Just a few weeks after Zite launched its “social magazine” iPad app, it’s managed to put itself squarely in the crosshairs of the media industry. A cease and desist letter was sent to Zite CEO Ali Davar today by a remarkably large group of media company lawyers, who insist that Zite must stop “misappropriating our intellectual property.”
Zite promises to use a combination of users’ browsing history, viewing patterns, and Google (NSDQ: GOOG) Reader or Twitter history to create a personalized magazine experience. But the media companies asking Zite to stop its aggregation — which include The Washington Post, AP, Getty Images, Time, Advance Publications, and many others — say the app is engaged in “reformatting and republishing substantial portions (and in many cases, the entirety)” of articles.
They also say Zite is misusing their trademarks and falsely implying that they’re affiliated with Zite. The letter, which is signed by dozens of top lawyers at media companies, concludes: “We encourage and support the development of new technologies that facilitate innovative use of our content — but those uses must be subject to our advance consent.”