Complain in Maine? Sue the Blogger

Maine sex lineThe Media Bloggers Association is defending blogger Lance Dutson from a 3 count multi-million dollar federal lawsuit (pdf2html) claiming defamation, libel, and copyright infringement. The charges are laughably stupid, but the intent is to bully the blogger into saying only positive things about the Office of Tourism. The lawsuit revolves around an advertising company that is paid by the state that Dutson has been critical of (via Buzz Machine):

12. Dutson also claimed, falsely, that WKPA is “pissing away” Maine tax money.

18. WKPA owns the copyright in certain images that Dutson published, and WKPA has registered its copyright in said work(s) with the U.S. Copyright Office

I’m not a lawyer, but when you point at an ad by an agency and mock them for putting the number to a phone sex line on there, you’re not breaking any libel or dafamation law, and fair use is definitely in play. As Jeff Jarvis so succinctly states “Mind you, this case is not just about journalism but also citizenry: We must always have the right and even duty to watch and question our government. Contractors acting as agents of government should come under the same scrutiny as government.”

The ad agency WKPA better pull their head out of their ass, because if they thought one blogger getting all up in their grill over some dumb taxpayer money wasting was no fun, wait until the rest of us mercilessly shred them to pieces for this crap lawsuit.

Stephen VanDyke

I've published HoT along with about 300+ friends since 2002. We're all Americans who are snarky and love our country. I'm a libertarian that registered Republican because I like to win elections. That's pretty much it.

  1. I have a recording of the phone sex line; I’ll be posting it as soon as I get it converted to MP3 format.

  2. I mailed you all the MP3 files; one of the rest of you will have to post them. I’ve just discovered I have a serious bias in this situation and I’m staying out of this.