ELLSWORTH — A Connecticut outfit called “That’s Great News” is bad news for newspaper publishers.
Though it has been sued for copyright infringement, That’s Great News continues to poach news stories and personality profiles, make them into plaques and offer them for sale to the business or individual featured in the article.
Individuals featured in the Mount Desert Islander, and its sister newspaper, The Ellsworth American, have received solicitations from That’s Great News offering plaques that cost $169.
As a result of complaints from newsmakers and advertisers, the publisher of the American and Islander has reported to the Ellsworth Police Department that the Connecticut interloper is soliciting by telephone and email the sale of plaques reproducing copyrighted materials published in the two newspapers.
“Be advised that type and photographic images appearing in both of those newspapers are copyrighted, and may not be reproduced or otherwise used commercially without the express written consent of the undersigned, as publisher of those newspapers and president of Ellsworth American, Inc.,” Alan Baker wrote in a cease-and-desist letter to Robert Roscoe, CEO of That’s Great News.
The Better Business Bureau has issued a warning about That’s Great News. GateHouse Media, publisher of 97 dailies in 20 states and 198 paid weeklies, sued for copyright infringement, trademark infringement, unfair competition and false advertising.
Even so, That’s Great News continues to lift articles without permission and pitch plaques to the individuals or businesses featured.
Baker emphasized that That’s Great News has no connection with The American or Islander.