Does Fred Durst Warrant A News Embargo From The Blogging Community?

In wake of Fred Durst’s $80 million lawsuit against several small rock news websites and blogs, many who were simply linking to his stolen porn tape, should the web retaliate against the frontman? Remember, this is the same man who championed file-sharing through Napster in the face of Metallica’s battle against P2P, who is now suing for copyright infringement? It was about five years ago that Durst said that Napster is “an amazing way to market and promote music” to a mass audience. “The Internet is here, and anybody trying to fight that, which would be people who are living by certain standards and practices of the record industry, those are the only people who are scared and threatened.” Well guess what, the internet’s most popular medium to market is porn, as Fred has recently discovered.

This is also the same person who has his own blog at ‘American Alien’ and is one of the most web-connected celebrities around, yet he is setting precedent by using his wealth to cast a chill amongst the blogging community. One has to wonder if he were not “discovered” by Korn and was just another struggling tattooist, would he have ran to his PC with glee to see a famous musician who “made it” be embarrassed by a stolen porno and blogging this item himself.

Singling out was the most outrageous choice Durst made of all his targets. While their community was brutal against him, the person posting the news has been very straight in their reporting and provided a lot of exposure for the group, which many there preferred would not even have been reported on. It would be tragic if Roadrunner Records were to punish the guy running the news for simply linking to the most popular music news related item of the week. Had they only hinted at its existence, no doubt that people would have bombarded them with e-mails asking “where can I find it” and others would have provided the link in the comments and repeatedly would re-post it even if it were deleted.

Who knows what the motivation was behind the lawsuit. The story seemed to have quickly fizzled out amongst mainstream media only to have Durst throw more fuel on the situation by his reaction. Best evidence of the increased attention Durst brought on the situation was the Alexa rating of, which jumped from a traffic rank around 500,000 to around 11,000 this week.

It appears that in recent comments from Durst’s lawyers and management at The Firm, he simply singled out a few websites to get the message out that he didn’t leak this for purposes of publicity and it really was stolen. If the websites remove references to the video and image captures, it appears that they’ll be dropped from legal action. If this is the case, the blogs named in the suit have enjoyed likely a huge jump in traffic and free attention, while only having to suffer a few weeks of raised blood pressure and anxiety… Probably a fair trade-off. If Durst is serious with the suit and wants to be like Prince in his litigious bent, then perhaps the web attention his career and his band craves should be embargoed by the blogging and rock news community.

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