Deadline's Nikki Finke has publicly called out The Wrap for taking her content, and reports that a cease-and-desist letter was sent from her corporate overseer to Sharon Waxman and some of her board of directors. Finke certainly has no claim to purity on this topic — I've had stuff skimmed off by both her and by Waxman's people through the years without a fair level of attribution, so I can watch this with some amusement — but Finke alleges that The Wrap has been systematically repurposing her Deadline material. She throws down a barely veiled threat of ruin:
In 2010, Deadline's parent company MMC brought separate lawsuits in Federal Court against the owners and operators of DeadlineHollyweird.com and BoxOfficeWorld.com. Both resulted in the owners of those respective websites effectively closing up shop immediately after we filed suit. While those websites still technically exist on paper, they have been completely stripped of all content. We are currently in the process of resolving those lawsuits in a very favorable manner. In particular, the settlement in the Deadline Hollyweird lawsuit won by MMC's outside counsel Bryan Freedman of the Century City law firm of Freedman & Taitelman will result in, among other things, the defendant transferring the entire domain DeadlineHollyweird.com to MMC.
Now we embark on our next phase of copyright protection. TheWrap.com has had many wholesale staff turnovers since it began in January 2009 and at present is operating with just a handful of reporters -- apparently the least amount in its brief history. As one of TheWrap's reporters emailed to a Deadline staffer expressing his frustration trying to compete with us, "I spend my days following and getting scooped by you." But that is no excuse for what keeps happening and is even increasing as outlined in this letter which attorney Freedman just sent to TheWrap's editor-in-chief Sharon Waxman, COO Mark Davis, and board directors Ben Choi (a principal at Maveron which initially funded TheWrap) and Charles Koontz (a media entrepreneur.)
* Added: The Wrap posts the letter under the headline "Party Pooper," noting it comes just before the site's Oscar party tonight. "While Mail.com claims that TheWrap is misappropriating its content, it gives no examples of TheWrap having done so," Waxman says. The party, at Culina at the Four Seasons, started at 6 p.m.