Well, looks like the Cincinnati Bengals are first in something. The fansided.com blog network is a collaboration of fan NFL blogs run by fans of the teams. Cincinnati has contacted our main office to threaten us with a lawsuit over using pictures (that are out in the public domain) that we gave copyright credit to the Bengals organization for. We have been forced into a redesign, as we cannot defend ourselves against Mike Brown’s deep pockets. Funny, we’ve been in touch with the Bengals (PR Director Jack Brennan) via email several times (me personally). I’ve invited him to browse the site, comment and make suggestions for our site to a benefit to the Bengals organization. Instead, we get a lawsuit threatened against us (why, Mr. Brennan, could you not just ask us to make changes?).
The Bengals claim we used copyrighted photos and logos. However, we’ve been asking for access for months as a media outlet to be able to interview players, take our own photos, etc. We’ve been turned down, stating that the Bengals “do not issue credentials to non-traditional media”. They sure will sue non-traditional media though, won’t they?
Odd, a fan site, ran by a fan who has been creative in getting access to players to do interviews, and has been less critical that the “traditional media” because I am a fan of the team, and yet Mike Brown wants to attack us. How come, Mr. Brown, are you not going after Channel 12, and Fox19 for using the big “B” logo in their graphics? Please, don’t insult me telling me the media is paying rights to use that logo.
Well, as of today, I quit blogging anything positive on behalf of the Cincinnati Clowns. I’m sure this is what Geoff Hobson would want as well as Mike Brown. Hobson came from the Enquirer as a beat writer of the Bengals. Now he works directly for the team. He’s the only writer for their site, and if you disagree with his commentary, he’ll simply disparage you for it. He writes the same types of stories week end and week out, and if you email him a story suggestion, it goes unheeded, and most often, unresponsive. I don’t write the same types of articles he does, and I get solid readership for a one man blog site that isn’t paid isn’t supported by a multi-million privately held company funded by PUBLIC funds.
As for Mike Brown, he probably doesn’t know Stripehype.com exists. Jack Brennan, Mr. PR, does know. The lawyers obviously know. The NFL knows (cause they emailed us about a day after the Bengals did with a threat because of the use of the NFL Draft Logo, of which they were given copyright credit for).
This also means that I cannot give away the Utecht Jersey. My apologies for all of you who were commenting and posting in order to win it. A privately owned jersey, autographed by the player on his own time, and because I’m promoting it as “a Cincinnati Bengals Jersey” I have been accused of copyright infringement for using their trademarked name. So be warned Cincy fans (of which I am no longer), you better refer to your hometown NFL team as “those guys on the river that play football” or Mikey’s boys will come after you looking for more money. Doesn’t it seem like he’s gouged us all enough? Is Mike Brown related to Simon Leis somehow? Seems like the jack-booted Gestapo tactics that the Unpopular Hamilton County Sheriff uses has infiltrated the Bengals PR and Legal departments.
Good luck Bengals fans. I won’t take the Bengals intimidation tactics lying down. For the record, I did not take down the logos/graphics or other material in question. The fansided senior editors did that on their own accord, prior to contacting me. I had no control, and would not have done it myself. As a former Army Ranger, I don’t get intimidated. The Bengals will soon learn that, even if I never change a thing. I will, however, expose them for the organization they truly are, not the organization they try to portray.
Looks like the players aren’t the only ones associated with the Bengals in legal trouble. I’m not even associated with them, and I’m in trouble. Hmmm..maybe a symptom of the organization after all??