November 26, 2013 (Oil City, PA) – Michael G. Thomas, Publisher of the Mercer, Crawford, and Venango Weekender newspapers and their respective live news websites, today issued the following statement:
“Over the past two weeks it has come to our attention that content from our staff has been plagiarized and falsely published on the website www.mercercountyfreepress.com as their own content. I had a conversation with the Administrator of this website. He was abrasive and unwilling to respect the boundaries of intellectual property. While my staff and I strongly believe in providing free local news to the masses, I disagree with this enterprise’s complete lack of ethics and integrity.
As demonstrated by every article posted on his website today, the Administrator of this website has committed a felony by printing false news, stolen articles, and stolen pictures. Instead of giving credit where it is due, the gentleman continues to publish the content as his own. By my count, he is violating the rights of more than ten television stations, six newspapers, and a dozen news websites.
I want to assure our readers that our staff is fully compensated and properly managed so that they may provide completely accurate, legitimate, and honest local news. We do not condone the actions of this alternative website and urge our readers to consider the implications of obtaining ‘news’ from a source that pays no attention to accuracy, federal laws, or practical ethics.”
For 100% free local news, sports, politics, and more, visit http://freemercernews.com . Thomas can be reached by e-mail at: firstname.lastname@example.org