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Indymedia UK Threatened with Legal Action by Associated Newspapers
by Metr0
Monday Jul 5th, 2010 5:31 AM
Associated Newspapers, publishers of The Metro have obtained a High Court injunction against "all persons responsible for the publication and/or distribution" of a Metro spoof paper which was published on UK Indymedia.

On 2nd July 2010 tens of thousands of copies of a spoof newspaper that looked very similar to The Metro, a free daily, were distributed at 20 busy tube stations around the London during rush hour. Thousands more were distributed in other cities around the UK.

On 4th July 2010 The Metro obtained a High Court injunction against "all persons responsible for the publication and/or distribution" of a Metro spoof paper that was distributed by campaigners at London tube stations on Friday morning.

The Guardian have now picked up on the story, METRO publishers go to court over spoof issue by METR0 publishers.

The outcome of todays court hearing, which appears to have included demands by Associated Newspapers for Indymedia to remove the spoof paper will be known later today.

§Metr0 Spoof paper
by Metr0 Monday Jul 5th, 2010 5:31 AM

Comments  (Hide Comments)

by ex-islander
Monday Jul 5th, 2010 7:37 AM
For those less versed in the parochial British Newspaper scene you can imagine Associated Newspapers being a rabid right wing outfit, but 'Oh! So British about it'. Trying to suppress, rather than deal with, a spoof that suggests that the media might possibly be racist fits.
Alongside the Metro freesheet they also publish The Daily Mail [] They don't really have much of an international presence... well they have tentacles in the old colonies (Australia and Ireland!) and some fine periodicals like 'Petroleum Economist'... you get the picture.
by startx
Monday Jul 5th, 2010 2:36 PM
Or: How Associated Newspapers Ltd tries to stop Gordon Brown's
deportation by shutting down a website.

by startx, London *

Britain's tabloid press has not excatly the reputation of being quality
press, some say it has also the reputation of being openly racist.
It also has no humor for sure, at least not if somebody has a good
laugh on their costs.

Last Friday and Saturday London saw "two days of action against the
racist press", called for by several anti-racist activist groups. Some
people seem to have thought that the best way to challenge the tabloid
press is to become the tabloid press, and commuters were suprised to
get handed over a new free paper called "Metr0" (you could read that as
"metre zero" if you into leetspeak) last Friday ( 2 July) early
morning, featuring the stunning headline that "Gordon Brown is to be
deported to Scotland".[1] There must have been ten-thousends of copies
spread all over London, as the newspaper was available at many tube and
railway stations.

Free daily newpapers have become a big business in London, and in fact
it happens that there is also a free daily newssheet called
"Metro" (read "metro", but some hasty commuter might have mixed both of
them up because they did not read that aloud.) published by a company
called Associated Newspapers Ltd, which also happens to be behind the
"Daily Mail" (yes, that's the Daily Mail which cheered for Oswald
Mosley's blackshirts).

Now while you can say for sure that quality is not on of the
characteristics of Associated Newspapers Ltd's products, they also seem
not to be up for a good laugh: Probably being given a copy of the
"Metr0" themselves on the way to work, they had to discover that there
was now also a website called "" [2] which shared some faint
design similarities to their own website "": and seemingly
decided to consider their new competitors "Metr0" not funny at all

So instead of sipping their morning espresso, taking the joke and being
proud of being historically in one line with "The New York Times" [3],
they let loose their dogs .. err ... their law department, i mean,
big time: Within hours, they sought an High Court injunction demanding
"not publish or distribute in any way (including by way of the
Internet) any publication which purports to be 'Metro' or any other
publication of the applicant."

While on the copyright front it is not quite sure what "Metr0" or
"" actually copied from the "Metro" (the logo is obviouly
"Metr0", not "metro", they also claimed in the injunction that
Newspapers Ltd's Metro "avowedly doesn’t take a political stance ",
which comes a bit of a suprise for you if you are a frequent reader of
that newssheet.

Meanwhile, so the Metro's solicitors in court, "The people behind the
spoof are avowedly political.", which seems to be enough for them to
be suspicious. When asked by the judge if the lawyers "seriously suggest
that [the metro] will suffer damage [as a result of the spoof]" the
solicitors stated that "It is an intangible damage to my client’s
goodwill, that is, it effects what people will think about its
product." Oh my god, somebody might even "think" about their product!

However, they got their injunction, but not knowing whome to serve it
to, they delivered it to the London Activist Resource Centre (LARC),
assuming this might be the place to locate a group called "Press
Action", which in fact runs a completely different website
( ) and is blogging about racism in
the British press (busy job) and while doing so mentioned the
"Metr0" on Friday [4], too. No luck for the lawyers there ...

They then sent their lawyers to the domain registrar to get the domain
"" deleted because of "copyright infringement" (which the
registrar refused as it is unlikely that Associated Newspapers can
claim a copyright on the word "metro", unless they going to sue the
Parisean underground) and a hosting collective in New York they suspect
to host the "" website. Even Barbara Streisand meanwhile
knows that such a thing might not be a good idea to shut down a website
in that way and hence more links to the site turn up since it became
known that Associated Newspapers does not like it.

Therefore, instead of chasing websites and newspapers around half the
planet and wasting money on their law department, some would recommend
to Associated Newspapers Ltd to sit down and have a nice cup of tea (or
whatever their managers prefer to take) or even better: to make better
newspapers. There's not much hope for the latter though ... and the
question of Gordon Brown's whereabouts is unsolved, too.

[1] a pdf version of the Metr0 from 2 July 2010 can be found at:

( and meanwhile most likely at other places, too)



[4] Press Release by PressAction:

* this article was written for nettime on Sunday 4 July 2010
by somebody
Tuesday Jul 6th, 2010 2:16 AM
the original spoof website is

METRO has send legal threats against the hosting company ( which is based in the states ), too.

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