Daily Mail lawyers strike again

After my own issues with the lawyers of the Daily Mail a while back (see here and here for details) they have now been in touch with the excellent istyosty.com and have essentially managed to shut them down. In a letter which you can read on the istyosty.com website the webmaster is told that:

Your deliberate attempt to interfere with Associated o’hits” Newspapers’ ability to get valuable to its website, through the willful infringement of our clients copyrights, are irreparably damaging to Associated News. Under the law, Associated News is entitled not only to injunctive relief against you, but also is entitled to receive awards of damages, recovery of your ill-gotten profits, and to recover the attorneys’ fees and costs it incurs as a-result of your violations of law. Statutory damages alone may be awarded in the amount of $ 150,000 per work infringed…

I particularly like the claim that istyosty.com had somehow made ‘ill-gotten profits’ from caching Mail articles – quite how istyosty.com was supposed to be making revenue is completely unclear, but that doesn’t stop a Daily Mail scare letter from making the claim anyway (like the newspaper, the letter seems a big fan of threatening hyperbole).

So, another website has been successfully neutered by the Daily Mail – which some of you might view as perfectly valid, given that it was created to attempt to rob the Daily Mail of hits and therefore potential revenue. However, I think the website was more about sending the Daily Mail a message about the tactics that it uses to drive traffic to its website. Essentially the Mail Online website has become a powerful Internet troll, sucking in outraged traffic as it produces article after article of staggering ignorance or offence to which people feel compelled to read and respond to.

I am no better, given that I respond in detail on this blog, but whilst the Internet troll that is not fed with responses will ultimately go away, the Mail Online trolling isn’t going to because it has such a large platform and its trolling only supplements the traffic generated by celebrity drivel – so it matters not whether I blog about it or not, I am not the only one feeding it.

I guess we have to look on the positive side of things and acknowledge that legal action is at least an acknowledgement that the Mail group are becoming increasingly annoyed at their ‘product’ coming under attack online, no matter how small in terms of revenue or traffic those attacks are.

8 thoughts on “Daily Mail lawyers strike again”

  1. “given that it was created to attempt to rob the Daily Mail of hits and therefore potential revenue.”

    I am not entirely convinced it actually did that, though. As far as I can tell, istyosty is mainly used by writers and readers of blogs like these, people who wouldn’t want to give the Mail the satisfaction of the advertising revenue anyway. So I’d guess that in lieu of a istyosty link, most would have opted to stick with the blogpost and not check out the original article at all.

    Bastards. Can I say Paul Dacre must dye? He has turned grey, after all.

  2. I don’t think Mail Online really is trolling though – I don’t believe the majority of its articles are just written to get a rise out of people (well I have my suspicions about Liz Jones, but still). If some of their worst excesses generate a bit of Twitter outrage the extra hits are certainly a bonus, but that’s not the main objective here. Outraged people may read once and shake their fists a bit but they’re not about to bookmark the site.

    I’d say Mail articles – online or off – are written for people who agree with them, whose prejudices they reinforce and who genuinely believe (and absorb, and pass on to others) the bullshit half-truths scattered throughout, and who will come back for more. That’s why blogs like yours are important – you’re not just feeding the trolls, you’re exposing the lies on which the Mail’s whole poisonous agenda is based. keep up the good work!

  3. Is there any chance of Streislandifying this threat?

    How would the Mail react if the shut-down of istyosty precipitated a large number of istyosty-alike websites all providing a similar service?

    Not sure of the practicalities of doing that but, hey, it’s a thought…

  4. The Mail has always been about getting a rise out of people, even one hundred years ago it worked by getting people worked up. Yes, largely it’s about getting people who agree with it angry about whatever it is writing about, but the articles are designed to provoke rather than inform.

    See “The making of Modern Britain” for examples of how it’s always been like this.

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