Tuesday, July 26, 2005

Off the Deep End

Even though the MediaWatch website has been closed to the public for a few weeks now, they're still sending out their weekly faxes.

In the most recent issue, Rich Reynolds and the RRR Group threaten Leo Morris and call for his resignation, all for linking to Fort Wayne Media Notes.

No, I'm not kidding.

Here's the fax, in its entirety:
Shame on Leo Morris

So far Leo Morris has not removed a link at his personal blog to another blog using a trademark we own.

Mr. Morris has not called us about this although he has been notified that he is directing readers of his blog to a site that is misappropriating our legal mark.

NEW SENTINEL (sic) Publisher Mary Jacobus informed us that the newspaper is trying to figure out if they can legally cite a blog that seems to be infringing on a trademark. The paper doesn’t want to be bullied into removing links it thinks are worthy to be noted.

Even explaining the circumstances about our registration of the trademark and its use by another person, N-S and Leo Morris are unmoved, flouting the law and causing us irreparable harm in the process.

We are suing the infringer and will be suing Leo Morris, personally. If the newspaper decides to provide him legal support, we will sue N-S also, as complicit in this matter, as Mr. Morris seems to be with the person who continues to intrude on our legal ownership.

But more than that, Mr. Morris, who touts obeying the law as a requisite of good citizenship and the requirements of an ethical journalist, appears to be hypocritical. He is trying to slip through some kind of Kafkaesque loophole in continuing to ballyhoo a blog that is outside the law at this very moment.

Is Mr. Morris in collusion with the scofflaw? How else to explain his intransigence in this matter?

That Mr. Morris represents the editorial stance of a prominent newspaper but is in a kind of ethical dither about a matter that seems clear to us and our legal advisors calls for a look, a serious look, by this community and Knight Ridder, his bosses. Mr. Morris has descended into a moral and ethical relativism which calls for his resignation as editorialist for a newspaper which supposedly has the highest journalistic standards as its “raison d'être.”

Now Mr. Morris can say he is protecting the rights of a person who is operating outside the law, but then Mr. Morris would have to condone activities by those who who (sic) also operate outside the law, to be consistent, and no one expects a major newspaper editorialist to do that.

So we are forced to activate legalities to settle this matter, but the cost won’t be to us but the person infringing on our trademark and Mr. Morris who seems to be in bed, in collusion as we said, with the lawbreaker.

And we shall pursue this matter until either Mr. Morris relents or he is wiped clean monetarily, which perhaps will get his attention, finally.

Meanwhile, this community, and journalists here, should see Mr. Morris for what he is: a man who thinks the law can be finagled with, when it suits him.
It should be noted that this fax featured the old MW logo and not the one that I had asked them to cease using, which I appreciate.

That's the only thing about it I appreciated.

I'll have more on this later tonight.

UPDATE: Here's my promised response.

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