hot news

The twisted world of online copyright

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?

Google to the FTC: Efficiency killed the news industry, not us

If an industry’s broken, can regulation fix it? That’s one of the
issues that is currently being addressed in the respect to journalism. The Federal Trade Commission is convinced that original reported journalism
cannot be sustained by the current environment online
. To fix that, the organization is considering
a few remedies. One could be a 5% consumer electronics tax. Another is
regulation that will prevent low cost news aggregators from scavenging
newspapers’ reported content.

But there are more than a few things that stand in
the way of such regulation. Including Google. In a
blog post called Business problems need business solutions, Google explained in no uncertain terms that
regulation isn’t the way to save journalism.

Is this the first salvo in the ‘hot news’ war?

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.