Legal Issues

by Mike Masnick

Filed Under:
copyright, linking, news

gatehouse media, ny times

Gatehouse And NY Times Settle Linking Dispute: Bad News For Everyone

from the this-isn't-good dept

It appears that GateHouse Media and the NY Times have settled their dispute over the NYT's Boston Globe linking to GateHouse's local events site with a snippet of the text (something GateHouse's own sites did as well). GateHouse had little to no chance of winning in court, but it looks like the NY Times totally caved in to avoid having to deal with a long and costly lawsuit. The result is pretty much bad for everyone.

It's bad for the NY Times, because in settling they've almost guaranteed that plenty of other companies will now come seeking similar "settlements." It's bad for GateHouse Media because in winning "the battle" they're losing the war. The NY Times/Boston Globe will no longer be sending them the traffic they were getting in the past. It's hard to describe the level of pure cluelessness that goes into actively turning away the kind of traffic a major media publication can provide. It's bad for readers of both sites, because it limits the usefulness of the content they get. And... most importantly, it's bad for everyone in failing to have a hard and fast precedent set that linking to such sites and including the headline and a snippet are clearly fair use. What a shame.

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  1. identicon
    Twinrova, 27 Jan 2009 @ 4:19am

    I'm glad the NYT caved.

    "GateHouse had little to no chance of winning in court"
    Would you be willing to take this chance given the stupid legal decisions being made of late?

    While it seems the NYT would have won, it only seems that way. All it takes is a complete moron of a judge to not understand copyright law and a much worse decision could have been made.

    Or do you not read your own blogs?

    GateHouse will realize its own stupidity once revenue drops. Advertisers are pulling out of newspaper because it's a dying model (and about damn time).

    I was curious when I first read the complaint from GateHouse stating its "ads were being bypassed". WTH? If a link to an article didn't include the ads, whose damn fault was that? Oh, right... the web developer. So GateHouse started crying like a 5 year old about "infringement".

    And you really wanted this to take its chances in court?

    Personal note: The other reason why I'm glad the NYT pulled out goes against their recent editorials and news items, spreading ignorant information to an even more ignorant public.

    I certainly hope the NYT gets so slammed by lawsuits, they'll simply vanish as a "reliable source" of news, er, ignorant propaganda in support for whatever the NYT feels it needs to.

    Good riddance.

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