Blog network Blog Media has threatened legal action against Adam Marquart of “just another opinion blog” over a post by Marquart accusing Blog Media of stealing its new design for the Blog Network Watch blog from b5media (the current owners of this blog).
The email to Marquart from Matt Craven, Vice President of Online Services for BlogMedia, Inc. read as follows:
You’€™ve posted material on jaob.wordpress.com in regards to our corporations’€™ actions accusing us of design theft and other patently untrue material.
I am asking that you remove this material immediately and post a retraction or we will turn this matter over to our corporation’€™s counsel for action.
I do not take issue with you expressing your opinions about us, our sites, our employees, or our contractors – I do take issue with public statements that are harmful to our corporation that are patently untrue. In addition, you are referencing our trademarked corporate name in a manner that violates federal law.
I appreciate you taking care of this issue before it becomes something more serious.
Marquart then responded with this email:
Matt & Bryan,
I don’t feel what I have said has any merit for your threat of libel. I will not be taking what I wrote down. My post has not used any logo, I called out your name which I am allowed to do. I also believe that everything on my blog is based on OPINION and I am not knowingly spreading a lie. Go to my blog if you did not read about the law before sending me this threat!
If there is anything else I can do to be more of help, email me.
after which Matt Craven responded:
Mr. Marquart,Your use of the trademarked term ‘€œBlogMedia’€? to disparage our corporation is a violation of federal trademark law. Your accusations of design theft are libelous under both state and federal law. The rest of your post is indeed opinion and we have no concerns with those whatsoever.See Also
We’€™ll turn this matter over to corporate counsel in the morning – you can deal with our attorney.
And that’s where the story ends for now.
For the record, I do not believe that Blog Media stole b5media’s designs, although the use of the colors in the side bars may have been in part inspired by b5media’s designs, as could the colored bar at the top of the page have been as well. I’ve taken a cursory look at the code from Blog Network Watch and I certainly couldn’t identify any parts of the code that looks like they have been lifted from b5media.
Having said this though threatening legal action is certainly an extreme option that I would personally not subscribe to unless it was a particularly serious matter (ie, a lot more serious than this matter). But that’s a call for the Blog Media to make. Having re-read Marquart post though he actually doesn’t accuse Blog Media of theft, although it is suggested as opposed to being actually directly said. I don’t know Adam Marquart but I would suggest like any one though that he is, and should be entitled to his opinion.
Now whats the old saying: I think everyone should have a nice lie down and a couple of bex? :-)