Media & PR

Should it be illegal to publicise someone else's products?

Supposing someone decides – openly and honestly – to publicise your products. They point people at your products and they are a reputable outfit themselves.

What are the circumstances in which you send them a threatening legal letter demanding the cease, er…, providing you with free advertising for your products?

It’s pretty hard to think of any. Certainly if it wasn’t a reputable outfit, I can understand a desire to get the advertising ended. But if it is?

Which all makes the efforts of some parts of the newspaper industry to curb or close the NewsNow news aggregator very odd. You can read about the legal threats here and if you look at the NewsNow site, you’ll see that they pull headlines from news sources which, when clicked on, take you to the original news source.

In other words, they are advertising the stories from those news outlets and driving more traffic to them. Me? I’d be grateful for that service, not attacking it. Attacks should be restricted to people who lift large chunks of your content too – because they take traffic away, not generate more.