Scroll Kit v. New York Times: Clean-Cut, but with Interesting Implications for Content Strategists and Editors (Or, How to Not Write Linkbait Headlines)

Many have commented on ScrollKit v. The New York Times, and it seems like a clean-cut case.

From the POV of content strategy and content work in general, there is a potentially interesting implication.

Cody Brown used pictures and movies pulled from the NYT site for his demo, and was rightfully asked to remove them. When he then (also, rightfully) declined to remove the reference to Snow Fall and the NYT which he had used for inspiration, he was met with this request from a Mr. Samson, emphasis mine:

We are offended by the fact that you are promoting your tool, as a way to quickly replicate copyright-protected content owned by The New York Times Company.

Weird language aside (“offended”? Wha?), Cody Brown is accused of “promoting a tool to replicate content.”

This last letter from the NYT (which I guess we all hope will be the last) may sound ridiculous, but its basic premise is horrifying.

Offended by the use of a tool to replicate content.

Let this sink in.

A tool, like, say, a text editor?

Oh well. Let’s just hope that the letter was written by runaway Perl script.