Letter From the Editor of ChasingtheFrog.com Regarding the Triumph Page,
I was contacted on Wednesday, October 8, 2003 by the Intellectual Property Council at NBC, the National Broadcasting Company. An individual there simply stated that they wanted to speak with me about my Triumph the Insult Comic Dog page. After writing a reply explaining that I stored none of the Triumph clips on my own server, this individual asked me to still give them a call. I did so on Friday.
In the two days before the call, I did a little research to see
where I stood and if I was legally out of bounds. Immediately
into my research, I made several interesting discoveries:
So, Friday afternoon I made the call to NBC, already knowing what to expect. I picked up the phone, and I called their offices at Rockefeller Plaza in New York City. To my surprise, a woman answered. The name in the email had given me the impression that she was a man. I identified myself as Kevin from ChasingtheFrog.com. For a split second, the wheels turned, and then she immediately remembered our correspondence, "Oh, hi. How are you?" She said enthusiastically, as if she had just been reunited with a long lost high school buddy.
"Good," I replied, knowing that she was trying to immediately coat a potentially sour conversation with a little artificial kindness.
She asked me to give her a second while she pulled up my Triumph the Insult Comic Dog page. I complied and did the same thing myself.
Staring at the page, we began an altogether one-sided conversation. She told me that the media content on my page was not acceptable, because it is not my intellectual property. This included the video clip links and the logo, which welcomed users to the page.
"This is a great site, for me to poop on," she said with a little laugh, as she recited the words in the logo on my Triumph page, which included a picture of Triumph the Insult Comic Dog smoking a cigar.
For a moment, I wanted to laugh too, especially at her ridiculous attempt to win me over. I immediately reminded her that the content on my page was not stored at ChasingtheFrog.com, and that I had obtained the links from searching the web before I built the page. She seemed surprised, which bothered me.
By this point in the conversation and after first explaining it in the email, this individual should have realized that I did not store the content locally. She does work for the Intellectual Property Council of the National Broadcasting Company, one of the largest companies in the world. Anyone with a little web experience would have known how to explore my links to find their sources. I'm not necessarily implying that this woman lacks intelligence, just that the duties of her position would be better served if she new more about the internet.
Next, this individual said something that surprised me. She told me that if I was willing to comply and remove the page, she would need me to notify her by email when I had done so. Okay, fine. Then, after removing her sugar coating from the conversation, she had the tenacity to ask me if I could send her the links to the other Triumph web pages online, which I had used as my sources.
Sure, I'll sell out sites whose lifeblood is Triumph content, whose administrators spent hours upon hours converting and uploading the clips, not to mention making the pages and their graphics. Sure, I'll get right on that, especially since you have no clue how to browse my page to find out yourself. Or maybe you've figured it out by now, which is too bad because you told me to remove the content. I'll tell you what. I'll spell the site names out in poop in my backyard. You can fly over in one of NBC's Learjets whereby you can then read the brown grass. It won't tell you where you can find the sites. It will tell you where you can shove your request.
Unfortunately, by now, NBC has gotten to most of the other Triumph sites online, crushing the interests of people who were merely looking for a hobby, and in turn had for several years provided a Triumph outlet for many of his loyal fans.
Near the end of my conversation with her, I again tried to discuss with her if I could link to NBC's Triumph pages, and she still said that it would not be acceptable. She said that I'm making money off of Triumph because of the banner ad that I had on the page. Making money? Sure. After a month, because of that banner ad, I might be able to buy a stick of gum, and after a year, well I could damn near buy the whole pack. Solution, I remove the banner. No gum this year.
I pressed her a little more about linking to the NBC Page, thinking that they would welcome the traffic. Seemingly unsteady with her own knowledge of the web, she still said that it would not be acceptable.
My conclusion? NBC has a Triumph page now. Triumph has a CD coming out. They want all the traffic. So, why did some of these other sites manage to exist for up to four years and go unnoticed by NBC? Because NBC didn't realize the potential to make money off of Triumph back then, now they do.
In closing, I want to thank all of the loyal visitors to this
Triumph page. Although my dog has died, I still love the mutt,
and I'm still going to watch Conan. Letterman left NBC, Conan
could follow, who knows.