Palate Press accuses MacLean of copyright infringement

17th December, 2012 by Lucy Shaw

US online wine magazine PalatePress.com has accused Canadian wine writer Natalie MacLean of copyright infringement on her website NatalieMacLean.com.

Canadian wine writer Natalie MacLean

MacLean, whose website boast over 145,000 members, publishes a paid for subscription newsletter offering “exclusive wine reviews” for US$2.10 a month.

In addition to her own reviews, she includes reviews by professional wine writers often without attributing them to a publication or providing a link to the review.

Instead, they are all accredited to “Vintages Wine Catalogue,” a Liquor Control Board of Ontario publication that runs fully accredited reviews, including information on the author, date, and publication.

“There is a simple phrase for this practice in which MacLean has engaged – copyright infringement.

“Just because someone is writing about wine rather than….

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5 Responses to “Palate Press accuses MacLean of copyright infringement”

  1. I am not sure that Natalie Maclean has infringed the copywright of fellow wine writers if their work is registered in the ‘Vintage Catalogue’ of the Ontario Control Board, as claimed. While I agree with Jancis Robinson that there is a qualitative (and one might add ethical) difference between a retailer quoting a review for sales purposes and a fellow wine writer quoting another’s review on his/her website- this is an ethical standards issue separate from copyright infringement . It seems that Palace Press are confusing the two by lumping them together. I remember that ethics and intellectual property were a hornet’s nest for litigants when i was a student at Gray’s Inn in the late ‘sixties. it would be good to hear the informed opinion of a certain wine-writing QC now retired.

  2. A follow up piece by our publisher, David Honig (who is a practicing attorney), and Gary Thomas has been published on Palate Press: http://palatepress.com/2012/12/wine/pay-for-play-wine-writing/

  3. Chris Miller says:

    I think there must be an algorithm in there that will show us the future of wine marketing and branding and taste.
    Snooth + CellarTracker x Lot18 ÷ Wines Till Sold Out x Campogate ÷ Jay Miller – Brunellogate + Robert Parker Jr selling Wine Advocate + Natalie Mclean + Jancis ÷ Palate Press & all this times Gary Vee has gotta equal something important.

    I am sure I’m missing some important elements to the equation so don’t trust the outcome.

  4. Michael – you should check copyright laws in Canada.This is a clear theft of intellectual property prohibited by law in our beautiful country. Chris the equation is simple – take a journalist’s intellectual property without payment, acknowlegement or even permission and you commit a crime – and then if you go on to charge people a fee for accessing this? You could now face a class action suit. Check the Heather Robinson case which was won (hard won after many legal battles but won) against the major print publications in this country when they took journalists’ work and published it without compensation or permission online.

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