Monday, March 2, 2009

New York Times on Copyright

The New York Times has once again published a biased article, "Copyright Challenge for Sites That Excerpt" that uses FUD to assert that Fair Use is somehow "dangerous". I won't go into the whole story, since there is nothing particularly unique about this article's biased attack on Fair Use.

What is troubling with the article, is that Comment #12 was found by the New York Times Editorial staff to be an "Editor's Selection". As an "Editor's Selection" I would have expected it to contain some insightful analysis. All that Comment #12 offered in the way of careful insightful analysis was: "Excerpting can be dangerous if the quote is taken out of context or modified in any way." - which simply boils down to FUD. Getting out of bed in the morning can be "dangerous" too, so maybe getting out of bed should be prohibited in the spirit of protecting us from the evils of living in the world.

Comment #12 also ignores a very important aspect concerning original content. What happens if the original content itself is "dangerous". For example, the plans to build a nuclear device. Well, if commenting on content should somehow be prohibited because it could be considered "dangerous", then we had better do away with all writing since all writing could be "dangerous". If all writing is prohibited, then we won't have to worry about copyright infringement. The Times would be pleased.

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