Comunique-se (Brazil) reports:
In her Sunday column, Folha de S.Paulo ombudsman Suzana Singer compared the lawsuit against the blog Falha de S.Paulo, which satirized the São Paulo metro daily, to the duel between David and Goliath. In Singer’s view, the Folha was the loser in the case against the satirical blog, from which it emerged with its public image scarred.
Even so, she criticized the bloggers’ legal arguments.
“It is difficult to understand this case as a struggle for freedom of expression, as the authors of the Falha pretend. Every corporation needs to protect its brand, and the courts are the only venue for doing this”, she said.
Falha means “fault, flaw or failure.” The Falha tended to imply that the Folha was faulty and flawed.
Unlike the Public Editor of the New York Times, hired from the ranks of senior media executives — and generally hired, in fact, from outside the Times-Mirror organization –, the ombudsman of the Folha is generally a mid-career journalist who has not yet made middle management.
The difference makes a difference.
Singer said the blog published “crude” parodies that “insulted journalists.” Even so, she said the law suit had damaged the Folha’s reputation. “Nothing good comes of a progressive newspaper, one that callis itself “the newspaper of the future,” attacking a homemade Web site which, though crudely biased, is essentially harmless. In this battle of David and Goliath, the Folha has emerged as the Philistine, doing much more damage to its image than if it had simply ignored the Bocchini brothers,” she concluded.
Echoing humorist Claudio Manoel of the late sketch comedy show Casseta & Planeta, she called the incident a micaço — a case of the Folha’s making a giant fool of itself.
Created by two brothers, Lino e Mário Bocchini, the Falha site was removed from the Web in October after the Folha obtained a court order. The newspaper charged the brothers with trademark infringement. The case is still pending. The brothers launched the site Desculpa Nossa Falha — “Excuse our failure” — to protest the case, posting all the legal pleadings along with news and multimedia on the case.
The case made headlines worldwide. Last month, the Financial Times, Wired, RSF and Julian Assange of WikiLeaks defended the blog.
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