Rosen fails to clear up legal issues around re-using old material

UPDATE: Rosen just replied to me via email: “I get hundreds of e-mails a day and don’t have time for these kinds of distractions. I don’t have a contract with the Post and Dan Haley has already answered you on this. You’ve become a nuisance which is, no doubt, your purpose. We’re done.”


“As I’ve said before-.”

That’s your cue to stop reading Denver Post columnist Mike Rosen if you don’t want to re-read exact duplications of what he’s used in previous columns.

Rosen told his KOA radio audience Monday that he’s worked hard during 30 years of column-writing to perfect his arguments on certain topics (like always vote Republican!), and these perfect arguments need not be re-written or expressed in fresh ways. When he re-uses material, he said, he’ll write something like, as I’ve said before….

As to the legal issues involved, which I raised last week, Rosen said on the radio Monday that he didn’t sell the Rocky Mountain News “exclusive rights” to his columns. He said he sold “first-use” rights, but he didn’t quote from his contract.

“While writing for the Rocky, my column also ran in the Colorado Springs Gazette and Pueblo Chieftain with the Rocky’s knowledge,” Rosen emailed me.  “And my manuscript was marked Copyright Mike Rosen.”

Okay, so the question is this: What does Rosen’s Post contract say? Is he selling “first-use” rights to The Post? That’s probably the case, and if it is, he’s violating his Post contract by selling it previously published material.

In any case, at a time when The Post is rightfully up in arms about bloggers ripping off its material, it should be sure that it’s not violating copyright law on its own op-ed page.

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