Let’s get this out of the way: I don’t like it when anyone steals anyone else’s content. And by “stealing” I mean wholesale copying and pasting all of an original work or using any part of someone’s work without credit and a link back to the original content. Period.
Not that I’ve ever said otherwise. With all of my railing against the Marburger plan and the AP, a few detractors have jumped to the conclusion that I don’t support any kind of copyright protection – which is just absurd.
What I have been railing against for weeks now isn’t an opposition to tough copyright law, it’s big news media trying to legally change the online marketplace to benefit themselves (and not content providers as a whole).
Facts should not be owned, but one person’s word-for-word summation of those facts should be. If a reporter took the time to investigate and write an enterprise story – other content entities should give him or her credit and link to their piece prominently when they choose to write from the original work.
Could copyright law use an update to account for the digital sphere? Absolutely – but not at the expense of the free exchange of ideas and analysis online. We in the news business are supposed to be all about that, remember?