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NYT enforces copyright over bloggers

By Steven | March 20, 2009

I’ve noted before that lots of bloggers routinely flout copyright. One of the ways they do so is by lifting photos from others’ websites. This will rarely be protected by a defence of fair dealing. The US “fair use” defence is wider, but not that much wider. The New York Times has apparently gotten fed up with bloggers ripping off their photos and has written some dirty letters telling them to take them down.

Cue debate in blogosphere. Is this stupid and counter-productive, creating a disincentive to link to NYT’s website? Or is it a sensible attempt to protect their intellectual property rights? Or should copyright laws be changed to allow this sort of copying?

Topics: Copyright | 1 Comment »

One Response to “NYT enforces copyright over bloggers”

  1. Rick Shera Says:
    March 25th, 2009 at 4:15 pm

    Copyright it seems to me was always about protection of economic property rights. Latterly, the “so as to encourage creativity and innovation” bit got added, but I have never pur much store in that (even though I have used it in argument ;-)). In my view, creativity and innovation come first and then people think about monetising it, not the other way around. So, I wonder whether we should:

    – continue to have copyright automatically arise (elegant in its simplicity);
    – expand fair use (not just parody and satire); and
    – do away with copying prohibitions for non-commercial use and cement in place moral rights as a default position for all uses of copyright works (rather than just commercial uses – i.e., a forced CC-BY-NC type position). Of course, some definition is required and the above will add degrees of uncertainty but probably no worse than there are already.

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