2 X Hits on the Blogosphere !!


2 Blows against the blogging community this week:

woolamaloo gazette has been canned by his employers of 11 years for blogging about them.

moistworks has received a threatening legal letter from Public Enemy & Stone Roses lawyers about mp3 blogging

both set some scary precedents that would seem to limit blogging freedoms,
sounds like some principles are being put into practise from the top, people being made examples of :(


spurious job titles #181

"International Federation of the Phonographic Industry Internet Anti-Piracy Administrator" - yeah right, i bet you just made that up


Well-known member
i don't see this as something to be fussed about. i used to get upset when my weedmen went jail but i didn't see it as a moral outrage or anything. its what happens to criminals. fuck it.

Rachel Verinder

Well-known member
My initial response to the first case was grrr typical two-faced capitalist bookshop chain etc. until I saw what the chap in question looked like. My second response was: hurrah for Waterstones!

As for the second case: musicians expecting to be paid for their work shock horror youth cult probe.


Yeah, the W'stones blogger probably did breach his contract in publishing defamatory things about his employers (although none of us have seen his contract, so we don't know). However, summary dismissal, particularly when the comments he made were so inconsequential and banal, is a severe overreaction which is backfiring on Waterstones, since what was a minor, internal matter has become an international topic of debate in which bloggers (who tend to read a lot of books) are naturally siding with the blogger. He should have been disciplned, but for what he actually said I think a quiet word and a slap on the wrist would have sufficed, and retrospectively would have been a much better course of action for Waterstones themselves. Those of us who blog do have to be careful about what we write - Woolamaloo guy was a bit naive in this respect - but companies sanctioning against bloggers have to be equally careful. There's been talk of some companies wanting to ban their employees from blogging altogether - which is an unjustifiable intrusion into employee privacy and, I believe, illegal. Should the Waterstones guy choose to go to a tribunal to press for unfair dismissal, there's a very good chance he'll get it (ind. tribunals tend to side with the little employer against the big corp. in cases like this anyway), and W'stones will look even more foolish. Yes, defamatory comments about the people who pay your wages are dumb, and in breach of most contracts, but companies need to work out a better, proportionate, policy on dealing with incidents.

Something like moistworks is a real shame - and again I believe it's a misguided reaction, but the law is the law - but it has been coming; I'm only surprised it hasn't been sooner.


Beast of Burden
if you're going to wast e an mp3 blog by posting stone roses tracks, i have very little sympathy. the waterstones dude was a complete wally (have you read any of his blog?), so i can't bring myself to care too much here, either.


saw the light
It's purely subjective, but I worked for Waterstone's for about a year between 2001-2002 and found the whole company to be run by total fuckwits. It got taken over by HMV group just before I started, and as a result all the senior management came from that side of the business, and were wont to stomp around the shop making self-important suggestions like "Hmmm I think we need to make more impact with Harry Potter"... yes, that's the same Harry Potter that had already sold tens of millions of copies world-wide and was known to virtually every child on the planet at that time.


Well-known member
It's totally hypocrisy on the moistworks front though - my blog sometimes has mp3s and barely registers on the mp3 blog radar, but even I've had plugs sent me by record companies and I bet I'm not alone. They can't pimp their wares on the one hand and prosecute on the other.

But, got to agree on the stone roses front - why the fuck would anyone post that?


disappointingly high level of complacency

would have expected more concern tbh,was i too flippant (again ;) )?

what worries me is that in both cases the directicve seems to have come from on high:

someone at waterstones head office must have spotted woolamaloo was dissing em and passed on the commandment=sack em
2 aspects to this case:
-1 is dissing yr boss on-line - bit of a no-no, obviously,
but i definitely would challenge them if it wasn't specified in a company policy or in the employment contract,
- the other's productivity: posting on a blog, (or a BBS like this un) in work time.... hmmm that's slightly naughty - we have policies on personal phone & pc use, the bottom line being no porno or other offensive stuff, otherwise keep personal use to a mimimum.
Sometimes i mention, just for a joke like, in our team meeting that IT Team have blocked access to yahoo.games & watch my poor colleagues faces drop... we have some world class playas..... :D

the upshot: i think employers are reaslising what a liability the web is, in terms of productivity and the ability to be dissed anonymously & are looking at ways to minimise risks....
check yr next employment contract for www clauses.

it's like a privatised freedom of speech issue

the mp3 blog thing is similar i reckon in that:
some intellectual property fash (presumably not chuck D) has heard of these wikkid mp3 blog phenomenon and thought there maybe some (c) violations to chase up....

top down innit?
thin end of the wedge innit?
stand up for your rights!!
free up da blogosphere!!
liberation from.... er oh whatever


no no. Ok, so posting Stone Roses and Public Enemy does not make you the greatest MP3 blogger in town, but it's sad anyway to see one go - and it's worrying because it might signal the start of record companies coming down on all of them. That would be a huge shame.

Yeah, and wossname from Woolamaloo looked a bit of a wally and his blog was just a cosy little journal, but he was still just doing his thing, not actually hurting anyone, and it's sad that Waterstones acted how they did. He certainly didn't deserve a firing, and I do feel sorry for him.

Guess we've all gotta be a little more careful.