Over the years, since forming BatteryPark.TV in 2009, our original reporting has been stolen by numerous newspapers and television news channels, including CBS, The New York Post, and the New York Times. Then, sometime around 2012, a dog walker who also blogged on his site called Tribeca Citizen began to rip us off.
Tribeca Citizen is like most new Internet “news sites” in that they do almost no original reporting and are nothing but aggregators of others’ content (Occasionally, the blogger will attempt a food review, failing bigly because he is a vegetarian trying to review normal restaurants using horrible quality iPhone pictures.). When Tribeca Citizen began to steal our original stories about the Goldman Sachs ferry boats, we sent a cease-and-desist warning. In retaliation, the blogger posted defamatory comments about Steven Greer, written by his husband and/or friends, stating that Greer is not a medical doctor, etc.
Now, they are doing it again. BatteryPark.TV has been the only news source for Downtown to cover the plight of renters as real estate companies ignore rent stabilization laws. On July 3rd, the law firm working on the important 50 Murray Street case sent us the judge’s order granting the renters a victory at the summary judgment stage. The 421-g status of the building made it rent stabilized, and the rent increases are now ruled illegal and refundable. BPTV posted an “Exclusive” story making the novel observation that the case also impacts many other buildings nearby as a landmark case to influence others.
On July 5th, Tribeca Citizen stole our intellectual property and posted a short story, being careful to avoid telling readers where they stole it. The post stated:
“Tenants of 50 Murray (and by extension, several other downtown buildings…?) won in a State Supreme Court decision about how the building should be rent-stabilized since the developer received tax breaks. If anyone wants to see the decision, email firstname.lastname@example.org and I can send you the PDF.”
The PDF file was grabbed from a URL link on our story.
This type of news aggregating is theft. Exclusive stories that are not obvious are protected intellectual property. This type of theft is also unethical. Reporters are supposed to cite their sources or other stories that preceded their own.