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annabanana Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 07:33 AM
Original message
Lawsuit over website links in spotlight
Source: Boston.com

A copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit filed last month against The New York Times Co., owner of The Boston Globe and its Boston.com website, is being watched closely by news organizations, Internet researchers, independent bloggers, and companies that aggregate news online by linking to a variety of news sites.

At the heart of the complaint, lodged by GateHouse Media Inc., which publishes 125 community newspapers in Massachusetts, is the question of whether Internet news providers will be able to continue the practice of posting headlines and lead sentences from stories they link to on other sites. The case has been scheduled for trial in US District Court in Boston as early as Monday.

"This is the first case where these intellectual property issues have come to a head," said David Ardia, director of the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society in Cambridge. "If the judge was to rule for GateHouse on every point, it would have far-reaching implications for the news and information ecosystem that underlies the Web as we know it."

Kelly McBride, ethics group leader at the Poynter Institute in St. Petersburg, Fla., a school for professional journalists, said the case could result in new guidelines for how much, if any, content from one website can be used by another. "This is standard procedure across the Internet now," she said. "Newsrooms adopted the procedure from other practitioners."



Read more: http://www.boston.com/business/technology/articles/2009... /



WELL!

This would pretty much END our "Latest Breaking News" forum, wouldn't it....
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:10 AM
Response to Original message
1. it will pretty much end
"hit income" generated by people following those links to the news sites.

I don't have time to read every newspaper etc., my routine is to check out google news, and other sites where there are headlines with links - then follow the link to the source.

I'm now wondering if this would extend to stories which have "footnotes" (with or without links)
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 04:26 PM
Response to Reply #1
23. Quoting and footnotes goes back many centuries...
in some form to the origins of writing. This decision would effectively make scholarship illegal.

These people are insane predators.
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onehandle Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:34 AM
Response to Original message
2. Rut row. That would end most blogs as well. nt
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NM Independent Donating Member (794 posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:49 AM
Response to Original message
3. So much for being well informed
:(
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Towlie Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
4. Freedom of the Press must include freedom to report what fellow members of the press are saying.
The right of the people to know easily overrides any supposed right to treat news as intellectual property.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:55 AM
Response to Original message
5. I thought there was a suit with google that already settled this n/t
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #5
8. Hmmm... one was settled out of court... I think there were others though. n/t
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #5
12. Not google, but there was one
years ago about a news site that collected news links or articles, can't remember which. It differentiated it by considering it like a compilation in a telephone book, iirc. I thought the linking issue was settled due to that case.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:41 PM
Response to Reply #12
17. I don't know for sure.
I wish people would stop talking about linking as if it had something to do with this. The issue is "posting headlines and lead sentences from stories" that are being linked to. Nobody has any problem with the link itself.

As you say though I thought this issue was settled, but then again Google settled out of court on the case I could find there. While back though.
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 08:58 AM
Response to Original message
6. it will change the practice of linking....
won't necessarily change the practice of reading and giving a headsup

for example - I come across a story in the NY Times, and I put a post about it that says check out the story about Obama and the stimulus package in the NY Times

all this means is YOU would have to type in the NY Times website, and hunt/search for the story yourself. More work, but it could be done.

bloggers wouldn't be able to depend on "cut/paste w/link" for their blogs - they'll have to write original material, and "footnote" the source. Again - it's more work, but it could be done.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:01 AM
Response to Reply #6
7. Actually you could still post a link... just not the headline.
The headlines are seldom unique enough for copyright though.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 11:31 AM
Response to Reply #7
13. This is just about headlines? n/t
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:35 PM
Response to Reply #13
15. I should have been more clear... Headlines and excerpts.
Links are not an IP issue nor is an independently written article summary.

The thing is this would have VERY far reaching consequences. I bet Google, Microsoft, etc will be filing friend of the court briefs.
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sandnsea Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 03:57 PM
Response to Reply #15
18. Like aggregator summaries?
You could still write a blog piece and quote, you just couldn't lift pieces of articles like we do in LBN? That's the issue in question?
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 04:24 PM
Response to Reply #18
19. correct.
Which is why I think google MSN etc will jump in on this.

You could quote with comments (as we often do here), link, summarize, but not quote the title and first few sentences. So no, no aggregators, which is a very silly position for the paper to take as I imagine they have not bothered to see how much of their traffic comes from google news or other online aggregators. With physical circulation generally falling I would think they would want to court such traffic.
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lynnertic Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 11:15 AM
Response to Reply #15
21. so essentially this trial could determine fair use of online news?
thanks
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JackRiddler Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 04:28 PM
Response to Reply #7
24. Headline is the title of the piece and used in any scholarly citation...
These people are nuts! Such a decision is insane.
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depakid Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:04 AM
Response to Original message
9. Want to goad Congress into taking on the abuse of intellectual property laws?
A case like this would be the way to do it....
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radfringe Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:05 AM
Response to Original message
10. another thought - this doesn't necessarily have to be a "blanket rule"
Many news sites cover their "copywrite" by requiring you to subscribe to their site.

another option is for news sites to state they allow linking and/or reproduction of "x" amount of a story
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acmavm Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 09:16 AM
Response to Original message
11. This is ignorant. The whiners will find that their 'readership' will drop
because of the added inconvenience factor of having to troll all over hell and gone for the news. I'm not going to go through every fucking website in the planet to be 'informed'. That was the wonder of the 'internets'. These linked stories were like a roadmap into the world of news.
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Robb Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:19 PM
Response to Original message
14. Copyright act of 1976
"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."

:shrug: Seems pretty straightforward.
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Realityhack Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sat Jan-24-09 12:39 PM
Response to Reply #14
16. Fair use is anything but strait forward.
The court judges each fair use case independently based on the amount taken, surrounding circumstances, usage, etc.

For example just because teaching and scholarship are listed doesn't mean you can copy an entire book for use in the classroom. But quoting pieces in a paper would be fine.

Fair use is notoriously unpredictable in litigation.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 10:46 AM
Response to Original message
20. No big deal. Compose an original sentence describing the story, then link it.
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teknomanzer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 03:33 PM
Response to Original message
22. I am a little confused here...
If I link a story in a blog with a headline and excerpt - doesn't that increase traffic to originators website. Isn't that what people want? If I had a website and people were creating links to it - which would increase the traffic - I would welcome that. Are they completely ignorant or am I missing something here?
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bitchkitty Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:07 PM
Response to Reply #22
25. They are completely ignorant.
There is no other explanation. But I'm not surprised - many, if not most in business are woefully ignorant of things like this.
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teknomanzer Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Sun Jan-25-09 05:31 PM
Response to Reply #25
26. Well shit...
I would think that someone who has a business on the internet would at least know something about how it works. I am steadily approaching 40 and I am still astounded by the ignorance and stupidity of the majority of my species. Makes me wonder if I am that fucking stupid about some things.
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No Elephants Donating Member (1000+ posts) Send PM | Profile | Ignore Mon Jan-26-09 06:39 AM
Response to Reply #22
27. You may be correct. However, that choice is for the
Edited on Mon Jan-26-09 06:51 AM by No Elephants
owner of the copyright to make. If I own a store and prosecute those who stand in the doorway inviting people into my store, I may be dumb. A total maroon, in fact. But that does not justify someone using my doorway in a way that I disappove of.

Still, it may be fair use, especially given the prevalence of the custom on the Internet. Who knows?

Thing is, how many bloggers have the money to fight newspapers in court over "fair use?"
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