Stumbled into a press release yesterday about bloggers buying space in something called the virtual WorldBlog Center. The half backed idea was that you would pay so many dollars per pixel to display your blog logo on a web page professing to be the ‘WorldBlog Center.’ Not sure why anyone would be foolish enough to part with good money for that. (but we are seeing dotcom’ish behavior again)
Turns out from a post at Pro Blogger that it appears WorldBlog center put up the logos of a number of high profile blogs without first seeking their permission.
Some logos have been removed including Engadget’s, Boing Boing’s and Gizmodo’s. They’ve also added a note to that says ‘pre-approved – awaiting response’ to what pops up when you put your cursor over the logos of those who have not paid for listings (the majority of logos).
What concerns me is that some do seem to have paid for listings (a few don’t have the ‘pre-approved’ bit showing) and have probably signed up thinking they were a part of something legitimate. Also of concern is that the ‘pre-approved’ logos still give the impression that some very well known blogs are involved at a glance.
Jason Calacanis and Boing Boing have both written about it and have officially said that they were not a part of things. If I were them I’d be pretty peeved – especially Boing Boing who were featured in press releases that went out on some pretty big news services. I’m advised by friends who are in the legal business that they’d have a very good case for action against WBC for using their name in this way.
Sounds similar to what a law blog aggregator did recently. Took feeds from leading law bloggers without seeking their permission and then invited other lawyers to begin blogs on their platform. No doubt, those sizing up the legitimacy of the aggregator thought the high profile bloggers chose to participate.