To steal a line from Mark Twain, the many, varied, and
breathless accounts of our demise have been much exaggerated. By
that, I am referring to reports that we received a
“cease-and-desist” letter from News-Press owner
Wendy P. McCaw’s attorney David
, promptly wet our pants, and then cravenly
caved. Please! Give me a break.

These are the facts. The Independent received a letter
from Millstein alleging copyright and trade-secret infringement
because we posted as a link on our Web site the unpublished news
account of the mass resignations that rocked that paper two weeks
ago, written by NP reporter Scott Hadly.
We posted the article because it nicely illustrated the charge that
News-Press owners and publishers were squelching
legitimate news articles that painted them in an unflattering
light. Upon getting Milstein’s letter we consulted two separate
attorneys to see where we stood. Based on the advice of both, it
turned out we stood on shaky legal ground. Hadly worked for the
News-Press at the time he wrote the article; as such, the
article was News-Press property. We didn’t have permission
to use it. Based on this advice, we opted to pull the link
containing Hadly’s article from our Web site. Does this constitute
caving? Hardly.

Seems to me more like getting out of the way of an oncoming
truck. Certainly, it’s hardly silenced us on the subject of the
News-Press debacle. This week’s Indy contains two full
pages devoted to the meltdown (Angry Poodle Barbecue and
Barney Brantingham’s On the Beat) and we’ll
continue to provide the most thorough coverage of the whole mess.
But thanks for noticing.   — Nick


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