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: blogs, copying, edgar wright, james harding, paywalls, rupert murdoch
Companies: news corp.

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  1. icon
    Brooks (profile), 20 Nov 2009 @ 9:42am

    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.

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