Bad Publicity

I had never heard of J.L. Kirk and Associates until Heather’s post yesterday on the plight of Katherine Coble, the target of outright intimidation by Kirk’s lawyers because of a few posts she made on her blog about her experience with them (which, needless to say, wasn’t very good). In case you haven’t heard, Kirk’s lawyers are threatening to have her Internet connection disconnected (is that even possible?) if she does not remove her blog posts. Ridiculous. Needless to say, Kat appears to be pressing on — and good for her.

This is shaping up to be another one of those defining moments in the evolution of the blogosphere. I like that she’s not caving — I wouldn’t either; and I hope none of my readers out there would. She has a right to air her concerns in a public forum (and, as she noted in a comment, even give them a forum to respond). I also think the negative publicity this firm is receiving will ultimately do more harm than good to their business. Look at the record companies now — they are quickly learning that suing their customers does not exactly bring goodwill. Kirk is likely to find out the hard way that trotting out lawyers for the purpose of chilling free speech and attempting damage control, instead of making wholesale changes to their business, won’t stand a chance against a populace united against them and could ultimately doom their business. Here’s hoping, at least.

Keep fighting, Kat.

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