When newspapers go bad

April 28, 2010 Tags: , Shorts 6 comments

Manchester United blog The Stretty Rant suffered the worst scourge of Internet publishing this week: copyright theft. The United blog published world exclusive pictures of the new kit for next season – a retro number that has a distinct ‘Marmite’ appeal to it – only to find other sites and national newspapers blatantly ripping it off.

Unsurprising though as in blog publishing the better the content the more frequently somebody else will choose to steal it. Indeed, Scotland on Sunday, the national weekend newspaper north of the border, once copied a Rant article verbatim with their own byline. The formal complaint dismissed with a curt ‘so sue’ response.

Then today – three days after Stretty Rant’s exclusive – The Sun (above) uses the same pictures to boldly claim their own exclusive. Both late and very naughty boys.

Worse still, BBC Online today links to The Sun’s story, without so much as a cursory credit to the original publisher.

It is perhaps ironic then that The Times‘ Oliver Kay should use his blog column this week to lambaste websites for spreading rumours.

The Times is of course part of the same Rupert Murdoch-owned News International group that also includes both The Sun and News of the World – the paper that lost the daddy of all privacy suits in 2008 for erroneously publishing a story about Max Moseley and Nazi-style sex parties. Rumours indeed.

For those interested in the new kit here’s the home and away colours for next season. Rant will not fund the Glazers of course; we’ve already got Steve Coppell’s from 1980 in any case. 15 sizes too small perhaps. The diet starts tomorrow…

Manchester United Home Kit

Home 2010/11. Credit: The Stretty Rant

Manchester United Away Kit

Away 2010/11. Credit: The Stretty Rant


Sagar - April 28, 2010 Reply

Wld u perhaps have pictures of the 80s version so that we can compare the kits side by side?

Halo - April 28, 2010 Reply

Let’s get one thing straight. There is absolutely no chance that these are the real kits. Nike have the kits down under lock and key every single year. Every single year these ‘exclusive spoilers’ are revealed for United kits and every year they are wrong. Yes, it’s a shame your intellectual property is being stolen by other organisations but at the end of the day if the story itself is a fallacy then I have no sympathy for you whatsoever.

vishnu - April 28, 2010 Reply

that second shirt looks like a baseball shirt, or at best, a supporters jersey, or a warm up shirt. I’d be completely surprised if united tossed away tradition and went with such a jagged edged design, and such a harsh clash of colours.

yolkie - April 28, 2010 Reply

Cheers Ed.

Must admit that despite the poor show of a couple of United fan sites taking the prints without reference and of course the Sun using them for a back page we have had some pretty good support, not least from yourself.

It’s good in a way because we’ve gotten publicity for the site & Football365 reported it through Mediawatch as their lead story. I don’t have access to the stats but I imagine it’s been a busy day of traffic to the website and we’ve come out of it with a decent reputation for being the source of a good breaking news story.

As I said in response to your comment on our piece covering the Sun’s story, it’s good that the quality United sites that carry unique opinions rather than regurgitate stuff seem to stick together.

I think next time I’m privy to an exclusive I might watermark it and photograph me with a copy of the days newspaper just to ensure it’s ours!

DanS - April 28, 2010 Reply

Just back from holiday and catching up – best of luck with this guys. Nice exclusive.

Wouldn’t mind the home kit but as you say, don’t fund the Glazers!

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