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Sunday, June 28, 2009

The Copyright Argument

Erick Schonfeld writes:

Of all the misguided schemes put forth lately to save newspapers (micropayments! blame Google!), the one put forth by Judge Richard Posner has to be the most jaw-dropping. He suggests that linking to copyrighted material should be outlawed.

No, Posner does not work for the Associated Press (which also has some strange ideas on linking). He is (normally) considered to be one of the great legal minds of our time. Posner is a United States Court of Appeals judge in Chicago and legal scholar who was once considered a potential Supreme Court nominee. He is someone who should know better. Yet in a blog post last week on the future of newspapers, he concludes there may be only one way to save the industry:

Expanding copyright law to bar online access to copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent, or to bar linking to or paraphrasing copyrighted materials without the copyright holder’s consent . . .

Let me repeat that. He wants to “bar linking” to newspaper articles or any copyrighted material without the “copyright holder’s consent.” I am sorry Judge Posner, but I don’t need to ask your permission to link to your blog post or to a newspaper article online. That is just the way the Web works. If newspapers don’t like it, they don’t need to be on the Web.

link: How To Save The Newspapers, Vol. XII: Outlaw Linking


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