Letter to NYTimes

To: nytnews@nytimes.com
Cc: public@nytimes.com
Subject: Uncredited use of website graphic

I was flattered to see an illustration I created accompanying Tom Zeller Jr.'s recent article, "When the Blogger Blogs, Can the Employer Intervene?" (http://www.nytimes.com/2005/04/18/technology/18blog.html and April 18, 2005 print p. C1).

The original concept for the illustration is due to Niall Kennedy, the startup employee featured in the article. But as reported, Niall took his artwork down soon after a talk with his employer.

I never saw Niall's original, but after reading about it, I thought his combination of graphics and themes from two different eras had been clever and thought-provoking. I wanted more people to see it, and I considered the arguments against its publication unconvincing.

So I recreated a version of Niall's poster, working from a written description he left on his weblog. In addition to the weblog software logos he used, I also added the logo of his own employer, Technorati, as further commentary. I posted the recreation to my weblog, "Gojomo". This was the exact illustration appearing in your paper and website.

I'm glad the Times concurs with my editorial judgement: the picture itself is an interesting part of the story, and there's no reasonable grounds for hiding it. I'm also happy that the Times has exposed the composition to a much larger audience -- my goal in recreating a version of Niall's poster.

However, shouldn't the source of the illustration have been credited? The "recreation" you published wasn't Niall's or that of a Times staff artist, as someone might infer from your caption: "A recreation of Niall Kennedy's posting." The image you published was copied directly from my website.

Would you please correct the online form of the article to include a customary photo/illustration credit?

Thank you for your consideration,

Gordon Mohr
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