For the half-year to 30 June 2014, the IPKat's regular team is supplemented by contributions from guest bloggers Alberto Bellan, Darren Meale and Nadia Zegze.

Two of our regular Kats are currently on blogging sabbaticals. They are David Brophy and Catherine Lee.

Friday, 5 April 2013

Fordham Focus 9: News Aggregators and Fair Use

Kat Little Red Riding Hood
Back at Fordham after a reinvigorating 4-hour sleep to attend the sunrise (this is to be intended literally) session on digitisation and aggregation, this Kat could appreciate different (and all quite strong) views on news aggregators like Google News and copyright.

The first panelist to speak was Christian Liedtke, who offered a slightly gloomy perspective on the relationship between news aggregation services and newspaper publishers. Referring to two studies conducted by the Iowa University and ETH and Boston University, he highlighted that empiric evidence shows no complementary effects of news aggregators on newspapers' websites. Quite on the contrary, news aggregators appear to have a substitution effect, which results in newspaper homepages receiving less and less visits, thus contributing to declining revenues in this industry.
Murdoch Little Red Riding Hood
This was said to be apparent if one looks, among other things, at what happened in Brazil, where 150 newspapers (representing 90% of the market) opted out Google News, and lost just 5% in traffic. Liedtke spoke of news aggregators and fair use as a modern fairy tale and showed an image of a Little Red Riding Hood with the face of Rupert Murdoch (!!) and the Granny/Wolf resembling Eric Schmidt of Google.

Liedtke's presentation was followed by that of Ralph Oman, who provided an overview on recent cases involving news aggregators. Speaking before an audience of copyright enthusiasts, he thanked us for being at the conference so early and wished us be rewarded in a future life, for instance by being patent lawyers.

Roya Ghafele then presented a study on the economic positive effects associated with the introduction in 2005 of a fair use clause into Singapore law (this Kat remembers that this might have been cited also in HM Givernment's Modernising Copyright report, which was released at the end of 2012).

Finally, it was the turn of katfriend and fellow blogger Howard Knopf to speak. First of all, he said that he does no longer subscribe to any newspaper, at least out of respect for the environment. Then he cited the classical decision in Francis Day v Twentieth Century Fox Corporation to express the view that copyright does not and should not protect short verbal texts. He concluded with a warning: don't wreck copyright just because you want to put a tax on Google.

1 comment:

Fresh News said...

Carry on updating us with news updates and increase our knowledge. Your work should be praised.

fresh news

Subscribe to the IPKat's posts by email here

Just pop your email address into the box and click 'Subscribe':