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February 22, 2011 09:48 PM UTC

Rosen fails to clear up legal issues around re-using old material

  • by: Jason Salzman

( – promoted by Colorado Pols)

UPDATE: Rosen just replied to me via email: “I get hundreds of e-mails a day and don’t have time for these kinds of distractions.  I don’t have a contract with the Post and Dan Haley has already answered you on this.  You’ve become a nuisance which is, no doubt, your purpose.  We’re done.”


“As I’ve said before….”

That’s your cue to stop reading Denver Post columnist Mike Rosen if you don’t want to re-read exact duplications of what he’s used in previous columns.

Rosen told his KOA radio audience Monday that he’s worked hard during 30 years of column-writing to perfect his arguments on certain topics (like always vote Republican!), and these perfect arguments need not be re-written or expressed in fresh ways. When he re-uses material, he said, he’ll write something like, as I’ve said before….

As to the legal issues involved, which I raised last week, Rosen said on the radio Monday that he didn’t sell the Rocky Mountain News “exclusive rights” to his columns. He said he sold “first-use” rights, but he didn’t quote from his contract.

“While writing for the Rocky, my column also ran in the Colorado Springs Gazette and Pueblo Chieftain with the Rocky’s knowledge,” Rosen emailed me.  “And my manuscript was marked Copyright Mike Rosen.”

Okay, so the question is this: What does Rosen’s Post contract say? Is he selling “first-use” rights to The Post? That’s probably the case, and if it is, he’s violating his Post contract by selling it previously published material.

In any case, at a time when The Post is rightfully up in arms about bloggers ripping off its material, it should be sure that it’s not violating copyright law on its own op-ed page.


30 thoughts on “Rosen fails to clear up legal issues around re-using old material

      1. In the long run, this isn’t going to matter at all – it will just be a recurring joke for those of us who don’t care for Rosen. His self-plagiarism is unethical, but not pay-me-$300k-for-50pp-of-plagiarism unethical; and not many people will even understand why it’s a bad thing to do.

        Unless a pattern emerges, and it turns out he’s been doing this forever, I’d say this is the end. But Jason uncovered McInnis’ career-ending scandal, so dismissing this now is probably premature.

    1. So cleverly obtuse that no one got it.

      We need first rate investigative reporting on the media….jason is not able to do that, IMHO, because he has been compromised two ways to sunday by his buddy, “takes a principled stand” peter “I call Hitler the Fuehrer” boyles.

      I think Jason knows to what I refer…

      So we get incredibly crap on the public airwaves and no one to report on it… jason’s little stories on rosen are bor….i…n..g and totally  insignificant.  Plus, I would assume the outlets buying rosen’s stuff would be the ones concerned.  I can’t see how the general public is impacted.

      1. That’s what I was referring to a while back. Sorry I never clarified that. I meant to. I didn’t mean to say he regularly takes principled stands.

        And you’re right. We need better investigative reporting on the media.

        1. You are absolutely right. Gay rights is something Boyles does support consistently even in the face of his very right wing audience.

          But who is going to do the investigative reporting?  Joanne Ostrow?

  1. Seriously, come on, Rosen. If you’re so good at perfecting your arguments, why is your argument defending reprinting old columns for an audience expecting new work so lousy?

    If I paid for a Post subscription I’d complain, but I canceled mine when they wouldn’t quit dropping it off every day. I had a Sunday only subscription (no time for paper on weekday mornings, get my news online) and they were wasting trees and trees delivering papers I wasn’t paying for!

  2. perfecting my technique for smoked pork butt.  I’ll bet Rosen right now, all the money he lost to Madoff (. . . still working to perfect that investment strategy?), that given any choice more folks would rather have my seconds.

    1. that Rosen can say with a straight face that he has “perfected his arguments” to the point that he can cut and paste the same stuff over and over.

      So nothing can change his mind? No breaking news, bad news, old news, changes in the political climate or the players or the weather or anything?

      Then why read him at all?

      Sorry, Mike, you’ve just labeled yourself as irrelevant. Worse: Boring.  

  3. Let me take the Salszman rule to its logical conclusion.  Every time Mike Rosen writes a political story he can never write about the same subject again. Therefore it is only a matter of time before Mike Rosen is legally obliged to be silent.  

    Obviously this rule shall apply to every conservative writer therefore within a year or two, every conservative write will be legally obliged to stop exercising his or her First Amendment rights.

    I just cannot figure out how liberal, better yet progressive writers, will not to realize the same fate? They will also be legally silenced by the Salzsman rule. Maybe the Salzman rule provides exeption for progressives with official State permission (journalism degree)?

    If the Salsman rule were applied equally to all US inhabitants, we would all be tongue tied in a matter of years.  

    1. That’s not it at all, and you’re no doubt smart enough to know that.

      Rosen copied huge chunks of a previous column published in another newspaper, which raises questions about copyright and what rights both newspapers were buying from him.

      Writers who cover the same subjects over and over do come up with ideal ways to phrase certain things, but what Rosen did in this instance is far beyond using a boilerplate phrase here and there — his entire column was boilerplate.

      Still, this is primarily a way to ridicule Rosen for intellectual laziness and mock him for trying to put one over on readers.

        1. I can pretty much guarantee you Rosen doesn’t give a shit what Colorado Pols or its readers think about him. If anything, this criticism feeds that persecution complex right-wing millionaires are so fond of adopting.

    2. No one’s suggesting that Rosen shouldn’t write over and over and over and over about any of same subjects he chooses — but that he might be better off not pounding so heavily on the scissors and clipboard icons whenever he sits down at his computer.

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