Will the real criminal please stand up?

August 4, 2011

Cory Black


As a professional web designer who developed Paramount  Communications’ popular website ( at least popular with Cory Black of “Public Policy Solutions, Inc.”), I have watched with astonishment as “Corygate” has exploded across local headlines over the past few days.

Cory Black has now admitted that he took information from Paramount’s copyrighted website and reproduced it on his own website, which is a crime. Cory now says it wasn’t his fault. He just liked it so much that he forwarded the text to his web designer in an email as an example of what he would like on his website.

Unfortunately, according to Cory, his web designer apparently simply reproduced the text word-for-word, character-for-character and placed it on Cory’s website, and somehow Cory never noticed that it was identical to the email he sent. It was all an “honest mistake,” of course. The web designer must have simply been swept away in excessive enthusiasm over the Paramount site designed by yours truly!

Well, Cory, it’s not that simple. Reproducing copyrighted material and presenting it as your own is a crime and you have now implicated a so-far unrevealed web designer as a criminal.  If this is so, Cory Black must immediately reveal the name of the culprit so that a remedy for this illegal act can be pursued.

If he does not do so, is he now not guilty of a criminal cover-up?

If Cory is not telling the truth, he has just defamed an innocent web designer, attempted to paint himself as an innocent bystander, and is now guilty of two crimes. The web designer has a right to defend himself or herself publicly.

In my professional opinion, there is a high probability that Cory Black does not in fact have a web designer at all. He likely created his own website and blatantly stole Paramount Communications’ intellectual property. The code in his site indicates it was generated with Dreamweaver ( a common web design program ) and lists no author in the Meta information.

Cory, it’s time for the truth!

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Interesting the assumptions being made. #1, how does anyone know that we didn’t try to contact Cory Black directly? In fact, I do have a voice mail in to him that has yet to be returned.

The fact is, Cory Black didn’t *just* steal the website content. He stole it, and then purported it to be his own, and even sent out printed materials with it. How in the world does he expect anyone to believe that he sent that content to a web designer and just by accident it ended up in his marketing collateral, and somehow he didn’t know? And we’re not talking about some inert portion of his website, we’re talking about core services — the core of his business.

I think a lot of people forget that coming up with website content isn’t a 5 minute process either — well, for Cory Black apparently it was. It takes copywriting, wordsmithing, thought, energy and time. Andrew Russo spent a lot of time developing his written communications, and it really does constitute the essence of his business and services. Cory Black didn’t just steal words. He stole 30 years of experience, and likely hundreds of hours of refining and thinking about what to say to the public and how to say it effectively, and he called it his own. When questioned about it, he merely blamed some mysterious web designer somewhere — either an innocent person who wasn’tgiven the chance to explain or defend himself, or a fictitious person that doesn’t exist and Cory is a liar on top of it all.

Either way, Cory Black ALSO could have merely issued an apology, or picked up the phone and called Andrew and apologized privately. I think a respectful person with integrity would have.

-Preston Kincaid


why are you running this article? Since when is a small claims level copyright infringement dispute worthy of front page news? I’m not saying that what Cory did was right, I’m saying who cares? You repeatedly call copyright infringement a crime, do you mean a civil wrong? What’s the penal code that you are alleging he violated?

A couple of days a week, there’s a local courtroom filled with small claims participants fighting over bigger disputes than this. Are you going to go publish all these disputes? Why not? There’s people every day who defraud other people in much more egregious ways than you think you’ve been wronged. And that’s Small Claims Court. Move on over to the big boy courts and you’re not even a blip on the radar.

You are blinded by your self interest here. What are your damages? You probably don’t even have any.

Anybody could take your website paragraph and re-write it to get around any copyright infringement. It’s junior high level stuff. Get over yourself.

What’s next, the article on the “criminal” whole stole your parking space?

Mr. Kincaid,

Where did the image of Cory come from? Did you take it? In writing about copyright theft you are committing it.

Living proof that anyone can post here. avid knows nothing and proves it by this inane comment.

Avid should slow down, there is no evidence or allegation that CCN committed copyright theft. Nice idiotic diversion, working for Cory?


My husband is a photographer and has his images borrowed (stolen) all the time. This image is from Cory Black’s website. I am sure he did not give CCN permission to use it. Copyright is interesting. If done on accident there is not such a big fine. If willful infringement can be proved (in this case I think it might) then the fines can reach $100k. Really.

That picture isn’t only on his website, it’s out there in the public domain and free for the taking. CCN knows what they are doing. Talk about reaching, what a joke. Cory needs some professional consultants of his own, looks like he knows just enough about media to be dangerous, not just to himself but also to those he represents.

How do you know this photo is in the public domain?

An ignorant argument that avid started. Copyright matters none here. Read “Fair Use”.

17 U.S.C. § 107

Notwithstanding the provisions of sections 17 U.S.C. § 106 and 17 U.S.C. § 106A, the fair use of a copyrighted work, including such use by reproduction in copies or phonorecords or by any other means specified by that section, for purposes such as criticism, comment, news reporting, teaching (including multiple copies for classroom use), scholarship, or research, is not an infringement of copyright.

How did this dreck make onto Cal Coast News as an opinion piece?

see the comment guidelines please

The Republican’s are still cheering Cory Black for sending a mailer to all the voting Democrats in the county misleading them into voting for the best Democrat to fill the position of SLO County Sheriff, the Republican Mr. Ian Parkinson! He was the least educated and ethical of the candidates, but who cares, he was a ‘good ole boy’. The Democrats don’t seem to mind because Cory Black is still “one of theirs” and the Republican’s loved it so there you have it…. No one cares.

I care, Cory Black has twice proven himself to be less than scrupulous, in fact he appears to be a BIG LIAR, where there is smoke there is a fire. Watch out.

bravo- the larger issue here is the unethical slate ballot campaign Cory ran in support if Parkinson. Like Parkinson or not-that was unfair, immoral and anti democratic; a blatant and callous attempt to fool the voters. Ripping off some info from another website pales in comparison, though that is important too.

Where are the ‘ethical’ dems on these issues? Where are the ‘ethical’ anyone on these issues? Silent, I suppose…

Mr. Russo and Mr. Kincaid choose to avoid the question raised in The Tribune article — why didn’t they just call Black directly when they found out and ask him about all this? I’m certainly not defending Cory Black, but Paramount is trying to get more mileage out of this than it deserves. I agree with Racket — time to move on.

What he did was wrong, and he’s a very bad man. But, his 15 minutes are about over, and we are moving on. Any future attempts to keep the (negative) spotlight on him are going to start to appear self-serving.

And by keeping the spotlight on Cory Black, Mr. Kincaid has managed to ‘plug’ his own web design work. Nice marketing!

Nothing to see here. Move along.