When I started blogging more than a decade ago, I knew it was going to be tough sometimes. I knew I was going to have foot-in-mouth syndrome, share too much information, and generally face ridicule for things I get wrong or was too lazy to research fully. The odd occasion, blogging tends to lean me closer to legal issues. In fact, a recent blog I posted about a company I can’t name doing a thing I can’t talk about – was entirely forced offline because of a legal threat. The threats keep coming; This time from what appeared to be a Multi-Level-Marketing firm named Leadership Team Development Inc. (LTD).
First, the blog I wrote about LTD related to a random meeting I had with a person associated to them. He had introduced himself to me and described what sounded very much like a pyramid scheme or multi-level marketing company. Being the blogger I am, I wrote about my experience. Because not researching a topic sucks, I also decided to get some background about the person I met, as well as the company he represented. That experience turned into “My brush with a pyramid scheme – how to spot the signs of multi-level marketing”
In August of this year, I received an email from someone who appeared to be the fellow that inspired my column. The email asked me to remove personal information about him (that he had made publicly available). I obliged, certainly not because he asked me nicely.
I should note, whether LTD is a multi-level marketing company or the clearly illegal pyramid scheme is not up to me to decide. Based on my experience, it just looked alot like that.
So, imagine my surprise when another email arrives about this very blog post.
Well, I don’t know what “Partner Relations” is; But Mike sure sounds threatening in this email message. In addition, he appears to suggest that I’m “using” a video copyrighted to them. If I don’t comply, they’ll be “contacting [our] attorney”. While the words they use appear ominous, I’m pretty sure them contacting an attorney is allowed. Why not take that attorney out to lunch? Enjoy the contact, I say.
The video embedded in my article is hosted on Youtube at http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xCZ3POonaOU and is currently “unlisted”, but public. Anyone can see it and embed it because the video has embedding turned on. If the folks at LTD didn’t want it embedded or public, they can just turn that off, instead of coming after me.
This really makes me wonder – if I were to remove the embed of that video, would it really change much? If the video is public, I found it publicly, and used a publicly available embed, am I not allowed to do that? I wonder.