Are you reading this on

I sure wish you weren’t.

(Sorry to my regular readers, but this has got to be handled!)

As many of you bloggers know, I’m not happy that David Mastio syndicates my content on the BNN feed. A few weeks ago, after Chris Liebenthal (aka Capper) was named Wisconsin editor, I asked to be removed. Capper pulled me. David Mastio, declaring my words were his right, put me back on.

What’s at stake here is that Mastio’s business model is falling apart. He swears that he has a right to content – the first 50 words – as a feed aggregator. Many across the country disagree. If I can leave, anyone can leave, and his model of providing everyone and getting you to compete against each other fails. The little bit of revenue he’s collecting from AdSense is gone. What I find odd is that he pulled someone last March at her request, but now he won’t let me go. (See Queen of Spain for the details.)

I’ve pulled RSS because that was what he was using, but once he started sending robots to the site, I put it back up. I also started running a unique first 50 words, but then Mastio started hand editing my feed and removing those 50. Thankfully, I’ve been able to document everything, but suing this guy will get expensive. And, I shouldn’t have to go that far.

The DMCA protects digital content as copyright. But it’s no good if you have to hire someone else to do the work. So, I’ve started on a series of notices that may or may not be effective. Absolutely everything else I’ve tried is failing, so I kind of doubt this will be much use either.

What to do when the love is gone? Quit. Heck, this was never my day job in the first place…


  1. Granted I don’t use BNN, or any other website aggregator like that myself. I don’t see the point. I use Google Reader, and decide which blogs I’ll read myself. But… I do have a question.

    Do you quote out of Journal Sentinel articles in your posts? How much of each article would you say you use, if you do use them? Also, do you ask permission from the JS before using each article in your blog posts?

    This is a tricky issue in blogging, because blogging really depends critically on fair use of media content in order to provide good material. It’s very difficult on the one hand to suggest that we as bloggers can use media content for posts, but that others can’t use our content in the same way.

    BNN is only using the first 50 words (not the whole post), and links to your content. So what is the difference in your mind?

  2. Nick, I’ve always been a stickler for fair use. When I quote out stories, I expand on them with an opinion or perspective. Now that four words is a new goal by the AP, I’ve stopped quoting at all.

    Now that my posts are less than 50 words, it is my whole post. Plus, he’s generating income from my work. It discourages traffic to the site when one can read every singled word including photos and links on BNN.

    I’ve thought this through and still choosing to stand my ground.