Not only do the Steelers dust the Cincinnati Bengals on the field of competition, they also lap them in terms of treating their fans well. StripeHype, a Bengals fan site, has been sued by Mr. Paul Brown, the Bengals owner, for copy-right infringment. Brown's claim is the site uses the team's logo and photos without permission. Now, I can't say I read this site, so I have no clue the extent to which they may or may not use the team's copy-righted materials, but my primary hunch is that this is something that didn't need such drastic aciton. When I (accdidentally and incorrectly) used some notes of Mr. Jim Wexell's a few weeks ago, he politely asked me to be more careful in the future. When I first started out blogging about my favorite team, I was a touch haphazard with a paysite's training camp notes. I was issued a warning. Not a law-suit. And the organization itself has never contacted me even though we're often times using photos from the team's website (while providing the necessary photo credits of course.
Anyway, here's a few tidbits from the site moderator about the incident:
Well, as of today, I quit blogging anything positive on behalf of the Cincinnati Clowns....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.
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??
Look, I'm all for protecting one's intellectual property. If this guy is in fact repeatedly absuing that code of ethics, then he deserves to be reprimanded. This is why I urge all of us (repeatedly) to cite appropriately when using other's ideas. It matters and it will come back to bite us in the long-run if we're not careful.
That said, this is just another example of how the Bengals organization, from top to bottom, from ownership, to players, to the fans, just don't -quite- get it right.
All Hail Mr. Rooney, the Pittsburgh Steelers PR Department, and the best, most ubiquitous, and most loyal and informed fan-base in the NFL!