Angle's lawyers sent Reid's campaign a "cease and desist" letter, asserting that Angle's prior Web site was her intellectual property and that Reid's campaign was violating her copyright. Reid's campaign initially appeared to capitulate. It took down the Web site for a few days. But then it reposted the old Web site with some minor changes. (The online forms that might have collected information about potential Angle supporters are gone.) In a radio interview, Angle responded by declaring her intention to sue to force Reid to take down the site. "Your Web site is like you," she said, "it's your intellectual property. So they can't use something that's yours, intellectual property, unless they pay you for it or get your permission." Reid's campaign asserted a First Amendment right to use the Angle Web site. "It's called free speech," a campaign press release said, "and it's nearly absolute under the First Amendment."Unsurprisingly, the legal landscape is more complicated than either side has admitted.
Monday, July 12, 2010
Harry Reid's Use of the old Angle Website
Sonia Katyal and I have an article up at Slate on the dispute between Harry Reid and Sharron Angle over his campaign's republication of her old website. Here's a taste: