2009: The year that was (or wasn’t)

Another year has come and gone. Since I began blogging, first on Blogger, then my own hosted blog and then here at InterstateQ.com, I’ve always done a year-end recap of my biggest stories of the year.

This year’s rewind is kind of sad, to be honest with you. As the economy continued to falter and challenges mounted up for print media across the nation, we felt our own sting at my day job. My friends and fellow staff at QNotes managed to hold our own, but responsibilities there led to a decline in my frequency of writing here.

Regardless, I managed to pull off some good stories here although many weren’t the “breaking news” I used to publish before I made the leap from blogger to “traditional media” gig.

So, in a way it was the “year that wasn’t” here at InterstateQ.com. Regardless, catch my Best of 2009 after the jump…

(P.S. — Be sure to check out my “The defining decade of my youth” at Bilerico Project.)

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A special follow-up to our Jan. 6, 2009 exclusive, “OutGayLife website network allegedly stealing news content from gay pubs, blogs, mainstream press”

Update: See important update at bottom of post.

After coming under fire for republishing more than 300 Associated Press articles and dozens more from LGBT-focused blogs, news organizations, publications and other media, the OutGayLife.com network is again raising suspicions of more instances of copyright infringement and intellectual property theft.

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Last updated: 01/06/2009 10:48 a.m. EST

Updates: OutGayLife.com has removed some copyrighted material. Other material, including newly found, copyrighted material, remains live on the website network. Updates are found at the end of the article.

This website network has been allegedly violating copyright laws and infringing upon the intellectual property of several LGBT publications, blogs and mainstream press organizations.

This website network has been allegedly violating copyright laws and infringing upon the intellectual property of several LGBT publications, blogs and mainstream press organizations.

An LGBT website network operating under the banner of OutGayLife.com is possibly guilty of violating copyright and intellectual property laws for its reposting and republishing of news stories, features, blog posts and articles from LGBT publications, blogs and mainstream press and news organizations.

Based in Edina and Bloomington, Minn., design and SEO company Moonviper.com operates the network which owns at least 21 other domains. Each of the almost two dozen other domains point to the same or similar content. Other websites in the network include MyGayRights.com, MyGayPride.com, BigGayTrip.com and several localized domain names such as DCGayBars.com, GayPalmBeachOnline.com, MyGayPheonix.com and SFGayLife.com. WHOIS information on the domains revealed Eric Wood was the registrant. Contacted by InterstateQ.com via phone on the morning of Monday, Jan. 5, Wood identified himself as the owner of Moonviper.

Browsing the network’s webpages, InterstateQ.com found at least 17 separate cases of possible infringement on the copyrights of LGBT publications, blogs and mainstream publications. The possibly illegally posted material included at least seven articles from the Asheville, N.C.-based gay newspaper Stereotypd (formerly, Out in Asheville) and its gay news blog.

Other instances of possible copyright infringement included republished content from The Advocate, the nation’s premier LGBT news-magazine; an op-ed from the blog of former Washington Blade editor Chris Crain; a blog post by The Atlantic‘s Andrew Sullivan; a blog post from New America Media, a coalition of over 2,000 ethnic news organizations; and several blog posts from BoxTurtleBulletin.com, a premier LGBT blog researching the anti-gay and ex-gay right.

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