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Lawsuit Against Maine Blogger Dropped

David A. Utter
Staff Writer
Published: 2006-05-11

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Blogger Lance Dutson earned a victory against Warren Kremer Paino Advertising as the ad agency dropped its lawsuit against the web developer who criticized their business with the state of Maine.

Maine's tourism department received visitors of another sort: angry bloggers who wrote at length reviling Warren Kremer Paino for its litigation against Dutson and his attacks on what he perceived as wasteful spending by the state with the agency.

Dutson faced copyright infringement, defamation and trade libel charges from the agency. He had placed a copy of an ad created by Warren Kremer Paino for the tourism office on his blog.

That ad contained a phone number that proved to be one for a phone sex operation. Dutson obtained the image from the state's website, where it is still publicly available for download as part of a PowerPoint presentation.

Attorneys for Warren Kremer Paino withdrew the suit "without prejudice," the Concord Monitor reported, so if the agency choose to it could refile the suit again.

A Maine representative, Stephen Bowen, had called upon Governor John Baldacci to suspend its dealings with Warren Kremer Paino. The Lincoln County News reported how Jack Cashman, Maine's commissioner of Economic and Community Development, urged Warren Kremer Paino to drop the suit.

Bowen likely felt the impact of all the blogger attention as well. His district contains Camden, the home to the annual Pop!Tech conference. High-profile bloggers like TechCrunch's Michael Arrington and Microsoft's Robert Scoble both expressed reluctance to attend the October event in response to the lawsuit.

"This is no longer a policy disagreement. It's no longer a suit. It's reflecting poorly on the state…and doing potential harm to my district," Bowen said ahead of the suit's dismissal. "The people who come to PopTech are precisely the people we want here."

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About the Author:
David Utter is a staff writer for WebProNews covering technology and business.

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