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News Corp/NDS Forces DocumentCloud To Take Down Emails 34

Presto Vivace writes "When the Australian Financial Review published its series on News Corp's pay TV pirates, it asked DocumentCloud to host the internal NDS emails which documented the allegations. Last week DocumentCloud was forced to take down the emails when NDS threatened legal action and the Financial Review declined to indemnify it. The Financial Review reports that: 'DocumentCloud is a free service operated by journalism organization Investigative Reporters and Editors at the University of Missouri. It aims to enable newspapers, websites and broadcasters to host documents supporting investigative reports. The website uses open source – or community developed – technologies to scan and index information, allowing users to quickly search hundreds or even thousands of pages for references to people, places, dates,company names and key terms.' The NDS emails are available as zip files at the Financial Review's server. Because DocumentCloud uses open source software, 'any news organization — or anyone else — is free to use DocumentCloud's code to build its own hosted version, on its own secure server, with many of the same capabilities, Aron Pilhofer, DocumentCloud's co-founder told me. Pilhofer, who is also interactive news editor at The New York Times, said that provides a little bit of breathing room for news organizations whose lawyers may be wary of exposing newspapers to risk through partnering with a third-party.'"
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News Corp/NDS Forces DocumentCloud To Take Down Emails

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  • by Weezul ( 52464 ) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @04:00PM (#39613823)

    Torrent? Where do I seed?

    • TPBFTW
      • by tqk ( 413719 )


        Queuing Streisand Effect, in 3, 2, 1 ...

  • More concerning (Score:4, Insightful)

    by Kalriath ( 849904 ) on Sunday April 08, 2012 @06:20PM (#39614497)

    Does anyone else find it kind of concerning that the way this summary reads, the fact that DocumentCloud is Open Source somehow makes it more liable and impossible to indemnify than someone using proprietary software to do the same thing? The original article doesn't do that, so why is Slashdot?

    More concerning again is that Fairfax Media is now essentially outsourcing their liability for publishing documents that they don't feel like defending themselves over - asking DocumentCloud to host them and then when DocumentCloud gets into legal trouble washing their hands of it? Wankers.

    • I didn't get the impression from the summary that DocumentCloud was any harder to indemnify due to its FOSS nature. Rather, they seemed to be lauding the fact that any entity willing to bear the legal risk (created by Murdoch) could set up a new instance easily.

      I agree with you that Fairfax's behaviour is a concern. If they're going to publish stories based on these documents, they should be prepared to host them, and just delegate their risk to a third party with no recompense.

  • Sounds like posting to wikileaks would have kept the information in public view for longer.

  • by Anonymous Coward on Sunday April 08, 2012 @09:31PM (#39615521)

    What's it like where money matters above all else, nepotism abounds and professional ambition transcends all known ethics? Let me tell you.

    I've been an employee of NewsCorp for the last 4-5 years. I stay with them because they offer the best compensation in my field, security in this recession, and yet we have our differences. On many occasions I've defended my employer and media outlets, mainly Fox News by saying, "I may not agree with the narrative but no one can say it's not a commercial success." Each business unit only worries about the bottom line, and not a soul has the well being of the U.S. and it's future in mind. Now it's starting to bother me.

    Rupert Murdoch may be more feared by his employees than Steve Jobs ever was. Instead of a razor sharp focus on perfection and simplicity, Murdoch works his media holdings like a venture capitalist, his political influence like the dirtiest lobbyist, and just doesn't seem to 'get' the web and social media. This old-fashioned media tycoon acquires, prunes and drives companies and their talent to exact his will.

    The pressure on his people shows. Employing very creative accounting (tax havens), phone hacking and leveraging threats of media smear campaigns, NewsCorp employees cross ethical boundaries more often than Rupert crosses time zones. It's no secret he enjoys the power he wields. On the editorial conferences he attends, on the way he treats political enemies, competitors and anyone else that dare disagree, it is striking from the inside.

    Rupert has always shown his considerable ego, from the (good for all of the British press) breaking of the print unions in Wapping to his new rambling outlet, Twitter (@rupertmurdoch) . This 80 year old man tweets solo from his iPad, attacking Google, President Obama and others, all the while disregarding his plethora of Lawyers, PR entourage and social media experts. But that's the thing. He doesn't care. He's an old, angry, ballsy billionaire with mostly incompetent, disappointing children who is set on nothing more than doing what he and he alone wants for the rest of his life. I would say his tireless work has earned him that privilege if his empire wasn't pro-SOPA, against LGBT and other rights, constantly polarizing America and driving the Republican Party farther right than I ever predicted. The national dialogue has turned into a screaming match and I know who to thank.

    With Roger Ailes as his Dick Cheney, Murdoch has incredible control over conservatives. 'Fair and Balanced' stopped being a funny joke years ago. I never thought I would live in a country where science was laughed at on the news, calling the sitting President a Communist was acceptable, or where a GOP candidate has no chance without the backing of Ailes, Czar of Fox News.

    This might be the future, where only money matters, your voicemail isn't safe and anything can happen when dirty police officers get their take. It might be, but I don't like it.

    • by toriver ( 11308 )

      Drug lords in South America also have "commercial success". Just saying.

    • If you work in an organization that continues to behave in an indefensible, sometimes illegal way and do nothing to stop the evil behavior you are part of the problem.

      You should either quit or collect enough evidence to send some of you co-wankers to prison.

Bell Labs Unix -- Reach out and grep someone.