Nov 22 2005

Open Source Back To Rightful Owner

Published by at 11:30 am under All General Discussions

I was about to launch a pretty scathing post on Roger Simon’s and Glenn Reynolds OSM project because of their obvious copyright infringement on someone else’s hard earned rights to ‘Open Source Media’.

What had me going was the total reasonableness of the original and rightful owners to the moniker Open Source Media. And what really irritated me was the Simon-Reynolds OSM attempt to mislead its readers with cover ups and lies (and here and here):

Fake OSM: Due to a miscommunication, OSM inadvertently wrote on our site that Christopher Lydon of Radio Open Source “graciously agreed” with us to give up the url This is incorrect. He gave up the use of that url entirely of his own volition and after no discussion with us. We had never contacted him before he took his action.

Real OSM:This is still not true. We never gave up the URL If you click on it, there, you’ll see that it points to us. In May, this was our URL; we stopped using it after we registered, which is easier to remember on the radio. But we never gave up ownership of the URL, we just stopped using it actively.

This was bordering on criminal and had me wondering what kind of law professor Reynolds was. But things seem to have corrected themselves somewhat with regards to Open Source Media – the rightful owner – with this news

Open Source Media Is History

The quickest flameout in history? Not exactly…acknowledging the bumpy start and the embarrassment of the name snafu, Open Source Media is reverting back to its original name, Pajamas Media:

I consider Mark a good friend and Blog mentor, so suffice it to say his choice of words was not intended to say the rightful Open Source Media is history – just the awkward and klutzy attempt to name the struggling enterprise:

Well, Dennis just dumped the entire sordid story of what become the train wreck known as OSM(tm). It’s ugly. Predictable, in it’s own way, but ugly. At the same time I was signing my four-month commitment (which expired two months ago), Simon was being seduced by the Dark Side of venture capitalism.

Remind me never to start working on a business with a partner until we’ve nailed down the partnership in writing. It’s the first law of business after all: A verbal contract is not even worth the paper it’s written on.

This story has become too pathetic for me to expend any kind of emotion over.

This ‘venture’ has left in its wake a disaster. Angry bloggers is not the result you want. And I fail to see how the Pajama’s can compete with the Huffington Post, or any multi-blogger site?

I do see what is happening though. Major syndicated columnists like Corn, Malkin, Barone, Ledeen , Simon and others are trying to break free of the major media houses and findthat freedom in the blogosphere. But they need a lot of money to be free since the big media houses can pay them a lot for their writing. And I do not find fault with this goal if that is the case. I do find fault with not being clear with everyone what are the intentions and priorities.

The goal for intellectual and editorial freedom is a good one – but these people need to be straight with the other bloggers. From what I can tell there is no allocation of money to the ‘partners’. If there is no allocation of ownership beyond the board the second tier blogs in the list I just referenced need some commitment of minimal and bonus payment. If this ‘payment’ is from net revenues after operating costs, then the boards salaries can be considered operating costs and be priority. Leaving these partner blogs a long wait for any crumbs falling off the board’s table.

If these people want enough income to break free of the corporate news media or their current day jobs, then they need to be up front with everyone participating. Assuming they each want $200K a year (a measly sum for some) that means the 17 people on the board require revenues of $3.4M a year. That is an interesting number, since it nearly equals the $3.5M the effort raised in venture capitol. And one year is a standard new start test period. And a whopping $100K in remaining operating costs shows up in the poor launch, poor site layout, and lack of results.

The point has been made that as goes Pajama Media, so goes the blogosphere. BS. All Pajama Media may be is an example of what not to do in business in general and in the net specifically. It could simply be the next failed internet start up. The blogosphere would be better if it retained its wild, pamphleteer, independent nature and not start falling into mergers of blogs, which only leads to vanilla sameness.

4 responses so far

4 Responses to “Open Source Back To Rightful Owner”

  1. […] UPDATE 9:36 a.m.: AJ has some harsh words over the name snafu, and some thoughts on why he thinks Pajamas will probably ultimately fail…Jeralyn Merritt at TalkLeft has some constructive suggestions: I do think Pajamas has potential, particularly if they lose “the suits” who are advising them and get back on the creative track. Look what Arianna has done with Huffington Post. It’s the best one-stop site around with up-to-the-minute news articles and blog posts. While it began as all celebrity-written, Arianna has graciously invited several liberal bloggers to cross-post what they write on their sites on HuffPo. She links to non-celebrity bloggers. HuffPo has a great layout and graphics. It’s inviting. Not surprisingly, it’s a success. […]

  2. axiom says:

    AJ: Do you have any numbers for the salaries a writer like Corn receives from the Nation or Ledeen receives from National Review?

    I’ve heard numbers that suggest Ledeen makes about $60,000 a year to work with the American Enterprise Institute. I believe Richard Perle has mentioned this on C-SPAN a few times, not in relation to Ledeen, but to himself.

    I do think you need to read more into the Pajamas Media Project. It is not about merging blogs. It’s about comprehensive content. It doesn’t constrain the individual drive to be wild.

    And it’s not like Huffington Post since that site is all opinion, all the time.

  3. AJStrata says:


    I just pulled a number out of the air. But if they are upper middle class living in DC or NY, they need at least $200K to make the change over worth their while. I am positive they make a lot more than $60K a year!

    But these are examples of what should be known to the partner blogs. I am not a partner blog and they are not allowed to publicize their arrangements. So this is necessarily a one way discussion where I guess and they figure out what it means to them.

    The fact the Pajama’s have stumbled badly is obvious to all. That goes without saying.

  4. says:

    Back in Pajamas

    Round up of reaction to the Return of the Pajamas….