The how-to-save-newspapers-by-changing-copyright-law storm is still swirling around the blogosphere, and now two of the instigators want to clear everything up.
First, a little history: It started with judge Richard Posner’s proposal to give news outlets a monopoly on their scoops by banning others from linking to them. Then Connie Schultz, a columnist for the Cleveland Plain Dealer (one of us!) proposed something similar, albeit in her version, nobody but the originator of the story can “profit” from the story in the first 24 hours. Whatever that means. Blogger Jeff Jarvis fired back, and then there was a lovely he said, she said.
Now we hear from the Marburger brothers, whose proposals were part of Schultz’s inspiration. David and Daniel Marburger are a first amendment attorney in Cleveland and an economics professor at Arkansas State.
They don’t oppose aggregators like Google News, which only excerpt small portions of the article. (It’s unstated, but presumably they do oppose HuffPo.)
They don’t want to give news originators a monopoly on the content for any length of time.
So what do they want to do? Just restore the right to sue for unfair competition.
Oh, okay then!!! You’re not making it illegal to link to your content, just really expensive.
Seriously, though. This will either have the exact same effect as if linking/aggregating/whatever were illegal, or it will do absolutely nothing (I don’t see newspapers rolling around in a lot of cash to spend on legal fees right now…who would win The Bankrupt Daily Herald V. Huffington Post?)