Saturday, January 24, 2009

Lawsuit Could Kill The Blogosphere

This lawsuit would change the blogosphere as we know it. It kill most of the aggregator, opinion, and commentary sites like the ones shown in the left sidebar of this blog, as well as this blog itself:
A copyright and trademark infringement lawsuit filed last month against The New York Times Co., owner of The Boston Globe and its website, is being watched closely by news organizations, Internet researchers, independent bloggers, and companies that aggregate news online by linking to a variety of news sites.

At the heart of the complaint, lodged by GateHouse Media Inc., which publishes 125 community newspapers in Massachusetts, is the question of whether Internet news providers will be able to continue the practice of posting headlines and lead sentences from stories they link to on other sites.The case has been scheduled for trial in US District Court in Boston as early as Monday.

"This is the first case where these intellectual property issues have come to a head," said David Ardia, director of the Citizen Media Law Project at Harvard University's Berkman Center for Internet and Society in Cambridge. "If the judge was to rule for GateHouse on every point, it would have far-reaching implications for the news and information ecosystem that underlies the Web as we know it." The case could result in new guidelines for how much, if any, content from one website can be used by another. "This is standard procedure across the Internet now," she said. "Newsrooms adopted the procedure from other practitioners."

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