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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Filed Under: copyright, linking, news
Companies: gatehouse media, ny times


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  1. icon
    John (profile), 26 Jan 2009 @ 5:17pm

    Precedent

    There's a good word. You know this case will be cited as precedent by anyone else who sues anyone else over links.
    Granted, the case wasn't actually decided by a judge, but sue-ers (also called "plantiffs") will use this case as way to show why they should be able to get away with their own lawsuit.

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