Journalist Threatens The Western Journal with Legal Action for Embedding Her Tweets


UPDATE: On Facebook, we received an additional message from Kaz Weida warning of “two separate lawsuits” regarding publication of the article in question.

“Hi. Joe. This is your official notice that you must revise the headline of your article about me and remove the image of me that you have used without permission. I have notified the Western Journal and am not notifying you that you will be served with two separate lawsuits in regards to this article,” she wrote.

Facebook message

“One is a copyright infringement for publication of tweets and images without permission. The second is for libel since the headline of the article is factually and demonstrably in correct. There is also a pending criminal case because of death threats that I have received that you may be involved in due to your engagement in a targeted smear campaign against a journalist,” the message added.

“I hope you and your publication will learn from the consequences of your actions.”

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A liberal-leaning journalist has threatened to pursue legal action against The Western Journal for embedding several of her tweets in a story published Tuesday.

Kaz Weida, who says on her Twitter profile that she is a “freelance journalist and editor,” as well as a “photographer” and “activist,” took issue with a Western Journal story titled, “Journalist Attacks Police Officer for Having Gun at Anti-Gun March.”

The article in question reported on a Pennsylvania police officer who Weida lambasted on Twitter for carrying an AR-15 rifle as he counterprotested a local March for Our Lives rally on Friday.

Do you think she has any sort of case?

“This is Martin Palla,” Weida, whose Twitter page is full of anti-NRA, pro-gun control tweets, wrote on Saturday. “He found it necessary to wander the streets of Greensburg, PA today with his gun while children were in 

As Weida’s tweet, in addition to the photo she posted of Palla holding his rifle, was crucial to telling the entire story, The Western Journal embedded her post and several follow-up tweets in accordance with the doctrine of fair use, commonly cited by journalists and media outlets in situations like this.

The article itself was about Martin Palla, an off-duty police officer with the Rostraver Township Police Department, who stood across the street from a March for Our Lives rally in Greensburg holding an unloaded Colt AR-15 rifle.

A department inquiry is now underway to determine if Palla violated civil service rules or his union contract. Because Pennsylvania is an open carry state, though, Palla, an 8-year veteran of the department, was not breaking the law by displaying his rifle in public.

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Weida took issue not only with the fact that her tweets were included in The Western Journal’s story, but that she was not contacted before the article was published. Weida also seemed to be upset that The Western Journal used her Twitter profile picture as a featured photo for the story.

She first tried to contact The Western Journal via phone, then followed up with an email.

“As a journalist and photographer, you do not have permission to use my image or tweets in your story. Nor did you contact me before publishing this piece,” Weida said in her email, before threatening legal action.

“You have 24 hours to take my photo down before I will be pursuing legal action against both the reporter and your publication,” she added.

Kaz Weida email (1)

Despite Twitter’s Weida’s threat, Twitter’s Terms of Service regarding content seem to suggest that she has no cause of action.

Though the terms, found on the social media platform’s website, state that “You retain your rights to any Content you submit, post or display on or through the Services,” they also note that by posting to the platform, users are giving permission for their content to be redistributed.

“By submitting, posting or displaying Content on or through the Services, you grant us a worldwide, non-exclusive, royalty-free license (with the right to sublicense) to use, copy, reproduce, process, adapt, modify, publish, transmit, display and distribute such Content in any and all media or distribution methods (now known or later developed),” Twitter’s terms state.

Not only does Twitter have the right to distribute and publicize content, but other entities are allowed to do so as well without providing any compensation.

“This license authorizes us to make your Content available to the rest of the world and to let others do the same. You agree that this license includes the right for Twitter to provide, promote, and improve the Services and to make Content submitted to or through the Services available to other companies, organizations or individuals for the syndication, broadcast, distribution, promotion or publication of such Content on other media and services, subject to our terms and conditions for such Content use,” Twitter states.

“Such additional uses by Twitter, or other companies, organizations or individuals, may be made with no compensation paid to you with respect to the Content that you submit, post, transmit or otherwise make available through the Services.”

Weida’s email to The Western Journal was not the first time she took issue with how her views regarding the incident have been covered. In a Saturday tweet, Weida noted that she has received a lot of criticism for calling out the police officer, then claimed “Black Lives Matter faces 10 times worse everyday.”

“What good is my privilege if it’s not benefiting the greater good?” Weida asked.

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Joe Setyon was a deputy managing editor for The Western Journal who had spent his entire professional career in editing and reporting. He previously worked in Washington, D.C., as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine.
Joe Setyon was deputy managing editor for The Western Journal with several years of copy editing and reporting experience. He graduated with a degree in communication studies from Grove City College, where he served as managing editor of the student-run newspaper. Joe previously worked as an assistant editor/reporter for Reason magazine, a libertarian publication in Washington, D.C., where he covered politics and wrote about government waste and abuse.
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