woo, felt it was necessary to call me and threaten me.
I promptly took the photo down and I rarely ever use pictures of players now, even with the credit. I’ve learned a lot about photo use since then, and in all honestly, there is a fair-use law, but you really aren’t supposed to take photographs found off the internet and re-use them without permission. If you change the photo at all, then it could be big problems. It’s not quite the same what happened over at StripeHype–it seemed even MORE petty.
I know the blogger at StripeHype, and he is a huge Bengals fan. He rarely ever attacked, even criticized, his team that has stunk it up for nearly 20 years. He has interviewed several of the players, and was about to give away a jersey signed by a player, but the Bengals brass said he could not do that because it is copyright infringement. Dave, the blogger, says he has tried to get the Bengals to allow him to get photos of the team, but he has been denied access because he is not a member of the traditional media.
This could lead to a widespread attack from the NFL or the teams, with StripeHype starting the rolling ball toward our team of blogs. In fact, there is an all-out war the big-time media is waging against bloggers in general. It’s disappointing, too. I am a professional journalist, and although blogging is NOT traditional journalism where accuracy and ethics trump rumors and haste, they serve a purpose and must be accepted. One of these days a threat is going to come to one rich blogger, and the fight will be over in court. Bloggers will prevail.
May I suggest we all write to Mike Brown, the Bengals brass, and tell him how immature and petty his threat is:
One Paul Brown Stadium
Cincinnati, OH 45202