Copyright Terms And How Historical Journalism Is Disappearing

from the into-the-memory-hole dept

The National Endowment for the Humanities announced last Wednesday the "Chronicling America" contest to create projects out of historical newspaper data. The contest is supposed to showcase the history of the United States through the lens of a popular (and somewhat ephemeral) news format. But looking at the limits of the archival data, another story emerges: the dark cloud of copyright's legal uncertainty is threatening the ability of amateur and even professional historians to explore the last century as they might explore the ones before it.

Consider that the National Digital Newspaper Program holds the history of American newspapers only up until 1922. (It originally focused on material from 1900-1910 and gradually expanded outwards to cover material from as early as 1836.) Those years may seem arbitrary—and it makes sense that there would be some cut-off date for a historical archive—but for copyright nerds 1922 rings some bells: it's the latest date from which people can confidently declare a published work is in the public domain. Thanks to the arcane and byzantine rules created by 11 copyright term extensions in the years between 1962 and 1998, determining whether a work from any later requires consulting a flow chart from hell—the simple version of which, published by the Samuelson Clinic last year, runs to 50 pages.

The result is what's been dubbed "The Missing 20th Century," after it was brought to light by the striking research of Paul Heald, which shows copyright restrictions are tightly correlated with the lack of commercial availability of books. He analyzed the titles available in Amazon's warehouses to find a steep drop-off in titles first published after 1923, which carries through until just the last few years. As Heald's research shows, the number of books available from the 1850s is double the number available from 1950.

Despite what advocates of copyright term extensions like to say, the data suggests that after the first few years of a book's publication, publishers as a group are much less willing to print a text that's under copyright than one in the public domain.

The situation with newspapers is worse. After all, while books may tend to see their value to readers taper off after a few years after publication, for newspapers that same tapering happened in just days. Today's newspaper issue may be incredibly valuable in the right hands, but yesterday's is more likely to line bird cages or wrap fish than to end up preserved for posterity.

The big players keep their own archives. The New York Times, for example, makes articles available dating back to 1851. But that's an incomplete solution for two major reasons. For one thing, it sets up a single point of failure that could allow catastrophic losses. Just last month, flooding threatened a priceless collection of photos in the New York Times archive; had those images been digitized and widely copied, no single flood or fire would pose a risk. But also, even a robust archive from a major publication like the Times can't provide the kinds of insights that come from looking at a diverse collection from multiple different sources.

In the world of media journalism, we talk a lot about the future. But we can't have a coherent conversation about that without thinking about the past and the present. And those thoughts, in turn, rely on access to the history that we've allowed to be locked up under effectively unlimited copyright restrictions or as orphan works.

Because this issue is bigger than the entries into a particular contest, or the way today's history students can explore the past. The Atlantic documented last month the near-total disappearance of a groundbreaking series of investigative journalism from just eight years back. If copyright continues to jeopardize the unrestricted ability of archivists and researchers to preserve and contextualize our history, how much will we lose?

Filed Under: archives, chronicling america, copyright, copyright terms, history, journalism, missing 20th century


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  • icon
    jameshogg (profile), 4 Nov 2015 @ 12:56pm

    And don't forget the ability to translate such articles, which is denied in turn.

    What better way to shut off the history of your country to another simply because the historicans abroad speak the wrong language?

    Not even patented medicine is restricted by such a disgraceful idea.

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  • icon
    dogwitch (profile), 4 Nov 2015 @ 1:03pm

    or what happen with some one destroy that archive.

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  • identicon
    Shill, 4 Nov 2015 @ 1:18pm

    Techdirt is jut a bunch of extremists because anyone that doesn't completely agree with me absolutely 100% about everything is an extremist.

    Copyright should last forever and ever and ever and should only be about the distributors. Forget the public and the artists. All artists should be required to freely give over the copyright of any work they ever make over to the RIAA/MPAA. All works including works in the public domain should be retroactively put into copyright and owned by the RIAA/MPAA. After all they're the ones paying for all the laws and not the public.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2015 @ 1:36pm

      Re:

      I have had many discussion with people on Techdirt and do not see extremism. I do see a few copyright extremist such as yourself that get on their soapboxes and declare the "holier than thou" approach to arguing. I am against current copyright due to the reason that you probably didn't read in this article. I think some places should be immune to copyright entirely, such as museums, libraries, and schools. One easy example for lost culture is Dr. Who's missing episodes. Thankfully some of the episodes have been recovered due to piracy. Sure eventually the content will be released in the public domain but by that time, 99% of the released documents will be long forgotten or destroyed such as the Dr. Who episodes. The only people that benefit from that are the top 1%.

      https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Doctor_Who_missing_episodes

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      • icon
        ltlw0lf (profile), 4 Nov 2015 @ 2:08pm

        Re: Re:

        I have had many discussion with people on Techdirt and do not see extremism. I do see a few copyright extremist such as yourself that get on their soapboxes and declare the "holier than thou" approach to arguing.

        This is not the troll you are looking for. Check your sarcasm detector...it may need new batteries.

        One easy example for lost culture is Dr. Who's missing episodes.

        The story behind the destruction is as bad as the destruction themselves. They needed room and didn't think that the video would ever be wanted again after it played the first time, so they just destroyed them. Nobody ever thought that someone who came along after the video showed would ever be interested in watching it. It wasn't copyright that destroyed it...it was lack of storage space and a lack of imagination and understanding of culture. (And, as is mentioned on the wiki, legal requirements from the union for television producers to re-hire actors to perform the program again live in order for it to be re-shown.)

        Sad too, since I really liked Hartnell as the Doctor, even though I wasn't born until 8 years after he stopped being the Doctor, and 1 year before he died.

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  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2015 @ 1:35pm

    The big players keep their own archives. The New York Times, for example, makes articles available dating back to 1851. But that's an incomplete solution for two major reasons. For one thing, it sets up a single point of failure that could allow catastrophic losses. Just last month, flooding threatened a priceless collection of photos in the New York Times archive; had those images been digitized and widely copied, no single flood or fire would pose a risk.

    This is why some of the institutional archives have bilateral or trilateral backup arrangements: A's archive is mirrored at B and C, and so on, with B and C chosen to be geographically diverse and at least somewhat insulated from the kind of catastrophes that could take out A. In some cases, this done on B's and C's systems: in others, A installs hardware at their locations.

    This is also an enormous argument for allowing free ad hoc mirroring: there's always someone, somewhere, who thinks that it would fun or cool or useful to spin up 30T of disk so that they can have their own archive. As Internet speeds and disk capacities increase, this is becoming more and more practical at relatively low cost. Facilitating and encouraging it should be the goal of every newspaper, magazine, book publisher, new media site, blog hoster, music site, art gallery, etc. Think about it: if people are willing to back up your site FOR FREE, why would you even consider saying no?

    (If you say "because copyright" at this point, I am going to leap out of your screen and punch you in the face.)

    So -- on that point -- where is Techdirt's exportable archive? What has Techdirt done to ensure that its entire corpus of articles and comments and discussions is completely downloadable and completely copyable -- and thus has at least a fighting chance of surviving past the existence of Techdirt?

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    • icon
      Mike Masnick (profile), 4 Nov 2015 @ 3:37pm

      Re:

      So -- on that point -- where is Techdirt's exportable archive? What has Techdirt done to ensure that its entire corpus of articles and comments and discussions is completely downloadable and completely copyable -- and thus has at least a fighting chance of surviving past the existence of Techdirt?

      That's a good question... I'm going to ask the team if there's a way we can do something about that to make it available. That would be kind of cool.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        tqk (profile), 4 Nov 2015 @ 5:20pm

        TD Corpus CD/DVD.

        That's a good question... I'm going to ask the team if there's a way we can do something about that to make it available. That would be kind of cool.

        It would be cool. I'm a bit surprised nobody's thought of it before.

        This page saved as a (raw SHTML) text file is close to 75k bytes. Multiply that by number of articles + comments. Would that fit on a CD, possibly compressed? Bulk CDs are around $0.15 last I heard. Have your kids do the cover art. :-) That CD could be a very nice & cheap add-on for those buying into your TD Insider package, or even (maybe) a purchase-able (Xmas!) item.

        You should even suggest going together with EFF. They could help you market it along with other likewise EFF downstreams.

        Finally, TPB torrent it, just to pee off the trolls, and send a gratis copy to Chris Dodd.

        If this happens, I thank you for imortalizing my comments.

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  • identicon
    Glenn, 4 Nov 2015 @ 1:58pm

    Now, there's your "right" to be forgotten. The world apparently now belongs to the copyright holders--damn everyone else.

    20 years was too long to begin with. 10 would be the maximum appropriate term now, with a 5 year extension allowed only to the original holder (and not someone who might have bought the rights from the original holder). If you can't get a rational ROI in 10 (or 15) years, then it's time to return the rights to the public domain--without whom you'd never have produced anything anyway.

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  • icon
    jupiterkansas (profile), 4 Nov 2015 @ 2:07pm

    At least the New York Times is still in print. You can still go to them to ask permission for projects like this and they have well organized archives for people to access.

    Good luck doing that with defunct journals and newspapers. You aren't able to find who to ask, but you can't risk a lawsuit either, so it's basically lost history and culture.

    It's really going to hit us hard in a couple of decades when people want access to all the newspapers that were killed by the internet and no copies are to be found.

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    • icon
      tqk (profile), 4 Nov 2015 @ 5:31pm

      Re:

      It's really going to hit us hard in a couple of decades when people want access to all the newspapers that were killed by the internet and no copies are to be found.

      It is quite sick to think that the sort of thing Real Historians (TM) complain about trying to resurrect (eg.) Imperial Rome's history is now being forced upon us again in the 21st century (!) not by civilizational decay and the passage of centuries of time, but simply by copyright maximalism and lawyers!

      This is insane.

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  • icon
    Roger Strong (profile), 4 Nov 2015 @ 3:10pm

    For one thing, it sets up a single point of failure that could allow catastrophic losses.

    That could include the Right To Be Forgotten, if it manages to catch hold.

    Corporations Are People Too, with political spending now protected by their First Amendment right to free speech. If people are entitled to the Right To Be Forgotten, it follows that corporations will demand it too. If you can demand that your past legal troubles be forgotten, then so can an oil or chemical company.

    They have the free speech (political spending ability) to ensure that they get that right when other people do. And that once they have to right to be forgotten by search engines, that right will include the search features in news archives.

    Reducing copyright to allow the archives to be widely distributed, is the way to protect against this.

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  • identicon
    Edward McCain, 4 Nov 2015 @ 6:45pm

    Digital Curation of Journalism

    The University of Missouri Libraries and Reynolds Journalism Institute have been working on the problem of loss of born-digital news content for some time now. Copyright is one obstacle, but the situation is multi-faceted. For anyone interested in what we are doing, take a look here: www.rjionline.org/jdna and here: http://www.rjionline.org/jdna/dodging-memory-hole. We welcome interested developers, journalists, archivists and others interested in fixing these problems.
    Edward McCain
    Digital Curator of Journalism
    Reynolds Journalism Institute
    University of Missouri Libraries

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  • icon
    Whatever (profile), 4 Nov 2015 @ 7:37pm

    When in doubt, blame copyright

    It's pretty fun to watch you guys tie yourselves in knots trying to blame copyright for everything. Gotta wonder if copyright has anything to do with plane crashes and El Nino.

    One of the true issues of newspapers is that it was typeset, printed, and boom, the "source" material was gone as the plates were recycled and that was that. Before the age of computers (and even early in the age of computers) very little was archived in a digital format. Much of the archiving instead was printed copies, if they were retained at all.

    So, like an out of date book, the only copies at this point are rare and in the hands of individuals who may or may not want to share them.

    Yes, copyright does play a role here, but I suspect that many newspapers wouldn't have a problem with their old material being archived in a friendly format, especially if it wasn't costing them anything to do - and they could extract value in branding and such. This would dovetail nicely with another problem that newspapers today are a mostly failing business. The costs of having an archiving staff in house is a luxury some are doing without.

    I am sure that most papers, given a valid and credible archiving system, would gladly give rights to those archive to store and display old papers. That said, it's very unlikely that a true archive approaching anywhere near all the old newspapers would ever happen. It's just not material that people tend to retain forever.

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    • identicon
      Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), 4 Nov 2015 @ 10:27pm

      Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

      Two word refutation to that last paragraph: Google Books.

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      • identicon
        Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), 5 Nov 2015 @ 3:02am

        Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

        ...okay, that was a bit vague. Let me clarify. Google Books published parts of many books online; publishers considered it the second coming of Satan, and Google had to pry the rights to the service's existence from the cold, dead hands of publishers after a long and brutal battle. And the publishers STILL consider Google the Antichrist over the whole matter. Yet you suggest that the very same newspaper publishers that charge BY THE WORD for quotations would have handed over tens of thousands of full papers to an archive out of the goodness of their hearts?

        Make no mistake, copyright is THE reason no such service exists for newspapers now, just like it would have been THE reason Google Books would have been terminated if the courts hadn't ruled it was fair use.

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        • icon
          jupiterkansas (profile), 5 Nov 2015 @ 7:36am

          Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

          It's only a matter of time before Google Books starts scanning newspaper archives too, so that's something.

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          • icon
            That One Guy (profile), 5 Nov 2015 @ 8:32am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

            And then everyone gets to watch as yet another string of lawsuits are commenced to try and stop them from doing so.

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          • identicon
            Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), 5 Nov 2015 @ 3:05pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

            That is a definite possibility. I suppose that would serve the purpose of historical journalism, but Google Books never really solved the whole problem to begin with. As I indicated, the problem is that Google Books, while allowing full text search, does not make the full text of the book available. Thus it does not compensate for the disappearance of works due to copyright. Something that's out of print but still under copyright STILL can't be obtained - only snippets of it can.

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    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2015 @ 11:10pm

      Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

      Your scenario wouldn't be a problem if not for the fact that rightsholders have had a consistent history of refusing. Hell, in the Nina Paley thread one person argued that old content had to be hidden and destroyed for new content to be marketable, and copyright was the mechanism through which creators would be allowed to do so.

      Also, nice jab at the beginning. It's nonetheless known that those who disagree with criticism regularly use the name of copyright to ban discussion or discourse on things they say. All it would take is some misguided organization with deep pockets to demand copyright on scientific journals, etc., and pay for a judge that looks the other way on their behalf. And why wouldn't they? There's absolutely no penalty.

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      • identicon
        Wendy Cockcroft, 5 Nov 2015 @ 5:59am

        Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

        Hell, in the Nina Paley thread one person argued that old content had to be hidden and destroyed for new content to be marketable, and copyright was the mechanism through which creators would be allowed to do so.

        That is *EXACTLY* why they fight so hard for long copyright terms; to lock up content for those reasons.

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    • icon
      PaulT (profile), 5 Nov 2015 @ 12:12am

      Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

      Wrong as ever. I can't be bothered to pick apart your inane fantasy-world rambling as usual, but I'm glad to see that "I don't care so nobody does" is that the core of your attempt to dictate how "wrong" people here are.

      "So, like an out of date book, the only copies at this point are rare and in the hands of individuals who may or may not want to share them."

      Which is why it's important to have an independent archive that's in public hands, rather than have historical documents beholden to the whims of the ancestors of whoever happened to buy a copy and keep it.

      "It's just not material that people tend to retain forever."

      Which is why it's important to archive.

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      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 5 Nov 2015 @ 9:44am

        Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

        One of the great thing about you Paul is that you are consistent. But like someone who always burns toast, that consistency isn't a good thing.

        "Which is why it's important to have an independent archive that's in public hands, rather than have historical documents beholden to the whims of the ancestors of whoever happened to buy a copy and keep it."

        The thing is, going forward that is pretty much already taken care of. The digital nature of publishing (even print publishing) is such that retaining an archive is merely a question of backup space and nothing more. We are no longer stuck with just the printed page as the only remaining examples of something. From everything I can tell, pretty much every modern newspaper auto archives their stuff, with many of them having archives back nearly 20 years already.

        So your solution is to deny a copyright holder their rights, because you think that maybe they may not be able or willing to do this, and that their work somehow has so little value that even in a complete closure of a newspaper that their archive would just be flushed.

        See, the problem here is that you are looking at a 50 or 70 year old problem, and using it to try to make rules for current times. It's just out of touch.

        As for "I don't care so nobody does", sorry but you are full of shit. I do care, and I know others do care for different reasons. How you draw a conclusion like that just shows how hard you are trying to be a prick about stuff, rather than enter into a discussion.

        Welcome to the black hole again, the only "whatever" who will answer you is the fake one that so badly trolled you the other day. Damn, you are a sucker!

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        • icon
          Ninja (profile), 5 Nov 2015 @ 11:03am

          Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

          The thing is, going forward that is pretty much already taken care of. The digital nature of publishing (even print publishing) is such that retaining an archive is merely a question of backup space and nothing more.

          Google Books begs to differ. The Internet Archive too. Ask them how copyright litigations on those fields have been lately. Google scored an awesome victory and was allowed to scan books at will. Good thing everybody has deep pockets to enter a battle like this even if victory is guaranteed in the end.

          From everything I can tell, pretty much every modern newspaper auto archives their stuff, with many of them having archives back nearly 20 years already.

          Yeah! Awesome! The newspapers that went belly up and disappeared still maintain backups, right? Either you are dumb/illiterate and couldn't understand the article or you are being dishonest (I like to believe you are dumb, things get funnier that way).

          So your solution is to deny a copyright holder their rights, because you think that maybe they may not be able or willing to do this, and that their work somehow has so little value that even in a complete closure of a newspaper that their archive would just be flushed.

          Aaaand... You took something out of your ass yet again. Nobody said that. What's being discussed is that most of the content that has NO VALUE to the author already for decades cannot be included in archival efforts because copyright.

          See, the problem here is that you are looking at a 50 or 70 year old problem, and using it to try to make rules for current times. It's just out of touch.

          it's going to be 100 years in 2022. And it's gonna last at least 75 years more for a whole effin' lot of content. Copyright is the type of thing that MUST be conducted thinking of Historical value, archival and future availability lest we risk creating dark ages of knowledge.

          As for "I don't care so nobody does", sorry but you are full of shit. I do care, and I know others do care for different reasons. How you draw a conclusion like that just shows how hard you are trying to be a prick about stuff, rather than enter into a discussion.

          Except that's exactly your attitude. There are plenty of articles where REAL problems are discussed and you take exactly that stance. And it's funny you talk about discussion when you yourself seem to be 'immune' to anything that you slightly disagree. You pretend to give some credit to other ideas but in the end you just twist that 'credit' into "MOAR COPYRIGHTS! THINK OF THE ARTISTS!".

          Unfortunately time will remember the copyright freaks in the future when the damage people are suffering is brought into light objectively. And it will not be pretty.

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          • identicon
            Justin Olbrantz (Quantam), 5 Nov 2015 @ 5:24pm

            Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

            Unfortunately time will remember the copyright freaks in the future when the damage people are suffering is brought into light objectively. And it will not be pretty.

            We can only hope so. I can't help but think there's at least a 50/50 chance we will end up in an Orwellian dystopian future, and the present day debates and struggles are how we ended up there.

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        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2015 @ 4:48pm

          Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

          Right, because obviously Mr. "I'll downvote you from 50 different TOR addresses, fuck you PaulT" is full of credentials streaming out of his ears.

          Why don't you go flashbang a couple more babies?

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 1:06am

          Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

          "One of the great thing about you Paul is that you are consistent."

          Yes, just as you consistently lie, distort and deflect. Which is why I challenge you on those. Don't like it? Stop doing those things.

          "The thing is, going forward that is pretty much already taken care of"

          Except, you advocate a copyright system where no such thing is possible, legally anyway. At the very least, you advocate an archiving system where only the data pre-approved by a biased corporation make it into an archive for later generations. That's a horrific proposition.

          "So your solution is to deny a copyright holder their rights"

          No, I expect them to hold up their end of the bargain with the public, not retroactively change copyright so that the public never gets what is theirs.

          Also, where the record of facts or a corporation's right to profit are at odds, I will take facts. If my solution protects the rights of accurate historical archives and the public's right to that knowledge, but loses Murdoch some pocket change, I see that as a fair deal.

          "See, the problem here is that you are looking at a 50 or 70 year old problem, and using it to try to make rules for current times. It's just out of touch."

          The problem still exists, and will never go away so long as maximalists like yourself wish to reduce the rights of everyone else so someone can profit at the expense of history itself.

          "How you draw a conclusion like that just shows how hard you are trying to be a prick about stuff, rather than enter into a discussion."

          No, it means I read your posts.

          "Welcome to the black hole again, the only "whatever" who will answer you is the fake one that so badly trolled you the other day. Damn, you are a sucker!"

          Run away then you childish fool. I'll see you next time you lie, distort or deflect. I doubt I'll be waiting long.

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        • icon
          PaulT (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 1:18am

          Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

          "From everything I can tell, pretty much every modern newspaper auto archives their stuff, with many of them having archives back nearly 20 years already."

          Oh, and I'll add - yes that's true. But you miss the point, as ever.

          The problem is not just the existence of an archive, it's the completeness and access to that archive. Under your system, we not only have to trust that the newspaper will continue to exist and continue to retain those archives. We not only have to trust that the archive is offered to the public at reasonable terms. We also have to trust that the archive will never be edited at a later point to remove something embarrassing to the copyright holder or a donor. If they have the only available archive, censorship of history become somewhat trivial.

          Sorry "one of my copyright holder gods has it so everything's OK" misses the point completely. As usual, because you're a disingenuous fool with no interest in the actual arguments being made.

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          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 2:20am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

            i think he is saying that they would let someone rlse archive,if it makes economic sense.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              PaulT (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 4:56am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

              ..and if they choose not to they can literally lock away history. If the copyright holder ceases to exist before releasing it, it's unavailable legally to anyone thanks to the lack of orphan work provisions? If no public archive exists and the original is destroyed or irrevocably altered, that information ceases to exists and tough shit?

              Hopefully sane, honest people can understand the many problems there are with depending on the good will of a benevolent for-profit venture. Not fools such as the person above who places profit above all else, but others.

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              • icon
                Whatever (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 8:14am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

                Paul, as always, you miss the point. They are the copyright holder and they have that choice. They actually created something (unlike you, who creates mostly hot stinky air, it seems). They have that right granted under copyright (as per the US constitution, natch!).

                However, the costs related to archiving are high, especially when you talk about very old material on printed paper. I can see where many of them would love to forego this legacy expense and allow someone else to care for it.

                Now, before you go off in a tizzy, I am not suggesting they are going to hand the copyright to someone else. I am thinking it would be more like a library, where the public could consult and read, but ownership is not granted. So for commercial use, the rights holder could still ilcense, but for those seeking the "culture" of newspapers, they would be able to read them.

                "Except, you advocate a copyright system where no such thing is possible, legally anyway. At the very least, you advocate an archiving system where only the data pre-approved by a biased corporation make it into an archive for later generations. That's a horrific proposition."

                I made not such suggestion. I said that the current material is being archived naturally because it's already digital, and the only real questions are about the older, print only material. I made not suggest that they would pick and choose articles or content to share and what not to share. That's you. That's you trying to add in "scare" to the discussion. It's why having a discussion with you is very difficult, because you keep attributing things to me that I don't say.

                So go away troll. You are much more useful when you just shut up.

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                • identicon
                  Anonymous Coward, 8 Nov 2015 @ 9:13pm

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

                  Whined the guy whose most useful thing to say about Lessig is, surprise surprise, a bevy of insults. Ever look away from the mirror lately?

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                • icon
                  PaulT (profile), 12 Nov 2015 @ 5:36am

                  Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

                  "Paul, as always, you miss the point"

                  No, you miss the point, but your ego and ignorance stop you from accepting reality.

                  "However, the costs related to archiving are high"

                  Then why not allow independent 3rd parties to do it when the major market for the material has passed? Why should a party with an interest in blocking, changing and destroying historical documents be able to do so? Because they were paid to document it originally? There's so many problems with this, but your deification of the destructive flawed nature of modern copyright makes you blind to the points people actually make.

                  "I made not suggest that they would pick and choose articles or content to share and what not to share."

                  By saying the a copyright holder would have complete control, that's exactly what you advocate. Again, you're so intent on an idealised reality, you ignore the flawed reality that actually exists. It's not my fault you're too ignorant, stupid or biased to understand this, but reality is what it is, and history is on the side of the points I make.

                  "So go away troll. You are much more useful when you just shut up."

                  Like, I've always said, I'll stop addressing your lies, childish name-calling and overall shite when you stop doing it. The ball is always in your corner. Start accepting reality and stop whining, that would be a good starting point.

                  reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • icon
              jupiterkansas (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 7:42am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

              It rarely makes economic sense to retain most of our cultural heritage. That's why we have libraries and museums to archive things - because they aren't tasked with turning a profit.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jameshogg (profile), 5 Nov 2015 @ 2:07am

      Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

      "I am sure that most papers, given a valid and credible archiving system, would gladly give rights to those archive to store and display old papers."

      Unless you're the Daily Mail and want to hide your past anti-semitism.

      You always assume a copyright holder's intentions will forever remain pure, don't you?

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        PaulT (profile), 5 Nov 2015 @ 7:53am

        Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

        "You always assume a copyright holder's intentions will forever remain pure, don't you?"

        He assumes they're the only thing that matters. Even in something like copyright that's an agreement between them and at least 2 other parties (the public and the government) - let alone the other parties involved overall (the author may not be the copyright holder, for example). As long as the ones who "matter" to him have control and can do what they want, unintended consequences and negative effects on all other parties are irrelevant. Even when the negative effects are against the copyright holder themselves - as long as they get what they want at the time, everything else be damned and damn the rest of us for pointing out the problems with that view.

        That's why his arguments are so skewed from reality.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • icon
        Whatever (profile), 5 Nov 2015 @ 5:06pm

        Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

        I don't think their intentions are pure, most newspaper publishers are high and might dicks who are paying for their arrogance by missing the technology changes that are coming close to wiping them out.

        I do think, however, that they are smart enough to follow money, and desperate enough to want to save money. I didn't suggest that they would give all the rights to an archive, I said they would grant rights to an archive for the purposes of archiving - but not a distribution right.

        Basically, the money is this: If each paper is spending a certain amount each year to maintain it's archives - current copies on hard drives or physical backup somewhere, older copies printed and stored in a climate controlled space, then they are spending a shit load of money to do this - and it only gets more expensive each year.

        Newspapers are so hard up for cash they will do almost anything to save money. Outsourcing their archive to a non-profit archiving system would be a double benefit: Assured their stuff outlives them, and a serious bottom line saving.

        Will all of them want to do it? Of course not. Put in the right context and presented in the right fashion, it would be to their advantage to join up with an archive that can take the expense off their bottom line, without giving up full rights to the content.

        Follow the money. Not everyone can.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • identicon
          Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2015 @ 5:49pm

          Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

          Put in the right context and presented in the right fashion, it would be to their advantage to join up with an archive that can take the expense off their bottom line, without giving up full rights to the content.

          Like how distributors refuse to sell content to various countries, then use the lack of money flowing in as an excuse to refuse providing any legal services, then spend money (which, mind you, they consistently claim is being devastated by piracy) demanding laws to completely block of all access?

          Rightsholders haven't proven themselves to be capable of spending their money wisely, or being receptive to solutions and possibilities to stop the hemorrhage. If the option exists for them to shoot everyone else in the foot while they shoot theirs, they'd take it.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          jupiterkansas (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 7:48am

          Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

          That's a great theory while the newspaper is still in business. Many newspapers have come and gone in the last century, and it's easy for all that to fall into copyright limbo.

          And of course, your idea is completely voluntary and still gives copyright holders complete control over what aspects of history get archives and what doesn't. That's no how culture works.

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • identicon
      Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2015 @ 6:10am

      Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

      "It's pretty fun to watch you guys tie yourselves in knots trying to blame copyright for everything."

      "Yes, copyright does play a role here"


      Self contradiction makes one seem much more believable.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

      • identicon
        Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2015 @ 8:11am

        Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

        I still remember the one where Whatever scolds a poster for describing his worldview, claiming that he was projecting, then proceeded to prescribe his own worldview onto everyone else. Still, what else would you expect out of someone who logs out to troll, then claim it wasn't him?

        Whatever and antidirt aren't here for discourse; they're here for insults.

        reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

        • icon
          Whatever (profile), 6 Nov 2015 @ 8:16am

          Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

          You forgot to log in.

          Seriously, I have an opinion and I am not shy to express it. I see things, I read a lot, and I connect the dots. You may not like the way I connect them but that is my opinion.

          Free speech is just that, stop worrying about me and spend some time worrying about your sad self!

          reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • identicon
            Anonymous Coward, 6 Nov 2015 @ 8:28am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

            And you seem to obsess with worrying about people disliking the extent of copyright and police control you frequently advocate. Never mind imagining PaulTs wherever you go.

            If you're that "not shy" to express your opinion, go ahead and set up your own site to declare your undying corporate faith to us serfs. Go ahead, publicly express your views that citizens getting shot is appropriate recourse for mobile phone cameras. Ah, but you can't, can you? You have hide behind your sad little IP addresses.

            It's hilarious to see you think anyone else is worried. Nobody rational would think flashbanging infants is a suitable exchange for "security" that can't seem to do the damn job without a BearCat. But then you think spam like "Mike Masnick hates copyright law" is the pinnacle of insight, so par for the course, I suppose.

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

            • identicon
              Anonymous Coward, 7 Nov 2015 @ 1:49am

              Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

              please show where he said police must flashbamng infants.

              reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

              • icon
                PaulT (profile), 12 Nov 2015 @ 5:38am

                Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

                He never said they must, he only said that it was less of a problem than people being allowed to film police in their duties - even if dead infants is the result of those duties.

                reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

          • icon
            PaulT (profile), 12 Nov 2015 @ 5:40am

            Re: Re: Re: Re: When in doubt, blame copyright

            "You forgot to log in."

            Oh, don't tell me the little obsessed twat is hallucinating about me again? Like I always say - I always log in. I'm not a dishonest fool like some people here.

            "Free speech is just that"

            Then why do you whine when people use their to call you out on your petty bullshit?

            reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 4 Nov 2015 @ 8:11pm

    Abolish Copyright

    Save history.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Rekrul, 5 Nov 2015 @ 4:45am

    We have always been at war with Eurasia...

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Anonymous Coward, 5 Nov 2015 @ 5:13am

    Given the profit motive found in most corporate journalism and the ever present soapbox propensity for exaggeration, hyperbole and yellow journalism, I'm not so sure that past newspaper articles are a good source for objective analysis of world events. OTOH, it would make for a good review of journalism and how different points of view affect it.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • icon
    Padpaw (profile), 5 Nov 2015 @ 7:15am

    Hoarding history allows them to rewrite it to their benefit

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Ron Dennis, 6 Nov 2015 @ 7:52am

    Perfect Storm of loss

    Combine this lack of access with the rising Digital Dark Age and you get a century of history lost. Future historians will know a great deal more about the 19th century than this one. "We aren't sure what they did." Charming epitaph.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

  • identicon
    Susan Basko, esq, 6 Nov 2015 @ 8:44pm

    FAIR USE exception for education, analysis and review

    I am a lawyer who works in Copyright. This article seems entirely misguided. Copyright has FAIR USE for education and for review and analysis. Therefore, if someone wants to research and read old news articles, and write about them and include at least portions of them, they are likely allowed to do so under FAIR USE. Other than that, if someone wants to reprint or republish, they need to get permission from the copyright owner. Many publications have archives online.

    reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]

    • icon
      jupiterkansas (profile), 7 Nov 2015 @ 11:15am

      Re: FAIR USE exception for education, analysis and review

      This isn't about making fair use of existing archives - but the lack of existing archives or a database of multiple archives due to copyright.

      reply to this | link to this | view in chronology ]


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