Tuesday, June 1, 2010...8:30 am

US government agency hopes to assign copyright to events

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Well – sort of, if this “staff discussion draft” of “Potential Policy Recommendations to Support the Reinvention of Journalism” from the US Federal Trade Commission is anything to go by.

Among the bullet points:

“Hot news” Protection of Facts
ie: if you report on something first, you have copyright over the event!

That’s just fantastic, and will really save journalism from Google.

Here’s a thought, though. What if – just what if – a blogger, say, gets first dibs on a story, for whatever reason. That means major news media won’t be able to report it without breaching copyright.

At which point we’ll have to rethink the whole thing – because the whole point of this is to define “news” in such a way that only mainstream news organisations get to report it.

Licensing the News
“Some suggest that some sort of industry-wide licensing arrangement be adopted, perhaps with the government’s help and support.”

So, the media will have to get permission to publish from the politicians they hound every week over one inevitable scandal or another. Yes, that’ll work. No conflict of interest there, guys.

Seriously, does anybody in the media really  believe we would have ended up with the media as we have it today if it had been licensed by the government back in the 18th century?

[HT: Coyote]

1 Comment

  • The thing I most like about this is that it proves the US has its own cadre of dumb-arse Civil Servants! It starts with the title: is ‘Reinvention’ tortological or pleonasmic? Whatever, inventions are orginal, and occur once. You can’t REinvent!

    Having spent some time reading such wonderful papers as USA Today, perhaps they should be looking at “Introducing Journalism”…….