‘That’s Great News’ but it comes at your expense

An example of one of the plaques prepared by That’s Great News and made available to a company featured in a publication.

A chain of emails is making its way through the Newspaper Association Managers list serve that could be of interest and concern to you.

“That’s Great News” is a company located at 900 Northrop Road, Wallingford, CT. You might check to see if you have that company as a subscriber. The company has subscriptions with newspapers in other states and they read through them to find names of individuals in the community. Once it tracks down one of the people mentioned, it sends them a sales pitch, offering a plaque that has the story mounted on it.

It’s not unique, a similar service has been used for years by banks and perhaps other local businesses as a customer service; taking a story or photo, mounting it in some way and then sending to the client as a way of ‘congratulations.’

There’s some disagreement as to it being copyright infringement because the company has purchased a copy of the newspaper. I’m not certain just purchasing a copy of any publication usurps the copyright law and gives a person, entity, business the right to reproduce that article without fear of being sued.

Others/Several are suggesting sending the company a cease and desist letter. Sometimes that can have an effect but “That’s Great News” has been doing this for quite a while, apparently, so perhaps cease and desist letters aren’t deterring it from continuing the practice.

Checking out the company’s Facebook Page — https://www.facebook.com/pages/category/Business-Service/Thats-Great-News-80046266922/ — there are several comments about the company harassing people by continuing to contact them about ordering a plaque. And you’ll notice it’s rated 2.6 out of 5 by the 67 people who submitted a review.


‘Great News’ has been ‘bad news’ in Kansas

From the Kansas Press Association

Let’s just say that “That’s Great News” has been nothing but bad news here in Kansas.
We sent a cease and desist letter. The owner wanted to strike a deal to have the newspapers share revenue derived from his products. You can imagine what our response was to that idea.
We then filed a complaint with the Connecticut AG’s office on behalf of our newspapers. They were great to work with but said we had no standing because we (KPA) were not the harmed party – our members were. So, they will have to file their own complaints against “That’s Great News.” In short, this is where we ended our fight as an association.
On the advice of counsel, we now suggest to newspapers that they insert a terms and conditions clause into their subscription agreements.

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