Archive of UserLand's first discussion group, started October 5, 1998.

Re: New framework for thinking maybe?

Author:Bruce Wyman
Posted:9/3/1999; 9:57:27 PM
Topic:New framework for thinking maybe?
Msg #:10552 (In response to 10549)
Prev/Next:10551 / 10553

I like this. I disagree with some of it, but I think that this is a nice chunk of watching someone's mind try to wrap around the issue and how it works out for them.

It's interesting. I've repeated your tier of 8 levels to a number of people as we've discussed the topic and it seems like a obvious, clear gradient. The interesting part is that we disagree at what point you cross a legal threshold. It feels like your threshold point is about 5.25, while I think mine is closer to 6.4 or so. Although your point of beginning to change the author's message is interesting as it applies to summarizations.

In any case, I decided to see what current copyright law seems to say.

The copyright office is clear that titles are not copyrightable. See My interpretation is that a headline is a title and therefore is usable by anyone. (I agree that an in an ideal, ethical world that if you requested someone stop using your headlines that they should comply, however).

Further, it looks like summarizations may be considered as part of fair use. See "It is permissible to use limited portions of a work...for...commentary, criticism, [and] news reporting...."

But, that's established law, and we're charting the edges of a new frontier, so all of the old rules may not perfectly apply. Interestingly, H.R. 354, Misappropriation of Collections of Information,, seems to be hitting some of the same areas that we're talking about.

Interestingly, I wonder if the cat's too far out of the bag on the issue. A number of sites have existed for some time that aggregate headlines and titles from news organizations. Ranging from something like MacSurfer's Headline News to NewsHub.

One news provider, based in the UK, even has a FAQ about their digital service that questions the legality. From NewsNow's FAQ, the legality question is answered, "Under UK law, the Copyright Act allows fair use when copying an insubstantial portion of a copyrighted work, especially for the purposes of reporting news and current affairs. Given that a headline is an insubstantial portion of an entire news story, and that NewsNowDirect only involves the copying of headlines, we have no reason to believe that NewsNowDirect is anything but legitimate and legal. " Yes, arguably, you would expect them to provide an answer like that, but it seems like a reasonable statement.

Just trying to throw some additional facts into the fray and as part of thinking about all of this stuff.

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