March 2, 2009

Let’s See [8:27 am]

Copyright Holders Challenge Sites That Scrape Content (pdf)

Generally, the excerpts have been considered legal, and for years they have been welcomed by major media companies, which were happy to receive links and pass-along traffic from the swarm of Web sites that regurgitate their news and information.

But some media executives are growing concerned that the increasingly popular curators of the Web that are taking large pieces of the original work — a practice sometimes called scraping — are shaving away potential readers and profiting from the content.

With the Web’s advertising engine stalling just as newspapers are under pressure, some publishers are second-guessing their liberal attitude toward free content.

“A lot of news organizations are saying, ‘We’re not willing to accept the tiny fraction of a penny that we get from the page views that these links are sending in,’ ” said Joshua Benton, the director of the Nieman Journalism Lab at Harvard. “They think they need to defend their turf more aggressively.”

Copyright infringement lawsuits directed at bloggers and other online publishers seem to be on the rise. [...]

Given the attention that I’ve been able to give this blog lately, I’ve already been thinking about how I might find a more efficient way to post, by actually quoting a little less and trying to consolidate more effectively. Now, it looks like there are those who are going to give me a little stronger incentive…

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