Archive for August 22nd, 2009

Miami paper targets blogger

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

The Miami Herald, a McClatchy newspaper, says a local blogger who used two photos from the newspaper in an August 18 post is stealing from the paper.

“The Herald’s lawyer alleges that I am stealing Herald content,” says Bill, a photographer from Miami Beach who writes the Random Pixels blog. “He also alleges that I derive income from ads on my blog and that using Herald content helps drive traffic to my blog.”

The letter from Herald attorney Ian Ballon (posted here and here) alleges that the blog has run full articles from the Herald as well as large photos, which is a violation of Fair Use. The paper does not object to “short excerpts” from articles, “thumbnail reproductions of photographs” or “continued commentary on the paper, including criticism,”¬† the letter says.

Random Pixels had a wrap-up of the argument so far with comments from other Florida¬† lawyers suggesting this is a waste of The Herald’s time and money (plus a claim that the blog actually drives traffic to the newspaper’s site and that the controversy is increasing traffic at the blog). The blogger denies running full Herald articles.

News Corp. leads talks of pay-for-content

Saturday, August 22nd, 2009

Executives from Ruport Murdoch’s News Corp. have been meeting with other publishers about forming a consortium to charge for news content online, says the L.A. Times’ Company Town blog.

Publishers contacted include New York Times Co., Washington Post Co., Hearst Corp. and Tribune Co., publisher of the Los Angeles Times. News Corp.’s holdings include Wall Street Journal Online, which boasts more than 1 million paying subscribers.

“News Corp.’s solution is the latest proposal to publishers seeking to wring money from Internet readers to offset double-digit drops in print and online revenue,” the blog says. “Steve Brill’s Journalism Online initiative garnered attention this spring when it announced plans to create the tools to allow publishers to collect fees for digital distribution, and recently announced that more than 500 newspapers had joined.”

Publications like the WSJ and Financial Times have succeeded with a paid-for-content model in part, the blog says, because financial traders need the timely information they provide. Whether readers will pay for general news, sports and entertainment content is a different matter. “It’s probably going to be small dollars,” said Edward Atorino, media analyst at Benchmark Co. “For a big media company, it’s going to add a little bit to a giant pile.”