Upstream. A Mohawk Valley Blogzine.

Monday, February 13, 2006

2,158 View Upstream on 02/07/06. Why?

Obviously, what drove more than 2,000 people to visit Upstream on February 7 was my decision to publish the now notorious Muslim cartoons. I made the decision after spending more than an hour in a fruitless search for them on the web sites of most of the leading news sources in the country. Like many people, I wanted to see them simply out of curiosity. What cartoons could be so bad that they would cause death and destruction by Islamic extremists?

I became more frustrated as I searched. Finally, many pages into a google search and way down in the bowels of a non-profit organization called Jihad Watch, I found the cartoons. By now, I was very disturbed as I sensed hypocrisy on the part of the American press. Many instances of newspapers publishing anti-Christian and other offensive material in the past came immediately to mind.

It was then that I decided to post the cartoons on my site. But did I have the right to publish them? Were they copyrighted? If so, were they protected by United States copyright laws? I don’t believe bloggers should lift text, photos or other copyrighted materials and post them on their site. Bloggers should obey copyright laws. There is such a thing as fair use however, which allows you to use copyrighted materials in limited ways. Now that the cartoons were news items and not simply works of art, and because I felt that publishing them would not only be protected by the fair usage clause of our copyright laws, and because I believed the public had a right to view the cartoons, I decided to publish one cartoon on my site with some commentary of my own.

But I was not prepared for the response. During the morning of the 7th, I was getting my usual 4-6 people per hour stopping by. In the early afternoon, I checked my stats and was shocked to find that 92 people had visited the blog in the last hour. Between three and four o’clock, Upstream had 385 visitors from around the globe. There were even visitors from Iran and Afghanistan. Over at our sister blog, the same phenomenon was taking place. Obviously, I wasn’t the only person who wanted to see these cartoons.

Sometime after seeing how many people were stopping by to view Upstream, I made another decision, one I am not so proud of. I will tell you about it in part three of this series.


  • Since the American mainstream press assiduously avoided printing the cartoons, how else would anyone view them if not for the blog world? I saw them first on another blog I tracked down through several searches. I applaud you for making them available so people can compare the level of "disrespect" that they offer as opposed to dozens of anti-Christian items that have been offered to the public in recent years.

    By Blogger threecollie, at 10:11 AM  

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