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July 07, 2010 10:16 AM MDT

Colorado Pols Responds to Newspaper Legal Threats

  • by: Colorado Pols

UPDATE: Check out this note we received from David Mastio, Deputy Editorial Page Editor at The Washington Times:

SUBJECT: poor silly newspapers

I hope you’ll be forgiving when they come crawling back. Feel free to link us however you like.


You might have noticed that the principal authors of Colorado Pols have not cited The Denver Post, or several other newspapers in the state, for some weeks. We’re sorry to tell you it’s not an oversight or laziness on our part, but the result of legal action threatened against us by MediaNews (owners of the Post, Boulder Daily Camera, Ft. Morgan Times, Lamar Ledger, and Sterling Journal-Advocate), Freedom Communications (Colorado Springs Gazette), and Swift Communications (owners of a number of small-market papers in Colorado – all are listed at the bottom of this post). We stopped citing these sources soon after receiving a “cease and desist” letter, while we evaluated our options and sought legal advice.

You can read the entire letter here, or follow along as we go through some of the key excerpts. In essence, the Denver Post and 16 other Colorado newspapers have opted to take their ball and go home because they don’t want to play with us anymore. Here’s the blow-by-blow from the “cease and desist” letter, and our response. (Pols Note: The letter is addressed to Jason Bane, who is listed as the point of contact for the LLC. There have always been multiple authors writing under the “Colorado Pols” moniker)

We are writing today to lodge notice with you of our clients’ objection, and their intent to seek relief if no corrective action is taken, to your firm’s flagrant and persistent theft of our clients’ intellectual property by the Colorado Pols website at

Your publication’s wholesale, and unjustified, use of the news content published by our clients, which is produced at significant expense by them and from which your firm is deriving advertising revenue everyday without our clients’ permission and without any compensation to our clients by your firm, constitutes multiple violations of our clients’ rights under the federal Copyright Act and the common law doctrine of hot news misappropriation.

Without getting too far into the legal mumbo-jumbo, our understanding of the law expressed in this letter (which comes from actual lawyers, not us reading Wikipedia) suggests they are incorrect. There are a number of reasons why they are incorrect, but here are some of the main points:

First off, you can’t steal something that is already given away for free. This would be like Westword accusing you of stealing their newspaper by taking it out of one the FREE bins located all over town. We’re not going behind any paid system or other kind of firewall and offering up content that you would otherwise have to pay for online. We would understand complaints if we had been repeatedly cutting and pasting entire articles, but we’ve always avoided doing that and have made that point to other posters on multiple occasions.

Not only are we posting only a few paragraphs from stories THAT ARE ALREADY FREE FOR EVERYONE ONLINE, we have gone out of our way to name the publication, highlight the author in particular, and provide a clear link to the story. Legally speaking, we don’t actually need to do any of this, but we’ve always tried to be symbiotic Internet purveyors and give credit where credit is due (incidentally, the Post almost never links to us or even mentions Colorado Pols when we have a story before they do, which happens all the time, but we don’t go all “attack of the killer attorneys” on them). What’s more, the case law this letter cites pertains to some obscure spam site that was republishing AP news stories in their entirety without attribution. After the efforts we have always made to properly credit the cited publication as well as the story’s author in boldface, such a comparison is insulting in the extreme.

Second, the idea that The Denver Post or any other outlet owns “hot news” is absurd. Twenty years ago the only way you could get your local news was to subscribe to a newspaper or watch one of the network TV stations’ nightly news broadcasts. That, of course, is no longer the case. By and large, the stories that we have referenced from the Post are not “exclusive stories,” and thus they have no claim to the “hot news doctrine.” If we reference a Denver Post story about the winners at the state convention, we’re doing so as a way to quickly catch up a reader at Colorado Pols as to a subject we are about to discuss. But we could just as easily do the same thing by using another news outlet as the source, or by not using another news outlet at all. It’s not exactly a big secret when the winners are announced at the Democratic or Republican state conventions, and we get all the same press releases they do. We also get a tremendous amount of breaking news and inside information directly, just like the Post and other news outlets.

It appears that the entire business model of the Colorado Pols website is built upon flagrant copying of the hard work of all manner of news media organizations, including not just our clients listed above but others of this firm’s clients, including the New York Times, Associated Press, and CNN.

That’s cute that they think we have a “business model,” but the idea that people come to Colorado Pols so they can read The Denver Post is, in a word, stupid. People come to Colorado Pols to find out what politicos in the state are discussing, which is unrelated entirely to which news outlet we decide to reference on a given story; for example, it’s not unusual for a daily “open thread,” which includes zero content from us, to end up with more than a hundred comments from people just discussing whatever issue they choose. People come to Colorado Pols to be part of a large and growing online community interested in Colorado politics. People come to Colorado Pols because they know that elected officials, staffers and journalists also read Colorado Pols on a daily basis. If Colorado Pols succeeded only because of what other news outlets were doing, it would stand to reason that the closing of The Rocky Mountain News in 2009 would have caused us serious damage. Obviously that didn’t happen, and in fact, we’ve consistently added readers for years now.

One of the neat things about the Internet is that we don’t have to make assumptions here – we can actually show you whether or not referencing the Post is vital to our “business model.” In April 2010, the last full month that we referenced the Post or any of the outlets included in this letter, Colorado Pols generated 617,661 page views. If it were true that our very existence depended upon the Post and similar news outlets, it would stand to reason that our traffic would drop dramatically once we stopped talking about them, right?

We’ve told you what kind of traffic we received in April, and we’ll tell you what kind of traffic we have once the month of July is completed – an entire month of no references to the Post or others listed in the letter, from either us or others posting diaries or comments. We are fully confident that our traffic won’t decrease because we aren’t referencing the Post, because we know that our success has absolutely nothing to do with the Post, the Lamar Ledger, or any other news site. People come to Colorado Pols to read (wait for it) Colorado Pols. It’s not any more complicated than that.

Each of the instances of infringing copying listed above involved the unauthorized appropriation of the heart of a breaking or highly newsworthy story, taking the lead and the principal substance of the underlying reporting.

We love this part of the letter. Apparently we only link to the Post or one of the other mentioned news outlets if it is “a breaking or highly newsworthy story.” Like the May 9, 2010 edition of the Lamar Ledger: “Jane Norton makes campaign stop in Lamar.” We’ll never forget that story-that was one SMOKING hot scoop. In fact, people are still buzzing about it today. Everywhere we go, we hear someone talking about that Jane Norton visit to Lamar.

Moreover, because none of the postings by Colorado Pols generated any appreciable traffic at the websites of the underlying publishers, it is beyond dispute that this copying by Colorado Pols harmed the market value and revenue generating potential of the infringed works. Indeed, MediaNews Group has been monitoring the traffic to its sites from Colorado Pols during the listed time period, and the links inserted by Colorado Pols in the infringing excerpts of MediaNews Group’s stories are generating no more than zero to five clicks to the underlying stories at The Denver Post’s website.1 [Pols emphasis] This pattern of a lack of any appreciable traffic from Colorado Pols is the same for Swift and Freedom. The explanation for this lack of traffic is quite obvious: Colorado Pols is taking so much of our clients’ reporting that no reader need ever click through to the underlying story that Colorado Pols has copied; Colorado Pols has taken anything, and everything, of value in the reporting by our clients.

1. And even these numbers are overstated because they include my own click-through’s to monitor Colorado Pols’ activities.

Before we begin discussing this section of the letter, let us offer a profound apology. We had no idea that Colorado Pols was somehow responsible for damaging the revenue potential of The Lamar Ledger. If only we could go back in time and stop people from not reading The Lamar Ledger! And while we’re at it, we’re also sorry for causing BP to spill all of that oil in the Gulf of Mexico. Sorry about that. Really.

Oh, and for the Denver Broncos trading several draft picks in order to take Tim Tebow in the first round of the NFL Draft…no, nevermind. We’re not taking that blame for that one.

Anyway, our bigger beef with this paragraph is the completely ridiculous statement that a link from Colorado Pols produces “no more than zero to five clicks to the underlying stories at The Denver Post’s website.” Now, we can’t explicitly prove this to be false, because our stats don’t provide a complete picture of outbound links or “click-thru rates,” but we can show the likelihood of this claim to be pretty close to zero.

Let’s go back to April 2010, the last full month in which we would have linked to stories in The Denver Post. In April, Colorado Pols generated 617,661 page views. According to this letter, The Denver Post is lucky if 5 people clicked on a link posted at Colorado Pols on any given day. If this were true, it’s more likely that you know someone who speaks Yiddish than it is that you know someone who clicked on one of our links to The Denver Post.

Please be advised that our clients hereby demand that Colorado Pols cease and desist from any and all unauthorized literal copying from our clients’ newspapers or websites, i.e., from any of the publications operated by MediaNews Group, Freedom Communications, and Swift.

Our clients reserve all their rights with respect to this matter, including their right to seek injunctive relief to halt your website’s unlawful conduct.

Well, then, consider us ceased and desisted, so as not to be injunctively relieved.

As we mentioned earlier, we don’t believe these claims to be accurate, nor do we believe that they would stand up in court. But we also don’t believe that we actually gain anything from referencing The Denver Post or The Lamar Ledger, so it’s no big deal for us to just stop talking about them altogether. Note that the letter is not asking us to stop providing links or to stop mentioning their name – they just don’t want us to use “blockquotes” and repeat any part of any of their stories at Colorado Pols. What they want, of course, is for us to continue to link to them, but only in such a way as to make sure that more people go to their website.

So here’s what we are going to do: Not only are we going to stop referencing passages from The Denver Post and other news outlets listed in this letter, but we’re going to go one step further. We’re going to go out of our way to not even mention these news outlets at all. We’ll just link to our partners at The Washington Post, or other local news sites, or any other of the thousands of other potential sources out there. We reserve the right to discuss something that might appear in one of these papers, but we’ll just do what traditional media outlets like the AP have done for decades – we’ll just say, “Humpty Dumpty fell off the wall today, according to The Denver Post,” and then continue on with our own writing. But for the most part, unless it is a truly important exclusive story that no other news outlet is reporting, you won’t again see us talking about The Denver Post or the other news outlets listed below.

We aren’t overestimating our own importance to say that not linking to the Post will have a major impact on their traffic, but it certainly won’t help. The bigger point is that we lose absolutely nothing by deciding to cease from pulling a few paragraphs out of one of their stories, but the Post and their quality reporters lose plenty of exposure that comes from other links – which, of course, is the lifeblood of the Internet.

The Post and these other news outlets don’t understand that their real problem is not something they can fix with a letter from an attorney. Heck, it’s not something they can fix, period. As we started to discuss earlier, the Internet has forever removed the one thing they had a premium on: Distribution. They may think that trying to sequester their own content will somehow make it more valuable, but that horse has long since left the barn, and there’s no way to put it back. Newspapers used to have a monopoly on distribution, because if you wanted to know what was happening in your state, your country and around the world, you didn’t have a lot of options outside of your daily newspaper. But now that you can find the same story from numerous other outlets online, their monopoly on distribution of the news just doesn’t exist.

By now, some of you are probably asking, “So what’s really going on here?” We don’t claim to know everything that motivated MediaNews CEO Dean Singleton and these lesser papers to take this action, but we do have a theory. An obscure memo from Singleton to MediaNews employees in May 2009 provides a clue.

We will begin to move away from putting all of our newspaper content online for free. Instead, we will explore a variety of premium offerings that apply real value to our print content. We are not trying to invent new premium products, but instead tell our existing print readers that what they are buying has real value…

This statement is remarkable for a number of reasons, but the biggest problem with what Singleton is proposing is it is totally counterintuitive to how marketplaces work. The market determines the clearing price of a product, not the owners of that product. Attempts to force the market to give you a bigger profit…well, they end in disaster. Every time.

The idea that the Post will suddenly become more valuable if it is not offered for free online doesn’t fix the fundamental problem that the news in general is already offered online, everywhere, for free. It doesn’t make the print version of a newspaper more valuable or more relevant if you have to pay to read it online; all it does is make the newspaper more complicated to read, and thus, less attractive to most potential readers (and advertisers). In going to a paid online model, what they will be doing is saying, “you can’t get our version of the news for free anymore.” In response, most people will just shrug and visit other websites instead, just like we are doing in response to this letter.

The only way this approach could possibly succeed–and we emphasize possibly — is if every news outlet in the country decided to do the same thing, thus forcing readers to pay for something if they wanted coverage from the “traditional media.” But even that wouldn’t likely succeed because of the prevalence of so many new media outlets and blogs–many of which already get more readers than their local “news media” counterparts (incidentally, Colorado Pols receives more traffic than a lot of the newspapers listed below already).

Having committed to this line of action, Singleton goes ever further:

We will build a new local utility site (, which is an ecosystem of local information, resources, user content, shopping guides, and marketplaces. This site will be focused on a younger audience as well as other targeted audiences based on demographics which are attractive to our current and potential advertisers.

Got that? First they’re going to try to make you pay for stuff you can already get for free…and then they’re going to try to replace the popular local blogs and websites that people already read with a new, souped-up version of the moribund And to make sure it works, they’re going to send nasty cease-and-desist letters to local websites beforehand, thus fraying relationships that would lead to future links that would elevate their popularity over time. Sounds like a recipe for smashing success, don’t you think?

As we have sought advice (both legal and otherwise) on this matter, it has been suggested to us that Singleton, and some like-minded newspapers, may be using our blog as a test case for a much larger assault on independent new media in general, and blogs and “feedreaders” in particular. Somebody at the Post could have just, you know, called us instead, but maybe it’s good for the economy to give more work to lawyers. If we’re the guinea pig in this little experiment, then so be it. Nobody wins in this silly confrontation, but we certainly don’t lose, either.

It’s no secret that traditional media executives like Singleton blame “the blogs” for much of their recent decline, but what they should really be blaming is the Internet in general. We didn’t change the rules or the reality – the Internet did that all in one big bang. What’s done is done, and there’s no going back to the days before Al Gore built the Internet tubes.

There are really two ways to deal with the advent of new media and ‘uncontrolled’ distribution of the news: you can either accommodate this new reality and find ways to mutually benefit (and increase your online traffic) like our partners at The Washington Post and National Journal have gainfully done, or you can break out the lawyers and try to retreat into a paid firewall content cave. The first approach is useful in increasing website traffic and generating new links, which leads to more online traffic, and so on. We honestly can’t tell you the benefit of the latter. We submit to you, our loyal readers since 2004, that only one of these approaches will result in survival for the print newsrooms we all greatly respect and value.

Look, we have no desire or interest in seeing the demise of local newspapers, and we had no interest in blocking out the Post and these other newspapers from Colorado Pols. Sending us threatening legal letters may make the bean counters at The Post and these other outlets feel better, but it accomplishes basically nothing. You don’t want us to use excerpts from your website? Whatever.

Today, we are just one less online source sending readers to The Denver Post and the other mentioned news sites. Maybe this will benefit the Post, and maybe it won’t. Either way, tomorrow will look pretty much like yesterday from where we’re standing.  

What This Means for Colorado Pols Users

The good news for Colorado Pols users is that this doesn’t change much for you. The main thing to understand is that diaries should not include excerpts from any of the news outlets listed below, and no diary that includes a link to any of the outlets listed below is likely to be promoted to the front page. As we said, you’re free to discuss stories that appear in these publications, just like the AP has done for years reporting the work of other news services.

News Outlets for Ceasing and Desisting

The following news outlets will no longer be quoted at, nor will links be provided to their content. We ask that all Colorado Pols users also follow these guidelines and refrain from referencing or linking to content from these sources:


  • The Denver Post

  • Boulder Daily Camera

  • Ft. Morgan Times

  • Journal-Advocate (Sterling)

  • The Lamar Ledger

  • The Colorado Springs Gazette

  • Eagle Valley Enterprise

  • Glenwood Springs Post Independent

  • Grand Junction Free Press

  • Greeley Tribune


  • Snowmass Sun

  • Sky-Hi Daily News

  • Summit Daily News

  • The Aspen Times

  • The Citizen Telegram

  • Vail Daily

  • Windsor Now
  • For questions, comments or media inquiries, contact


    194 thoughts on “Colorado Pols Responds to Newspaper Legal Threats

    1. That what’s really hurting their revenue is Craigslist.

      That, and poor quality.

      The Grand Junction Free Press is on life support.  It cut back to three days a week, now it’s down to only one.  Nobody’s going to pay to advertise there when they can put stuff on Craigslist, which gets 20 billion page views per month.

        1. they have become too conservative, and the writing is poor quality. I never link to them because I just don’t read them. Their best staff writers are all gone now anyway (or here — lol).

          1. back when I moved to Colorado a long time ago, all my liberal friends told me to read the POSt because there were like minds there. But I found the editorial caliber of the Rocky far better even then.

            Since the demise of the Rocky, or even once they became co-managed by the DNA, the Post has been horrid.

            I gave up on them when their editor showed how spineless he was and actually wrote an editorial supporting Bush which he didn’t even believe himself.

      1. The FreePress began as an alternative voice and, while it maintained that status, it prospered.  However, since then, it has become little else than a “me too” publication, echoing the voice of its bigger cousin the Daily Sentinel, also located in Grand Junction.  Like its bigger neighbor, it has become little else than a regurgitor of what the “local powers that be” tell them.  That is unfortunate as that does not serve the needs of the public, only their own and those of the local “good ole boys” and “good ole gals”; i.e. those of the “in” crowd.  The FreePress will fold, not because of anything else anyone else has done,but because of their own failure(s).

    2. I hope everything plays out the way you are expecting. I’ll still be reading everyday regardless and if I had a subscription to any of these newspapers, I’d cancel it.

      In the meantime, take it to ’em Pols!

    3. over the past year and a half.  

      Everyone knows it, everyone acknowledges it.  

      The GJ Sentinel regularly scoops the Denver Post, which–as I have noted–has gotten so bad as to be practically worthless.  

      Perhaps if they focused more on quality they wouldn’t be worried about Pols linking to the occasional decent article which appears in their paper.

      Sooner or later one of these cases will land in court and we can get a better read on what Fair Use really means or whether dinosaurs like the Post are really headed for the graveyard.  

    4. So, I’m going to use this as the final straw. I’m canceling my Post subscription today, too. What an absolute joke. Someone ought to pass Sharon Angle’s email on to these clowns – I think they’d have a lot to talk about…

    5. …have now taken on the image of Microsoft’s attempts at an MP3 player.

      What an unmitigated load of crap. Good luck, and sorry you had to deal with this one, Pols.

    6. Go get ’em boys and girls!

      What a ridiculous thing for them to do. This is a perfect example of an old-line company failing to keep up in the digital age and attempting to use bluster and threats to cow its apparent competition. Too sad for them. Denver will be a zero newspaper town at this rate.

    7. The reporting at the Chieftain is quite good, and one of my daily online news sources.  They cover a lot of statewide news, particularly related to politics, government and some high-profile issues such as water (one of the publisher’s favorite subjects).

      Would be interesting to have Pols readers summarize what they read for their news each day.  Generally I scan through the [major Denver paper], the [only Summit County print paper], the Pueblo Chieftain, the New York Times and the Washington Post online.  Then I connect with ColoradoPols.  I occasionally read other news sources online but have limited time to do so.  I’m unlikely to ever pay for online news, and frankly I rarely pay attention to ads in online news sources.  

      Pols is not the one with the business model problem . . .

    8. They should be begging you for links.

      Unless they are looking forward to the day their online advertising revenue dries up to go along with print and classified.

      This is too bad for everyone, really.

    9. I am finally going to subscribe to the Post now.  The only time I used to read the Post was when I logged into Colorado Pols to read the stolen content.  You (Pols) should be ashamed of yourselves.

        1. … Taking the contra position to whatever the prevailing wind happens to be.

          … A slightly smarter, older version of The Beej, who only has one position, er,  opinion, er, comeback…

    10. This is an attack on years of standard operating procedure throughout the blogosphere — extract a few grafs, source & link, discuss.

      Don’t they get that the political influence and relative relevance of their stories increases when linked to and discussed in the blogosphere? Inter-linkage is the whole point of online communications. Other people call it the “Internet.”


      1. Every single link we provided to those not-to-be-mentioned papers was a boost to their Google rankings.  And I was regularly one of those “zero to five clicks”, headed over to check out the details of whatever story they had.  Guess they didn’t need my business – the only other time I read their site was to get movie times and tickets, which I will now get elsewhere.

        PS – note to Singleton and lawyers thereof: if I want breaking local news, I go to the news channels and local blog coverage, not the newspapers.  Newspapers to my mind are for detail (sadly lacking in some above-mentioned papers recently), not for up-to-the-minute coverage.

    11. Does this mean I have to kill all my sock puppets at all these locations?

      I can’t help but notice as I read through this list that I don’t usually read many of these publications.  And when I do, I don’t usually quote them here on Pols.  

      And I also notice the Durango Herald is not listed.  I think we all know where we’ll be getting our Colorado news quotes from now on.

      Seriously – this seems …..useless.

      All of these outlets should charge the same for on line readers as it charges for print readers. This way they’ll find out exactly how big their market is, ie, how many people are willing to pay for their coverage.

        1. if a reference is needed to add to the discussion. we all just refer to the paper in Denver? WITHOUT linking or block quote.

          as before “the only paper in denver” killed off the Rocky, it actually had some competition. thus its fall from quality and its grasping at straws to increase revenue.

          as well as refer to the others as “that paper from where eversaid”  ??

        2. I believe I failed to follow the rules, so here is another approach that should fit within the new rules … I hope.

          The question is what and how do these complaintent media manage their own blogs; are they within the rules they would mandate for CPs?

          To exaimine this I visited one of the complainent’s blogs and reviewed one of their “diary’s” they had decided to “promote”. The subject diary had to do with a nationally unknown appointed U.S. Senator and the treatment that the Washington Post (WAPO) was giving him.

          The complaintent’s “diary” provided two links to the elitest WAPO (I suspect few linked through to see the WAPO) and 1 single paragraph of quoted/copied text from one of the WAPO hit pieces. The reporter then wrapped in her perspective on the matter.

          The purpose of the “diary” was to express the complaintent reporters shock at said Senator’s low national profile and her disappointment with the WAPO’s backhanded comments.

          Back at the bottom of complaintent’s diary I found two individual blog entries which seemed to counter the position of the complaintent’s reporter. They follow here…

          Cohen praises Bennet for being a silver-spooned elitest who has fleeced the yokels of Colorado into a Senate seat by convincing one person, Ritter, to appoint him to the office, with absolutely no record of accomplishment…other than his elitest ties to DC. wow. I’m persuaded to vote for him now.

          If Richard Cohen is praising Bennett that is reason enough for me to vote for someone else. Cohen is one of the most liberal writers the Wa Po has – I don’t even give him the courtesy of calling him a journalist.

          So it would appear that the complainent regularly promotes its blog diaries with a couple of links and at least one paragraph of copied and quoted text.

          At the end of the day I found myself more interested the unique and un-named blog entiries cited above.

    12. I can’t mention or link to (blank) even though (blank) has a link and mentions the columnist in say the Washington Post in their story?

      I dare say that if (blank) and the other newspapers listed think their threats are going to deter the activity on Pols they are snorting an illegal substance.  The contributors on Pols are some of the most opinionated & faithful bunch around (says someone who has taken her share of hits this past year).      

            1. and he wrote me that he hasn’t heard anything from Media News or any of the other publishers involved in this legal action. He’s not aware of any agreement between MediaNews and Huffpo.  

              1. I was over at HuffPo yesterday looking at big blogs that quoted Singleton’s rag; Denver HuffPo sometimes quotes long stretches of articles with a link at the end to said fish wrap, much more extensive than most CP quotes.

                I think Singleton must have something personal against CP – maybe it’s that “more readers” bit after all…

                1. HuffPo Denver had a block quote and a link to the Springs Gazette yesterday.  The DP’s own editorial page had a block quote and a link to an Wash Post article yesterday.

                  I suspect it’s the “more readers” thing that got their undies in a bundle.

      1. that’s my legal disclaimer so if some shill lawyer wants to send me a threat about how  dinosaurs are going extinct because of the asteroid that is the blogosphere (which is really just a free speech forum), I probably won’t see it because I’m VERY BUSY and VERY DIFFICULT to get a hold of so I suggest they make a youtube video and post it on 4Chan if they want me to get the message. You can also twitter to get my attention but my response might end up looking like this.

        I too blockquote and link back. It’s called TALKING ABOUT THE NEWS which is what they want us to do, right???

        That’s why they make it, right???

        This is only more evidence of how completely out of touch they are. Good job, boys.  

    13. This certainly puts a crimp in my plan to resume my “morning news” posts, as the Post was my main source for local political tidbits that hadn’t already been covered here. I guess the Sentinel and Chieftan will be my sources now.

      I wish I had a subscription so I could cancel it, but receiving a paper hasn’t been worth it for at least a decade. I may fire off an angry letter to them anyway.

      1. Bob Moore regularly scoops the papers that shall not be mentioned.

        And … shock horror … he’s a registered user and frequently posts links to his stories at Pols.

        I rarely link to the local media because I find better reporting on Mountain West issues at Public News Service, the Christian Science Monitor, ProPublica and policy watchdog groups with whom I have reprint agreements.

        I have a great deal of respect for Chris Beall and the team at Levine Sullivan but they are way off base here.

    14. The fact is, dinorsaurs like Singleton and  Rupert Murdock are in denial about the new realities of the news business. They think they can make people pay for general information news that people can get elsewhere for free. The internet changed everything forever gentlemen.

      Scripps CEO Rich Boehne admitted 16 months ago when the RMN shut down on two days notice that the Rocky was “trapped in an unsustainable business model”. A number of Rocky reporters and employees tried to carry on with an online subscription version that needed 50,000 subscribers to be viable. They got about 3,000 subscribers and the venture was abandoned.

      The Pols diary is entirely correct in saying the problem is not Pols allegedly “stealing” content, the problem is something much bigger than that. The cessation of us Polsters referencing the sources in our posts won’t make any difference in Dinky Singleton’s unending red ink on his P & L statement.

      And in a nutshell, here’s the problem:

      Total print ad revenue 2005 – $ 47.4 billion

      Total print ad revenue 2009 – $ 25.7 billion

      Source: Newspaper Assn. of America

    15. When you posted the diary about the new terms and privacy policy, you said you would make it clear why you were doing so. Since I didn’t see that mentioned here, I’m curious if this was the incident that prompted that.

      1. We were seeing a growing need for some kind of legal indemnification as the community continued to grow, a long-running discussion among your hosts; but this was the incident that moved us to action.

    16. The “Hot News” doctrine applies where one party misappropriates the information gathered by the complaining party and then uses it to generate revenue for itself. The doctrine came out of World War I when the AP collected, at great expense, news from the war front in Europe and sent it back to the United States for publication in east coast news papers. Another news service took AP’s stories and sold paraphrased versions to west coast newspapers for a profit.

      In order to apply this legal doctrine to Coloradopols, the Denver Post and the others would have to establish that Coloradopols is taking information generated by the newspapers and then posting it here for the purpose of making a profit. The Denver Post and the others would have to establish that the advertisers on Coloradopols buy advertising because their newspapers are quoted on this blog. The Denver Post et al would have to establish a direct link between the publication of a Post story here on Coloradopols and the motivation of an advertiser to place an ad here and finally that Coloradopols profited by that. I doubt the Post or any of the others could possibly do that or that any of the advertisers here would testify that was their motivation for placing an ad on this blog. As for the Barclay’s Capital v. case, it doesn’t even apply to the facts here.

      Frankly, I’d inform the Post and the other papers that Pols is going to continue to quote their stories with attribution and let them file a complaint. They don’t have a leg to stand on.

        1. ColoPols sells ads, has higher traffic. MediaNews covets both, gets cranky. They think the letter might give an ad rep the tools to tell a campaign to spend money with them, not here.  

        1. It’s no big deal for us to stop referencing The Post or these other newspapers. We could fight this in court, but we wouldn’t win anything that we really cared about.  

          1. the legal bills would be staggering — and that’s what they’re counting on.

              Unfortunately, Lord Acton was right.  Power tends to corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely.  Now that it has strangled the Rocky Mountain News, the Post is moving to inhibit and diminish other sources of news == and dissent.    


        2. but somewhere at sometime the blogsphere is going to have to make a stand on this issue.

          It is ironic that the newspapers are attempting to stifle and prevent the disseminaiton of information to the public when they normally fight with anyone who attempts to limit a newspapers access to information. They should be ashamed.

      1. the post is really trying to quash out all competition, (like they did with the Rocky) they do not want content re-posted here yet still want links to their site.

        “let them file a complaint. They don’t have a leg to stand on.”

    17. Typical goon tactics by the Post and the dinosaurs who run our traditional media.

      Sorry that you folks even have to think about this. Your response is spot on and I, for one, am done clicking the Post’s website for any reason.

      At this point I wouldn’t let my bird shit on that rag.  

    18. Say this issue was taken to court and the Media News Group, et. all won their case. Could this set precedent for any time one revenue generating news outlet cited another, that the first would in some way have to compensate the second?  

      1. for the jurisdiction of that court. The district court decision wouldn’t really be considered precedent at all. As the case is appealed upward, successively broader precedent is set by the appellate court decisions.

        My guess is that mere citation could never be a copyright infringement, and therefore could never create a financial liability. For-profit academic publications are cited in other for-profit academic publications all the time. This extends to quotes and excerpts. I don’t know the case law drawing the line on when an excerpt becomes a copyright violation, but I vaguely remember that guidelines do exist.

        1. That is what I figured. Given the success of the cease and desist request here, I am curious if media corporations they will begin going after sites that do similar things and eventually find themselves in court or up against the big dogs – huffpo or dailykos for instance – who I am certain would fight it.

        2. don’t other district courts around the country pay attention to what each other is doing? Then they can use legal concepts, logic or rationales developed in other court’s cases to support their decisions even if it isn’t a binding precedent? I think this is loosely how it works, isn’t it?

          And the SCOTUS is really driving a nail in the concept of precedent having much bearing anyway as the Robert’s court continues to overturn long-standing legal doctrine, ala Citizen’s United.

          1. are the last, and weakest, to be cited in any brief or court opinion. There are two kinds of precedential values: Mandatory authority, and persuasive authority. Mandatory is when you are within the jurisdiction of the court whose decision you are citing (the court you are in is bound by that decision). Persuasive is when you cite to the decisions of courts that have no binding jurisdictional authority over you. Persuasive authority diminishes as you go down the hierarchy, approaching zero when you are citing a district court decision. Most often, such decisions are cited to show trends on the ground, rather than established case law.

                  1. It’s a four-month old post, though the kind sentiment is much appreciated.

                    Please visit Colorado Confluence for writing that is more prolific, more focused, and of higher quality than the posts written under that username (or its predecessors) here ever were. I recommend you start with either a catalogue of selected posts, Grand Synthsis I, or Improved Communications Technologies & Techniques + Personal, Organizational & Methodological Discipline = Historic Social Change for a survey of the scope and selection of posts.

                    The most popular post by far was “A Choice Between Our Hopes and Our Fears”. There are several others that I like as much, but too many to list here.

                    It all worked out for the best. This is the right venue for some people, and the wrong one for others. For a sense of the aspirations held for Colorado Confluence, a couple of good posts to read are A Proposal and The Ultimate Political Challenge, as well as Improved Communications Technologies & Techniques + Personal, Organizational & Methodological Discipline = Historic Social Change, mentioned above (and several others, in fact).

                    We can settle for the same ol’ same ol’, or we can strive to do better. All choices, in terms of virtual discourse, and all varieties and experiments, are always just a mouse click away.

                    Cheers, Duke.

      2. For the most part short quotes have been acceptable for most usage.  However, my concern would be if a case gets to the roberts/scalia SCoUS it might decide in favor of copyright means you can’t use a single word, therefore in the corporations wallet you pay.

        The Congress has spent many terms trying to make copyright a forever doctrine, not something that expires even at death of the author.  So far parody has escaped the jaws of SCotUS corporations are people too decisions.

    19. News reporters and organizations have long done stories with information attributable to “unnamed sources” or sources who provided information on the condition of anonymity. It has also been long standing policy of legitimate news organizations not to pay for information, no matter what the source of information. ( Publications like the Enquirer are the exception to this rule).

      It has been stated policy on Pols that when making a diary or comment, that sources or documentaion of what’s being stated as a factual allegation be given, and rightly so.

      Given the new realities here, can we cite “unnamed sources’ or “protected sources” in developing a diary? Obviously this demands a higher standard on ourselves not unlike that of a professional journalist, which we admittedly are not. But truth be told, given the degradation of the quality of some of the “establishment” news outlets ( just last week I read a national Yahoo article in which the reporter stated Bennett was appointed by Obama to his Senate seat), I think some of the articles here on Pols are as professional if not more so than what I’m reading elsewhere these days, particularly on state and local politics.

      Your thoughts?


      1. While most people would probably do a good job of making sure that their “unnamed sources” were accurate, there would still be people who abused this and just made up a source to back up a false claim.

        If we use an unnamed source, we’re consciously accepting the risk (legal and otherwise) that comes with that decision. We can’t take that risk on behalf of others.  

        1. Obviously as a “blog” with anonymous posters and no bylines the accountability is not there to prevent or mitigate the unscrupulous from abusing the forum.

          Looks like its time to start my own publication.  

        1. Whether Obama had influence in who Ritter appointed is irrelevant. The fact is that the Governor appoints replacement Senators and Bill Ritter in fact appointed Michael Bennet.

    20. to make sure no one reads the Post. First, he shuts off home delivery outside the Denver area, now he’s out to bully and intimidate the blogs that make it sound as if his paper contains important news.

      Fact is, since the demise of the Rocky, the Post has gotten lazier and more trite than it ever was. I used to be a regular reader of the Post, back in the days when the paper needed readers. But then the Rocky died, and the Post’s quality took a nosedive. I haven’t read the print edition in months, and the Post’s Web site is an occasional afterthought when I’m bored and surfing the Web.

      Farewell, MediaNews.

    21. I think the Denver paper is just butt-hurt that Pols gets more readers than their website’s political section. Will you be taking down your banner to draw advertisers that references He-Who-Should-Not-Be-Named? God, I hope not.

    22. The Denver Daily News.  When I aggregate for on Monday mornings, they’re usually the first place I start.

      I’d be willing to bet that the DDN would offer you liberal terms of use regarding their content.

    23. It seems ColoradoPols has developed a sudden interest in free markets. Not so fun when the lawyers go after you now, is it? 🙂 As for my part, I’m more than happy that ColoradoPols will no longer be quoting or linking to the Denver Post. May I suggest Liberty Ink Journal (http:\ They are an up and coming online and print journal which I’m sure would be more than happy to have their articles quoted here. Please consider them for your right of center news source.

          1. Certainly, even the Rocky had readers railing about how IT was left wing.

            The Rocky died after I left CO, but the Post has apparently drifted much further rightward in editorial content and publisher control.

            Stifling free speech, the issue here, is typically right wing stuff. Lefties do it when they run the governments, but not so much at the citizen and courts level.  

          2. the Denver Pravda has turned right especially in whom they allow to post “comments”. as 75% of those are nothing more than RW propaganda.

            it is almost as if they do not think the rest of the world does not get AM radio nor Rush limbaugh. You too spew his nonsense.  

              1. You can’t bring yourself to admit that Singleton, Haley and the rest of the Post management are even further to the right than you are and have the power to make reporters like Karen Crummy and Lynn Bartels hawk conservative themes in every one of their political pieces.

                Letting either Carroll, Harsanyi and Rosen spew their anti-Democrat screeds in the editorial section every day is another indication of what a right wing rag it has become.

                If you admit that the Post has gone over to the dark side and now slants all of it’s political coverage to echo right wing narratives then one of your central conservative victim tenets that the media is biased against conservatives so you can’t believe them is gone and you are left to defend propaganda from corporate sources so no doubt you will cover your eyes and pretend that it is still 1980 and Dan Rathers is the villain instead of Dean Singleton.

                1. but I remember they used to be pretty liberal. I think maybe they’ve realized that with the increased competition from the web, they can’t afford to ignore Republicans, conservatives, and independents any more. Kudos to them for being more balanced, but print journalism itself is a dying industry.

                2. For BJ to bring himself to do anything, he’d have to think about it.

                  BJ is mere pissant grad student.  He hasn’t lived life, and he sure as shit doesn’t think.  It’s his trademark.

              2. know and now you know that they are more balanced then before even though you never read the paper.  That is a great set of beliefs in something you know nothing about.  So the issue of media neutrality is something that you are happy to ignore when the bias is in your favor?

                This is another example of conservatives having no consistency in their positions.  Conservatives maintain that media bias is bad when practiced by corporations with liberal tendencies but you don’t condemn it if it is a conservative bias that is being shoved down the throats of the public.

                I’m thinking that the real reason the major media outlets went after this cease and desist order is because they know that they are rotten biased to the core and they don’t want their articles analyzed by pajama clad bloggers and exposed for the right wing slant that they are pumping out everyday.  They don’t sites like ColoradoPols to discuss their articles.  All they want is for the public to swallow their stories whole without any thought to the rigid ideological propaganda that they are promoting.

                  1. … says the one guy who (a) takes an ideological swipe at Pols’ receipt of a legal threat, and (b) makes an ideological assertion about the Denver Post before admitting he doesn’t read that paper. Troll much?

                    1. a) The Post’s threat was related to business, my point was related to ideology. So what?

                      b) I used to read the paper, which is what I based my point on.

                      Nice try.

                      1. which is being an ignorant fool.  He doesn’t read the Post, because it’s too left wing, and he knows its left wing because if it was right wing, why he’d read it…

                      2. that if the situation favors Democrats then it is an outrage against humanity and Republicans are victims at the level of the Holocaust but if the situation favors Republicans then all is well in the world and no need for remedies.

                        There is no way that this clown will ever admit that media bias that slants the news to promote a political agenda by the corporate masters is not healthy for a democratic society.  I guess he knows if it wasn’t for media bias Republicans would be dead meat because of their discredited and dead ideas.

                      3. “…media bias that slants the news to promote a political agenda by the corporate masters is not healthy for a democratic society.”

                        It most certainly does. The media has been 100% in the tank for Obama up until very recently. They covered up his past and helped him get elected. I am fully in support of taking down the biased left wing media.

        1. it would be pretty hard to be a propagandist for it. Did you miss the fact that I said I was happy they aren’t going to be on here. Once again, check your facts.

      1. Because they ae either to lazy or too dumb to get the most basic content correct.

        From the site right now

        Quote of the Day

        “Those who desire to give up freedom in order to gain security will not have, nor do they deserve, either one.”

        -Benjamin Franklin

        Which Franklin never said nor wrote.

        The actual quote is

        “They who can give up essential liberty to obtain a little temporary safety, deserve neither liberty nor safety.” ~ B. Franklin;  Memoirs of the life and writings of Benjamin Franklin, 1818.

        There are variations that would also be correctly attributed to Franklin, but the Liberty Ink version is made up. Do you want to tell them?

      2. Don’t think you get it Beej.  If the Pravda wants to hire lawyers and play goon then they are free to do so, but it has no impact on Pols because there is nothing they need from the Denver Pravda.

        Denver Pravda issues a cease and desist. Pols ceases and desists and Denver Pravda looks like idiots and cuts off another chunk of readership in the process.

        “lawyers going after you ?”  Meh.

      3. Note that BJ is the sole commenter, left right or center, who decided this issue warrants an ideological cheap shot at Pols. And an exceedingly stupid one that that. If we had any doubt that BJ is here just to enjoy pissing people off…

    24. This legal action proves to me how influential this site has become.  The opposite of love isn’t hate, it’s indifference.  The same is true of political influence.

      Please keep up the good work!

    25. Given the stated readership of Pols, wouldn’t you expect MNG and company would have first discussed a partnership or agreement with Pols before sending a cease and desist?

      For some time now I’ve been torn with the direction media has had to take. It is, indeed, their business model that is failing, but I don’t think a viable remedy has been created. We saw the Rocky fail, and the Post is obviously struggling. The industry is in a downward spiral and there are few, if any, feasible solutions. One has to give them some credit that the internet and sites like have led to their coming demise.  

      I look, though, to the NYT and their recent purchase of 538. I’m not saying one of these outlets should have made an offer to Pols, but in this age, IMHO, the survival of these companies is going to be in investment and acquisition.

      Pols, had these outlets come to you with a business proposition where they were compensated, even on a per-article basis, would you have considered it?

      I for one am going to miss the Post’s contributions to this site, had they asked for it or not.

      1. That there are a lot of different ways in which this could have been handled. But we certainly wouldn’t pay for content for the same reasons outline above — we don’t need to excerpt or link to news sites like The Denver Post.  

    26. We noticed that you reference “horsepower” when describing your auto-mobiles. This is an infringement of our product and constitutes a theft of our actual horses. Our studies show that our marketshare has decreased eversince you started using the term “horsepower.”

      Please cease and desist from doing this or we will be forced to seek an injunction against you to protect the future of our industry.


      Horse and Carriage Manufacturers Assn.

      1. We have found another niche in the market for our Buggy whips. as the market for Horse Whipping has deteriorated in recent years. Along with the demise of the use of Horse Carriages.

        This new niche is In our Whips being packaged with revealing leather “adult ware” and really shouldn’t be discussed in a family forum.

        Although it has been determined that Our product is being regularly used not on Horses nor in a couples privacy. but by Large companies upset that smaller companies are doing the job better and more effectively than they are. On further examination it would appear the large companies are using our product on dead horses. We encourage this continued use of our product.

    27. they need Pols a lot more than Pols needs them, so they send pols a snotty cease and desist letter. Way to telegraph your insecurity and irrelevance guys.

      When will these morons figure out nobody is going to pay for content anymore?  

      You put together something interesting, you get traffic, people advertise on your site. Done.

      Could they get one, just ONE, person to subscribe to yourhub ?  

        1. Pols no doubt quoted the Pravda more than vice versa– though it wasn’t entirely a one-way street.  The rub is that Pols would quote, cite, and link any information.  The Pravda has had several incidents in the past printing news without attribution that was broken first on Pols.

          I wonder when the animosity will reach the point that a breaking story on Pols or an interesting interview quote will make its way into a Pravda story and Pols will let loose the lawyers in return

    28. “greatly respect and value” print newsrooms–because The Post, even in its shrunken state, still offers lots of political news that you won’t find anywhere else. Today’s front-page piece on Jane Norton is an example. I’m not sure how much longer this will be the case, but for now, it’s obviously true. So the dispute between Pols and The Post is a loss for everyone involved. It’s strange that The Post didn’t try to work things out another way.

      1. and rightly so. The people in the newsrooms are still producing much needed good journalism which is essential for an informed citizenry and the functioning of a democracy. No one disputes they should be adequetely paid for their services.

        The dilemma is how to pay for this essential information given the present day realities. The stone cold fact is there has been a 44% drop in print ad revenues from 2005 to 2009.

        As in my post above, the action of Singleton and the others is short sighted and self defeating in the long run. It is a loss for all involved, and it will do nothing to “save” the Post or any other newspaper. Singleton et al better start focusing on coming up with a business model that works rather than grandstanding.  

        1. Worth noting that ad revenue in other media — television, radio and even Internet — has recovered some in the last year, but magazine and newspaper has not. It’s still sinking beyond the incredible blow the entire advertising sector took from the recession.

          1. All forms of ad revenue took a hit during the recession, even online, but nothing like print. The precipitous drop in print ad revenues go far beyond the recession and are systemic to an increasingly obsolete business model.

            2010 1st quarter online ad sales were the best ever for a 1st quarter period.

          2. Print revenue was declining before the recession hit, and the cause was the InterTubz.  Craigslist, Monster, Dice, eBay, – interactive web sites are just plain better ways to advertise and to find what you’re looking for.

            Newspapers used to have that market cornered; it increased their circulation, and it paid for their staffing.  Without the ads, circulation drops, reducing staffing, reducing circulation, which reduces the desirability and price of ads, which…

            If newspapers want to survive, they need a different model.  The current (outgoing) model was built around a pillar that has collapsed.

            1. You could also say that the recession (and not a garden-variety one, but the worst in living memory) hit the news-gathering industry at exactly the wrong time, when orgs needed to figure out how to transition to different models. That’s tough in any climate, but nearly impossible when you’ve got no revenue.

        2. that’s a good question. I think the business model at the very least is going to have to change from a few journalists going out to cover things to “cloud based journalism” where lots of individual people contribute (like ColoradoPols). CNN has an iReport thing which is kind of good.

          1. It references articles and other work.  Print journalism needs to figure out how to work in a world where people get increasing amounts of their info from the InterTubz.  

            Blogging can help spread the word and generate traffic, which is why such actions on the part of print media is extremely short-sighted.  But bloggers rely on journalists, their print media masters just need to figure out how to benefit from that.  Those that can will make it, here’s hoping they figure out a way to keep journalism alive in Colorado but so far good reporting seems to be getting the squeeze more than it should.  

            1. We don’t get paid here, so most of what’s on Pols isn’t original source reporting. That costs money. A blog can not and never will take the place of original source reporting.

              I have greatly enjoyed your enviromental articles here on Pols, and I look forward to every one you post because of your knowledge of the subject and your excellent writing skills. I believe you have done some original source reporting here on meetings you have attended as well.

              I have done a few original source reports on Pols also, covering the Pinnacol issue in the past year and a half. As an example I went to two of the six Pinnacol Interim Committee hearings last year and reported on Pols what went on.

              But I didn’t get paid for that, so it doesn’t make my creditors happy.

          2. As I referenced in a previous post, about 30 former reporters and other employees of the RMN tried to do an online version by selling 50,000 subscriptions at I think $55 a year. They only got 3000 and abandoned the idea.

            The lesson learned here is that they tried to do an online paper, but still had the old high overhead print newsroom mentality. At 30 employees with say an average salary of $40,000 that’s $1.2 million in salary alone for a startup. 50,000 subscriptions would have netted them $2.75 million in revenues, but 3000 only got them $165,000. Not even close.

            With the news and ad monopoly effectively ended with the advent of the internet, most people wouldn’t pay $55 a year for news they could get for free with advertising supported media.

          3. ProPublica is perhaps the new model of collaborative journalism, and the first non-traditional newsroom to win a Pulitzer.

            Or perhaps TPMMuckraker, which won the 2008 Polk Award for Legal Reporting, breaking and covering the Bush U.S. Attorney scandal.

            There are new models of journalism out there that collect enough money to pay the journalists, and they’re producing quality reporting.  Some of them even work with newspapers, saving the papers money they no longer have.

              1. Politico, Real Clear Politics, and a number of other Internet-only outlets provide a lot of content of varying quality.  So far, the list of awards given to online journalists has been pretty small, though.

                It takes a lot of work to produce a first-class story.  We as news consumers rarely get to see the true cost of good news content; most media outlets give us as consumers a relative free ride, relying on advertisement revenue to subsidize the costs of news programming.  (In the case of broadcast/cable media, news is often a loss even after ad revenue from the news timeslots…)

                I couldn’t imagine Politico or any other online site covering a foreign war using its own reporters yet.

    29. He comes up with the concept of charging for premium content about a year after the NYT gave up on that idea.  

      If the NYT can’t make it float, he thinks the Pravda can?

      I do take great pleasure when I think of those many newspaper publishers spending hours and hours on the phone and the email and conferencing with expensive lawyers in order to stop The Mouse That Roared.


        1. If Pravda foolishly attempts to charge for content, people are just going to vote with their feet and go somewhere that dosen’t.

          Pravda are acting like they have some sort of monopoly on information.  It’s all mine !

      1. it ain’t gonna work, not for a consumer general information publication. Rupert Murdock thinks he can charge too, but most in the business say no.

        You can charge for proprietary type content that’s of particular use especially to business people. Examples would be the online WSJ, and locally the Denver Business News and the Denver Real Estate Journal.  

      2. IIRC NYT is going to charge for “premium content” again.  And, once again it is going to fail.  

        The business model these “newspapers” are following is doomed to failure.  Instead of using the online content as a way of drawing and expanding content they see it like the money drop on a news box.

        1. a technical block on copying their content from their webpage.

          This will require persons to print the material and re-type it for blogging purposes. This solution will likely reduce the amount of quoted text and reduce the amount of times one links to media that deploy this method.

            1. He may cut and paste and embed, but at least he does research and cites sources so you can check them, confirm them, rebut them, whatever.  I’ve grown to respect his input.  By contrast, BJWilson almost never researches, cites sources, or anything else.  He just blows opinions — dozens every day — out of his ass without even pretending to base them on anything other than the beans he had for lunch.

    30. So much said one small and funny statement…hmm, maybe he should be a writer or an editor or something. 😉

      At least he knows what’s going on even if the the-paper-that-shall-not-be-named doesn’t.

    31. Here is a video editorial that covers upcoming issues being pursued by Obama contrasted with the political realities of POTUS’ recent “successes” and upcoming electoral implicaitons faced by the majority.

      I tend to think she’s “spot on” and recommend you hit this Washington Times video editorial to hear her perspective. What she doesn’t go on to say is that Obamacare is still being considered an electoral failure by the voters. At the end she layouts a potential path to energize the depressed Democrats, weather the DC Democrats can fix this depression is another matter.

      ps ….You’ll have to wait through the WATimes teaser ad, but its only 15 seconds.

        1. CP updated their diary due to communication from the Washington Times. I linked in a WATimes video editorial that is not slanted in my opinion.

          Of course I did comment on the video editorial noting it’s weakness on a certain area (my opinion).

          So Ralphie … go get bent.

          1. Post your off-topic shit to the open thread.  Then I won’t criticize you for any reason other than your stupidity.

            But blatant off-topic posting?  We can’t even drill down to your stupidity.

              1. He was making a point about the Times wanting people to link to them.


                He was making a point about something else entirely that included/required hitting a link to the WT.

                Please, I’m begging you to stop being so sloppy: sloppy with facts mostly, but sloppy with thinking too.

                  1. You. Because we understand Libby and you don’t. He has a long history of posting any old shit out there, and slapping on a heading that goes along with the theme of whatever thread he posted it on, but the actual post and video/blockquotes/whatever he copied and pasted in have nothing to do with the heading or the thread’s topic.

                    This instance is no different. Just because he found something from the Washington Times and used the opportunity of their permission to post their stuff, doesn’t mean that suddenly he’s made an on topic post. The topic is Pols vs. Pravda, and Libby’s post is about health care reform, and not Pols vs. Pravda. Elementary, my dear bj.

                    If you really are a grad student, I’d like to know what institution would accept someone who can’t see this clearly. I’ll need to be sure that my girls don’t consider it for their higher education.

                      1. I’m not the real Aristotle?

                        Seriously, though, your retort doesn’t make any sense. My remarks about your institution of higher learning have nothing to do with me, therefore your turnabout retort fails. Basically, I said that YOU can’t think. And nothing about my remarks construed that I wasn’t thinking for myself.

                        I hope I’m not going over your head. It shouldn’t, because I’m a humble holder of a BA degree, and haven’t gone to grad school.

                        Care to try that again?  

                      2. or more precisely, your progeny; therefore my turnabout retort succeeds! Hurray for my argument. But seriously, I never said your remarks construed that you weren’t thinking for yourself; I myself was implying that.

                        I am glad to see someone without a grad degree on here though. Too many cooks in the kitchen… While academic experts have their place, they are not representative of the population at large.

    32. What’s the more important info source for politics in Colorado?

      For top of the ticket stuff, it’s still MSM, led in Colorado by the Post.

      For stuff with less general interest, it’s blogs like Pols.

      Sad truth is that Pols doesn’t generate much original reporting. This is the place for arguments, not new facts.

      It’s one thing for the Post to let its stuff be used by big blogs that will boost Post traffic (Drudge, Huff). But Pols is tiny. Pols takes (or took) from the Post and other MSM much more than it ever gave back.


    33. You can understand why The Post would want to try to protect its news content, even if it’s being offered for free.

      It’s one thing to read a article from Westword for free. It’s another to put it on your website and generate ad revenue from people who go to  your website because they know they’ll get to read good stuff from Westword.

      I’m not saying Pols is making a killing at the expense of the Denver Post, but theoretically opinion blogs could make money doing this–while fewer people would subscribe to the journalistic outfits like The Post or even click through to their websites.

      So if you own The Post, you’re not likely going to want to stand around and watch others give away your content for free, even if you’re giving it away for free yourself on your website. You’re going to want to draw people to your website somehow, by asking others to respect “fair use” of your content. The Post went beyond this in its letter, of course, trying to ban Pols from all quotation, but you can understand the Post’s motivation.

      1. As we wrote above, our success (or failure) is entirely unrelated to whether or not we cite material from a particular news outlet. That’s not just our opinion, either. We haven’t linked to the Post for six weeks now, and our traffic hasn’t decreased.

        The idea that blogs succeed on the backs of traditional news outlets is a canard. It makes for a perfectly reasonable theory, but it doesn’t prove accurate in application.

        1. I’d have to disagree. Assume the extreme, that each news outlet you’ve sourced, including those over the last month and a half, sent a cease and desist. There are those of us who visit pols habitually, but given a significant decrease in decent content, I’d argue that your readership very well may plummet over time.

        2. Blogs do succeed on the backs of traditional media. Someone has to do the original reporting. Most blogs don’t hire people to sit through legislative hearings and school board meetings. Rather, the blogs comment about the issues that arise at those meetings as reported by traditional news outlets. Without original reporting, blogs wouldn’t have nearly so much to say.

          That said, I also believe the Post is all wet with its lawyerly bluster about Pols. There’s nothing wrong with a blog linking to a story on a traditional news outlet’s site, so long as the blog doesn’t copy and paste a substantial portion of the original story. But I guess that’s where Dean Singleton and I disagree.

        3. and absent any detailed knowledge of the complaintent media’s operations I concur with Salzman.

          Assuming the complainent’s position is valid, their strategy should have been to approach CPs in a friendly manner. The two parties could have reached a gentleman’s agreement.

        4. that you can succeed at this point without traditional news outlets.

          But still, your readers and everyone else are better off if both Pols and The Denver Post exist and thrive because The Post does reporting/journalism that benefits society, is often not found elsewhere, and makes the content on Pols more informed and stronger.

          And the freewheeling debate/discussion/gossip (and some reporting) on Pols makes our feeble political culture stronger–and The Post healthier too in the end.

          So what we need is both Pols and The Denver Post. But instead we have a battle between Pols and The Denver Post.

          I’m not blaming Pols for being pissed. Like I said, it’s a shame the Post apparently sent in the lawyers without more effort at reconciliation–and took the hostile no-quotation-at-all stance. Makes it look like The Post is desparate, which is probably the case.

          1. One of the complainents feel their “labor being stolen” justified their actions outlined in the letter to CPs.

            They cited a handful of examples to boot.

      2. As CP notes, we’ve been 6 weeks without a link or blockquote from any of these papers and things haven’t degenerated in quality or quantity.

        The Post‘s lawyers went nuclear on a site that they didn’t have a legitimate claim against (it’s a very rare thing that anyone here exceeds “Fair Use” other than Libby).

        I could feel sorry for them, but that’s not going to change the fact that they need to change their operations to reflect the change brought about by a disruptive technology.

        1. in the complainents opinion, and they cited a half dozen, the editors of CP created this issue.

          I did not see the blog handle “Libertad” in the letter to CPs.

          p.s. I understand the rules suggested by the complainents. I reviewed a “promoted diary” within the blog of one of the complainent media. The complainent links to others and copied in one section of another’s content. The copied section was just under 100 words and just under 400 characters.

    34. from the Editor (I wrote Singleton earlier today) of the DP.

      Dear Ellie:

      Thanks for writing. We don’t object to CP linking to us. But there is a correct way to do it. They should summarize our work in a couple graphs and direct you to link to our site for a deeper read of our material. Taking large pieces of our work under their commentary is not helpful to us in any way. Should they link to us the way other sites do, we’ll have no problem. But people are not going to be allowed to appropriate our work and use it as they want and for profit. I wouldn’t expect you to stand for it if it was your labor being stolen.

      Thanks for writing. If you want to read stuff from The Post, I suggest you visit our site.

      The editor

      The last line’s a little snarly considering when we link an article we will have had to go to their site to start with.  

      1. If their concern really was how much is block-quoted, then the powers-that-be at the Post could have contacted Pols and ask for ground rules to suit them.

        Instead they revved up the lawyers. Now the editor who responded to you is trying to sound reasonable.

        Once the lawyers get involved, there’s no more reason to be had.

    35. Remember when the Post and News were allowed to merge? And the first thing they did was raise advertising prices 4 fold. It was so bad that Jake Jabs of American Furniture Warehouse refused to advertise and made a public stink until they drastically cut their prices a year later. And they started gouging private car ads by charging over $82 instead of $19.95 (until it sells!). Then along came the Internet and Craigslist and the powers that be just ignored them until it was too late. The mistake killed the Rocky Mountain News. And then, the Post had the audacity to raise the price of their paper by 200% from $ .25

      up to $ .75. There had to be a plethora of marketing geniuses at that board meeting. And now they have huge competition from hundreds of news sources like Coloradopols. And there is a new guy in town with very deep pockets, the Ipad! The Post is getting a reputation for not reporting news but more of a propaganda outlet for special interest groups they support. Now they bring out the lawyers in a last gasp attempt to avoid the inevitable. They played the public for the last 15 years and now must suffer the consequences. I give them 2 more years before they are auctioning off their news stands and filing for unemployment.

      1. What’s precipitating this whole thing and the downward spiral of mainstream print media is that they’ve lost their monopolistic position on both content and ad revenue.

        I don’t disagree that the DP or any other publication has a right to protect its content against the “unjust enrichment” of others using its content for profit.

        But its the revenue end that’s really killing them, not some blog allegedly stealing their content, and the reality is they really can’t do a damn thing about that except come up with different strategies to monetize the publication. And that’s what they should be doing now that competition has reared its ugly head and they’ve lost their monopolistic position.

        And if they can’t handle that, then they shouldn’t be in business. That’s capitalism, right?  

    36. This is ridiculous and ultimately, the newspapers above are losing out by removing themselves from the burgeoning online community

      CPols is ultimately going to evolve into a vehicle where bloggers write more pieces based on observation, becoming a reporting website rather than an ‘aggregator’ – that’s a good thing

      I would encourage all regulars to start writing diaries, as such, especially ones based on political events that were attended, etc, with all rules of slander and public figures minded

      I think we can do it – forget the media illuminaty! They would kill to have what we have here

      Ps – CPols – do you need help with lawyers?  

        1. Ha ha ha ha……

          A real Republican out there participating in the process.

          You. Uh, what? Living in the basement finding irrelevant Youtube videos to annoy the rest of us?

          Ali, let me add my voice to the others who have said that although I seldom agree with your positions, I really, really appreciate your level head and willingness to dialogue with us commies. I mean,……

      1. the direction of how news and information is disseminated and is consumed is definitely trending in favor of a model like pols, and against a Jurassic model like the Pravda.

        If pols gravitates towards being more of a reporting website that will only hasten the process.

      2. An interesting turn of events. When my local paper does a puff piece on a political story, I come here to get the inside scoop. Maybe reporters could dig a little deeper?

        PS:  Hello Pols Peeps and Hi Ali.  

            1. …It seems that it’s the panhandle and now perhaps the Atlantic side of things that will get the oil.  All courtesy of the whims of Gulf currents.

              I’m coping.  My father died in January and moments after we wheeled his body out, I was dialing 911 for my mother.  She had some kind of yet unidentifiable stroke and she now needs 24/7 care.  We went from the frying pan to the fire.

              You may recall I came down here for six months or so, Dad will die soon and then I’ll leave for TX or Mexico.  Here it is over 2 1/2 years later………

              My theme song is from Gilligan’s Island.  You know, they went out for a three hour tour, a three hour tour……..

              But my mental health is better than it’s been since the move.  I just set a new personal best low weight this AM, I ride my mountain bike almost every day, I get lots of Goddess-blessed Vitamin D plus supplements.  

              How are you and what have you been up to?  And I agree about your style!


      “AP, MediaNews Boss Sends Legal Threat To Blog For Quoting Colorado Newspapers”

      But I’m intrigued by the claims of MediaNews’ lawyers that if your site only provides a few clicks, you have no fair use or First Amendment rights. This raises a couple of questions. First, are they really saying that free speech defenses only apply if you’re popular and get a lot of traffic? That seems like a strange claim. I can’t see it holding up in court. Second, is this a tacit admission from MediaNews/the AP that sites like Google News are okay because they send a lot of traffic?

    38. …that sent threatening cease and desist orders to… care centers.  Seems that they didn’t want Mickey decorating walls or whatever because no royalties were paid.

      Hey, stupid shits (this includes you, Dean), IT’S FREE ADVERTISING! In the case of Dizzy, why not tell the DC centers, “Look, just pay us $10 a year and sign this waiver.”  

      In the case of Dean, et al, they should say, “Look, could you keep the C&P down to a hundred words or so? Especially, Liberretard? Thanks for sending people to The Denver Post!”

      Fucking idiots, all.  

    39. .

      WaPo could sell the right to post comments.  I’d pay.

      CPols could sell the same thing, if they first had the content to sustain arguments.  

      What does Pravda have that I would pay for ?


    40. Rarely do I agree with what’s posted here, but I feel for y’all.  A quick read of your post makes me think that they’re simply looking to silence you.  Perhaps they believe you’re easy pickings.  You’ve entered their arena, and stolen the show.  

      Stay strong, and fight the good fight.

    41. In 1920, a rabid Dem named Fred Betz (he was a state party chair, ran for Congress twice and held several minor state offices) came to town and bought the Lamar Daily News. It was owned and run by the Betz family for decades, and while it had its flaws, it was a good small regional newspaper.

      But some years back they sold it, and it started turning into what I called the Lamar Daily Snooze. Then a couple of years ago the decision was made to go from five days a week to only two.  You could probably hear Fred Betz spinning in his grave from where you sit, if he hadn’t already been doing it for so long he’s now about the diameter of a toothpick.

      Rumor has it that the L**** L***** is just waiting out the inevitable. There’s a second paper in town now, a privately owned one called the Local Buzz. It used to be more like a newsletter/garage sale sheet than a paper, but they have an ex radio newsman on as editor, and even though the Buzz is still pretty far from its first Pulitzer, they are growing while the competition is fading. Interesting times.

    42. So sorry I missed this post Parsing, and I’m so sorry to hear about your Mom and Dad.  Life sure can take a turn can’t it?  Glad you are taking care of yourself.  Hang in there:)

    43. Some of the publications referenced, maintain that they are protecting their “intellectual property.”  With some of those publications, I am intimately familiar.  What is so sad is that most of those listed have and, for a considerable amount of time, displayed very little intellectual effort, either at the reporting or editorial level.  Rather, I would suspect that the real reason is that they cannot stand criticism or what is all too frequently not only mediocre but poor performance.  In other words, they cannot defend themselves.  But, given that, if that is what they want, we will respect their wishes and move on to other sources not so afraid of criticism.

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