Michael Geist posted on another stupid idea a publisher has had to mess with copyright. I’m no copyright scholar so I’ll leave that discussion to them. It certainly strikes me that a newspaper who sought to license in this manner is overlooking fair use/fair dealing. But the other element that irked me was the ham-handed technical way they were attempting to do this.
Here’s the thing. Putting aside the reality that the newspaper is probably using a very blunt instrument to effect their goal, and its bluntness is probably treading on fair use/fair dealing:
- publishers shouldn’t use some script a developer downloaded and implemented that can be so easily sidestepped, that doesn’t work the same in all devices or on all of their content channels. Spend the money for the solution that can discern a cut/paste of a whole article from a snippet.
- content owners shouldn’t use a license request if they’re really comfortable with a “quit asking me” option. People who need to license this content will know to ask. People who don’t know they need to license the content aren’t in any better position to know with this pop-up.
Making content difficult to use is not the same as making content impossible to use. I can screen capture a snippet, retype it, cut and paste it. If the goal is to get more licensing revenue, then spend a bit of money to make a bit of money so that people who are using full pages of content are the ones who appropriately get copyright warnings.