However, I think the larger point is that too many are looking to connect this issue more closely to Wikileaks than it deserves to be connected...I have no idea what happened between Assange and those two women in Sweden and it's difficult to see how adding any commentary on the matter at this stage really adds anything to the discussion.
Wow, that's the first logical statement on the issue I've heard or read.
I never thought I would see the day that there is a country with reasonable copyright laws. While I am in favor of intellectual property and copyright, I am apposed to restricting fair use. I also do not believe that copyright or IP should come before the actual utilization of something I purchase in the method I wish to utilize it. Case in point, I fail to see a problem with me purchasing an eBook and reading it on my laptop, Nook, and cell phone. By the same token, I fail to see a problem with being able to watch my DVDs on any device, including my computer, cell phone, iPod, etc. Now, for the real challenge, trying to get US law to reflect these changes.
Actually, I can attest to how AP works, as we have their feeds in my current job. The way our developers handle it in our systems is that all articles are imported as new, complete with new unique identifiers. Our displayed articles, however, are a much shorter list than a typical news agency, so we don't worry as much about duplicate articles.
As a programmer, I had to cringe at your use of the word "Incompetence". I think this is a bit harsh and here is why ... I can not comment whether this specific issue is something nefarious, incompetence, or just programmer exuberance; but when individuals "competence" is on the line, I would urge you to lean towards giving them the benefit of the doubt and at least ALSO point out other alternatives than just "incompetence".
As a Sr. Systems Administrator with development and database experience, I would have to agree with Mike in the statement of incompetence. Any good web developer would create unique identifiers for the articles (usually stored in a database with a link to the full article's file on the file system if the article itself is not stored in the database, or as the unique identifier for the record of the article if it is), and utilize that unique identifier for creating a object relationship between the article and the comments. I used to do that when I was and inexperienced programmer, and do it when I'm rushed.
Thus, I, personally, find it very difficult to give the "benefit of the doubt" in this case, though I cannot directly say that it's the programmer's fault. It could just as easily be the project manager, or full blown management incompetence within Yahoo!, or it could be that somewhere down the line, they are trying to "pad the numbers" of their active users with some slight-of-hand (mainly for advertising).
And it's not *just* congress that they're paying off....They often pay off doctors to push their drugs even though there are better treatments available. For example, a lot of doctors push various drugs for IBS when many of the cases are actually celiacs or gluten intolerant. At least, that's my personal experience.
Things like guns, cars and phones to name a few. Intellectual property industry must think that they are so special.
Guns are a bad analogy there. To be completely honest, gun manufacturers have had many lawsuits against them because the weapon they manufactured was used in a crime. While I cannot find the news articles dating back to the lawsuits, I did find this law, Protection of Lawful Commerce in Arms Act, which states:
An Act To prohibit civil liability actions from being brought or continued against manufacturers, distributors, dealers, or importers of firearms or ammunition for damages, injunctive or other relief resulting from the misuse of their products by others.
While I would agree that Cisco may be drug into this, I must reiterate what was stated previously: Where's the defamation? If this case was heard in Texas, I understand why they were going for the "journalist" aspect.
From Texas state law:
"§ 73.001. ELEMENTS OF LIBEL. A libel is a defamation expressed in written or other graphic form that tends to blacken the memory of the dead or that tends to injure a living person's reputation and thereby expose the person to public hatred, contempt or ridicule, or financial injury or to impeach any person's honesty, integrity, virtue, or reputation or to publish the natural defects of anyone and thereby expose the person to public hatred, ridicule, or financial injury.
§ 73.002. PRIVILEGED MATTERS. (a) The publication by a newspaper or other periodical of a matter covered by this section is privileged and is not a ground for a libel action. This privilege does not extend to the republication of a matter if it is proved that the matter was republished with actual malice after it had ceased to be of public concern.
(b) This section applies to:
(1) a fair, true, and impartial account of:
(A) a judicial proceeding, unless the court has prohibited publication of a matter because in its judgment the interests of justice demand that the matter not be published;
(B) an official proceeding, other than a judicial proceeding, to administer the law;
(C) an executive or legislative proceeding (including a proceeding of a legislative committee), a proceeding in or before a managing board of an educational or eleemosynary institution supported from the public revenue, of the governing body of a city or town, of a county commissioners court, and of a public school board or a report of or debate and statements made in any of those proceedings; or
(D) the proceedings of a public meeting dealing with a public purpose, including statements and discussion at the meeting or other matters of public concern occurring at the meeting; and
(2) reasonable and fair comment on or criticism of an official act of a public official or other matter of public concern published for general information."
Now, I am not a lawyer, however the way I read that is that if someone wrote something about me, true or otherwise, that causes harm on my reputation, then I have a case of Libel. However, in Texas, journalists are "privileged" in that they can publish the information as long as it is true, accurate, and timely.
That is why (I presume) Mr. Frenkel was going for exemption under the "PRIVILEGED MATTERS" clause of the Texas Libel statute. Note, however, that I have not researched case law to support this.