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Share a News Story With Coworkers, Pay a Fine 243

Posted by kdawson
from the better-just-send-the-url dept.
An anonymous reader sends us to InfoWorld for news that Knowledge Networks, an analyst firm, has settled a copyright complaint, agreeing to pay the Software and Information Industry Association $300,000 for sharing copyrighted news articles internally with employees.
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Share a News Story With Coworkers, Pay a Fine

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  • by Anonymous Coward on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:39PM (#20252481)
    Analyst firm Knowledge Networks has agreed to pay $300,000 to settle a complaint that it distributed news articles to its employees without permission of the copyright owners, a trade group announced Thursday.

    The Knowledge Networks settlement is the first under the Software & Information Industry Association's Corporate Content Anti-Piracy Program, launched in October.

    Knowledge Networks' marketing group had been distributing press packets to some employees on a regular basis, the SIIA said. Those packets contained articles under copyright and owned by SIIA members such as the Associated Press, United Press International, and publishing company Reed Elsevier, the trade group said.

    SIIA litigation counsel Scott Bain called Knowledge Networks a "reputable company that made a very costly mistake." One of SIIA's goals for the settlement is to deter copyright infringement and educate other companies about the need for compliance programs, he said.

    A Knowledge Networks spokesman declined to talk about the case in detail. "We are happy the matter has been resolved amicably," said spokesman Dave Stanton.

    Knowledge Networks, based in Menlo Park, Calif., has agreed to take steps to avoid further problems, including sending its staff to an SIIA copyright course, SIIA said.

    In a statement distributed by SIIA, Knowledge Networks said it regretted the actions.

    "[We] disseminated copies of relevant newspaper and magazine articles in the good faith belief that it was lawful to do so," the company said in the statement. "We now understand that practice may violate the copyright rights of those publications. We regret that those violations may have occurred and we are pleased that this matter has now been resolved."

    Asked if internal distribution of news articles was commonplace at many companies, SIIA's Bain disagreed. "Companies do not do this all the time," he said. "Some companies have compliance procedures in place to keep it from happening."

    Compliance procedures include staff designated for licensing and compliance, sufficient budgets for the content licensing needs of the company, education programs for staff, deals with major content outlets, and strict policies and internal penalties for violating copyright, Bain said.

    SIIA learned about the situation through a confidential tip, the trade group said. The person who reported Knowledge Networks will receive a $6,000 reward.
    • by cashman73 (855518) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:47PM (#20252591) Journal
      By reposting the article's text and sharing said article with everyone on slashdot, you have just committed a violation of copyright law. The submitter, and Anonymous Coward, must now pay the fine of $300,000 immediately, or be subjected to further lawsuits.
      • by gurps_npc (621217)
        Why else do you think he did it anonymously?
        • by JimDaGeek (983925) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @03:42PM (#20253301)
          On /. there is no such thing as a true "anonymous" post. This "anonymous" guy/girl that posted has actually left an IP address. If the address was not from some public source, than that IP could be traced back to the poster. :-)

          Thank you for playing the, "I wish I could have free speech in America" game. You will be sued shortly!
          • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

            by Frymaster (171343)
            On /. there is no such thing as a true "anonymous" post.

            how about with:
            the cloak [the-cloak.com]
            tor [eff.org]

            • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

              by infaustus (936456)
              I was under the impression that most tor exit node IPs were b& from slashdot...
          • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

            by Chase Husky (1131573)
            This is a rather sudden change of heart, when compared to the "IP addresses can't be used as undeniable proof of copyright infringement" antics if the RIAA is involved.
      • by click2005 (921437)
        Don't worry, I know the GP's identity. I'm phoning the SIIA as I type to get my $6,000 reward.

        Damn the number is ./ed
      • Re: (Score:3, Informative)

        by ajs (35943)

        ... must now pay the fine of $300,000 immediately, or be subjected to further lawsuits.

        You're taking this out of context. This suit was over a company using a publishing service's news reports internally to conduct their business (marketing research) without licensing the copyrighted material. This is just dumb, and they deserved the fine (presumably assessed with respect to how much it would have cost to license the news for internal use, plus legal fees).

        Simply re-publishing a single article from InfoWorld on Slashdot isn't even remotely comparable.

    • It will be easy to find out who snitched...just look for the person with the brand new 60" LCD TV.
    • Re:Article Text (Score:4, Interesting)

      by rpbird (304450) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @04:18PM (#20253669) Homepage Journal
      This is old-school copyright infringement. Nothing to see here, move along. You cannot reproduce copyrighted material in its entirety and distribute it to hundreds of people. Charging for the copies doesn't matter. Way back around 1980, a professor of mine was doing something similar with articles from science magazines. He created a reader for one of his classes and distributed it to his students. We had to pick it up at the university's copy center. He got into trouble with the copyright holders. You have to get permission to reprint articles. This is only a little work, and, depending on the articles, only a little money (though a few copyright owners will try to screw you by jacking up the price - solution, leave that article out).
      • Re: (Score:2, Insightful)

        by fishbowl (7759)
        "You cannot reproduce copyrighted material in its entirety and distribute it to hundreds of people. Charging for the copies doesn't matter."

        Thank you for pointing out that crucially important fact! The idea that damage due to copyright infringement is only possible if it is done for financial gain, or if the copyright work is commercially traded, has legs, and is preposterous.
        • Re: (Score:2, Informative)

          by FreakWent (627155)
          If the argument has legs, it 'stands up'; in court, to scrutiny, or what have you. An argument with legs is either logically valid or at least convincing to an audience.

          A preposterous argument is ridiculous; clearly absurd, and the motives, intelligence or sanity of the person proposing the argument should be examined.

          Now the idea that damage due to copyright infringement is only possible if it is done for financial gain does 'have legs', at least in the sense that it would convince many people. However,
      • by dosquatch (924618) *

        This is old-school copyright infringement. Nothing to see here, move along. You cannot reproduce copyrighted material in its entirety and distribute it to hundreds of people.

        <mode=Devil's advocate> True enough, the law says you can't take an article and photocopy it for your internal newsletter. You can, however, leave the original in the breakroom for everybody to read. Or clip the article from the magazine and attach it to a circulation list (read it, check off your name and pass it on).

        You can even make a single photocopy for your own personal use. So, say in the first example, there was also a copier in the breakroom and everybody made their own copy for personal u

        • Re:Article Text (Score:5, Insightful)

          by BalanceOfJudgement (962905) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @08:46PM (#20256081) Homepage

          Really, though, what's the gripe? Isn't the whole point of writing an article that people read it?


          Maybe when producers of culturally relevant material actually recognized that they were participating in social process, but not anymore. Now, the sole purpose of producing anything is to get as many people as possible to buy it, and treat the rest as criminals because they might read/hear/see it without paying for it.

          No, copyright holders have lost all perspective and have long since abandoned the idea that their place in the world does not exist solely to make them richer.
  • by yagu (721525) * <yayagu@@@gmail...com> on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:40PM (#20252485) Journal

    Now that I've distributed this article to my office peers, I suppose I'm now open to legal scrutiny. WTH?

    Supposedly the antagonists in this story claim this is not a common thing for companies:

    Asked if internal distribution of news articles was commonplace at many companies, SIIA's Bain disagreed. "Companies do not do this all the time," he said. "Some companies have compliance procedures in place to keep it from happening."

    I suspect quite the opposite. Sure there are companies big enough and diligent enough with deep enough pockets to engage in OCD behaviors such as this one -- applying bizarre policy to bizarre and grey legal matters.

    I can't help but wonder what these antagonists think... do they want as few people reading their material as possible?

    And, talk about hostile controlling behaviors, also from the article:

    Knowledge Networks, based in Menlo Park, California, has agreed to take steps to avoid further problems, including sending its staff to an SIIA copyright course, SIIA said.

    In a statement distributed by SIIA, Knowledge Networks said it regretted the actions.

    So, to appease SIIA, send staff to their copyright course (wonder if it's free... probably not), and let SIIA issue public releases stating offender's public remorse for it's transgression.

    Sometime I'd just love to find an employee of one of these types (SIIA, RIAA, you name it), and follow him around for a couple of days and issue a complaint the first time I see him reading even a snippet of an article over someone's shoulder on the bus or train, or tapping his foot to even a motif from some else's music player.

    What a crock!

    • If they go RIAA over news articles, things are going to get real ugly, real quick. Even though I disagree with the RIAA's tactics, I can at least see their line of reasoning. If people start getting sued for cutting and pasting text...when they weren't even making the text public, the crap is going to hit the fan.

      Then again, maybe this is will be the wakeup call that everyone needs to see that things are working right.

      Transporter_ii
    • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:53PM (#20252691)

      I can't help but wonder what these antagonists think... do they want as few people reading their material as possible?
      They just want complete and total tracking over who reads the articles so they can measure their worth in ad dollars. Much like music, except they pretend that it is so the artists can be compensated for every person who hears the music.

      Copyright becomes trackingright to squeeze every possible cent out of the work. If you dare come up with a new way to derive enjoyment from a work, they'll seek ways to ensure they get paid for that too.
      • They just want complete and total tracking over who reads the articles so they can measure their worth in ad dollars. Much like music, except they pretend that it is so the artists can be compensated for every person who hears the music. Copyright becomes trackingright to squeeze every possible cent out of the work. If you dare come up with a new way to derive enjoyment from a work, they'll seek ways to ensure they get paid for that too.

        Knowing how many people view their content seems like a reasonable g

    • by twitter (104583) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:55PM (#20252713) Homepage Journal

      I can't help but wonder what these antagonists think... do they want as few people reading their material as possible?

      They want money, what else? The proposed remedies are an extortion - pay $300,000 per year in "compliance staff" or $300,000 in fines or some kind of "reasonable licensing" fee. This case also has the stink of nailing a smaller player to score propaganda points and lay down favorable judgement before they go after bigger fish like Google.

      The sickest thing about this is that the end result will be more restrictive than paper. People have shared newspapers, magazines and clippings from them. They did this even before copy machines made it easy to duplicate the material. Now that computers have made it costless to duplicate information and make sure everyone who needs it can have it, these turds come out and advocate technology that's about as restrictive as clay tablets. You have to wonder if sending lists of links with excerpts is next on their list of "piracy" and how any organization can tell anyone anything if they win.

    • Re: (Score:3, Insightful)

      by SatanicPuppy (611928) *
      Actually, no.

      The internet is a special case. If you send this article to your peers, you're most likely going to send the link...You're not going to print it out, bind it up, and distribute it as part of a new employee orientation packet...That is not authorized reuse.

      I'm sure I'm not the only one that had to buy bound xeroxes of newspaper/magazine articles for classes in school...The reason that those are so expensive is because they pay the royalties to get the rights to reprint that work.
    • by SatanicPuppy (611928) * <Satanicpuppy@g m a i l .com> on Thursday August 16, 2007 @03:25PM (#20253073) Journal
      This isn't about reading anything. It's unauthorized copying and distribution of a copyrighted work. You can argue fair use if you send someone a copy of an MP3, but you can't argue fair use if you burn a copy of the CD for everyone you know, and that goes a million times more if it's a company doing it as part of their corporate policy. That's just horseshit.

      Bunch of damn anti-copyright zombies not reading the damn story. This is what copyright is supposed to be about. You write a well researched article that ends up in a trade magazine, and then some PHB at IBM decides he likes it, sends it down to the printshop, and runs off 10,000 copies so he can give one to every employee, and what do you get? Squat.

      What do you think someone is going to get out of free distribution in this case? You think Bob, writer of economic trend stories, is going to get more people buying his articles because some joker ripped it off? Maybe he'll sell more seats at his concerts! Come on.
      • by pembo13 (770295)
        I've read your post, and understand your logic, seeing your points. However I feel no sympathy for either side in this case, nor does it do any to increase my faith in the US copyright system.
      • by HTH NE1 (675604)
        And what if these packets were distributed electronically by an e-mail that embedded the web-sourced stories inside framesets or iframes? And what if the employees read them behind a proxy server that cached the remote articles?

        Would it have been legal if they bought enough physical newspapers with the stories in them and clipped them for each packet? What if they clipped them, made a single copy of each for better presentation in the packet, and retained the original clipping as a backup, having one secu
        • by radish (98371)

          And what if these packets were distributed electronically by an e-mail that embedded the web-sourced stories inside framesets or iframes?

          Personally I don't have a problem with that but I know there have been court cases about framing. It usually seems to come down to intent - were you trying to pass the content off as your own?

          And what if the employees read them behind a proxy server that cached the remote articles?

          Fine provided the proxy server respected the cache control headers in the original article (e
        • Would it have been legal if they bought enough physical newspapers with the stories in them and clipped them for each packet?

          Yes.

          What if they clipped them, made a single copy of each for better presentation in the packet, and retained the original clipping as a backup, having one secured original for every copy (i.e. fair-use copying for archival purpose)?

          Still Legal.

          Would each copy truly have to be made from a unique albeit identical original, or is that just an artificial restriction to make copying more onerous, and if so, why not require all copies be made by re-typesetting them in an original Gutenburg printing press?

          Copyright was lazily written because it originally had the benefit of the delivery vehicles limitations setting the boundaries for the definitions of fair use. It the above example you could make legitimate arguments for this not being fair use, that only one copy was used to make other copies. Even though you did purchase enough copies to cover an original for each packet, you didn't make true backups of each one - you shifted to an equivalent number of backups assuming it was the same -

          • by HTH NE1 (675604)

            As for resetting them in the Gutenburg press, illegal.

            So they gave a little in allowing the fair-use backup copy be made by a photocopier. (How about a mimeograph machine?)

            It's amazing that photocopiers today aren't mandated to be connected to the Internet and pop up a legal challenge whenever more than one copy is attempted for any original, requiring an assertion that you have the right to make multiple copies, signed with a thumbprint, and sending a copy of whatever it is and the print to the home office to be checked by an automaton for possible prosecut

            • Dude, I get that you're really, really, really anti copyright. OK. But ranting about hypothetical situations that are completely nonsensical in their origin is not going to help the cause.

              Calm down, construct a reasonable argument for fair use/anti copyright - and help yourself out. Copy mechanism doesn't matter. Its a moot point.

              Also, your thought that its amazing that copiers don't require a thumbprint or some such shit is ridiculous. Think of it this way, the copyright holder has the right to EXERCISE th
    • KN looked at the situation, figured the would have to pay $500 an hour for legal over a court case that would likely drag on 6+ months. Have the lawyer(s) work only 40 hours a week for 6 months would have cost them over $500,000. They took the smart move, paid the settlement, and left the challenge for someone with more to lose.

      This practice is nothing more than legal extortion.

      -Rick
    • by sootman (158191)
      Money quote:

      " [We] disseminated copies of relevant newspaper and magazine articles in the good faith belief that it was lawful to do so ," the company said in the statement. "We now understand that practice may violate the copyright rights of those publications." [emphasis added]

      So they don't even know for sure that what they did was wrong, but they buckled under. Wow. Three hundred grand for a "maybe." You've got to wonder how hard they leaned on them to get that kind of response. If that isn't extortion

    • by StikyPad (445176)
      Now that I've distributed this article to my office peers, I suppose I'm now open to legal scrutiny. WTH?

      Yes, but:

      The person who reported Knowledge Networks will receive a $6,000 reward.

      So my recommendation is:

      1) Send article to coworkers
      2) Rat yourself out
      3) Profit!
  • by Maximum Prophet (716608) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:41PM (#20252497)
    The previous company I worked for, which laid me off, routinely had "Dilbert" comic strip photocopies on people's doors. Can I turn them in and get six grand?
    • by 140Mandak262Jamuna (970587) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:59PM (#20252775) Journal
      You are no Wally, Maximum Prophet. If you were, you will post Dilbert strips in your own office and rat on your employer to collect that six grand. If the employer tries to collect that money from you, you would dodge it by saying the company had no explicit policy prohibiting it.
    • No. Did the company make copies and distribute them to all employees?

      The summary is awful. This isn't about "sharing" anything. It is about unauthorized reprinting of someone else's copyrighted work. The analogy isn't "Singing someone a few bars of a new hit tune by the watercooler" it's "Burning a copy of the CD for everyone who works in the building, and distributing them." The first is fair use, the second is systematic copyright infringement.
  • Bogus! (Score:3, Funny)

    by He Who Waits (1102491) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:46PM (#20252571)
    My company circulates material like this on a regular basis. This is to totally bogus -- wait, six grand you say?
  • by monkeyboythom (796957) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:49PM (#20252625)
    I made sure to copy all of my coworkers with this...
  • by Doc Ruby (173196) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:50PM (#20252665) Homepage Journal
    All content is copyrighted whenever it's published. Everyone carries mobile phones with mics, and soon cameras will be universal. By then, speech and image recognition will be accurate enough for copyright holders to claim infringement whenever they have any evidence, however unreliable, to make the claim.

    The copyright industry will force everyone to keep quiet all the time. But the phones will still ring in movie theaters - they just won't be able to record the movie without getting caught.

    The Congress shall have power [cornell.edu] [...]
    To promote the progress of science and useful arts, by securing for limited times to authors and inventors the exclusive right to their respective writings and discoveries;

    The current overreaching copyright regime inhibits, rather than promotes, the progress of science and useful arts. It secures for unlimited times to parties other than authors, like publishers and agencies, exclusive rights. That inhibit, rather than promote the progress that justifies the Constitution's original compromise with our inalienable freedom to express ourselves, even by copying another's content.

    At one time, for a few hundred years, economics meant copyright was the compromise between perfect freedom and perfect commerce. But now technology and global interconnectedness have reduced the time in which exclusivity is justifiable, even as corporations have extended the "limited times" to longer, indefinitely long, periods.

    We have to scrap this thing and start over with new limited times, shorter than the original 17 years (a human generation) of the late 1700s. Or it will scrap us, as it has already done for far too long.
    • It's interesting, I think, that telling stories isn't copyrightable - verbal regurgitation of a story - but when you put it in a 'tangible' form, it becomes copyrightable.

      Well, that was fine at a time in history when in order to put something in a tangible form required great effort - a printing press or whatever and a physical distribution network- but now - it's a matter of CTRL-C > CTRL-V > SEND/PUBLISH (etc).

      The 'fixed and tangible form' is as near to the fluidity of verbal communication as make

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        The entire matter relates to copying. We still respect the difference between copying and interpreting content. That distinction needs to be leveraged to undermine the overreach of copyright. For example, the Harry Fox Agency claims its copyright on sheet music lets it stop people from publishing their interpretations of music they've heard in written instructions (such as tablature [wikipedia.org] format or standard musical notation).

        The entire control revolves around who has the right to copy. The definition of "copy" ne
    • Copyright is supposed to promote progress by helping new ideas to be spread as widely as possible, so they can be picked up and built upon by others. That's how progress happens, by incremental steps, each new idea standing on the shoulders of those that came before. Copyright specifically protects only the expression, not the ideas, so it's not necessary to wait until the term expires before you can incorporate the interesting ideas into your own work.

      But the brain-dead way we apply the concept of copy

      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        I agree. Patent and copyright protection are based on the requirement that all the details are disclosed. Encoded content should not get that protection. Only published human readable content - source code - can be so protected.

        Binary only code can not be protected. So it will be disadvantaged.

        Your idea is good. And though it's far from current practice, keep in mind that persistence with a good idea that well models real practice is the key to seeing the model applied in new rules.

        And publishing the idea w
    • by Cyno (85911)
      That's right, even comments are Copyright (C) 2007 by their respective owners. So by copying a slashdot forum's text into your web browser's buffer and refusing to delete it immediately you are violating the copyright of hundreds or thousands of individuals who could all sue you for $300,000 for each violation. I sure hope they win.
      • by Doc Ruby (173196)
        Only officially registered copyrights (at the Library of Congress Copyright Office) can claim damages.
  • by Some guy named Chris (9720) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:56PM (#20252723) Journal
    This settlement is not about sharing a news story with a coworker. This is about a company building internal procedures around photocopying news articles, putting together a news packet, and distributing these packets around as form of employee education.

    So, everybody who's yelling about getting in trouble for reading over a coworker's shoulder, or not being allowed to email links just needs to calm down and read the fine article.
    • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

      by MontyApollo (849862)
      Even further than that, the company in question is basically a company that sells information (their analysis of other information) and would probably be very quick to complain if thier product was being distributed beyond paying customers.
    • Nevertheless, the article does raise a lot of questions.

      I wonder if posting a snippet of a news article on a company Intranet would be considered a copyright violation? I know for a fact that many attorneys routinely shuttle snippets of text clipped from Lexis/Nexis back and forth during the preparation of a case brief or pleading. I also routinely receive clippings from co-workers that they have passed along in order to "educate" me about a particular issue. This article makes me feel that these behavi

  • by Absolut187 (816431) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @02:59PM (#20252773) Homepage
    I'm sure I'll get flamed and modded "troll" for this, but:
    Don't photocopy articles for commercial purposes.
    If you are running a business and you need, say 500 of your employees to have access to this information, then you really probably should be paying for more than ONE (1) magazine subscription..
    Go talk to the magazine/newspaper company and negotiate a contract to provide the information you need to your employees.

    As a slashdotter, I know I'm supposed to believe that "information wants to be free", but there are costs for gathering and reporting news. If anyone can photocopy the news without permission, it becomes harder for the newspaper to recover its costs.

    The photocopying of journal articles has been held NOT to be a fair use - which is probably why the defendant settled. See American Geophysical Union, et al. v. Texaco, Inc., a Second Circuit court of appeals case from 1994.
    http://caselaw.lp.findlaw.com/cgi-bin/getcase.pl?c ourt=2nd&navby=docket&no=929341 [findlaw.com]

    • For those who don't want to sign up for a free Findlaw account:
      The court held that it was not fair use for Texaco research scientists to make and keep photocopies of articles from scientific journals. Texaco had a large library of scientific journals, and its 500+ researchers could check them out, and would routinely make photocopies of articles they found interesting to keep at their desks.
      One judge dissented.
      Here is the majority's response to the dissenting opinion (This is all you really need to read to
    • Same applies to online financial reports and such. One banking client I supported had a user who was always asking us how to "copy" a page into Word - when asked why - she would always say "I want to include it in a report I am writing!" We would try to explain that was tantamount to photocopying articles from magazines and including that in a report, but she never quite seemed to grasp the fact that just cause it was on her screen did not mean she could not do whatever she wanted with it. DOH!
    • by daigu (111684)
      Most of the time you only need a few copies, for a team or whatever. You then go to Factiva, Nexis or Dialog and purchase a contract - covers most news - and you are good. You can get and share articles for up to...10-20 people. Shoot, it is even possible to get enterprise wide contracts for these services.

      Now, sure. You might want a 500 reprints of an article. But if this comes up a lot, then you need to turn to one of the news aggregation services - and pay the costs.
    • by cliffski (65094)
      I'm glad you posted it, and glad you have been modded insightful. not everyone is taken in by the 'information should be free' bullshit that permeates slashdot. some of us appreciate that all content is produced by someone, and most of it is done by people trying to pay the bills, and that includes journalists.
  • by Radon360 (951529) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @03:03PM (#20252829)

    TFA doesn't have the specifics, but I am willing to guess that the problem was that the accused was copying the text of articles from site and redistributing that, not passing on the link to the story.

    Why the important difference? Copying and redistributing would deny the news publisher of whatever ad revenue they would receive when the reader went directly to their site (and subsequently were served the ads). Something similar could be said about a newspaper/magazine clipping.

    Something like this is, of course, all about money, so my speculation is that the causation is the loss of ad revenue.

    • When Articles are written .... Next Page ... in a format .... Next Page .... where a single article ..... Next Page .... appears spread across ..... Next Page .... several pages with .... Next Page .... more ads than .... Next Page .... content on each .... Next Page .... page. .... Next Page .... or a horribly .... Next Page .... formated for ..... Next Page .... printer version. .... Next Page
  • This: "Firm's marketing group distributed press packets to employees containing newspaper and magazine articles under copyright "

    ...does not equal this: "Share a News Story With Coworkers, Pay a Fine"

    Bang-up reporting as usual, kdawson. Do you possess even rudimentary reading comprehension skills?

    • The sensationalist headlines aren't because kdawson is stupid. What receives more comments- an article titled "Company Busted for Wide-Scale Copyright Infringement" or "Share a News Story With Coworkers, Pay a Fine"? More comments= more readers= means more ads viewed= more money. Only losers who care more about facts than emotional response want accurate titles.
  • RIAA, MPAA, SIIA. What is it with these guys and the 4-letter acronyms?
  • Especially trade groups that specialize in enforcement. If it's bad enough for the copyright holder to bring a claim, then let them do it. But these Gambini-esque trade groups are making a living off the money they're extorting from companies and individuals.

    It's like letting the mafia enforce the speed limit.

  • There's obviously more to this story than was in TFA.

    Points that need clarification:

    1) The entire point of press packets is to disseminate information, some elements of which are expected to be under copyright because press packets typically contain articles and extracts of articles from many different sources. TFA doesn't indicate if Knowledge Networks was duplicating these press packs on their own dime, or what...

    2) As other people have pointed out, the headline on the /. story doesn't have anythin

  • by greymond (539980) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @03:55PM (#20253419) Homepage Journal

    SIIA learned about the situation through a confidential tip, the trade group said. The person who reported Knowledge Networks will receive a $6,000 reward.
    Sweet, I wish someone would do this at my work so I could tell on them.
  • by nevali (942731) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @04:13PM (#20253617) Homepage
    I'm not sure how this could be illegal.

    A company is a single legal entity, right? (Okay, we'll ignore subsidaries and parents for the moment, let's just "yes").

    If this was an individual, buying a magazine and then photocopying pages--but not distributing them--there wouldn't be a snowball in hell's chance of a case.

    The parallel applies: the company wasn't redistributing articles; despite the spurious use of "distributing", "making copies available only within the company" is not distribution in the copyright sense. It created copies, and gave them to itself.

    Even in the software world there's nothing legally preventing you from this (you might be prevented through license terms from using--or even installing--more than one copy simultaneously, but there's nothing stopping you from making the copy in the first place).

    Had this gone to court, I'd be surprised if the outcome had gone the same way.
    • It's still distribution. Employees are not the same legal entity as a corporation. That would be like saying, "A corporation buys one user-specific (rather than machine specific) software license, so they should be able to install it on every computer they own, and all their employees home computers." Or a corporation buying a copy of a movie, then making fair use copies for all it's employees, or blah blah blah.

      Buying one copy gives you the right to that one copy. It in no way gives you the right to make u
  • Cow-orkers aren't to be trusted, I mean the damage they do to livestock *alone* is just terrib...

    oh..."co-workers"...nevermind.
  • SIIA learned about the situation through a confidential tip, the trade group said. The person who reported Knowledge Networks will receive a $6,000 reward.

    I bet that was Anonymous Coward. He gets around.

  • Uh Oh (Score:2, Insightful)

    I just showed a co-worker a newspaper article from my local town...i'm in deep trouble now ;-) Somtimes things just get out of hand. Where does it end?
    • by Bryan Ischo (893) *
      It probably ends with you actually reading the article and getting a clue about what this case was about, and why your sharing of a newspaper story with a co-worker is completely irrelevent.
  • Summing it up: (Score:3, Insightful)

    by rehtonAesoohC (954490) on Thursday August 16, 2007 @04:47PM (#20253969) Journal
    Old and Busted: RIAA

    New Hotness: SIAA

    We're doomed.

Wherever you go...There you are. - Buckaroo Banzai

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