This month, Lisa Belkin announced that she was leaving her popular parenting blog at the New York Times, Motherlode, to launch a parenting blog at the Huffington Post. The name of the new Huffington Post blog is Parentlode, and the NYT is not happy.
NYT lawyers sent a cease-and-desist letter to the Huffington Post yesterday, WWD reports. “While we are flattered by your focus on our blog and your apparent fondness for its name, we obviously cannot permit you to adopt a name whose sole purpose is to create an association in the minds of readers with our ‘Motherlode’ blog…” NYT lawyer Richard Samson wrote. “This is a transparent attempt to capitalize on the fame and reputation of the original nytimes.com blog, and constitutes an obvious infringement of The Times’ rights under U.S. Trademark law.”
The NYT also didn’t like Belkin’s explanation of the new name in her first entry for the Huffington Post: “For three years I have fielded reader emails about how “Motherlode” doesn’t really fit in an era when fathers are every bit the parent. It also doesn’t fit a blog that so regularly champions equality, and new paradigms, nor one that is written by a writer who is exquisitely aware of the power of words. For three years I have answered those emails by saying that a brand is a brand, and the Times wasn’t inclined to change this one, but if I were choosing today I would choose something more inclusive. Seems I AM choosing today. So welcome to ‘Parentlode.’”
The Times says it will “pursue all available legal remedies” if the Huffington Post does not respond to its letter within three days.
Motherlode is currently being guest-edited by a variety of authors.
So far, the blogs seem quite similar. In her last Motherlode post, Belkin said her goal there was to create a “virtual coffee klatch with good friends – to grind the beans, set out the mugs and sit back and listen.” At the Huffington Post, that is also her goal, but with “a chance to expand and build. There’s more space over here, and more resources, and more of an opportunity to have the wide-ranging conversation the topic deserves.”
Judging by the reader comments, many former readers of Motherlode have followed Belkin over to the Huffington Post to read Parentlode. They were not pleased that Huffington Post has filed Belkin’s new, all-inclusive site under its “Women” vertical. “I am working on that,” Belkin responded in the comments.