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Putting news on my website
Can news be just copied and put on a website

 11:49 pm on Feb 26, 2006 (gmt 0)

I will be launching several websites in the near future,( I'm still learning from all the great help here on Webmaster, and some advice was to hold off launching my website intil I learn more) and one one them is a going to have news and information on certain health issues. When I search the web and find current news on my subject can I copy and paste in into my website if it doesn't say something like " No part of this can be duplicated, reprinted, published da da da da."



 6:42 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

bedlam I am shocked to see that, this discussion is going on in my office as well as this forum and it seemed the prevailing opinion that copyright issues were a civil matter. Of course we are just a bunch of computer geeks sitting around and all we have is speculation and opinion and really this is way out of my area of expertise. However I do make desicions in this area and it looks like some of my understanding is quite flawed. (*this is why I love forums)

Maybe this is the anti-institution guy in me talking but I get a little sick thinking that any goverment would get involved in a matter like this.

Most of the violations listing in your link refer to selling or profitting. However there was this one.

"(d) by way of trade exhibits in public an infringing copy of a work or other subject-matter in which copyright subsists"

And this seems to be exaclty what I was talking about. Exhibting in public a piece of work. Looks like I am a lawbreaker. There are a few exceptions that my arugemnt could fall into though

It looks like though if you have had it up for 2 years then they notice it is to late for them to recover losses. Not something I would want to count on though as a way out. But other
exceptions to this is listed with this opening statement:

"with the consent of the owner of the copyright in the country where it was made"

You can:
-make 2 copies
-import, for the use of a library, archive, museum or educational institution, not more than one copy
(I could argue I am keeping a news archive of sorts
It doesn't say anything about access to said library or archive.)
-use within an educational institution in a course of instruction

Looks like these are Fair Dealing type clauses. The real question.... Does the owner of the work give you contest simply by giving you 1 free version in an area of a website not restrcited by a agreement you enter into before viewing the work?


 7:08 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Does the owner of the work give you contest simply by giving you 1 free version in an area of a website not restrcited by a agreement you enter into before viewing the work?

This is not my area of expertise either--ask me a css question!--but as in any legal dealings, I'm certain it would be best to trust to explicit, written communications. 'Implied consent' sure sounds like a shaky legal basis to me...



 7:42 pm on Mar 1, 2006 (gmt 0)

Well if I do end up in court I will be sure to repost to this thread one more time to let you know what the judge says becuase I think that is the only person who can decide for sure. But even against me a still get a few apeals.


 1:16 am on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I am sure that medical papers and research articles are written and reproduced all the time.

I edit medical research/grant material 40 hours a week, and let me say that you're barking up the wrong tree if you think medical journals don't care about copying. In fact, in order to publish in most journals an author is required to sign copyright over to the publisher (and, no, there's no pay for writing these articles); if the doctor I work for wants to re-use a diagram he published in one article he has to get permission from the original publisher, who now owns the copyright. Under fair use, a reader is allowed to make one copy of an article for personal use or research. I will say the medical journals are much better at protecting their material than the average joe-website. If you don't have an online subscription (or access to one, such as through a library), articles aren't going to pop up on screen. They want to get cited, of course, but not copied.

There's a small movement toward open medical journals online, but it's difficult because in order to avoid the "perish" part of publish or perish, you have to be published in journals with creditable peer review, and it's hard for the open online journals to get people to believe that they have stringent review, even when they do. So, to play it safe, most authors will send their articles somewhere else.

But the medical journal world is quite different from most of the web - although not too different from mainstream print publishing. Most journals are published by big corporations now, which are being bought up by even bigger corporations. Most subscriptions, either online or print, are astronomically priced. And, as I said above, the author loses everything to the publisher for the "favor" of being published. The movement for open content is a reaction to this overkill, and how some scientists see it lessening the sharing of research results, not a statement against copyright laws in general.

If you're surprised at the opinions in this forum, remember that most people here make at least some income from their creative work (their own creative work), so they're (we're) not going to be terribly happy with someone who claims the right to take and use it in any way desired. Copyright laws aren't made for the good of the individual creator; they're made for the good of the community at large, in order to give creators an incentive to create. That's why copyright expires after a time. There'd be pretty slim pickings if authors (or reporters or photographers or publishers - online or off) didn't have some kind of protection for their work. If you think there are a lot of scummy, crummy MFA sites around now...!

BTW, on some of my pages I give permission to republish the material. That's inviting someone in.


 10:27 am on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

What i dont understand is how you can claim rights to facts.

I am mailny reffering to news articles here, but lets say a newspaper does a story on a 8 year old girl that gives birth to twins. They publish it on their site and i want to tell my blog readers this news. I see no reason why i cant just re-write the story into my own words.

Infact, if i have re-written the story then i dont even see why i should credit the source. The girl giving birth was a fact, it wasnt someones creative mind. It would be like copywriting the ability to breath and then charging people to do it.


 4:22 pm on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

You can re-write it in your own words. I think that has been agreed apon withen this forum, the question is do you have the right to take a something you were giving. Weather you buy a physical paper or you get html source placed on your computer. And then repost that article without changing it.

I know what you are saying about the medical jounals. But once one is published on a public website. Then I think they are giving some of the exclusive rights by placing the ource of your story onto someones harddrive. That is what happens when someone views a webpage, an html souce is placed into memory and rendered to the screen.

I would say that if you have to sign-up and sign-in to areas to get at certain news stories then the poster of the stories has an opportunity to have the viewer agree to certain terms of use.

When you stright up post it on a public site, copies will be made and you can't expect them to not be. Google will make a copy for it's cache. They will even dislay the copy when the live version is down. Why can they do this and I can't? I doubt Google asks every site it indexes if they can make copies and re-display them word for word. Just like my site, Google says if you want something removed then take this action and Google will remove it. I do the same yet somehow I am the big idiot for thinking this way.

I understand the desire and the reason for wanting to profit from your own work. I profit from my work everyday, I don't go posting my wicked awesome CMS framework code on public pages that anyone can view and make copies of though. And anyone I do give access to the source code I have them agree that they may not make a copy of the code among other long winded things my lawyer drew up.

But if you do want to profit then why would you post to the public? Keep your protected work behind areas that require login. Have people enter into an agreement about the use of what they get in that pivate artea and you are fine.

As I have said before and I still say. If it is placed on my computer without me agreeing to terms of use then I have fair use / fair dealing, which does allow for copies and does allow for re-display with some conditions, but still it is allowed.


 5:48 pm on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

[Deleted. What's the point?]


 6:28 pm on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)


Sorry to anyone whom may opinion has frustrated. I love a good debate, and I love to argue maybe to much for my own good.

The only reason I have been pushing my point is because I lately have been feeling like people think there is one set answer to complicated questions, the answer is not as simple as the "NO" the original poster got and I hope that if you want to post medical articles in an effort to provide information that may help people in some countries that don't have access to a 1st world medical system like some of us enjoy that you would just do it and not be so concerned with weather or not someone is going to try to recover what they perceive as lost wages or profit. Fight the good fight.

Maybe it is "WRONG" now but there have been lots of laws that were on the books and someone or some people got together and went to court and challenged what was on the books because they felt it was unfair. I guess that is my position and I would argue all of my above arguments in a court. Sorry if you want to lay down and just except every law on the book unjust or not. That just isn't me.

I love open source I encourage freedom to information. I contribute open source code and have release 4 open source products that are widely used around the world not to mention I set up mailing lists for people that use said products and I even write patches and issue patches others have written. I do this because I believe that in a world with this many people we should be looking for ways to help each other not sue. There are great reasons to sue people and great reasons to put people in jail My opinion is this is way down the list.

Reproducing an article posted on the web seems to me a really trival thing to be upset about. I mean you posted it on the web in an area not protected by loging in, what expectations could you possibly have about people not using it?

Anyway you have heard my 2 cents on this issue way to much for your liking I am sure. Thanks for the lively debate I think I enjoyed it more then most but that's ok.

Now someone ask me a python or sql question!


 7:29 pm on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

Sorry if you want to lay down and just except every law on the book unjust or not. That just isn't me.

Well, see, most people here don't consider it to be an unjust law. In fact, if you read some of the other threads, you'll find that a lot of webmasters don't *lie* down and *accept* [I'm a copy editor - can't help myself] people taking their content without permission. So if you're trying to find support to change what you think is an unjust law, you'll have to find it somewhere else.

deano6410, you're right. Facts can't be copyrighted. Only the way the facts are presented can be copyrighted. So as long as you express them in a different way than the original (in your own words, with your own thoughts), no problem. Some people decide not to go to "all that trouble," and will be as likely to copy your original work (which you own the copyright to) as they are to copy the original work that was the source of your facts.

BTW, deano, one reason that citing your source can help you, is that if you have a good source for your facts people may be more likely to believe what you're saying. That depends on the topic and how much of an authority you are on it.

[edited by: Beagle at 7:42 pm (utc) on Mar. 2, 2006]


 7:41 pm on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I hear what you are saying but do you as a copy editor post stories you want to profit from in areas of your website that are not restricted by login? If you do then don't be surprised when you see a copy of it in google cache or msn cache or the internet archives, or perhaps even on my little site or someones else as the subject of a discussion. In fact I have seen so many articles copied exactly word for word because someone started a disscussion about the original article on a popular forum and the link to the news article became too busy and the ISP shut down the page or it just can't handle all the requests so someone just reposts it on their site and says you can view it here as well. Are all these people asking for just asking for it? I still don't think so but I guess many people here do.

I fully appreciate the arguments against me that have been raised.

I just don't see what is wrong with reposting a news article, one that was never for sale, something I had just happened by and didn't have to login in to see, or check some box about agreeing to terms of use, just a news story on a webpage, why is reposting it with full credit and a link wrong? Maybe it is lost on me, but under the above circumstances I fail to see the problem.

Please don't get the idea that I am just trying to chime in the last word here, it was suggested a page back that I am, it is just these posts are now being directed at me specifically so I am answering.

I hope I am not coming off as to much of an an ass, maybe to some I am but I feel strongly that is an abuse of my rights to not allow what I described in the above scenario. Yes there are times when you can't do it, but the context counts for something. I still don't think "No" is the right answer to the original post.


 8:25 pm on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

I feel strongly that is an abuse of my rights to not allow what I described in the above scenario

This is the point that you keep ignoring. You have no rights to any copyrighted work unless a) you are the copyright holder, or b) they have been explicitly granted to you by the copyright holder.

This is not new law, even if it is new to you. The Berne Convention [en.wikipedia.org] is well over a century old and Canada (since you're in Canada) orginally joined it in 1923 [strategis.ic.gc.ca].



 8:37 pm on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

>> You have no rights to any copyrighted work unless a) you are the copyright holder, or b) they have been explicitly granted to you by the copyright holder.

That is not correct. I have fair use / fair dealing rights.

Of course no one answers on my points of how google is making copies or my example of articles being 'slashdotted' and then reproduced to continue discussions.

How is google not in copyright violation? Are you suggesting that they have gained explicitly granted rights from every copyright holder of news articles they reproduce word for word?

Again the answer is not as simple as "No"


 9:12 pm on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

That is not correct. I have fair use / fair dealing rights.

Sorry, bad edit on my part--I meant to refer to reproduction of copyrighted works. You're quite right about fair use / dealing.

Of course no one answers on my points of how google is making copies

There has been plenty of discussion [google.ca] around here about the legalities and possible illegalities of Google's position with respect to the cache etc. Many people believe that Google is in violation of copyright laws because they (Google) insist that webmasters specifically deny Google permission to cache pages when this is exactly opposite to how copyright regulations work in every other area.

...my example of articles being 'slashdotted' and then reproduced to continue discussions

Again I point out that I'm not a lawyer, but I think this case is pretty clearly covered under existing laws: any problem the copyright holder experiences as a result of being 'slashdotted' and any problem you or your forum experience as a result of some copyrighted work being 'slashdotted' are entirely unconnected. No access to the original? Too bad for your discussion.

In any case, why should your forum require republication of the whole of any work? Most forums--including this one--do perfectly well within the established limits of fair use.

I don't get it. I'm mystified by your agreement on the one hand that you are breaking the law (messages 22, 25 and 35) and your insistence on the other that you will continue to do so (message 25) and that you actually recommend that others do the same (message 38).



 9:53 pm on Mar 2, 2006 (gmt 0)

And so since people are in disagreement about the legallity of Google cache then why not the same differing opinion in the question. Can I post articles on my site?

Yes you can limit Google's crawling of the website with robots.txt, AND as I have mentioned tiresly you can also restrict access to human browsers via a logging required area. Paid or not paid the terms of the login membership can explicitly express that all material viewed cannot be reproduced. Same effect as the robots.txt but better because with the log in required area you can actually force someone into a contract and have them agree to your terms of use. No such thing exists when you post something on a public website without restrictions. Plus you have to know about robots.txt to use it, how many posts on here about how to stop a bot from crawling your site? I don't think by not using robots.txt you are expressly consenting to being cached on Google.

My posting are not that conflicting, they just vary in context. I do suggest in that case of a medical site that you go ahead and post any articles you may happen by that are available to the public by a legal vendor or the original author. I don't think that is in violation of anything and is more of a service then a harm to any copyright holder. I don't think in this case the person doing it has anything to worry about.

I did say I am in violation based on points made against me and I concede many of the facts made against me, but I also asked along with that statement, what is their recourse? What is the worst that could happen? That is why I say go for it, they will go for Google before me or you. Why? Because they got the cash.

I posted a fair dealing clause that stated for archival purposes you may make one copy. Well I take the copy the legal vendor or original author placed, without condition, onto my compter for me to read, I make one copy to my server for archival pusrposes. Clause met in my eyes.


 5:36 pm on Mar 3, 2006 (gmt 0)

I could argue I am keeping a news archive of sorts

I think this is the argument that the Internet Archive (the Wayback Machine) are relying on.

They do of course make verbatim copies of other people's web pages, and republish those copies on their site.

I'm not sure if this has been legally tested yet - they are still up and running though. There was a case against them a while ago, which I believe they won - can't remember though, might have settled.

So if you are considered an online archive then the rules may be applied differently.

Google do the same thing (republish verbatim) for their 'cached copy' of course, and a US judge in Nevada has recently ruled that this is not breach of copyright. It's only a baby court though, and the judge seems to have misunderstood the working of Google's 'cache', so we may see more of this case.

From the judgement:
“When a user requests a web page contained in the Google cache by clicking on a 'Cached' link, it is the user, not Google, who creates and downloads a copy of the cached web page. Google is passive in this process,”
(he's wrong here, because Google's spider crawled and copied the site before the end-user's search request)
“Without the user’s request, the copy would not be created
(again wrong, except in as far as all files published on the web are sent in response to the user's HTTP request -so if this argument were true then nothing published on the web could be copyright-infringing, which is clearly not the case)
and sent to the user, and the alleged infringement at issue in this case would not occur. The automated, non-volitional conduct by Google in response to a user’s request does not constitute direct infringement under the Copyright Act,”

Apart from the judge's problems understanding the technology though, this is basically a Fair Use defence:
“Because Google serves different and socially important purposes in offering access to copyrighted works through 'cached' links and does not merely supersede the objectives of the original creations, the Court concludes that Google’s alleged copying and distribution of Field’s web pages containing copyrighted works was transformative." "Google’s use of entire web pages in its cached links serves multiple transformative and socially valuable purposes. These purposes could not be effectively accomplished by using only portions of the web pages"

(Judge Robert C Jones, Nevada District Court)

best, a.

Update: It seem that 'Perfect 10' (a porn site) defeated Google in the Central District of California at the end of Feb, on the issue of whether an injunction be granted to prevent Google publishing thumbnail copies of P10's images (while P10 sues google for copyright infringment).

P10 is arguing that Google's thumbnail's are no worse in quality than the images that P10 licences for mobile phones - and this has trumped G's Fair Use argument.

Judge Matz:
“The Court reaches this conclusion despite the enormous public benefit that search engines such as Google provide. Although the Court is reluctant to issue a ruling that might impede the advance of internet technology, and although it is appropriate for courts to consider the immense value to the public of such technologies, existing judicial precedents do not allow such considerations to trump a reasoned analysis of the four fair use factors.”

Appeal pending.

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