WineSpectator.com    Wine Spectator Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Wine Conversations    Natalie MacLean accused of copyright infringement of wine reviews
Page 1 2 
Go
New
Find
Notify
Tools
Reply
  
Natalie MacLean accused of copyright infringement of wine reviews
 Login/Join 
Member
posted
Interesting blog post on Palate Press about Natalie Maclean's purported copyright infringement in publishing reviews without authorization or proper attribution on her subscription-only website. Basically, the allegations are such that she's taken reviews from various commercial publications (including Wine Spectator) and other sites, and provided access to them behind her paywall.

In other sketchy allegations, here's another post about requiring wineries buying subscriptions to her website before she'd review the wines, and another post reviewing her new book.

I don't know Natalie personally, but I do know she's posted here periodically. If she's stealing other peoples' reviews and reselling access to them, that's pretty sketchy and I would suspect there's a cease-and-desist at a minimum, and a lawsuit potentially beyond that.

I personally don't consider her reviews relevant because my palate doesn't align with hers, but who knows if she even tasted the wines she wrote about.

Discuss.

Edited to put a capital L in Natalie's last name. The least I can do is spell her name correctly.

This message has been edited. Last edited by: futronic,
 
Posts: 10795 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
BTW, the comments section of the first blog post I linked is hilarious.
 
Posts: 10795 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Don't most american retailers do this? Does vintages get specific permission each time they quote a reviewer? winealign.com also seems to also do this. I wonder what the legality is?


______________________

http://thewinenerds.ca/
 
Posts: 675 | Location: Toronto, Ontario (Etobicoke) | Registered: Oct 27, 2010Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I think there's a clear distinction between retailers using shelf talkers to sell wine (which is done with attribution) and taking critics reviews without attribution or permission and selling access to them on your website.

I'm not a member of WineAlign, so I don't know for sure, but I'm pretty sure the reviews they publish are from their own critics. Can anyone that's a member comment on this?

I'd be interested to hear what Thomas Matthews has to say on this matter, since surely WS knows about this. Harvey Steinman, specifically, was mentioned in the blog post.
 
Posts: 10795 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
i was reading until i realized it was about a canadian "accredited sommelier" ;-)


This is my sig -> www.brownteacup.com
www.wsqwine.com
(Wine distributor)
 
Posts: 11639 | Location: NYC | Registered: Feb 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Hah! Seriously though, read the comments section. Jancis Robinson and Allen Meadows chime in. It adds a whole other level to the post.
 
Posts: 10795 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Apr 17, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by futronic:
Hah! Seriously though, read the comments section. Jancis Robinson and Allen Meadows chime in. It adds a whole other level to the post.


nm i see the post now

still the same yawn, can I have my waste 8 minutes back please ;-)

This message has been edited. Last edited by: g-man,


This is my sig -> www.brownteacup.com
www.wsqwine.com
(Wine distributor)
 
Posts: 11639 | Location: NYC | Registered: Feb 16, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I do remember this cellar_fiend thread: click

Pretty funny that she actually replies.


----------
Sometimes I read a thread and think we ran out of stuff to talk about like 4 years ago. ~spo
 
Posts: 2859 | Location: San Diego | Registered: Jan 17, 2006Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
A few months ago I had the opportunity to tell someone:

"The world needs a whole lot more journalists who become wine lovers and write about wine and a whole lot less wine lovers who try to become journalists."

I don't think there's anything here other than someone who way over stepped their area of competency.


Paul Romero (tlily)- Owner, Winemaker, Tour Guide
Stefania Wine
http://www.stefaniawine.com
 
Posts: 7606 | Location: San Jose | Registered: May 24, 2002Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Hopefully the phrases "ass with a side of ass" and "more wood put to it than Jenna Jameson" haven't been copyrighted. If they have, many of us are in trouble.
 
Posts: 5364 | Location: Aurora, IL | Registered: Jul 29, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Paul - she really overstepped.

So tacky.

But I think from this latest fiasco, she's probably picked up more readers than she ever had. Before this, did anyone know who she is? Or care?

All I know about her comes from a few years ago where she was called out for doing crap like this. Joe Dressner even posted about her on his blog.

Fully agree that it's far better for the reader if a writer becomes a wine lover than vice versa.

Read the posts on this forum for examples of the latter!
Devilish


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2567 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
At the risk of being accused of internet bullying, isn't conosur affiliated with MacLean?


____________________
An intelligent man is sometimes forced to be drunk to spend time with his fools. - Hemingway
 
Posts: 1944 | Location: Ontario | Registered: Jul 23, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I find it hilarious that she commented on the negative aspect of the review of her book in such positive and glowing terms, thanking the reviewer. This she wrote and signed the comment with her own name.

Then she writes a later comment under the name "Kevin Johnson". KJ harshly criticizes the reviewer of her book in very strong and negative tone. Kevin then sings her praises above all and provides a link to her website / newsletter.

Unfortunately for Nat, the site publisher realized that Natalie Maclean and Kevin Johnson both published their comments from the same computer. Ooops.

Would you find this dishonest?
 
Posts: 1046 | Location: New York City | Registered: May 05, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Some years ago we went to a restaurant after reading several good reviews about it on an online forum. During dinner, the owner told me he wrote those reviews himself. LOL
 
Posts: 5076 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Feb 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
This is becoming even more interesting as others such as Randal Graham, Alice Feiring have weighed in on Twitter (search #natnabbed)..

John Szabo also writes on the topic in a WineAlign article:

http://www.winealign.com/blog/...or-january-5th-2013/

The interesting thing is that in terms of using other's reviews, ie: Spectator, Parker, etc. they have been guilty of the EXACT same thing and funny enough, seems to have quietly changed their practice while dumping on Natalie..

I don't defend her, but it seems that the practice of using other's reviews (perhaps without permission) is probably rampant and it's funny how she has become the lightening rod..
 
Posts: 174 | Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada | Registered: Apr 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by IT:

The interesting thing is that in terms of using other's reviews, ie: Spectator, Parker, etc. they have been guilty of the EXACT same thing and funny enough, seems to have quietly changed their practice while dumping on Natalie..

I don't defend her, but it seems that the practice of using other's reviews (perhaps without permission) is probably rampant and it's funny how she has become the lightening rod..


Interesting and serious accusation. To be clear, are you saying that Spectator and Parker have lifted complete verbatim reviews from other authors without attribution? Can you cite a specific example?

I've been an intermittent subscriber to Spectator over the years, and a long-time continuous subscriber to Wine Advocate. I can't recall reading anything suggestive of what you are claiming.


__________________
David G
 
Posts: 39 | Location: Maryland | Registered: Dec 02, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by DBG:
quote:
Originally posted by IT:

The interesting thing is that in terms of using other's reviews, ie: Spectator, Parker, etc. they have been guilty of the EXACT same thing and funny enough, seems to have quietly changed their practice while dumping on Natalie..

I don't defend her, but it seems that the practice of using other's reviews (perhaps without permission) is probably rampant and it's funny how she has become the lightening rod..


Interesting and serious accusation. To be clear, are you saying that Spectator and Parker have lifted complete verbatim reviews from other authors without attribution? Can you cite a specific example?

I've been an intermittent subscriber to Spectator over the years, and a long-time continuous subscriber to Wine Advocate. I can't recall reading anything suggestive of what you are claiming.


No, WS or Parker have done no such thing - Related to this thread, the publication in Ontario 'WineAlign' has lifted WS and WA reviews under the auspices of the biweekly 'Vintages' magazine produced by the liquor monopoly in our province, the LCBO...

They've stopped the practice I believe as a response to the Natalie MacLean 'scandal'..What peeves me is that they are taking a 'holier than thou' approach to her situation whilst they've been doing the exact same thing - And then some, as I clearly have seen examples of them posting WS reviews when the Vintages mag had only posted a Parker review...

I was under the assumption that based on the profile of 'WineAlign' in Ontario, they must have had some arrangement with WS and Parker...I now believe this to not be the case as they have now stripped their website of any 'non-staff' reviews...

Once again, although 'WineAlign' is now doing what's right, they are taking an approach of complete innocence when I know for a fact they were doing exactly what Natalie has been accused of in relation to copyright infringement.

Hope this clarifies...
 
Posts: 174 | Location: Kitchener, Ontario Canada | Registered: Apr 20, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Yes, thanks. You meant done tothem, I read as done bythem.


__________________
David G
 
Posts: 39 | Location: Maryland | Registered: Dec 02, 2012Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
If I understand correctly, the complaint about Natalie McLean is that she quotes other reviewers without attribution. WineAlign always attributed tasting notes and scores to the source.

But I gave up reading anything that Natalie writes a long time ago so I'm just going on hearsay. If the rest of you did likewise, there would be no offence.
 
Posts: 5076 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Feb 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by Red guy in a blue state:
I do remember this cellar_fiend thread: click

Pretty funny that she actually replies.

Nice find, Red guy. But doubt she will reply this time. Big Grin


"Believe me, you can count on Slippery Pete" - Kramer
 
Posts: 1425 | Location: Vancouver, BC | Registered: Jun 19, 2009Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Also funny that she thanked GD instead of CF.

But thinking about it - set aside the laziness and classlessness demonstrated by using other people's reviews.

Different critics have different opinions on individual wines. How does she establish any consistency if she copies a review from this one and another from that one? And for the five or six people who might act on those recommendations, wouldn't they just end up confused as all hell?


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2567 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
quote:
Originally posted by GregT:


for the five or six people who might act on those recommendations,


Big Grin
 
Posts: 29998 | Location: Dallas, TX & Santa Fe, NM | Registered: Feb 21, 2005Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Happy New Year W+A. Smile


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2567 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
Apparently now she's thinking about suing.

The local Ottawa paper

And here's something from Decanter.
http://www.decanter.com/news/w...g-is-legal-and-right


"The best part is how he said the ENGLISH language. Fine irony. Use American next time."
 
Posts: 2567 | Location: NY | Registered: Dec 09, 2007Reply With QuoteReport This Post
Member
posted Hide Post
I think Natalie should be nominated for the Lance Armstrong award for threatening to sue everyone who objects to her less-than-honest practices.

How can you damage a reputation that didn't exist?
 
Posts: 5076 | Location: Toronto, Canada | Registered: Feb 14, 2003Reply With QuoteReport This Post
  Powered by Social Strata Page 1 2  
 

WineSpectator.com    Wine Spectator Forums  Hop To Forum Categories  Wine Conversations    Natalie MacLean accused of copyright infringement of wine reviews

© Wine Spectator 2013