Black Looks - Including an African LGBTIQ+ Archive

Action Alert, E-Activism

Blogging Sister under attack!

AskThisBlackWoman Is Under Attack!

Dear Friends, Family, and Readers,

AskThisBlackWoman is under attack. I was recently made aware of an imitation website and newpaper column called “Ask A Black Man”. This website is a direct copy of my concepts, design, ideas, and format and I believe it to be a violation of my intellectual property rights.

I have contacted both the writer of this website and column and the media company that is publishing it. Please join me in writing him and this company in protest of their stealing of my ideas and ultimately my property.

Thank you for your support!

Please contact:
Clarence Page is a syndicated columnist with Tribune Media Services out of Buffalo, NY
His e-mail is cptime@aol.com and cpage@tribune.com
The editor’s e-mail is melson@tribune.com

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8 Comments

  1. Sokari,
    Thanks for posting this!

  2. What can I do to REALLY combat this? I will write to the company but is there more we can do?

  3. There may be more that we can do in the very near future, but for now it is crucial that folks write in protest of this man stealing intellectual property and violating copyright laws. What he has done and what this media corporation has sanctioned is unfair and illegal. He has taken my entire concept and used it under his name and he is making money from it!
    Thanks for writing to him and this company in protest! I will keep you updated if more actions are required.

  4. Byron Ravnell

    Just a note… Perhaps it was accidental. I myself thought of an “Ask a Brother” column in the Fall of ’05. Procrastination got the better of me, and it never became reality– but I had gone as far as bouncing the idea off friends and organizing info for what would be my first few columns.

  5. UPDATE:

    First, I want to thank all of you who wrote letters to Columnist Clarence Page and Mary Elson, the editor of Tribune Media Services in support of AskThisBlackWoman. It was a beautiful thing to witness such a passionate act of e-Activism.

    I received e-mails from Clarence Page and Mary Elson, and I will post their responses below.

    Basically, Mr. Page claims that he has no desire to make “Ask A Black Man” a regular column and that it was only a one-time publish. He also thinks my website is “excellent”.

    Editor Elson said that “Ask A Black Man” is not affiliated with Tribune Media. Fine.

    As it stands right now, AskThisBlackWoman will continue deconstructing, dissecting, disseminating, and dismantling as it always has. The Black Woman is strong. If there is a battle to fight, so be it!

    My sincere thanks!

    Clarence Page wrote:
    Dear Ms. Platt,
    Thanks for calling your excellent website to my attention in your recent e-mail. As you can see from my column, attached and also reproduced below, my “Ask a Black Man” column was a one-time tongue-in-cheek take-off on the popular “Ask a Mexican” column. We have no plans to make it a regular feature, although I still think it would be a good idea. Congratulations on thinking of something like it first.
    By the way, did you know that Diversity magazine has a feature on their website (www.DiversityInc.com) called “Ask the White Guy”? Seems to be a popular theme.
    In any case, my best wishes go out to you for continued success with your website.
    Happy holidays,
    Clarence Page
    Chicago Tribune Washington Bureau

    (BTW, I had heard of both of these sites, but AskThisBlackWoman offers something very unique and different and there is little to no “tongue-in-cheek”!)

    Mary Elson wrote:
    Dear Kym:

    Thank you for your message.

    I asked Clarence Page to respond. There is no Ask A Black Man website connected with Clarence or Tribune Media Services. The misperception somehow arose from a column he wrote. I will hope that you will clarify the message on your website after communicating with Clarence. I have already received quite a few e-mails from your supporters who also are under this misapprehension.

    Best,
    Mary Elson
    Managing Editor/Tribune Media Services

  6. Kym Platt wrote:

    >This website is a direct copy of my >concepts, design, ideas, and format and I >believe it to be a violation of my >intellectual property rights.

    Mary Elson Managing Editor/Tribune Media wrote:

    >There is no Ask A Black Man website >connected with Clarence or Tribune >Media Services. The misperception >somehow arose from a column he wrote. I >will hope that you will clarify the >message on your website after >communicating with Clarence.

    Kym Platt wrote:

    >Editor Elson said that “Ask A Black >Man” is not affiliated with Tribune >Media. Fine.

    I don’t think that’s enough “clarification” given the seriousness of Kym Platt’s allegations and the public manner she’s made them.

    A search of “Ask a Black Man” yields many results, some clearly pre-dating “Ask This Black Woman.”

    Asserting the trope: “Ask…” would not hold up in court. Titles are not subject to copyright. There’s more to this story, but I’m not sure what it is?

  7. Thanks for commenting John.

    The “Ask A Black Man” website is not affiliated with Tribune Media but the print column Mr. Page wrote for the Baltimore Sun (and other media outlets), called “Ask A Black Man” IS affiliated with Tribune Media. But that doesn’t mean that the “Ask A Black Man” website isn’t affiliated with Clarence Page.

    The website doesn’t have content on it, but the column did follow the same (very similar) format to my site.

    I currently have no desire to pursue legal action but I have consulted attorneys and there is a case for me protecting what is my intellectual property and/or copyright protections. You’re right, titles aren’t necessarily protected by copyright, but the situation is deeper than a title. It’s about protecting ideas and concepts, and that does hold up in court.

    You wrote: “There’s more to this story, but I’m not sure what it is?” If you’re looking for a conspiracy, there really isn’t one. I realize making a statement like that fans some flames, but not with me.

  8. Oh, and one more thing… The “Ask A Black Man” column was published December 5th, 2006. The website “Ask A Black Man” is currently under construction. Neither the column nor the website pre-dates “Ask This Black Woman”.