In yet another example of old media failing to grasp the value of the internet to its business, the New York Times has come under fire for taking legal action against a small website that appeared to drive traffic its way.

The NYT sent a take-down notice to interiors site Apartment Therapy, telling it that its use of images from the paper's site was in violation of the Digital Millennium Copyright Act.

Fair Use

Sanctions, including having the smaller site's ISP shut off its servers, were part of the aggressively worded notice.

In spite of the fact that Apartment Therapy believed it was reproducing the images legally as 'fair use' and sending readers to the newspaper site to read more, its owners complied.

Fan tribute

Writing on his home page, Apartment Therapy founder Maxwell Gillingham-Ryan said: "We'll fully admit to loving their pictures, but we've been very conscious to never take too much from them, only blogging a visual 'taste' of an article and then pushing readers to get the rest on their site."

He continued: "In other words, our editorial policy has been to quote, not appropriate, just like we were all taught in high school."

At the time of writing, the NYT material has all gone from Apartment Therapy, but we'll let you know if the paper relents and works out how useful fans actually are.