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Ridiculous copyright licensing – no thanks CBC

I’ve noticed recently at the CBC website that at their news section, they have fine print at the bottom of their articles stating that “new copyright licensing is in effect”. When you click on that, it takes you to a 3rd party group called iCopyright, which then offers a sign-up fee so you can either quote the whole article, or else keep the article on your blog/website etc for a year. Nothing is said about only quoting part of an article however. If you click on the fine print of iCopyright, they warn you of the danger of piracy and so on and so forth.

Now, the popular technology website Boing Boing! has put up an article on this weird new copyright scheme:

The Canadian Broadcasting Corporation has signed up with iCopyright, the American copyright bounty hunters used by the Associated Press, to offer ridiculous licenses for the quotation of CBC articles on the web (these are the same jokers who sell you a “license” to quote 5 words from the AP)…You have to pay by the month to include the article on your website (apparently no partial quotation is offered, only the whole thing, which makes traditional Internet commentary very difficult!). And you have to agree not to criticize the CBC, the subject of the article, or its author…The cherry on the cake? iCopyright offers a reward of up to $1,000,000 for snitching on bloggers who don’t pay Danegeld to Canada’s public broadcaster to quote the works they funded.

I’m not a copyright expert, but I’m wondering where exactly “Fair use” is in this new setup. It appears non-existent here. Regardless, as my title suggests, if that’s what CBC is going to try, then I’m either going to paraphrase what I read over there on the CBC and just supply a link, or else I’ll use another source who believes in the “fair use” doctrine, or as it is known in Canada, “Fair dealing”, as per guidelines set down by the Supreme Court of Canada.

Alternatively, there is another way to get around this, as one commentator suggests at Boing Boing:

…one person signs up to quote the (CBC) article, then everyone else just links to THAT site.

I think this is a silly move on the CBC’s part; if they’re trying to drive away internet traffic from their news-site, this is one sure way to do it. Curiously, they don’t have that licensing option footnote in their blog sections it seems – ie. the Inside Politics site. Whether that means you don’t need a license to quote their journalists that blog their thoughts like Kady O’Malley or Rosemarie Barton etc. is going to be interesting.


13 comments to Ridiculous copyright licensing – no thanks CBC

  • Toe

    I did not mean to point out anyone particular, who is using fair use, but going from blog to blog I’m seeing a dark pattern.

  • Boycott CBC? Good grief, no. Daphne and I will carry on as before. Fair use policy works for us.

  • Toe

    Waah! I’m confused. Boycotting the CBC would seem to play right into Harpers plans, no? He hates it and doesn’t want to fund it anymore. He prefers CTV/et al to parrot his TP’s. To make CBC’s content not usable, to discredit it, don’t forget it is run by the Cons now. Blanketing CBC with complaints, well that also plays well for them, the big wide Canadian Con audience will say, no more public broadcasting, the people have spoken. Shite just look at the comments everywhere, Reaction, Reaction, Reaction! We need to mount a campaign of some sort. Meantime CBC doesn’t own the quotes they quote, do they? You bloggers could quote a quote by whoever and then just link to cbc for proof of quote. IOW’s ignore them for a time.
    I am completely out of my depth here, but I do think the reaction so far is part of ‘the plan’, so to speak.

  • Greg

    Time to boycott the CBC. Sorry Kady.

  • I think it’s a great business opportunity. I plan on heavy trolling of the Blogging Tories looking for breaches to report to iCopyright. A million bucks is a million bucks!

  • rww

    Sorry no time to comment here. I have to go find a CBC article to quote on my blog.

  • I’ll still go by “Fair Dealing.” I will quote a section of an article and provide links where necessary. What will happen if Harper’s Conservative Party posts something on its website that may be negative to itself? Would I be allowed to reproduce or link to it? How many words is a picture worth?

  • efarrer

    It is actually a logical attempt to stifle debate by the Tories. CBC is a trusted source quoted frequently by anti Tory groups. That said it won’t survive a court challenge. Fair use is still fair use.

  • Among the ironies for me… The linking policy on our blogs has been to hunt for – even WAIT FOR – CBC (or indy) articles on a news item that has come up, rather than write a post linking to Canwest media or CTV. In other words, we’ve been doing our level best to support our public broadcaster and independent media by sending people to them, not to their private competitors.

    Our faces are red, from the slap across both cheeks.

  • Ti-Guy

    It’s hopelessly confused and entirely unworkable. Good for a laugh, though.

  • Jay

    I think we have already paid for the use of articles created by a company funded with our tax dollars.

    Biting the hands that feeds it?

  • Who owns the CBC? We do!

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