Wednesday, August 5, 2009

Everyone's Touchy About Reprints Now*

So, a few days ago I posted a link and excerpt to a fun article by Mary J Dresser that offered quite a pep talk concerning rejections.  Ms. Dresser posted a comment to dress me down about my using an excerpt of her article without permission.  Whereas I thought this was pretty common practice among bloggers, and often seen as a good thing (you want other bloggers to link to your blog because it increases your readership; it's like free publicity), the New York Times ran this news piece about the A.P. cracking down on the "unpaid use of articles on the web."  So the comment from the unauthorized author is very timely. (By the way, I did ask for permission and it was granted, so we are cool on that point.) At the risk of seeming cheeky and for those of you without a subscription to read the article in full, here's an excerpt from the the New York Times article: "Executives at newspapers and other traditional news organizations have long complained about how some sites make money from their work, putting ads on pages with excerpts from articles and links to the sources of the articles. Another complaint is that a link to an article sometimes leads to another secondhand user, not the original source, which can deprive the creator of some of the audience for its own site and the ads on it. Some less-well-known sites reprint articles outright, or large parts of them, without permission, a clearer copyright violation. But there is little consensus on how extensive that problem is for news organizations."  I liked it better when everyone was for the freedom of not charging people for information on the web. It just seemed friendlier back then.

*DISCLAIMER: Big Bird is not really dead. I don't want to get in trouble with Sesame Street; I just liked the cartoon.


Anonymous said...

If you link back to the original article, that back link actually improves the google page rank of the source. A high page rank means that a site can charge advertisers more. So this does not hurt them.

I think it's just common courtesy to provide a link, and give the name of the author when you excerpt an article.

Anonymous said...

You provide the link; we go favorably into that good link. She acts like a bi&^% on your, not so much (favorable vibe).

It's not Hoffman, but come on. Do people think before they react anymore??

Anonymous said...

And AP wants to go after search engines that display snippets in search results? Ok, that will protect their copyright. And also nobody will ever read AP stories.

This needs the "misguided" label.