10/14/2015 at 7:45 am bobfig
Sorry that this is off topic but I couldn’t find an appropriate one, and since this is the most active board I wanted to post this and get discussion going on the ramifications of potential changes to copyright law that may threaten drudge-report and other content aggregation sites.
I will be launching a site soon using WPDrudge which is great software and then came across the above story yesterday which could affect all of us… perhaps there are some lawyers on this board or people that have lawyers that can chime in and comment on it .
1) is there a target date for a decision
2) if they pass a law that says you can’t link to other sites (a la Drudge), do you think it would be illegal to do it OR just if the content creator asked you to remove the link, then you’d have to.
3) how does fair use come into play ?
Bob10/14/2015 at 10:10 am PROPER Web
This is definitely on-topic, at least in terms of aggregation and curation sites. Thanks for bringing this link to my attention.
First, I am not a lawyer and don’t play one on the internet so use that as context for what I have to say here.
As far as general “linking” goes, something folks have asked me before, there could be no way that copyright law could cover pointing to another site. That’s basically a simple description of the internet, resources pointing to other resources. Restricting that would basically stop the internet. That won’t happen.
On the other spectrum, wholesale republishing content from another site without permission, say copying and pasting an entire page onto your site, is already covered by copyright law. If you’re posting copyrighted text or images without permission or attribution, you’re already in violation. Even attribution is fuzzy because some sites are fine with using their content with attribution, some are not.
I think the gray area comes when you start using bits and pieces of an article, including the headline, description, or quotes. It’s possible (again, I don’t know for sure) that under the current laws, there is a limit to how much you can use and how you can use it. Adding a quote from another article, with attribution, is common practice across sites. Using the headline exactly as it shows on another site, if you’re linking directly to it, probably isn’t an issue either. Drudge’s site, to me, seems safe. The headlines are his own construction, and he links directly to other sites. I doubt that anyone who has received the benefit of a top link on his site would complain, regardless of his spin.
At the end of the day, though, it’s up to organizations and individuals with copyrighted material to enforce that copyright. If the law changes, it’s still the onus of the content creator to go after the ones who are using it improperly. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not saying “it’s fine until you get caught,” I’m saying that some sites probably welcome the traffic boost and incoming links from aggregation and content sites … I’d venture that the majority feel that way.
That article was vague about what’s changing so I honestly wouldn’t be too worried about it. Quoting, linking, and mentioning other sites is the heart of the internet. I certainly wouldn’t put it above Congress to do something hairbrained but dismantling how the web works seems very unlikely.
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