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The user is a rapidly evolving creature being defined by possibility.
opinions from the head lemur
[Posted] August 26, 1999

Freedom of Speech

BlueOvalNews.Com

In another attempt to restrict Free Speech on the Internet, Ford Motor Company has thrown their lawyers in the ring. Their current target is BlueOvalNews.com, a site created by college student Robert Lane, an enthusiast who writes about Ford Cars.

Robert Lane was served with a restraining order granted by a U.S. District Court Judge in Detroit. The order prevents BlueOval.com from posting Ford's internal documents and from soliciting information from Ford employees, among other things. According to Information Posted on Blue Oval News.com.

"BlueOvalNews DOES NOT solicit information from any Ford employee, supplemental, contract, agency, purchased service or supplier employees. Further, BlueOvalNews DOES NOT post ANY material marked propriety information!"

The issue here is freedom of speech as guaranteed by the U.S. Constitution.

This is not an Anti Ford Site. It is rather one persons attempt to get as much information about his passions and concerns on the web. This site presents an incredible amount of information about Ford Vehicles, Plants and News. Looking at this site, Robert is careful to make a distinction between facts and observations and opinions.

OPINION If I was Ford, I would have my marketing department on the carpet, explaining Exactly why I can find out more about my companies products on a site that I didn't create.

The word of this latest assault on Freedom Of Speech is spreading across the net, on sites and on news groups.

"The real problem is not with BlueOvalNews, but the people at Ford who are leaking the documents. Ford is going after the symptom, not the disease," said one post to the group.

This brings up an important point regarding corporate behavior. If it is so wonderfull working at XZY.Corp, why are so many anti sites appearing, and so many Internal memos and documents being posted?

Ford if you remember, is still undergoing litigation concerning the "drop in" fuel tanks it used in 1964 1/2 to 1970 Mustangs.

The Automobile Makers as a whole, have a less than sterling reputation, when it comes to exposing its flaws and taking action unless they are dragged into court and made to fix problems.
(this may account for their reacting in this manner here)

The prime example of this type of behavior is recalls. Don't waste your clicks going to Automaker Websites looking for Recall Information. You will need to go to the NHTSA Recall Links Page

Ford is making the same mistake that Mattel did with a Barbie Doll Site. One of the original Barbie sites was put together by a young woman who was very proud and fond of her barbie dolls. She built a site to show her dolls, exchange info about the dolls, and Mattel roared in with the lawyers and shut her down.

If I had a product that people were building websites and newsgroups about, I would be encouraged and would support these sites. After all, they are costing me nothing, and providing me with important information regarding my products. Pro or Con, I would be finding out what people think about my products and would be a better and more responsive company. Unsolicited testimonials are the most powerful form of advertising available, and are costing me the price of an Internet Connection. Futhermore, I would have the opportunity to respond to comments and save a whole bunch of money on lawyers.

If you would like to Help in His defense of Your Freedom Of Speech,
Send Money Here,
Warner Robert
P.O. Box 434.
Dearborn, Michigan - 48121

Blue Oval News.Com is owned by Warner Robert Publications
Ford is a registered trademark of the Ford Motor Company
Barbie is a registered trademark of Mattel Corp.

References

  1. BlueOvalNews.Com
  2. ZD Net Story You can Post Comments Here!
  3. Yahoo News Article
  4. National Highway Transportation Safety Administration
  5. Ford Motor Company

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