If You Accuse The NYT Of Violating Your Copyright… You Probably Shouldn't Be Doing The Same Thing

from the oops dept

One of the more ridiculous lawsuits we saw last year was smaller newspaper chain GateHouse suing the NY Times for linking to its site with a headline and brief excerpt on the Boston Globe website. Romenesko points us to news of the NY Times response, which seems pretty damning for GateHouse. Specifically, they show emails from GateHouse officials pointing out that identical activities are clearly fair use, and another email where GateHouse tells one of its own sites to immediately stop doing the exact same thing that it’s accusing the NYT of doing. In other words, GateHouse pretty clearly knows that an excerpt, a headline and a link are fair use — but still went after the NY Times for doing the same thing it did.

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Companies: gatehouse media, ny times

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Comments on “If You Accuse The NYT Of Violating Your Copyright… You Probably Shouldn't Be Doing The Same Thing”

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Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

By “interesting” I am hoping you mean pretty close to ridiculous and hardly compelling.

While I do not have an opinion on whether or not the position noted is compelling, I strongly disagree that it is “ridiculous”. Quite the contrary, the article I noted lays out in fairly clear terms how linking can in some circumstances be used in an abusive manner.

I find the precarious financial positions of the two companies interesting, but such positions are not in my view relevant to the more important issue presented. Specifically, is there some point where linking, and particularly deep linking, can move business activity from fair to unfair competition? It is possible this may be one example of the transition from fair to unfair.

ToySouljah says:

Re: Re: Re: Re:

“If you’re a GateHouse executive, what makes it even worse is that Your Town is better designed and thus easier to use than Wicked Local.”

that’s from the link that AnonCow posted. Seems like they are trying to stop the competition to me. Maybe if they designed an easier, more useful site they might get better traffic and decide to drop the lawsuit.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:2 Re:

The fact that one site appears to have a “better” interface is in some regards a red herring because it tends to lead one away from the pertinent issue. As was noted in the article I linked, the issue is much more subtle. More particularly, is there a line of demarcation delineating just how far a site can go via deep linking to another site before it is deemed to have crossed the line between fair and unfair competition? The author admitted he did not know the answer, and this is why he belives the lawsuit takes on added significance.

My sole purpose is highlighting the article is to point out that as with most issues there are competing interests, and a grasp of those competing interest provides a much better backdrop for working one’s way through a matter in order to arrive at a more informed opinion having at least some measure of a substantive basis.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re:

Aw, Mike, you’re gonna make Dan cry. And here he came all this way to promote his own comment on Techdirt, too.

But yeah, I think Dan lost me at the part where he says a subset or portion of a linked article is better than the entire article itself — it seems to support better editing than it supports a berlin wall on linking.

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