There’s nothing admirable or clever on display here. More like a misdirected show of defiance.
After Univision rescued Gawker Media from the trash heap of bankruptcy, paying a generous $135 million for the company’s network of websites, it chose to play it safe within the rules of bankruptcy by removing six articles it perceived to be legal liabilities. New owner’s prerogative, right? Not according to Deadspin editor Timothy Burke and colleagues, who today reposted content from two of the three posts removed from their site, using the loophole of court documents.
As we previously pointed out, Univision deleted content by means of a procedure spelled out in Gawker Media’s WGA East contract. Granted, the three-vote mechanism had become stilted in Univision’s favor. Still, the new owner adhered to the letter of WGA East law.
Also, since today’s republished Deadspin content is already a matter of public record, there’s no functional need to republish it. Perhaps if John Cook hadn’t been involved in the deletion-committee voting; perhaps if Univision had not followed a prescribed method; perhaps if media companies don’t as a rule change under new ownership… such a quick, mutinous move would be warranted. But on a day when, according to Mediaite, Gawker’s union was scheduled to meet with Univision chief news officer Isaac Lee, a more patient and less public approach would seem to make more sense.