Simon & Schuster and TechCrunch Battle Over Blog Excerpts

By Jason Boog Comment

facebookeff.jpgYesterday TechCrunch founder Michael Arrington posted an angry response to Simon & Schuster following a lengthy email exchange about his posting of excerpts from a book.

Last week TechCrunch posted excerpts from The Facebook Effect: The Inside Story of the Company by David Kirkpatrick. Arrington reprinted the email exchange he had with publicists and lawyers asking him to remove the excerpts–they expected he would only post excerpts of the excerpts.

Here’s the heart of Arrington’s post: “So just to be very clear, Simon & Schuster is threatening legal action unless I take down my post linking to pre-sales of the book and giving it a huge thumbs up. Because I posted excerpts of the book that are also posted online on Fortune and other sites … In my world, where content is quickly ripped off without attribution every day, a link is gold.”

In June, our video interview program Media Beat will host an exclusive interview with Kirkpatrick about his book. Simon & Schuster responds after the jump…

We contacted Adam Rothberg, Simon & Schuster’s vice president of corporate communications, who had this comment: “From our perspective it’s a pretty straightforward matter. While the excerpts from the book generated much coverage and discussion across many online news outlets, (CNET, Huffington Post, New York Observer, etc), many of which included links to the 1st serial excerpt, and we certainly appreciate Tech Crunch’s interest and enthusiasm for the book, we did not license or in any way authorize Tech Crunch to run entire excerpts.”