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LA Times to ERS News: Cease and Desist/ERS News to LA Times: Make Your Reporters Stop Copying Us

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ERS News.com enjoys a good game of cat and mouse with the LA Times lawyer. The exchange is long, but very worthwhile, and it all started with a cease and desist demand.

First email from Karlene Goller, Vice President and Deputy General Counsel:

I am an attorney for the Los Angeles Times. Your website is currently displaying without authorization and without proper attribution or copyright notices copyrighted photographs and captions owned by the Los Angeles Times:http://www.ersnews.com/mayor_chick/Mayor_LATimes.htm

You do not have permission to post or display our copyrighted material and section 107 of the Copyright Act does not provide you any defense to posting the photographs and captions without our permission. Together with the Washington Post, we successfully litigated that issue years ago in federal court.


Please remove our material from your site immediately and refrain from posting or displaying our photographs, articles, or other material in the future unless you obtain our prior written consent.
You are welcome to refer and link to material on our site,www.latimes.com, within the boundaries of Fair Use, of course.

ERS fires back:

Dear Ms. Goller,
You are mistaken, we are not posting any LAT material on our site, we are only linking to it as you state.

I assure you we have no need of any kind to post any material of the LAT on ERSNews.com.

She tries again:

Thank you for your response and thank you for clarifying for me that you are not posting. Your framing of our photo gallery is a problem, however. It suggests a connection between your site and the Los Angeles Times and its copyrighted material. You know that the connection does not exist, but the public does not know, especially given your motto and stated mission, and that leads to a likelihood of confusion among other problems–it is a violation of our intellectual property rights. Please cease and desist immediately from framing without our permission, as well.
(emphasis ours)

ERS lets loose:
I want to be clear–ERS News would never suggest an affiliation with the LAT–that would be determental to ERS’s mission as journalists of the highest ethics, credibility and integrity.

As you should have known when you accused us falsely the first time we were only linking to the LAT as is allowed under fair use provisions. Although we do not agree with your assessment of the way in which we
were framing ( we clearly indentified the photo gallery as that of the Los Angeles Times) your entitled to your opinion, as to are we and our lawyers.

I would suggest you cease casting your bogus aspersions at ERS News. I would suggest you focus your attention on the flagrant acts of non attribution and what amounts to plagiarism on the part of some at the LAT, so called journalists, relative to this particular story over a period of weeks.

As a highly experienced attorney for the LAT, I am sure such actions on the part of your employees can and would have much more serious consequences than any legal and legitimate and ethical “framing” of a photo gallery clearly labeled as such and linked to by ERS News.

We have removed the link, as its continued existence on our site was a mere oversight due to the unfolding nature of the particular story about the Mayor of Los Angeles and his girlfriend Mirthala Salinas, which your reporters did a good job of reporting on by reading ERS News all the time.

Don’t get us wrong we appreciate the views/hits, as LAT was in the top 5 on the traffic stats on this story throughout, but we don’t appreciate the unethical, uncredible actions of some of your so called journalists.

BTW..we also don’t take to kindly to hollow legal threats, as investigative journalists, we thrive on them. Your lack of knowledge about the journalists behind ERS News is severely wanting. Although
we didn’t take your insults personally, we do take them professionally as you intended.

FBLA wonders why the lawyer thinks that readers are so dumb as to confuse ERS News with the LA Times? Didn’t she read Tim Rutten?

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