ATLANTIC HIGHLANDS, NJ - Two local candidates for Atlantic Highlands Borough Council, Ellen O’Dwyer-Woods and David Krupinski, and the Vice President of the Atlantic Highlands Republican Club, Kim Spatola were issued a Cease & Desist request from the law firm of Sobel, Han & Cannon citing copyright infringement and campaign finance violations, on behalf of council member Jon Crowley.
At issue is a website, once owned and operated as a BLOG by Mr. Crowley, but abandoned and the ownership of the URL allowed to lapse more than a decade ago. Mr. Crowley asserts that a campaign flyer distributed by the “Friends of O’Dwyer-Woods and Krupinski” directed readers to the website in question. The website used proprietary images, copyrighted by Mr. Crowley along with disparaging content. It is alleged that nowhere on the site was there to be found a disclaimer explaining that this was a satirical political communication from Mr. Crowley’s opposition in the upcoming election.
In a statement to the Atlantic Highlands Herald, Mr. Crowley said, “Anytime you willfully break the law to publicly impersonate another by the misappropriation of their name, likeness, and protected property, you have to expect legal consequences. What makes this particularly perplexing, is the choice to do it as a part of a small-town political campaign. This act, along with a separate attack on my running mate, only serves to cast a pall on the spirit of our residents and most certainly our kids, who are watching. Going forward, I hope we all can re-set and focus on where common ground exists. The Atlantic Highlands Mayor and Council cannot play partisan national politics if we want to thrive; our town's future depends on it."
An attempt to reach Ms. O’Dwyer-Woods and Mr. Krupinski via email has not, yet, resulted in statements regarding these allegations.