As Rupert Murdoch talks about how he wants to cut off Google, while claiming that aggregator sites are “parasites” and “stealing” from him — and that fair use would likely be barred by the courts, it seemed like a good time to examine at least some of the sites that are owned by Rupert Murdoch that appear to aggregate content from other sites and which rely on the very same fair use argument. […]

Well, let’s start with the flagship Wall Street Journal itself. …[O]n the WSJ’s tech news page if you scroll down, you’ll find a bunch of headlines and links to other sources — without permission:

Oops. Looks like the WSJ is “parasiting” and “stealing” according to Murdoch. Perhaps he should cut them of too.

Techdirt does the online world a service by applying Rupert Murdoch’s standards to his own media empire – and the results are pretty damn funny.

The fact that Murdoch’s media outlets employ fair use shouldn’t be a surprise. Even traditional reporters do it pretty much every day – for instance, quoting someone’s speech or something they’ve written. And with hyperlinks and aggregation, the sheer utility becomes overwhelming: “here’s the excerpt I’m quoting, and here’s the original so you can find out more (or make sure I’m not taking it out of context).”

And for anyone who thinks questions of utility shouldn’t enter into the conversation around intellectual property – that this is all about fundamental issues of natural justice – the history of IP law says differently. (Have a look at Lawrence Lessig’s fascinating Free Culture for more on this.)

Posted via web from robcottingham’s posterous