Argentina: Clarín Media Group Seeks to Close Blog

A few months ago, Global Voices published an article about the Argentine multimedia company Clarín, which had been pressuring YouTube so that it would close the accounts that had been using clips from their news programs in order to make their own content, much of which had been critical of the Clarín group. Now, the same company has started a series of legal actions against the blog Qué Te Pasa Clarín? [es] (What's the Matter, Clarín?), which has been criticizing their news reporting.

The legal actions has forced the blog to close claiming that the blog had been infringing on a registered trademark. The blog is now closed, at least temporarily, due to the possibility of facing a fine or other economic sanction handed down by the Argentine justice system. However, many Argentine bloggers think that there is another reason for the legal actions.

According to the creators of the blog What's the Matter Clarín? [es], they main page states, because the rest of the content is offline “because of the legal actions started against the blog by one of the companies that make up the Clarín Group and they are forced to limit access to all of the content produced over the past three months.”

According to the blog ALT1040 [es], “The (Clarín) Group argues for the closing of the blog because the word Clarín is a registered trademark and one cannot use it as a domain by third parties. The underlying reason is to silence a journalist critical of them.” In the blog Mundo Perverso [es], Diego F. writes:

La cuestión es que la gente del pequeño y mediano monopolio ha decidido llevar un paso más allá el embate contra los blogs y ahora luego de aprietes e intimaciones judiciales obligaron a dar de baja el sitio. Así como lo leen: un hecho de censura consumado. Utilizando su poder económico y sus equipos de abogados se la agarraron contra los que denunciamos sus tropelías.

The issue is that the people from the small and medium-sized monopoly have decided to go a step further than the battle against the blogs and now after judicial pressures and intimidation, they forced the closure of the site. Just as it is read: censorship carried out. Using their economic power and their team of lawyers, they went after those that report their abuses.

Those who were behind the Qué Te Pasa Clarín? site opened a new blog called Guotpasshornet [es] that has been collecting the repercussions from the case, as well as links to other sites that have been writing about the topic. A long list has already been compiled and more being added each day.

The blog's name comes from a reference to the poor relationship between the Argentine government and the Clarín Group. The phrase, “What's the Matter Clarín, Are You Nervous?” was said by ex-President Néstor Kirchner during a speech in which he voiced his displeasure with the coverage provided by the Clarín newspaper of the government of his wife Cristina Fernández de Kirchner.


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