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In the past week, the BBC has taken heat for its understanding of, and respect for, copyright.
Criticism of the BBC started when Andy Mabbett complained to the BBC about photographs of the Tottenham riots being published with little more than a note that they were "from Twitter".
Now, in the interests of balance, it's the NLA's turn to put its side of the case. I've been asking MD David Pugh about his reaction to the ruling, and whether the ruling does indeed criminalise normal web users.
Anyone who clicks on a link and reads an article on a public news website in a commercial setting will infringe copyright unless licensed by the publisher, according to a UK Court of Appeal ruling in the NLA v Meltwater and PRCA case.
On a more positive note, the court ruled that it will be very rare that headlines are copyrightable, modifying the earlier verdict of the High Court.
In 2006, a Belgian newspaper group, Copiepresse, sued Google. It claimed that the search engine was violating its copyrights in showing headlines and excerpts from its newspapers in Google News.
Google lost in court, but it may have won a small moral victory when it left those same newspapers crying 'Bloody Mary!' this week. The reason? They noticed that their websites were no longer appearing in Google search results.
Enforcing copyright online has proven to be quite difficult. More than a decade after Napster brought the subject of digital piracy into the mainstream, content owners are still struggling to protect their rights on the internet. They have finally learned one thing though: suing grandmothers (and dead grandmothers) doesn't work.
So what are content owners doing? It appears they are turning their attention to a more receptive audience: politicians.
Copyright has proven to be a thorny subject in the digital era we live in. That's particularly true for traditional media. From record labels to newspapers, the internet has taken a lot of the blame for the woes of media companies that were once dominant. A lot of the time, their woes are connected, directly and indirectly, with internet-based copyright infringement.
To be sure, the internet has raised a lot of copyright-related questions. Where does fair use end and copyright infringement end? Are "hot news" laws a necessity given that bloggers can so easily piggyback on the reporting of major news organizations?
It’s hard to make a living writing online. In general, those who write for the web are looked down on by their ‘in-print’ counterparts. Despite the fact that we often speak to larger and more relevant audiences, there’s still an attitude that web copy is somehow illegitimate, less professional.
Just because someone is writing for a newspaper, they aren’t automatically any more talented or influential than a blogger. The lines are blurred; many bloggers being talented journalists and vice versa.
Indeed, the only real difference is the matter of accessibility, and it's this factor which has led newspapers to duck behind paywalls, offer subscription-based apps and ‘unique content’ add-ons as the old media struggle to monetise their sites and avoid devaluing their content.
The assumption seems to be that online, content may be king, but it’s still cheap.
In fact, one recent incident shows that some people consider it so cheap; it isn’t worth paying for at all.
The business model of the recording industry is broken. Just about everyone knows it, including record label executives. But the industry collectively still seems to have a hard time admitting it.
So it's really no surprise that the Recording Industry Association of America (RIAA), which has gone so far as to sue grandmothers for illegal music downloads, is singing a new heartbreaker: copyright law is broken.
Jailbreak your iPhone and go to jail? In the past, Apple has argued that jailbreaking an iPhone is not only a bad thing to do, but entirely illegal. The rationale: the process amounts to copyright infringement.
But yesterday brought good news for prudent (or paranoid) consumers who have hesitated to jailbreak an iPhone for fear that a SWAT team might break down their doors in the middle of the night.
Few traditional publishers like aggregators. They never have, and they never will. The problem: consumers do.
While publishers have made a fuss about aggregators for years, for the most part, there has been little they can do. And for all of their efforts, aggregation, in all of its various forms, isn't going anywhere. But a lawsuit filed by Dow Jones & Company could signal a tougher fight ahead if Dow Jones wins.
China's internet filter, dubbed the 'Great Firewall', is frequently the subject of discussion, and a source of scorn directed at the nation's Communist government.
But when it comes to defending itself against Great Firewall censorship criticisms, China might soon suggest that its critics look at another country: the UK. That's because the controversial Digital Economy Bill passed in the House of Commons last night, 189 to 47. And it gives the British government the wonderful ability to filter sites off the internet too.
There are a lot of people who dislike the wave of lipdubbing that has swept the internet. And if you're looking for someone to blame, Vimeo is a pretty good target. The online video portal helped launch the craze and hosts a plentiful library of user generated videos that feature individuals enthusiastically lipsynching to popular songs.
But someone has officially taken a stand against the practice of lipdubbing. Capitol Records has decided to sue the site for using its copyrighted content. They have legal grounds — Vimeo actively hosts and encourages its users to post videos that often infringe record label copyright. But Capitol Records could lose a lot of social capital by winning this lawsuit.