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BuyBlue Public Service Announcement

Monday, February 06, 2006
by Man Eegee
I'm sharing this press release from the Treasurer/CFO of BuyBlue.org regarding the new Blue Pages Book.

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The Blue Pages Book is not a BuyBlue Project

We understand that PoliPointPress has released a book entitled The Blue Pages: A Directory of Companies Rated by Their Politics and Practices. This publication has nothing to do with BuyBlue.org. We at BuyBlue did not research this book, nor write it. But we do believe that PoliPointPress has ripped us off in publishing this book.

Here is the story.

BuyBlue was organized on DailyKos the day after the November 2004 election. One of our purposes was to create a research database service that would rigorously track the practices and policies of corporate America. The BuyBlue website was up and running on December 1, 2004 (see our history page).

On December 13, 2004, we were contacted by Scott Jordan, PoliPointPress publisher, who said he wanted to discuss the idea of developing a BuyBlue book as a companion piece to the website. Mr. Jordan represented that PolipointPress was a political publishing company with a progressive mission. The book would be a buyer's guide containing a condensed version of the Buyblue website that would be published on an annual basis at the beginning of each holiday shopping season. The working title was "A BuyBlue Buyers Guide 2006".

BuyBlue participated in a series of meetings and consultations with PoliPoint staff and contractors. We shared our research and organizational methodology with PoliPoint, relying on Polipoint's representations that they would use it to develop the Buyblue Buyers Guide 2006 in conjunction with BuyBlue.org.

On March 29, 2005, after many meetings and much discussion about the details of the project, Mr. Jordan sent us an email saying that PoliPoint was withdrawing its proposal for the BuyBlue Buyers Guide 2006. Mr. Jordan stated, "We will reassess the project for a 2007 launch window and will contact you if it appears promising."

On January 5, 2006, a BuyBlue reader emailed BuyBlue President Raven Brooks that a friend of hers had been working on the "Blue Pages" for PoliPoint, and she wanted to know if that book was connected to BuyBlue. She included a link to Amazon.com's webpage for "The Blue Pages" by the editors of PoliPointPress, slated for February 2006 publication.

In reviewing the contents of that proposed publication on Amazon and other sites, we saw that PoliPoint appropriated Buyblue's research methodology and that the similarities between the Blue Pages and the original Polipoint proposal to Buyblue.org were unmistakable, and deliberate.

On January 31, our attorney wrote to Polipoint demanding that they cease and desist from publishing this book. We await PoliPoint's reply. We understand that recently, PoliPoint people were on radio station KPFA offering the book as a pledge incentive. We hope a more appropriate reply will shortly be forthcoming. -- link to diary with contact information for BuyBlue.org

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posted by Man Eegee at 9:25 AM | Permalink |
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