This evening, reading our Media Blog, I ran across the following post in our comments:
“N-P Sues SB Independent for Copyright Infringement
October 26, 2006 08:13 PM Eastern Time
“Ampersand Publishing Initiates Legal Action against The Santa Barbara Independent
“SANTA BARBARA, Calif.—(BUSINESS WIRE)—Ampersand Publishing, LLC, owner and operator of the Santa Barbara News-Press, filed a complaint in U.S. District Court against The Santa Barbara Independent. The filing charges The Independent with copyright infringement, misappropriation of trade secrets, unfair business competition, and intentional and negligent interference with prospective economic advantage and contract.
“According to the complaint, The Independent obtained two different confidential unpublished articles belonging to the News-Press and published one of them, in violation of the copyright laws. The Independent was not authorized to possess or publish either article. The News-Press has alleged that these articles constituted trade secrets that were misappropriated by The Independent.
“It is the intent of Ampersand Publishing to protect its confidential materials and trade secrets. Ampersand is seeking unspecified actual and punitive damages, injunctive relief and attorneys’ fees.
“Contacts Ágnes Huff Communications Group, LLC Ágnes Huff, PhD, 310-641-2525
Posted by Sue Happy | October 26, 2006 06:05 PM”
Our company has not been served a complaint on this matter — yet. That the release comes before informing us of the intended suit speaks to me of both a strategic as well as legal intent. No surprise, considering with whom we are dealing. I would like to assure the powers that be at the News-Press, as well as the community, that it will take more than specious bullying tactics to silence us at the Independent.
Also, as we are recently steeled in occupying a place within a media flurry, interested parties may direct any questions to me at 805-965-5205 x132 on behalf of The Independent. The rest of our staff will be busy producing our online and weekly print editions. I will be tied up tomorrow, from 10am to 4pm, but will be available thereafter.