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11-Word Extracts May Infringe Copyright In Europe 132

Posted by kdawson
from the dibs-on-copyright-on-"the" dept.
splodus writes "The European Court of Justice, Europe's highest court, has ruled that a service providing 11-word snippets of newspaper articles could be unlawful. Media monitoring company Infopaq International searches newspaper articles and provides clients with a keyword and the five words either side. This practice was challenged by the DDF, a group representing newspaper interests, as infringing their members' copyright. The court has referred the issue back to national courts to determine whether copyright laws in each country will be subject to the ruling. The full ruling is available at the European Court of Justice Web site."
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11-Word Extracts May Infringe Copyright In Europe

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  • TFA just did (Score:2, Insightful)

    by iamapizza (1312801)

    Europe's highest court held that the 11-word extracts were indeed "reproduction in part" under intellectual property laws. The court described transient acts as being "created and deleted automatically and without human intervention," such as those allowing for database browsing and caching. Such acts must also be incidental, the court said.

    They didn't say it had to be continuous...

    • by nagnamer (1046654)

      They didn't say it had to be continuous...

      If it weren't contiuous every cracker on the Net engaged in dictionary attack could be held liable:

      "Hey they quoted more than 1M words from NY Times including 'user', 'guest', 'root', 'admin', 'territory'.... 'cabbage', 'walnuts'! Sue them!"

      That'd make it easier for courts to convict them and it would be a great thing for the whole planet! The only downside would be that we'd have to invent a new language nobody else ewssez just to uwoid the lowsouts. :)

    • "That's Hot." ... maybe, just maybe, "lets get ready to rumble."

  • by Shadow of Eternity (795165) on Friday July 31, 2009 @08:57AM (#28894897)

    Perhaps eventually quoting the law that makes quoting things illegal will be illegal. Why not, wells fargo is suing wells fargo and AT&T charging a discount fee for discounts it would make perfect sense.

    • by furby076 (1461805)
      Wells Fargo sueing itself (for default loans) is required to properly acquire payment. It is not like they are going to contest it and sit in court aruging with each other. Yes it's silly, but it is the fault of how the law was written not the fault of Wells Fargo. I am sure Wells Fargo rolled their eyes and said "come on, this is stupid, it's our company trying to write-off the debt to OUR company".

      Almost as bad when BMW told me that if I wanted replace my burnt-out bulbs under warranty it would be f
      • by nomadic (141991)
        Wells Fargo sueing itself (for default loans) is required to properly acquire payment. It is not like they are going to contest it and sit in court aruging with each other. Yes it's silly, but it is the fault of how the law was written not the fault of Wells Fargo. I am sure Wells Fargo rolled their eyes and said "come on, this is stupid, it's our company trying to write-off the debt to OUR company".

        It's not even that bad; the law isn't forcing them to sue themselves, it's just from a procedural standpoi
      • by jscotta44 (881299) on Friday July 31, 2009 @09:30AM (#28895191)

        The BMW thing does make sense. The time used in replacing your burned out bulb is paid for by BMW on the original lights. It is a light that BMW has confidence in and they know the reliability of the bulbs and thus can reliably predict a cost to themselves. The aftermarket stuff is not approved by them, they know nothing about it, its problems, the cost of the bulbs, or life expectancy. They will not pay for it because they cannot reliably determine what their liability will be.

        This is similar to web developers who will guarantee their work and/or provide some sort of fixed fee structure to maintain a site that they build provided the code is only modified by them and no others. Once another developer starts altering code, their confidence on what is going on drops dramatically and they can no longer reliably predict what their time liability will be and thus their own cost to work on the code. They'll then switch to an hourly charge to fix/maintain the code. Makes sense to me.

        • Re: (Score:1, Offtopic)

          by furby076 (1461805)
          It's a lightbulb, not custom engine work. With the exception that BMW makes it ridiculously hard to replace (you have to remove the bumper, remove the light casing, disassemble the light case) they are halogen bulbs. The worst that would happen is the lightbulb burns out sooner (it's a lightbulb). Given that, if they said "fine but if yuo come back in 15,000 miles we won't apply the warranty"...obviously if I come back in 40k miles (what the car is at right now) with "hey it burnt out" then the lightbulb
          • by Gilmoure (18428)

            Let's try a computer analogy here. This is kinda' like having an iPod or MacBook with non-replaceable battery. It actually is replaceable but is PitA to do so and Apple says it should be performed by warranty type shop. And if you bought an aftermarket battery, with longer life, yeah, Apple probably wouldn't do that under warranty either.

            • by furby076 (1461805)
              Except the battery affects the other systems where a lightbulb is affected by other systems. You need to find an analogy with a less integrated part that has no dependencies. Maybe the laptop external fans you can buy (you know the ones you sit underneath your laptop to make it cooler and it connects by a USB). That's about as close as I can think.

              I totally understand warranties, and 3rd party products, etc...but there gets to be a point of the spirit of the rule and what it was intended to handle.
              • by Gilmoure (18428)

                Oh yeah, I know it wasn't a very good analogy. Was just jumping at chance to make a computer analogy on a car issue before anyone else.

                Although, making a bad computer analogy does sorta' fit in with the bad car analogies...

          • Re: (Score:3, Interesting)

            by Obfuscant (592200)
            The worst that would happen is the lightbulb burns out sooner (it's a lightbulb).

            You have no imagination.

            The worst that could happen is that the light shorts out, is improperly fused, and the wiring starts an engine fire that destroys the car. Or the light itself draws too much current, overheats and melts the reflector/housing, starting an engine fire. (You say it is a halogen bulb, which DOES run a lot hotter than normal tungsten bulbs.)

            Or it simply creates a large amount of smoke, distracting the dri

        • by MadKeithV (102058)

          The BMW thing does make sense. The time used in replacing your burned out bulb is paid for by BMW on the original lights. It is a light that BMW has confidence in and they know the reliability of the bulbs and thus can reliably predict a cost to themselves. The aftermarket stuff is not approved by them, they know nothing about it, its problems, the cost of the bulbs, or life expectancy. They will not pay for it because they cannot reliably determine what their liability will be.

          "Randomly" picking a keyword and 10 surrounding words out of a large article could ruin the context of an article as well (or creatively alter it), so by that logic this lawsuit may actually have some merit. Mis-quoting is an art form.

        • In a car the dealership is not owned by BMW. Their service department is reimbursed by BMW USA to perform the service, parts and labor. The parent poster wanted to put in a different bulb he would pay for, reducing BMW's immediate cost and future liability (they obviously wouldn't be on the hook to replace it the next time around).

          My suspicion is that it was about bureaucracy. The dealership can't be reimbursed for the labor without adding the part, and if they didn't install a part they billed BMW for i

          • by jscotta44 (881299)

            Mostly agreedâ"at least to the workings. However, I would not attribute this to bureaucracy, but rather to finance. I don't think anyone wants to be financially liable for anything that they cannot control the cost on.

        • by harpune (557684)
          whoa, the reverse car analogy? You're blowing my mind, here.
      • by Shin-LaC (1333529) on Friday July 31, 2009 @09:47AM (#28895399)
        If you're talking about those hideous ultra-bright blindness beams that assholes have been putting on their cars lately, refusing to install them is in everyone's best interest.
        • by furby076 (1461805)

          If you're talking about those hideous ultra-bright blindness beams that assholes have been putting on their cars lately, refusing to install them is in everyone's best interest.

          The lights were to replace the yellow daytime running lights with white DRLs. At night I have xenons. So nope, but thanks for trying.

          BTW those "ultra-bright blindness beams..." are not really ultra-bright, they are normal lights (typically with a light blue "paint" on the bulb). People who do installs either forget to adjust the height of the lights or purposefully set them high. So instead of the light hitting the back of the car in front of them (at license plate level or lower) it hits the rear vie

          • by Obfuscant (592200)
            So yes, they are assholes or neglectful, but no not because of the light but how they are installed.

            No, it's because of the light.

            BTW installing lights at that high a level will mean your car does not pass inspection (in the US at least).

            There is no inspection in the US. Some states have inspections, many do not. It is not a "US" thing, it's a state-by-state thing.

      • Wells Fargo sueing itself (for default loans) is required to properly acquire payment. It is not like they are going to contest it and sit in court aruging with each other.

        Wells Fargo has already contested their own lawsuit. From the summary [slashdot.org]: "Defendant admits that it is the owner and holder of a mortgage encumbering the subject real property. All other allegations of the complaint are denied."

    • by Tolkien (664315)

      AT&T charging a discount fee for discounts

      That's the first I've heard of it! WTF AT&T? [LOLCAT=Yer doin' it wrong. /]

    • Apparently, the news clipping service would have been fine if it had just emailed the eleven word clippings, published them on the web, and/or published them on paper that's designed to self-destruct itself. Their point seems to be that copyright doesn't seem to apply when text is "transient".

      The ruling doesn't specifically mention the workarounds of using invisible ink, writing things on your hand, using a etch-a-sketch, and/or making temporary snow angels, but those "transient" writing techniques certainl

    • Next we'll be seeing words randomly redacted from newspapers on newsstands to protect passersby from accidentally breaking copyright laws!
    • The stupid thing is that the search business that they are suing is actually driving business to them? If only in a minor way (sans advertising).
  • by furby076 (1461805) on Friday July 31, 2009 @08:57AM (#28894909) Homepage
    So a company searches the intarweb for news stories and displays a snippit (11 words) of this on their site with a link to the newspaper (driving up their readership). This is free advertisement for newspapers, and as they should know free advertisement is almost as awesome as free beer!
    • by pjt33 (739471) on Friday July 31, 2009 @09:08AM (#28894989)

      Nothing to do with the "intarweb". They were taking dead-tree newspapers, scanning, OCRing, extracting snippets from the resulting text, and printing them. Actually if this had been entirely electronic the ruling would have been different, because one of the two rulings is that the last step of making a physical print-out is non-transient, and thus one exemption is ruled not to apply.

      The other ruling is that an 11 word extract is not automatically incapable of being worthy of copyright protection: (my emphasis)

      An act occurring during a data capture process, which consists of storing an extract of a protected work comprising 11 words and printing out that extract, is such as to come within the concept of reproduction in part within the meaning of Article 2 of Directive 2001/29/EC of the European Parliament and of the Council of 22 May 2001 on the harmonisation of certain aspects of copyright and related rights in the information society, if the elements thus reproduced are the expression of the intellectual creation of their author; it is for the national court to make this determination.

      This isn't entirely unreasonable, because otherwise haiku authors be rather unprotected.

      Finally, to answer your original question of why they don't want this: I think it's because the purpose here isn't to create an index for people in general to use but to create a resource for Infopaq's researchers to then write original content summarising the news.

      • Re: (Score:2, Interesting)

        by nagnamer (1046654)

        if the elements thus reproduced are the expression of the intellectual creation of their author

        "I love you too, Honey Bunny!"

        How many of you said Pulp Fiction when they saw it? And it's just 6 words.

        How about "Luke, I'm your father"?

        • The canonical example of this is the Ford autobiography [firstamendmentcenter.org]. A 300-word-excerpt from a lengthy book was ruled not to be fair use, because it severely reduced the market for the book. The only reason anyone would buy Gerald Ford's autobiography/memoirs (no offense) was to find out "Why'd you pardon Nixon?". Since the 300 excerpted words included the answer to that question, the use was not found to be fair.

          Now, that's US law, not EU law, but that's the principle involved - an excerpt that's short but captu
        • But "Luke, I am your father" never actually appears in Star Wars.

        • by Obfuscant (592200)
          How about "Luke, I'm your father"?

          I AM Luke's father, you insensitive clod!

    • by nagnamer (1046654)

      This is free advertisement for newspapers, and as they should know free advertisement is almost as awesome as free beer!

      Maybe they don't drink?

    • by thethibs (882667)
      What the hell is an "intarweb"? I'm not up on Saturday morning cartoons. Did I miss something?
  • by euyis (1521257) <<euyis> <at> <infinity-game.com>> on Friday July 31, 2009 @08:59AM (#28894919)
    "The has that a of could be and with a the."
    • "The has that a of could be and with a the."

      You misquoted the article. Specifically:

      "The has that a of could be and was copyright copyright"

  • Five Words (Score:2, Funny)

    by Anonymous Coward

    De minimis non curat lex.

  • I really don't understand how Newspapers would not want the traffic that a link would generate. There is nothing more than I would love to have than a thousand sites with 11 word snippets of my articles linking back to me.

    Seems foolish.

    • by simcop2387 (703011) on Friday July 31, 2009 @09:08AM (#28894997) Homepage Journal
      that's just it, most of them want that traffic, but they also want to be paid for the privilege of having a link to the article. it's just them being greedy.
      • that's just it, most of them want that traffic, but they also want to be paid for the privilege of having a link to the article. it's just them being greedy.

        Me thinks they need to learn that the internet is pretty unforgiving when it comes to shoddy content.

      • by nagnamer (1046654)

        that's just it, most of them want that traffic, but they also want to be paid for the privilege of having a link to the article. it's just them being greedy.

        Or desperate. With Internet and all, newspapers don't exactly have exclusivity nowadays. Sure, some people might actually appreciate a well-crafter piece of professional commentary. On the other hand lots of people just want quick info, be it TV or Internet. Some even watch Twitter for news. I bet profits from running a newspaper house isn't exactly what it used to be.

      • I think it's the search engines who are being greedy. The search engines' content is all the sites they index. The search engines want to get that content for free, and only the few indexed sites at the top of the list get anything in return for producing that content. To make matters worse, that top few often has to pay to be there, so the search engines offer nothing in return for their free content.

        I don't think the newspapers have a problem with showing up in search results. I think their problem is eve

    • by dyfet (154716)

      You misunderstand. It is not that they want to block their articles and summaries from being carried and indexed, hence darwining themselves out of business, such as the Belgium publishers who refuse to use robots.txt to block Google demonstrate. Ultimately they both actually want their stuff to be indexed and carried, even if becomes necessary to find ways to force others to carry their links and summarizes, while at the same time they want to force those they hope they can force to carry their stuff to

      • by tjstork (137384)

        That is what they are really after.

        Seems like it would be a lot easier to write better stuff.

    • Re: (Score:1, Troll)

      by abigsmurf (919188)
      However, would you like it if, instead of visiting your site every day, they visited a central site that listed the stories on it instead. You ended up not getting homepage views and viewers on average visited few pages if they visited. For popular sites, this could represent a massive drop in revenue.

      Some places just don't like the principle of a robot systematically plowing through their site and copying an publishing many pages worth of text written by them on a daily basis. Even if the snippets thems
      • However, would you like it if, instead of visiting your site every day, they visited a central site that listed the stories on it instead.

        You mean like google?

        They still have to buy the newspaper or visit the website to read the actual story.

        • by abigsmurf (919188)
          people go to search engines to search for something specific rather than general idle reading, that's a different type of reader (and one that isn't as valuable).

          They still go to the website if they get the headlines and links from a third party but they don't go via the homepage. They'll get far fewer page views from someone who gets a list of their stories on a third party site than if they go to their front page to do so.
          • by woe.scott (888837)

            general idle reading

            *cough* http://idle.slashdot.org/ [slashdot.org] *cough*

          • by argent (18001)

            people go to search engines to search for something specific rather than general idle reading, that's a different type of reader (and one that isn't as valuable).

            The guy who uses a clipping service IS that kind of reader, whether you like it or not. Having him buy someone else's newspaper, or go to someone else's website, isn't in your interests no matter what kind of reader you'd *prefer* he be.

        • Before my website got hacked to hell, I had a lot of articles there, which I spent a lot of time producing. Google cached them all and made it possible to read all of them without ever going to my site. So basically my content was now Google's content and I got nothing for it, not even a page view. I figured out how to tell it to index but not cache, but still I had to opt out rather than opt in.
          • by argent (18001)

            Google cached them all and made it possible to read all of them without ever going to my site.

            Theoretically, yes, but unless you've got some really oddball content or you somehow got a reputation for truly awesomely broken and spammy advertising, maybe one person in 100 will use Google's cache at all, and of those maybe one person in 100 will do so consistently. Clicking on the Google cache link and getting an out-of-date framed page with broken links is just not as useful as going to the real site.

      • by c-reus (852386)
        how different is this from using an RSS feed to read the summaries? Assuming the website provides those, of course.
      • by cowscows (103644)

        The counter to that argument is that (just throwing out a random website) for all the people who use various content aggregators to get NYtimes articles instead of going through the NYtimes homepage, there are probably just as many people who have no particular interested in the NYtimes, but get sent to random NYtimes articles by various content aggregators. Does that make sense?

        I'm not searching reddit for NYtimes articles in lieu of going to the NYtimes homepage. If a reddit link sends me there, then that

      • by gurps_npc (621217)
        The problem is that the people would NEVER want to visist their crappy site every day.

        If they did, they neever would have gone to the central site in the first place. They would have found the original article when they logged in. I go to google for news not "http://abcnews.go.com" because I find that google's automated search is a FAR FAR BETTER service than abcnews.

        At heart, what is going on is company A is saying "Company B is better than my company. Make them pay me or go out of business so I can su

      • by Cytotoxic (245301)

        It is not a site that is being scanned. They take actual copies of magazines, etc. and cut them up and scan them to TIFF and OCR them. Then they do a keyword search, printing out the keyword and its location in the file with 10 surrounding characters. Here's the example from the actual case decision:

        4 November 2005 - Dagbladet Arbejderen, page 3:

        TDC: 73% "a forthcoming sale of the telecommunications group TDC which is expected to be bought".

        This is printed on a piece of paper. The electronic files are then destroyed. All that remains is a piece of paper with a piece of a sentence on it. From reading the decision it appears that the court does

    • by fearlezz (594718)

      Ssssst. Don't tell them.
      Less links = less income = earlier death for the dead-tree-media.

    • That traffic brings in absolutely no money at all.

      Most national advertisers can do much better campaign-wise than advertising in newspapers or on their Web sites.

      And does a flowershop advertising in a paper in in New York (or Phoenix or Chicago) really give a shit if someone in Nebraska glanced at an ad for the flowershop hundreds of miles away?

      I think the next step for news agencies is to turn off the Web sites to the public, and only sell content to the people willing to pay well for it.

      Industry magazines

  • It comes-down from the oligarchs sitting on the Supreme Court, so I'm not surprised that the European court might reach a different conclusion (i.e. even 11 words violates the artists' exclusive copy license).

    • by LionMage (318500)

      Fair use might be an American concept, but it most certainly wasn't invented by the Justices ("oligarchs" by your reckoning) of the Supreme Court. It was, in fact, codified into law in 1976, prior to which it was a common law concept. (Other common law countries have a similar, albeit weaker in practice, concept called "fair dealing.")

      What bothers me about this European court making this decision is that it affects all EU countries, which may be forced to reconcile their copyright legislation with this de

  • by rxmd (205533) on Friday July 31, 2009 @09:01AM (#28894935) Homepage

    From TFA:

    A Danish pressclipping company could be violating copyright by printing

    Expecting to be sued for copyright violation in 3...2...1...

    • by pjt33 (739471)

      That's only ten. And "pressclipping" isn't a word so it doesn't count. Mind you, the court made a similar mistake. Observe the example given in the ruling of an 11-word extract (5 words either side of TDC):

      "a forthcoming sale of the telecommunications group TDC which is expected to be bought"

      • by rxmd (205533)

        That's only ten.

        Well yes, there's always the other solution:

        Adanishpressclippingcompany couldbeviolatingcopyrightbyprintingout elevenwordsnippetsofnewsarticles theeuropeancourtofjusticeruled theluxembourgbasedcourt remandedtheissuetodenmark foradeterminationonwhetherthesnippets compriseintellectualproperty.

        Eight words. You could do it in even less, but the Slashdot lameness filter is apparently in league with the copyright mafia.

      • Well, actually the "non-word" might have enough originality to be copyrighted by itself ...

    • by Turiko (1259966)
      you've only got 10 words :P
  • In theory, copyright is upheld to allow amortization of production costs through reproduction sales. Quoting portions of a text in a search response only serves to help that text be located, and perhaps, a sale made. There should be a law against convoluted laws.
  • More problematic is the absence of any concept of fair use. The court did not say that 11 word quotations were necessarily infringinig, though: they pushed that decision back on the lower court.

  • In the end, even a 1-word extract will be copyrighted and we'll no longer be able to say anything without violating someone's copyright.
  • I could safely bet the next 10 stories will have the tag '11words'.
  • Not that I agree with the ruling, but if you look at the case in terms of US fair use (which I admit is not applicable in Europe), there's a significant difference between quoting eleven words in a newspaper article, which is fairly short, and quoting eleven words in a book or short story. Proportionally, the amount used is significantly greater.

    Nevertheless, I agree that this is a reasonable, non-infringing use. It doesn't harm the commercial aspects of the newspapers, since it's not like anyone is going

    • These are the some 11 word extracts from the first few "headlines" on Google News's front page as of a few minutes ago, along with links to their articles:

      ...the death of an Islamic sect leader whose capture police announced.... (link [bbc.co.uk])

      ...bombs exploded within minutes near Shi'ite mosques across Baghdad on Friday... (link [reuters.com])

      ...the economy shrank at a 1% rate in the second quarter. (link [cnn.com])

  • By far most articles would fail under "fair use" but if the 11 words happened to include the a majority of a very small article, there could be problems.

    There is also another risk: If the newspaper article quoted someone else, and that quote was lifted without the surrounding text, the 11-word snippet may not be fair use of the original quote.

    Here's a contrived example:

    I'm a humorist. I make up 1-line zingers for fortune cookies and filler material for community newspapers.

    I become famous and a major newsp

    • Fair use can apply to an entire work. In your example it probably would.

      You probably would also have difficulty enforcing copyright at all on most of your short "zingers".

      • by davidwr (791652)

        Fair use can apply to the entire work, as it would if a newspaper printed it as part of a larger work.

        But when the larger work consists of "someword1 someword2. [my zinger]. Someword3" that's probably not fair use.

  • by jerep (794296) on Friday July 31, 2009 @09:29AM (#28895187)

    Next, merely refering to the thing will get you sued, until you cant even read the thing without promising you will forget what you read. And sooner or later we will just forget about people copyrighting their work alltogether, and just like Darth Sidious said "and then.. we shall have peace".

  • Copyright is Evil (Score:5, Interesting)

    by whisper_jeff (680366) on Friday July 31, 2009 @09:31AM (#28895205)
    I'm fed up. Copyright is evil. I'm a graphic designer who's worked as a writer and an editor so, needless to say, a great deal of my living is made on works protected by copyright but enough is enough. It's a joke. The original intent of copyrights has been so grossly perverted and abused that they're simply evil now. They no longer protect those they were intended to protect and they are abused by those who have absolutely nothing to do with the actual creative works. They're evil.
    • IMHO copyright should be severely limited to a much smaller subset or what appears to be covered in today's interpretation.

      Copyright should only cover *original* work. News is not original as it is simply an account of an event. Neither are sets of data such as nutrition tables, product lists or any other recording of factual data - regardless of the effort involved in compiling them. Just because you put time into gathering information does not imply that you and only you should thereafter have control of

      • by bugnuts (94678)

        News is not original as it is simply an account of an event. Neither are sets of data such as nutrition tables, product lists or any other recording of factual data - regardless of the effort involved in compiling them.

        By simple extension, all photographs should not be allowed copyrights because they are a representation of a fact (basically, something that exists). And because you believe there's no creative content in news, clearly there can be no claims of liberal or conservative press because that would not be representing facts.

        Perhaps we can extend that further, and claim all sounds are simply movement of air and simple physics can have no copyright ... thus songs are all representations of natural facts, too, and

    • Copyright isn't evil.

      Copyright _extensions_ are evil.

      The way I see it, copyright should extend through creator's death. When the dude who made it dies, poof. Done. If the creator can't make money off it, nobody should be able to.

      Unfortunately, the system will never change, because the people who have truly benefited from copyright have been made rich by the work of others. Being unable to sell the works of others would leave them no way to continue their rich-as-fuck lifestyle. But because they have all the

    • I'm a graphic designer who's worked as a writer and an editor so, needless to say, a great deal of my living is made on works protected by copyright but enough is enough.

      Just rememebr that even without copyright, you can still charge others for your labor (time), just like many other people do. The only downside is that you only get paid once, when you do it, rather than every time someone thinks about your work.

  • by erbbysam (964606)
    The European Court of Justice, Europe's highest court, has ruled that... nuts
    • by Arimus (198136)

      Soon you'll need to come up with a new expression. The phrase nuts is owned respectively by God Inc. when used in relation to a plant or part of a mammal and by the estate of General McAuliffe when used as an expression of anger or frustration.

  • As far as I can tell, the decision said only that the 11-word snippets did not fall under a "transient copying" exception, not that they consisted copying substantial enough to infringe copyright.

  • Center on the word DDF

    "Practice was challenged by the DDF, a group representing newspaper interests"

    From that, we can determine that - this is going to be about fair use/copyright, newspapers will shoot themselves in the foot to try to stay relevant^W afloat, and that we should all go to using 10 word snippets, to be safe.
  • by openright (968536) on Friday July 31, 2009 @11:09AM (#28896487) Homepage

    If the newspapers can claim that an 11 word phrase is copyrighted, then a person should be able to claim that a statement is copyrighted,
    and the newspapers would be prevented from making direct quotes.

    --- a future newspaper article --- ...
    With these events, we should be reminded of the words of John F. Kennedy: (paraphase*) "[Do not ask what services your government can provide for you. Instead ask your government how you can help.]".

    * The original quote is owned by the Kennedy family,

    • by Ken_g6 (775014)

      Since he was in the federal government, that quote is in the public domain [wikipedia.org].

      But it wouldn't be for something by a state official, or a former official, such as (paraphase*) "[Probe for oil in this location. Probe for oil at this time.]".

      * The original quote is owned by the Gingrich family.

    • by laffer1 (701823)

      This may go a step farther. How could the report things on websites? I mean CNN is the dedicated twitter network and Fox is trying real hard to catch up. How can they say what users are writing on those sites? Say I write a statement in my blog. That means no one can reproduce it without my consent. If you think this is ridiculous, consider how the AP has gone after bloggers who have reproduced part of their articles.

  • There are cases, where everything needed is said in eleven words — or even less...

  • by HTH NE1 (675604) on Friday July 31, 2009 @12:08PM (#28897369)

    Years ago, there was a current story (same day) that was indexed by Google but which the originating site had pulled from the web. Google wouldn't provide a copy of their cache for it and only give me a short snippet in the search results.

    So I took two or three words at the start of the snippet, turned them into a quoted phrase, and did a "site:" search of them and the headline. That got me a few more words. Same for words at the end of the snippet. Pretty soon I had the entire paragraph.

    However, Google wouldn't give preceding or following words past the paragraph mark, so I had to guess at unique words that would be in other paragraphs, and no clues as to the order of the paragraphs. I do believe I managed to retrieve the entire story in this manner without providing a hit for the originating site, but then, they apparently didn't want the traffic since they'd pulled the story from the site.

  • ... but if it is, I'm about to violate their copyright: "a temporary and transient act of reproduction is intended to enable".

    Seriously, this is just ridiculous. After all... hold on, I feel another copyright violation coming... "a text extract of 11 words, the evidence submitted to the" Sorry. Now, as I was saying this is just ridiculous. How can snippets that small be still covered by copyright? Does this mean that snippets of 10 words are allowable? If not, what about 9? At what point does the cop

  • "All tyranny needs to gain a foothold is for people of..."

    Oh crap.

"Out of register space (ugh)" -- vi

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