Gawker Responds To Lycos' Aluminum Foil Sword Rattling

Lycos, don’t you have better things to do, like fade quietly into the night?

What Gawker legal told Lycos legal, inside.


Mr Blais,

The extent of the adverse reaction engendered by this situation is admittedly surprisingly extreme, and unfortunate. However, the existence of this image is simply not the cause of any harrassment of Mr Jandreau. If anything, his name is the thing that enables people to research and find out more information about him (all of which is publicly available on his own sites) and thereby contact him. His name was made public on several other sites before we published it, so we disclosed no private fact.

As I have stated, all we are doing is reporting on a newsworthy story. Because we are online, it is admittedly true that we could choose to comply with your demands out of our own discretion, but I am curious as to what you would be doing now if this article had run in a print publication? Why would you consider this any differently? We are a publication, and we ran a story with fair use of an image. Why do you expect us to throw over the principles of journalism because a subject doesn’t like our story? It is simply not the case that our story, or the existence of the image on the site, is any way is responsible for anything that happens to Mr Jandreau. This story has been reported very widely now across the web, so why is it our site that is to blame for people showing up at Lycos’ door? Anyone can find out what Mike looks like by looking on his own site, his name is in the public domain.

You’re basically saying the equivalent of that, if someone hurts another person because the New York Times runs an unfavourable story about that person and included an image with the story, then it is the fault of the New York Times. That is simply not a valid argument.

In the circumstances, I’m afraid we cannot comply with your demands.

Regards,

Gaby

Previously:
Lycos Steps Up Legal Threats To Get Meanypants CS Manager’s Photo Down
Lycos Customer Service Manager’s Picture Held Hostage Until He Restores Customer’s Email And Apologizes
Lycos Deletes All Of Customer’s Email, Tells ‘Em To Suck It

Original blog entry down to CPU overload, here’s a Google cache.