Judge Wants To Copyright News?

Federal appellate judge Richard Posner proposed earlier this week banning Web sites from accessing, linking to or paraphrasing copyrighted material without the owner’s consent. This would, apparently, save journalism.

Never mind that facts can’t be copyrighted and giving exclusive rights to publish to one media outlet is against free speech principles, MediaPost writes. If copyright law were extended this severely, after TMZ broke the news of Michael Jackson’s death yesterday, no news outlets would have been able to follow up.

This proposal is so ridiculous it almost seems like a joke…news sites want Google to crawl them, so aren’t the copyright holders (the news sites) giving permission to Google to link to their content? (Yes.) There’s this nifty little thing called robots.txt that will cut your traffic to 10% of what it once was if you’re so concerned about your copyright…

Posner’s original blog entry has 34 comments already. Ahem.