Monday, June 06, 2005

Something you don't want to see in the mail when you're an outspoken liberal blogger

When I saw this in my mailbox yesterday afternoon, I immediately felt my heart race and my fingers tremble. "I finally did it," I thought, my mind whirring over exactly what blog picture for which I was getting sued. Rarely do I not make it to the front door before opening my mail; but had I not torn this open right in the driveway, I don't think I'd have made it that far.

Alas, the letter concerns this lawsuit against Lexis-Nexis, in which the bulwark search engine is being accused of stealing the content of freelance writers. One party involved in the class action suit is the parent company of my employer, so I assume that my content for that newspaper is being stored there. I wouldn't know, because I can't afford Lexis-Nexis. But apparently some people are looking to get upwards of $1,000 for each piece of purloined writing. Not me, of course. That would have required luck and foresight, two things that left me years ago.

I'm divided on this issue. On one hand, I think writers (especially freelance ones) need and deserve all the compensation they can get for their work. On the other hand, I worry that search systems will now be compromised; as a researcher, I see the value in having such a comprehensive database. Still, after reading the long history and details of this class-action lawsuit, I don't find it frivolous.

In any event, I'm not getting sued, so I'm happy.


Michael said...

As long as the first words on the piece of paper you pull out of the envelope are not, big and bold, "You are commanded to appear..." you're fine.

Flamingo Jones said...

If Hallmark made a "Congratulations! You're not getting sued!" card, I'd totally send it to you.