Murdoch's The Times Accused Of Blatant Copying, Just As It Tells The World You Should Pay For News

from the oooops dept

Just this week, James Harding, the editor of The Times (of London), a paper owned by Rupert Murdoch, tried to explain why the news is worth paying for, as the paper starts to put up a new business model to get consumers to pay for news. Unfortunately, Harding apparently didn’t get the message himself. As pointed out by Mathew Ingram, just days after making the case for paying for news, The Times has been accused of publishing an article that it copied without permission from a blog.

You can’t make this stuff up.

Yes, just as Rupert Murdoch is calling aggregators (sites that simply summarize and link to stories) parasites (even as he owns a bunch of aggregators himself), one of his papers didn’t aggregate, it flat out copied, without permission, a blog post that was written by Edgar Wright as a tribute to Edward Woodward, who recently passed away. The Times eventually put up a “clarification” online that had a link to the original site, but that hardly explains the original copying — especially during the very week that they’re trying to convince the world that news should be paid for….

Filed Under: , , , , ,
Companies: news corp

Rate this comment as insightful
Rate this comment as funny
You have rated this comment as insightful
You have rated this comment as funny
Flag this comment as abusive/trolling/spam
You have flagged this comment
The first word has already been claimed
The last word has already been claimed
Insightful Lightbulb icon Funny Laughing icon Abusive/trolling/spam Flag icon Insightful badge Lightbulb icon Funny badge Laughing icon Comments icon

Comments on “Murdoch's The Times Accused Of Blatant Copying, Just As It Tells The World You Should Pay For News”

Subscribe: RSS Leave a comment
Mike C. (profile) says:

Well.... mostly copied.

Epic fail.

Of course, the linked article points out that they didn’t even copy the article “as is”, but felt they needed to edit. This further upset Mr. Wright as it removed what he felt were important parts of the article.

Maybe someone needs to point this out to Mandelson so he can sick his copyright police force on the Times… 🙂

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Well.... mostly copied.

The laws only apply to individuals and bloggers. They don’t apply to big rich corporations. Laws don’t exist for them, they can do what they want. Oh sure, the laws might be written there for them as a formality but it’s not enforced so it basically doesn’t exist. The law basically says, “If you’re not a rich and powerful corporation you are subject to copyright restrictions. Otherwise you can copy all you want without penalty.”

TasMot says:

To Pay for the News

Years ago when cable was brand new, you paid for cable and didn’t have to deal with all of the commercials. Now you pay for cable and have to deal with commercials. Newspapers seem to want you to “pay” for the opportunity for them to display advertisements to you. I’m not really interested in paying for that opportunity. If I have to pay for it, for the value they seem to think it has, then I shouldn’t have to put up with all of the ads. They want to have it both ways don’t they? I pay for the news and then they get paid even more to display ads. They can just keep the news to themselves on the other side of that wall.

Brooks (profile) says:

I don't know...

Unless someone is going to argue that the *policy* of the Times is to copy material without attribution, or that Rupert Murdoch stepped in and did this personally, I think this is kind of a silly argument.

Companies aren’t monolithic and homogeneous. Human and technical errors are made. Whether those are worth getting one’s underthings in a bunch over is a maybe open for debate.

But, even I as think Murdoch’s stance on aggregators in general and Google in particular is one of the stupidest things I’ve ever heard, the fact that some writer somewhere at one of the properties that Murdoch owns violated copyright doesn’t really seem at all germane to the conversation.

It’s a nice “gotcha!”, but again, unless someone’s going to argue that this is Times policy or Murdoch’s active hand, it’s a “gotcha!” on an anonymous staffer who almost certainly violated company policy and would have ended up in hot water regardless of whether his boss’ boss’ boss’ boss’ boss’ boss’ boss’ boss had expressed naive opinions about the content economy. Presenting it as “Murdoch hypocritical on copyright!!!!!11!1!” is a cringeworthy distortion.

So yawn.

technomage (profile) says:

Re: I don't know...

Funny, I was always told, as an employee, my actions represent the company, and therefore anything I do negatively also reflects poorly on the company. So yes, it does show that Murdoch is hypocritical of copyright as his managers, and ultimately he is responsible for everything an employee does, especially if it is something as volatile, and as public, as this.

taoareyou (profile) says:

Re: Re: Re: I don't know...

The word “responsible” is not the same as “represent”. The actions of employees are considered representative of a company, but do not automatically bestow responsibility for the actions onto an other individuals.

The actions of the ACORN employees reflected badly on ACORN as a whole and caused funding to be withheld and additional investigations to be launched. So, yes the actions of the employees had a representative effect on the company.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: I don't know...

Unless someone is going to argue that the *policy* of the Times is to copy material without attribution, or that Rupert Murdoch stepped in and did this personally, I think this is kind of a silly argument.

Until the Times or Murdoch steps forward and says that this *isn’t* their policy, but rather the actions of some rogue employee (whom they should identify and terminate), I am going to assume it *is* their policy.

Mike Masnick (profile) says:

Re: Re:

This coming from Mike the man who said he would be honored if anyone used his work. Nice double standard.

Wait… what’s my double standard? I would be honored if anyone used by work. They are free to do so at will. I’m not saying it’s bad that the Times copied. I’m saying it’s bad that they said copying is evil AND THEN copied.

The only double standard here was with the Times trying to claim that copying is bad… and then copying.

Griff (profile) says:

Re: Re: "I'd be honored" ??

You weren’t apparently honored when Lily Allen copied it.

You give carte blanche permission up front for copiers of your work, then someone copies it, that should be fine.

Music industry (whether rightly or wrongly) gives no such permission, so it is fair that they bitch when someone copies it without their permission.

Lily Allen copies yours but bitches about people copying hers, that’s not hypocritical.

Now, Lily Allen makes a mix tape without permission, that IS hypocritical, agreed.

But your original outpourings seemed to compare her stance on illegal music copying and her use of your article.
And that seems an unfair comparison.

In accusing Times of double standard, you say
“I’m saying it’s bad that they said copying is evil AND THEN copied.” but surely they are saying that copying WITHOUT PERMISSION is evil, where copying your work would be WITH permission. Not the same at all.

Anonymous Coward says:

Re: Re: Re: "I'd be honored" ??

No, Mike does not give “carte blanche” for people to copy his work. He tells people that they can copy his work as long as he is credited properly, which Lily Allen did not do.

He does NOT give permission to people to copy his work without proper accreditation. In the event that this IS done, however, he will not pursue the matter. He will still be honoured to know that someone felt his work was worth repeating, and knows that the copy ultimately increases his own traffic, as the Lily Allen incident showed. Nonetheless, if a copied work does not cite him as the author, then it was not given permission.

So, to sum it up:

Copying while citing Mike = Good.
Copying without citing Mike = Bad.

Complaining about copyright violation while violating copyright yourself = Hypocritical.

Add Your Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Have a Techdirt Account? Sign in now. Want one? Register here

Comment Options:

Make this the or (get credits or sign in to see balance) what's this?

What's this?

Techdirt community members with Techdirt Credits can spotlight a comment as either the "First Word" or "Last Word" on a particular comment thread. Credits can be purchased at the Techdirt Insider Shop »

Follow Techdirt

Techdirt Daily Newsletter

Techdirt Deals
Techdirt Insider Discord
The latest chatter on the Techdirt Insider Discord channel...